The Social Operating System (SOS)

My father-in-law once noticed that his computer’s hard drive was nearly full. He went looking for files to delete. In the system folder, he found all sorts of files he had never created. He saw no need for them, so he deleted them. The computer worked—after the hard drive was reformatted and a new operating system was installed. Messing with the operating system when you … Continue reading The Social Operating System (SOS)

Why Republicans Are Happier, Part II

I wrote earlier about Pew research findings that Republicans are happier than Democrats, and, generally, conservatives are happier than liberals. Here was my explanation: I think it’s likely that happy people are more likely to be Republicans, while unhappy people are more likely to be Democrats, for unhappiness gives one an incentive to seek change, and happiness an incentive to resist it. But the causal … Continue reading Why Republicans Are Happier, Part II

Beware Benevolence!

Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt point out a number of cases in which well-intended government intervention backfires. (HT: Ann Althouse.) They thus put contemporary teeth into an old conservative maxim, the Law of Unintended Consequences, which states that the unintended consequences of an act or, especially, policy ultimately outweigh the intended consequences in importance. The ADA has actually harmed employment prospects for the disabled. (This … Continue reading Beware Benevolence!