Are You an "Internal" or an "External?" And Which is Mitch Daniels?

The American recently ran an interesting piece by Lee Harris about "natural libertarians," those brave, semi-paranoiac, freedom-fighter fools who are "the greatest roadblock on the road back to serfdom." Harris recalls a concept from social psychology in explaining where natural libertarians come from:

In 1966, American psychologist Julian Rotter published a paper that introduced the concept known as locus of control. Human beings, according to Rotter, could be divided into two basic groups: those who believed their locus of control was within themselves, and those who see themselves as under the control of forces located outside themselves, such as luck, or fate, or other people whose will cannot be resisted. The first group, called internals, believe that they are the masters of their own destiny; they tend to be high-achievers, optimistic about their ability to improve their lot, and to discard bad habits. They believe in willpower and positive thinking. They are determined to control their own lives, for better or worse. Members of the second group are called externals. They look on themselves as victims of circumstances, the playthings of fate. If they go to bed drunk, light up a cigarette, and burn their house down, they explain the disaster as another instance of their bad luck, and not their poor judgment, much less their bad habits. On the other hand, if a drunk driver hits an internal, the internal will scold himself that he should have been more alert at the wheel, he should have seen the drunk coming and swerved in time to avoid him.

Natural libertarians, says Harris are internals, while nanny staters of various stripes tend to be externals. More important, perhaps, is Harris' argument that "internal" and "external" orientations are to some extent learned or unlearned via cultural institutions (on this point, he references Martin Seligman's idea of "learned helplessness"). That means that whole societies can shift based on what values are most successfully circulated and inculcated. He cites Bismarck's Germany, the original welfare state, as a society that tried with some success to breed dependency on the state into its citizens. On the flip side are the Nuer of Sudan, who

are taught from an early age to resist being bullied by others and to fight back at the first attempt at dominating them. But wherever it may be found, at the heart of the tradition of independence lives a set of imperatives. Be self-reliant. Don’t take other people’s word for something; think for yourself. Never become anyone’s follower. Bow down before no one. Stand up for your rights. Don’t let bullies intimidate you. Don’t permit yourself to become the slave of an addiction and thereby forfeit your all-important self-control. And do whatever you can to make sure that other members of your community uphold and cherish the same tradition of independence.

Whole story here.

So what does any of this have to do with Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-Ind.), the dynamist-loving, budget-hawking head of one of the few states that isn't completely in the shitter in large part due to his stewardship? Here's the Syrian-American Presbyterian talking to an Indiana TV station about where morality comes from:

People who reject the idea of a God -who think that we're just accidental protoplasm- have always been with us. What bothers me is the implications -which not all such folks have thought through- because really, if we are just accidental, if this life is all there is, if there is no eternal standard of right and wrong, then all that matters is power.

And atheism leads to brutality....

This is an old argument: That when God is dead, all things are possible. It is empirically wrong when it comes to morality. Believers, even good, upstanding Christians, have certainly visited their share of hell on this earth and non-believers are hardly more likely to be the killers among us. What's interesting to me in this context is that Daniels blurs the boundaries between internals and externals. Morality comes from outside of us, says Daniels, in the form of God who lays down "eternal" standards. Yet his Christianity actually forces him to take personal responsibility for his way of living and forces him to choose carefully, which seems like something an internal would think.

The whole idea of equality of men and women [and] of the races all springs from the notion that we're all children of a just God. It is very important to at least my notion of what America's about and should be about and I hope it's reflected most of the time in the choices that we make personally.

Daniels reading of equality before God as a pretext for political liberation is straight out of 17th century England and the naturally libertarian Roundheads who "resisted" Charles The First, according to Lee Harris (who I think is right to call them that; the fact that they decapitated the king and brutalized many others suggests one way that, contra Daniels, believers can be as morally indifferent as atheists). Note also that Daniels, who called for a truce in culture war issues lately (only to be attacked by conservatives such as Mike Huckabee), is emphatic both on separation of church and state and the old-praying-on-the-street-corner bit:

I also take very seriously the responsibility to treat my public duties in a way that keeps separate church and state and respects alternative views....

