Friday Reading: religion, punishment, baseball and what is the inspection paradox?

Why do airlines say that flights are often empty, but passengers report that they are always on ones that are packed solid? It’s down to the inspection paradox, which also explains why your friends have more friends than you do.

Peter Hitchens is not at the top of my favourite people list, but if you have an interest in religion, his views on John Gray’s recent book are worth a read, even if you don’t agree with them.

In a world where racist and sexist views are unacceptable, can philosophers who expressed them in the past have anything to tell us? Julian Baggini says yes, but I think the bigger point here is, what are the issues that we currently are blind to by which future generations will judge us? Our treatment of animals is one I’d start with, but I’m sure there are many others.

What if we don’t punish because it’s effective, but just because we’re spiteful?

Excerpt of The Summer Game by Roger Angell. Maybe it’s just that I read more of it, but I can’t think of any sport that’s written about better than baseball.

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