1. I think the recent daily show where Jon Stewart and Mike Huckabee discuss gay marraige is a great example of (coordinated) pageantry game to maximize representational privilege through archetype embodiment. Huckabee embodying the southern/heartland white conservative archetype, and Stewart embodying the coastal liberal archetype. Stewart and Huckabee could be seen as not competing against each other, but rather comprising a team competing against other liberal/conservative teams for our attention (a weak example that comes to mind is Hitchens debating various heartland conservatives about god during his recent book tour).
2. I'd like to a journal of anonymous social science research. But perhaps the internet obliterates the usefulness of that. Anyone can just publish any research they want onto the internet now, anonymous or not. The relevant people can find it with search and quickly determine if it's worth their time or not. It is still far understated how fucking revolutionary the internet is, particularly in lowering inefficencies in the intellectual enterprise. Libraries, universities, radio and television, non-package mail, they're all unecessary, and I suspect increasingly will only serve people who were already old when the internet hit its sweet spot (a few years back, probably around the time of the founding of overcomingbias and many of the academic blogs).
3. Stimulus idea: vouchers for buy useful things that can be made quickly (bikes, computers, efficient light bulbs, weatherproofing, winter clothes). The noneconomist Dick Morris claims giving stimulus moneys to the middle and lower classes will only result in them paying down their debt, not engaging in more beneficial economic activity to catalyze the economy. So how about giving them tailored vouchers or coupons? Then the businesses could redeem them for cash to the govt. I still support infrastructure spending, but I think most of us recognize "stimulus spending" is the trojan horse to get easier public acceptance for these long term investments towards economic efficiency and productivity in the USA.
4. The decision theorist is the king of experts, it seems to me. Because he gets to general competence. He's the interpreter of prediction markets, encyclopedia of the biases that inflict the boundedly rational, the master of the math behind game theory. General experts have their domain facts, the decision theorists corrects their intepretations of the facts. And if he's too hubristic? The person that can best discern that is an expert at decision making (at least of the subdomain of identifying flawed decision making due to hubris). I added this last part as a reaction to the recent trend of criticizing technocrats on the basis of "hubris", as if the person that correctly identifies how hubris flaws decision making isn't acting technocratically in that capacity.
5. The Kennedys embody gentrification of the moral high ground "We're too elite to be advocates for elites, and we're too beautiful to be spokespeople for the more repugnant subset of technocratic insights that could help nonelites or the population generally."
6. Two horribly misleading words: normative and positivism. They should be defined to be used this way instead. It's normative for a man to be about 5'10", and I really appreciated Ronald Reagan's positivism, a trait I think Barack Obama shares.
7. I see the Obama transition team slid out Daschle's name officially for HHS while the nation was distracted with the Illinois Governor's arrest. As I've blogged before, he doesn't have the resume to administer the largest bureacracy in the federal govt., the 700 billion dollar annual budget, Health and Human Services Administration.