15 pieces of fine print you might want to think more about

–The first words in Shakespeare’s Hamlet are, “Who’s there?” Indeed.

–Recognizing uncertainty is a discursive formation is about as helpful as your recognizing a neurosis gets rid of it.

–Who would have guessed an answer to 21st century modernity is Slav revanchism and Han imperialism.

–Much of immigration talk is about rights without accounting for comparative absence of really-existing better practices to have emerged, if at all, across a run of very different immigration cases.

–With advances in neuroscience coming so fast, the Bayesian brain—we’re hardwired to predict the future by updating current probabilities—is beginning to look like the pineal gland in which the soul linked mind and body, according to Descartes.

–The Augustinian threefold present—as in: the past as present remembrance, the present as current consciousness, and the future as present expectation—is the cognitive linchpin of real-time management.

–The painter Gérard Fromanger pointed out that a blank canvas is also ‘‘black with everything every painter has painted before me’’. If also, as the painter František Kupka felt, “to abstract is to eliminate,” then stripping away the layers of black-on-black is akin to abstracting blankness. Yet how do many react when confronting the obscured canvasses of policy? Let’s sweep the table clear, make a clean slate, start over again, strip it all clear. Few see these for the dangerous abstractions they are.

–The mongrel world provides the best examples of repristinated nature we have ever had.

–Too big to fail surely means, if it means anything for institutions, that we demand their reliability: Their provision of critical services is to be safe and continuous, even during (especially during) turbulent times.

–If I had to put my reservations about the efficacy of “imagination” in a sentence, it’s the warning introducing a kdrama I’ve been watching: “Although inspired by true events, the characters and cases are fictional.” Imagination is like luck, which much of imagination is anyway: best focused on in the past tense.

–Janet Flanner, the journalist, reported from beleaguered Paris in 1945: “Everything here is a substitute for everything else.” Think: Cigarettes could be traded for food, food could be traded for shelter, shelter could be traded for. . . Everything was fungible—which is if you think about it one consequence of everything being connected to everything, as in a catastrophe.

–Let’s start making a list of cases where extreme polarization has become solipsism, e.g., Alt-Right, libertarianism, . . .

–To be fair, markets manage some risks better than government, but only those risks and certainly not the uncertainties that can come with their managing those risks through markets.

–As if it would be unethical not to experiment when if anything calls for an explicit ethics it is to experiment only after having canvassed the best available evidence and practice, messy as they inevitably are. For that matter, how is it ethical not to pull out of a mess going really bad any really good mess to be had?

–When I read something like, “Getting the Social Cost of Carbon Right,” I have to ask: Are these people mad?

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