Archives December 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 ...

Continue reading

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 ...

Continue reading

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 ...

Continue reading

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 ...

Continue reading

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 ...

Continue reading

Daily archives

Previous month

November 2004

Next month

March 2005

Archives