Righteousness vs. Church; Education vs. School

Yesterday's post about the statistical error of thinking college = career success used a religious analogy to explain why so many people still believe in college. But don't misunderstand me.  Pointing out that it's flawed to conclude church attendance leads to prosperity does not rely on a…


Forget the Data, College is a Religion

Imagine a town.  Maybe an early New England village. There is a dominant belief in this town that one must attend church every Sunday if they want to live a prosperous life. Because the belief is pervasive, those who want to be prosperous attend in high numbers.  Those who don't care about being…


"What Do Employers Want?" Is a Stupid Question

"Employers want degrees." There are so many problems with this popular idea. It lacks imagination, ignores the things employers really want that a degree is sometimes a proxy for, and forgets that divergence from the crowd is more likely to make you stand out than sameness. But it's worse than…


A Call for Counterfactuals

One of the most frustrating things in the world is the inability to definitively prove what might be if conditions were different. It's intellectually prudent to avoid making claims about what cannot be proven or disproven.  But action requires more than sound logic.  Action requires imagination.…


Thoughts On 'The Case Against Education' (the case for Praxis!)

I will be interviewing Bryan Caplan about his new book, "The Case Against Education" on the podcast soon.  But as I just finished it, I decided to share some of my thoughts, and was tired of typing, so went with something a bit different. I got bumped off twice, so it's broken into three vids. Part…


"Maybe if we add all these crappy studies together, it will equal a good study"

One thing I've noticed about pop-academic books is the sneaky way they use studies. I don't think it's intentionally sneaky, as you've got to use what's available and if your only conclusion was "It's unclear", you wouldn't have a book.  Still, it's easy to over-value the conclusions of books that…


Research the Past, Predict the Future

Research is backward looking. You take a bunch of studies over past time-slices and come up with theories that explain the data of the studies. Even if the theories accurately explain the past (the majority of the time they don't), they don't explain the present or the future. The future can't be…


What Explains Nostalgia?

I've been puzzling over the concept of nostalgia for some time.  What is it? That bittersweet pain you have as a parent when you see your kid growing up and remember in a flash their babyhood.  Or the feeling when a song from your youth comes on the radio.  It's a very distinct kind of pleasure…


What Does a Startup CEO Do?

I can't tell you what other CEOs do, but I can tell you what my job is like. My job is to go down into the weeds, come out of the weeds, go into the weeds, come out of the weeds, into weeds, out of weeds, in weeds, out weeds, in, out, in, out, in, out, in, out, in, out, in out in out in out…


How I Try to Help Crypto Without Being a Techie

I've been in love with crypto and its world-shaking potential since I first heard about it around 2012. I bought some Bitcoin not long after, and was always excited for an excuse to use it or give it away. I was in it for the philosophy and potential to expand human freedom and prosperity, not…