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  1. 4 points
    INTRODUCTORY NOTE: Wow, I haven't posted here in a long time. Unfortunately I've been preoccupied with working on my PhD. Another point I want to make is that, unfortunately, I've been finding that many conversations in the Objecto-sphere have become rather monotonous and rarely are new ideas or new topics being addressed, and thus the discussion has become less interesting for me in recent years. I'm still an Objectivist, I just haven't seen too much novelty in the Objectivist world, which is another reason I've been less than present on this forum. However, I am back with an article I wrote. I couldn't get it published at more general libertarian-outreach-activism places so I thought here would be a good choice. All comments are appreciated! NANCY MACLEAN, LIBERTARIANS AND AUTISM Introduction Criticism of Duke University history professor Nancy MacLean has become a cottage industry ever since she published her demented smear job against Public Choice Theory "Democracy In Chains." Indeed, MacLean's work is full of absurd distortions, misrepresentative quoting, and obvious untruths. Her entire thesis is that Public Choice Theory is racist; frankly I wonder if Nancy is attempting to continue Duke University's proud tradition of racially charged false accusations. Public choice scholars and economists like Michael Munger (see http://www.independent.org/issues/article.asp?id=9115 ) and Steven Horwitz (see https://www.cato.org/cato-journal/fall-2017/democracy-chains-deep-history-radical-rights-stealth-plan-america-nancy ) have done an admirable job in effectively shredding MacLean's thesis, but MacLean knew, just like Mike Nifong and Crystal Mangum, that women's tears are almost always believed and as such she decided to play victim (https://www.chronicle.com/article/Nancy-MacLean-Responds-to-Her/240699). It is no surprise Oprah shilled her book; I'm sure that soon enough Lifetime will be producing a telemovie about the trauma she suffered at being critiqued. But the point of this article isn't to channel my inner Christopher Hitchens and say nasty things about MacLean's screed. Plenty of far better commentators have done this. Rather, I am going to make a qualified defense of something she did say whilst criticizing what she seemed to be attempting to imply with what she said. We all know how utterly frustrating it is when people deal with their political enemies through the use of diagnosis as a substitute for dialectic. The Soviet Union took this to its logical extreme through claiming that political dissidents were mentally ill, because clearly no sane person could disagree with Marxism-Leninism-Stalinism; more recent entries in this category include the so-called "Republican Brain Hypothesis" (see https://www.abbeys.com.au/book/republican-brain-the-science-of-why-they-deny-science-and-reality.do ) that was proposed during the culture wars against the Religious Right during the George W. Bush administration. MacLean decided to add to this genre of political pseudoargument through arguing that there is indeed a libertarian brain, and that libertarian brain is characterized by being on the autism spectrum (see https://reason.com/blog/2018/02/13/democracy-in-chains-author-nancy-maclean/print ). Katherine Timpf at National Review fumed (https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/02/nancy-maclean-libertarians-seem-autism-spectrum/). Like several other critics pointed out (see https://psmag.com/news/on-libertarians-autism-and-empathy and https://anintenseworld.com/2018/02/10/duke-historian-nancy-maclean-identifies-autism-as-the-source-of-a-malevolent-ideology/ ), MacLean's understanding of autism primarily in terms of lacking empathy and not feeling solidarity with others is based on an outdated portrait of being on the autistic spectrum rooted primarily in the "Mind Blindness" concept of Simon Baron-Cohen; more recent research has greatly questioned whether "Mind Blindness" is a correct portrait in the first place. But so far, the responses to MacLean have focused on the fact she equates libertarianism with a lack of empathy and solidarity with others, and the fact that she equates being on the autistic spectrum with lacking said empathy and solidarity. These are all valid critiques to make of her position, but so far there has been little attempt to wrestle with the question of whether or not MacLean is correct that there might be a link between libertarianism and being on the autistic spectrum. Not only that, but no one to my knowledge has questioned the unstated premise of MacLean's argument, which is that libertarian economics (and Public Choice in particular) is wrong because the brains which formulated these economics are arguably on the autistic spectrum. MacLean's argument is simply not an argument unless one accepts that having autism or Asperger's Syndrome introduces systematic error into one's economic reasoning. Indeed, for MacLean to be correct, having a brain that is positively drenched in "empathy" and "solidarity with others" is necessary to be a good economist. My argument is simple; yes, it is in fact likely that libertarians are disproportionately likely to be either on the austistic spectrum or have subclinical levels of symptoms typically thought of as indicating Asperger's Syndrome. Libertarian thought and philosophy often is characterized by the kind of cognitive style which, in its extreme form, is characteristic of austists and in particular the high-functioning autists commonly described as having Asperger's Syndrome. This is where MacLean is right. However, the implication that this kind of cognitive style makes you bad at doing economics is precisely the opposite of the truth. Indeed, having a degree of autistic symptoms can plausibly be thought of as an advantage for an economist, and that it is the caring-feeling-empathy-solidarity normie-brain which could represent a disadvantage for someone trying to perform economic analysis. On a personal note, I am not just a libertarian with Bachelors and Masters degrees in economics (and in the process of working on a Doctorate in the field), but I also have Asperger's Syndrome. Nancy MacLean's statements therefore constitute an allegation that my very brain is less capable at economic reasoning than it would be if I were neurotypical (i.e. not someone with Asperger's Syndrome). Of course, one must wonder why I would develop an interest in and devote substantial amounts of time and effort to the field of economics if I were mentally impaired at comprehending it! 1. Libertarians: More 'spergy Than Average How someone thinks, their "cognitive style" or what Ayn Rand called their "psycho-epistemology," is partially determined by biology. Of course anyone of any neurology can grasp that 2 + 2 = 4, but research has shown that the biology of the brain influences how people think. Dr. Helen Fisher, for example, researches how brain chemistry impacts things like people's love life and people's politics (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lOPtTbFCMY ). Neurobiology has political correlates, as Fisher points out; she characterizes libertarians as having brains highly influenced by natal testosterone. Jonathan Haidt and several co-researchers also, in a study of libertarian morality, point out that biological factors can predispose one (albeit often indirectly) to different political ideologies (see http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/file?