Megan McArdle Profile picture
Columnist at the Washington Post. Opinions my own. Email me: Megan.McArdle -at- Buy my book, The Up Side of Down
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May 19 4 tweets 2 min read
This list includes every crime committed by anyone who has even tangential contact with extremist message boards as an "extremist" killing, even if it's domestic violence or other common crime. Wrote about similar problems with SPLC's list in 2017:… For example, one guy killed his infant children with a spearfishing gun, saying QAnon and the Illuminati conspiracy theories had "enlightened" him, whereupon he concluded that his wife infected the kids with serpent DNA. This guy is clearly mentally ill.
May 16 8 tweets 2 min read
Reading an academic book on the history of science, and the 1st half was borderline unreadable--useful excerpts interspersed with poorly organized verbiage seemingly there only to prove that the author had Done the Reading. No flow, no build towards a conclusion, just a note dump At first, I assumed that this writer was simply incompetent. But now I'm into the second half, and it is fine! We learn about controversies, clearly understand the major players, and their objections and reservations through a series of well-chosen quotes!

And now I'm mad.
May 9 23 tweets 4 min read
So this weekend, I suggested that new graduates should start out by going into an office. This inspired a surprising amount of passion, from both those who agree and those who don't.… I'm not going to recap the column here--you should read it to get my arguments--but I will instead respond to the folks who suggested that I wrote this because I'm an out-of-touch Boomer manager-goblin who doesn't know how to lead, and hates fun.
May 5 17 tweets 3 min read
The Post didn't need one more opinion for or against Roe, so instead I wrote about something I've been thinking about for a while: the replacement of "women" with "people" or other degendered language when talkign about issues like abortion.… This has been happening for a while, but it was quite striking after Roe was overturned, because I grew up on the Upper West Side with 1970s feminists, and was raised on terms like "women's lib", "women's issues" and "women's rights". And Roe was the grandmama of those issues.
May 5 6 tweets 2 min read
This cannot be emphasized enough. While I am considerably more ambivalent about abortion rights than a lot of people on this sight, I think their fears that the GOP will pursue harsh, overreaching bans on IUDs, IVF and morning after pills as well as abortion are valid.

However. Always keep in mind that a lot of the stuff that the GOP has done to date was base-pleasing boilerplate with no actual legislative effect. It's a lot easier to be a maximalist when you're sheltered under a Supreme Court precedent that will prevent any of it from ever happening.
May 5 7 tweets 1 min read
I think the people catastrophizing about contraception or interracial marriage being next after Roe sincerely believe it. But I'm sorry, I cannot take this seriously. Even if Griswold v. Connecticut were overturned, making it once again legal to ban contraception, that throws it back to the states, and where is the political constituency for state legislatures passing a ban?
Apr 28 4 tweets 1 min read
I love LastPass, but the user interface is beyond inept, to the point where I am seriously considering looking for another password manager. Case in point: when you type, you hit a landing page that tries to sell you on their service. You have to hunt to actually figure out how to login.
Apr 25 10 tweets 2 min read
The first thing to point out is that this deal makes no financial sense for Elon Musk. He's paying a premium for the stock, the total value of the acquisition is almost a fifth of his net worth, and there's no obvious way he's going to squeeze more money out of Twitter operations The carrying costs for the debt he's using to fund the acquisition are major, possibly as much as a billion a year.

Even for Elon Musk, this is a lot of money.
Apr 19 5 tweets 3 min read
@ElectionsD @IpseDixit Raichik did what we did: highlighted the actions of people who chose to make content publicly available. It was just as fair as our article revealing her name; neither tweeting nor TikTok are private acts. @ElectionsD @IpseDixit And reporting what someone has chosen to do in public does not make you responsible for the bad things people will choose to do with that information.

