Sunday, April 27, 2008

Oh to be stuck with Jerimiah

Doing Dylan a good turn, the ballad of Obama.

Hat tip: Instapundit.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Reflection on the afterlife

Browsing through Cicero's Selected Works offers a moment to reflect on the soul that always moves.
It is by these means, my dear Scipio,-for you said that you and
Laelius were wont to express surprise on this point, -that my old age sits lightly on me, and is not only not oppressive but even delightful. But if I am wrong in thinking the human soul immortal, I am glad to be wrong; nor will I allow the mistake which gives me so much pleasure to be wrested from me as long as I live. But if when dead, as some insignificant philosophers think, I am to be without sensation, I am not afraid of dead philosophers deriding my errors. Again, if we are not to be immortal, it is nevertheless what a man must wish-to have his life end at its proper time. For nature puts a limit to living as to everything else. Now, old age is as it were the playing out of the drama, the full fatigue of which we should shun, especially when we also feel that we have had more than enough of it.

This is all I had to say on old age. I pray that you may arrive at it, that you may put my words to a practical test.

Authors at Google, my recommendation

A delightful lecture from John Searle on a weighty topic: free will.

Here's a recommended interview from REASON magazine in 2000.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Neoliberalism is not a failure but a starting point

What happens when you go overboard and criticize free trade and open markets without any sound basis in history? You look mostly like a fool. Protectionism never works no matter how Hamiltonian you make it look. James Surowiecki takes apart the Chang counterfactual.
At the same time, though, Bad Samaritans is not ultimately convincing, particularly when it comes to the solutions it proffers. In part, that’s because Chang’s definition of what matters in an economy is strangely narrow, focused almost entirely on some Platonic notion of the “nation” rather than on the people who actually live in it. There are few businessmen, few workers, and almost no consumers in Bad Samaritans: Individuals appear mainly as factors in a nation’s productive enterprises. Now, in one respect, this is not surprising: Macroeconomists write about macroeconomies, and the nation-state remains, even in the age of globalization, a fundamental economic unit. But Chang’s resolutely statist vision of the world necessarily leads him to under­estimate the costs and overrate the benefits of protectionism.
Meanwhile, some of us should take a cue from the estimable Russ Nelson. There's a reason America's the freest country on earth.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The lounge singer is back!

The return of Silvio -- so much for the Communists in Italy!

Big Media is getting smaller, is this good?

Is this good news? The cutbacks in the newsroom are hardly a good thing for an informed citizenry. However, it may be time for the media to ask if its collective end product is really useful to how people live their lives each day. One more thought for the day: Isn't it time we close down journalism schools?