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]

Samizdata quote of the day

We’ve all felt that need to tell the hard truth. Assert the raw and unadorned core repeatedly and dogmatically. React with righteous anger and fury, even without elaboration, to the point of being downright offensive. There is a role for this. Injustice in our midst — and there is so much of it — cries out for it. I wouldn’t call this brutalist. I would call this righteous passion, and it is what we should feel when we look at ugly and immoral things like war, the prison state, mass surveillance, routine violations of people’s rights. The question is whether this style of argument defines us or whether we can go beyond it, not only to lash out in reaction — to dwell only in raw oppositional emotion — but also to see a broad and positive alternative.

- Jeffrey Tucker, whose recent essay on what he sees as being the less charming features of libertarian commentary has provoked quite a storm, thereby validating his point.

Samizdata quote of the day

The government lost the crypto-wars. Crypto is now freely available, but in a sense they won because there are so many ways at people’s data that bypass the cryptography. What we’re learning from the Snowden documents is not that the NSA and GCHQ can break cryptography but that they can very often render it irrelevant… They exploit bad implementations, bugs in hardware and software, default keys, weak keys, or they go in and break systems and steal data.

- Bruce Schneier

Samizdata quote of the day

When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him

- Jonathan Swift, as quoted here.

Samizdata quote of the day

I don’t care for how many Ukranians say ‘Ukraine’, if any of them think we should say ‘Ukraine’, they can swivel, as in English, it is and has been, ‘The Ukraine’.

- Samizdata commenter Mr. Ed.

Samizdata quote of the day

If Russian govt. endorses Crimean referendum, will they also allow/endorse similar votes in republics in Russian Federation?

- Michael McFaul, former US ambassador to Russia

Samizdata quote of the day

Our currency in the U.S. (often known in the black community as “Dead Presidents”) honors people who won wars. Andrew Jackson killed a lot of Indians. General Grant killed a lot of Confederates. Franklin Roosevelt killed the economy.

- Allen Patterson

Samizdata quote of the day

A Russian communist-era movie played on the TV. I couldn’t understand the dialogue, but it was at least passively propagandistic. The main characters, scientists in white lab coats, worked in a sparkling clean high-tech facility, the kind of place science fiction writers of the 1950s imagined were in our future. The movie portrayed an entirely staged idealized version of an advanced communist utopia without gulags, without long lines for potatoes, and without the NKVD. Ukrainians don’t need communist-produced re-runs. They, like the rest of us, need a serious film about Stalinism for a mass audience, a Schindler’s List of the Soviet Union.

- Michael Totten

Samizdata quote of the day

The truth is that the NCCL was right both to have PIE as an affiliate and to defend its members against charges of ‘corrupting public morals’. Why? Because a key role of any civil liberties group worth its name is to defend the rights of association of the most loathed sections of society, to ensure that even the profoundly unpopular enjoy the same liberties, most importantly freedom of speech, as the respectable and the right-on.

Brendan O’Neill

Samizdata quote of the day

Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes, known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.

- James Madison

Samizdata quote of the day

Academic freedom once meant protection from politics; now it means protection for politics.

- Peter Wood, quoted earlier today by David Thompson.

Samizdata quote of the day

The academic left has created a great deal of mischief by appropriating wholesome words for unwholesome ends. This game has been perfected with diversity, inclusion, social justice, and sustainability – all words that mean roughly the opposite of what they sound like.

Diversity on college campuses denotes both lockstep conformity on identity group politics and radical stereotyping of people by race. Inclusion means excluding anyone who dissents from the prevailing orthodoxy. Social justice often means overriding fundamental freedoms and individual rights to impose arbitrary rule by elite redistributionists. Sustainability means transferring authority to decide how to use our resources from the marketplace to ill-informed bureaucrats.

- Peter Wood

(hat tip to Michael Jennison)

Samizdata quote of the day

There is a theory that suggests to be good at business you must be hard nosed, ruthless, dishonest and fight for everything. It essentially suggests that business is a form of warfare carried out by individuals against each other where the winner takes all. It states that if you’re not tough enough you shouldn’t get involved in ‘business’.

This I have learnt is complete bollocks. Yes, there are bastards out there – lots of them. But the essence of good business is cooperation and honesty. It’s about finding and working with decent and honourable people. Men and women who value what you do, pay you on time, go that extra mile for you and want to achieve the same things as you.

You can, if you desire, swim with the sharks. You may even become the biggest shark. But most of the time you will end up swimming round in circles wasting time, money, resources and energy on people who simply don’t deserve that time. And certainly aren’t paying you a fair rate for it. These people will stop you achieving your goals and add no value to your life or your business.

My advice is simple. Be the good guy or gal, fight clean and keep away from the time wasters, charlatans and arseholes.

- Rob Waller

Be warned that this is not one of those “now read the whole thing” postings. That is the whole thing, apart from the title (“On Swimming with Sharks”) and the words “end of sermon” at the very end. And now you have those words here also.