I've sometimes referred to it as a Matthew 6 Christian. If you read that chapter, it's the one that talks about praying in private, not giving your alms in public, not being ostentatious about your faith.

Maybe the inney-outey thing just ain't up to describing folks all that well. Or maybe Daniels is interesting precisely because he confounds the categories that seem to govern the rest of us. Whatever the reason, you've got to admire a pol who managed to get almost $4 billion by leasing a money-losing toll road and to piss off Mike Huckabee. 

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  • ||

    That picture of the Huckabees is the gift that keeps on giving.

  • Warty||

    I just wonder how long it takes them to devour a dog like that.

  • ||

    Depends on if they kill it first.

  • ||

    Raw meat is much lighter.

    Besides, mom is clearly strangling it as the picture is being taken. Do you think there's a sexual element in it for them?

  • ||

    Mom has a look of infinity sadness in her eyes, like an ocean of misery is bursting behind them. Of course that might just be the residual twat pain from giving birth to those two gigantic retards looming over her.

  • Subsidize Me!||

    Do gastric bypass surgeons do a family discount? Holy fucking shit, Batman.

  • ||

    Dude that picture is fucking evil, it makes my goddamn skin crawl.

    They look like some sort of twisted pscho-sexual family unit capable of all sorts of vile behavior. Like the family from "The Aristocrats" joke.

  • ||

    ...and their little doggie too.

  • ||

    I've always liked the version where the father reads poetry, while the son plays piano, accompanied by daughter on the harp, while mom serves tea and cookies. And what do you call this act? The cocksucking motherfuckers.

  • Ragin Cajun||

    "Maybe if we wear vertical stripes, no one will notice that we weigh a metric ton each."

  • Jeff P||

    It's like an entire family of John Candy characters...

  • ||

    And yet, they STILL didn't think to leave them un-tucked.... Nothing more disturbing than a few hundred kilos of adipose fat tissue being restrained by a thin sheet of cotton and a button... *shivers*

  • ||

    If they didn't tuck them in, people might think they were fat.

  • Zeb||

    TO their credit, most of them thought to cover their waistlines.

  • Sniktpool||

    This is why I don't give fatties a head start in foot races. If I see their bouncing toruses of fat in front of me, I'll either go blind or fall over lauging.

  • Byron||

    +1 point for the first joke I've ever seen invoking the torus. Nice work! =)

  • ||

    Sweet another thread where everybody bitches about the hard-core proselytizers(believers and non-believers) that harangue and harass them at every step.

    Incidentally, I never seem to run across these militant atheists, and persistent jesus freaks in my day to day dealings. Maybe I run with a more laid back crowd.

    Not to say the article was not well written and entertaining, it was.

  • ||

    Oh, brother! Another day, another ridiculous, cringe-inducing false equivalence.

    Yeah, watch out for those "hardcore proselytizing militant atheists", cuz they'll like totally write books and blogs and put up innocuous billboards and stuff. Hell, some of them may even have the temerity to speak with candor. Oh, my!

    Get some perspective for crying out loud. You look ridiculous.

  • Nephilium||

    Meh... I've dealt with the believer types before. Few things are more annoying then walking out of a bar, having a cute girl walk up to you, and finding out she's the bait for three Jack Chick believers...

    They didn't even have Dark Dungeons...

  • Fluffy||

    The real problem with the argument that the Judeo-Christian tradition provides better moral guidance than secular humanism is that the flaws in that tradition render its supposed advantages moot.

    Judeo-Christianity can be "superior" to secular humanism for purposes of public morality if it does certain things:

    1. If it provides clear guidance as to what is right and what is wrong

    2. If that guidance is unalterable, and doesn't change with circumstances or with time and place [i.e. if it's not "culturally relative" or "historically relative"]

    But it's actually neither of those things. The moral code presented to us by the Judeo-Christian tradition is incredibly opaque and debatable, and is culturally and historically relative.

