When the social contract dies, it’s time to riot.

The White House amid clouds of tear gas as park police clear a nighttime protest in Lafayette Square. The protests after the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police have led me to think on a game theory question I’ve avoided to this point. When is it time to riot? I don’t mean protest. It […]

Humanity at the Crossing: Defining the value of work in an unsafe world.

On March 20, America braced for impact. Incubated in Asia, a contagion swept through US cities and small towns, confining thousands to their beds. It consumed lives. You could get it just by talking to someone who’d already got it. Once you got it, odds are you weren’t going to recover any time soon. I […]

“I don’t take responsibility at all”: Trump fails the Trolley Problem.

Don’t touch your face, Doctor Fauci. I’m writing this from Ground Zero in Seattle, the epicenter of the U.S. coronavirus pandemic. With 2,000 confirmed cases and 95 people already dead from the disease, Seattle is being treated as a plague town. So I have time alone to think about the Trolley Problem and how it relates […]

Respecting the game: My endorsement for the 2020 primary.

This is what it comes down to. With Washington state in play on March 10, my primary vote will matter for the first time in decades. We had a “show primary” for years, providing an advisory vote following a caucus that undemocratically selected our choice for nominee. But now I’ll get to cast a ballot that […]

The Progressive Voltron: How to buy an election.

Now is the time for all good candidates to come to the aid of their party. “This is Bernie Sanders!” “Hi, Bernie, it’s Liz.” “Elizabeth! Great work on Mike! We will show the billionaire class what—” “Bernie, everyone thinks you’ll have the most delegates when the convention comes.” “Well, sure. That said, there are many contests […]

Bernie’s campaign is the best ever. It may not matter.

Your next president. Maybe. Up until this week, I thought the 2008 Obama campaign was the best-run Democratic campaign of all time. I’m taking that off the board. Bernie Sanders has the best-run Democratic campaign of all time. It likely won’t lead to him being president, but it’s worth watching a master at work. Part […]

America is in a game of Cyberball, and it hurts. Just like love.

Cleanup on Aisle Iowa. As I write this, the Iowa Caucuses have ended in an inferno, with no results reported, the fourth-place candidate claiming victory, and the frontrunner’s campaign suggesting the results of an election are invalid. The trial of the president for darn-near-treason will end in an acquittal after no witnesses were called, as potential […]

The politics of believing in God.

The link between these two symbols has never been more fraught with problems. It’s Christmas! Let’s talk about God. Growing up I read stories about God. In the Old Testament, he was a guy, and he said things directly to people. Sometimes he was a complete jackass, like in the book of Joshua, where at […]

Did Boris Johnson just show Nancy Pelosi how to destroy Trump?

OK, hear me out on this. It’s going to get weird. The guy on the right is secure in his power. The guy on the left is not. Donald Trump just got impeached on two articles of impeachment: abuse of power (230–197–Tulsi) and obstruction of Congress (229–198–Tulsi). The common belief is that the impeachment trial will […]

Anger, entertainment, and the idea of a “protest game.”

This Wednesday, as the impeachment hearings roared onto televisions and iPhone screens across the nation, my team at Basket of Adorables launched a Kickstarter for a new game called TanTrump. It’s billed as “a Don’t Wake Daddy for the darkest timeline,” but it’s actually a really strategic and clever game. Here’s what it looks like. […]