Saturday, November 15, 2008

Two short lists

Things we talk about too much: Global warming, Malcolm Gladwell, neuroscience, politics, altruism, nature vs. nurture, whether a "God" exists, daily fluctuations in the stock market, consciousness, Iran, The Vietnam War, David Brooks, cars, evolution vs. intelligent design, and productivity hacks.

Things we don't talk about enough: Patent law, water rights, to what degree the state should redistribute wealth, Robin Hanson, how dolphins sleep, monetary economics, whether the universe is random or ordered, the specifics of how we die, Oceania, the Spanish-American War, and statistics.

Note that being on the first list does not imply that the topic is completely unimportant. For example, I am studying neuroscience, I just think that most of the stuff written about it is either too sweeping in its conclusions or simply boring to the non-specialist. And by the way, this is not "just my opinion," these are the icy cold facts. What would you add, second, or take away from either list?