Nonsense

Open Borders in Argentina: A major policy shift (?)

  The short version of this post for the time-crunched? Five lessons for policymakers based on the example of Argentina's open borders policy: Sometimes the most effective framing of a policy change might be to frame it as no change at all in order to preclude resistance. Framing an issue as a reversion to an old value… Continue reading Open Borders in Argentina: A major policy shift (?)

Nonsense

How to save and invest in line with your values (Or: Who Owns Private Prisons, Part III)

(This is the third post in a three part series. For the curious, here are Parts I and II) If you're like most Americans, you have less than $1000 in savings and have a lot of debt. If you're one of the lucky few, you have some cash saved up somewhere: A six-month emergency fund, perhaps, or a growing retirement… Continue reading How to save and invest in line with your values (Or: Who Owns Private Prisons, Part III)

Nonsense

Despite all our rage

During my first semester of grad school, I sat in on a presentation at UT's psychology department. It was a "job talk," a part of the academic hiring process where an applicant gives a public presentation. Imagine a job interview, but with 40 people in the room, and no guiding questions. Just "show us you." In that presentation, Columbia professor and FiveThirtyEight author James Curley shared his work on… Continue reading Despite all our rage

Nonsense

The 7 papers I’m most nerdily excited about right now

Over the course of my first semester of grad school, I collected (/people sent to me) something like five dozen academic papers that I didn't have time to read during the semester. In pursuit of ultimately personifying the nerd emoji 🤓 , I spent the last two days reading the first two pages of each of those papers. The ones… Continue reading The 7 papers I’m most nerdily excited about right now

Nonsense

Who Owns Private Prisons? Part II: Learning about responsible investing

This summer I read a 2015 Mother Jones expose of privately run prisons in the United States. Three things I learned: 1. Private prisons may be the worst thing going in America. 2. Private prison stocks are probably included in your retirement fund, like they are in mine. 3. My IRA provider, Vanguard, doesn't care. I asked my Facebook friends for… Continue reading Who Owns Private Prisons? Part II: Learning about responsible investing

Nonsense

Today’s media environment is a Choose Your Own Adventure book, and not in a fun way.

When I was a kid, I tried to like Choose Your Own Adventure Books, primarily because my brother had a bunch of them. I hated them. Every time I made a decision, I would stick a finger between the pages of the other choice so that I could go back and re-choose if I failed (which… Continue reading Today’s media environment is a Choose Your Own Adventure book, and not in a fun way.

Nonsense

Can humans be altruistic? Or are we all jerks?

I have an old high school friend whose college admissions essay argued that humans are incapable of altruism. It worked; apparently ivy league admissions staff are a cynical bunch. I think back to my friend's essay when I hear arguments about human nature. In the last few years I've been encouraged by the amount of research suggesting that humans do not, in fact, always… Continue reading Can humans be altruistic? Or are we all jerks?