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0042366&type=printable ). An interesting thing which Haidt et al. point out is that libertarians rely on reason more, and emotion less, than leftists or conservatives; this is tested using Simon Baron-Cohen's Empathizer-Systemizer scale (see p12-13). This scale is interesting in that it is linked both to being on the autism spectrum and also gender; "libertarians score the lowest of any group on empathizing, and the highest on systemizing. In fact, libertarians are the only group that scored higher on systemizing than empathizing... relatively high systemizing and low empathizing scores are characteristic of the male brain, with very extreme scores indicating autism. We might say that liberals have the most 'feminine' cognitive style, and libertarians the most 'masculine'" (p13). In spite of Baron-Cohen's contested contention that people on the autism spectrum are less capable of empathy, the point remains that there is clearly correspondence between Haidt, Fisher and Baron-Cohen here; persons whom are on the autism spectrum can be described as having an atypically "masculinized" (i.e. shaped by prenatal testosterone) brain. Libertarians (on average) have brains which are more testosterone-influenced than the general population. It stands to reason, therefore, that brains-predisposed-to-libertarianism are more likely to also either be on the autistic spectrum or at least have more autistic-spectrum-traits than the average brain. This also provides a theoretical explanation for why libertarian communities are disproportionately male; strongly masculinized brain development is more likely to happen to natally male individuals. This "systemizer-brain" orientation is evidenced all over libertarian culture, as evidenced by the emphasis we tend to place on logical consistency and reason in general (to the point where our biggest magazine is literally named Reason). As Ayn Rand made clear, she was not primarily an advocate of markets, liberty and egoism, but rather of reason, and if one embraced reason all the rest would follow; agree or disagree with Rand as much as you like, but she serves as evidence of how libertarianism has deep cognitive roots. The fact that libertarian advocacy is ultimately rooted in the Enlightenment, which championed human reason, is further evidence of this. Whilst the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator has fallen out of favor with academic psychology research, I distinctly remember discussions in libertarian communities about how libertarians are about 80% xNTx (it is even more extreme amongst Randians/Objectivists, whom are about 85% xNTx and particularly biased towards INTx individuals; indeed MBTI enthusiasts often characterize Howard Roark as an INTP, and Rand herself as an INTJ); this is massively disproportionate relative to the general population, which is about 12% xNTx. The xNTx style of cognition is the "rational temperament" focused on thinking rather than feeling, and high level abstractions over immediate sensory information. To the extent that cognitive style is biological, the implications are depressing for libertarians. The libertarian mindset is strongly correlated with a brain that is heavily influenced by prenatal testosterone, moreso than the average brain. Libertarianism appeals to an atypical style of mind, one that is likely to exhibit more characteristics of Asperger's Syndrome or the autism spectrum generally; libertarianism appeals to a mind which is more emotionally detached, more introverted, more abstract, and less invested in social relationships than the norm (Haidt et al.'s paper substantiates this; libertarians are less likely to define or describe themselves in terms of their relationships to other people). This is consistent with the fact that libertarianism is not a mass movement, and implies that most people will find libertarianism counterintuitive at least initially. 2. Good Economics Is Counterintuitive Too It has been noticed by many that even very mainstream economics requires thinking that goes "against the grain." As Bryan Caplan demonstrated in The Myth of the Rational Voter, the average American diverges substantially from the economic beliefs of the average economist, and diverges in systematic and predictable ways (in particular, the average American is less pro-market than the average economist). The economists in the survey are a general cross-section of economists, and not "just the staff of the Cato Institute," so it cannot be claimed that there is bias in the selection of experts; the experts are consistently to the economic 'right' (if by 'right wing' one means pro-market) of the average American citizen. Even economists generally associated with the left, such as Paul Krugman, are surprisingly pro-market relative to the average (Krugman, for example, is more pro-free-trade than Steve Bannon). Not all libertarians are economists and not all economists are libertarians, but the presence of libertarians within economics is unquestionably disproportionate relative to the general population. The point to emphasize, however, is that according to the experts, average people are (on average) systematically wrong about the benefits of markets. Caplan notices that even first year economics students come into the classroom bearing the imprints of multiple economic errors which need to be eliminated from their thought. In other words, even non-controversial neoclassical economics goes against the intellectual grain for many, many people. This should not be a surprise. After all, economics is the field that suggests (and this is anything but a controversial argument in economics) people who act selfishly in the commercial realm will make life better for other people alongside themselves; this is hardly the first thing that comes to the mind of most people when they're asked to picture a "selfish" person. Rather, they imagine some bloodsucking brute, not the local shopkeeper. Many people who run various local governments believe that rent control is still a good policy, even if it is literally textbook bad economics. Many people believe that cheap goods from overseas somehow are "exploitation." Many people don't grasp the fundamental insight that voluntary trade where parties have all the relevant information will always make both parties better off by definition. Even non-controversial, non-extreme, standard-issue economic reasoning does not come naturally to most people. Economists in general, not merely libertarian economists, don't think typically. This does not mean all economists have Asperger's Syndrome (economic reasoning can be taught, after all); it means that economic reasoning has to fight an uphill battle against the conventional mindset. 3. Neurology And Systematic Error What I have shown is that libertarians are defined by a cognitive style which overlaps neurologically with certain symptoms of being on the autism spectrum. This is what Nancy McLean is correct about. I have also shown that economists in general (across the political spectrum) are more pro-market than average people, so the "norm" (which presumably includes and is defined by the majority of neurotypical persons) is systematically wrong. What I have not shown yet is that the characteristics of the neurotypical cognitive style (higher levels of empathizing than systemizing, "solidarity with other people" as MacLean claims, that kind of thing) can systematically bias someone towards incorrect economic conclusions. This is what I will now attempt to do. I should clarify that I do not intend to claim someone must have Asperger's Syndrome or substantial levels of autistic-spectrum-traits in order to be a good economist; economic reasoning is a skill which can be taught. All I am claiming is that having at least some level of autistic-spectrum-traits helps avoid systematic error. The first argument that needs to be made is that economics, as a field, is focused entirely on systemizing and has literally no room for empathizing. In economics, society and individuals are dealt with impersonally, as either collections of logical rules or utility functions or value-scales. Every person is merely one item in a far larger picture. Economists think in terms of optimizing systems, not caring for particular individuals (this does not mean they do not care, merely that this isn't the focus of economics). Standard-issue general equilibrium economics is built from mathematical models borrowed from field theory in physics. Individual happiness is just a matter of "utility" - a simple quantity of pleasure/satisfaction. The economy is invariably conceptualized as a system... be it a physical system, a biological system, a network, a machine, but it is still a system. Not only that, but economists are addressing one of the most painful and difficult facets of the human condition - specifically poverty - and how to ameliorate it. We have to deal with difficult tradeoffs that may sacrifice ten lives to save twenty five other lives. This simply is not a field suited to mindsets that focus on things like "feelings" and "empathy" and "solidarity" and "caretaking" and the other things which Nancy MacLean associates with the neurotypical mindset; it is a field which requires cold calculation, and often literal calculation since at times economics is like physics or mathematics. In this situation, a systemizing-oriented brain is exactly what one wants to have solving the problems. It is easier to speak of temporary frictional unemployment than to be confronted with the day-to-day minutiae of someone without any marketable