Tuesday 28 December, 2021

Live in Venice

Quote of the Day

”If God had been a Liberal, we wouldn’t have had the Ten Commandments — we’d have the ten suggestions.”

  • Malcolm Bradbury

Musical alternative to the morning’s radio news

Paul McCartney, Sting, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Phil Collins | Hey Jude


What you might all an all-star team.

Long Read of the Day

The liberty of local bullies

Noah Smith revisits a great essay he wrote in 2011 on the misconceptions of libertarianism.

The modern American libertarian ideology does not deal with the issue of local bullies. In the world envisioned by Nozick, Hayek, Rand, and other foundational thinkers of the movement, there are only two levels to society – the government (the “big bully”) and the individual. If your freedom is not being taken away by the biggest bully that exists, your freedom is not being taken away at all.

In a perfect libertarian world, it is therefore possible for rich people to buy all the beaches and charge admission fees to whomever they want (or simply ban anyone they choose). In a libertarian world, a self-organized cartel of white people can, under certain conditions, get together and effectively prohibit black people from being able to go out to dinner in their own city. In a libertarian world, a corporate boss can use the threat of unemployment to force you into accepting unsafe working conditions. In other words, the local bullies are free to revoke the freedoms of individuals, using methods more subtle than overt violent coercion.

I’m always baffled by the way perfectly intelligent people are seduced by libertarian fantasies.

A Japanese photographer’s bittersweet archive of his late wife 

Transcript of a memorable interview with a remarkable photographer, Seiichi Furuya, which — among other things — is a reminder of the importance of photo books in a digital age.

E.O. Wilson RIP

The founder of ‘sociobiology’ passed away on Sunday. The NYT has a good obituary of him, which also include a fascinating, hitherto unseen video.


My commonplace booklet

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