Archive for May, 2011

Libertarianism and Charity aren’t incompatible

Posted in GIGO, Politics and Society with tags , , , on May, 2011 by melendwyr

Regarding this post by mupetblast at TGGP’s Entitled to an Opinion.

I simply do not understand the people who claim or imply that libertarianism is an ‘evil’ philosophy. Or rather, I’m pretty sure I understand the motivations and purposes of most people who claim that – it’s the few who actually and sincerely believe it that I can’t quite grasp. But the idea itself is an absurdity.

To further the example brought up in the comments:

Is there anything in Libertarianism that would preclude Ebenezer Scrooge from taking his money and using it to buy the Cratchits a lovely Christmas meal? Anything? It’s his money, he can spend it how he likes, and I fail to see anything objectionable about purchasing food or delivering it to people.

We can debate whether any given charitable intervention is effective and helpful. We can even debate whether charity as a concept does more good than harm – I don’t consider that question to be a simple one – but at least in our fictional example it would seem to have done a great deal of ‘good’. So what’s the problem?

Libertarianism concerns itself with private property, individual rights, and the relationship of the individual to the state generally. It really has nothing beyond those points to say about the interaction of individuals. Like Cratchit and Scrooge.

Where is this music from?

Posted in Music with tags , , on May, 2011 by melendwyr

Obviously, this is a deadmau5 selection. And I know the name of the piece. But, for the life of me, I cannot find where it appeared or how it was originally released.

Does anyone out there know?

What a great comment!

Posted in Blogging, Things You Should Read with tags , on May, 2011 by melendwyr

Ooh, ooh, take a look at this comment left by ‘ohwilleke’ – odd handle, that – whose blog is Wash Park Prophet.

I don’t suggest that the points it contains are correct or incorrect. But they’re presented intelligently and clearly – it’s a cogent argument made well, and it is likely to induce thoughtful examination in readers (at least, those interested in the subject in the first place). As I hadn’t come across ohwilleke’s writings before this, I can’t say to what degree the comment is characteristic. A quick read of the top pages of his blog suggests that it may be.

This is the sort of stuff I always wish there were more of the Internet. I plan on keeping his site in my view in the immediate future and suggest you do the same.

‘David Hume’ misses the point

Posted in Politics and Society, Things You Should Read on May, 2011 by melendwyr

Read the comment. Then read the post above it.

Who wrote the comment? We may never know – names aren’t registered, and anyone could have decided to use that handle. But it’s not exactly a commonly-chosen nom de plume. Could it have been used to embarrass the person who most generally goes by that name? Perhaps.

The Elephant in the Room: Quality, not Quantity

Posted in Politics and Society with tags , on May, 2011 by melendwyr

Steve Sailer wrote a post in which he discusses a comment by Jim Manzi, in which the latter laid out some of the reasons why our society supposedly did so well immediately after WWII.

The one which Sailer focuses on is the one that is an “extremely explicit public policy choice” – immigration.

But I would guess that it’s not the amount of immigration which really mattered, but its quality. And lots and lots of quality immigration entered America just before, during, and after WWII for rather obvious reasons: Nazis, Nazis, Nazis.

Remember: Albert Einstein was an American. Perhaps not so much because he wished to be, but because he didn’t feel there were many options.

This probably has something to do with why Israel did so well at its beginning, too. Not so much now, though, it would seem.

Who wants to name the elephant in the room?