html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: In the queue

Sunday, July 01, 2007

In the queue

Light-hearted rambling description of the wedding. (This'll likely get skipped because I won't be able to remember the chain of thought after a night's sleep.)

The appropriate scope for applying economic theory, and why the environment is outside that scope.

Why a Coasian allocation of property rights wouldn't solve the Klamath conflict.

A more empathetic, but still not sympathetic, post about libertarians.

Speculation for Quirkybook about why Cheney went with the NAS, and whether that was a gamble.

I didn't finish mining that comment for things to make me write incensed posts. Did you want me to keep going with that, or are you tired of it?

A sweet and poignant piece that is still somehow funny, revealing dating secrets to you. Hah hah. Just kidding. It is all natural resources and econ around here these days.

If I left out some aspect of this, lemme know.

17 Comments:

Blogger Aron said...

How about a sweet and poignant piece that is still somehow funny, revealing secrets about the appropriate scope of economic theory?

6:54 AM  
Blogger Dizzy said...

Keep going with the incensed thing. I think liberals NEED to get incensed. Remember when Carter said Bush was the worst president ever and TOOK IT BACK because he didn't want to look mean? Um. No. Look mean. Some things deserve a bit of well-directed, non-personal-attacking ire.

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Peter said...

A more empathetic, but still not sympathetic, post about libertarians.

I wish I knew why so many Libertarians are such total loser nerds. I mean, the men at a Losertarian Party convention make the attendees at a sci-fi convention look like a bunch of winning-barroom-brawls and scoring-with-the-hottest-chix Alpha Male studs. But why?

3:04 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

But Peter, I don't think they are "total loser nerds". The ones I know are social and pleasant. But they have some very strange ideas.

You know that I also don't understand (willfully, because it doesn't accord with what I see) that Alpha male crap, either.

3:40 PM  
Anonymous Peter said...

I don't know many Libertarians, but I know/have known a few, and most of them have been about as social as a concrete block. But, I suppose your mileage may vary. Maybe there are regional differences.

4:47 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Even if you think so, which I don't agree with, affirmative kindness would have you keep that opinion to yourself. I will try to do better as well. When they stop suggesting that my mentality leads directly to fascist regimes. OK! FINE! All the time.

The only exceptions to affirmative kindness (so far) are ex-pats and maybe TV reporters, except that one guy's brother was apparently a really nice TV reporter, so aren't sure about that one yet.

4:57 PM  
Anonymous Peter said...

Sorry Megan, I didn't think I was violating the affirmative kindness policy because I had directed by comments toward a group of people rather than toward specific commentors. I will be more careful in the future.

5:46 PM  
Anonymous ptm said...

I was curious how you'd respond to that comment. Well, I see.

What I don't get about stereotypical libertarians is how the ideas of libertarianism go from wonky technical policy details to ethics. Then again, I haven't read much.

I'm curious what you have to say about why the environment is outside the scope of economic theory. Is it because you think people don't really consider environmental amenities and paychecks in the same units?

5:54 PM  
Anonymous HC said...

I'm with Aron, almost. How about a sweet and poignant piece that is still somehow funny, revealing secrets about the appropriate scope of the economic theory of libertarian dating?

10:14 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

I had directed by comments toward a group of people rather than toward specific commentors

It makes me feel guilty, because I know I set the tone for that. And libertarians should be able to read here without feeling (too) attacked.

I was curious how you'd respond to that comment.

Which comment, ptm? Jan's or that long one from before?

Aron and hc:

I'm not sure I'm that skilled.

10:46 PM  
Blogger Noel said...

Libertarianism seems a curiously American affair (or perhaps I was curiously isolated as a youngster). The idea that government is all bad and should just go away seems:

i) laughable when in the UK, which has had a largely stable government for over 500 years

ii) based in the Pilgrim's rejection of the established authority at the time the American colonies were founded (and no doubt strengthened by the experiences of future immigrants who were in a similar situation)

The above is mostly speculation. I'd be interested in others' opinions on the provenance and attraction of this curious philosophy.

12:56 AM  
Anonymous Peter said...

I'd be interested in others' opinions on the provenance and attraction of this curious philosophy.

I'm not sure this is quite what you asked for, but Steve Sailer has an interesting observation on libertarianism in a recent posting about Robert Heinlein. In discussing the book The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, a perennial favorite of libertarians, he notes:

Moreover, for a work of ideological propaganda, it is clear-eyed about what you'd have to put up with to live in a libertarian society. Without the government to look after you, Heinlein points out that you'd have to make sure you are on very friendly terms with all your neighbors. Extreme neighborliness is a requirement for a libertarian society (Charles Murray reiterated this point in his "What It Means to Be a Libertarian"). Personally, as a surly introvert, the lack of privacy and the social conformity required to function in a stateless society would get on my nerves so bad, that I'd probably make myself a nuisance to all my neighbors, and no doubt they'd be justified in eventually tossing me out an airlock.

Sailer perhaps unwittingly illustrates a serious contradiction at the heart of libertarianism. It will never work in a society full of introverts, yet it appeals mainly to ... introverts. Introverted nerds in particular. In other words, the people for whom libertarianism is least appropriate are the people most likely to be libertarians.

7:57 AM  
Anonymous Ennis said...

Wedding! Or weeding. Either way.

8:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Onion has already dispatched Libertarianism in its pithy style--

Libertarian Reluctantly Calls Fire Department

I vote for a Coasian analysis of dating: search costs, imperfect information, trade secrets, policing and enforcement, etc.

Basically anything polysyllabic and sex related works for me.

One-Day-Off-This-Week Guy

8:47 AM  
Blogger Erik said...

Why does everyone think Libertarianism means the same thing as Anarchism? We don't want no government, we just want less government. In today's world a lot less.

3:57 PM  
Blogger guy said...

Erik: Can you (or another libertarian) identify a necessary, minimum residual libertarian state - one that differentiates you from an anarchist position - then?

ODOTWG: I seriously consider this topic on a regular basis and would be thrilled to see a (series of)post(s) on it.

11:47 PM  
Blogger Erik said...

I think the standard answer is to get rid of all the laws that give the government power not specifically mentioned in the constitution (the elastic clause does not count).

Many libertarians, myself included, think that is going a bit too far, but the long and short is you give the government the ability to provide for the common defense, handle international relations, and guarantee basic human rights (Keeping my neighbors from killing me or stealing my property).

This requires a central authority with real power over citizens. It will certainly require a level of bureaucracy, and it will need to be able to collect taxes in order to support things like police, and the military, but certainly less of both that we currently have.

I don't expect non-libertarians to agree that that system would be better than the one we have now, but educated people should be able to respect the difference between that and anarchy.

5:55 PM  

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