Tuesday assorted links


Possibly speculative.

Who cares about the highly theoretical space travel possibility? The guy whose theory this is based on has built electric motors that run at >200% efficiency. All you have to do is wind the wire around the motors in a special way, and you have free power!


All of our problems are solved. These things are quite simple and should be widely deployable immediately. The only thing that slightly confuses me is why he hasn't yet conducted a test that uses the output to power the input, demonstrating that the thing can generate free power.

p.s. Why is MR posting this garbage? Really disappointing. The site it is on is full of other loony stuff, too.

The author of the first article (1. How much will the demand for dilithium crystals go up?) , apparently didn't really understand the results of the NASA test. The test didn't indicate any kind of perpetual motion machine. Instead, the test indicated that you might be able to generate thrust solely with energy instead of energy and mass.

Granted, how that mechanism actually works is a matter of great debate. But I haven't heard any of the experts claim that it violates conservation of energy. It might violate conservation of momentum.

To me the biggest red flag is that NASA detected thrust ... both from an engine that they hoped would create thrust, and from a control setup that was expected not to create thrust. There's just something wrong with their experiment. Nothing to see here.

"There’s just something wrong with their experiment."

The reported numbers were indeed very small. So it's completely possible the whole effect is measurement error.

> both from an engine that they hoped would create thrust, and from a control setup that was expected not to create thrust.

There were two control experiments -- one with no real device whatsoever, and one with the device with the smallest modification they could think of that *should* stop it from working, if the inventor's theory of how it works is correct. The empty control produced no thrust, the modified control produced similar amounts of thrust as the full device. This implies that something is going on there, but the inventor doesn't understand what.

> There’s just something wrong with their experiment. Nothing to see here.

I agree that the likely reason for the results is experimenter error. However, the experiment was conducted with sufficient rigor that the error would have to be a very interesting one indeed.

From the article, regarding aliens: "There is another way whether it’s wormholes or warping space, there’s got to be a way to generate energy so that you can pull it out of the vacuum, and the fact that they’re here shows us that they found a way.”

Come on, linking to this kind of nonsense is embarrassing.

Because it would generate increasingly bigger amounts of energy, and "the ship can't take much more, captain". It would lead to a warp core breach( http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Warp_core_breach ), which is the sixth most common source of occupational injuries in space right after Holodeck malfunction, Panels blowing up every time the Enterprise is shot, Transport malfunction, AI malfunction (seriously, are Starfleet contracts always awarded to the lowest bidder?) and "Klingons, just Klingons".

Awesome post.


The lack of AI security and continued use of the dangerous and often deadly Holodeck are two of the biggest problems with Star Trek.

The biggest, though, is their failure to take advantage of the proven ability of transporter technology to replicate anything you want (including people).

Also, on the list are the lack of seat belts. (Though this was corrected in the reboot.)

One of the Star Trek oddities that use to amuse me was Picard on STNG asking the computer for the whereabouts of a crew member and being informed that the crew member had disappeared while the ship was in deep space. You think that kind of event would have set off an automatic alarm.

First standing order as new captain, "Computer, if the number of life forms changes without reason, inform me immediately."

which is the sixth most common source of occupational injuries in space right after Holodeck malfunction, Panels blowing up every time the Enterprise is shot, Transport malfunction, AI malfunction (seriously, are Starfleet contracts always awarded to the lowest bidder?) and “Klingons, just Klingons”.

You forgot "wearing red shirt".

@1 Possibly speculative? Possibly?

This website is an encyclopedic collection of these "possibly speculative" schemes.


#4 offers an awfully simplistic model of what defines right and left.

It seems suspiciously like cherry-picking. For example, it mentions two leftist European parties that legalized gay marriage, but omits the fact that Conservatives pushed this change in Britain. It is easy to pick a few examples of commonality from all of the different issues, but that isn't the same as establishing a broad trend.

Also, the examples outside the West are quite thin. India is mentioned in support (with very little detail), while Japan is the "exception that proves the rule". Western nations share common cultural, religious, and intellectual heritage that still has great influence on politics, so some similarities aren't surprising. But the article doesn't establish that this pattern exists outside the West.

Yeah, and the definitions are pretty loose, and occasionally outright wrong. For "Nationalism" particularly, a lot of far leftists-- Castro, Chavez, Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, were all quite nationalistic. In fact, in many ways, the Chinese Communist Party is much more nationalist that the "Nationalists" (aka, Taiwan), who would up pretty internationally-minded.

