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Today during a lecture, Professor Thomas DiLorenzo mentioned what he called the "Nirvana fallacy" (which could also be called the "Utopia fallacy"). The idea is that markets will always seem like they're failing when one compares them to Utopia. What one should instead do is compare the current market condition with other possible market conditions. Read more »

Mises University, pt. 1

Mises University has so far been very interesting. The lecturers are all solid on Austrian economics, but so far have covered mostly the foundations, and so haven't managed to lose me yet. Some of the later lectures promise to be challenging and I am looking forward to them. Read more »

Mises U.

Just a quick reminder, Micha and I will be attending the second session of Mises University 2004. If you plan to attend, make sure to talk to us, and if not, we should be writing a few updates on our progress.

Academic Guidance

For those of you wondering what kind of mindset academic success requires, think: What Would Asians Do?

Some people succeed, others fail. There is a reason.

Another Night in Home Park

So there I was, driving way too fast in my little car. I had three friends packed into it. It was late, late at night. I know it was irresponsible to be driving so fast, but it sure was fun. It was a big road near my place, but there were very few cars on it given the hour. We weren't putting anyone in imminent danger; that's how I justify it anyway. Read more »

Get out the shades

We all know the benefits that globalization can bring to the Third World. Quite apart from advancing material and medical standards, which is good in itself, globalization also brings pressure to dictators and backward tribal customs. (That it can also bring increasing demands for the tyranny of the majority is true, but I don't think this is permanent, and it's beyond the scope of these comments anyway.) Read more »


It's not easy being the FDA. As if it weren't hard enough stamping out the potential miracles lurking everywhere, the FDA now has to find the narrow room left by its recent decision to make the American food supply safe from Mad Cow Disease, but not too safe. Read more »

Puzzle of the Day

Who deserts to North Korea? What's wrong with this picture?


Regarding Micha's post below, one point can be elaborated.

Age of consent laws: Call me old-fashioned, but I am not convinced that the average person can consent at 14. Despite being physically ready, said average person is generally not emotionally stable enough or intellectually mature enough for that kind of encounter. The response to this is that many people that age are sexually active, to which I say that I doubt it's a good idea for most of them, even when their partners are not their teachers. Read more »

Figuratively being a nanny state wasn't enough

That's one small step for a family, one giant leap for the nanny state. On July 5, the House of Lords voted in an intrusive, shifty standard concerning "smacking" (we here in America say "spanking"). Where once was "reasonable chastisement" is now "one which is foolishly specific, and just as likely to be abused." Read more »

MAD about the Middle East

Mohamed ElBaradei, the UN's chief nuclear inspector, is now in Israel trying to convince the Israelis to come clean about their nuclear program. Additionally, he also wants a nuclear-free Middle East, and is using this visit to push this second part of his agenda as well. While widely believed to have nuclear weapons, Israel maintains an official silence on the issue, refusing to answer either way. Read more »

The Perversion of the Fourth

As we prepare to celebrate the most important of American holidays, the anniversary of its founding, I have a grievance I'd like to air now. Every year when people should be reflecting on the historical significance of the American idea and the philosophical significance of assigning very narrow limits to hitherto broad government power, they are instead subjected to a lot of military-worship. Playing "God Bless the USA" while adoring images of tanks and fighter jets is not the proper way to celebrate.

This is absurd for three reasons: Read more »

Everything that's wrong with democracy


I saw this poster in the window of a fashionably rebellious store recently. I don't know if its implications occur to other people who see it, but the message is so flagrantly totalitarian that my trained libertarian eye couldn't miss it. Read more »