Today's resource suggestion is a short and entertainingvideo with a very strong point that is made. I think there may be some metaphysical commitments hiding in the video that I don't agree with, but those disagreements are immaterial to the case presented.
Lots of fire and explosions, some cool engineering, chemistry, and physics. Some decent ideas for someone trying to be secure in their information. I'm not sure what more I need to say to introduce this resource.
Today's resource is something a little less topical and a little more important the the Pope's bad science.
The Tragedy of Enforcement is something that bothered me for the longest time. Even back in my commie days, I was faced with the tragedy of enforcment. For this reason, I was enthralled with cybernetics, as it seemed to be a useful tool for "tricking people into" voluntarily doing "the right thing", so as to avoid turning to the constant use of lethal force and coercion "for the common good". Of course, cybernetics presents its own ethical issues that are far more complex and destructive than even the tragedy of enforcement.
Ultimately, (mostly on my own), I came to realize that there is no solution to the tragedy of enforcment. One must either become a moral nihilist or reject the use of enforcement. This was one of the key elements in my journey to anarchism.
All this is just supposed to contextualize the role that videos like this could have played in my awakening, and may play in that of others.
Everyone should know by now that I'm morally opposed to taxation in all its forms. Many don't quite understand why that is the case, and those that do tend to disagree based on utilitarian reasoning. If someone has seen my arguments on facebook, read this blog, or spoken to me in person for even fifteen minutes, and still do not understand my moral opposition to taxation, there is nothing I can do to help him.
The difficulty with utilitarian justifications (for anything, not just taxation) is that it compartmentalizes individual actions. Why is it moral to abort Hitler but immoral to abort someone else's baby? Why is it immoral to mug a guy in a back-alley (assuming you don't really, really need that money) but it is moral to take a percentage of their hard-earned wages against their will?
Utilitarian thought obfuscates moral and ethical considerations with a certain pragmatic results-oriented thought in which a perceived end can justify any action. One useful tool to double-check utilitarian arguments for rectitude is to find the logical form of the argument being made and replace terms with functionally equivalent terms and see if the argument still matches one's intuition.
Sax and Violence is an excellent, artful, and cogent demonstration of this approach to double-checking a utilitarian argument. There are those out there who will find that both taxes and saxes match their intuition... and those people terrify me. There are those that will discover that both taxes and saxes are counter-intuitive after reading this article, as well. However, it would take an act of willful ignorance to say that one is morally justified whilst the other is not.
You can watch a video that has a reading of the text and a further exploration of the idea, but the audio quality is a little shoddy.
Today's resource isfive minutes of Milton Friedman. It will sound quite familiar to anyone who's been exposed to the propaganda of "American Exceptionalism"... but corrected in some very important ways. There isn't much substance to the five minutes, but it effectively demonstrates the flaws in the rhetoric of "fiscal conservatives" when talking to lefties.
It's actually an excerpt from a series of lectures that became a TV series and a book. I've read parts of the book and seen about half of the TV show, so I can't speak for the whole thing, but I recommend giving them a look, as the parts I have seen are legit. While the five-minute video from today is more rhetoric than substance, the book and the TV series is much more meaty.
Today's resource suggestion is a simple logic test and the explanation concerning the results of that test. "How Logical Are You?" is a short, simple video that explains what amounts to one of the foundations of Bertrand Russel's logic works. These sorts of puzzles ought to be commonly known to people at large as, without them, illogical assumptions and prejudices become the cultural narrative. I'm speaking less about racism and more about the inevitable rise of criminal and misanthropic institutions.
You can find the video here, on YouTube. I got it right. I say this not to brag, but to prove that there is no excuse for not getting it right, if my dumb ass can. If you don't get it right, that's fine; you can learn (with time and effort) how to think logically, too.
The rules to the puzzle may not be very clearly stated. The cards have two sides. The rules concerning "if one side is X, the other side is Y" refers to individual cards, not the set. If you want a clue, I recommend hearkening back to what Karl Popper thinks about knowledge and how one increases certainty..
Also, while it sounds like the video poo-poos inductive reasoning, if you watch it all the way through, they clearly show the utility of induction, even if it isn't logic, per-se.
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.
Today's resource suggestion is an excerpt from Economic Harmonies by Frederic Bastiat.
A 19th-Century philosopher and economist, Bastiat is credited with being one of the chief figures in classical liberalism which is, effectively, the progenitor of libertarianism and, ultimately, modern anarchism.
The excerpt is only 9 pages long, large-type, but it effectively expresses the basis of liberty and of the Anarcho-Capitalist position. The first 8 paragraphs are filled with 19th century talk of God and creation and the created nature of man, but his more concrete observations made in and after these paragraphs can be confirmed and defended by atheists, too.
If reading isn't your forte or you desire a context for this work, I recommend reading Economic Harmonies or listening to/watching this lecture by Tom Woods. It also provides a broader exploration of Bastiat's works, so it can be useful even after reading this excerpt.
After several very serious and life-impacting resource suggestions and some philosophically-involved full posts, I figures a shot, fun, introduction to phenomenology is in order.
Nothing too involved here, just a funny youtube video I found last week. It's funny to people familiar with phenomenology, and may get those unfamiliar with it interested in the field of study.
Today's resource is tied to last week's full post, and relates to future posts on property. It relates to my recent entreaty for prospective Windows 10 users, as well. Today's resource is a long-ish, but important video that gives a great overview on the role technology plays in our lives, the role cryptography plays in that technology, and the ridiculousness of the laws and social constructs we have built around that technology. While his suggested solutions are certainly flawed, at least this guy is willing to address the issues and their existential ramifications.