Then, there is the hoary "pro-business" shibboleth. In the US, after bailouts of the auto companies and the banks, Dodd-Frank regulation that has accelerated consolidation of the finance sector, "Green" energy bills shoveling tax dollars to GE et al, the Obamacare payouts to the Insurance companies and hospitals, or brand new "Network Neutrality" regulations intervening in markets in order to explicitly benefit a select company, the Democrats could very easily be defined as more "pro-business" than the Republicans, who are, at least nominally, more free market.

Once you get rid of the sloppy terms and cherry-picking, his argument falls apart quickly.

4. I seem to recall that a well-known conservative (a/k/a St. Ronnie) once supported a very large tax increase. Say it ain't so! Okay, it ain't so if the tax working Americans pay isn't a tax conservatives are particularly concerned about. As for the debate between Silver and Krugman about self-identified "libertarians", that group reminds me of Senator Long's dictum about taxes: "Don't tax you, don't tax me, tax that fellow behind the tree!" We are all Libertarians now.

I wonder if 30 years from now, conservatives will constantly refer back to Obama and his policies? No, probably not, I'm pretty sure no one will care that much.

Then I guess Obama ain't so bad (or good, which is how most presidents are)

He is much better than the next one will be (which is how most presidents are, too).

Obama will be on a coin, assuming we still have coins. The question is, who will we bump off? I think Lincoln since he has both the cent and the $5 bill. But that assumes we keep the cent!

We could always create a new bill. The US doesn't currently have a $3 bill.

Wouldn't a multi-trillion dollar bill be more appropriate?

Maybe it's time to get away from putting mere politicians on currency, pick national heroes/artists/etc instead?

I guess Washington and Lincoln would stay, and maybe even Franklin. But how about Neil Armstrong, Babe Ruth, Rosa Parks, Charles Lindbergh, Andy Warhol, Elvis Presley, Steve Jobs, etc?

It'd be pretty fun to poll the country to see what names win the real 'American idol'

But how about Neil Armstrong, Babe Ruth, Rosa Parks, Charles Lindbergh, Andy Warhol, Elvis Presley, Steve Jobs, etc

Washington was not a 'mere politician', and not primarily a politician. He was a planter, surveyor, and military officer. Alexander Hamilton was a seminal figure in the foundation of a national currency and banking system.

Rosa Parks was recording secretary of the local NAACP chapter selected for her task because she was fairly presentable and tranquil and disciplined enough not to respond to authorities with volleys of curses (as another candidate for her task was given to); she never did anything else of note. Andy Warhol was an interesting character and that's all. Lindbergh was accomplished within a certain circle; from this distance its hard to see what the fuss was all about. He had peers. Ruth and Presley were producers of mass entertainment. Neil Armstrong also had peers; why elevate one over another? We might also leave Steven Jobs in the ground for 50 years before we put him on the currency.

Not many figures more consequential than Gen. Eisenhower.

Well, now we know how you'd vote. Thing is we'd probably ask others to vote too, sorry Art.

Hamilton and Eisenhower 'had peers' too.

I already said Washington stays.

Ruth and Presley were mass entertainers? Really? Thanks for the tip!

Eisenhower was supreme allied commander. His only true peer was MacArthur. There were seven others who were awarded the 5th star. About five of the nine names might be recognized by those not military history buffs, and only one was ever commander-in-chief. There were about a dozen men who walked on the moon and none of them commanded armies with six and seven digit populations of soldiers.

We had one and only one Secretary of the Treasury at the time seminal financial institutions were founded. He was also the animating spirit of the Federalist Party. Not many peers in the context of his time, and the rest are no longer. (George Will put it thus, "Look around you. This is Hamilton's republic" [and not Jefferson's]). You might add Madison for a different kettle of reasons.

Ruth and Presley were mass entertainers?
Yes, and that makes them inappropriate.

Really? Thanks for the tip!
Well, now we know how you’d vote. Thing is we’d probably ask others to vote too, sorry Art.

What's vaguely amusing about you is that you're consistently supercilious though you seldom say much that isn't redundant, shallow, or just wrong.

"What’s vaguely amusing about you is that you’re consistently supercilious though you seldom say much that isn’t redundant, shallow, or just wrong"


in re: #1 are you going to be linking to time cube soon, tyler? c'mon.

