So, keep your eyes on www.madphilosopher.xyz/ for future posts and exciting news.
I recently acquired a new domain and host for the MadPhilosopher blog. I'm trying to get it all set up and teach myself wordpress along the way. So, for this week, I won't be posting daily resource suggestions. I hope to still get a main post out at the end of this week, though, and I will likely be posting it on both this site, and the new site.
So, keep your eyes on www.madphilosopher.xyz/ for future posts and exciting news.
I have a lot of notes pertaining to Utopianism. As a disillusioned and reformed utpoian (of the communist persuasion), I find it important to make a compelling and expansive case against utopia and the evils committed in the pursuit of such. I came across this gem a while back while looking for material related to the subject.
This article on "Libertopia" is a very good precursor to a post I hope to get in before December concerning utopiainism and all of the difficulties with such a pursuit. Anyone who thinks anarchism is inherently utpoian does not understand utopia and does not understand anarchism. This article does a good job of clearing up those issues.
A short post on Forbes' website, this resource suggestion points out one of the fundamental flaws in Keynesianism. I'm not sure there's much more that needs to be said.
I guess for those not familiar with economics, Keynesianism is the mainstream, government-funded, form of economics that most people hear when listening to financial news or reports from the FED. This is opposed to the Chicago school which is semi-scientific or the Austrian school which is grounded in the scientific discipline of praxeology.
You'll have to forgive the landing page/popup ad at the start, I can't seem to find a way around it.
About once a month, someone who knows me (usually from the summer camp I used to work at) asks me, "how can a Catholic be an anarchist?" I usually use this prompt as a pretense for reuniting with old friends, catching up, and seeking out a novel perspective on my beliefs. It's interesting to see how much and how little my beliefs and the beliefs of my friends have changed over time.
Given the Church's history of manipulating politics, choosing and overthrowing kings, burning "heretics" at the stake, and attempting to dictate the very nature of the universe, it would make sense, at face value, that an anarchist would reject the Church as just another state. I have a few blog posts waiting in the wings that address these issues but, for now, I will call upon the work of others to begin the discussion.
What's important is holding the Church to the moral standard set out by it's philosophy. Where I can reject the government of Empire (the USA) based on the philosophy enumerated and expressed in the Constitution and the actions of the "Founding Fathers", that same opportunity is drastically diminished, if not impossible, with regards to the Church.
This article begins to explore this reality.
Today's resource suggestion is a tool that I use about three-to-five times a week. Or, rather, an article about an invaluable tool. This article is an excellent discussion concerning the nature of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Covering the methods, philosophy, and history behind the encyclopedia, the author explores why the SEP is the high-water mark of internet culture and it's role in society.
The author also addresses the strengths and weaknesses concerning the SEP, when compared to other resources such as Wikipedia. Addressing nearly every aspect of the SEP, this article is very useful in explaining how it works and why... unfortunately, they do not appreciate the fact that the SEP is currently funded by theft. In a free world, either private universities would be sustaining the SEP or, more likely, the SEP would be supported by private benefactors or hosted on MaidSafe, sustaining itself.
True to form, as a "philosophical encyclopedia", the SEP covers a wide array of subjects, many of which pertain to the daily life of non-philosophers. I have recently begun linking to SEP articles in my main blog posts, as it has come to my attention that I'm using vocabulary words that normal people have a hard time grasping. It seems to have helped at least a couple of my readers, and I think the SEP can help everyone understand the world a little bit better.
Time for a little change of pace. Usually my resources are directly related to philosophy or anarchy in some way. This one, though, has more do do with living intentionally.
This Blog Post, "10 Types of Odd Friendship You're Probably Part Of", is an excellent primer for paying attention to one's relationships. It's an important skill to have if one wishes to live a secure and fulfilling life.
There is certainly more that should be said concerning the nature of one's long-lasting friendships and the circumstances in which one forms said friendships. Such a discussion would necessarily concern itself with the nature of family/tribal life, education vs. school, and other anarchist talking points, but this article itself rightly chooses to give a very high-altitude normative statement.
This list is really fun and astute, especially when coupled with the "Does This Friendship Make Sense?" chart. I kinda' hope the author produces a sequel, as there are plenty more weird friendships that may not be the healthiest kind (depending on the circumstance).
For instance the "I stole you from your former friend" friendship. One in which you were introduced by a mutual friend and promptly forgot your mutual friend in favor of the new one, which could create tension in your new relationship, especially if you frequently find yourselves in a group with the original friend.
