Metameme

Credit: @leyawn (hat tip: mrjohnjohnson)

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Why hasn’t Dennis Muilenburg been charged with negligent homicide yet?

Muilenburg is the Boeing Company’s disgraced former CEO, the one who was ultimately responsible for the development of Boeing’s 737 MAX 8 jets. (Two of these flawed jets crashed in 2018, killing 346 innocent souls.) Via Wikipedia: “Negligent homicide is a criminal charge brought against a person who, through criminal negligence, allows another person to die.” This Wikipedia entry provides the example of the crash of Aeroperu Flight 603, which was caused by a piece of duct tape that was left over the static ports (on the bottom side of the fuselage) after cleaning the aircraft. The hapless employee who had left the tape was eventually charged with negligent homicide. Instead of being behind bars, however, Muilenburg received millions of dollars’ worth of Boeing stock and other assets. (As an aside, could this egregious injustice be one reason why democratic socialists like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are ahead in the polls?)

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The wealth of nations

Hat tip: u/createusername32, via Reddit

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Should royal families be abolished?

So as to not pre-judge this topic, I have reformulated this blog post in the form of a question. On the one hand, one could argue that monarchies are obsolete, elitist, and anti-egalitarian, but on the other hand, one could extol the Burkean virtue of political stability and the need for some residual center of power.

Two cheers for Meghan and Harry!

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Tit for tat

Tit for tat is a famous game theory strategy in repeat games. It consists of cooperating on the first move, then subsequently copying the other player’s move. It is also supposed to be a forgiving strategy; otherwise, a single defection could generate an unending cycle of mutual defections. Assuming the current conflict between the United States and Iran can be modeled as a repeat game, such as an Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma, then the key question is: which side is most likely to forgive a previous defection or act of retaliation from the other side?

“Trembling Hand” Update (1/11): The Iranian government has confessed to accidently shooting down a commercial Ukranian jetliner.

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Cui bono?

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Hat tip: u/pacificSierra, via Reddit

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The offensive pass interference rule

Section 5 of Rule 8 of the official 2019 NFL Rulebook (available here) defines what conduct constitutes “pass interference.” Although Section 5 contains four separate articles and over 800 words, Article 4 specifically states that “blocking more than one yard beyond the line of scrimmage by an offensive player prior to a pass being thrown is offensive pass interference.” (Canadian Football, by contrast, does not have an analogous rule; see here.) My favorite sports commentator Jim Rome discusses the finer points of the NFL’s offensive pass interference (OPI) rule with CBS Sports Rules Analyst Gene Steratore, but they miss the larger question: does football really need this rule?

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