skills trying to secure a job interview. A second, and in my opinion stronger, argument could be made however. Let us look at several "textbook bad economics" policies. How are these policies sold to the polity? How are they justified? Rent control is a fantastic example: "to ensure affordable housing for the poor." The motive here is compassion, solidarity, empathy, a concern for the plight of the poor. And it isn't controversial to say it doesn't work. Welfare states are consistently justified in terms of compassion for the suffering and solidarity between human beings. But, pray tell, why are these welfare states almost always full of massive bureaucracies rather than policies which handle welfare through simple income transfers (for example via a negative income tax or basic income guarantee)? Given the many problems and flaws that bureaucracy and its associated incentives have, one would think that a genuine motive of compassion doesn't necessarily mean one will pick the least costly, most effective means of being compassionate. Of course some environmental protections are easily defensible on the basis of economic reasoning. But what about environmentalist attacks on genetically modified organisms (a proven-safe technology) or nuclear power (which is incredibly safe and efficient if modern technology is used)? Environmentalists consistently appeal to the emotions, to empathizing, to feelings and fluffiness in their campaigns to cast GMOs as "impure" and all nuclear power plants as Chernobyls-In-Waiting. Nordhaus and Schellenberger, both economists, campaign (through their think-tank the Breakthrough Institute, see https://thebreakthrough.org/about/mission/ ) for technological solutions to environmental problems, yet the environmental establishment still demands wind, solar, organic and biodynamic (the latter of which is based on a semi-spiritual framework rather than a purely scientific one). Environmentalism appeals to compassion, feelings, oneness with the earth and all of that emotionalistic illogical bilge, yet consistently avoids the policy proposals actual economists can demonstrate would be effective means to environmentalists' declared ends. Let us also look at the monster example: socialism. Socialism was motivated in many cases by compassion for the poor, by the desire to reduce poverty, by the desire to spread prosperity as widely as possible. Every attempt to try it failed miserably, and to the extent that any socialist system worked it only worked to the extent it preserved property rights and market incentives (for example Titoism, which avoided famine, yet did so through preserving property rights over farmland). It strikes some as counterintuitive to suggest that letting people keep things for themselves (i.e. property rights) can result in a larger and broader distribution of goods than forcibly taking those goods and collectivizing ownership, but the historical record makes it clear that property rights and markets are essential conditions to wide-scale prosperity. Again, not even left-leaning economists contest this; the Economic Calculation Problem is a fact, which is why contemporary economists on the left are Social Democrats rather than old-school Socialists. There is a systematic pattern; advocacy of bad economics is constantly rooted in the same motives Nancy MacLean accuses libertarians and persons on the autistic spectrum as lacking. Compassion and solidarity and empathy are certainly positive traits, yet they seem to be the driving force behind some atrociously bad policy preferences. This certainly doesn't mean that good intentions always result in bad policy, but it suggests a possible theory that I will summarize as follows: "Neurotypical drives towards compassion, empathy, solidarity and other associated feelsy-niceness override rational consideration of what means are actually effective at generating the desired positive outcomes. Because people with at least some level of austistic-spectrum-traits can detach themselves from the compulsive cries of 'feelings' more easily, they may be better judges of what is practically effective." Conclusion Nancy MacLean's book on Public Choice is frankly so bad the only use I can see for it is toilet paper, even though I generally prefer pages of Abrahamic religious texts for that particular purpose. However, she isn't wrong to suggest libertarians may be more likely to have Asperger's Syndrome or at least an atypically high level of autistic-spectrum-traits relative to the general population. But that doesn't make us wrong about the economics. Indeed, the opposite is likely to be true. Highly empathizing brains without much systemizing capability are not the brains you want to have evaluating different economic policies. Frankly awful economics is typically justified on the basis of empathetic, caring, emotionalistic rationales. The more people feel and the less people think (i.e. the more they empathize and the less they systemize), the worse their economic reasoning gets. Even by the relatively moderate (compared to libertarians) standards of the economics profession, the general population is deeply misguided about economic fact. Neurotypical cognitive biases towards "solidarity" and "empathy" can lead away from economic truth, not towards it. Even non-libertarian economists use cold, impersonal reasoning to justify intervention rather than appeals to emotion and fluffy-wuffy-snuggliness. Good economics goes against every instinct of the neurotypical brain, which is why it is so counterintuitive and so many prejudices need to be weeded out. Libertarians, on the other hand, are disproportionately likely to have the kind of brain able to overcome these cognitive biases and see where the policy which appeals to "empathy" and "solidarity" will be counterproductive to these ends. This overlaps (although is not identical) with the kind of brain that is often described as "on the autism spectrum" and in particular the higher functioning regions thereof. Whilst MacLean is justified in suspecting a lot of us are "on the spectrum" at least to some degree, her implication that this is a reason to dismiss libertarian economics is arguably the opposite of the truth.
  2. 4 points
    Greetings all, This will be my first and only post on OL. Ted lead a compartmentalized and complicated life. My being here has crossed a circle that he kept private. At one extreme, he was a loving Uncle, excited to share all the joys of life with his nephews and niece. At the other, he could be bitter and angry, throwing darts at targets that may not have been the intended recipients, but were instead opportunistic proxies for an unknown true target. He suffered with demons that I hope have lost their grip now that his spirit has departed this plane. I will not dwell on the sorrow of it all. Rather, in true "Ted" fashion, I will share that which made Ted happy. Simply put, Ted loved books. He read more than anyone I know and if the local library were a for-profit business, they'd have lost money on him. His interests spanned everything from proto-indo-European trees to Heinlein, Thomas Aquinas, and Uralic languages. Just prior to his passing he was learning American Sign Language. He shared his love of books with my children, his nephews and niece. Upon his passing, the kids donated money to the library and asked that they purchase books on snakes, rocks, mythology, languages, science fiction, Doctor Who, and Ayn Rand. Ted loved the woods and found great joy in collecting remnants of deer and other creatures and teaching the kids to bleach the bones. I now have a collection that looks like something out of a natural history museum. Ted loved rocks (especially geodes) pecan pie, old movies, and building couch forts. He had a vast and encyclopedic collection of music. He loved a good joke, like the time he would hold telemarketers on the line and tell them off in Russian. He loved his own past, learning about his Carpatho-Rusyn heritage. Ted enjoyed unconventional horticulture, nursing poinsettias between seasons and propagating opuntia from the dunes of NJ (I now have some in my garden). He loved to argue. He loved Legos. Ted loved the Szechuan Garlic Chicken at our favorite Chinese Restaurant and following it up with a Hacker-Pschorr. May this parting bit hopefully bring a smile...He was buried with a copy of Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology minus a few pages from which the kids crafted origami boats and sent off some honorary ashes downstream where he often wandered. - With Love, Ted's Sister.