I say this as someone who experienced her first Troll Brigade in 2002.
Apr 16 7 tweets 2 min read
Every day on this site I come across someone who is indignant that others are going about their lives rather than maintaining a rigorous schedule of testing, social distancing, and masking. I always want to ask: what the hell did you think the endgame of this virus was? Did you really think that people were going to keep masking at work and school *forever*? Test every time they go out in public, *forever*? Quarantine every time they have a casual exposure, *for the rest of their lives*?
Apr 16 20 tweets 3 min read
Fortunately for you, I am stuck in LaGuardia for another hour, so here goes! What are you doing in LaGuardia, Megan, I hear you cry. Friends, I am asking myself that very same question.
Apr 16 4 tweets 1 min read
This is not the worst flying experience I have ever had, but for sheer incompetence it beats the others all hollow I will change my money into singles and use it to economize on Kleenex before I ever give another penny to this airline
Apr 11 9 tweets 2 min read
Off the cuff theory of why this happens: it's like smoking in bars. In the Way Before Times, when smoking was legal in bars, libertarians long fended off the banners by pointing out that bars were free to ban smoking if they wanted, so people who went to smoky bars were obviously okay with this.
Apr 7 23 tweets 4 min read
Apparently the New York Times issued a new social media policy today. Unfortunately, it doesn't do what every major newsroom ought to, which is tell employees they have to get the hell off Twitter:… Yes, I understand the irony of a journalist on Twitter saying that journalists should get off Twitter.

It's a collective action problem; I can't solve it myself.

So let me list all the ways that Twitter is bad for journalism.
Apr 6 8 tweets 2 min read
Basically what is happening to a ton of institutions--various groups that used to have a big advantage because they were concentrated are now being overwhelmed by distributed peer-to-peer networks. Naturally, the concentrated interests are shocked and horrified and not quite clear on what has happened, which is why you see so many gobsmackingly tone-deaf statements along the lines of "Parents have no right to decide what gets taught in schools".
Mar 24 18 tweets 4 min read
A few months ago, I inadvertently self-assigned to the Lia Thomas beat by writing this column, in which I noted that it was becoming increasingly clear that transfemale athletes retain enduring advantages:… I didn't take a position on whether Thomas should swim or not; I just noted that it was becoming increasingly impossible to avoid the issue and hope it wouldn't matter much.
Mar 18 5 tweets 1 min read
I think to some extent this is true, but I think the left is entirely too prone to pretend that conservatives are mad about getting criticized, rather than what they are actually mad about: getting fired or excluded from activities. For example, when reporting on Lia Thomas I talked to a former college swimmer who was apologetic about not being able to go on the record about anything, including banal details of how swim meets worked, because they have kids in swimming and couldn't risk blowback.
Mar 16 4 tweets 1 min read
I understand why Zelensky keeps asking for this--I'd ask too, if bombs were dropping on my head--but this is still a bad idea and we should not do it. That said, villainizing the dude for saying "Hey, NATO, please stop the Russians from bombing maternity hospitals" seems a bit over the top. If you were crouching in an air raid shelter in Kyiv, you'd want a no-fly zone too.
Feb 28 4 tweets 1 min read
I think it is obviously true that we care more about conflicts in countries we perceive as "like us", for the same reason you get anxious when someone famous and reasonably close to your own age dies from a disease you might plausibly get. But by the same token, I'm pretty sure that we would be freaking the hell out if China invaded South Korea or Japan ... much more than when Russia invaded Crimea ... because "like us" is an elastic category that transcends race to look at things like "stable, rich democracy".
Feb 11 4 tweets 1 min read
I no longer follow Canadian politics, but it seems like there are two fundamental problems: first, very close to half of Canadians sympathize with the truckers (though not necessarily their tactics), so if you roust them, and something goes wrong, you risk making martyrs. Second, and possibly more importantly, the people you need to tow the trucks and arrest the truckers may well sympathize with them. This is a problem that you usually see in hollow authoritarian regimes: you can't be sure that if you give an order, it will be followed.
Jan 24 13 tweets 3 min read
Well, this seems like a good time to draw your attention to my new column, on diversity initiatives in media, entertainment, etc, and how a statistical misunderstanding may be setting them up for frustration, or lawsuits.… Basically, people target a workforce that "looks like America", but forget the corollary of their frequent invocations of "younger, more diverse generations": older generations, are whiter. Like, really, really white--America was almost 90% white as late as 1960.