Sunday, June 17, 2007

I haven't listened this podcast, but I find something either simply wrong or just sensationalist about the question "whether it's really possible to make money without doing evil." That's so fraught with straw men and bad philosophy that I don't have the stomach to delve into it. All I'll say for the moment is that millions of people do so every day, and so if one doesn't find it self-evident, one simply isn't looking.
Cox and Forkum's, er, unusual take on Father's Day. It's good stuff, though.

And, to all the fathers (including myself): Happy Father's Day!
This would be cool, if I could stomach DirecTV. Which I can't, and so I won't.
Here we have three major American companies--Microsoft, Yahoo!, and Google-- engaging in precisely the same sorts of competively-driven acquisitions, and the FTC decides to investigate all of them.

How can anyone maintain the illusion that this has anything to do with competition?
I agree that it's a bit over the top to say that intellectual property theft is worse than "real" property theft. At the same time, I hardly think it's any better. The lack of violence may seem worth noting, but in reality there would likely be plenty of violence were one to try to break up the larger and more powerful Asian counterfeit rings. And, there are plenty of "real" property thefts that involve no violence at all.

The one thing that does make intellectual property very different, though, is the ease of it. It's trivial today to steal thousands of pieces of intellectual property, all without leaving the comfort of one's home, and just as trivial to distribute it to thousands--or millions--of other people. It's also relatively easy to do so anonymously; if one is careful, the chances of getting caught approach zero.

One can't say the same about "real" property.
An interesting discussion on atheism and Ayn Rand. I agree: she's the only one who's ever gotten it right. Rational atheism isn't against religion, it's for reason and man's life on Earth.
An interesting debate on the healthcare system. Notice the two different approaches to the argument (any reader of this blog should be able to recognize which argument I support). The comments are also illustrative, at least in part because they demonstrate a lack of knowledge of how government regulation has dictated private insurance policies. The private payor system hasn't developed in a vacuum.
Can anyone wonder what kind of nation China is, that it maintains such tight control over how people name their children?
What this really means is that such decisions should be made by free people via free markets, not by government fiat via political calculations. Had our government acted as it should have when Middle Eastern oil fields were first nationalized, and American investments confiscated, we wouldn't have nearly these concerns.