  3. 3 points
    https://fineartamerica.com/featured/the-milkyway-over-beaverhill-county-jestephotography-ltd.html Something a lil different than my Wildlife photography. Nikon Z7 mirrorless with a Sigma 14-24mm f2.8 Art series lens for Astrophotography.
  4. 3 points
    Mick West at Metabunk.org has published a book! It's called "Escaping the Rabbit Hole: How to Debunk Conspiracy Theories Using Facts, Logic, and Respect." The early reviews at Amazon.com are brutal. I publish a fair-use excerpt from the introduction to the book published last month at Salon: How to pull a friend out of the conspiracy theory rabbit hole | It’s not a blue pill or a red pill, but a poison pill I've added highlights to parts of the excerpt that might be helpful to OLers struggling with the entailments of conspiracy-ideation --in friends, family, and perhaps in themselves ... as those of us who have read the Rob Brotherton classic understand ... "Its not THEM, it's US" ... no one wing of political or social groups is more vulnerable to the harms of conspiracy ideation than another. "Try to figure out my tricks." What good advice ...
  5. 3 points
    Ted (in) Lieu (of fill in the blank) pulled out his cell phone and on the Congressional record called Candace Owens a ****er lover. I saw it !
  6. 3 points
    William, rumors of Bill Dwyer's demise have been greatly exaggerated! ;-) I don't know who Mary Ann is or was, but Bill is still going strong at age 78. Dennis
  7. 3 points
    And I'm not too proud to admit that I started leaning into the corners by the end of the second vid. J
  8. 3 points
    out of the mouths of , you know, what you call those very young uneducated beings...you know the quote, but under no circumstances could one call Jan Letendre a babe. However , that charming Billyboy has more class than nearly everyone we know, is indeed wisdom, and worth any amount of baked goods.
  9. 3 points
    Thanks for noticing, Max. It’s easy for me, to be honest. I don’t mind stupid, it doesn’t rub me the wrong way at all. It’s only when snippy gets added to stupid that I have to explode or walk away. I have, without any doubt, much more patience than most everyone here. I substitute taught elementary school for five years. Classroom teacher, gym, art, music, librarian, special needs - I filled every position in the district’s elementary schools except Principal. I raised two daughters from infancy, was the at-home parent and they’re getting (almost) straight As in high school now.
  10. 3 points
    “I'm a bit confused, so are you saying that the news about packages targeting the Obamas, Clintons, and others is fake news and a false flag? If so, then why does Trump say the packages exist?” Oh boy. Someone doesn’t even know what a false flag is.
  11. 3 points
    I don't want to talk about it. --Brant
  12. 3 points
    I would agree with those who say that Rand's aesthetics do not cover everything. OTOH I also think that one source of puzzlement is that Rand (as usual) traces things back to their roots, and rarely speaks of proximate causes. The closest I come to art is photography, and that might be a particularly simple example. What determines what I chose to take a picture of? I think that goes back ultimately to the kind of things Rand talks about, but I am not conscious of that as I take the picture. If you asked me at the moment I might say that I loved the way the new mown hay looked in the late afternoon sun, but why that appealed to me is probably far below the conscious level. A lot of my photo work records the history of the American Industrial Revolution. Some of it is just a record of the past, but some of it has an artistic element. Why is it that when I go to these dying cities that were once centers of industry I record the mills and factories rather than the winos in the alleyways? I think it reflects a judgment of what is important.
  13. 3 points
    Amen to that. McCain-Feingold in particular, which led to the Citizens United case. As to the rest, all I wanted to establish was that he did "something more than getting captured and held prisoner of war for years", no matter how we project what his motives at the time were. He made a choice, and (hard to believe I'm about to type this) it was something comparable to John Galt advising his captors how to fix their torture machine.
