Pinker versus Taleb: A Non-deadly Quarrel over the Decline of Violence

As promised, I’ve just posted the slides of the talk I gave yesterday at York University (with some overnight modifications). You can get background with links for further background here. Somewhat bizarrely, Steven Pinker’s 2011 book was rocketing to the top of the Amazon best seller list due to a Bill Gates Tweet right when I was … Continue reading Pinker versus Taleb: A Non-deadly Quarrel over the Decline of Violence

One Last Exchange of Letters in Significance with Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Significance Magazine is now hosting its final-exchange-of-letters on the future of war.  Once again, it is Steven Pinker and I dueling with Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Pasquale Cirillo.  You can judge for yourselves whether the four of us have hit a common groove. If you feel sad because you have not followed all the twists and turns of … Continue reading One Last Exchange of Letters in Significance with Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Secret Data Sunday – International Rescue Committee Edition

I haven’t posted for a while on this subject so here’s some background. The International Rescue Committee (IRC) did a series of surveys in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).  The final installment summed up the IRC findings as follows: Based on the results of the five IRC studies, we now estimate that 5.4 million excess … Continue reading Secret Data Sunday – International Rescue Committee Edition

Department of Corrections: Mike Spagat – Edition 2

I’ve just gone through and corrected this post. The present post is, therefore, a follow up to this earlier one which, weirdly, was about correcting the claim that Keynes had claimed that he always corrected himself when he’s wrong.  It seems that Keynes didn’t actually say this although he did correct himself when wrong. Anyway, I … Continue reading Department of Corrections: Mike Spagat – Edition 2