Monthly Archives: August 2009

Charles Murray’s Moral Relativism on Torture

A common trope of the right is to accuse the left of “moral relativism.” On this view, conservatives believe in an objective sense of right and wrong, while liberals believe that morality is just a matter of personal preference. So … Continue reading

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Software Patents from the Bottom-Up

The law is always a game for insiders, but patent law is almost in a class by itself. Debates about patent law are dominated by practicing patent attorneys and law professors (who are often former patent attorneys). This is perhaps … Continue reading

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Disruptive Innovation at Wired

So I was getting ready to link to this piece by Robert Capps in Wired about the rise of “good enough” technology. I was planning to point out that this was just another term for disruptive innovation. I was congratulating … Continue reading

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Disruptive Innovation and the Importance of Failing Cheaply

A key part of Christensen’s thesis is the idea that disruptive technologies inevitably catch up to incumbent technologies over time. I think the reasons for this are worth exploring in a bit more detail, because it helps explain why Christensen’s … Continue reading

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Newspapers Are Doomed, and It’s Not Executives’ Fault

If I ran the world, no one would be allowed to opine about the decline of the newspaper industry until they’d read The Innovator’s Dilemma. The web is so clearly a disruptive technology, and the newspaper industry is so clearly … Continue reading

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The Case for a New Church Committee

On Monday, I mentioned in passing the Church Committee, the post-Watergate Congressional committee that uncovered evidence of massive lawbreaking by the executive branch. The Committee’s report was incredibly important in helping the public understand the depth and breadth of Cold … Continue reading

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Bottom-Up Thinker: Clayton M. Christensen

Clayton M. Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma is one of those instant classics whose central concepts have spread far beyond those who’ve actually read the book. As a result, the phrase is commonly used as a generic buzzword in discussions of … Continue reading

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How Airplane Crashes Are Like Judith Miller’s Reporting

My post about Alex Jones’s Fresh Air sparked a really interesting email discussion with a reader who pointed out another commonly-cited advantage of newspapers: their superior accuracy. Now, I think the accuracy of mainstream media outlets is sometimes overstated (see … Continue reading

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Philosophizing about Health Care

Julian offers a thought experiment designed to sharpen progressives’ thnking about health care. He writes: For the purposes of our example, suppose that the correct conception [of justice in our hypothetical society] seeks to neutralize to some extent the effects … Continue reading

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American Dystopia?

Jim Henley really knows how to look on the bright side: I’ve become a pessimist. I think our future is Argentinian: a nation’s elites can have very nice lives for themselves if the commonality is financially secure and healthy, but … Continue reading

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