Today I have been fortunate enough to discover some redeeming features of the UMass library: "The Great Idea" by Henry Hazlitt and some of Nock's books. I knew it had some Mises and Hayek--even some Rockwell in the e-book section--but I am finding more and more Austro-Libertarian literature. Alas, alas this the People's Republic!
With the Writers' strike apparently set for Monday I have a few thoughts: if the strike continues to the point where networks begin to run out of scripts it will be the beginning of the end of American television. The various networks will start importing shows from other countries (Canada, UK most likely), but there is an obstacle--the people in those countries have already seen the shows and put them on the internet. Americans will begin getting more and more TV content from YouTube and the networks won't survive for long, especially since people can integrate their big plasma screens to their computers. Expect better picture quality on the internet. More DVD's will be sold or rented as well.
YouTube is already better than television anyways, because there is a greater degree of freedom. You can watch whatever you want to watch on YouTube, from children's cartoons from the '80's to porn and the advertising is mostly on the side of the screen. MLB.com already offers streaming video of baseball games in progress, so sports could easily make the jump to the information superhighway.
There just doesn't seem to be any stopping of it if the strike lasts through January.
In the seventies Richard Dawkins acheived great fame when he wrote a book called The Selfish Gene, now I haven't actually read the book, but it does contain the idea of memes, which are units of cultural information and analogous to genes. Memetics is quite popular and an intensive subject, spanning everything. Anyways, the other day I was read David Boaz's Libertarianism: A Primer and he continually talks about self-organization in economies, which reminded me of evolution, and earlier I had noticed that a free market tends to behave like an ecosystem.
So I put 2 and 2 together and here's my new theory: Economics is analogous to biology. An economy functions as an ecosystem, different products and services evolve to satisfy consumer demand. These competing products and services are analogous to organisms/species in biology with their genotypes determined by memes and their phenotypes by prices.
What do Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Gore Vidal all have in common? They're all atheists and I've never never seen anything by them in print where they say a nice thing about anyone. Bizarely enough, all the atheists I've ever personally met are rather nice and tolerant. However, judging from a limited viewing of the blogosphere a nice atheist is the exception not the rule. Most explicitly atheist postings tend to remind me of Bill O'Reilly and other Fox News "personalities:" they insult all religions and believers, calling them "wackos" and "ridiculous." A growing movement is even seeking to get religious education listed by the United Nations as a form of child abuse.
The atheists like to call themselves rational, but they are not. Rational arguement does not consist of insults, but of premises and conclusions. It is not surprising that most atheist invective is directed against the Christian fundementalists of the United States--the heirs of the postmillenial evangelical pietism that gave us Prohibition in all its forms and other instances of morality enforced with coercion--because they are even less rational with Creationism and Intelligent Design. Little invective is directed the Catholic Church because the Church has an ancient tradition of logicians--St. Thomas Aquinas, the Society of Jesus, St. Augustine of Hippo, St. Albertus Magnus, Roger Bacon, Peter Abelard, and William of Occam. Not to mention devout Catholic scientists like Gallileo, Gregor Mendel (discoverer of Genetics), Fr. Georges LaMaitre (proposer of the Big Bang), and Teilhard de Chardin to name but a few.
Catholic logicians are not going to be stopped by Richard Dawkins calling them idiots and arbitrarily declaring "there is no scientific evidence for the existence of God." Please. I'm sure the few people who have been healed at Lourdes or the thousands who witnessed the "Miracle of the Sun" at Fatima and Medugorje are suffering from "left-brain temporal lobe epilepsy" all at the same time, at the same place, describing the exact same thing, and experiencing it for the first and only time. Yeah, real plausible explanation.
I think the main problem is that atheists don't even try to understand the first thing about religion and many believers (especially the creationists or intelligent designers) get the bulk of their science education from quacks like Emmanuel Velikovsky.
Furthermore: if there is no God, where do the laws of physics come from, why is the universe rational, and where do natural rights come from? There's your trilemma.
Good news, everybody. Antares 8, my shop at www.cafepress.com/antares8, now has T-shirts that read "Old Socialists Never Die, They Just 'Disappear.'" Get them now!
Also, thanks to the good offices of Amazon.com and the free market, I was able to procure a copy of The Astronaut Farmer on DVD. So my review should be written next week. Trust me, if you haven't seen this movie, you should. It's the quintisessential libertarian movie.
The other day one of my Poets and Poetry of New England classmates was arrested in his dorm. The police apparently waited for him in his room or suite and took him when he got back. They said they had a warrant, but he never saw it. He was taken to the police station and spent most of the night in a cell. Never was he told why he was arrested, why he was in a cell, and he was never charged with anything. The news hits home.
Missing that item of clothing that just screams "freedom?" Check out Antares 8, my new Cafe Press online store. My products feature the green and gold Ama-gi I use as my blog header. Alas I have only managed to make T-shirts, but keep an eye open. Antares 8's website is http://www.cafepress.com/antares8. Check it out!
A copule years ago a book was published called The Lucifer Effect. It recorded a long-running experiment at Stanford University where some students were "prison guards" and other students were "inmates." To make a long storty short, the gaurds basically went power mad and a mini-Abu Gharib ensued. Things got very bad and the experiment was terminated because the "gaurds" were being so violent.
The reason I bring this up is because of all the recent reports about out-of-control police seriously injuring people with tasers, or even this new story about the MIT student with a "fake bomb" at Logan Airport. As mentioned in a previous post, I believe the United States is transforming into a "prison-state." The police are certainly acting like out-of-control prison guards to me.
Newsflash: Government monopoly fails. Again. As usual.
On September 6 I ordered an item of apparel (a Ron Paul t-shirt) online. On the ninth it was shipped via UPS from Ohio to a warehouse in New York City, arriving on the twealth. It has not moved since.
Need we really speculate about why? USPS is not responsible to the consumer, being a government monopoly (our oldest and most maligned, too) it is responsible to the government. To my knowledge only twice in its history has the USPS turned a profit. Every other year Congress has voted money to make up the balance. Think about that. A "business" that's been failing for 232 years. Makes you want to go "wtf?" Congress has legislated restrictions on competitors' pricing. It's outrageous.
Everything I see on Lew Rockwell's site recently reinforces a notion I have been developing. The United States is a police state already and we are moving beyond it to even greater levels of oppression. This new form I like to call a prison state. The prison state is a state where all the citizens' (inmates') activities are carefully controlled, like in prison. A central authority makes all the decisions and regimented life gradually is eroded until one fears freedom and actually wants to be controlled, like ex-cons who commit crimes just to be returned to jail.
It's only a matter of time before the State uses the "environmental crisis" as an excuse to rigidly control all economic activity.
Welcome, everyone, to Marxism-Lennonism, my new blog on the Austrian Network. Now it's my turn to compete in the blog market for your attention, your comments, and the inevitable hate mail. I'm an anarcho-capitalist, I am in the midst of organizing a grassroots movement for Ron Paul in a school with a large number of socialists, the local Republican club proudly boasts to being "cheerleaders of the Empire," I'm majoring in physics, I'm going to be doing fencing, and (hopefully) sketch comedy. So, yeah, it's gonna be a busy year.
P.S. All hate mail can be sent to this address:
Your Local Incinerator
C/O I don't
Anyhoo, as soon as I can rent or purchase a copy I'll be reviewing the classic film The Astronaut Farmer, starring Billy Bob Thornton and Bruce Willis, which I can't believe Lew Rockwell and his bloggers missed.