20 Jul 2014

Hello! McFly!

Religious 12 Comments

I realize I am hardly unique in this observation, but it astonishes me when I think back to how naive and clueless I was, growing up. The things I feared, the people I tried to impress, the reckless decisions I made, the people I foolishly trusted, the times I shied away from doing what I knew was right…

When I go down this path, I often wonder whether “Future Bob” could have changed things. If only Present Bob could go back in time and have a talk with High School Bob or College Bob, wow the things I could tell him. Think about it: With the possible exception of my son, there is nobody to whom I would have given more careful, loving, and excellent advice, than my (say) 20-year-old self, from my current vantage point.

Yet here’s the kicker: What if right now, I got a knock on my door, and there was Future Bob? Even if he spent 30 minutes convincing me beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was legitimate, and even if I could agree with him that he had my best interest at heart, and that he had an unbelievable advantage over me in knowing the effects of various courses of action I am currently considering…would I still unconditionally obey him?

No, I don’t think I would. And by the same token, I think High School Bob would say, “Thanks for the advice, but I think I’m still doing it this way. And, uh, holy cow what happened to your hair and weight?”

If any of this made you chuckle, I have one last observation: Even Bible-believing Christians often willfully disobey what they know God wants them to do. As Goldmember would ask, “Ishn’t zhat veird?”

19 Jul 2014

Continuing My Chats With Noah Smith

Austrian School, Noah Smith, Shameless Self-Promotion 88 Comments

Since some of you asked, I deliver. An excerpt:

Now in all seriousness, Noah is actually a really sharp guy. The problem is that he’s JUST SO SURE the Austrian contribution to recent debates is so absurd, that he doesn’t even try to understand where we’re coming from. He’s like the patronizing police psychologistSilberman interviewing Kyle Reese in the first Terminator movie: “This is great stuff. I could make a career out of this guy! You see how clever his part is? How it doesn’t require a shred of proof? Most paranoid delusions are intricate, but this is brilliant!” Needless to say, with an attitude like that, Noah is just as oblivious to the dangers facing us, even though he (just like Dr. Silberman) no doubt thinks he’s being very scientific in his handling of my unorthodox claims.

19 Jul 2014


Potpourri, Shameless Self-Promotion 2 Comments

==> The rise of Queen Tatiana… (Come hear her perform in Nashville before she declares herself Empress.)

==> People like to show videos of bullies/thieves “getting theirs” from somebody with a gun, but I prefer this “Les Mis”-esque story of mercy infinitely more.

==> This lady can defeat Ninjas. If you get bored skip a few minutes into the video.

==> Popular Science reviews Porcfest. No mention of me, which is odd for an empirical publication.

==> If this story is accurate, the US “justice system” is even more screwed up than you probably realize.

==> My take on Australia’s carbon tax repeal.

19 Jul 2014

Just to Be Sure Billy Joel Hates Libertarians

Bitcoin, karaoke 4 Comments

A new video featuring “Bitcoin Girl”:

And my own efforts from last year, on a much lower budget:

17 Jul 2014

Krugman’s Kontortions on France

Krugman, Shameless Self-Promotion 41 Comments

I really wasn’t looking to ding him; I was just doing background to give context to Veronique de Rugy’s interview with Tom Woods. But as I summarized on Twitter: “Krugman: French economy in ’13 shows tax hikes not bad. French economy in ’14 shows austerity awful.” Details here.

17 Jul 2014

The REAL War on Women

Shameless Self-Promotion 12 Comments

My latest at LibertyChat. Excerpts:

Last night I attended the Nashville chapter of “Liberty on the Rocks.” The guest speaker was Maggie McNeill, who runs the blog “The Honest Courtesan” which has the subtitle: “Frank commentary from a retired call girl.” I’m sure many readers might read such a description and have a flood of assumptions, but I must report that McNeill was very eloquent in her talk, and made many points quite similar to standard libertarian ones on drug decriminalization.

In conclusion, I would urge readers to consider that government efforts to help young women avoid exploitation in the sex trade may actually be placing them in much greater physical and emotional danger. The last group in the world you want helping desperate women are government officials with guns and cages.

17 Jul 2014

An Honest Comment

All Posts No Comments

From Daniel Usher’s comments on a paper by Kenneth Arrow (both contained in the 1982 Resources for the Future collection, Discounting for Time and Risk in Energy Policy):

“I should confess at once that I do not follow Arrow’s mathematics in detail. Though I think I understand what Arrow is doing, I cannot check his computations and would not be able to spot a mistake; I take it on faith that Arrow’s conclusions follow from him premises.”

The rest of his Comment was pretty good, too.

17 Jul 2014

Such Clever Young Boys

Noah Smith 98 Comments

…we economics bloggers are. Noah Smith had a slow news day and responded to me on the “brain worms” stuff. Perhaps I’ll respond, only for the sports entertainment angle.

In the meantime, Twitter is my new medium:

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