Archives 2004

Park it and Locke it

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

The custom of reserving the parking space that you shoveled out strikes me as an excellent application of John Locke’s theory of original property acquisition. A parking space on a public street (absent meters and so forth) is common property, but once the owner of a car mixes his or her labor with it, it ...

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Holy grail, holy lawsuit

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

The late Andrew Galambos believed that a person’s ideas were “primary property,” more so than his or her physical possessions. Galambos even contributed a nickel into a trust fund for Thomas Paine’s heirs every time he used the word “liberty” in a lecture, because Galambos believed that Paine had invented it.

Apparently, the authors ...

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The Social Security non-crisis

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

The Left Business Observer debunked the tales of Social Security “crisis” that were circulating back in 1994 and 1998. Now that the Bush administration is pushing Social Security “reform,” wonks closer to the Democratic mainstream, such as Matthew Yglesias and Kevin Drum, have come to the same realization.

If you don’t have the patience ...

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Intellectual profitability

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Philip Greenspun, responding to an UberNerd friend who believes that “if you don’t have a patent you can’t make any money,” observes:

Checking the top 10 out of the Fortune 500 companies, for example, we find Walmart right on top, followed by Exxon Mobil. Except for IBM none of the companies feels like one ...

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Don’t quit your day job, Judge

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Judge Richard Posner (appeals judge on the Seventh Circuit, professor at the University of Chicago) says that it’s OK to fight a preventative war if the expected benefits of the war outweigh the expected costs.

Quick reality check, ladies and gentlemen: when was the last time two countries went to war and both countries’ leaders ...

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More on that “consultants who repeatedly lose” thesis

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Excerpted from a letter to Joshua Micah Marshall:

It’s is a depressing fact that for a candidate to become credible in Democratic politics, they have to hire from among a group of consultants who give them credibility with the fundraisers on K St… It’s the same group of consultants who have been running Dem. campaigns ...

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“Insanity is continuing to do the same things over and over again and expecting a different result.”

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Nineteen November 3rd Theses on the way forward for the Democrats. Highlights:

The 2004 presidential election was not lost by John Kerry over the last several months but by the Democratic Party over the last several decades…

Renovating Democratic politics is not a question of moving to the right or talking more about G–d. It ...

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The cyan and the————-

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Last year, some clever folks at MassINC devised a map, based on demographic data and county-level Presidential election returns, that divided the US into ten regions of roughly equal population. The party that can win six regions can get the White House without resorting to lawsuits. (In 2000, Bush only got five.)

Every time you ...

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The operation was a success, but the patient died

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Remember how, in the second debate, Dubya refused to acknowledge that he had made any mistakes? He’s got his counterparts on the Democratic side, too. According to the New York Times, Kerry adviser Robert Shrum (a gentleman discussed before on this site) “suggested that there was little they could have done differently to change the ...

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Lessons learned, lessons to be taught

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Suppose you’re a teacher, and you give your class a test, and they don’t do as well as you had hoped. Of course, you have to mark which answers are right and which answers are wrong. But grading is not teaching. If you take your craft seriously, you have to pay attention to your students ...

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