Archive | June, 2010

A Couple of Points

I wonder who else caught the fact that when Amy in “Amy’s Choice” asks the Doctor (something like) “If you can’t save everyone, then what is the point of you?” this is a direct echo of the Eccleston episode “Dalek” when the Doctor asks the captured Dalek, “If you can’t kill, then what are you good for, what is the point of you?”

Machineries of Freedom

Two very good things have happened:

David Friedman’s The Machinery of Freedom, one of the most influential free-market anarchist works of the last 100 years, is now available online (in PDF format).

Kevin Carson’s latest book, The Homebrew Industrial Revolution, is now in print.


For some reason I can’t post comments on Gene Callahan’s blog, so I’ll put the comment here. In response to the post where Gene says:

Obligation is the crucial idea denied by libertarian political theory. We can have obligations that we did not agree to take upon ourselves.

I reply:

I can think of hardly any libertarian political thinkers who say that we have no unchosen obligations. (Rand says it, but that has more to do with her metaethics than her political commitments.) Most libertarians would say that we have a) some enforceable obligations we didn’t choose (like the obligations not to kill, steal, assault, etc.), plus b) plenty of moral obligations that aren’t enforceable.

Of course it’s true that libertarianism denies the existence of various enforceable obligations that other theories assert; but libertarianism also asserts the existence of enforceable obligations that other theories deny.

You’re All Whizzing About, It’s Really Very Distracting

It was only a few weeks ago that I first began watching the 2010 season of Doctor Who; it’s hard to believe it’s already nearing its conclusion. (Why do they have only 13 episodes per season, instead of 22 like a proper season?) During that time I’ve become quite a fan of Matt Smith’s interpretation of the character.

spacetime crack

“The Pandorica Opens” – the first half of the two-part season finale – doesn’t play on BBC America for a few weeks yet, but it aired in Britain today and so I just watched it online. Nope, no spoilers here – just thought I’d say a) a hell of a lot happens in it, and b) it ends on one hell of a cliffhanger. Getting out of this is going to be a tricky one ….

Bobbing Along on the Beautiful Briny Sea

From the “you can’t make this stuff up” department:

[BP CEO Tony] Hayward took a break from overseeing the energy giant’s efforts to contain the undersea leak so he could watch his 52-foot yacht “Bob” participate in the J. P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race.

If you put that description in fiction people would say: “the J. P. Morgan reference is too much; your satire is too heavy-handed.”

When Alabama Gets the Bomb

I’ve heard most of Tom Lehrer’s songs multiple times, but until now I’d never seen footage of him performing them. Somehow his performance comes across as edgier – and less merely whimsical – when you can see it as well as hear it; his anger and contempt toward the cold-war political establishment are even more obvious.











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