Ed Hudgins

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About Ed Hudgins

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    http://www.objectivistcenter.org
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    Edward Hudgins
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    Director of Advocacy and Senior Scholar, The Atlas Society
  • Articles
    New Cult of Darkness Every Day a New Year Milton Friedman: 1912-2006 Republican Election Fiasco The Pope vs. Islam: Who Stands for Reason? Happy Labor Day - We're All Workers! Gustav Mahler’s Second and Eighth Symphonies Starbucks' Fat Cup of Trouble "Atlas" Movie One Step Closer! THE INSIDE SCOOP Why We Give Gifts Policing Phone Calls and Perverting Principles Birthday Blips: Are Americans Really Free & Equal? A Cool Capitalist Atlas Forced into Early Retirement The Public Side of Private Love

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  1. Hi MSK! It's funny that some Leftists on pro-tech, pro-life-extension Facebook pages, who should be outraged by Emanuel's pronouncements, simply scream at me that I'm a Trump puppet, even though I'm offering no opinion on Trump. A few argue that these are just Emanuel's personal opinions but I point out that it's delusional to think they will not inform the policies he could be developing under a Pres. Biden. On Gates, I'd say he rightly understanding that with competing producers of PCs and Moore's law, drop costs, making hardware a commodity and that software would be the value added. He smartly developed Basic, a bunch of other apps and, of course, Windows which he licensed to PC manufacturers and ended up providing over 90% of operating systems by the 1990s. Brilliant! Could anyone ever out-maneuver giant IBM? Sure! All that was Rearden, not Taggart. But we also had the sanction of the victim. The Clinton admin went after Gates under anti-trust because his Explorer search engine was on the homepage of Windows but it took a couple extra clicks to get to competing search engines, which could be freely run on PCs using Windows. (This was before Google's rise.) A few days after the anti-trust ruling against him, he was in D.C. sitting beside Bill Clinton, the guy who'd just punished him for his success, talking about helping people, blah, blah, blah. And, of course, Microsoft missed the smartphone and tablet revolutions because it was too devoted to Windows while Steve Jobs, back at Apple, innovated and tried to get ahead of his own products; the iPods were popular and profitable, but his vision was to bundle that tech into an iPhone with a search engine and emails, making iPods superfluous. Brilliant! As for the later Gates, he's been bad on a lot of things and, yes, cronyism is a problem across the industry. But you wouldn't have this website and I wouldn't be accessing it or typing these words (on a Windows machine, by the way), without these innovators. On anti-aging and life extension, I want to see a thousand flowers bloom! I'm not worried about suddenly Gates owning the secret Fountain of Youth; even if he did, if he marketed it like Windows, we'd all be living to 200! But I understand the complexity of aging and there probably won't be a single silver bullet. Look at Aubrey De Grey's excellent breakdown, which I mention in my article. I'm also reading David Sinclair's new book, "Lifespan," which so far I recommend. I'm a subscriber to Peter Diamandis's excellent Abundance Digital service, with hundreds of excellent discussions and interviews with cutting-edge researchers. Peter created the private Space X-Prize, co-founded Singularity U with Ray Kurzweil, and lists Ayn Rand as one of his mentors. I highly recommend his latest book, "The Future Is Faster Than You Think." This is where the action is. Don't re-read Rand, as good as she is. Read this if you want to see the future! By the way, I was not planning to post the the piece with link below because, as we both have learned over the years, flame wars are a waste of time, and I have no intention of wasting my time on Jon L. But you're a worthy corespondent, so here's one of my more ill-timed pieces--it came put just before the corona crisis erupted and the market crashed. (“A Trump Tech Titan’s Détente to Ensure Prosperity and Meet the China Challenge.”)But I think the points are still very relevant and will help you understand my current enterprise. I'm retooling! More on that, I hope, in the future! Enjoy and stay safe! Ed
  2. I can't go anywhere online without bumping into conspiracy theory types. At least when I find out they're a waste of time to deal with I don't have to waste my time with them. Might include them in my next book however, on the need to overcome irrationality in the world.
