03 Nov 2014

Last Call for Acton Institute Lecture

Money, Shameless Self-Promotion 7 Comments

Just a reminder, tomorrow (Tuesday) I’ll be giving a 12pm lecture on “sound money” at the Acton Institute. It’s my first time and the place is really impressive (I toured it today). If you’re in the Grand Rapids area, come check it out. Much better use of your time than voting.

02 Nov 2014

Trusting in the Lord Rather than the King

Religious 4 Comments

In church today we covered this neat passage regarding Ezra’s leading people back to Jerusalem:

21 There, by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions. 22 I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to protect us from enemies on the road, because we had told the king, “The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him, but his great anger is against all who forsake him.” 23 So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer.

I recognize that historically the State has often used religion to prop itself up, but that’s not an accurate interpretation of the Bible. A major theme of the book, running from start to finish, is that the faithful will look to God for their security, not earthly riches or rulers.

01 Nov 2014

Liberty Lovers Have Two Years

Big Brother, Shameless Self-Promotion 117 Comments

I realized that a lot of my recent YouTube postings have been karaoke videos. I decided to throw some red meat to the true fans.

01 Nov 2014

Potpourri

Potpourri 5 Comments

==> An oldie (1936!) but goodie: Albert Jay Nock on ignoring the masses and catering to the Remnant.

==> Some of you may be interested in this podcast put out by one of the pastors at my church.

==> Before the 2008 election, I asked Obama supporters to list things that would make them regret it. This guy responded, and so did Andrew Sullivan (though I can’t dig up the link now–he mentioned me by name if any of you want to look). Interesting stuff.

==> A Freakonomics podcast on the vampire econ book co-edited by Glen Whitman, my micro TA at NYU.

==> Alex Tabarrok says that I will not be going to the Moon anytime soon.

31 Oct 2014

IPCC to Emphasize New Marketing Campaign

Climate Change, Shameless Self-Promotion 7 Comments

My latest at IER. An excerpt:

As [the interventionists] themselves are now admitting, the actual situation is much more nuanced, showing that the critics had a point all along. Originally the case for government restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions was portrayed as a “no-brainer” akin to changing the oil in your car, but now the analogy has shifted to buying fire insurance on your house. That shift in the rhetoric is very revealing: Years ago, aggressive government policies were not originally sold to the public as a form of insurance, because such language reveals the inherent uncertainty in the predictions of extreme loss.

30 Oct 2014

Potpourri

Potpourri 49 Comments

==> Richard Tol on the “97% consensus” climate change survey.

==> Tom Woods has a great great podcast on Aquinas’ argument for God. Note: Neither Aquinas, nor any serious theologian, argued that, “Everything has a cause, therefore God.” That sounds boring? OK fine, Tom also specifically addresses the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

==> Richard Ebeling has a nice post on Israel Kirzner, who is shown teaching with Audio/Visual aids.

==> Joe Salerno discusses the NJ politicians arguing about the gold standard (!).

==> When he’s not in “office,” Alan Greenspan goes back to being a good economist.

==> My colleagues at IER put out this informative post on oil prices and production.

30 Oct 2014

New MLI Study on Carbon Tax Swap

Climate Change, Shameless Self-Promotion 3 Comments

Long-time readers have seen most of this before, but this is something I wrote for a Canadian outlet that was released today.

29 Oct 2014

Daniel Dennett’s “User Illusion”

All Posts 20 Comments

Back when I was a materialist, I loved Daniel Dennett’s theory that consciousness was an evolutionarily driven “user illusion.” Gene Callahan actually pulled me out of that by asking the simple question: Who is the user being fooled?

Gene’s question was so poignant that it either was devastating (if you agree with him) or childish (if you disagree with him). That’s how those one-sentence put-downs work.

Well, I still like Gene’s critique, but how do you square it with this? I have had many dreams over the years in which I’m effectively watching a movie (or a TV show), and there’s a surprise ending. Most nightmares are like this, but it’s not just nightmares; I’ve “watched” really entertaining dreams with an ending I didn’t see coming.

So, what the heck is going on there? However you explain it, I think it makes Dennett’s theory of consciousness a lot more attractive, after all.