The unimaginable can occur. That is a notion at once banal and perennially useful to recall. … Events cascade. … Let us indulge in dark imaginings, then, in the cause of prudence.
It is a reminder that a multipolar world in a time of transition, when popular resentments are rising over joblessness and inequality, is a dangerous place indeed.
We should not lightly discard a well-grounded pessimism or the treaties it has produced.
Source: Yes, It Could Happen Again – The Atlantic
“Unbalanced multipolar systems feature the most dangerous distribution of power, mainly because potential hegemons are likely to get into wars with all of the other great powers in the system.”
— John Mearsheimer, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics
Source: The Case Against Patents – Journal of Economic Perspective [Volume 27, Number 1—Winter 2013—Pages 3–22], by Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine
The case against patents can be summarized briefly: there is no empirical evidence that they serve to increase innovation and productivity, unless productivity is identified with the number of patents awarded—which, as evidence shows, has no correlation with measured productivity. This disconnect is at the root of what is called the “patent puzzle”: in spite of the enormous increase in the number of patents and in the strength of their legal protection, the US economy has seen neither a dramatic acceleration in the rate of technological progress nor a major increase in the levels of research and development expenditure.
Unfortunately, the political economy of government-operated patent systems indicates that such systems are susceptible to pressures that cause the ill effects of patents to grow over time. The political economy pressures tend to benefit those who own patents and are in a good position to lobby for stronger patent protection, but disadvantage current and future innovators as well as ultimate consumers.
when one looks at the state of Republican public opinion (especially among the likely caucus and primary voters), at the consistent and persistent messages coming from the information sources they follow, and at the supine nature of congressional leaders and business leaders in countering extremism, it is not at all likely that what passes for mainstream, problem-solving conservatism will dominate the Republican Party anytime soon.
Source: When Extremism Goes Mainstream – The Atlantic
“It is not our job to see that anyone gets an education.”
— Oklahoma state Representative Mike Reynolds
“I don’t want to get into the debate about climate change. But I’ll simply point out that I think in academia we all agree that the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here. Nobody will dispute that. Yet there are no coal mines on Mars. There’s no factories on Mars that I’m aware of.”
— Kentucky state Senator Brandon Smith (fact-check: the average temperature on Mars is -81 degrees)