  3. Either/or, or both/and? I've been editing and helping to write papers on the problems of climate alarmists for the last few years and realize Gates and many others are very much mistaken. The problem is that either/or thinking does not necessarily apply to people. We are having this exchange because of the incredible revolution launched by Gates, the late Steve Jobs and many others whose politics lean Left. Unless all folks here are typing on Macs or iPhones, you're likely using systems running Gates' software or created by folks with whom you disagree on politics. The point is that the folks I listed are great benefactors and also wrong on many things. It's both/and. Welcome to the real world of humans! Aristotle was right in his criticism of Plato, that you can't build an ideal republic from scratch but need to take the situation and humans as you find them and work from there, to create what our Founders called "a more perfect union," not a "completely perfect" one. That's the way I approach these matters!
  4. Actually, it's not a discrepancy but just an issue of looking at who said/does/did what in more detail. On the good side, look at the links I supply in the article. I've pages of quotes from eco-extremists comparing humans to viruses and calling for our eradication. Prince Philip has said "Human population growth is probably the single most serious long-term threat to survival. We're in for a major disaster if it isn't curbed... We have no option. If it isn't controlled voluntarily, it will be controlled involuntarily by an increase in disease, starvation and war.... "If I were reincarnated I would wish to be returned to earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels." He is, of course, an idiot and of no account. Bill Gates is also, mistakenly, concerned about overpopulation. But he points out, correctly, that as medicine and survival rates improve and as productive societies allow people to save for their retirements, birth rates tend to fall because people no longer see the need to have 8 kids to make sure at least a few survive to care for them in their old age. When Zuckerberg announced he would spend $3 billion to cure diseases, leftist wacko Jemima Lewis wrote “Sorry, Mark Zuckerberg. Your plan to put an end to disease is a sickeningly bad idea. ... Developing new technologies and medicines to tackle every disease ever invented. We’d better hope they don’t succeed. What would it do to the human race if we were granted eternal health, and therefore life?” So you need to be specific about the who said or did what.
  5. Does Biden’s Public Health Adviser Want the Coronavirus to Kill the Elderly? By Edward Hudgins April 20, 2020 Ezekiel Emanuel, the architect of Obamacare, is an advisor on coronavirus to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. Emanuel famously wrote a 2014 Atlantic article titled “I Hope to Die at 75.” Unless he’s a hypocrite, Emanuel’s own words demand he tell Biden that COVID-19, which disproportionately kills elderly Americans, is a blessing rather than a curse, and just when researchers work to “cure aging.” To be clear, Emanuel doesn’t advocate for himself or anyone else to commit suicide on reaching 75, nor is he promoting marching seniors off to death chambers. Rather, he cites statistics to make the obvious point that older people suffer more infirmities and ailments, and in various ways are diminished from their younger, more vibrant selves. He then maintains that “living too long is … a loss. It renders many of us, if not disabled, then faltering and declining, a state that may not be worse than death but is nonetheless deprived. It robs us of our creativity and ability to contribute to work, society, the world.” Therefore, he tells us, “At 75 and beyond, I will need a good reason to even visit the doctor and take any medical test or treatment.” This morally perverse view assumes that for most people over the age of 75, more life is somehow not worth living. But it’s the individual, not his statistics, that really counts. It’s one thing to speculate whether loved ones suffering from dementia would rather have died before the ailment took their memories. It’s another to suggest that because an elderly individual can no longer play football or engage in certain activities, that life holds too little joy to be worth holding on to. If Emanuel fears his joys won’t outweigh his sorrows past 75, that’s his bizarre judgment. To suggest this is the case for the rest of us is sheer pretense. But what does Emanuel’s perspective imply about COVID-19? In his Atlantic article, he writes, “Certainly if there were to be a flu pandemic, a younger person who has yet to live a complete life ought to get the vaccine or any antiviral drugs.” But for him at 75, “Flu shots are out.” Emanuel says ... (Continue reading here.)
