Markets in everything

From my email Inbox:

Greetings T. Cowen,

I’m L. Ron Gardner and I’ve just published a mind-blowing novel/libertarian manifesto — Kill Jesus: The Shocking Return of the Chosen One — that you might want to review at your site. It is about Jesus reincarnating and attempting to end the Fed, which his father controls. The book, which has been described as “Atlas Shrugged on ‘roids,” is available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle.


"Jack Cohen" as the reincarnation of Jesus is pretty good, though.

Wouldn't "Josh Cohen" be better?

Too on-the-nose.

All three of the Amazon reviews are 5 star.

There are a lot of books on Amazon with three 5 star reviews. I wonder which three people wrote the reviews? Just saying. When it comes to reviews, a small sample size also comes with massive selection bias.

The author, in these cases, basically has three friends who can be persuaded to write a review?

"I am a mystic-philosopher..."


I am the very model of a mystical philosopher. But I won't even try to match this work of genius.

Paging Larry Iannaccone...

Features a complicated and troubled relationship with the gold standard

L. Ron Gardner: "The practice of celibacy is not about morality; it’s about energy. Simply put, when one desists from sexual orgasm, the conserved vital energy can easily be transmuted into increased spiritual energy. And if one has not awakened spiritual energy, the practice of celibacy can provide the boost to awaken it." St. Paul practiced and promoted celibacy and the single life - the whole Christian "family" thing was invented in the 1950s. Gardner: "Celibacy is similar to fasting: Just as the first few days of a fast are the hardest, the first couple of weeks of sexual abstinence can be the most difficult. But once you’ve made it a couple of weeks, you should really begin to notice the difference in your meditation." A couple of weeks? He's never been married.

"St. Paul practiced and promoted celibacy and the single life – the whole Christian “family” thing was invented in the 1950s."
Peter, at the other hand, was married.

Yes, and Paul didn't care much for Peter, James, and John. The celibacy movement grew with the Jesus movement, especially among young women, who were rebelling against a life of sex, birth, death, and decay.

"the whole Christian “family” thing was invented in the 1950s."

Sure, sure. There were no Christian families before the 1950's. No one Caroled. No one celebrated Christmas, or attended a Christian church. Christian families were all a giant marketing campaign developed by the Eisenhower administration.

In Scotland Christmas was effectively outlawed for centuries following John Knox and the reformation. It only became a public holiday in 1957. It's part of the reason why Hogmanay is such a big deal.

He was probably referring to fasting, but if you are married why wouldn't you watch porn and jerk off?

Anyway, I am right with him. Plus you can put the time you would have in getting/preparing food into work; enough time to draft a nice fed auditing bill.

Um, abstaining from sex, including and perhaps especially masturbation, is more like abstaining from exercise. It leaves you weak and shriveled. It's advice given by your reproductive rivals and is intended to reduce your evolutionary fitness.

E. Harding writes novels?

There's a narrative problem with any protagonist that can perform miracles.

Either they use their divine power, leading to a boring book with no dramatic tension. Or for some reason the protagonist doesn't use miracles, leaving the reader baffled or irritated.

They might run out of mana potions at an inopportune time, which could be suspenseful

I think you get better mail / books sent to you. Is it wrong of me to feel slightly envious?

"L. Ron" ? Huh, where have we heard that one . . . South Park's crawl come to mind: "This is what Scientologists actually believe".

Reminds me of this one:

never trust an L. Ron

Harsh. He could have taken the ring for himself and didn't.

D'you do Ron wrong, wrong; d'you do Ron wrong?

Janet Yellen is God? Who knew?

My first thought was "I would totally read that, assuming it is to books as Kung Fury is to movies."
My second thought was "What kind of human writes that email and thinks 'Perfect, this is exactly what I want to send to an academic reviewer'?"
My subsequent thoughts attempted to answer the second, and made me rethink the first.

So Tyler, when are you going to post the review. Is it possible for an author to gift something to a kindle while still using DRM?

That is why I have no respect for libertarians.

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