Archive | August, 2008

American Solipsism

Three years ago I commented on the Weather Channel’s reporting that in a “worst-case scenario” the edge of hurricane Emily might graze Florida or Texas, but not to worry, the worst part of the storm was merely headed toward Mexico.

Tonight I just saw some doofus of a reporter on CNN saying how we all hope hurricane Gustav doesn’t hit any part of the United States. Not “any inhabited area” – just “any part of the United States.”

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Palin Dromemord Nilap

When I first heard that McCain had picked Palin as his running-mate, I was excited – until I found out they didn’t mean Michael.

Seriously, though, this strikes me as a fiendishly brilliant move (and it’s probably making Obama wonder if he shouldn’t have picked Clinton after all instead of bland apparatchik Biden). Since I prefer four years of Obama to four years of McCain, fiendishly brilliant moves from the McCain camp are a bit depressing.

On the brighter side, though, at least we’re now virtually guaranteed that one of the two top slots next year will be someone other than a white male. Admittedly that thought is only mildly cheering, given that I don’t want anybody in those slots. But it’s still somewhat pleasing.

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Pictures From the Revolution

[cross-posted at Liberty & Power]

I’ve been to Indianapolis twice recently: last month for a Liberty Fund conference on Zora Neale Hurston, and last weekend for another Liberty Fund conference, this one on Landes and Posner’s Economic Structure of Intellectual Property Law, and held at Liberty Fund’s own offices (and incidentally the first Liberty Fund conference I’ve been to where as many as a third of the participants were nonwhite – a nice change from the usual complexion, pun intended).

As I’ve mentioned before, nearly a third of Liberty & Power’s bloggers were at the first conference. I’ve now gotten the photos developed; these aren’t the highest-quality scans, but they’ll have to do:

Keith Halderman, Mark Brady, me, David Beito, Jonathan Bean, Wendy McElroy
L to R: Keith Halderman, Mark Brady, me, David Beito, Jonathan Bean, Wendy McElroy

Keith Halderman, Mark Brady, me, David Beito, Jonathan Bean, Wendy McElroy
ditto

Mark Brady, Wendy McElroy, David Beito
Just the anarchists (other than me): Mark Brady, Wendy McElroy, David Beito

As for the second conference, a few random notes:

When I mentioned that although the early Tarzan books are out of copyright, they’re still restricted because ERB’s estate holds the trademark to the characters, Tom Bell (check out his online book Intellectual Privilege: Copyright, Common Law, and the Common Good) mentioned that he thought a recent case involving Daystar Technologies rules out using trademark to protect copyright – in which case the ERB business model may be in serious trouble. Anyone else with IP expertise (Stephan?) have any comments?

Milton Thompson (who happens to be the lawyer-agent for Star Trek’s Avery Brooks) mentioned that the performers he works with are less and less interested in controlling copyright and are relying less and less on IP in their business models.

I was delighted to learn that Liberty Fund will be publishing a new translation (by Dennis O’Keefe, translator of Constant’s Principles of Politics) of Molinari’s Soirées. (Though this isn’t necessarily a reason to abandon my own translation-in-progress – if the term “progress” really applies to a project that hasn’t been updated since 2003 – since it would also be nice to have a version available without copyright restrictions.)

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Sunscreen in Denver, Part Duh

Okay, I don’t want to start liveblogging the damn convention, but Biden just had two accidental moments of honesty: “When we said we were going to have an open convention, we meant this” (pointing around to the open-to-the-sky arena), and “We’re here for the cops.”

Plus, one of the commentators said that the moral of Obama’s candidacy is that if you obey your parents you can grow up to be president.

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