"Why the foundations of physics have not progressed for 40 years"

More blunt, tough talk from Sabine Hossenfelder.

And so, what we have here in the foundation of physics is a plain failure of the scientific method. All these wrong predictions should have taught physicists that just because they can write down equations for something does not mean this math is a scientifically promising hypothesis. . . .

And please spare me the complaints that I supposedly do not have anything better to suggest, because that is a false accusation. I have said many times that looking at the history of physics teaches us that resolving inconsistencies has been a reliable path to breakthroughs, so that’s what we should focus on.

Yeah, but sorting out the inconsistencies is real damn difficult.


"Chain Store Massacre: Alternative Business And Density Revived This Mall"

Yet another illustration of the magic of the market.

If the manicured, chain-ified, tightly patrolled mall, a hulking simulacrum of public space, is the commercial analogue to the McMansion, then Phillipsburg Mall in its current state may well be a rough analogue to the future of our built places in general—a little denser, a little scrappier, a little more uncomfortable, and a lot more full of wealth and life.


"Sir Roger Scruton, RIP"

I don't know anything of the man or his work, but I really like these two ideas of his:

Because, as he explains elsewhere, the liberal has the easy job in the modern world. The liberal points at the imperfections and defects of existing institutions or the existing social order, strikes a pose of indignation, and huffs that surely something better is required, usually with the attitude that the something better is simply a matter of will. The conservative faces the tougher challenge of understanding and explaining the often subtle reasons why existing institutions, no matter how imperfect, work better than speculative alternatives. . . . 

“A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ‘merely relative,’ is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.”

And there's this:

In his last and moving article in The Spectator, indeed in the last paragraph he published in his lifetime, he stressed the importance of gratitude for what one has been fortunate enough to inherit. Take nothing for granted, preserve what is worth preserving, understand the fragility of things, remember debts to the past as well as to the future, take delight in the world. Such was the lasting message of this exceptionally gifted man.