  6. "30 Years After Fall of Berlin Wall, Let’s Tear Down Wall of Dogma That Thwarts Our Liberty." By Edward Hudgins On Nov. 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall fell as thousands of East Berliners celebrated their liberation from the giant communist prison camp. Today, 36 percent of American millennials say they approve of communism, and 70 percent say they are likely to vote for socialism—the economic regime that impoverished all communist-ruled countries. What happened? After World War II, the United States, Great Britain, and France created the Federal Republic of Germany in the zones they occupied, replacing Nazi totalitarianism with democracy and personal and economic liberty. The Soviet Union, meanwhile, created in its zone the so-called German Democratic Republic, where it imposed communist totalitarianism. Berlin, located 100 miles inside East Germany, also was divided into East and West zones. East Berliners naturally wanted to live free and prosper, but that posed a problem for the Soviets. By 1961, thousands of East Berliners were moving each day into West Berlin. To halt the mass exodus, the communists of East Berlin built a wall to contain their subjects. In 1981, I took the closed military train through East Germany to West Berlin. Armed communist guards along the track ensured no one took photos out the windows of the desolate countryside. In the center of Berlin, there was a double wall, with a “no man’s land” in between with guard towers, machine guns ... (Continue reading here.)
  7. Human Achievement, Space, Immortality /Dr. Edward Hudgins- Ep 117. Debt Nation On #Transhumanism Australia’s excellent “Debt Nation” video host Steele Archer and I explored the need to radically disrupt sclerotic government drug certification processes to unleash exponential medications that will allow us to live for centuries; to radically disrupt failed government schooling to allow individuals to educate and train themselves for careers in exponential technology economies; and to promote and celebrate human achievement ethos, all to bring about a fantastic future of prosperity and individual opportunity. Join us in our optimism! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mg0CXNj2wH4&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR3OR46Tsp_5V8ndI3g07f3E8b9MRymbEMGibTA6DtqBX3j8WlTY1z5WmDk
  8. My thinking is we’ve both been promoting a rational philosophy for decades. What’s happened in our culture during that time? Some 25 years ago, Bill Clinton had to run as a New Democrat who wanted workable reforms because old welfare state policies were being discredited. Today, socialists lead that party and do so because there is an audience primed for their message. I see human achievement appealing to the “soft left,” younger folks who love technology, want at least enough freedom to follow their own dreams, who want to prosper, who are optimists—the Steven Pinker “Enlightenment Now!” types, transhumanists, Singulatarians, etc. I see human achievement as a uniting rather than polarizing appeal and a way to change value and priorities. I’ve written lots of essays explaining logically with facts to back my arguments about the superiority of reason and freedom, but I fear the audience for such discussion is shrinking. What you say is true, but I argue that the sort of cultural celebration of achievement, focus on heroes, stories about what’s possible, etc., is much needed! Cheers! Ed
  9. HAPPY HUMAN ACHIEVEMENT DAY! We Need to Celebrate Human Achievement Day, Now More than Ever By Edward Hudgins October 21 is the anniversary of Thomas Edison’s invention of the first workable lightbulb. If we want more lightbulbs shining above our heads, symbolizing new human-enhancing ideas in our minds ready to be made real, then we should mark this date as Human Achievement Day. We have a Labor Day, Veterans Day, Memorial Day, and even an Earth Day, and we should be celebrating human achievements, too! First, a Human Achievement Day would raise our consciousness about the incredible world in which we live—a world we often take for granted—and how it came about. Imagine students giving class reports on which inventors and innovations most improved their lives over the prior year or explaining to their classmates the origins of the equipment in their classrooms. Edison tested 6,000 filaments before finding one that kept the lightbulb glowing. He didn’t consider these 6,000 failures, but rather as successes in eliminated materials that didn’t work! In 1906, a publishing company found temperature variations in its facility caused printing equipment to expand or contract subtly, making it difficult to keep the machines properly aligned ... (continue reading.)