  14. 3 points
    While I was no fan of McCain qua politician, and regard his prisoner-of-war heroism as misdirected, the story bears reviewing. This comes from David Foster Wallace's piece on McCain from 2000. https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/david-foster-wallace-on-john-mccain-the-weasel-twelve-monkeys-and-the-shrub-194272/ But there’s something underneath politics in the way you have to hear McCain, something riveting and unSpinnable and true. It has to do with McCain’s military background and Vietnam combat and the five-plus years he spent in a North Vietnamese prison, mostly in solitary, in a box, getting tortured and starved. And the unbelievable honor and balls he showed there. It’s very easy to gloss over the POW thing, partly because we’ve all heard so much about it and partly because it’s so off-the-charts dramatic, like something in a movie instead of a man’s life. But it’s worth considering for a minute, because it’s what makes McCain’s “causes greater than self-interest” line easier to hear. You probably already know what happened. In October of ’67 McCain was himself still a Young Voter and flying his 23rd Vietnam combat mission and his A-4 Skyhawk plane got shot down over Hanoi and he had to eject, which basically means setting off an explosive charge that blows your seat out of the plane, which ejection broke both McCain’s arms and one leg and gave him a concussion and he started falling out of the skies right over Hanoi. Try to imagine for a second how much this would hurt and how scared you’d be, three limbs broken and falling toward the enemy capital you just tried to bomb. His chute opened late and he landed hard in a little lake in a park right in the middle of downtown Hanoi, Imagine treading water with broken arms and trying to pull the life vest’s toggle with your teeth as a crowd of Vietnamese men swim out toward you (there’s film of this, somebody had a home-movie camera, and the N.V. government released it, though it’s grainy and McCain’s face is hard to see). The crowd pulled him out and then just about killed him. U.S. bomber pilots were especially hated, for obvious reasons. McCain got bayoneted in the groin; a soldier broke his shoulder apart with a rifle butt. Plus by this time his right knee was bent 90-degrees to the side with the bone sticking out. Try to imagine this. He finally got tossed on a jeep and taken five blocks to the infamous Hoa Lo prison – a.k.a. the “Hanoi Hilton,” of much movie fame – where they made him beg a week for a doctor and finally set a couple of the fractures without anesthetic and let two other fractures and the groin wound (imagine: groin wound) stay like they were. Then they threw him in a cell. Try for a moment to feel this. All the media profiles talk about how McCain still can’t lift his arms over his head to comb his hair, which is true. But try to imagine it at the time, yourself in his place, because it’s important. Think about how diametrically opposed to your own self-interest getting knifed in the balls and having fractures set without painkiller would be, and then about getting thrown in a cell to just lie there and hurt, which is what happened. He was delirious with pain for weeks, and his weight dropped to 100 pounds, and the other POWs were sure he would die; and then after a few months like that after his bones mostly knitted and he could sort of stand up they brought him in to the prison commandant’s office and offered to let him go. This is true. They said he could just leave. They had found out that McCain’s father was one of the top-ranking naval officers in the U.S. Armed Forces (which is true – both his father and grandfather were admirals), and the North Vietnamese wanted the PR coup of mercifully releasing his son, the baby-killer. McCain, 100 pounds and barely able to stand, refused, The U.S. military’s Code of Conduct for Prisoners of War apparently said that POWs had to be released in the order they were captured, and there were others who’d been in Hoa Lo a long time, and McCain refused to violate the Code. The commandant, not pleased, right there in the office had guards break his ribs, rebreak his arm, knock his teeth out. McCain still refused to leave without the other POWs. And so then he spent four more years in Hoa Lo like this, much of the time in solitary, in the dark, in a closet-sized box called a “punishment cell.” Maybe you’ve heard all this before; it’s been in umpteen different media profiles of McCain. But try to imagine that moment between getting offered early release and turning it down. Try to imagine it was you. Imagine how loudly your most basic, primal self-interest would have cried out to you in that moment, and all the ways you could rationalize accepting the offer. Can you hear it? It so, would you have refused to go? You simply can’t know for sure. None of us can. It’s hard even to imagine the pain and fear in that moment, much less know how you’d react. But, see, we do know how this man reacted. That he chose to spend four more years there, in a dark box, alone, tapping code on the walls to the others, rather than violate a Code. Maybe he was nuts. But the point is that with McCain it feels like we know, for a proven fact, that he’s capable of devotion to something other, more, than his own self-interest. So that when he says the line in speeches in early February you can feel like maybe it isn’t just more candidate bullshit, that with this guy it’s maybe the truth. Or maybe both the truth and bullshit: the guy does – did – want your vote, after all.
  15. 3 points
    That's what it says at the top of the page. Your point? It's not like this thread has devolved into a medley of cat videos. Yet.
  16. 3 points
    I hope my posts get a lot of sads (from the anti-Trump bitches!)
  17. 2 points
    The editor of The Objective Standard, a magazine affiliated with the Ayn Rand Institute, has finally responded to the revelations in ARI Watch’s exposé “Who is Carl Barney?" about ARI’s largest donor. ARI Watch reviews that response in a new article Barney Tells His Story. You can understand it by itself because it quotes the TOS article.
  18. 2 points
    So does William discuss? No, he posts a link: Slide, slip, slither, avoid - and then whine if you're called dishonest And what the linked-to list is about, as Michael points out, isn't how to have a discussion but how to indoctrinate. Ellen
  19. 2 points
    Ayn Rand would never agree to open immigration from today's context, which is war. --Brant
  20. 2 points
    Sad life? One that is someone else's fault? If only they would get out of your way... But, alas, you are doomed to constant punishment for virtues lesser souls can't even dream about as you rant, "The bastards! The bastards! The bastards!" in impotent solitude... (How am I doing so far? I can do this with my hands tied behind my back because I've been there. Never produced a goddam thing when I was in that state. Heroism is not only fighting others, it's fighting your own self-destructive urges that are seasoned with self-pity and a growing taste for laziness--and actually producing something. That's not psychobabble. Suicide is a dangerous idea to cultivate. It eventually transmutes on its own from idea to reality. It starts with a shrug...) Reality is wonderful, even with idiots in it. Brush them aside and build. Besides, how can you win a world you haven't produced? What have you actually won by pretending? A feeling? You can't lose what you don't have. Most of all, stop looking down at others. Paraphrasing Nietzsche, when you look into the abyss, the abyss looks back into your soul. You become what you gaze upon. Michael
  21. 2 points
    Heh. That's a "TANTRUM"? And that's a "real" interviewer with "difficult" questions? Mr. Shapiro, I've selectively misinterpreted some fragments of your past statements to mean what I want them to mean. I gotcha. Defend yourself against my accusations. Pro Boss Real Interviewer right there. Is he the male Cathy Newman? J
  22. 2 points
    You've probably heard of the concept "man cold" or "man flu." I've heard it mentioned in pop culture for a few years now, and have been observing it with interest. And I just experienced it firsthand for the first time. I'm not talking about the cold, but about certain women's reactions to it. The glee. The superiority. I have a cold. I'm still up and about. I've taken the standard over the counter remedies, but I'm coughing and sneezing, my nose is running, and my voice is a bit rough. Despite going about my life as normal, I've been ridiculed by a few women whom I barely even know. They're very excited about mocking me for having a "man cold," even though I'm not actually displaying the behavior that defines it (staying in bed, doing nothing, moaning -- in other words, being affected by it, where women with colds are said to not be affected, or are strong enough to not allow colds to affect them). It's very psychologically fulfilling to them to verbally kick men when they are experiencing illness or weakness, and to derive a sense of superiority from doing so. There's no accompanying interest in science or comparing symptoms and ailments. It's just pure psychological thrill of belittling the enemy. Anyway, it reminded me of this thread, and the excitement that Billy seems to experience in focusing on right-wing conspiracy believers, but not so much left-wing conspiracy believers. Seems to have a lot of similarities to the "man cold" relishers. J
  23. 2 points
    Vote fraud in Texas and Illinois elected the Kennedy-Johnson ticket in 1960. Massive vote fraud has made California a state completely dominated by the Democrat Party. If not for the Electoral College California would have made that criminal bitch Hillary President. Whether the Electoral College will do the same next time is problematic. It could give the Senate to the Dems. I find your naivete hard to get my brain around. ---Brant
  24. 2 points
    This revolting report of a fakhealer, slaveholder and murderer in Brazil, should be known if his accusers are proven true. He fooled Oprah (not exactly hard to do) and that enabled him to continue his crimes, she should writhe with shame and try to make some compensation , if there could be any. But what exactly has this to do with Northam and abortion?. This Brazilian allegedly bred women like cattle, sold their babies and then slaughtered them after 10 years. (History tells us that women who bore a child a year for 10 years or more died of childbirth-related causes at a much higher rate than other women, although their deaths were accepted by them and their husbands, as the will of God or the price of sacred procreation or some such foolishness. Abortion has always been used, or attempted, in desperate attempts to avoid the far-too-often fatal results of pregnancy. Anecdote - my own grandmother died of "complications of pregnancy" when pregnant with her eighth child, at age 39. There was no coercion here - it was a happy couple and family who welcomed and loved all their children. But there was no contraception either, and no abortion). Again, your post is not about Northam nor abortion, as per the tags, nor humorous as per forum title. I suggest you move it to a serious forum more relevant to its subject. I know conversations meander,,, but this is a meander too far, it seems to me.