Or another one would be the "weird breakup friend" friendship. One in which there is an unresolved sexual/romantic issue in a small group. For instance, a semi-successful attempt at "we can still be friends", or "those two were going out, but they broke up and both still want to be in the group, but without the other one", or "we both slept with him/her and have some of his/her dirty laundry and need to keep it secret from the group. Such Drama, Much Immature, Wow.
It's been a while since I've blatantly ripped off Tom Woods. Today is a good day to do so, though. Today's recommendation is Atlas MD.
"How would medicine possibly help the 'underprivileged' without socialist, nationalized healthcare?" Dr. Josh Umbehr, from Kansas, has a demonstrable and tested solution to just such a question. A thorough but simple exploration of his model of free (in the liberty sense, not monetary sense, but it's pretty damn close to no-cost) medicine recently appeared in Tom Woods Show Episode 481.
A project as simple and ambitious as Atlas MD is going to take some time to gain momentum, but the numbers recounting his success don't lie. His primary project is upholding the Hippocratic Oath while his secondary project is to encourage other physicians to do the same.
If people become more aware of this revolutionary approach of "charge a reasonable price and allow the market to do it's job" and ask for it, medicine may become a respectable career choice by the end of my lifetime.
AtlasMD has a podcast feed, blog, and a page oriented at helping other doctors join the free market. I strongly recommend that you listen to the podcast episode, and then talk to your primary care physician about it (and maybe ask about bitcoin, as well; my doctor takes it, and so should yours).
After nearly a week of silence, I have more suggestions and I will have a full post out this weekend.
Today, I recommend this short piece about effective charity work. It's published by Philanthropy Roundtable, an organization focused exclusively on researching and promoting effective charity work. While their work sometimes borders on leftism and puritanism, depending on the author and editor, there is a lot of good work and truth that comes out of the Philanthropy Roundtable. I have only recently discovered this website, but I have found a lot of support for arguments I have been making for a good time now, and some food for thought concerning things I haven't considered before.
I don't agree with everything on the site, or even in today's suggested article, But it certainly has more to work with than what I hear most often... and I work for the world's most prolific and successful charitable organization. Just think what could happen in the Catholic Church if they were to approach the corporal works of mercy from an angle that has been empirically shown to be more effective than an 1,500 year old socialist welfare program.
Work is the Best Charity for the Poor Presents an argument that resolves many of the issues I have had with missionary work upon my return from Mexico and closely parallels my understanding of prisons and exile in a free society, which will be an upcoming full-post.
More economics, today; sorry people. As my more recent full posts have demonstrated, I find the influence of economics on every aspect of daily life to be unavoidable. Many people do not understand the relationship between economic principles and daily life, let alone how insidious the manipulations of the economically-minded can be with regards to individual flourishing.
For instance, many people claim that "Without government, there would be no way to be certain that our alcohol isn't poisoned." Interestingly enough, with government, we can be certain that our alcohol will be poisoned. By law, any drinkable alcohol (ethanol) that isn't explicitly approved for drinking (and taxed at the designated rate for drinking alcohol) must be poisoned so as to prevent arbitrage between affordable alcohol and artificially inflated drinking alcohol prices. This is actually the case in almost every consumer good industry. Industrial plastics vs. Dental plastics, and now even software that is designed to stop working at different points in time for different consumers are other prime examples.
I recommend, today, that one watch this video in order to get the basics on what price discrimination actually is, from an economics standpoint, and then read this article about the social impact government involvement in such practices has.
Windows 10 is great,as long as you fix it first. And by "fix", I mean "turn everything off."
Microsoft has a tendency to build a decent system, and then heap mountains of bullshit on top of it, turn it on by default, and charge you for it. More concerning than your machine doing things that you don't know about, or Microsoft trying to charge you for it, is the reality that each one of these settings presents a serious security risk.
Even though everyone knows why security is important (even if they choose to ignore them), it's important to remind people that even if you've got a boring vanilla machine that you use exclusively for words processing and email, these security risks open ones machine to being used by malicious crackers for whatever nefarious purposes. I am occasionally called upon to help people get a machine running after it bogs down or breaks... every time, it's so riddled with bitcoin miners for ISIS, data miners from the NSA, ad/spyware for evil corporations, tor nodes and proxy gateways... and any one of these things can, if the government so chooses, get one landed in prison or killed.
So, in a manner of speaking, making sure you don't use the default settings on Windows 10 is a life-or-death situation. Here's a handy guide to at least pretend you're being cautious.
And here's a short song about just one of the many ill-advised portions of the License Agreement: