Monthly Archives: November 2009

Thoughts on Armistice Day

What Matt said: I sort of wish we called our November 11 observance Armistice Day like they do in other countries. Something that I think is missing from American political culture is the thing that in Europe is taken to … Continue reading

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Lawyers Have Skewed Intuitions about Software Patents

On Monday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the Bilski case, which I’ve written about before. My write-up for Ars Technica is here. At issue in the case is which inventions are eligible for patent protection. The case is … Continue reading

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Mr. Obama, Tear Down This Wall

Twenty years ago today, the first East Berliners poured across the wall that had imprisoned them for 28 years. Matt Yglesias points to a great Fred Kaplan story on the origins of the wall. Because West Berlin was located deep … Continue reading

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Pundits with Candy

This from Jonah Goldberg has to be the best description of election post-mortems I’ve read: This happens after every election. The partisans and pundits race for the election results like kids charging the disgorged contents of a piƱata, claiming convenient … Continue reading

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Large Organizations and the Boss Problem

I’ve argued before that a lot of top-down thinking is driven by a tendency to anthropomorphize complex systems or processes. If a system is hard to understand in its full complexity, people deal with it by thinking about it as … Continue reading

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Paul Graham: Bottom-up Thinker

My first few posts were devoted to the proposition that bottom-up systems work better than people think. I argued that people systematically underestimate bottom-up systems like evolution, wikipedia, free software, the blogosphere, and the market process. Obviously, the other side … Continue reading

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The Software Patent as Land Grab

Pseudonymous blogger (and software developer) “Cog” shares my distaste for software patents: One thing that I find extremely frustrating about many legal scholars and economists’ approach to patents it that they make two false assumptions. The first assumption is that … Continue reading

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