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Shameless Self-promotion Sunday #61

Here's a pretty old post from the blog archives of Geekery Today; it was written about 15 years ago, in 2009, on the World Wide Web.

Happy August, everyone. Remember, Sunday is for Shamelessness.

What have you been up to this week? Write anything? Leave a link and a short description for your post in the comments. Or fire away about anything else you might want to talk about.

12 replies to Shameless Self-promotion Sunday #61 Use a feed to Follow replies to this article · TrackBack URI

  1. Brainpolice

    Some (perhaps somewhat controversial?) thoughts about universality, as it relates to libertarianism and property: http://polycentricorder.blogspot.com/2009/08/universality-isnt-enough.html

    Critisism of Molyneux is pretty old news around my parts, but throwing Rothbard into the list of “targets” (even if it’s mostly indirect) isn’t as common. The overall question isn’t specifically relevant to either of them though.

  2. Brainpolice

    Summary of the points:

    (1) Universality alone as a criteria is insufficient to justify libertarianism. The two main examples given for criticism are Molyneux’s “UPB” and Rothbard’s elimination of the alternatives to “self-ownership”. Also, a brief critique of “self-ownership” as a propertarian misconceptualization of the right of personal sovereignty.

    (2) Universality in property rights (or to put it more accurately, “absolutism in property rights”), in a certain context, defies common sense and sanctions needless death. The two examples here is a scenario that Danny Shahar once presented in a discussion, and Walter Block’s infamous “flagpole scenario”.

  3. Rev. Johnny Lemuria

    I attack a local city council member for extending his little morality crusade from the undocumented and drugs (which was bad enough) to prostitution: http://pleasuresaucer.com/2009/07/carl-mumpower-hates-women-and-wants.html

    I rarely just rip into people like this. Felt kinda good.

  4. Gary Chartier

    The most important thing I tried to do during the week that just concluded? Stay cool. Then, there was finishing season 2 of Mad Men on DVD. And making a variety of improvements to The Conscience of an Anarchist, thanks to some useful feedback, while continuing to work on finding an agent. And did I mention trying to avoid the heat?

  5. Darian

    I’ve been doing some research related to my upcoming novel Trade War. Also some blogging. How Borders Work, my favorite post of this week, was inspired by a video of Israeli soldiers gassing Palestinians for trying to cross a line.

  6. littlehorn

    Thanks Darian. Actually, securing the borders is logically impossible, as Sheldon said once, because the act of entering happens outside of the jurisdiction of the state. We’re seeing just this in Calais with the double extension of English sovereignty in some town whose name I forgot, and French sovereignty in the town of Dover. [May I say that our group needs money ?]

    As a strange result, in order to enforce the borders, over and above natural rights, the state has to violate them, extending its jurisdiction where it shouldn’t be able to, that is, outside the supposedly sacro-sanct borders.

  7. MBH

    Ah shamelessness:

    I attempted to defend Mr. Obama’s prerequisite of empathy in judgment. My proof went like this:

    (1) Independence of judgment presupposes freedom of thought.

    (2) Freedom of thought presupposes the ability to shift perspectives.

    (3) The ability to shift perspectives presupposes empathy.

    Therefore, (4) Independence of judgment presupposes empathy.

    This proof was challenged on the grounds that (3) was incorrect, or at least incomplete. The first objection was this:

    Call me a bone-headed rationalist, but I think one can shift perspectives, and support ideas opposing those originally subscribed to with intellect alone.

    I responded this way:

    I don’t think that supporting opposed ideas entails shifting perspectives. For instance, I believe that 2 + 2 = 4, and I can imagine that 2 + 2 = 5 (if we’re talking about a rope with 2 knots being knotted to another rope with two knots, then we’ve got 5 knots total). But that’s shifting reference not perspective.

    I was pushed on whether the difference between reference and perspective was relevant. I went this route on Friday:

    The objection boils down to whether or not there’s a significant difference between a ‘frame of reference’ and a ‘perspective’.

    I think that what these words mean overlap in several ways. But I think it’s an overstatement to consider the difference purely — or mostly, for that matter — terminological.

    When we talk about a ‘frame of reference’, we usually mean something like a particular context. When we talk about a ‘perspective’, we usually mean something like what it feels like in another person’s skin. The difference is not semantics.

    Shifting contexts is something a sociopath could easily do. Shifting perspectives is not.

    Whether or not you believe that law should be monopolized by the state, I would hope we can all agree that — even in a polycentric legal system — empathy is, amongst other things, a necessity in proper judgment.

  8. littlehorn

    Well it was easier than I thought. Calais itself.

  9. johnnyboy

    Who new software piracy would be funny.

    Check out the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVHhuTUp_30.

    The pic of the “pirate” with the popsicle is priceless.

  10. John Markley

    I wrote an article for the upcoming issue of Kush LA about the war on alleged prescription painkiller abuse and the persecution of doctors and chronic pain sufferers. It should be online soon, and if you’re in the Los Angeles area you can get a free hard copy this month.

  11. Life, Love, and Liberty


    Blackwater CEO implicated in murder! Breaking news!

  12. Life, Love, and Liberty

    I wrote about my time in Chicago here: http://libertarianleft.freeforums.org/my-time-in-chicago-t459.html

    I will have to deal with some class issues amongst the participants. I’ll be writing to one of them with thoughts of my own and a brief citation of another person’s work:

    “The LP hosts its conventions according to the cultural rules of the successful, powerful, and mainstream. As a result the movement attracts and promotes successful, powerful, and mainstream people all out of proportion to their numbers among people of libertarian sentiments. I know lots of sex workers, for instance, who lean libertarian. I know one African-American Pagan sex worker who is a fan of Ayn Rand. Guess whatm they have no use for the movement as it is. Why could that be, I wonder?

    I think many in the established party like holding conventions in ways that exclude riff-raff like us. Strange. I thought we were fighting for everyone’s individual rights, including the riff raff. I also thought the libertarian movement needs all the support it could get.”


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