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The Education of Adam Smith

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      1. Wait, which Trump are you?

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      2. the invisible hand, unchecked by the invisible squirrels….
        maybe it’s in Reason’s best interest to not have any sort of intelligent spam filter?

  2. I wonder what Adam Smith would think of all the spam here.

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    2. Well, we’ve got eggs, spam, spam, and spam, or you can have the hash browns, spam, spam, spam, and spam, or else we can serve you coffee, spam, spam, spam, spam, and spam over easy, or…

      Adam Smith, at that point, I suspect, would ask if Reason has got anything that doesn’t have any spam in it!

      1. I would have to guess Hume was wrong to guess that our passions fuel our quest for reason, obviously it’s a quest for spam. And given how infrequently people look beyond the first order of consequences, spam answers our passions much more readily than reason. There’s a reason, I suppose, everybody has some “Lose 20 pounds in 30 days” sort of diet and nobody wants to tell you you’re going to have to eat less and exercise more and you’re going to have to do that every goddamn day for the rest of your life – everybody wants some sort of shortcut and the dirty little secret is that there ain’t no shortcuts.

        And it’s the same in economics, you ain’t getting rich overnight, either individually or as a nation, you’re going to have to practice thrift and good habits and you’re going to have to do that diligently. But we all want to believe that there’s this one simple trick, and we all want to believe in free shit.

        1. Well, sad to say, we can pussy-grab some of the people all of the time, AND we can pussy-grab ALL of the people SOME of the time, and so then, the greedy and evil ones among us, conclude that we can pussy-grab ALL of the people ALL of the time! (Or, that we can elect someone to do that on our behalf, for us, as this fabled shortcut to wealth and happiness).

          But you’re right, there are NO sure-fire ways to get away with shortcuts all of the time, or on a massive basis! Certainly not in the long run! Just because we can get away with it SOMETIMES… Or just because a FEW people have done it… We think it makes good general policy! And it has been this way, on and off, sometimes more and sometimes less, for thousands or tens of thousands of years, if not more…

    3. At the current count, 5 spam posts out of 9. The bots are winning.

    4. It seems to have increased significantly in the last week or so. Anyone have any ideas why?

      1. The greater demand from libertarians for online jobs, cheap Viagra substitutes and Dravidian porn.

      2. I think people are complaining about working from home, so the bots generate more posts about work from home opportunities.

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  4. Adam Smith may be the only father of a major discipline whose original observations remain almost entirely intact.

    Freud has been almost entirely discredited.

    Genetic drift probably has a bigger impact on evolution than survival of the fittest, but Darwin couldn’t have known about genetic drift.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motoo_Kimura

    Hell, even Newton’s classical physics is a noble lie. We only use it in engineering because it works well enough–despite knowing that its fundamental principles aren’t true outside of a relatively tiny scope.

    Marx has been discredited. He was right about some things, like creative destruction, but even a broken Tony tells perfect time twice a year.

    Of Darwin, Freud, Marx, and Smith, only the work of Smith has really withstood the scrutiny of the 21st century, and, of course, he’s the one who gets the least amount of respect in academia and the press. It’s almost as if your work needs to be discredited in order to be taken seriously.

    P.S. Hasn’t Chomsky’s universal grammar been largely rejected now?

    1. Genetic drift probably has a bigger impact on evolution than survival of the fittest, but Darwin couldn’t have known about genetic drift.

      It’s amazing how many people think that Darwin came up with the theory of evolution, rather than a theory of evolution.

    2. https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/38396-there-are-some-ideas-so-absurd-that-only-an-intellectual

      George Orwell > Quotes > Quotable Quote
      George Orwell
      “There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.”

      Maybe many of the eggheads will accept ONLY stupid ideas? Or else they are just not “cutting edge” enough?

    3. “Freud has been almost entirely discredited.”

      Wow.
      Ok, that explains a lot about you, Ken.

      1. ??
        Freud developed psychoanalysis, which was a valuable tool, but is not genuinely scientific, as it has an unacceptable dependence on metaphor.
        And his model of psychic structure and theories on psychosexual development were pure pseudo-science.

        1. He wanted to bang his mom, so he assumed everyone else did too.

          1. In his defense, his mom WAS hot.*

            *I don’t actually know this, just thought it was funny.

      2. Freud was a kook who believed in dream analysis, psychosexual development, and just the overemphasis on sex in general. It’s partly just a reflection of his time, when sexuality was publicly repressed (though we know that, privately, many Victorians could be absolutely libertine). He kickstarted a discipline that still is overly steeped in pseudoscience.