  25. 2 points
    Fake News and Fake Social Media went apeshit over their Narrative™ that a "smirking white kid" led his gang of haters to surround and taunt and harass a victim of their racist Trumpist fascism. Yeah, so, smiling while a protestor walks up to you and gets up in your face is now an act of mockery and superiority, and of getting up in the protestor's face, and that smug little shit white punk should be killed for the racist crime that he committed. Well, after days of this type judging before knowing anything, and not wanting to know, the kid is now responding and giving his side of the story: INDIGENOUS PEOPLE'S MARCHSMIRKING MAGA HAT STUDENT RESPONDSTo Accusations of Harassment 492.8K 8,072 1/20/2019 4:17 PM PST Smirking MAGA Hat Student Responds to Accusations of Harassment 1/20/19 -- The student who came face-to-face with Nathan Phillips has released a statement to the media about what he claims actually happened Friday. Nick Sandmann, a junior at Covington Catholic High School, says he and his classmates were waiting for their busses to arrive at the Lincoln Memorial when a handful of African-American protesters began shouting "hateful things" at the group of boys. Sandmann says that he and his classmates were given permission by their adult chaperones to sing their school spirit chants in response. At some point during this chanting, Sandmann says a separate group of protesters from the Indigenous People's March approached his group, and claims that Nathan Phillips then "waded" into the crowd with his drum. Other videos that have surfaced online appear to show Phillips doing exactly that... --- All of the above may be true, but, fuck it, let's crucify the smirky bastard anyway. He got played, and didn't realize at the time how the left would destroy him for being peaceful and pleasant, so he deserves to have the rest of his life destroyed. J
  26. 2 points
    Is the problem that Bob is misperceiving the illustration as representing the north pole despite being told otherwise? Verbal description is being overridden by a visual misunderstanding? Maybe this will help? Start at the yellow ball. Walk south 1 mile (the distance of the red line). Walk west 1 mile (the circumference of the green circle). Walk north 1 mile (the distance of the red line). You are back at your starting point, the yellow ball. J
  27. 2 points
    Thanks for playing with the math, Jon and Max. It's fun to see. And I'm enjoying witnessing the spectrum that people fall on: mechies to mathies. I'm way over on the mechie side lacking in math, Merlin and Tony are mathies completely lacking in mech (and not necessarily all that great at math either), Bob's a bit short on mech but not as bad as Merlin and Tony, and then a few of you are a strong combo of both mech and math. Cheers, J
  28. 2 points
    You are saying either A always causes B, or A never causes B. It can't be A caused B in this particular case. Causes have contexts. The elderly woman in my example probably had weak bones. The weak bones would be a context. It is not necessary to say vaccination always causes autism in order to say vaccination caused autism in this case.
  29. 2 points
    It is time now to ride my V4 1986 VFR750F INTERCEPTOR up Squaw Pass. Our course is outlined in red on the maps. We travel uphill and west, away from Denver, from the right to the left. We begin at 8,430' elevation, just northwest of Evergreen, Colorado, and climb 315' in one minute and 54 seconds. The speed limit is 30mph but we will cover 1.63 miles, averaging 52mph. 25mph is the slowest we will go, in the tightest three turns. Then 70 and 80mph in the straights. For example after passing the car we're in a long straight and at the end of it, when we are directly beside the yellow sign advising an imminent "15mph" hairpin right, we are still traveling at 80mph. (Funny thing about brakes, they work supernaturally well when you're going steeply uphill!) The GoPro™ video camera is Chesty™ mounted at about my sternum. I'm crunched leaned over, so my eyes are only a few inches higher. Pretend you are really there, my passenger, and see if you can feel some of what the terror and adrenaline is like. This will help: We are in elk, bear and deer country. If an elk walks out on a straight we are going to die. If a bear is in the road in a corner, we will crash and he is going to try to kill us when he gets back on his feet. We will try to shoot him when he comes to kill us, but it's a 50/50 thing who emerges from crash-stun first.
  30. 2 points
    I thought, reading that, "You would [report posts]." Nanny time. I'm not surprised that William tried backstage pressure. Again, he would. I like Jon quite a bit, though I think the name-calling is becoming overdone. I'm puzzled about the hostility between Jon and Jules. How did that get started? Ellen PS: Michael, agreed with your remarks about OLand and the absurdity of prominent O'ists supporting Hillary Clinton, and about this site's helping elect Trump - not in any big influence way, your readership isn't large enough, but some help, for which "Bravo!"
  31. 2 points
    Because it doesn't address the problem of the paradox, namely how the points of the "forced" wheel are mapped onto the longer distance on its track. For the "forcing" wheel it's rather obvious: circumference and traveled distance are equal, so it's easy to construct an 1-1 map, while for the "forced" wheel the circumference and traveled distance are unequal. What the old guys didn't know, is that it is also possible to map a smaller segment 1-1 onto a larger segment, but if you do that, you'll have to take into account that the smaller wheel is slipping (supposing that the large wheel is the "forcing" wheel). Well, that was obviously irony, the apparent result of Aristotle's paradox. Does that invalidate the article? And if Aristotle writes about two circles, the mechanical implementation would be two wheels, so nothing wrong with that either.
