The case for the argumentative theory of reason, as made by The Office

“Mmm…kind of an oaky afterbirth.”

— Michael Scott, referring to a bottle of red wine in “Dinner Party”

“Dinner Party” — one of the best, albeit cringiest, episodes of The Office — finds Jim and Pam tricked into a dinner party at Michael and Jan’s condo.

The whole episode is…

If the individual doesn’t exist, neither can achievement

There is a well-established tradition in golf that if you make a hole-in-one, you’re expected to buy drinks for everyone in the clubhouse.

Some have proposed that this tradition exists to keep golfers honest. A golfer is less likely to lie about having made a hole-in-one, the theory goes, if…

Under COVID-19, we’re all communists. As we emerge from the pandemic, amidst everything we’d rather forget, this might be worth remembering

Amidst the pandemic, I embraced communism.

At the risk of losing readers immediately, I’ll clarify that I am not referring to the communism that has “failed every time it’s been tried,” but rather the communism that the late anthropologist David Graeber proposes is the basis for human social life in…

How the end of Trump’s blog made me rethink my approach to writing full-time

A month or so ago, Donald Trump launched a blog. Then, 29 days later, he shut it down. What happened?

The answer is, well, not a whole lot. From the Washington Post:

“On its last day, [Trump’s blog] received just 1,500 shares or comments on Facebook and Twitter — a…

A totally fictional — but simultaneously true! — portrayal of one Irish elk’s experience with uncertainty, mimicry, envy, and burnout in an alternative Silicon Valley

“Man is the creature who does not know what to desire, and who turns to others in order to make up his mind.”

— René Girard

In a universe parallel to ours, there was an Irish elk named Jim.

Jim graduated from a small liberal arts college in the midwest…

Fueled by uncertainty and envy, burnout is a condition that is both uniquely human and profoundly misunderstood

Approximately 11,000 years ago, the Irish elk roamed the land we now call Siberia. I like to think of their story as a parable for understanding the burnout epidemic.

The male elk, or bulls, who were born with a mutation that gave them slightly larger antlers than the rest would…

A runaway competition for social status that can’t be won puts us all in a killer race to the bottom

In his book, The Darwin Economy: Liberty, Competition, and the Common Good, economist Robert H. Frank makes the bold assertion that in 100 years, economists will cite Charles Darwin — not Adam Smith — as the father of the discipline.

Frank writes:

Darwin was one of the first to perceive…

The endlessly condescending sharing of their recent campaign against meth abuse is exactly the point.

There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, ‘Morning, boys. How’s the water?’ …

Branding — in business and in nature — isn’t going away

To use the analogy of the needle in the haystack, more data does increase the number of needles, but it also increases the volume of hay, as well as the frequency of false needles — things we will believe are significant when really they aren’t. …

Kraft-Heinz’s Evolv is using the algorithmic analysis pioneered by tech companies to help us plan our meals

“Food is the single most important habit that we have as human beings. What we’re doing is bigger than tech, it’s bigger than food, it’s bigger than I think any of the things that I’ve worked in my career. …

Zander Nethercutt

mistaking correlation for causation since '94; IYI, probably | 🧓Chicago, IL | ✍️. @ zandercutt.com | GET IN TOUCH: zander [at] zandercutt [dot] com

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