    And it's hard argue that atheism leads to brutality when Yahweh specifically commanded, led, and materially participated in a genocide. How can atheism top that?

  • robc||

    Yahweh kills all men - sometimes he uses cancer, sometimes he uses drunk drivers, sometimes he uses earthquakes, sometimes he uses Joshua.

  • robc||

    So, if by "genocide" you mean the entire human race, then yeah.

  • Fluffy||

    If you're saying that the fact that all men die in the end means that it doesn't matter if Yahweh commands the Hebrews to slaughter women and children, that would tend to go to my #1 point.

    That sort of "Listen to the sound of one hand exterminating" stuff can be mind-expanding, but what it's not is simple and clear moral guidance.

  • robc||

    So, you would be more okay with it if Jericho had been struck by a plague?

    This may go more to your #2 point, but in context, I dont think #1 was in doubt. Exterminating the canaanites was a direct order from God. That makes right/wrong pretty clear cut. But, note that once the didnt do it, future generations were not ordered to finish the job. In fact, they were forbidden from it. They were still to avoid intermarrying and worshiping their gods, but they werent to kill them anymore.

    Is that a #2 type relativity or is it just that the original order was a sufficiently special case to not draw any specific rules from it (other than "obey God")?

  • Fluffy||

    There's relativity all over the Bible, since there are patriarchs beloved by God before the existence of the law, and if you include the New Testament the whole law is thrown out at one point and we start over.

    You can get around that the same way people try to get around the problem of Job, by saying that the consistency is abject submission to the will of God, but at the end of Job it's made explicit that that will can never really be known or understood, and if the will of God changes over time, or if God concealed part of his will from people at one time, we can never be sure if tomorrow the guy who tells us God's new will is that we steal and bear false witness and kill our parents isn't telling the truth. So it becomes a combo #1 and #2 problem.

  • Fluffy||

    Yikes. Not a good sentence. But it's decipherable with patience.

  • robc||

    I probably consider myself a dispensationalist, so this bit:

    if God concealed part of his will from people at one time

    has some truth to it. I wouldnt say concealed as much as not yet revealed. Tomato/Potato.

    However, I dont think

    we can never be sure if tomorrow the guy who tells us God's new will is that we steal and bear false witness and kill our parents isn't telling the truth.

    that is a problem. There is a clear appeal to rightness in general.

    You see the genocide of the canaanites as some kind of relativity...I see a bunch of false-god worshipers who needed killin'.

    I guess its like me being okay with the death penalty (although not with our current judicial system). If someone deserves to die, someone has to be the hangman.

  • Fluffy||

    But once we see that at one time part of God's will was concealed / not revealed, all bets are off.

    We know that we cannot know the mind of God, because we are just before his feet yadda yadda yadda. Therefore we can't really say, "NO WAY would God all of a sudden decide to reveal that he secretly meant all along for us to kill all brown people". We can't know that. He's too big, and we're too little. He may very well spring that on us. Tomorrow. Or yesterday, and we just didn't get the word yet, and only the Christian Identity guys know.

  • Fluffy||

    Sorry, "dust" before his feet.

  • robc||

    Except the dispensations never didnt fit together, they were adding another piece, not necessarily taking anything away.

    A comparison can be made to the miracles in the NT.

    You can contrast the miracles performed by Jesus with the ones the Devil asked him to perform in the desert. The ones performed were (to steal a quote form someone - CS Lewis maybe) "in the family style". Every year water turns to wine, Jesus just sped up the process. Every year one fish turns into many fishes, yadda yadda yadda. Even raising the dead was a miracle projecting into the future.

    Satan, on the other hand, asked him to turn stone into bread.

    Really stretching analogy to the dispensation thing, but I think you can see where Im going with it.

    Heck, eventually I might go Goedel on you, so might as well do it now:

    No system of morality can be clear and non-relativistic.

