Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The internet is so weird.

Judge Richard Posner interviewed in online game Second Life.

The Becker-Posner blog is pretty awesome. Read more.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Spotted on the internet

From a comment on a popular blog:
Here in Tampa we have a child murdered with a fair degree of frequency.

That poor kid!

I'm not linking the original source. The purpose here is not to humiliate, but to celebrate the humor of poor word choice. Read more.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Will Wilkinson on Rawls

It's a good read. Read more.

Cafe Hayek comment

A comment I posted in this thread:

The difference, as I perceive it, is that the Scott Kirwins are caught in the experiment. If Dell's Scott Kirwins are "outsourced", they suffer significant economic harm... at least for a while. Dell, on the other hand, suffers a minor setback and regroups handily.

This is probably true. At the same time, a more protectionist policy will create Scott Kirwins in other countries, as well as increasing costs to consumers and company stockholders, all average joes themselves.

There are always negative effects. We're not talking about Pareto efficiency here--quite often we're talking about processes that may be painful for various individuals for lengths of time, through no fault of their own.

The problem, as I view it, is that those concerned for these individuals always jump for extreme policies. In Tim Harford's words, the economy is truth: it reveals the true preferences of millions of individuals interacting with each other. Sometimes this truth is ugly. His example: Elderly people in England going without heat in the winter because they cannot afford high gas prices, and subsequently freezing to death.

So what, when we don't like the truth, should we do? If it is our plan to lie, to fool the market into producing a lie, it is always better to tell little white lies than big whoppers. It's better to subsidize English elderly than to establish a price cap. It's better to expand the EITC or institute a negative income tax than to raise the minimum wage. It's better to provide free job retraining to unemployed individuals than to establish protectionist tariffs.

As a libertarian I may disagree that little white lies are necessary, but I can certainly admit that they're superior, that the misallocations they result in are less inefficient, less unjust. Unfortunately they are not what make it through as policy proposals, quite often because the inefficiency they cut off is the very profit that special interests seek.
Read more.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Chiptunes and Politics

Those of you who are interested in chiptunes and hate Republicans will want to watch this video. Goto80's song "Ter4" set to a fake Commodore 64 game called "Pilgrim's Progress." Apparently created by James Dingle.

It's cute, if a bit heavy-handed. Also good is the video for Fantasy (which may have some not-work-appropriate lyrics).

Goto80 is probably my favorite chiptune artist (if we're not counting Rob Hubbard), but to be honest I haven't delved too deep into the scene. Currently missing Blip Festival in NYC. Maybe another year.

If you're looking for the ultimate in videogame music videos and politics, though, look no further than Ken Ishii's Space Invaders 2003. (AVI, 9.38 MB)

I know, I link too much. Read more.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Hell is reserved for bureaucrats

Too disgusting not to be noted. via Nobody's Business:
From now on, feeding the homeless in Fairfax County will require more than just a big heart. You'll also need a commercial-grade refrigerator, a three-compartment sink and county certification.
. . .
"We're very aware that a number of homeless people eat out of Dumpsters, and Mom's pot roast has got to be healthier than that," said Jim Brigl, chief executive of Fairfax Area Christian Emergency & Transitional Services. "But that doesn't meet the code."

This is evil. Read more.