Most people don't know this, but SCP is actually real!

Pretending it's a joke is the best possible cover, you know.

#2 - I'll be impressed when a robot writes a paper on Sachs.

I'll start worrying about AI and data collection when Amazon stops showing me ads for items I've already purchased through Amazon.

But you know you want another one!

"... shift investments away from machines that complement labor..."

What does that mean? It looks like someone else who is unfamiliar with factory automation and doesn't understand that robots are just another type of tool. Exactly how is a robot (with a tool arm) making paper clips and a machine making paper clips different? (Other than the robot would be horribly in-efficient at it of course).

5. Cop cams

Perhaps there is some way to make the video totally inaccessible unless there is a dispute over what transpired and the video would be useful as legal evidence. What if the camera recorded in an encrypted format and the key was known only to the company that made it and could be accessed only with a court order?

There are already cameras in a variety of public places. Cops already have cameras in their cars. Both sometimes capture embarrassing things, which end up on Youtube. And of course, devices like smartphones that can record video are ubiquitous. Society seems to be dealing with all of this without too much trouble.

Given the existing proliferation of video, cop cams just don't seem like a very big intrusion by comparison. And cop cams, unlike most of those examples, are potentially beneficial to the person being recorded. I just don't think this is going to be the big deal that Brooks claims it is.

Especially when American police catch up to their CCTV British brethren - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Ian_Tomlinson

#8 cop cams (not 5) - Most PDs fight any disclosure of cam video, unless tied to a discrete investigation (and even dig in their heels then).
Also, the cops can't access their own data stream - it goes back to HQ, sometimes through wireless in their cop car (which usually has its own laptop and other digital devices - all the better to follow comp stats).
So there should some general safeguards in place. The beat cop needs to go to the IT/video cop and ask to view the footage from a particularly humorous encounter.
The concerns of Brooks in his article are very strange, though. In most situations, the cop is not acting as a friend or trusted confident - they are an agent of the state, often investigating a complaint or crime. People have internalized Miranda due to its numerous appearances in popular culture - anything you say to the cop can and will be used against you in the court of law...(or for a speeding ticket). The actual data shows that cops and witnesses all behave better knowing there is a camera on and present - the 'civilizing factor' here is actually the cameras, not, as Brooks claims, an interaction without any such cameras.

I agree with Brooks' concern regarding cops having less leeway to selectively enforce laws. Will cops still feel free to use scare tactics? I know I have appreciated getting a tongue lashing rather than a ticket/arrest before. As I'm typing this I am thinking it's better to be white but also thinking we have too many rules and cops need to be able to use their judgement.

"but also thinking we have too many rules and cops need to be able to use their judgement."

The solution is to reduce the amount of rules, not to use selective enforcement.

So either give a ticket to everyone going 66 mph in a 65, or remove no speed limits entirely?

Indeed. Either we need all those rules or we do not need very single rule on the books. Either they are rules or they are suggestions.

Make speed limits suggestions, there are laws for reckless driving.

XVO - so the 65 is "suggested," but you can still get a ticket if the cop determines, subjectively, that you were driving recklessly. Is that meaningfully different from the current system?

It is nice to benefit from selective enforcement, but it is deeply problematic.

It undermines the rule of law and gives the police discretion to dole out punishment to certain parties but not others on a whim. This is exactly what we don't need when a significant portion of the population believes that they are being targeted by the police. It creates an actual opportunity for biased law enforcement to act on their biases. Where no bias exists, it creates an ambiguous situation that allows people to assume there is bias. Martin Luther King, Jr. was arrested and thrown in jail for going 2 MPH over the speed limit.

Allowing discretion in enforcement also opens a door for corruption. Whether or not you get a ticket might be based on who you know or what state your license plate is from. People try to sweet-talk or flirt their way out of a ticket. We really shouldn't be in the position of having to show great deference to police officers in hopes of not getting punished. And then there are more serious things like bribery.

@JWatts - agree with you but my impression is rules never go away. I prefer both cops and judges have flexibility. Not looking forward to Robocop.

"but my impression is rules never go away. I prefer both cops and judges have flexibility. Not looking forward to Robocop."

That is a good point. But the flexibility should be built into the rules themselves and the rules should be minimal.