  • Yahweh ||

    First time I noticed Che Guevara, my first thought, 'Motherfuck, it's Joshua all over again. Unfortunately, another God got a hold of Che before I did.'

  • robc||

    Rahab and her family lived, so it wasnt really genocide, was it? Everyone in Jericho had the same option that she took.

    (Using the Jericho portion of the "genocide" as the example for obvious reasons)

  • Fluffy||

    Not really. The spies didn't go door to door asking for help. That would have kind of contradicted their mission as spies, right?

  • robc||

    Not so much that as the accept Jehovah as their God and repent.

    Ive seen a commentary comparing Jericho to Sodom and Gomorrah in that way.

    Not that the jews were doing much proselytizing.

  • Jersey Patriot||

    Why would the Canaanites have even known about YHWH? YHWH was the tribal god of a people who had lived dozens of miles away as slaves in Egypt for hundreds of years. YHWH sent no missionaries to Canaan. Heck, why didn't they worship Dionysius, too?

  • Jeff P||

    I love a god with call letters for a name.

  • robc||

    Ignorance is no excuse. :)

    Some might say that the one true God is evident to all and that the canaanites ignored the evidence and worshiped false gods. And behaved in ways that were contradictory to the wishes of the true God, even though they didnt no his name.

    Also, it wasnt like jews hadnt lived in Canaan previously. Sure it had been a while since Jacob and Sons and left for egypt, but it wasnt like they were never there.

  • Jersey Patriot||

    Some might say that the one true God is evident to all and that the canaanites ignored the evidence and worshiped false gods.

    There is no evidence, so no.

    Also, it wasnt like jews hadnt lived in Canaan previously. Sure it had been a while since Jacob and Sons and left for egypt, but it wasnt like they were never there.

    They left 400 years prior, voluntarily I might add. How much do you know about the mythology of the Algonquins?

  • robc||

    How much do you know about the mythology of the Algonquins?

    None at all. But if they try to claim my land based on some 400 year old claim, I will defend it like a Jerichoan. Only, you know, more successfully.

  • Fluffy||

    Right, but the order explicitly denied the Canaanites the option of converting.

    Living side by side with them long enough to talk with them might have resulted in some Hebrews converting instead, and to forestall that possibility complete extermination was ordered.

    It also creates a problem of justice, since every other human group on Earth besides the Hebrews was equally outside the community of YHWH worshippers [most of them even more so, since at least YHWH was part of the Canaanite pantheon], but only the ones with land the Hebrews wanted ended up on the Naughty List.

  • robc||

    Fluffy, see my trespassers comment.

    Not land the Hebrews wanted. Land that WAS theirs. Thats, of course, accepting their texts as truth.

  • robc||

    Also, clearly some of them didnt want the land, considering the 2.5 tribes settled on the wrong side of the river.

  • Fluffy||

    Sure, but this goes to #1.

    On the one hand, we have the commandment against coveting, which some might see as a useful tool for keeping people from stealing.

    On the other hand, if someone shows up and says, "Yahweh says this land is mine and you have to leave," how do we tell them they're wrong?

    There is an irreconcilable conflict between any fixed code of morality and the existence of a supernatural being whose will is synonymous with morality. Because that being can just declare your land or your iPod ro whatever somebody else's and tell them to kill you at any moment. He's done it before.

  • robc||

    On the other hand, if someone shows up and says, "Yahweh says this land is mine and you have to leave," how do we tell them they're wrong?

    At nearly the same time I posted:

    I will defend it like a Jerichoan. Only, you know, more successfully.

    In the end, unfortunately, might makes right. Winners write the laws. The Angles/Saxons/Jutes didnt really own England, becuase the Normans were stronger.

  • robc||

    Also, also, the Canaanites were trespassers. Depending on how you feel about Texas law....

  • Fluffy||

    As another example of cultural relativism in the Bible, Deuteronomy commands the faithful to go to any city where anyone is preaching against Yahweh, and kill everyone there.

