Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Thoughts

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Nassim Nicholas Taleb:

What we have been seeing worldwide is the rebellion against the inner circle of no-skin-in-the-game policymaking “clerks” and journalists-insiders, that class of paternalistic semi-intellectual experts who are telling the rest of us 1) what to do, 2) what to eat, 3) how to speak, 4) how to think… and 5) who to vote for.
The Intellectual Yet Idiot has been wrong, historically, on Stalinism, Maoism, GMOs, Iraq, Libya, Syria, lobotomies, urban planning, low carbohydrate diets, gym machines, behaviorism, transfats, freudianism, portfolio theory, linear regression, Gaussianism, Salafism, dynamic stochastic equilibrium modeling, housing projects, selfish gene, election forecasting models, Bernie Madoff (pre-blowup) and p-values.

But he is convinced that his current position is right.

Michael Fassbender:
Genetic memory makes a lot of scientific sense to me.
Ludwig von Mises:

It is good to keep people from hurting themselves by drinking or smoking too much but once you begin to admit that it is the duty of the government to control your consumption, what can you reply to those who say the control of books and ideas is much more important?



Senator Cory Bernardi in the Australian Parliament proposing a reform of the Racial Discrimination Act to lift its restrictions on offensive speech:
Reform of the Act is important. It erodes our ability to challenge ideas in open debate. It assumes that we need the law to protect us when we are offended, rather than trusting Australians to assess and repudiate views. Brendan O'Neill put it well when he said: 'Hate-speech legislation is not only an attack on the speaker — it is also an attack on the rest of us, the audience. It undermines our right, and our responsibility as citizens, to expose and confront bigotry; to use the tools of freedom and reason to challenge those who say genuinely racist things. Censorship ... makes us lazy and childish and stupid. It turns us into infants who don't have to worry about what is right and wrong because that has already been decided for us by our good, gracious rulers and betters. It weakens our moral muscles; it retires our moral judgment. It encourages passivity, thoughtlessness, obedience — all of which are anathema to a healthy democratic society'.

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A very true remark but he was a bad advertisement for it. 

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