Friday, July 12, 2013

Did religion slow the rate of human progress?

A scene from the TV show Family Guy,
as quoted on Google+
By Aaron Sherman

I'm going to spoil this one for you, on the topic of whether religion slowed the rate of human progress, I think the answer is clear: no, it did not. However, I also think that you can point to some serious "one step forward, two steps back" moments in history, especially as concern Europe and its recent (last 2,000 years) affair with the Christian faith.

It would be impossible to cover the entire history of the interaction of religion and human progress, but I do want to talk about some specific high (and low) points that I think make this topic a bit clearer. I should be up-front: I'm not a member of any religion, but I'm not an atheist. You can read more about my personal beliefs in my post about deism.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Let's get over Chained CPI

By Aaron Sherman

In the United States, we tie a number of entitlements programs like Social Security to inflation. This means that as goods become more expensive, those benefits go up. This makes good sense if you want those entitlements to adapt to the economic conditions (whether or not wanting that is a good thing is beyond the scope of this article). So, you may have heard of this thing called "Chained CPI" which some politicians argue amounts to a plan to cut Social Security benefits.

That's nonsense, and just so that you know where I'm going with this, anyone who says that is lying to you. Want to find out more, or are you already plotting my death because I'm clearly one of those people? (hint: I'm not)