    Is this command still in effect, or has it lapsed?

    These are the kinds of questions that make the JC tradition's superior utility as a clear and consistent moral guide somewhat questionable.

  • robc||

    Is this command still in effect, or has it lapsed?

    You would have to ask a jew whether it still applied to them.

    It never applied to a christian.

    Personally never was big on the term judeo-christian as one "tradition".

  • Fluffy||

    Right, but you have to go to war with the tradition you've got.

    If we're going to start editing it to take out its inconsistencies, well - heck, if we're going to rely on our own moral reasoning, that's what the secular humanists want to do, too.

  • robc||

    Im not talking editing, Im talking splitting the Judeo tradition from the Christian tradition.

  • Zeb||

    That would help with the whole moral footing thing, I think. YHWH was a dick. Jesus, a lot more reasonable and consistent.

  • robc||

    Same guy. Same guy.

  • ||

    Crack a few books and maybe you'll start to understand morality.

  • ||

    Nietzsche's On the Genealogy of Morals is a good place to start.

  • ||

    I always turn to Star Trek novelizations for my morality. Next Generation only, of course.

  • Sniktpool||

    You're getting your moral guidance from the utopian socialists? Or is it just TNG novels with Ferengi?

  • Brett L||

    The comic book version where God gets down off the cross and whoops his ass is the best.

  • ||

    Awesome post. The Jacket has spoken to this internal.

  • ||

    Come now, there's really no (necessary) contradiction between being responsible for your own actions and judging those actions against an external standard, whether that standard is provided by religion or morality.

    Indeed, the Christian notion of "free will" practically requires that true believers be "internals". Christianity has never been a comfortable home for the kind of determinism that drives "externals."

  • ||

    But the reliance on "God's will" to make events (both random and consequential to action) explicable is not much different than determinism or fate. "It's all part of God's plan," is exactly that sort of external locus of control thinking.

  • robc||

    What about Calvinists?

  • robc||

    I dont think anyone is entirely an internal or external.

    And same applies for christianity, it relies on a mix of both. But, I agree, free will implies a strong internal component.

  • ||

    People who reject the idea of a God -who think that we're just accidental protoplasm- have always been with us. What bothers me is the implications -which not all such folks have thought through- because really, if we are just accidental, if this life is all there is, if there is no eternal standard of right and wrong, then all that matters is power.

    And atheism leads to brutality....

    I am so going to beat the shit out of this guy for dissing my non-belief.

    Right after I get done with my murdering, raping, theiving and all of the other things that we atheists with no foundation for morality do in our spare time.

    I like the guy as a politician/executive but he once again demonstartes that hating or dismissing atheists as amoral is an acceptable bigotry in this culture.

    To be honest, I'd like to sit down with him over a brew and a bong and discuss morality and atheism. He might get it after some thought.

  • robc||

    To be fair, he did say "not all such folks have thought through", leaving an out for those who have.

  • Ragin Cajun||

    I think you have to keep in mind that he is most likely trying to position himself in the 2012 race. He'll never run to the right of Huckabee or Palin, but he does need to establish his bona fides with the social conservatives in the G.O.P. Then he can say "Vote for me, I'm the religious guy who's actually competent".

  • ||

    Let's be honest: Christian claims of atheist "brutality" are merely them projecting. Deep down, they know what their, and all other, religions have done through time. And it bothers them, so they project onto non-religious people.

  • ||

    Also this brutality that they cite(stalin et al.) isn't done in the name of atheism, but rather the state.

    Atheism is usually ancillary to the true motives behind state sponsored brutality.

  • robc||

    Bah.

    Relgions have never brutalized anyone. It was always people doing the brutalizing.

  • ||

    Sure, but in the name of religion. Remember, rob, the vast, vast majority of religious people are not like you.

  • robc||

    What name they did it in doesnt matter. People did it. For their own motives.

    Liars lie.

