Three Types of Property

The other day I was trying to break down some of our theories of power interactions within empires to simpler and more mechanical dynamics that would »

The Law of the Jungle

Rudyard Kipling writes, in the second jungle book: Just to give you an idea of the immense variety of the Jungle Law, I have translated into »

Rules for Brotherhood

[Editorial note: After publishing this I realized it does not make it clear that these rules are an idealized prototype, rather than strict necessity. Judgement and »

The Obedient Rebels

Back in the 60s, one group of protesters tried a novel strategy to attack the big banks that they hated. They distributed flyers around town telling »

Bad Government

In the West in the 21st century, things basically work and we have it pretty good. We are for the most part basically good people, fed, »

The Best Lack All Conviction

Mild spoilers for Submission follow. Halfway through the novel Submission, the narrator’s parents die in quick succession, an event that's all the more devastating for »

Godel vs The Human Brain

[This occasionally comes up, so I thought I'd explain it, but it's not particularly important.] Much woo has been spilled over Godel's incompleteness theorem. Playing a »

The Confucian heuristic

The ancients who wished to illustrate illustrious virtue throughout the Kingdom, first ordered well their own states. Wishing to order well their states, they first regulated »

Servants without Masters

When I visited Singapore a few years ago, I kept noticing novel bits of social technology that managed to solve problems that I didn’t even »

The Perils of Data Optimism

In one graph: The world is getting better every year, they tell us. Fewer people dying in war, poverty lifting, education increasing, and most importantly, monotonic »

The Mentorship Deficit

When I was towards the end of medical school, I had a bout of last minute questioning about my choice of specialty. I had put in »


"Postrationalism" is our reaction against some of the silliness of modern conceptions of "rationality", while keeping the strong emphasis on correct thinking, skeptical evidence-based inquiry, and »

On small work groups

As steel sharpeneth steel, so one man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. – Proverbs 27:17 There’s a common romantic image of the lone genius »

Levels of Agency in Society

If we speak in broad strokes and ignore fuzzy edge cases, we can divide people into three different levels of social agency throughout history and across »

Why study aristocracy?

The past, it’s said, is a foreign country. If so, that country lies firmly in the third world. Past societies were much poorer than ours, »

Fear of a Black Planet

These are the official population projections. My understanding of Africa is not great, but I don't think they're going to get away with this without running »

The value of being cavalier

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance »

Passivism and The Procedure

In his "Gentle Introduction, Part 9a", Mencius Moldbug introduces a neat little political methodology he calls "Passivism", and a Procedure to replace the current political machinery, »

A Disney World

"Walt Disney wanted to be frozen," Bob Nelson says, as casually as if he were talking about municipal bonds. "Lots of people think that he was, »

The Ladder

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's work is excellent. There's one poem of his, "The Ladder of St. Augustine", that I find particularly compelling: Saint Augustine! well hast thou »

The Tragedy of Light

I’ve never been a huge anime fan, but Death Note is the one show that I’ve really enjoyed. The intricate plot can be simplified »

The Circle of Equity

I want to introduce the central concept of Ottoman political theory I first found reading Norman Itzowitz’s book Ottoman Empire and Islamic Tradition. The Circle »

Conquest’s Second Law

Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing. -John Derbyshire, Conquest’s Laws I have thought about this question on and off, for the »

Why We Even Lift

No man has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old »