      3. Come now, Karl Popper was explaining in the 50s why Freud wasn’t scientific.

        1. No, Freud was a philosopher with rich insight into the fundamental neuroses in Man.
          Psychology isn’t quantifiable, thus it’s not really a question of science, but of history and pattern recognition.
          Freud wasn’t a genius – his work was well covered by Nietzsche before him, and the Greeks long before that – but to say his ideas are “discredited” is simply to revel in shallow, materialist thought.
          The cognitive-behavioral perspective dominant in psychology today is a pretense – it labels, but offers no insight or real understanding.
          It’s a method of training/domesticating Man, that is all.
          Freud wasn’t a good therapist, he was a solid philosopher. Whether he “healed” anyone or not is immaterial – he described the fundamental organization of the species’ psyche

          1. I agree that Freud was a better philosopher than psychologist. But he was attempting to do psychology. And there he didn’t do so well.

            1. “Sigmund Freud. Forgotten for his best thing. Basketball.

              Basketball?

              Oh yeah because he didn’t make the shots. He would set them up and pass them to the other guy.”

              Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner.

    4. Genetic drift isn’t exactly contrary to Darwinian evolution. Darwin’s theory of evolution is still just as true as when he proposed it. It’s a very simple argument.

      -Premise 1: Not all individuals can survive to reproduce.
      -Premise 2: There exists phenotype variation.
      -Premise 3: That variation is heritable.
      -Premise 4: Survival depends on phenotype.
      -Ultimate conclusion: Therefore, more of the favored phenotypes survive to reproduce, which changes the distribution of phenotypes in the next generation.

      If a premise isn’t met, Darwin’s argument doesn’t cover it. I think you’ll find that most evolutionary biologists still find Darwin’s theory true and relevant, even as scientists have expanded on it and added around it. Most of them would at least say it’s largely correct.

      I certainly wouldn’t put him in the same category as Marx or Freud.

    5. “Genetic drift probably has a bigger impact on evolution than survival of the fittest, but Darwin couldn’t have known about genetic drift.”

      Suggested:
      “The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life”
      https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1476776628/reasonmagazinea-20/
      See M’s l below; you betcha!

      1. Thanks!

  5. Some Sunday morning schadenfreude for everyone:

    http://twitter.com/JimStarkey16/status/1292131738081165317?s=19

    “We’re not fascists like you fucks. We’re the good guys.”

    1. That made my day.

      1. I thought it was hilarious. I could watch looter factions torture and murder each other for hours!

    2. This is some screenshot on Twitter. How do you know this is an authentic post and not some parody of antifa?

      1. Oh fuck off with your concern trolling. You’re such a shitposter.

        1. You don’t know what a concern troll is. I was straight-up questioning Nardz’ advancement of the paranoid conservative narrative.

          1. You feigned concern over the veracity of an antifa post, whereas in reality you don’t give a fuck and would dismiss it even if it was notarized and signed by Soros himself.

            Pretending to give a shit about provenance when all you want to do is derail, is the epitome of concern trolling, and you know it.
            You’re such a weasely, dishonest fuck.

          2. “You don’t know what a concern troll is…”

            Perhaps not, but most everyone here recognizes an un-warranted smug-storm.
            Were you born someone who pisses everyone off with your self-righteousness, or have you spent years working on it?
            Fuck off.

        1. Mr. Brown can moo!
          Can you?

          1. No – you’re the sheep.

      2. Doesn’t seem ridiculous enough to be parody. Who knows? It’s still kind of funny.

  6. We’re in late stage capitalism and all the big problems are either insoluble (cancer, aging) or self-imposed (climate change, football head injuries). So there are no big opportunities left and people are despondent. However the solution isn’t socialism (which of course will create a host of new problems) but instead for billionaires to create low-cost resort colonies so people can retire and leave jobs for others to work and support themselves and not need either big government or charity. In return the vote for small government, low tax conservatives. The colonies can be places in electorally strategic swing states. Just a few thousand votes can make a difference for generations in some places. And this naturally reduces carbon output as well, and we can gradually let the robots take over so they’re our slaves and not the other way around. Win-win-win-win-win!

    As for ‘peaceful savages’ – yes of course until they weaponize the NAP as a pretext to attack another group of ‘peaceful savages’. The point of the Judeo Christian tradition isn’t to make you believe in God. The point is so that when you see him face to face you can’t cry, “But no one ever told meeeeeeee!!!!!!

    1. Do you have, like, a newsletter I can subscribe to? I’m all for a win-win-win-win-win.

      1. Piss off troll.

    2. “We’re in late stage capitalism…”

      Sarcasm or stupidity? Or both?
      Yeah, the latter…

  7. Frances Hutcheson is very underrated and ignored. Good to see his influence on Adam Smith.

    That said – Adam Smith was way too wordy. You almost wonder whether he was being paid by the word. Anders Chydenius (National Gain – 1765) is much easier to read if the alternative is avoiding reading the original text (which it mostly is)

    1. Are there any 18th century philosophers who aren’t way too wordy?

  8. https://www.kgw.com/article/news/verify/verify-were-federal-agents-permanently-blinded-by-protestors/283-ef7d3a55-b853-42fb-a3ef-14c50154c1bb

    “Were officers permanently blinded?: The claim has been made by the White House and Attorney General William Barr. An official with Homeland Security later said the officers’ vision returned.”

