Quote of the day

"History is the study of other people's mistakes"
— Philip Guedella

Why Baltimore Blew Up

The Baltimore protests were provoked by decades of police intimidation and harassment. Most white Americans have no idea how police and courts treat black Americans. The worst is that police are never held to account. “From bad arrests to beatings to broken bones, there are enough horror stories to fill a thousand Ken Burns documentaries. But good luck finding any of that misconduct and abuse on an official record” (6,400 words)

The Art Of Running From The Police

Extract from On The Run, Alice Goffman’s acclaimed account of her six years living in a rough neighbourhood of Philadelphia observing relations between young men and the police. Note also this troubling review by law professor Steven Lubet, raising questions about Goffman’s conduct and methodology: “She’s flat out confessed to conspiring to commit murder and could be charged and convicted based on this account right now” (13,000 words)

Small-Game Fallacies

On the problems of constructing rule-based experiments involving human behaviour. The “large game” of life always outflanks the “small game” with rules. Participants in a role-playing game will bring their real-life moral and social instincts into the game; they know that they might meet again outside the game. “A sufficiently large market predicting an individual’s death is also, necessarily, an assassination market” (1,035 words)

A New Solution: The Climate Club

Gernot Wagner and Martin L. Weitzman’s book, Climate Shock, tackles three notoriously difficult areas in climate-change policy: free riding, tail events, and geo-engineering. The fundamental political problem is free riding. Each country wants other countries to do the work, so nothing much gets done. The only answer is a club of like-minded nations strong enough to share the load and to penalise non-members (3,960 words)

Britain’s Role In Europe

Financial Times columnists consider the forthcoming British referendum on continued membership of the European Union. Janan Ganesh looks at the domestic politics; Gideon Rachman at the European repercussions. Ganesh thinks that David Cameron can keep Britain in the EU by emphasising the risks of leaving. Rachman says Britain will never be at ease with the EU, whether it is inside the Union or out (1,580 words)

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