4. Matt misses something about Canada, which is that for a long time the right-left cleavage has been crosscut by a linguistic/ethnic cleavage. The Liberal Party of Canada was the historic party of Montreal and Toronto-based big business, as well as of a strong central government, because Montreal business people and Ottawa mandarins both saw their main enemy as Quebec nationalism. It has always been complicated to build an alliance between Anglo conservatives and Quebec nationalists, partly because of the left/right issues, but Diefenbaker and Mulroney won with that alliance.

Matt is also mistaken that the Conservatives are the more nationalist party. Harper has rebranded Canadian nationalism in a Conservative-friendly way, but for most of my lifetime the Liberal Party owned the flag and the constitution and most other nationalist icons. The Conservatives were generally pro-province and pro-continentalist, so anti-nationalist.

Good point about the nationalism issue, but it's a little bit innacurate. Basically until the merger that created the current CP in 2003 e there were two conservative parties in Canada. Only the Reform Party/ Canadian Alliance was pro-province. Despite coming from Calgary Harper has has proven far more sympathetic to the former Progressive Conservatives from Eastern Canada who sneer at Western Canadian province populism.

The Liberal party has been the more nationalist party up until recently because for the most party they were the only national party. Also the Liberal Party domination of politics during the period of growing Quebec nationalism meant that the liberals inherited the nationalist position by default in their attempts to restrain Quebec independence etc.

I read the history differently. Before the rise of the Reform Party, the Progressive Conservatives were clearly the party of provincial autonomy and continental integration. Remember Joe Clark's "community of communities"? Mulroney's most important initiatives were the Free Trade Agreement and the Meech Lake Accord. The Reform Party rose to prominence because the coalition between Anglo Western conservatives and Quebec nationalists broke down. The Reform Party was a more purist right-populist formation, but when it tried to enlarge its coalition it inevitably had to try to put the Mulroney coalition back together again.

but for most of my lifetime the Liberal Party owned the flag and the constitution

The Lester Pearson Supermarket Logo and Trudeau's execrable "Charter of Rights and Freedoms" were Liberal initiatives. Of course they owned them. Who of sense would want them?

Most Canadians don't have sense then, because the maple leaf flag and the Charter of Rights are a lot more popular than any politician could hope to be. So it was an advantage for the Liberals to be associated with them.

Most Canadians don’t have sense then,

No kidding?

4. To augment Pithlord's point, free trade was opposed by the Canadian left as part of this nationalist bundle: fear of the United States. Though this is often the case in the Americas. The left is more interested in the defence of certain nationalistic structures than the pro-business right.

As for countries where the policy bundle is reversed compared to the United States, New Zealand used to very much be one where Labour were more liberal and free-trading than the conservative Nationals. It's more debatable nowadays than in the 1980s. And, for a little while in the twentieth century, the United States was one. Central and eastern Europe often feature the flipped-bundle: compare, say, the liberal-conservative PO and traditional Catholic-conservative PiS in Poland, or the ethnic-Baltic parties versus the more left-wing and conservative ethnic-Russian parties. And many of Europe's nastiest parties, like the French Front National, are dirigiste but conservative on racial and moral matters. The examples are out there, if one is willing to look.

7. Objectively good news, unless you've staked your credibility on the destructiveness of austerians, and I'm sure nobody would let the latter get ahead of the former, would they? Exactly like in the Baltic states and Ireland, I'm sure nobody will criticise the Spanish performance in order to justify their own spurious predictions of doom.

Spain's 23.3% unemployment is surely the envy of the world. But don't take my word, ask the citizens of Spain, per that article: "41.8% of those asked thought the economic situation was 'bad', and 33.8% thought it 'very bad.'" Hmmm, that's not what we were looking for. But hey, optimistic forecasts suggest that Spain *might* reach its pre-crisis GDP by 2017! Woohoo!

So in summary, Spain is (maybe) just starting to turn the corner on a self-inflicted crisis that has dragged on for years. Austerity vindicated!

The FN is no longer very conservative on moral issues. And they aren't so much dirigiste as they are skeptical of Anglo-Saxon capitalism. It would be kind of silly for them to be too dirregiste because after all your average Polytechnique graduate despises the party. Anti-globalism and dirigism don't mix.

#1 - Not the best website to link to, however the results from the tests carried out at NASA are intriguing - Basically saying that a force was observed under test conditions and there's no clearly understood mechanism to explain the presence of that force. See http://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp?R=20140006052 It will be interesting to see if the effect can be duplicated under more rigorous conditions. If validated - and if it scales up - the implications for propulsive systems are so revolutionary that this particular item certainly appears to be worth further investigation. Wonder who will be the first to install one in a nuclear sub?

