Tuesday , January 25 2022
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Tag Archives: social media

The Abused Friend of My Enemy Is My Friend

When I play Sid Meier’s Civilization, as I have thousands of times, I have an eccentric strategy. When other civilizations demand tribute – or just attack me with without provocation – I give them what they want. I sue for peace. And then, I propose an alliance. The AI almost always accepts the offer – and the subsequent alliance is almost always fruitful.  It’s almost as if the programmers never imagined that anyone would try my self-abasing approach.  Sure, humans...

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Why the Pursuit of Truth Matters

One of the most disquieting and perhaps prophetic chapters in Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom (University of Chicago Press, 1944) is the one on “the end of truth.” The future Nobel economics prize winner argued that a totalitarian government or one getting there must necessarily make war on truth. But does truth really matter? I take truth to mean the concordance between beliefs on the one hand and, on the other hand, logic and observation. Preferences are...

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Cancel culture? Internet culture? Human culture?

Not all innovation makes things better. I doubt that WWI would have been as bad if not for the invention of guns. If soldiers had still used swords in 1914, it seems unlikely that trench warfare would have dragged on for 4 years, with nearly 10 million deaths. At the same time, war has been around for thousands of years, and the percentage of humans dying in war seems to be trending downward over the very long run.  So technology is not the primary problem. This story...

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Fun on Friday: My Love-Hate Relationship With Social Media

I have a love-hate relationship with social media.On the one hand, I now have a number of really close friends that I would have never met without Facebook. I’m talking people I connected with on the social media platform and now hang out with in real life. It’s pretty amazing to be able to interact with like-minded people across the US, and even around the world.On the other hand, social media is a daily reminder that there are millions of people out there that I don’t want to know. Not...

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Food for thought on transparency

Governments and political classes do lots of terrible things that they then attempt to conceal – but what if those terrible things are actually the essence of their job? I’m stretching a bit, here, the argument that Richard Waghorne makes in a very interesting op-ed. Waghorne is more interested in making a “grown up argument” for government, based upon the need to face emergencies. Fair enough. I think however the gist of his article lies in his understanding of...

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My Social Media Hiatus

I’ll be travelling most of the next month, so this is a fine time to officially announce my election-year hiatus from social media. Never fear, I will continue blogging for EconLog.  I will continue promoting my work on Facebook and Twitter.  I’ll still use social media to publicize social events, especially Capla-Con 2020.  However, from today until March 1, 2021, I will not participate in intellectual discussions on Facebook or Twitter. My reason is simple: People...

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Is Social Media the New Tobacco?

Social problems arise when initially harmless addictions explode in popularity, and economic problems arise when the long-term costs of the addictions start adding up. Political problems arise when the addictions are so immensely profitable that the companies skimming the profits can buy political influence to protect their toxic products from scrutiny and regulation. That describes both the tobacco industry before its political protection was stripped away and social...

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Are the Rise of Social Media and the Decline of Social Mobility Related?

I’ve often addressed the decline of social mobility and the addictive nature of social media, and recently I’ve entertained the crazy notion that the two dynamics are related. Why Is Social Media So Toxic? I have long held that the decline of social mobility–broad-based opportunities to get ahead financially and socially–is part of a larger dynamic I call social depression: the social decay resulting from economic stagnation and the decline of social mobility and...

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The Corporate Lemmings Who Rushed into Mobile/Social Media Ads Are Running off the Cliff

Given that corporations are run by people, and people are social animals that run in herds, it shouldn’t surprise us that corporations follow the herd, too.Take the herd move to forming conglomerates in the go-go late 1960s: corporations suddenly started buying companies in completely different sectors in businesses they knew nothing about, because the herd was forming conglomerates–not because it made any business sense but because it was the hot trend. Oil companies...

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So If Half of Facebook Accounts Are Fake… What Is Facebook Worth?

How many accounts on Facebook are fake? Recent estimates of half could be low. Here’s an experiment: open a Facebook account with a name that cannot possibly be anyone else’s real name, for example, Johns XQR Citizenry. Solicit a few real people to friend you, start posting something original every day and see what happens. Eventually, your friends will inform you that “Johns XQR Citizenry” solicited them to friend him, even though they’re already friends with...

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