“We heard a Chinese president becoming the leader of the free world,” he said.

-Peter Goodman ‘Trump’s trade war may have already begun‘ The New York Times



If we misunderstand the root causes of the global imbalances that led to the global crisis, then it is unlikely that we will choose optimal policies that will allow us to work our way out of the imbalances in the least painful way possible.

-Michael Pettis The Great Rebalancing


By chronicling all possible worlds, the author was striving to create a complete model of the universe as he understood it. Borges apparently recognized that a philosophical meditation on bifurcating narratives could make for more rewarding reading than the actual thing. “The Garden of Forking Paths,” if it truly explored every possible story line, would have been a novel without any direction—a paradox, in that it would hardly say more than a blank page.

– Raffi Khatchadourian ‘The movie with a thousand plotlines‘ The New Yorker


This is post-Christian politics to its core. This is the politics one gets when this world is our only home, and no one is in charge but us. There is no sense of proportion.

-David French ‘This Is What Post-Christian Dissent Looks Like‘ National Review


This is classic scapegoating. It’s what fascists do to gain control. They tell the people, over and over and over again, “You’re not safe. You’re not safe. It’s the fault of THESE PEOPLE. I will protect you from THESE PEOPLE, and then you can be safe.” And then, while you’re thrilled to get his help and protection, you barely notice the other stuff he’s doing, stuff that directly contradicts the things you said you cared about ten minutes ago. Stuff like small government, religious freedom, freedom of the press, respect for the disabled, protection for the innocent and vulnerable.

-Simcha Fisher ‘Pro-life” Trump is engineering an American Kristallnacht


It is not clear how many carriers China plans to build. As a rule of thumb, you need three to be certain of having one at sea all the time.

– ‘Deep blue ambition’ The Economist


The field of economics should be expanded to include serious quantitative study of changing popular narratives. To my knowledge, there has been no controlled experiment to prove the importance of changing narratives in causing economic fluctuations. We cannot easily prove that any association between changing narratives and economic outcomes is not all reverse causality, from the outcomes to the narratives.

By analogy, the reason that writers pull quotes, especially paragraph-length quotes, and display them as I have just done is often to convey a narrative, to give the reader a historical sense of a past narrative that had impact and might again have impact on the reader if it is repeated just as it was perfectly worded.

-Robert J. Shiller ‘Narrative economics‘ Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University

The press is a political institution in the sense that it cannot do its job unless people trust it.

Doing journalism is different than doing politics. And when you are doing politics you’re goal is to win. … And winning power is different than telling people what’s going on.

-Jay Rosen Recode Media