  10. Hi Michael – Thanks for your thoughtful response. Actually, you’ve got some of the think tank stuff backwards. There’s a range of think tank activities from original deep research in books and policy papers to direct public policy action. Heartland calls itself a think thank and action tank because we’re closer to the latter. Mind you, our founder Joe Bast a dozen years ago decided a way to fight the global warming alarmism was to actually engage real scientists to counter the bad science and panic-mongering that was driving public policy. We’ve published four volumes of “Climate Change Reconsidered,” each about 1,000 pages, with contributions by dozens of well-credentialed scientists. I doubt many people have read these cover-to-cover but they are a resource along with the spinoffs, papers, conferences and the like that probably had the most to do with Trump pulling out of the Paris Climate Accords--Joe was in the Rose Garden when Trump made the announcement--and has provided foundations for much of the good on environment and energy policy from this administration. And here’s the point. Our new Heartland president, a former Congressman, is keen as are we all to actually bring about change. He always asks, “Why are we doing this paper? Who’s the audience? Is this what need to make a difference?” That’s what I’m doing on my FDA and other projects. We have a lot of opportunities with this administration. We don’t want to listen to ourselves talk. We want to change thing. Also, Heartland uniquely focuses at the state level, so our government relations people are always on the road, working with state policymakers or doing policy papers that show how the reforms in states A, B, and C can work in states X, Y, and Z! We sometimes hear complaints that “You’re not pure libertarian enough and should be advocating abolishing most of government!” That’s because we’re not a sophomore college bull session. There’s a place for such advocacy; I’ve done enough of it myself. But where are we after decades of such stuff? Is government rolled back? We realize you often need to change things step by step. Hasn’t the left done that, step by step undermined our liberties? I’m for moving as fast as is doable but simply writing another paper on how we need to abolish this or that government department is not our market niche. Objectivist Living, of course, has its market niche! It's about applying the principles to one's life. I would just observe this. On many Facebook threads there will be some interesting discussants and, sadly, some obnoxious and irrational loudmouths who add no value to a conversation or your thinking, and whose unpleasant company you would rather not keep. Perhaps you find some value in the likes of Jon, but I certainly don’t. But when I do stop by Objectivist Living, your company is always welcome! See you in my next topic post! Regards, Ed
  11. Hi again Michael! On child abuse, with two beautiful little daughters, I'd be the first the rip the throat out of anyone who would assault kids. As for politics, I am not and never have been a Hillary supporter. No problem there! Currently, I work to change policy where there is leverage to do so and, happily, there is. I'm just about to come out with another paper on liberalizing the drug approval process, and I'm looking at some interesting opportunities for really major disruption of the educational system. Most of our policy and cultural battles are rear guard actions against the dogmatism, irrationalism, and outright rejection of objective reality brainwashed into kids, especially in higher educ. What's the point of writing a study that brilliantly proves with mountains of data that free market are better if the politicians, media mogels, and public "intellectuals" simply don;t care and want to just live in their fictional "narrative." We need to bust up their indoctrination system. Stay tuned!
  12. Ooops, sorry, I just saw your post after what I posted what you see below. But I'll keep it up now for the record as we seek some understanding! ....... Michael - Assuming Jon is not a troll (you'd know better than I), he kind of make my point. Schultz sees far left Dems discrediting his party. Folks can point to the extremists and say "See these crazies! That's the Dems. I rest my case." So Schultz offers an alternative. David Kelley decades ago saw the dogmatic Objectivists discrediting the truly rational, open Objectivists. Folks could point to them and say "See these crazies! That's Objectivism. I rest my case." So David offered an alternative. Someone like Jon makes it easy for our opponents to say "See that crazy! That's Objectivist living. I rest my case." It is sad that after all these decades, these types are still infest Objectivist circles. I always appreciate Objectivist Living though I don't get here much anymore now that I'm doing more public policy. But keep up the example, Michael, of what Objectivism can be and should be!
  13. Michael - On the concentration camps for Trump supporters, I hope Schultz and the few remaining halfway reasonable Dems will realize they are, indeed, on course to reelect Trump because they are so insanely radical and irrational. That's why Schultz is looking at a run as an independent rather than in the Dem. Party.
  14. Michael - Sorry, I meant Jon, the guy who seems to be trolling Peter. My bad!
  15. Peter - Joe's not worth debating with. Reason won't reach him. Anyway, Schultz adds an interesting element to the Democrats' inter-party battles.