  • Tom||

    Absolutely. People will justify their power-seeking any way they can. Religion is the excuse, not the reason.

  • robc||

    The vast, vast majority of humans are not like me.

  • In the Name of||

    Would you blame health (or anyone's seeking of health) for Obamacare?

  • High School Dropout||

    What is your foundation for morality then?

  • Warty||

  • Subsidize Me!||

    To celebrate the centurion's birthday...

    I can't tell if this is wit or misuse. Fuckin' A, she's old.

  • ||

    I believe the correct term is gggmilf, in this case.

  • ||

    Cause you make me feel,
    You make me feel,
    You make me feel like
    A natural libertarian.

  • alan||

    That song makes me feel clammy even without having a clam or a predisposition to do anything more than eat clams and poke clams.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    I gotta get me some of them striped shirts!

  • Sniktpool||

    Nah, hobbits like yourself should follow Penn Jillette's lead and wear 3 piece suits.

  • Zeb||

    As far as I can tell, God only exists in the minds of believers (please don't bother to argue back, I know religious people exist and you know atheists exist), so someone who is morally directed by a god is really an internal who thinks like an external.

  • Jersey Patriot||

    There is tremendous natural human capacity for brutality. That capacity has no correlation, positive or negative, with piety.

  • ¢||

    Will the natural libertarians’ roadblock to serfdom simply be brushed aside without a fight? Or will these roadblocks turn into barricades, to be manned by those who are willing to make the last sacrifice to preserve their spirit of independence? These questions only time can answer.

    It already did. The answer is "boot."

  • ||

    You had to quote the lame-ass I-couldn't-think-of-anything-better ending?

  • ||

    I'm not sure that the source of the standards you believe apply to your actions affects whether you are an internal or an external.

    What standards aren't drawn from outside the narrow confines of your skull? Whether they are religious, cultural, ethical, moral, whatever, nobody made up the standards that they think apply to them out of whole cloth.

    The difference is whether you internalize those standards, take responsibility for your actions, etc., etc., or the opposite. Atheists who believe in a deterministic universe are just as "external" as the "God's will" religious.

  • ||

    It could be argued that belief in a deterministic universe would verge on being a religion in itself. If we agree on the definition of deterministic universe.

  • The Universe||

    See? I MADE you say that...

  • ||

    Belief in the simple observation that cause leads to effect is not the same as believing in fate. Fate is just a responsibility-negating as "God's Will."

    Secular determinism is not the same as Fate.

  • Ragin Cajun||

    Yes, but would a "hard" secular determinist also be considered an "external"?

    Or maybe this just points out that the "internal" versus "external" thing is way oversimplified. I like the Four Temperaments better, anyway.

  • ||

    @Ragin Cajun

    To believe in fate would necessarily make one an external, as self-determination would give way to an unescapable clockwork universe.

  • ||

    But the randomness inherent in quantum mechanics has put the final nail in the coffin of determinism. I would argue that the belief in fate, as some would call it, is a hair shy of religion and a mile away from pure secularism.

  • ||

    Not really. The few macroscopic effects that quantum mechanics have are actually fairly deterministic, as the randomness is smoothed by statistical averaging.

  • hmm||

    You can turn an outy into an inny if you eat enough and get fat.

    Oh wait, we aren't talking about belly buttons?

  • Huckabee Family||

    We're all outies. And we believe in Jebus.

  • ||

    Based on how Harris describes internals and externals, I would say both are wrong. Internals can pretend they're in charge of their lives, but they're not. Clearly some of the most significant events in our lives are outside of our own control. At the same time, externals are wrong if they believe that they're simply at the whim of fate. The truth lies in the middle. Yes, randomness plays a HUGE role in our lives but the decisions we make can maximize or minimize the impact of such randomness. It's like going to Vegas... They're all games of chance, but you can read up on the basic rules of blackjack and give yourself a fighting chance or you could sit there and pump quarters in a slot machine for the whole weekend.

