We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Hardly a surprising conclusion, but surprising to see pro-EU Reuters run this…

I find this self-evident:

Patrick Minford, a professor of economics at Cardiff University, said Britain should rely on tariff levels agreed at the World Trade Organisation, and that scrapping the EU’s external tariffs would lower consumer prices by 8 percent, and boost gross domestic product by 4 percent after around 10 years.

The benefits of bilateral trade deals were overrated and a lot of foreign investment was drawn to Britain by its underlying competitive strengths rather than its access to the rest of the EU, Minford said at a news conference in London organised by economists who support a so-called Brexit.

“There is no need for us to go off chasing a million trade deals with the rest of the world. They are irrelevant,” he said.

But given the flood of pro-EU scare stories that Reuters tends to run, I was a bit surprised to see it get some pixels there.

Just in: Canada will force USA to pay for a wall…

… to keep out the floods of undesirable US celebrities fleeing the USA following a Trump victory.

Just sayin’.

I had never heard of Harriet Tubman before so…

I must stay I found this quite interesting!

In short, Harriet Tubman was a black, Republican, gun-toting, veterans’ activist, with ninja-like spy skills and strong Christian beliefs. She probably wouldn’t have an ounce of patience for the obtuse posturing of some of the tenured radicals hanging around Ivy League faculty lounges. But does she deserve a place on our money? Hell yeah.

Fascinating.

Bill Whittle slays it

I have met Bill, and he is splendid chap to put it mildly. But I clearly need to watch him more closely because a few days ago he revealed himself to be a man of hitherto unguessed talents. He is a… rapper!

Samizdata quote of the day

The frat and sorority scene didn’t appeal to me at all. Back when I was at the University of Michigan, I went to a single frat party, encountered a bunch of drunk assholes, and never went to another.

Wow.

Imagine that: All the way back in the 80s, too — a young woman on campus making her own decisions about what works or doesn’t work for her…without assistance from the government or calls to discipline anyone.

Radical, huh?

– The ever magnificent Amy Alkon.

Elton John knows Barbra Streisand, so…

With that in mind, it seem positively hilarious that he appears to be unaware of the Streisand Effect!

You’d need a heart of stone not to laugh :D

Samizdata quote of the day

King is aware that monetary policy has been used to provide short-term gains at the cost of long-term pain – what he calls the “paradox of policy”. Despite extremely low rates, the global economy remains out of kilter. It’s a pity that King never considers Friedrich Hayek’s early work which suggests that economies become unbalanced when central bankers impose an inappropriate interest rate. But as King buys into the “savings glut” story, he doesn’t believe that monetary policymakers are to blame. For the man in charge of the Bank of England when UK bank Northern Rock went down, this is a convenient if not quite satisfactory conclusion.

Edward Chancellor

Possible delays in unsmiting

The samizdata smitebot interface is well and truly out of London, drinking nice wine and eating mighty food, so there may be delays in unsmiting comments that get moderated by the dreaded samizdata smitebot. According to Google Maps, I could walk to Kiev in 170 hours or Warsaw in 92 hours. Where am I?

koscath

cubalibra-001

Samizdata quote of the day

For America, and indeed the rest of the world, Clinton versus Trump will be like being on a bus being driven at high speed towards a cliff by a psychopath, where there’s a chance that a chimpanzee might grab control of the steering wheel. It’s not a question of whether this will make things better or worse, it’s more that the whole idea of “better” may be gradually ceasing to exist.

Frankie Boyle. The rest of the article is flatulent Guardianista stream-of-consciousness gibberish but that bit made me laugh. I read this shit so you don’t have to.

And I do agree with this:

“It’s not a question of whether this will make things better or worse, it’s more that the whole idea of “better” may be gradually ceasing to exist”

… it is highly unlikely Frankie Boyle and I have the same notions in mind about what “better” looks like (indeed his “better” is almost certainly my very much “worse”), but that phrase does a good job of describing my view on the folly of decade after decade of voting for whoever is ever so slightly less evil. Things never get better unless you support, well, better, rather than “less worse”. Unless you are willing to punish “your side” by not pulling that lever, eventually it stops being your side because you will vote for it anyway. And in evidence of that, I present the G.O.P.

Anti-Brexit howler of the day

Oh, and today’s Brexit scare story appears to be pro football. Our clubs will be stymied if they can’t employ lots of Belgians. Don’t look at the fact that they do Employ lots of Africans who, AFAIK, aren’t EU citizens.

– Kevin B.

No one owns a culture

The whole notion that culture can be “appropriated” in any negative sense is one of the most absurd notions being bandied about (and that is really saying something given the carnival of absurdities that passes for critical thinking these days). 

Such ideas about culture are profoundly fascist in origin, a collectivist notion that somehow culture and identity must be preserved in a “pure” state from outside influences and somehow “belongs” to an ethno-national grouping.  It is very much akin intellectually to abominating miscegenation. Yet strangely the same people who spout such arrant nonsense tend not to picket performances featuring oriental ballet dancers or black opera singers (as well they shouldn’t).  Sorry (not really) but the future is cosmopolitan and voluntary.  I will take whatever aspects of any culture I think are worth incorporating and there is not a damn thing anyone can do to stop me.  And if some collectivist jackanapes is offended by my “appropriation”, well take a guess how many fucks I give because that just makes it all the more delicious ;-)

Champagne lefties abandon money, need payment only in hugs

I found this article vastly entertaining.

Cole also treats us to an extra lesson in economics. Impossible.com is saving civilisation, if not the planet itself. Literally.

“[Earth] can’t accommodate us all if we all consume resources like the Americans or British of today. We would need three planet Earths to support us… Jointly using what we have, sharing, is one of our best chances for survival.”

This isn’t actually true. Technological advances mean we now use less stuff to make more. We no longer need to chop down trees or kill whales for their blubber (once a vital fuel in Victorian times). GDP has risen, while the amount of stuff needed to make it has remained static or even fallen as Diane Coyle explained here (£). You could try and argue we’ve exported dirty work to emerging economies … until you see the figures for manufacturing-heavy Germany, where as GDP grew, the amount of stuff consumed to make it fell too. Opening access to underutilised resources via platforms like Uber may well, Coyle writes, create greater efficiencies. But Cole’s objection appears to be that money changes hands, and money is the incentive that makes the platforms work.

Money and ownership both seem toxic to Lily Cole, but if our ancestors hadn’t invented credit, and property rights, then today we’d still be standing in fields pointing slack-jawed at aeroplanes. We’re the survivors of a “gift economy” that, fortunately, was abandoned centuries ago.

Money doesn’t change hands (much) at Impossible.com, which may account for its failure. The Mail on Sunday reported that Impossible.com despite your generous taxpayer’s contribution is now £400,000 in debt.

Debit? Pah, Champagne lefties require only hugs as payment and presumably offer the same in return if the hapless taxpayers wants their £200,000 back.