The Good Stuff: 2018 Edition

I’m a sucker for retrospectives. In case you are too, here’s the best of what changed me in 2018. (I’m excluding published academic work because, well, where to start?)

Bryan Caplan’s “Ideological Turing Test” changed how I think about disagreement. Here’s a good introduction:

Studies like this one led me to leave my phone elsewhere while I’m working.

Apple’s new Screen Time feature forced me to confront my phone overuse. I’ve since deleted most fun apps, and it’s been liberating.

Michael Huemer’s succinct argument for vegetarianism convinced me to commit fully in 2019.

That’ll be easier after discovering that vegan food can be just as good as the animal stuff. Of everything I cooked in 2018, this was the most revelatory dish:

More revelatory still was devising a process to freeze coffee beans.

Tyler Cowen reminded me to reflect back others' potential (and be grateful for those who've done so for me).

I began to worry that some liberty-minded folks confuse prosperity with fairness.

This lecture by Jacob Levy changed my views on American liberty (and taught me how to deal with bad audience questions).

Nancy Duarte helped me see a rhetorical strategy common to great speeches.

I found that Stephen Fry had summarized (in that sonorous voice) my views on theism.

(If the Lord does exist, His work looks like Rebecca Traister helping men make sense of #metoo.)

The Aubrey/Maturin audiobooks have been a constant delight this year. Smart, beautifully written, and surprisingly philosophical. Get the Patrick Tull readings.

And finally, I was deeply moved by this documentary about Fred Rogers, perhaps the most virtuous man of our time.