Friday, 24 August 2012

FRIDAY MORNING RAMBLE: “An Explosion of interest in Ayn Rand”

imageYes, the nomination of Paul Ryan for US VP has caused an explosion of interest in Ayn Rand—if not an explosion of knowledge about what she actually stood for—an explosion such that even the BBC (the BBC!) the New York Times (the Times!!) and The Guardian (The Bloody Guardian FFS!!!!) are running stories sympathetic to her thinking.

Can’t be a bad thing. Especially when you see the New York Times in the position of defending Ayn Rand in order to burn Paul Ryan at the stake of inconsistency!

Even Paul Krugman has to have a go.

As Harry Binswanger told his email list, “The bad news is that I can no longer keep up with all the articles on Ayn Rand on the web and in the media. The good news is that I can longer keep up with all the articles on Ayn Rand on the web and in the media. Things are changing. “

Yes, they are.

imageAtlas Spurned – Jennifer Burns, NEW YORK TIMES
Randier Than Thou – James Taranto, WALL STREET JOURNAL [comments]
Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged: a paean to American liberty – Don Watkins, THE GUARDIAN [comments]
Does America Need Ayn Rand or Jesus? – Onkar Ghate, FOX NEWS
Ryan, Rand and rights – Don Watkins, DAILY CALLER
Ayn Rand: Why is she so popular? – BBC MAGAZINE
BBC’s Rand Misquote – Roberto Sarriondia
Woman's Hour: Ayn Rand, author & philosopher – BBC RADIO 4
Paul Ryan's Ayn Rand Reader: Lesson One – David Weigel, SLATE
Krugman Konfusion (Paul Ryan Edition) – Robert Wenzel, ECONOMIC POLICY JOURNAL
An Interview with Don Watkins: Where Do Ryan and Rand Agree and Disagree? – EDUCATION NEWS
Ayn Rand And The 2012 Presidential Campaign – NPR RADIO [Audio]
Why Paul Ryan is no Ayn Rand on Social Security – Don Watkins, CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR
Who Is Paul Ryan? – John Stossel, REAL CLEAR POLITICS
Ayn Rand's appeal – Onkar Ghate, FOX NEWS

Still, if the mainstream  media are getting her partially wrong, that’s nothing compared to what philosophy textbook writers think they know about her!
Carlin Romano’s 'America the Philosophical'STEPHEN HICKS

“All Ayn Rand did was to give the OK for pricks all over the world to tell selfish assholes that it’s OK to be selfish.” Really?
Self-Lovers and Self-Loathers – Per Olof Samueslson, HOUSE AT POS CORNER

The ideal website for journalists to check before they write.

And the $64 trillion question:
Can Paul Ryan Make the Moral Case for Capitalism? – Paul Hsieh, OBJECTIVE STANDARD

“Reason is man’s only means of grasping reality and of acquiring
knowledge—and, therefore, the rejection of reason means that men
should act regardless of and/or in contradiction to the facts of reality.”

       - Ayn Rand

Highly relevant argument to Maori claims to property rights in water.  “Property means autonomy. Authentic owners of private property are in it for the long run.”
Respect Indigenous Property Rights – Mike Reid, MISES DAILY

A High Court ruling last week means Australians, and probably us, will be guinea pigs for an illiberal policy based on junk science.
The plain lies of plain-packs advocates – Benjamin Lazarus, SPIKED

Canterbury Uni economist Eric Crampton has been fighting off both alcohol and tobacco wowsers.
Tobacco excise incidence – OFFSETTING BEHAVIOUR
A symposium, of sorts– OFFSETTING BEHAVIOUR

Turns out the NZ parliament has a fellow who believes the universe was created in six days 6,000 years ago by a lonely Goblin. That parliamentarian is John Banks.
Banks: I believe Bible's account of how life began – NZ HERALD
The Story of the Lonely Goblin – Lindsay Perigo, SOLO

I don’t know about you, but when leading Labour Party MPs like Trevor Mallard start posting things like this on their Facebook page, then I for one see it as progress.


imageObama’s gotta go, says Harvard historian Niall Ferguson in Newsweek’s latest controversy-provoking cover story.
Hit the road, Barack – Niall Ferguson, DAILY BEAST

“So abysmal is the president's job-creation record that, according to a new study, he'd have to create 280,000 every month just to get out of the cellar among modern presidents. Where are the jobs?”
Obama Is The Dr. Kevorkian Of Job Creation – INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY

This piece utterly destroys any notion of “green jobs” as being anything other than fatuous make-work schemes. “If the industry was fundamentally unproductive, so were my colleagues and I. We were wasting a tragic amount of time, talent--and other people's money--making a far inferior form of power when we could have been creating real advances in other, legitimate kinds of energy.
Just as disturbing was what these ‘jobs’ did to people’s spirits. Every high-ranking person in solar or wind must eventually figure out, as I did, that he cannot compete in the market, that his competitive advantages are government subsidies and forced limitations on competitors.”
I had a green job – Deborah Sloan, FOX NEWS

"We could use up all of the proven reserves of oil
in the entire world by the end of the next decade."

