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Separated at Birth?

Ayn Rand.jpg

The Problem with Fairness

When people say they are for "fair" prices or "fair" trade, what do they mean? Is there an objective conception of fairness or does it differ from person to person?

Steven E. Landsburg illustrates the dilemma with a parable: Read more »

Nonobvious way to commit a crime and get away with it

Eugene Volokh makes an interesting bleg request:

For my "Crime-Facilitating Speech" article, I'm looking for an example of a novel (or a movie or other work of entertainment) that describes, (1) in detail (2) a nonobvious way to (3) particularly effectively commit a crime or escape detection for one's crime, and that is (4) a famous work, or one written by a famous author.

Human Action, not Human Experimentation

Apropos to Jonathan's recent post on global warming and the scientific method, Arnold Kling points to this piece on the Great Depression by Thomas Sowell. An excerpt:

Negative and Positive Compassion?

I'm still trying to wrap my head around this Crooked Timber post by Chris Bertram. Chris asks an interesting question: why do "compassionate conservatives" and other non-egalitarians reject compassion in the sphere of social welfare policy, but accept - and even demand - compassion in the realm of judicial sentencing? Read more »

What's next, Shmaltz Liquor?

From the department of Why Didn't I Register That Trademark? comes,


Make sure to check out the video Two Jews Walk Into a Bar...

Quote of the Century

The twentieth century was one in which limits on state power were removed in order to let the intellectuals run with the ball, and they screwed everything up and turned the century into an abattoir?We Americans are the only ones who didn't get creamed at some point during all of this. We are free and prosperous because we have inherited political and value systems fabricated by a particular set of eighteenth-century intellectuals who happened to get it right. But we have lost touch with those intellectuals.

The gay marriage debate

This week is Georgia Tech Coming Out Week. In honor of this event, and in my role as chairman of the College Libertarians at Georgia Tech, I participated in a debate this morning on "The Future of Gay Marriage" and the impact of Lawrence v. Texas. Other groups participating were the College Republicans and the College Democrats. Read more »

The bling-bling lobby

Another post on campaign finance reform? Or has Eminem finally bribed Joe Lieberman, John McCain, Lynn Cheney, and other Capitol Hill busybodies to STFU about rap music poisoning our children's innocent little ears? Read more »

Krugman redeems himself

Paul Krugman is the man the conservative/libertarian side of the blogosphere loves to hate, but occasionally, he writes an article like today's "Lumps of Labor" and all must be forgiven. Read more »

Kill the Golden Goose

In an otherwise agreeable post on the problems with campaign finance reform, Matthew Yglesias (partially) misses the boat:

What I'd like to see are measures that would reduce the demand for campaign money by providing generous public financing and free airtime and such.

Simultaneous viewpoints

Reader Mike answers my picture riddle in the comments section below,

Both have simultaneous viewpoints. In the first, the reflection is a real part of the scene, and in the second, we see all three directions at once. The birdlike figure in the center seems to be looking at us. Perhaps you're suggesting that all viewpoints are equally valid?

He's on the right track...

Timothy Sandefur writes, Read more »

Escher as impartial spectator

What do these two M.C. Escher works have in common?


What can they teach us about how to approach politics, ethics, and religion?

Am I a reactionary?

I've never understood the term "reactionary" as it is used by self-described "progressives" to label those with whom they disagree. Is any response to an argument necessarily reactionary? Are only those responses which intend to maintain the status quo reactionary? Are only those responses which intend to revert to a previous state of being reactionary? Or does the term mean something entirely different? Read more »