  32. 2 points
    Eye could knot agree Moore. When eye was stay shunned at the navel academy, wee wood ride are bike’s two wear whee worked on a paradox bye the see, one witch was hire, and the other witch was lore. Wee had two role bear alls on them too lode are ship. Won thyme, a bear all got aweigh from me and eye saw it role on both doc’s at wants, and they’re was know slip age, at leased knot that eye could sea. Sew, their for, if sum of the four most authorities inn the whirled, such as Toe Knee oar Myrrh Linn, say their is know slip age on a paradox, eye wood knot halve grounds on witch two Kant test it. R.P.
  33. 2 points
    Right, and thanks. The "should" was that of the poser of the problem. I thought after I'd posted that Tony might mistakenly take the "should" as mine, even though I'd said "Here's how the problem goes" (i,e., here's how the person posing the problem was thinking), but I didn't have time to edit by adding a parenthetical stating that the "should" was the assumption of the problem's formulator. Regarding Tony's continuing to call the track superfluous: The track, like the "should," was put into the problem by the person who formulated it. Quite agreed - and I've said before - that the problem isn't a genuine paradox - defined as "an apparent contradiction between two true premises" - but instead an actual contradiction between a false assumption and reality. Ellen
  34. 2 points
    The correspondence between points in continuous sets (areas, curves, lines, volumes) are correspondences of the cardinality of the sets, not their metric properriwa. For example a one inch line and and a one mile line have the same cardinal number of points, but the two sets have widely differing length. Ditto for volume. A sphere one inch in diameter has the same cardinal number of points as a sphere one mile in diameter but differ widely in volume and surface area.
  35. 2 points
    Indeed. And it's a pity that he's messed up this Wikipedia page with those useless cycloids, giving "solutions" that aren't.
  36. 2 points
    Check out the edit history at Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Aristotle's_wheel_paradox&action=history Merjet, Merjet, Merjet. He's obsessed with it. He seems to think that if he alters the "paradox" at Wikipedia, especially by visually eliminating the Mechanica's reference to the upper line that the smaller circle contacts throughout its motion, then that's the final authority. It trumps reality. The Wikipedia page is no longer about "Aristotle Wheel Paradox," but has now become "Merlin's Personal Attempt to Distort the 'Paradox' So That He Can Feel That He Won Over at OL." J
  37. 2 points
    Tony says the lid does NOT over-spin it’s track.
  38. 2 points
    The actual horrific shooting sure upstages the ineffective bomb mailings, and I suppose the mainline news sources are in consternation since the shooter was not a Trump fan and didn't vote for Trump. I'm doubtful about the secret friend in the Jew-hater's case, though I think that a secret friend is plausible bordering on likely with Sayoc. Ellen
  39. 2 points
    Muh, muh Russians! With two years of Muh Russians under their belts, why isn't the left and its lapdog press focused on the possibility that Muh Russians sent the packages? It fits their two-year Narrative™. Muh Russians want to disrupt. They want to taint our elections. J
  40. 2 points
    I was holding my breath for what the Left Dems would come up with in the runup, and this too conveniently 'fits' my concerns. Many nasties there have shown they are willing to do whatever it takes. I'll contain myself, not rush ahead of the evidence, and that might never be conclusive. 50-50 probability sounds right, and increasing. A couple of crazies cannot be ruled out, but how would any of this intimidation serve Republicans? Primitive devices, all of which were intercepted? You can hear the constant clamor: "the climate" Donald Trump created - etc. etc. Lapdog BBC is smugly making a pile of moral and political capital out of these incidents. And now a device sent to CNN, our fearless reporters - all too "Hollywood", over-scripted, over-played. Whichever way, this ratchets up tensions, not good.
  41. 2 points
    I don’t think Trump is a Randian hero , I think John Galt is a Trumpian hero . Atlas Shrugged was still only a book , Trump is real life
  42. 2 points
    For the record they aren't "world leaders." The UN is a diplomat dumping ground. --Brant
  43. 2 points
    They see suave, debonair Frisco giving a philosophically deep money speech, or John Galt taking over a radio presentation and addressing the audience in the manner of a professor. If they don't see that style in someone real life, then they don't see that person's intelligence and productivity that they themselves will never match, and they look down their noses at the substance and accomplishments. They're kind of living in the aesthetic trance from having read Rand's novels, and having cast themselves as being equal to her fictional heroes, despite not really having accomplished shit. They also tend to forget what a "bad boy" Roark could be. True narcissists promise things that they don't deliver. Obama did a lot of that. He was stylistically smooth and gave the appearance of being an intellectual, and of knowing what he was doing. He made people feel that he looked as if he should be in charge. Dingbat Ocasio-Cortez is currently trying to do the same, but not succeeding as well at the pose. She's recently been asked a few times by members of the press about how she intends to pay for her 40 trillion dollar proposed commie spending spree. She has been able to come up with only 2 trillion by proposing seriously putting the wealthy through the ringer (and disregarding the consequences of doing so). And then she starts to promise what narcissist Obama had promised: Socializing shit will actually SAVE lots of fucking money! Yeah! Hoorah! We can give shit away, left and right, to millions of more patients, students and consumers, and even do more consuming than producing, and the result will be savings and cheaper prices and rainbows and gumdrops and happiness! Cuz we're the richest country so we can therefore afford to raise our moral standards and become just as civilized as all of the countries which are poor due to having adopted Ocasio-Cortez's wonderful ideology. And, yet, Trump, whose ideas deliver more than promised, is accused of being a "narcissist"? Hahaha! J
  44. 2 points
    Here's a nice term for social media giants doing crony corporatism with the government. They call it "partnership." Google something like the following: social media partnership with government and feast your eyes. Pay special attention to terms like "policy changes," "shaping government policy," and things like that. Not to mention controlling "harmful speech" and crap like that. On a skim, I've even read manipulating the public as a function of this kind of partnership. Of course to some people, this is a perfect example of laissez-faire capitalism. Michael
  45. 2 points
    Alex Jones is a fighter. He will kick their asses so hard that they will have to clear their throat to fart. They will wish to God they never tangled with Alex Jones.
  46. 2 points
    Heh. Why pick on InfoWars? Sure, it's often goofy, but it's really no more goofy than anything else. CNN, New York Times, Time. It's equal to or possibly a little less goofy that The View, Dan Rather and any of the former Democrat politicians and operatives who are now calling themselves "journalists" (like George Stephanopoulos, for example). Why single out InfoWars? MSK is supposed to be embarrassed by his goof balls while the other side reveres theirs and pretends that they're not good balls?