  • robc||

    Or, better Vegas analogy:

    Result of 1 hand of hold em is purely luck.
    Results of 10000 hands of hold em is skill.

  • Zeb||

    Good point. I think only a crazy person would think that his life is totally within his control. The difference in attitude about the world is the important difference. Externals are the type who always want to blame someone or something for every problem and often think that more government is a way fix things, to make the world more fair. The internal type has to accept that lots of stuff is out of his control, but seeks his own solutions rather than blaming everyone else and expecting someone to fix things for him.

  • ||

    Part of the balance is to know which events are within your control, and which are not. And so accept things that aren't your fault, and take responsiblity for those that are.

    The other key point is that the only things you can take positive actions about are things that ARE within your control. So it always pays to be an "internal", since worrying about events you can't control is a waste of energy.

  • ||

    Well ... you can plan for uncertainty.

    But I mean, if something bad happens that you couldn't avoid, there isn't much to be gained by either beating yourself up over it or blaming other people. You can only gain by learning to avoid mistakes for things you CAN control.

  • ||

    Politicians pronouncements on religion are even more suspect than what books they say they like the most.

  • Bradk||

    On a completely different angle, this whole Internal Vs. External archetype perfectly defines the PC/Open Source user Vs. Apple/iProduct zealots.

    As internalists, PC users (and I would expand this class to include those with non-iPhone smartphones and non-iPod music hardware) prefer to be in control of their technical destinies. Willing to suffer the occasional slings and arrows of incompatibilities in exchange for a much broader array of choices (in terms of both technology and price structure).

    In contrast, the iSheep are pure externalists. Not only do they willingly accept a predetermined and deliberately limited technological palate and restrictive access to anointed – yet greatly redundant and far from consistently useful – "apps", they're willing to pay out the rectum for it. They cannot even comprehend why someone would want to brave the wild frontiers of personal choice. And are far too smug about how much better they are as people for their sacrifice, er forward thinking.


    Cue the iMobs...

  • Zeb||

    You must be the guy who came up with those stupid "I'm a PC" ads. Most people just use PCs because it is what everyone else uses, so it is easier, and have little or no interest in controlling their technical destinies.

  • Bradk||

    No, I'm just someone who understands technology. BTW, how's that spendy new iPhone 4 working out for ya?

    I'll try and put this in terms you'll understand then: which direction do you _think_ someone would chose who _does_ have an interest in controlling their destiny?

  • Zeb||

    I agree with you about the technology, just not people's motivations for using a particular technology, assface. I am an open source user and proponent myself. And I agree with you about the silliness of most Apple products and their users (I do like my Mac laptop, but I have never vaguely considered buying an iAnything).
    I'm using a PC running Linux right now. Don't jump to conclusions about people, you look like an asshole.

  • Bradk||

    You mean like your first response: You must be the guy who came up with those stupid "I'm a PC" ads.?

    Yeah, got it. Thanks.

  • robc||

    Exactly, considering you started with PC/Open source, I never assumed winders users were even in the split.

  • ||

    The vast, vast majority of PC users are using Widows.

  • Zeb||

    That is what is known as a joke.

  • Tom||

    Oh, snap!

  • Sniktpool||

    Do you read Cory Doctorow, by chance?

  • JEP||

    PCs are just as bad as Macs. They are designed for a mass market of people who don't care about the details of the system they are using. They just want it to work.

    I do agree that Apple products sell for more money mostly based on the look - and they are trendy, but they are no worse than PCs when it comes to writing code, low level personalization, etc.

  • robc||

    He said PC/Open source. Very few linux users dont care about the details of the system.

  • JEP||

    He shouldn't have grouped open source with either Apple or Mac...most people go to open source/linux because they ARE interested in that kind of detail.

  • ||

    PCs are just as bad as Macs. They are designed for a mass market of people who don't care about the details of the system they are using. They just want it to work.

    How dare they! Using a tool without wanting to have to worry about the details of how it works.