This force isn't new. See lifter project. And the force is far far too smal to scale up for a nuclear sub. Space is a place for ion/hall effect engines or another form of EM engine.

Lifters create lift by driving ionised air downwards via an electrified wire. This force appears to be generated in a somewhat different manner - Quote: "is producing a force that is not attributable to any classical electromagnetic phenomenon and therefore is potentially demonstrating an interaction with the quantum vacuum virtual plasma."

Ionised air does not account for all the force an asymmetrical capacitor can produce, and effects have been shown in a vaccum negating air as the sole source.

The quote is likely rubbish.

11 different links in that post… I hardly know where to begin.

David Brook is such a sweetheart, he sat next to Mark Shields forever and basically never had a tiff on air with him despite Mark Shields being basically a naive doctrinaire partisan. Brooks also apparently has intimate and friendly relations with police on a regular basis that he will miss dearly.

"Brooks also apparently has intimate and friendly relations with police on a regular basis that he will miss dearly."

Heh. I did find that part of his argument rather odd. He seemingly was trying to cram a general social theory he has into a space where it doesn't really fit.

#4 -- try comparing this across time, not countries. if ideology is universal, it should apply to the 1860s, the 1930s, the Roman republic, Bismarck's welfare state, etc., not just to members of capitalist NATO countries in the post-WWII era with media and communication often shared across borders.

A recent biography of John Adams jr tries valiantly to draw a straight line from Adams to Obama, and, concomitantly, from Jefferson to John Boehner. It is comically unconvincing.

Left vs. Right is about motivations, not specific policies. In particular, it's about hierarchy. The leftist impulse is leveling, the rightist do defend hierarchy as either necessary or virtuous. This framework explains the persistence of agreement about right vs left over time (e.g. Everyone agrees Athens was left of Sparta) and both sides' discomfort with capitalism, which constantly tears down existing hierarchies while building new ones.

Ok but your average Spartan infantry formation was run on far more democratic and egalitarian lines than your average Athenian tiereme. Sparta's Kings were also far more constricted in their power than Pericles at the height of his power. Not to mention that this analysis does not apply to the rights of women in either society.

Honestly now that I think about it this analysis is completely unsound Spartan society was definitely more fragmented than Athenian society, which was still very fragmented, but it wasn't that much more hierarchical.

Along similar lines your average Southern small farmer was infinitely less deferential to elites than was a grovelling 1950s factory worker in the North. Hierarchy is inevitable the real diving line is whether the past commands an authority of its own. You are right to identify leveling as the motivating impulse, but that which is being leveled is not so much hierarchies but Chesterton's fence metaphor.

More accurate: Everyone agrees that their vague concept of Sparta, as remembered from the historical documentary 300, is rightward of their vague concept of Athens, as remembered from Clash of the Titans.

Ha. Arguably, free market mechanisms are decentralized, while state-directed economies and SJW types are deeply hierarchical.

Two can play at that game. Is not the Leftist impulse is to enforce conformity in all economic transactions and social values, while the rightist impulse is about anti-authoritarian impulse of people to decide for themselves what they value?

You failed the Ideological Turing Test.

"Left vs. Right is about motivations, not specific policies."

Good point. I think this gets at why libertarians can't get any traction by harping on "crony capitalism." The left is quite sure that at the heart of that argument is a defense of inequality, and aesthetically it's bad by promoting a whole nebulous cash nexus way of thinking. Or something like that. They prefer the crony-ness and icky reality of Real Existing Capitalism to giving people with a terrible, abstract ideology any kind of victory.

That's the funniest anachronism I've heard in a long time. Were the Mongols to the right of the Huns? Were the Hittites to the left of the Amorites? Everyone knows the Jebusites were CINOs (Caananites in Name Only).

" The leftist impulse is leveling, the rightist do defend hierarchy as either necessary or virtuous."

That doesn't hold true even from a casual inspection of the data. Obvious counter examples from the US: The Right supports school vouchers the Left is against. The Right supports right to work (and meritocratic work places), the Left supports unionism (and seniority systems). The Left supports Identity politics, the Right is against. The Right supports Term Limits, the Left is against. Etc.

