Money Isn't About Economic Security (For Most of Us)

Money Isn’t About Economic Security (For Most of Us)

Tyler Cowen started his February 28th, 2018 podcast interview with his colleague from George Mason University, Robin Hanson, with the following:   "Robin, if politics is not about policy, medicine is not about health, laughter is not about jokes, and food is not about nutrition, what are podcasts not about?"   Hanson goes on to … Continue reading Money Isn’t About Economic Security (For Most of Us)

Signaling Fairness with Altruistic Punishment

Maintaining the Rules of Fairness with Signaling and Altruistic Punishment

Society is held together by many unspoken rules of fairness, and maintaining rules of fairness is messy but rewarding work. We don't just advocate for fairness in our own lives, but will go out of our way to call out unfairness when we see it hampering the lives of others. We will protest, march in … Continue reading Maintaining the Rules of Fairness with Signaling and Altruistic Punishment

Buying Insurance

We Don’t Buy Insurance for Ourselves

Why do we buy insurance of any kind? Is it really for ourselves and our own benefit, or is there something else going on with insurance decisions? According to┬áVenture Capitalist Chris Brookfield, as quoted in Dave Chase's book The Opioid Crisis Wake-Up Call, there is something beyond our own self interest at play when we … Continue reading We Don’t Buy Insurance for Ourselves

Healthcare Safety and Data

Hospital Safety & Data

One problem with healthcare in the United States is that consumers don't control their data and the information about them. Even the employers of healthcare consumers, who are paying for the services provided to patients and often responsible for whether patients have healthcare coverage at all, don't have access to any of the healthcare data … Continue reading Hospital Safety & Data

Guidance Toward High Value Care

Guidance Toward High Value Care

In his book The Elephant in the Brain, Robin Hanson explains that a lot of medical care and healthcare services are more about signaling than about the value they bring to the patient in terms of improved health and effective management or treatment of a given condition. Healthcare has a lot of signaling, showing others … Continue reading Guidance Toward High Value Care

Countersignaling Today Through Clothing

I'm a big fan of stoicism and I also try to think about the recommendations from The Minimalists in my daily life. I try not to let material goods control me, and I try to stay away from overtly status seeking behavior. I try to be pretty content with an average used car and try … Continue reading Countersignaling Today Through Clothing

Three Factors That Push In Favor of Religious Belief

In The Elephant in the Brain by Kevin Simler and Robin Hanson, the idea that many of the ways we act and behave have little to do with our stated reason for our actions and behaviors is explored in great detail. The authors' thesis is that our self-interest dominates many of our decisions. The authors … Continue reading Three Factors That Push In Favor of Religious Belief