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Category Archive for 'A-D'

It is obviously extremely hard to pin down a solid figure for how many people are going to be displaced due to the challenges posed by a warming planet. But virtually every publication I have read on the challenges of global warming rank the issue of “climate refugees” as both a serious political and economic […]

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Gifts are the original sin of commerce. My theory is that this is why “the gift economy” is so cherished by critics of anonymous, ephemeral, market exchange. Market exchanges allow us to free ourselves from the power that our families and others exercise over us. The wider the extent of market competition, the less we […]

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In thinking about arguments that I have heard made against the NSA’s PRISM program (this program is basically the limitless power the NSA seems to be exercising in collecting an ungodly amount of information, without warrant, from all Americans’ use of the internet), a little conundrum came to mind. One of the things the NSA […]

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Yes, I am now becoming an internet meme where basically anything and everything can be tied into climate change. I’d like to make a few short observations today. What happened to the climate change discussion? It really does seem to be low-level background noise. My advice to those people who are posting regularly about the […]

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I’m getting too used to Twitter, so the idea of a full-length blog post is less attractive today than in the past. On the other hand, a solid blog post probably has a lot more influence today than it did at the height of blogging before social media really kicked into gear. I wanted to […]

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I have this really uneasy feeling these days. That uneasy feeling is coming from the people who are trying to convince me that one of the more serious existential threats we face is the possibility of dangerous, runaway AI. I get it, I do. We were having a discussion of Asimov’s i,Robot the other day. […]

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It seems to me that most anti-market voices actually DO understand and appreciate the “virtues” of competition. My sense is that they only see the force of competition working in some places and not others. Think of the fears that some people have from open immigration. Think of the fears people have with the “deskilling” […]

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A particularly thorny philosophical problem for limited government classical liberal types is that while they want to see voluntary exchanges and private property governing as many human interactions as is “reasonable”, they typically leave it to the state to defend property rights and handle contracting disputes and third party spillovers. You can see the problem […]

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What Do We Do When We Get There?

The problems of nation-building on Earth sound pretty similar to the challenges of settling space: The authors are blind to the vision of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, the prophet who started thinking seriously about space 150 years ago. Tsiolkovsky saw the future of space as a problem of biology rather than as a problem of engineering. He […]

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Well, I can’t talk about it. But let me suggest one or two things to keep in mind. I feel like some part of the campus conservative movement is, itself, to blame for this. I know, I sound like blaming the victim, but my sense is that they are inviting controversial speakers to campus not […]

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