Most research on political ideologies that try to map on the Republican/Democrat divide seems mostly useless given that they are just historically contingent, logically inconsistent grab-bags of political stances. You're not going to find some unifying principle underlying each group, no matter how much you try.

A simple yet so-often-ignored truth.

I think Ambrose Bierce had it right: ""Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles."

" The Left supports Identity politics, the Right is against. "

You we going fine for a while until you got to that one.

No, a lot of these support leveling. Yes unions have seniority systems, but they help equalize wages. And school vouchers allow the best and brightest - or at least those with more motivated parents - to separate themselves from the rabble.

"The rightist do defend hierarchy as either necessary or virtuous…"

Libertarians could give a whit about this for the most part, but for the left libertarian individualism ends up contributing to the same "problem."

"No, a lot of these support leveling. Yes unions have seniority systems, but they help equalize wages. And school vouchers allow the best and brightest – or at least those with more motivated parents – to separate themselves from the rabble."

I think at that point your definition is so vague as to be useless.

You don't see how preventing heterogeneity in schooling and dragooning everyone into the same instruction is leveling?

Putting a camera on an officer means she is less likely to cut you some slack, less likely to not write that ticket, or to bend the regulations a little as a sign of mutual care.

This could be good because it could build pressure to end some bad laws. I.e. if middle-class college students are arrested for drug use maybe the war on drugs will be ended.

What makes you think that kids from wage-earning families get busted at rock concerts and kids from bourgeois families do not?

Re: Moore's Law at 50

I was just reminiscing today that I bought a 32K memory upgrade to my TRS80 Model III in 1982 at a cost of $200. Today, I bought a 64GB SD memory card for $30, ie approximately 12 1982 dollars. So that's an improvement of 2x1024x1024x200/12, or about a 35 million-fold improvement in 33 years, or a compound growth rate of just under 70 percent per year. Wow.

A nice young lady cop stopped me for going 59 in a 35 mph zone a few months ago, and very charmingly let me off with a warning. Usually, after I get a speeding ticket, I grit my teeth angrily until the cop is out of sight, then I floor it, and drive a little faster than usual for the next couple of days, just to show 'em. But this incident left me shaken, I've thought about it a great deal, and have been conscious of the speed of my driving ever since. Every time I'm tempted to drop the hammer, I think about how this cop gave me a break, and I hold off. It goes to show you that a little kindness can go a long way in law enforcement. If cop cams make the the type of lenience I experienced impossible, it would indeed be a great loss.

There's been some anxiety about Moore's law lately because the clock speeds of microprocessors are no longer increasing as they used to: transistors are still getting smaller, but they're not getting faster. The result is still more computing capacity per processor chip, but the improvement is in more processor cores instead of faster ones, and software isn't always able to use these additional parallel-processing resources.

And then there are plain old magnetic hard disks. These aren't even semiconductor devices, yet their capacity has increased even faster than Moore's Law (i.e., shorter doubling time) for over 50 years.

In any case, it may be that any increased processing power is, due to limitations on battery power, unlikely to wind up in our pockets and more likely to end up in server farms. After all, you don't really need to have all that processing power in a connected device if you can unload the heavy lifting (computing) to a server somewhere.

And then there's the software frontier: even if Moore's Law were to die tomorrow, it's hard to believe that far more value couldn't be programmed into the hardware we have now.

"So either give a ticket to everyone going 66 mph in a 65, or remove no speed limits entirely?"
Or make it 70 mph or 80 mph, if you want a number (if you want speed limits, it seems to be the case) and you think 66 mph is a safe speed. It is better than "65 mph unless I like you".
If you don't care about people going 66 mph, it is not the speed that worries you, it is another dangerous behavior. We would be better addressing the real issue, whatever it may be.

4. Being "socially liberal and economically conservative" does not make you a libertarian. There are plenty of people who support abortion, homosexual marriage, mass immigration and "diversity" and don't want to be asked to pay for any of it, but many of them also support wars to spread "democracy" to everywhere in the world except the West Bank and Gaza. To be an "ideologically pure" libertarian one must be noninterventionalist. Though that doesn't stop many people from identifying as libertarian anyway:

Of libertarian respondents, 41 percent said that the government had a role in regulating business to protect the public interest. Similarly, about 38 percent stated that government assistance to the poor “does more good than harm because people can’t get out of poverty until their basic needs are met.” For foreign policy, 43 percent of libertarians believe that the United States should be more active in world affairs, whereas the public is more skeptical, with only 35 percent believing the same proposition.


