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]

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.

The state and its delusions of indispensability

Lord Mandelson sneered at Brexit supporters this week for failing to understand the complexities of modern trade and how leaving the EU would trigger years of renegotiations that would leave us with a far worse deal than we have inside the EU. Alas Lord Mandelson is a victim of the mandarin-centric fallacy that trade only happens after governments have arranged it in the best interests of their citizens.

Patrick Minford. Sadly the article is behind the Times pay wall but I am sure you get where this is going.

Samizdata quote of the day

Claims of dire consequences by business executives are particularly unreliable. In 1999, Adair Turner, then director general of the Confederation of Business and Industry supported Britain joining the euro. Now the number crunchers torture the data to show that British productivity could decline precipitously. This is economic nonsense.

Ashoka Mody

Indeed and it is comical how many end-to-end lurid scare stories Reuters has been running on Britain capsizing if the vote is in favour of Brexit. It is at times like that it becomes clear who is on the payroll of whom ;)

Do not forget what today is…

The more things change, the more they stay the same

Twentieth-century eugenicists used government power to forcibly prevent parents from passing on traits they deemed deleterious. Now 21st-century eugenicists contend the government should require parents to risk passing along genes that the parents think are deleterious to their children, whether they want to or not. What sort of horrors are parents who want to take advantage of modern gene editing likely to impose on their hapless offspring? Fixing genes that increase the risk of ill health and perhaps adding those that boost their chances of having more vigorous bodies, nimbler brains, and greater disease resistance.

Individuals may not always make the right decisions with regard to reproduction, but parents are more trustworthy guardians of the human gene pool than any would-be eugenicist central planners. Government diktats about what sort of children people can have are always wrong.

Ronald Bailey, making many excellent points why the state needs to stay away from this entire subject… which of course it will not. Fortunately in this era of cheap air travel, genetic engineering can and will be done in a clinic pretty much anywhere if the market for that service exists, which it will.

What could possibly go wrong with this?

Ah yes, Britain’s socialists, working tirelessly towards a world in which Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping & Kim Jong-un are the only people with nuclear weapons. What could possibly go wrong with that?

There may be a delay in unsmiting…

As a key element in the samizdata-world interface has left London for a while, it is possible that there may be delays in unsmiting people whose comments get moderated by the samizdata SmiteBot.

Why? I am out of London in a strange place where taxi drivers have five phones powered by a cigarette lighter…

five-yes-five-phones

…the art is interesting and often very irreverent towards cultural icons and authority figures…

jade-wtf

…oh, and William Gibson, please call your office…

William-Gibson-call-your-office

Juan Peron and Hugo Chavez won the N.H. Primary?

Seriously guys, did the 1st of April come early this year? Boy oh boy, and I thought UK politics was messed up. I was considering tagging this under “humour”, but there is nothing funny about large numbers of people taking Donald “Peron” Trump and Bernard “Chavez” Sanders seriously.

Good grief! The President of the European Parliament said something I agree with!

“If Brits want to leave, let them leave!”

…says Martin Schulz.

And I agree! How very nice of him to want to ‘let’ the Brits leave. He goes on to say how the UK “tests the patience” of EU politicians, presumably by being a net contributor to the EU’s funds.

Keep talking, Herr Schulz. Please, just keep talking. It is almost as if Farage himself had written this plonker’s remarks to push ever more people into voting OUT.

I believe the cry at Senlac Hill was “UT! UT! UT!”, even if on that occasion it was my Norman ancestors who had the best of the day.

“EU warns Britain any membership deal will be hard won”… er… what?

I really do not understand this.

EU warns Britain any membership deal will be hard won

The presupposition seems to be that in order to keep the UK in the EU, the UK will have to give a lot of negotiating ground. Why? If the UK leaves the EU, it will be because the UK electorate, not the UK government, gives Brussels an Agincourt salute in the referendum, and thus it does not behove the UK government, a craven collection of moon-faced pro-EU shits for the most part, to make that outcome more likely by caving in yet again to the Bastards in Berlaymont and elsewhere.

So surely the headline should read:

UK warns EU any continued membership deal will be hard won

It is the EU who must be the ones to give ground. The fact of the matter is, the UK does not need the EU more than the EU needs the UK. The UK are net contributors and will do just fine in a reinvigorated EFTA. The EU’s leaders would do well to remember that they need access to the UK’s market and not just the other way around, and that the UK is and always has been a global trading nation, not just a Little Europe focused one.

Ladies: if you fight off a would-be rapist…

…for goodness sake do NOT then go to the police and tell them how you did it!

So the only reason you did not get raped was that you used pepper spray on this violent thug? Don’t you know pepper spray is illegal?

It is far better in the eyes of the state for you to be raped than have effective means to defend yourself. Seriously, do you think the Boys-in-Blue are there to protect you? If you do think that, then let me disabuse you of that notion: they are there to maintain the power and privileges of the state and any time their actions coincide with your interests (such as catching a violent criminal), that is serendipity rather than design.