Monday, April 11, 2011

Free0352 Reflects on 6 Years of Blogging



On April 10, 2005...

On this date in 2005 at Colby Buzzel's blog MY WAR I began blogging. Since then, I've written for many other blogs most notably Blonde Sagacity, and IMAO. I wondered what I've learned over the years, so I decided to take stock- here we go.

Economics:

1. Supply-and-demand solves countless mysteries of the world - everything from rent control to road congestion.

2. Almost anyone can understand supply-and-demand if they calmly listen. Unfortunately, the inverse is also true.

3. Poverty is over rated in America, a country which produces more rich people than any other country, and economic growth, not redistribution, is the cure for those at the bottom of the ladder. If you run into a person who thinks otherwise, you know right there you're arguing with a brainwashed idiot who can't or won't listen to reason, facts, or data. Math likely mystifies them.

4. The proximate causes of unemployment are labor market regulation and workers' misguided beliefs about fairness. But the fundamental cause of unemployment is excessive wages.

5. Free competition is far superior to "perfect" competition.

6. Governments with fiat money have near-absolute power over nominal GDP, but much less over real GDP or employment.

7. Moral hazard and adverse selection are largely the product of - not a rationale for - regulation of insurance.

8. Import/Export restrictions are a fruitless crime - and do more harm than all other government regulations combined.

9. Communism was a disaster because of bad incentives, not lack of incentives.

10. The last two centuries of rising population and prosperity should fill us with awe - and the best is yet to come.

Philosophy

1. The greatest philosophical mistake is to demand proof for the obvious.

2. The second greatest philosophical mistake is to try to prove the obvious.

3. If you can't explain your position clearly in simple language, you probably don't understand it yourself.

4. When possible, resolve debates about "what's obvious" by betting, not talking.

5. When in doubt, steal other people's ideas.

6. Talking about morality if there are no moral facts is like talking about unicorns if there aren't any unicorns.

7. There are moral facts.

8. Productive moral arguments begin with clear-cut simple cases, not one-sentence moral theories condensed into mindless slogans.

9. Violence and theft are presumptively wrong, and calling yourself "the government" does nothing to rebut these presumptions.

10. Call people on the use of mindless slogans.

11. Sarcasm and mockery is the ultimate weapon.

Politics

1. Voters are irrational. So is believing otherwise.

2. Government isn't a solution to problems; it's the best example of the problem.

3. The main output of government isn't "public goods," but private goods that people pretend to want much more than they really do. See Social Security and Medicare.

4. People rarely make the the most internally consistent argument for government action: paternalism.

5. The realistic path to freer markets isn't "free-market reform," but austerity.

6. Democrats and Republicans are about as different as Catholics and Protestants

7. Before you study public opinion, you wonder why policy isn't far better. After you study public opinion, you wonder why policy isn't far worse.

8. Big reasons why democracy isn't worse: Unequal participation, political slack, and status quo bias.

9. Libertarians are the dhimmis of democracy.

10. Despite everything, life in First World democracies is amazingly good by world and historic standards and will keep getting better. So cheer up.

11. Many so called "liberals" are angry, nihilists who want to destroy Western Democracies because they are filled with jealousy, envy, and the realization they can create nothing... and so they seek to destroy what they cannot make. This is largely subconscious in their minds- they aren't even aware of it.

Life

1. In most of the world, life is cheap and meaningless. Third world cultures have nothing to offer ours. At. All.

2. "Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life," is a lie.

3. If you want to win a debate with nothing on the line, attack, attack, attack and your friends will cheer you. If you want to come to an understanding with the other side, be friendly as a matter of policy. Turn the other cheek in the face of ad hominem attacks. It might seem crazy, but it works.

4. Obsessiveness is an powerful solution for physical and social problems. Unfortunately it's also a major cause of emotional problems.

5. Once you're an adult, religious people will leave you alone if you leave them alone.

6. People vary more widely than you think, and base opinions on the most inane things.

7. Selection is the key to social harmony. Surround yourself with true friends who love you just as you are. If you don't see any around, buy a Doberman.

8. Raise your children with kindness and respect. "I'm your parent, not you're friend" is a reason to treat your kids better than their peers do, not worse.

9. Your mind ages at a slower rate than you expect when you're young, your body at a faster rate.

10. Evolutionary psychology is by far the best universal theory of human motivation. Ignore it at your own peril.

(You can read Free daily at John Galt for President)

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