- Jimmy Carter, 1977

The Republican memo to candidates: Never say what you stand for. And never stand for anything.
GOP memo: ‘Don’t say entitlement reform’ – POLITICO

The gold standard has returned to mainstream U.S. politics for the first time in 30 years. Mind you, 30 years ago politicians brought it up only to damn it for shackling their spending.
Republicans Eye Return to Gold Standard – CNBC

It used to be an ugly trait to be envious. Now politicians encourage it.
The Era of Procrustes – Tibor Machan, TIBOR’S SPACE

The inequality myth.
The mismeasure of inequality – THE GRUMPY ECONOMIST

“The “trickle-down” theory is a ludicrous attempt to justify economic inequality on the grounds that the poor can live of the crumbs that are falling from the rich man’s table – and the richer the man, the more crumbs will fall to the poor.”
Is the Wealth of the Rich Merely Trickling Down to Us?? - Per Olof Samueslson, HOUSE AT POS CORNER

“2 years in prison for Pussy Riot? At worst they're guilty of minor trespassing. Shame on Russia.” – Ari Armstrong
Russian court imprisons Pussy Riot band members on hooliganism charges - CNN

It’s common to hear Marxism excused on the basis that the communist dictatorships that killed 100 million people “weren’t real Marxists.” Karl Marx however embraced the violence, portraying a horrifying but allegedly necessary stage of society immediately after the necessary violent world revolution of the proletariat.
Karl Marx portrayed a horrifying but allegedly necessary stage of society immediately after the necessary violent world revolution of the proletariat.
Raw Communism – Murray Rothbard, MISES DAILY

Is slow economic recovery ineevitable?
Inevitable slow recoveries? – John Cochrane, THE GRUMPY ECONOMIST

“Politicians are willing to do anything to restore
the economy... except give up power.”
- Cary Yates

Mind you, what if politicians were capable of honour?  I’ve recently been enjoying re-reading Allen Drury’s “Washington novels,” and I’d highly recommend them.
Allen Drury & the Washington novel – Roger Kaplan, HOOVER INSTITUTION

The importance of making a moral defence of those who have earned wealth honestly, not just an economic defence.
If You Want Human Progress To Stop, Institute A Maximum Income – Paul Hsieh, FORBES

Why do Britons like their die-while-you-wait health system so much, despite its documented failure?
Universal Mediocrity – Theodore Dalrymple, CITY JOURNAL

So here’s the relevant question:
Can Markets Work in Medicine? – Chris Conover, FORBES

Bad news for anti-nuclear advocates. Great news for everyone else.
Record haul of uranium harvested from seawater – NEW SCIENTIST

Ride down to the surface of Mars! No, really!!

Olympic medal success is prompting a few Americans to realise immigration is good.
Immigration and the Olympics – THRUTCH

Any writer who channels Frédéric Bastiat is my kind of writer.
How Yglesias Channels Bastiat – Bryan Caplan, ECON LOG

“The plans differ; the planners are all alike...
- Frédéric Bastiat

Yes, there is a govt debt crisis coming up. So how come so few people are getting frightened?
Film-Maker Alfred Hitchcock Could Teach Politicians About Dangers of ‘Fiscal Cliff’ – REAL TIME ECONOMICS

The discovery of a winning strategy for Prisoner's Dilemma is forcing game theorists to rethink their discipline. Their conclusion? Winning isn't everything.
The Emerging Revolution in Game Theory – TECHNOLOGY REVIEW

Here, below, looks like a  great way to make money.  (I bet there’s a copy of this, or something like it, hanging on the wall up at Fletcher Building.)
Seems Like a Pretty Good Business Plan – Pete Suderman, HIT & RUN


It’s amazing who you meet at the local coffee shop!
An Unexpected Ass Kicking – Joel Runyon, A BLOG OF IMPOSSIBLE THINGS

How does your body react when it overheats? Here’s how.
Body Heat Infographic: What Happens When It's Hot Outside – HUFFPOST HEALTHY LIVING

This is very cool.
US government experiments on the best way to derail trains – LIVE LEAK

Now here’s a real Olympic champion.
U.S. Olympic Runner Runs 5-Minute Mile ... While Chugging Beers - TMZ

Now, this is a question some of us ask often.
Is There a Limit to How Tall Buildings Can Get? – Nate Berg, ATLANTIC CITIES

Wow! There are cameras now able to film the path of light … and to see around corners.

"The once-dignified portrait now resembles a crayon sketch of a very hairy monkey in an ill-fitting tunic."
What Happens When Grandma Tries to Restore Art – Daniel Wahl, THE NEARBY PEN

Crikey, these were places where I grew up!
Auckland Rock City – Jonathan Ganley, PUBLIC ADDRESS

Ignore feminists’ shrill attempts to demonise critics – we need an honest adult debate about the meaning of rape.
On rape, George Galloway has a point – SPIKED ONLINE

Woah! LA’s porn industry has a syphilis outbreak. Worse, there’s a consequent outbreak of nanny statism.  But a good opportunity to talk about art!
Syphilis Cases Lead to Outbreak of Nanny-Statism – BASTIAT INSTITUTE
Porn Industry Syphilis Scare A Good Opportunity To Talk About This STI – BLISSTREE

What are rights? Where do they come from? And how do we know it? Ayn Rand's answers to these questions form the indispensable foundation of a fully free, fully civilized society.

You can enjoy a whole evening with the 1962 Count Basie orchestra!

[Hat tips Riko S., Jazz on the Tube, Noodle Food, Don Watkins, Geek Press, Thrutch, Keep Food Legal, Boaz Arad, Adam Savage, Ari Armstrong, Yaron Brook]

Thanks for reading.
Have a great weekend.

1 comment:

  1. The talk by Craig Biddle on rights is brilliant. Thanks.


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