    Say, when was the last time you took apart your microwave, looking for ways to improve efficiency? Or the fuel injectors in your car?

  • Neu Mejican||

    Just a nit-pick here, but based on my reading of posts here at H&R, there is a bias towards externals among libertarians (not all, but, maybe most of the posters around here seem to be more externals than internals). This bias manifests particularly strongly in arguments about voting, "the social contract" and the concept of "government by the people." Many of the libertarian's posting here frequently blame the government - an external force which they can not effect - for negative consequences rather than demonstrating a belief that their own actions can impact the results by moving/shaping/influencing the actions of government.

  • JEP||

    I had this debate with my lifting coach a few weeks ago. He basically asked me "Well you're really smart, young, driven, etc. Why don't you go do something about the things you complain about in government?"

    I thought about it for bit, and I realized that every since the beginning of high school I've been focused on what I HAD to do - make good grades, get into a good college, keep my GPA up, get into grad school, get a job, etc.

    At some point, I going to do what I WANT to do. If I decide to go into politics, I never going to get to do what I want to do.

    "rather than demonstrating a belief that their own actions can impact the results by moving/shaping/influencing the actions of government."

    What, exactly, do you think this blog and magazine are trying to do?

    "Many of the libertarian's posting here frequently blame the government - an external force which they can not effect - for negative consequences"

    That's because every government decision isn't put to a vote. I can vote for a representative, but if that representative makes a terrible decision, then I have every right to blame the government.

    The "internals" as the article calls them are a small minority of the people. Therefore, it's very difficult for us to affect government. The Constitution is supposed to be protecting the individual's rights, but the majority constantly stomps on them and is oblivious to the issue.

  • robc||

    While there is some of that, I think most of us acknowledge both realms exist and we would like the external (specifically the government) to STOP EXISTING. Well, you know, in a minarchist way.

    In other words, we are asking to be internals in a world with an external component.

    So, that would mean you are right in one way, we arent like the prototypical internal in the article who blames himself for not dodging the drunk driver.

  • sycophant||

    Just a nit-pick here, but based on my reading of posts here at H&R, there is a bias towards externals among subjects (not all, but, maybe most of the posters around here seem to be more externals than internals). This bias manifests particularly strongly in arguments about voting, "the social contract" and the concept of "the divine right of kings." Many of the subjects's posting here frequently blame the kingdom - an external force which they can not effect - for negative consequences rather than demonstrating a belief that their own actions can impact the results by moving/shaping/influencing the actions of the kingdom.

  • ||

    Part of the problem is that the "internals" and "externals" presented in the article are caricatures that no real person fits. No one is so "internal" that they would blame themselves for being hit by a meteorite, and indeed the drunk driver example mentioned is already pretty dubious. Also, no one blames external forces for literally everything, though I think real people get a lot closer to the "external" extreme than the "internal" one.

    So, there's nothing wrong with being far into the "internal" side of the spectrum, but being "external" with respect to certain aspects of reality. As the "Serenity Prayer" says, one needs serenity to accept the things one cannot change, courage to change what one can, and wisdom to tell the difference.

  • alan||

    Just a nit-pick here, but based on my reading of posts here at H&R, there is a bias towards externals among libertarians (not all, but, maybe most of the posters around here seem to be more externals than internals).

    That can be said of anyone who has any kind of interest in public policy no matter where on the political spectrum they are coming from. Where a persons' ideological sympathies fall in relation to personalty type is the more salient point.

  • alan||

    bleh, 'personality'. FireFox spell check!!!!!

  • Mike Laursen||

    Dunno about "internal" vs. "external", but most liberals I know are generally insecure and lack confident in themselves compared to libertarians.

  • ||

    Amazing. Barely any comments on Daniels. Most people come on here to comment on their own smarts or to degenerate someone else's claim to the same.

  • ||

    Amazing. Barely any comments on Daniels. Most people come on here to comment on their own smarts or to degenerate someone else's claim to the same.

  • Suprashoesweb||

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