Daniel Bier

Daniel Bier

Daniel Bier is the executive editor of The Skeptical Libertarian.

View all posts by Daniel Bier

The Ante Hoc Fallacy

Whenever I argue with conspiracy theorists, I often run into a kind of logical fallacy that I’d like to dub the ante hoc fallacy. In the post hoc, ergo propter hoc (“after this, therefore because of this”) fallacy, the reasoner assumes that because one event follows another, the second was caused by the first. In the ante hoc (“before this”) fallacy, … Continued

Islam and Europe’s False Debate: Denial vs. Xenophobia

Following the brutal massacre at the French paper Charlie Hebdo, Yascha Mounk has posted an interesting piece over at Slate (“Europe’s Brutal Truth“) about the false debate in European politics between right-wing hatred of Muslim immigrants (“They must be stopped!”) and left-wing denial of any problems with Islam (“It’s not about religion!”). While the European far right points to Islamic terrorism … Continued

Nobody Cares if Torture “Works”

I’ve long thought that, like the death penalty, support for torture is more about exacting retribution against bad people than it is about the utility of the policy in protecting good people. This why I expect that the Senate’s report detailing the horrors of the CIA’s torture program and debunking claims about its effectiveness in preventing terrorism … Continued

Michael Pollan: Do gas stations “make more on food than gas”?

I recently came across this Facebook meme that claims that gas stations “now make more money selling food than gasoline,” attributed to popular food critic Michael Pollan. First, he really did say this (more or less) in his booklet Food Rules: Don’t get your fuel from the same place your car does. Gas stations in … Continued

Democracy: A foreign policy fable

Once upon a time, the world’s military superpower went to war against a smaller, poorer country. It won the war in a couple of weeks–won every battle, blew the enemy away. But then we discovered that this country already had people in it–not just a government–people very much like us. People with their own resentments, … Continued

Uber’s Lobbying Strategy Fails Again: California declares new carpooling services illegal

Over the past few months, Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar have rolled out another innovative a ridesharing service, this time to allow carpooling between people who commute along similar routes and want to split the cost. Great, right? The problem is that California regulators have just declared this new service to be illegal. …The state’s Public Utilities Commission has … Continued

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