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Liberty worship

There is a particular "meme," pardon the clich?, running rampant online that libertarianism is a religion. In response to this Tech Central Station article by Radley Balko, self-described "anarcho-syndicalist" Al Giordano repeats the "libertarianism as religion" slur, and makes a few additional (unwarranted) attacks on Balko as well. Read more »


Wave of the future?

I'm always a bit skeptical when anyone claims that X is "the wave of the future." This is especially true when X has anything to do with blogging.

However, Tyler Cowen made some predictions along these lines in his response to Will Baude's 20 Questions™, and he might actually be on to something. Take a look: Read more »


College Football Top 25 for 9/8/03

After the results of the past weekend's slate of games, we have the new rankings:

Rank - Team - Previous
1 --- Oklahoma (2)
2 --- Kansas State (4)
3 --- Ohio State (1)
4 --- Texas (3)
5 --- Colorado (9)
6 --- Iowa (6)
7 --- Michigan (7)
8 --- Miami (8)
9 --- Georgia (5)
10 -- Texas Tech (13)
11 -- USC (12)
12 -- Virginia Tech (16)
13 -- Tennessee (15)
14 -- TCU (NR)
15 -- LSU (21)
16 -- Florida State (18)
17 -- Wisconsin (22)
18 -- Pittsburgh (NR)
19 -- Texas A&M (25)
20 -- Iowa State (NR)
21 -- Missouri (NR)
22 -- Nebraska (NR)
23 -- Michigan State (NR)
24 -- Minnesota (NR) Read more »


Navajo entrepreneur fights regulation

Even the rez has no escape from red tape for those who try to offer something better. Navajo entrepreneur Michael Nelson is struggling to meet bureaucratic requirements. Some excerpts:

The former shepherd, who was born in a hogan and didn?t learn to speak English until he was sent to boarding school in Fort Wingate, N.M., in the late 1940s, notes that his entry into this world was so rural that he doesn?t have a birth certificate.[...]


More on IP

Francis Porretto of Palace of Reason has written a thoughtful essay on the IP debate from a rights-based perspective, starting from first principles and building up to practical applications of the law.


Economics vs. Morality

I came across this Usenet post by David Friedman a while back discussing some of the practical ramifications of technological innovation in relation to what may soon be unenforcable IP rights. Here are a few points he mentions:

    1. I don't think anyone is entitled to earn a living doing what he likes to do--after all, you might like to do something that nobody else values having done.

Circular arguments

One of the arguments defenders of intellectual property rights use is that if we accept contract rights, we must accept intellectual property rights. The problem with this argument is that it is circular.

Assume that contract rights are universally agreed upon, but intellectual property rights are not. Now assume that individual A agrees to trade individual B the rights to use a piece of intellectual property X in exchange for quantity of money Y, on the condition that B does not share X with anyone else. Based on our initial assumption, this contract is universally agreed upon as valid. Read more »


An IP skeptic

In response to David's post below, allow me to jump into the fray.

I find the debate over the validity and proper implementation of intellectual property rights both incredibly complex and incredibly interesting. I am certainly no expert in this area, but I am familiar with a few of the disputes and issues involved. Allow me to delineate a few of them.

First of all, I classify the positions taken in this debate into three broad categories: strong IP, weak IP, and no IP. Read more »


Terms of the debate

Alex over at Samizdata brings up the Intellectual Property debate, and it looks like Alex and his commenters have accepted the premises and framing given them by the two sides of collectivists and picked sides. Read more »


Allende the 'victim'

In a piece remembering the days of Salvador Allende's rule, Roberto Ampuero in today's Washington Post waxes nostalgic for the gradualism of Allende's policies. He blames the US government, the Chilean right, what he calls the Chilean 'far left', and even Fidel Castro for ultimately being responsible for Allende's death.

Moral of the story: Communism by armed revolution is abominable, but communism by democracy is just dandy.