New York voters went to the polls on June 22nd, 2021 and participated in the largest Ranked Choice election in the nation’s history. Primary voters used Ranked Choice Voting to select the Democratic Party’s candidate for New York City’s mayor. Supporters of this alternative voting method say that Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) will reduce negative campaigning, as well as the spoiler effect, allowing voters to express their true preferences instead of worrying about who will win.

Here is how it works: voters can order their five favorite candidates by preference.

This helpful graphic is from the New York City Civil…


My understanding is that there is a narrative on the right that the American left is dangerous, radical, and unamerican. If I understand correctly, right-wing news organizations such as Fox, Breitbart, and The Daily Wire promote a narrative that Democrats and the American Left plan to move us towards socialism, allow rioters to rule our cities, and teach our children that our country was founded on racism. In this dystopian vision that the left has, laziness is rewarded, business owners are punished, and no one is allowed to express conservative ideas. According to this narrative, Trump may be a bad…


I first learned about Ranked Choice Voting after Maine began considering it. Paul Lepage had recently won the governorship with 37% of the vote despite his deep unpopularity. Lepage has advocated for the use of the guillotine, challenged state lawmakers to duels, and compared the IRS to the Gestapo. His victory would not have been possible except he ran against three other strong candidates who split the vote.

I was captivated by the idea that better elections could prevent outcomes as disastrous as electing LePage. If a bad candidate who is unpopular wins, there is clearly a flaw in how…


Bernie Sanders has been speaking against corruption and injustice for decades. For months, it looked like he might become the Democratic nominee, and maybe win the presidency. He had more donors and more volunteers than any other candidate. He was leading in the polls. He easily had the most passionate base of support. His loss is frustrating and disheartening to his movement and there is a desire among some to vote for a third-party candidate.

Bernie’s loss can be blamed in large part on our broken election system.

Most voters in the primary did not vote for their favorite candidate…


Would the universe be worse off if humans went extinct? As far as we know, there are no other species that have built microscopes, telescopes, and written books, but without humans to enjoy those things, would there be anything missing? Does self-awareness add anything to the richness of reality?

It’s not far fetched to imagine our extinction. Five times throughout the history of the earth, there have been major extinction events where huge numbers of species disappeared forever. The first four extinctions are not well understood and researchers are still debating what caused each of them. …


Nearly every major american city is experiencing a severe shortage of affordable housing. The rent is too high for service workers, teachers, firefighters and many more in the middle class.

The simple econ 101 answer to this problem is build more housing. If there is not enough supply, the price goes up: so make sure that there is enough supply. But what about “luxury apartments”? Very often, there is a situation like this: a building with four units is destroyed and a building with eight units goes up in its stead, but the units are all “luxury apartments”. The new…


People who trust our government and believe in our political system are are common as criquet players in the US. It appears to many of us that neither our country nor our government work for our interests. We can elect a president with 46% of the vote, who can appoint heads of agencies who pursues policies that are even less popular than the president that appointed him.

In addition to extremist policies in the executive branch, congress is always deadlocked. All the while there are still not enough jobs in old factory towns, in the rust belt, or in coal…


Ben Shapiro is not a conservative, at least when compared to conservative intellectuals of the past 200 years.

On radiowest Ben Shapiro described conservatism as “in a nutshell conservatism is about keeping government out of our business”. He then tried to describe liberalism as defined by a belief that group rights and individual rights are connected. He described neither liberalism nor conservatism accurately.

Edmund Burke was from ireland and was a statesman in england. He is the founder of modern conservatism by most accounts.

I would describe his beliefs as follows: If you think you have a good idea, you…


The problem with cities

If you were to think of cities as ladders of social mobility, most are missing the lowest rungs. I dream of a city, where anyone, from a homeless person, to a millionaire, could relocate and begin to move towards greater fulfillment with life. The places that we life have a massive impact on our health, social lives, professional lives and many other things about us. Despite the central role that cities play in our lives, most of us don’t spend much time thinking about the boring policy details of local government. If we implemented good policy…


I recently read the school of life’s book called “How to Reform Capitalism”. If you are the type of person who thinks about how to make the world better, you might find this book interesting. The author is frank about the fact that capitalism fails many of us, but the book does not focus on the causes of, or solutions to income inequality, or pollution. These problems are often attributed to capitalism. Instead he focuses on how capitalism fails to meet our needs that are higher than survival. One of the themes that I found most exciting was that advertisers…

Ben Lariviere

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