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]

By what reasonable definition are the Tories “conservatives”?

Yet again the utterly dismal David Cameron is being generous with other people’s money:

David Cameron’s plan to offer workers three days’ paid leave for volunteering has come under fire from the business world. The Prime Minister has pledged that if the Tories win the General Election up to 15m workers in the public and private sector will be able to take paid time off for volunteering. In the private sector, only companies with more than 250 employees will be subject to the scheme. Communities secretary Eric Pickles got a rough ride on the Today programme this morning as he struggled to explain who would bear the costs of the scheme and what level of compulsion would be involved.

Is Labour even worse that this dismal shower? Yes, without a doubt, but the only difference is how fast the state marches, not the direction in which it marches. I am old enough to remember when the Tories under Edward Health nationalised companies, so even historically it is hardly like comparing chalk and cheese. No wonder there is talk of making voting compulsory, given there is hardly any difference between the main parties.

Good news from the western front of the culture war

I have been watching the ‘Sad Puppies’ campaign in the world of science fiction and fantasy writers for a while now, with mounting amusement. If you are unaware what it is, think of it as a backlash against the overt cultural Marxist ‘Social Justice Warrior’ clique who have been dominating the Hugo Awards for many years now.

Well this year it looks like some folks are aiming to blow up the SJW Death Star.

Several on the left have remarked the sudden slew of anti-authoritarian nominees has been due to an influx of GamerGate supporters. Yet as the number of votes has only increased slightly, it would appear the GamerGate people were already there, they just finally decided to stand up, form two ranks and figuratively shoulder their Martini-Henry rifles, whilst facing the podium occupied by the establishment.

Anyone who thinks the Culture War is unwinnable or not even being fought by our side is not paying attention.

Democracy ≠ Liberty

“America is the world’s most successful economy because it is a democracy”, sayeth Iain Martin. I am not convinced.

It is not a coincidence that the United States is such a success and a democracy. It is such a success because it is a democracy. Indeed, the American impulse is rooted in the rejection of tyranny and scepticism of excessive government power. That commitment to free competition – sometimes imperfect, often producing uneven results – is what drives innovation.

It is a point made brilliantly by Guy Sorman in his latest piece for CapX, published this week. As he says, if you want meaningful innovation, the lifeblood of technological improvement, rather than copying and refining existing technology, then you need that clash of ideas that happens in a free society in which those in charge can be kicked out or established players can be outflanked by upstarts.

But it is liberty, not democracy, that brings these things. It is constitutionally separated powers and limited government, which is to say limiting the scope for democratically impelled politics, that enables people to challenge established business models.

And those limits on what government can do are in precipitous decline in the USA (and elsewhere) regardless of ‘democracy’… and often because of it. A great many people are quite happy to vote for excessive government power and more ‘free stuff’ that other people will have to pay for.

Stop calling what happened in Kenya a ‘tragedy’…

Stop calling what happened in Kenya a ‘tragedy‘. A bridge collapsing is a tragedy. A house burning down is a tragedy. Dying from Ebola is a tragedy. What happened at Garissa University in north-eastern Kenya was an atrocity. People did this on purpose.

The French state owns women’s bodies

If you are an adult and want to work as a model in France, the French government will decide if the way you look is appropriate in their view. And if not, the people who hired you will be fined or jailed.

I foresee business opportunities in proxy servers/geolocation spoofing

The dismal forces are indeed massing as I predicted. That well documented fountain of fraudulent claims the NSPCC and all the usual dismal censors, from assorted statists of the nominal right like Sajid Javid, to the usual leftists are indeed starting to metastasise into another effort to control the internet. For the children of course.

We need products than make proxy servers and geolocation spoofing default-easy for the 95 IQ user, something people just use because it is cheap and largely invisible… with end to end encryption and all those other things that states hate integrated in at the lowest level possible.

Samizdata quote of the day

The downside of zero inflation is that it does nothing to erode the value of debt, much of which is denominated in money terms. If your mortgage is £100,000 and the price level doubles, its real value has fallen to only £50,000. The world is still burdened with excessive debt, which is a worry for policy-makers. But a low inflation world forces them to confront this issue honestly, and not try to evade it by using the subterfuge of inflation.

Paul Ormerod

Of course it is only a ‘downside’ if you are in debt, it is an upside if you are a saver and lender.

If you are excessively smart…

… and in order to fit in better with the people around you, feel the need to blast off about ten IQ points, you are in luck! Just watch this from our good chums over at the BBC. It is an experience a bit like holding a live piranha to the side of your head.

The Religion of Peace out does itself

The horror in Kenya is almost beyond belief. Almost. One hundred and forty seven dead, mostly Kenyan university students. I wonder how ‘the west’ will get blamed for this one?

Defying the New Endarkenment

Back in the 1986, we actually had that bastion of idiotarianism, Channel Four, run a program called “The New Enlightenment: the rebirth of liberalism”, about Frederick Hayek, Milton Friedman et al. But I would have never guessed that in 2015 we would be experiencing a New Endarkenment.

Fuck you. No seriously, fuck every last one of you who turned off those lights and made parts of glorious London look like North Korea.

Well my house was a gleaming beacon I can assure you, with every single light turned on. Maybe I will purchased some searchlights for next year’s endarkenment.

Yeah, this is my ‘hang over’ from ‘Earth Hour’ rather than this incident per se.

The novels of the future!

Whilst surfing for ‘Wet T-Shirt Contest’ sites, I accidentally came upon this wonderful advance… hardback novels for sale actually written in binary!

binary_novel_april_fool

Is this not awesome?

01000001 00100000 01101000 01100101 01100001 01110010 01110100 01110111 01100001 01110010 01101101 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01110011 01110100 01101111 01110010 01111001 00100000 01100001 01100010 01101111 01110101 01110100 00100000 01100001 00100000 01101100 01101111 01110111 01101100 01111001 00100000 01110011 01100101 01110010 01110110 01101001 01110100 01101111 01110010 00100000 01110111 01101000 01101111 00100000 01100100 01110010 01100101 01100001 01101101 01110011 00100000 01101111 01100110 00100000 01110011 01100101 01110010 01110110 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01001111 01101101 01101110 01101001 01110011 01110011 01101001 01100001 01101000 00100000 01100001 01110011 00100000 01100001 00100000 01010011 01101011 01101001 01110100 01100001 01110010 01101001 01101001 00100000 01110111 01100001 01110010 01110010 01101001 01101111 01110010 00101110 00100000

Snappy! A true page turner.

Samizdata quote of the day

Rather than engaging Russia in a futile pre-modern discourse about race and ethnicity, Ukrainians should integrate into multicultural, multiracial, tolerant Europe.

As for Russia, it would have done a lot better if after the collapse of the Soviet Union it had declared itself a new nation, born on the day it rose up to defeat the hardline communist coup in August 1991. Had it started from a blank page, the way the United States did in 1776, it might have freed itself of its damaging 19th century imperial hangups.

Alexei Bayer