02 Sep 2014


Potpourri 16 Comments

==> Fermilab is going to find out if we’re living in a giant hologram. I suspect we are, and that the discussions in the comments of the posts here are some alien’s idea of a sick joke.

==> If you don’t like the USA, then you can just lea–oh.

==> I didn’t even bother reading the “libertarian moment” stuff, spawned by a NYT article, because I knew it would be painful. But I *did* read Lew Rockwell’s take on it, and agreed.

==> The real lesson in this video compilation of old commercials is that the food companies pick our future celebrities. These are the real puppet masters in our society.

==> Every once in a while it’s fun to read Salon and remember how a lot of people really just have no idea how capitalism works. In this case, a hilarious warning about Uber–it must be stopped before it’s too late! (HT2 Tyler Cowen)

==> Bryan Caplan raises an interesting question about weather forecasts, but someone in the comments explains it. Neat stuff. (Hint: Apparently the commercial forecasters provide “percentages” not based on accuracy but on how it will best help viewers. People who like science will probably be horrified at the market, but people who like markets will think it’s awesome.)

==> The best part of this Army Times article is its opening description of the new enemy they face: “When the Army looks to the future, it sees cities. Dense, sprawling, congested cities where criminal and extremist groups flourish almost undetected by authorities, but who can influence the lives of the population while undermining the authority of the state.”

16 Responses to “Potpourri”

  1. gienon says:

    “It will also dump them (workers) entirely in a nanosecond when self-driving cars prove that they are cheaper and safer.”


    • Scott D says:

      I really don’t understand why some people go to the bother of writing an entire article, when simply typing the words, “I have no understanding of economics, but capitalism bad!” would accomplish the same thing.

    • Scott D says:

      Also, to your point, self-driving cars are going to present a huge disruption in about 5-10 years. I find it really funny that this guy thinks that only an “evil”: company like Uber would ever replace their drivers with autonomous vehicles. As it is, assuming Uber is still around, he’ll probably blame them for forcing everyone else to change.

  2. Tel says:


    Australia is sending that stack of Polish AK47’s (the stuff everyone has laying around their back room for obvious reasons) into Iraq, to be handed to the Kurdish Peshmerga, supposedly after inspection and approval from the Shiite government in Baghdad.

    Anyone want to start a book on where those things actually end up?

    • Bob Roddis says:

      As Hayek taught us, government officials naturally have superior knowledge and insight compared with ordinary mundane humans.


      • Cosmo Kramer says:

        When government buys munitions and gives them to Muslim fighters, it is giving the military industrial complex income. the M.I.C. then spends it and then it is in your pockets!!!!!!

        Sounds like a win-win, no?


        we need to send 1.1T of weapons to Iraq, Israel, Ukraine, and Syria NOW. OUR standard of living depends on it.


        • Philippe says:


          maybe instead we should build a whole new generation of thermonuclear missiles, and then shoot them all in one go straight at Russia. Win Win.

          • Tel says:

            Ever war monger seems to think the next big push is going to be decisive victory for himself. Sure there will be some innocents killed but the “enemy” will be defeated forever!

            If only the lot of them could simultaneously wipe each other out it would really be a great win win for the rest of us.

          • Cosmo Kramer says:

            My sarcasm implied no such thing. 🙂

  3. JimS says:

    It comes as news to me some of the people in the commercials are famous.

    Why are they considered embarrassing.? Why wasn’t Dustin Hoffman’s Volkswagon spot in there? Did he ever find the engine?

  4. Cosmo Kramer says:

    I wanted to quote the wrong/silly parts of the Salon article and rebut it………. but quoting the entire thing seemed silly.

  5. Bogart says:

    OMG, Uber is actually making a profit by satisfying those awful consumers who can find Taxi rides or who want to pay god forbid lower prices than a legal monopoly provider.

    What is not mentioned in the article is that Uber and Lyft and others are finding ways to use previously idle resources. This makes the whole world wealthier.

    • K.P. says:

      Even taxi drivers?

      • Scott D says:

        A quick peek at salary.com indicates that the median salary of taxi drivers generally vs. Uber drivers is pretty comparable, around 30k per year.

        Also, the barrier to entry in heavily-regulated markets like NYC (where taxi medallions trade for about $1 million) is removed, allowing many more people to participate in the market if they so choose.

        • K.P. says:

          I’m just taking cheap shots at Bogart’s wording here, Scott. He’s definitely correct.

          Medallion drivers and owners stand to lose a lot and the sooner they do the better.

      • Ken B says:

        Good point. Taxi drivers with medallions will lose out most likely. But prospective taxi drivers now debarred from taxi driving win. Customers win. Most economists can set up some sort of integral or cost benefit analysis and reach a justifiable conclusion. Austrians deny that can be done so they must make dogmatic arguments. That is why they routinely misstate them, as you just noticed: because dogmatic arguments seem stronger that way.

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