Archive | November 3, 2015

Dancing Queen

Evidence that Ayn Rand would like Riverdance:

She described her ideal form of the dance as “tap dance and ballet combined,” and envisioned one form of it as being performed “without ever moving from one spot.”


Evidence that Ayn Rand would dislike Riverdance:

It’s inspired by traditional folk dancing, and Rand hated folk dancing, memorably writing that “all folk art is essentially similar and excruciatingly boring: if you’ve seen one set of people clapping their hands while jumping up and down, you’ve seen them all.”

What I’m Doing This Month

1. I’m giving another virtual reading group for SFL this month, this one on different approaches (utilitarian, natural-law, eudaimonist, etc.) to libertarian ethical foundations. The first session is this Thursday, Nov. 5th, at 9pm Eastern, 8 Central.

2. This coming weekend I’ll be speaking at the Nov. 7th SFL Denver Regional.

3. The weekend after that I’ll be speaking at the (rather Molinari/C4SS-intensive) Nov. 14th SFL Oklahoma Regional.

What I Did Last Month

I’ve been incommunibloggo for over a month now – partly because of a more-hectic-than-usual schedule and partly because, thanks to a mandatory “upgrade” to AT&T U-verse (may the gods curse it forever), my home internet connection is now much less reliable than before. So here’s what I’ve been doing.

1. At the beginning of the month I headed to Reykjavík (by way of an interminable layover in Toronto) for the October 3rd ESFL Regional, where I gave a talk on left-libertarianism. Unfortunately, my luggage didn’t make it out of Toronto, so I had to spend the entire weekend without a change of clothes. But it was great to finally get to Iceland! I also got to meet some members of the Icelandic Pirate Party.

My hosts gave me a tour that included Thingvellir (the spot where two continental plates meet in a craggy ravine, as well as where the medieval Althing or open-air parliament met during the stateless period – and the spot where criminals were ceremonially drowned in the post-stateless period), Geysir (the granddaddy after which all other geysers are named), and the beautiful Gullfoss waterfall. I’ll post pics later (the ones below aren’t mine).





There are few trees in Iceland, but the ground, though strewn with volcanic rock, is also covered with low-lying foliage in brilliant fall colours. They also took me to Eftsi-Dalur II, a farmhouse-turned-restaurant near Geysir where the large picture window in the ice cream parlour offers a view directly into the barn with the cows.

Other restaurants I can recommend, in downtown Reykavík, include the Grey Cat Café (for breakfast) and Sjávargrillidh (for dinner). On my own I also went to the top of Hallgrímskirkja, a church whose columns are modeled on the natural basalt columns of the Icelandic coast.


The road leading up to the church is painted in rainbow stripes – half gay pride celebration and half Bifröst reference.


Travel note: the hot water in Iceland is drawn from the thermal springs, which means that hot water from the tap smells of sulphur – rather disconcerting when taking a shower. The cold water, though, is pure and delicious.

2. Two weeks later I drove down to Gainesville for the October 17th SFL Florida Regional. I gave a talk on anarchism (powerpoints here). There were three other Molinari/C4SS comrades there: Cory Massimino, Kelly Vee, and Tom Knapp (the last two I met for the first time in realspace).

Tom, me, Cory, Kelly

Tom, me, Cory, Kelly

It was my first visit to Gainesville. Their downtown area is cool, while the vibe in the Bagels and Noodles restaurant feels like an actual college town in a way that Auburn seldom does.

3. I’ve had a C4SS op-ed on racial bias in juror selection, and three more installments of my series for on ancient Greece: one on economic freedom in Athens, one on the role of women, slaves, and immigrants in the Athenian banking system, and one on the private provision of public services in Athens.

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