  47. 2 points
    Can a person really be economically coerced, or is it simply a choice? Was Cohen using the tapes for insurance or a way to blackmail President Trump? Can he be disbarred? In Maryland I don’t think you can record someone unless they know what your are doing. Peter From: "George H. Smith" To: "*Atlantis" Subject: ATL: Re: sophistry Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2001 01:29:41 -0500 a.d. smith wrote: "Recently, I was arguing with an anarcho-socialist friend about fundamental political and ethical principles. I had stated that I was opposed to the use of force in social relations (except in retaliation). He said that I was inconsistent in that I was not opposed to the use of "economic coercion" (e.g., the threat of firing someone) as well as physical force. I was wondering how my fellow Atlanteans would reply to this argument I think I did a fairly good job in elucidating the differences between physical force and "economic coercion," but I could have done better. What would you guys have said in this situation?” I find that well-constructed examples and counter-examples can sometimes communicate the distinction better than abstract arguments, or at least serve as an introduction to them. Many years ago, during a college seminar on Marxism, my professor gave the following popular example: Suppose I am stranded in the middle of the desert, and I run across the only oasis in my vicinity. It is privately owned, and the owner tells me that I must (a) work for him at fifty cents per hour, or (b) stay off his property. And since he is charging $5,000 for the food and water that are required to sustain my life during the remainder of my journey, this means that I am being economically coerced -- indeed, enslaved -- since I must either accept the offer or face certain death. I responded by changing one condition of the example. The same oasis owner has more money than he knows what to do with, so (as before) he tells me that I must take a job to earn my supplies, but he now offers me $10,000 per hour instead of fifty cents. So now I can earn what I need in 30 minutes (during which the owner, who is starved for intellectual companionship, only requests that I talk to him about philosophy) and even walk away with a handsome surplus. The professor then protested, "But that's not a realistic example." "Neither is your example," I replied, "but that's not the point. The purpose of the example is to isolate the key elements that generate what you call economic coercion. If your example, in which I am economically coerced to work for 50 cents an hour is valid, then so is my example where I am economically coerced to work for $10,000 per hour by discussing philosophy. I didn't change anything essential in the hypothetical; all I did was change some details, which should be irrelevant to the point you are making. So if you claim that my example doesn't qualify as economic coercion, then why doesn't it? I will die just as surely if I turn down the offer for $10,000 as if I refuse to work for fifty cents. What's the difference? According to your definition, I am being coerced in either case -- but it sounds a little strange to say that I am being 'forced' to work at the higher wage. You are loading the example in your favor by including very low wages, but the amount of the wage is immaterial to the point you wish to make. Surely the validity of your argument should not depend solely on its emotional appeal, so it should make equal sense to take about a wage-slave who is forced to discuss philosophy at $10,000 per hour." I don't remember my exact words, of course, but the preceding is a fair representation of my argument. It took the discussion in some interesting directions that might otherwise have been overlooked – such as whether the CEO of a multinational corporation is also economically "coerced" to accept his multi-million dollar salary -- and the discussion ended when the Marxist professor said, "Well, I'll have to give some additional thought to your example." That's about as close to an unconditional surrender as a student is ever likely to get from a professor. Ghs From: BBfromM To: atlantis Subject: Re: ATL: sophistry Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2001 04:40:33 EDT A. D. Smith wrote "Recently, I was arguing with an anarcho-socialist friend about fundamental political and ethical principles. I had stated that I was opposed to the use of force in social relations (except in retaliation). He said that I was inconsistent in that I was not opposed to the use of "economic coercion" (e.g., the threat of firing someone) as well as physical force.” There is no such thing as "economic coercion." We owe it to people not to use force against them; we do not owe it to them to supply them with employment nor to keep them employed if we do not choose to. People have a right to seek jobs; they do not have a right to *have* jobs if the employer finds them unsuitable. So to threaten an employee with firing is in no sense of the term "coercion." The job is not his by right, but only by the decision of the owner of the business. Barbara From: "a.d. smith" To: "George H. Smith" Subject: Re: ATL: Re: sophistry Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2001 05:06:07 -0400 (EDT) On Fri, 27 Jul 2001, George H. Smith wrote: The example of the oasis brings up my friend's second basic argument --- the possibility that first-comers may claim all the natural resources in an area to the detriment of people who arrive in the area later. These people may hold their property without improving or with mixing only a token portion of their labor with it.(I pointed that historically most examples of land speculation of this type were made possible by the state, but his point was that even in a stateless society, this type of engrossing could be possible. My reply was that under a system of competing governments, a protection agency that enforced an obviously illegitimate claim to unimproved natural resources would likely arose the anger of the community at large). From: "William Dwyer" To: Atlantis Subject: Re: ATL: Re: sophistry Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2001 09:34:02 -0700 a.d. smith wrote, >The example of the oasis brings up my friend's second basic argument --- the possibility that first-comers may claim all the natural resources in an area to the detriment of people who arrive in the area later. These people may hold their property without improving or with mixing only a token portion of their labor with it. > I fail to see how this is an argument against capitalism, since capitalism doesn't sanction this kind of unearned appropriation. In order to acquire property under capitalism, you need to mix your labor with a previously unowned resource, or acquire the property from its previous owner by mutual consent. Obviously, there are issues with regard to the specifics of acquiring previously unowned land, but these cannot form the basis of any serious argument against capitalism. I n any case, the Coase Theorem in economics (for which Ronald Coase was given the Nobel Prize) states that if property rights are clearly defined and transaction costs are low, resources will tend to flow towards their highest valued uses, regardless of who owns them. In other words, even assuming that people could appropriate land without mixing their labor with it, in a free-market economy, the land could be bid away in exchange for money. The highest bid would tend to reflect its most profitable uses, by reflecting what consumers would be most willing to spend their money on. Thus, under capitalism, it doesn't make a whole lot of difference how the property is initially acquired. It will eventually be allocated toward its most popular and desired uses. If laissez-faire capitalism existed in Latin America, for example, the large landed aristocracies would not last, because they would either be induced to sell their land at an exorbitant price, or to use it in ways that are the most profitable and consumer-friendly. Bill
  48. 2 points
    Jon, I think your underground bunker in the woods is calling.
  49. 2 points
    I have to take issue here, because you at least twice decided to talk about me instead of the subject at issue, and your personal comments were grossly wrongful. The issue was not Q, about which I know nothing and care nothing. But your comments were about me, and if you wish to be taken seriously by me at least here, you should retract them.
  50. 2 points
    Here's an elegant response (video is in her tweet, so I cut it from the quote). With love from this lady: Michael