*Smashing the Liquor Machine: A Global History of Prohibition*

By Mark Lawrence Schrad. From the Amazon summary: This is the history of temperance and prohibition as you’ve never read it before: redefining temperance as a progressive, global, pro-justice movement that affected virtually every significant world leader from the eighteenth through early twentieth centuries. I have been reading the galleys, I will blurb it, it […]

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What should I ask Patricia Fara?

I will be doing a Conversation with her, here is part of her Wikipedia page: Patricia Fara is a historian of science at the University of Cambridge. She is a graduate of the University of Oxford and did her PhD at the University of London… Her areas of particular academic interest include the role of portraiture and art in the […]

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That was then, this is now

Many professors at universities routinely quizzed their students too, although not as commonly as faculty at smaller colleges did.  [In 1910]…a questionnaire of University of Chicago faculty revealed that 25 of 122 replying professors gave some kind of quiz each day; 31 gave them each week, and 10 others did so every other week.  The […]

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That was then, this is now, Malthus and Ireland edition

In the present wreck of empires, and under the extinction of all international law, no small state can hope to maintain its independence.  Great Britain and Ireland, from their situation, their language, and their mutual necessities, seem naturally destined to support each other’s strength, and supply each other’s wants; and we are quite convinced, that […]

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My Conversation with John O. Brennan

Here is the audio, video, and transcript — we are both Irish-Americans who were born in Hudson County, New Jersey, and who spent most of our lives working in northern Virginia, the CIA in his case.  Here is part of the CWT summary: John joined Tyler to discuss what working in intelligence taught him about […]

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What might an end to the Great Stagnation consist of?

If indeed it did, they are asking a similar question at The Economist. In recent times you might cite the onset of Apple’s M1, GPT-3, DeepMind’s application of AI to protein folding, phase III for a credible malaria vaccine, a CRISPR/sickle cell cure, the possibility of a universal flu vaccine, mRNA vaccines, ongoing solar power […]

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That was then, this is now; science and chaos edition

A blast from the past, circa 1688 and thereabouts: Even as the House of Lords was starting to consider what to do after the departure of James, many sprang to settle old scores and reopen old issues.  Legal toleration made the Church of England more defensive and less tolerant of sceptical or heterodox opinions.  The […]

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Could North America have been settled more peacefully, with fewer property rights violations against Native Americans?

Here is the abstract: Could North America have been settled more peacefully, with fewer property rights violations against Native Americans? To answer this question, we utilize the case of French colonists of Atlantic Canada (the Acadians) and a Native American tribe (the Mi’kmaq) between the 17th and 18th centuries in the areas around the Bay […]

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Why are women so prominent in vaccine development?

Here is my Bloomberg column arguing that they are prominent in vaccine development, excerpt: Then there is the vaccine from Novovax, which is based in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The Novovax results are not yet published, but early word is that they are very promising. This vaccine also is based on new ideas, using an unusual moth cell […]

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My excellent Conversation with Zach Carter

Zach is author of the recent book The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keynes, which has been on many year-end “best of” lists.  Here is the audio, transcript, and video.  Here is part of the CWT summary: Zach joined Tyler to discuss what Keynes got right — and wrong — about the Treaty […]

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