    1. From the link you provided:

      “‘We’ve had a number of officers who had days-long blindness. So far, they’ve all kind of come back, if you will,’ said Cuccinelli.”

      That’s a bit less concrete than “vision returned”. It sounds more like there was some unspecified extent of diminished visual function.

      From the same article:

      “Cucinelli also said more than 250 injuries have happened to the more than 140 federal agents stationed in Portland. ”

      How much diminished visual capacity is OK? How many injuries inflicted on agents is OK? What were you trying to convey here, when nearly every official mention of this incident was language similar to “likely permanent”, and they came out better than expected? Can you even imagine how those agents must have felt waiting for days to find out if they would ever see again, even partially, from injuries inflicted on them simply because they tried to prevent arson and vandalism to a federal court house?

  9. https://twitter.com/radleybalko/status/1292216195144450049?s=20

    “But I want to point to something that only the (paywalled) Capitol Forum has pointed out. The Postal Service has informed states that they’ll need to pay first-class 55-cent postage to mail ballots to voters, rather than the normal 20-cent bulk rate. That nearly triples the per-ballot cost at a time when tens of millions more will be delivered. The rate change would have to go through the Postal Regulatory Commission and, undoubtedly, litigation. But the time frame for that is incredibly short, as ballots go out very soon.

    “A side benefit of this money grab is that states and cities may decide they don’t have the money to mail absentee ballots, and will make them harder to get. Which is exactly the worst-case scenario everyone fears.”

    1. “worst case scenario”

      “everyone fears”

    2. The government couldn’t even get a third party to set up a decent website in two years and people think they can handle tens of millions of mail in ballots?

      Pull my third leg.

    3. Since day one of that scumbag Newsom dictating his control of the 3rd largest economy in the world, I have been opposed to ANY government action other than providing accurate information to the population, allowing them, individually, to decide what level of concern and action they desired.
      We all know that government control of the economy is a recipe for disaster as it has shown to be everywhere and every time it has been instituted. We have yet to reap the harvest of that planting earlier this year; it will not be pretty nor short-lived. 2008 was a clear example of the result of government’s fucking with the market.
      Now, it turns out that the power-grab is such as to make sure the results of the 2020 election are in no way reliable.
      I repeat:
      Is our experiment, begun some 240 years ago, so fragile that the deaths of 1/10 of 1/2 of 1% of the population is subject to failure as a result of the machinations of tin-pot-dictator-wannabes?
      For SHAME!

    4. This actually makes sense to me. The Post Office is perpetually broke. It should be acting more like a normal business and charging the government more for their services. Every other business that deals with the government charges more (though this is normally disguised by the fact that they pretty much only do business with the government).

      If this makes the Post Office to expensive to be used, well then maybe we’ll finally be rid of it, and I can stop having a mailbox full of spam every day.

    5. People are quite obviously able to safely shop in multiple grocery or department stores for several hours in any given week, yet somehow can’t safely wait in line to vote on a single Tuesday in November. Yeah, that makes perfect sense.

  10. NYT: White House reached out to South Dakota governor about adding Trump to Mount Rushmore
    By Jamie Ehrlich, CNN 5 hrs ago

    Hilarious. The Dotard wants his giant mug etched on Mount Rushmore.

    Wouldn’t Stone Mountain be more appropriate?

    Rednecks aren’t gong to South Dakota for fireworks.

    1. Did you have anything to contribute, you fucking lefty piece of shit?

    2. Of all the Trump insults, “Dotard” is my favorite.

      Insulting old people with diminished faculties is super cool, when we do it!

      1. Might I point out that one of the biggest insults leveled at Biden has been his diminished faculties, which has been super cool. You see you forgot a factor in your calculation; old person + diminished facilities + politician = super cool insults. Let the ripping continue of our octogenarian politicians!

  11. An ancestor of mine was Adam Smith’s tutor, he (the ancestor) was a scion of the wealthiest merchant in Scotland. They were also patrons of Robbie Burns, who wrote a famous poem about one of the women of the family.

    1. There was a wealthy merchant, in London he did dwell
      He had a beautiful daughter, the truth to you I’ll tell
      Oh, the truth to you I’ll tell

      She had sweethearts aplenty, and men of high degree
      But none but Jack the sailor, her true love there could be
      Oh, her true love there could be

  12. Call goes out:
    Is any organization currently engaged in suing the tin-pot-dictator-wannabes?
    IJ isn’t. CATO isn’t. Reason can’t be bothered with any real activity.
    Anyone? My wallet is open. ENOUGH!

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  15. More Peter Bagge, please.

    1. Yes… more Peter Bagge! The guy is getting better with experience. I really miss the John Trever (of Albuquerque Journal fame) cartoons we useta have back in the days of imminent nuclear Armageddon. Albuquerque is where the district court struck down DEA asset-forfeiture confiscations of tryptamine-bearing plant leaves in 2001, thanks to Reason mag and libertarian spoiler votes!

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