Lynne Kiesling Actually it’s over 350 years old, but as the Economist points out this week, there’s a new critical edition of Leviathan for the first time in 350 years. The Economist article is a good reminder that what was shocking about Hobbes in the 17th century — his mechanistic materialism — isn’t quite as … More Hobbes’ Leviathan is 350 years old!
Lynne Kiesling Consider the preconceptions that surface in your mind when you read the name “Enron”. What are they? Chances are that they are negative, and not particularly nuanced — fraudulent business activity, tarnishing the idea of free markets by trying to manipulate them using the political process, and so on. If that’s true for … More Rob Bradley’s Edison to Enron
Michael Giberson Given the preponderance of government energy policies aimed at promoting technical efficiency, a careful consideration of the Jevons Paradox is in order. I’ve spent some time this summer reading about William Stanley Jevons, one of the three 19th-century economists co-credited with sparking the marginal revolution, and especially Jevon’s book The Coal Question. Most recently I’ve … More Efficiency, conservation, and the inescapable Jevons Paradox
Michael Giberson We ought not let Sarah Skwire’s second hit-and-run posting here at Knowledge Problem slip by without mentioning that she is also lead-off essayist in the current month’s Cato Unbound. The teaser from Cato: Literary scholar Sarah Skwire asks us to revisit the western canon’s portrayal of business and commerce. Mainstream scholars and libertarians both … More Skwire at Cato Unbound: “Bonfire of the Clichés”
Sarah Skwire So Matt Zwolinski and I had a fun moment last week when we more or less simultaneously published on more or less the same topic. This either means that Matt and I need to get out more, or it means that we’re on to something. I’m going for the latter explanation. And all … More We Miss Manners
Michael Giberson Jeremy’s Blog at LDSLiberty.org comments on a price gouging episode in The Long Winter, the sixth book in the Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Due to a long winter of snow and storms, the people in the town of De Smet are at the point of starving. Suddenly … More Price gouging in literature: Little House on the Prairie’s “The Long Winter”
Lynne Kiesling Last week was our spring break, and I finally took some time to read Gary Taubes’ 2008 book Good Calories, Bad Calories. Taubes is an investigative science journalist who has been writing for years about the science of nutrition and epidemiology, and the book focuses on a long, careful, detailed narrative about how … More Nutrition experience, research, and orthodoxy, with some economics parallels