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This is the archive for December 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008

This is going to blow the minds of a lot of people I've been arguing with about anarchy.

No society worth having can function without some malum prohibitum rules.

Now, most of those I've been arguing with should agree with that. In fact, one of the objections I get over and over again stems from equating anarchy with the a-priori absence of all such rules. I'd like to see them try to reconcile what they're arguing against, what they think I am arguing for, with that statement. It can't be done.

For those of you willing to proceed with the understanding that I believe that to be true, I offer the following hypothesis: Government is incapable of generating rational mala prohibitum laws. Not pathologically incapable, but that its very nature contradicts the possibility of doing so. Federalism was, in fact, an attempt (unknowingly) to get around that fundamental flaw in the nature of government, but it merely reduced and masked the effects, it did not address the flaw itself. It was a band-aid over the sores produced by a genetic defect.

Proving it requires a bit more groundwork, and so I'll leave it at that for the moment, as an assertion to be backed up later.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Damn straight

Billy's one of the most educated people I know. If you read enough of his comments here and there, or even just look at how the little "off the shelves" blurb at the top of his blog changes over time, you get a sense of the depth of his reading. I won't go all gushy and say "he taught me everything I know", mostly because it's not true - I've done a hell of a lot of it on my own, and from picking little bits here and there from a lot of people, and figuring out how they all fit together - but I have learned a hell of a lot from him.

His "crazy" idea to hang out a shingle as "Philosopher at Large" isn't so crazy. Back when I was involved in Second Life, I considered doing just that in there, for pay. The problem with doing it in "First Life" is that there's probably a total of about 14 adults in my town who would even consider such a thing, and so the internet is a much more target-rich environment.

On the other hand, I've had some recent contact with the local homeschoolers. I decided to clean out my bookshelves - there simply isn't room to even store the entire collection - and so I donated 12 file boxes full of them to the group. It got me thinking that they are probably a market for just this sort of thing. I was thinking more in terms of teaching some C++, or at least basic programming, but they'd probably eat up some formal teaching in philosophy, or even informal discussions. And I've still got enough books left to run a lending library to some tens of these intelligent kids.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Just a quick note, regarding some arguments I've been watching around...

A position, even the most obstinately held one, is not a principle. Principles support positions. Principles are facts that can be traced all the way back, with the best logic you can muster, to things you can see, touch, taste, smell or hear, with your very own eyes, ears, nose, mouth and skin. "Gun rights" is no more a principle, and no less a mere position, than "Britney Spears is, like, the best singer evurrrrr!". except that only one of them is based on true principles.