Thursday, April 23, 2009

some photo's

You should probably click on this one.

Tragically that's the best one of me.
More soon.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The morality of voting.

I'll cast my vote soon.

Libertarians are quite fond of pointing out that your vote really does not make a difference. The conclusion they tend to draw is that you shouldn't vote, or at least that you're wasting your time.

I don't think the conclusion follows even though it's true that your vote doesn't make a difference. I'm surprised by this attitude because of its explicit reliance on utilitarian ethics. They do this calculation, basically multiplying the odds of your vote making a difference by the good effects enjoyed if it did. The thing though is that people, and many libertarians in particular, are not utilitarians. We're generally not encouraged to do a cost benefit analysis when considering whether to lie or steal. Lying and stealing are wrong, the reason they're wrong could be given that it leads to good outcomes in the future, but this is a rule of thumb cos we can't know the exact effects of our actions.

So I'd expect more people to take this line with voting. We expect people to follow the general rule of voting cos in the long run that's what will have good consequences.

I might not fully sign up for that, but maybe a rule along the lines that voting is good if you're informed. A rule which I am about to violate.

Thursday, April 09, 2009


After my awesome run of posting I've been bad the past week, and I'm on holiday! I'm off the the Drakensberg for Easter, so don't hold your breath.

Hopefully you'll have better things to do and so not be checking anyway.

lack of consistency?

Lame title I know, and possibly a lame post.


Instinctively I'm anti-stimulus but I'm almost convinced that America needs one, even though there is little evidence from history that it'll work.

Thing is though that we know that it's gonna make people poorer in the short run, they're gonna spend a lot of money. But the hope is that it'll shock the economy into a permanently higher level of output.

The sentence I've liked best to explain why a stimulus is needed is from Samuel Brittan
A slump is a tragedy for those who lose their jobs and also for those who fear to lose them. But it is also a logical absurdity that there should exist unsatisfied wants side by side with idle workers willing to supply them.
Stimulus ideally should prevent this from happening.

When it comes to immigration though it's very hard to avoid thinking in terms of low skilled wages and jobs. They depress the wages and compete for jobs. During a recession or depression I find this pretty compelling.

But like the stimulus it isn't the whole story. Immigrants in America tend to be pretty entrepreneurial, even if they're not starting Googles. That seems pretty important to me. I have no idea about economics of immigrant stimulus, but since stimulus talk is so mainstream, hence the idea that it's good for the economy to sacrifice in some ways, I'd think this angle should get more attention.

Tyler Cowen seems to think it'd be a good idea.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Cannibalism is funny

Dilbert.comI also think cartoon vomiting is funny. My sense of humor is a little crude I guess.

Friday, April 03, 2009

orange river

I'm back.

It was an excellent trip and I hope to post some photos soon.

The most significant event of the trip was drinking coke with cigarette ash in it.

It was gross.