Randoms and thoughts on the past week

Can black people be guilty of plagiarism if they all do it? These are the dilemmas of the modern university. It appears we haven’t progressed much since debates about angels and pins.

Jim on Fast and Furious: "’Fast and Furious’ confirms what we all know: That the government wants criminals armed, and productive citizens disarmed, in order to make its subjects dependent on the state."

Jim also makes the differences between progressives and communists very clear. I now see the error of my ways.

David Friedman thinks that the Amish are a strange form of anarchy. Actually, this is exactly how I expect anarchy to work.

Here’s an article that talks about how badly run California’s death row is and then concludes that . . . California should abolish the death penalty. Behold, progressive logic in action.

Laura Wood has some complaints about NYT coverage of an interracial couple. We have some good friends that are an interracial couple (she’s black and he’s white). I’ve never heard them complain about racism, but they’ve often complained that people are excessively nice to them (everyone wants to demonstrate their open-mindedness), which they find annoying. DC, of course, may not be representative of the nation as a whole.

CWNY:

During what the Northern liberals called “Reconstruction” and the Southern people experienced as hell, the liberals of the North tried to exterminate the white race in the South, just as the whites in San Domingo were exterminated, by placing them at the mercy of black barbarians who had no concept of mercy. The Northern liberals failed to exterminate the white Southerners for one reason and one reason only.

The best quote of the week though, was Moldbug’s:

If you convert loanable funds of one duration into loanable funds of another duration, either by wholesome George Bailey banking or by synthesizing collateralized instruments (a category which logically includes nominally zero-term demand deposits), you are taking this elegant market signal, the yield curve, and raping it in the ass. You will give it AIDS. It will give you AIDS back. This will become known as the "business cycle" – a sort of historical quartan ague. Though no one understands it, it exists.

Chuck writes that big banks are the pawns of USG. As you know, I think it’s a mistake to think of big banks and USG as separate entities. They are one entity.

Tino (and his brother) on the Swedish model.

Notes for the reactionary of tomorrow (I haven’t read this yet)

Dead people on race.

Everyone has a point beyond which they will resort to violence against ruling elite. This may be my breaking point.

Tribalism is still interested in you.

Optimism is self-defeating.

"The extension of human rights does not liberate us; it turns us into feral egotists who are at the same time dependent." - TD

Lots of bloggers were discussing the lack of hot flight attendants last week (I think Megan McArdle started it). Two points: 1) hot flight attendants still exist – have you ever flown an Asian airline? and 2) if hot flight attendants are gone in the US, could we at least get not fat flight attendants? Thanks.

Come on, it’s kind of funny, right?

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12 Responses to Randoms and thoughts on the past week

  1. Matt says:

    Any self-described “anarchist” who’s not fine-and-dandy with the Amish isn’t really an anarchist at all, but just another blasted state-worshipper who wishes that the state would enforce _his_ preferences upon the unwilling at the point of a gun, instead of somebody else’s.

    Not that I want to become Amish, of course (I already have a religion, thanks), but they seem to make good neighbors. They’re certainly more willing to coexist peacefully with those who don’t subscribe to their beliefs than are, say, secular leftists. Or, for that matter, a lot of the folks running around calling themselves “anarchists”.

  2. Jehu says:

    Amish really strike me more as tribal than anarchy–almost like Hobbits honestly. The key elements are the tight social bonds and the small (generally lower than 150) scale.

    • Handle says:

      The more homogenous a community is the more their interactions resemble those of a large, extended family. Functional families don’t need much external government – they are governments themselves. Add in a commonly adhered-to religion, moral-code, charitable responsibility, dispute-resolution mechanism, and general social vision and you’ve got something that isn’t quite “anarchy” but has enough voluntary and spontaneous ordering tendencies that its requirement for “regulation” are so low that it naturally resembles if not Anarchy, then Minarchy.

      Note, though, that despite not needing much of a coercive government, Amish society (you could say the same for traditional Mormon or Orthodox Jewish communities) is hardly “Libertarian” – genuine membership requires willful submission to the many restrictive social rules. This, to me, seems to be an inherent conflict between two parts of Libertarianism, “Permissivism” (the part that emphasized maximizing personal license) and “Minarchism” (the part that emphasis small and limited government).

      The most efficient solution to the Libertarian challenge is to minimize obvious sources of potential big-government-justifying conflict (proximity + political diversity) and allow people to disaggregate, sort, and partition themselves into a defense-union of many diverse, small and radically-autonomous sovereign communities dedicated to distinct and particular social-visions tailored to suit the individuals within in. But since this is the very Antithesis of the Blue Orthodoxy of Utopianism, Universalism, and Multiculturalism, it’ll never happen while they retain power.

      • Matt says:

        “Amish society [...] is hardly ‘Libertarian’– genuine membership requires willful submission to the many restrictive social rules.”

