Open Thread 169

...

This is the weekly visible open thread. Odd-numbered open threads will be no-politics, even-numbered threads will be politics-allowed. This one is odd-numbered, so be careful. Otherwise, post about anything else you want. Also:

1: I've updated my Mistakes page with some corrections to my most recent posts. In particular, among my Trump predictions, one that I graded right should have been wrong, and another that I graded right should have been indeterminate. On the Global Economic History post, I blamed the book for falsely saying that Italy had a higher GDP than Great Britain, but that was true ten years ago when the book was written. There were also various smaller errors.

2: Usually with this kind of thing I write stuff, and then if commenters point out problems I edit them as they appear. This works less well on Substack where some people are reading by email. Keep in mind that if you read the email version of posts, it may not be as accurate as possible or include all the changes I made. Also keep in mind that if you read the web version of posts, I've probably corrected a bunch of things before you've gotten to it, so although it's very accurate about the world, it's not accurate about how stupid I am - the post probably had lots of mistakes before commenters pointed them out to me.

3: Reminder for those of you who didn't see this last week: I have a list of all 80-something non-finalists in the Book Review Contest. You can see it here: Volume One (A-R), Volume Two (S-W) (we exceeded Google Docs’ puny character limit, so it’s split in half). Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to read some number of them (even one is okay!) and then vote using this form. Please choose a random one to read each time, or select the one that looks most interesting to you, but don’t start from the beginning - if we have 5000 votes for the ones beginning with “A” and none for the ones beginning with “W”, that breaks the whole point. Choose a random one and vote on it with the form. If you read 50, you can either save them all up for one form, or send 50 forms, either way is okay (note that the form asks for your email so I can investigate potential voting irregularities; I won’t share this with anyone else). At the end, I’ll average all the ratings I have for each book, and declare the top-rated runners-up to be new finalists (in addition to the finalists I’ve already chosen). If you have questions about any of this, or you can’t access any of the relevant pages, please comment below. If you can’t get the Google Docs file to load, here’s PDFs of Volume 1 and Volume 2.