For a lot of people, I suspect being "libertarian" is more about fashion than anything else, they don't want to be associated with those unpopular White Christian conservatives.The number of people who are ideologically pure libertarians is probably a small fraction of the population, as Krugman initially said. The reason is simple: no major group believes it would benefit from consistently applied libertarianism.

"To be an “ideologically pure” libertarian one must be noninterventionalist."

LOL, There's no Official Membership Card that you get issued by the Libertarian Department of Admissions. So Krugman's approach is just a fallacy of definition.

Yeah. You can object that few people are purely right-wing or left-wing either, but this is not true to the same extent.

If you want to construct another axis besides left vs. right that reflects public opinion, I like tender-mindedness vs. tough-mindedness.

Asking if people are socially liberal and economically conservative doesn't determine whether one is a libertarian anyway, as it conflates opposition to legal restriction or mandate with approval. The same goes for approval of various types of "intervention".

#1 Every trekies know that the warp drive is based on the Alcubierre drive http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcubierre_drive#Relation_to_Star_Trek_warp_drive

#1 The universe can't be a free lunch because TINSTAAFL says so. What you seem to be saying is that introductory economics has proven the existence of God. Actually, at least 2 gods because a transaction had to be taking place. I seem to be the first to have noticed this groundbreaking discovery, so I'm taking all the credit.

#4 In Poland PIS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_and_Justice) literally "supports religious traditionalism and a more expansive welfare state" facing PO (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civic_Platform) a more pro-business party.

#4: Many have long recognized that the old left-right scheme is inadequate to represent people's views. The Political Compass is a very good alternative: http://www.politicalcompass.org/ They propose two axes, one economic, the other social: left-right for economical views (collectivism vs. individualism, redistribution or not); and libertarian vs. authoritarian, on how far the state should go in regulating behavior unrelated to economics (morals etc.), from Fascism to Anarchism.

It also shows why tow parties are just not enough to represent the views people hold.

Interesting the complete absence of any UK Parties on the libertarian right https://www.politicalcompass.org/uk2015

It is also interesting how far to the right this puts Barack Obama https://www.politicalcompass.org/uselection2012

What you don't see around the world is a party system where the ideologies are flipped. Where the hawkish party supports religious traditionalism and a more expansive welfare state, while facing opposition from a dovish socially progressive pro-business party.

Invoking Godwin's law, I will just point that the NSDAP supported progressive taxes and an expansive welfare state (for ethnic Germans), while clearly being hawkish, and not "socially progessive" on issues like ethnic minorities, abortion (for ethnic Germans), or gay marriage. The Nazis were opposed to religious traditionalism, but not in the normal secular sense. The Nazis were also what we would now call progressive on public health issues - very anti-smoking, promotion of healthy diets, etc. Both the Stalinist and Maoist versions of Communism were very puritanical on social issues despite being very far left on redistribution of wealth. While the Nazis were probably conservationist on environmental issues, the environmental policies of Communist parties tends to be appallingly short-sighted even by right wing American standards.

Seems to me the American left tends to favor collective solutions to foster individual happiness, whereas the right wants individual freedoms to create a coherent collective. Neither ideology really wants to grapple with those contradictions.

"Invoking Godwin’s law, I will just point that the NSDAP supported progressive taxes and an expansive welfare state (for ethnic Germans), while clearly being hawkish, and not “socially progessive” on issues like ethnic minorities"

But, for other side, was also (at least when it becomes a big party) the pro-business (for ethnic Germans) party, at least in the context of the german party system of the time (where the biggest parties were the NSDAP, the SPD and the Communists)

8. is an especially important reminder in this age of SMARTPHONES everywhere, when any snippet of speech can be broadcast on social media as fodder for the Internet outrage machine. What I have in mind is the current Bi Fujian incident in China; examples abound in the American context.

#8: The problem I see with Brooks' thesis is that interactions with the police are fundamentally not private, they are always potentially a part of the public record. Without cameras, though, what goes into that record is what the police officer chooses and remembers to enter, not what actually happened. The real problem, in my eyes, is that civilians may feel that interactions with police are private, and police might foster that feeling, when in fact those interactions are anything but. Cameras will help civilians remember that police officers are not just another guy you're talking to.

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