Critical Linking: August 6, 2012


In 15 years, nobody at a barbecue has ever asked me to expound on the weaknesses of a mid-list novel they’ve never heard of.

So true. You can really only expound on the weaknesses of Freedom, 50 Shades, or The Help at all the best barbecues.


Current plans for the library expansion include what Allen is calling “creation zones” that will be set up in the basement of the library. There will be sound equipment, there will be video equipment, there will be computer tools to help people create everything from logos to funky photos.

“But I want people to understand we’re not just talking about art here,” Allen said. “We might have the tools for you to create a commercial for your business or design a website. We think this is a way we can help the town grow and create vibrant local businesses.”

This would get people excited about going to the library. If you stop thinking of libraries as just places for books and start thinking of them as places for creative thinking, you’ve got a whole slew of options.


Without independent bookstores — meaning those places not owned by huge corporate chains or multinational conglomerates –there would be three, maybe four, books published a year.

Hey I like independent bookstores, so do I get to make big, unsubstantiated claims about how dumb the publishing industry is?


8) Never encounter the word “counterfactual” or you may suffer a crisis of self image.

The cool thing about undercooked mass-market social science is that you just get to prentend that evidence that doesn’t fit your theory doesn’t even exist! Or at least that’s what I argue in Railroading: How Confirmation Bias is Awesome for Selling Books.

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