Sunday, March 29, 2009

Joke of the Day

I had a funny thought today. It followed a comment on my status (which read: Will is up and at 'em.); my friend Annette thought the phrase was "up and adam," but admits that my version actually makes sense. My remarks were as follows:
I always find it amusing when cliches morph.

For example, my grandma often says "a bird in the bush" as if this phrase has any meaning in and of itself. I know that she is referring to the proverbial bird in the hand which is worth TWO in the bush. I am just confused as to how this simplified to a single bird in a bush.

I have often thought about cutting her off by saying "I know, it's worth 0.5 in the hand." But this doesn't seem right. Surely half a bird is worth less than half the value of a whole bird... especially if you are interested in keeping birds as pets.
I also find it amusing when people say "I could care less." when they actually mean that they COULDN'T care any less. One of my favorite YouTubers, hotforwords, comments on this in more detail.


Today's XKCD is incredible (particularly because I am working on a paper regarding lock-in)!

Remembering Friedman

His clarity and persuasiveness always amazes me.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Helmet Laws

Some members of the motorcycle club I am in were discussing helmet laws. My comment follows:
"I guess some folks' "personal liberties" are more important than safety."

I think personal liberties are pretty important.

Nothing is "safe," it is a matter of degrees. Crossing the road is unsafe. So is eating meat. Or breathing, even, since many germs are airborne (of course, not breathing is pretty unsafe too!). The question is not between personal liberties and safety. Instead, it is a matter of WHO gets to decide WHAT LEVEL of safety is appropriate for YOU. Those of us who prefer personal liberties think that YOU are in the best position to decide what is best for YOU. And, if you think otherwise, you can always put someone else in charge of your life (Isn't that what marriage is?).

Surely you would not argue that riding a motorcycle is (a) 100% safe or even (b) safer than alternative forms of transportation. Yet YOU decide that the benefits from riding a motorcycle outweigh the potential costs of a motorcycle accident. And I respect your decision.

My mom doesn't respect your decision. And she'd try to convince you it is a bad idea to ride... which is well within her rights to do. It would not be okay for her to lock you up or make you pay a fine for deciding to go for a jaunt on a Saturday afternoon. Yet this is exactly what laws like "You must wear a helmet" do. They say what most people feel is an appropriate decision for them and then force that decision on everyone else.

So if you think everyone should wear a helmet, convince them. But using the force of law is inappropriate.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fire Dennis!

As Milton Friedman once said, "There is nothing more permanent than a temporary government program." But Dennis Lennox is trying to abolish a PERMANENT government position in Cheboygan, Michigan. HIS position.

Maybe libertarians should take note of this strategy...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Blockquoting X

I found this gem in the comments section at TAE:
The best part of being a member of the AEA was that I received the directory of all assn. members -- with addresses, office phone numbers, even many with home phone numbers. As a junior I called Milton Friedman's office -- got his secretary and asked if I sent a copy of my Free to Choose book, would he and Rose sign it. Certainly he would, she responded, and off it went. I also called John Kenneth Galbraith's home (I don't recall if I got that number from the directory or from his department secretary). I wanted to drill him on his Keynesianism. Instead, his housekeeper answered and refused to allow me to talk to him.
Very nice, Dr. Prychitko.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Blockquoting X

X = Harold Demsetz:
Whether the free enterprise solution can be improved upon by the substitution of the government or other nonprofit institutions in the financing of research cannot be ascertained solely by examining the free enterprise solution. The political or nonprofit forces that are substituted for free enterprise must be analyzed and the outcome of the workings of these forces must be compared to the market solution before any such conclusion can be drawn. (Information and Efficiency: Another Viewpoint, p. 2)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Opening Line

I have always wanted to write a novel. But the first line seems to be the selling point. How about:
"We are free men. And free men must submit to authority." The words echoed throughout the room from a small radio in the corner.
What do you think?

Maybe I will just edit this and enter The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. That seems like a more manageable task.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Blockquoting X

It is game day every day for me. It is judgment day every moment of every day. It is only one way to play the game of life, and that is to play to win. Winning is a way of life. Winning is the only way. I no longer recognize or identify with the poor mentalities or mind states of the universe. I study hard, train hard, eat hard, sleep hard, vision big, think big, act big, and yet I still walk and talk with a sense of humility and peace. I’m so sincere people. I am so serious.
Try not to laugh. Today's X is Maurice Clarett, former Buckeye running back, present prisoner at Toledo Correctional Institution, and (if you can believe it) blogger.

He does not have an internet connection, so he must relay posts to friends and family via phone.

Saturday, March 07, 2009