        As long as it’s _voluntary_ (and it is…among a group that eschews the use of force even when we’d consider it perfectly justified, social order _must_ necessarily be voluntary), then there’s nothing un-libertarian about it.

      • Handle says:

        @Matt: It’s an issue of of “freedom of association” about which some Libertarians disagree. The question is, if push ever comes to shove in regards to an egregious, continuing, and inflexible violation of social rules, does the community reserve the right to involuntarily remove, evict, or other otherwise expel a recalcitrant individual (who neither wants to yield nor to depart) by force (in the last resort) from the geography they control?

        Most traditional religious communities have hit upon different techniques, some official and forceful, others informal and social but no less harmful, like boycotts or scarlet letters, to accomplish such “ex-communications” and get people to leave one way or another.

        A lot of Libertarians, especially believers in “natural rights to liberty” are uncomfortable with such effective systems of community control over personal and private behavior which are monopolistic throughout a region, however small and localized, and therefore resembles the law of a government, whether formalized or not.

      • Foseti says:

        I’m not sure I’ve ever disagreed with Handle, but I’m with Matt on this one. I know that a lot of libertarians think that such arrangements constitute a “government” and that such a situation violates libertarian ideals. However, I think such a situation is the only one that will realistically result in a libertarian society. Libertarians may not like it, but I think libertarian worlds would be highly conservative.

        Some even admit as much, for example, Randy Barnett begins this book ( http://www.amazon.com/Restoring-Lost-Constitution-Presumption-Liberty/dp/0691123764/) with a discussion of the rise of community associations in the west. He views them as very libertarian even though they exert a lot of control over what residents can do.

      • K(yle) says:

        Very few libertarians accept that. Outside of Handle’s point most libertarians wouldn’t be comfortable with an Amish-like group ‘brainwashing’ their own children, by refusing to teach them libertarian ideology.

        Most libertarians are like Internet Atheists. Their hatred of the perceived external and easily compartmentalized immoral force, rather it be the State or ‘Organized Religion’ is really just the expression of an InGroup/OutGroup strategy. Libertarians aren’t going to be happy until their libertarian society produces lots of fellow libertarians. Just like the Internet Atheists wouldn’t be happy in a world without Organized Religion unless all the newly minted atheists were also good little PC Meyers-style liberals.

        That a flourishing and prosperous Amish-like community in a libertarian society would no doubt thank God for their good fortune rather than libertarianism would constitute a threat against society itself.

  3. dearieme says:

    There, there: when you get older you’ll find that you can evacuate your bladder more completely when you pee sitting down. I don’t know why.

  4. Greg says:

    As many bloggers suggested, deregulation seems like a plausible, partial explanation for the decrease in the number of beautiful female flight attendants. Any speculation about the enormous increase in the number of flight attendants who are gay men.

    • G.L. Piggy says:

      Less likely to be shackled by kids. Compelled by the prospects for international buggery.

    • Handle says:

      There’s a gathering / herding phenomenon to anything involving gays – even more than for other human-category sorting types – because they are a small minority with special niche preferences and an obvious need to find each other. Low-Density birds of a feather like to flock together in neighborhoods and career paths both for reasons of common disposition and the camaraderie and comfort of being around lots of similar folks. It shouldn’t be surprising that gays will tend to flock into professions that are female-dominated, and once the first few pioneers begin to establish themselves the phenomenon spreads with viral expansion.

      As for the potential for recency bias, it’s worth pointing out that the famous, HIV “Patient Zero”, Gaetan Dugas was also a gay flight attendant almost 40 years ago. Do read that article, you simply couldn’t come up with a better method or more efficient vector-strategy to spread this particular STD rapidly and globally than what Dugas did automatically.

  5. RS says:

    > Libertarians may not like it, but I think libertarian worlds would be highly conservative.

    I agree: more, it seems obvious that there are two kinds of ‘tarians. One wants minarchy or similar – the other (Erik vKL?) wants a powerful regime that protects liberty.

    Not dissimilarly, you’ve got classical liberals who want equal opportunity…….. and then you have the far worse guys, the equal-outcome interventionists, the so called ‘liberals’.

    The latter largely are not liberal ; they’re illiberal in many important ways (affirmative action, hate speech laws, redistro of wealth), and I really prefer to just call them leftists, or anything but liberal. (Left-liberal ain’t so bad.)

    I would say that classical ‘Manchester’ liberalism is ‘maxarchic’ or ‘meso-archic’ libertarianism, and that minarchism and left-liberalism both stemmed from it (also anarchism). Classical liberalism is radical individualism, approaching total denial of the social nature of man ; minarchism is same ; left-liberalism is radical denial of human inequality with utilitarian ends ; and rightism consists chiefly of eudaimonism and inequalitarianism.

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