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]

Steven DenBeste: one of the OG bloggers passes

Steven DenBeste, who ran a blog called USS Clueless back in the early days when we were all known as “warblogs”, has pressed Ctrl+Alt+Del and gone to the great blogroll in the sky. Steven and I often agreed on things, for he was certainly not an ‘idiotarian’, but we often crossed swords as well. Like me he was an atheist but nevertheless, Godspeed Good Sir, you were part of the social media New Wave before anyone called it social media.

On the power of exit

Arnold Kling has been debating – in a friendly way – with fellow US blogger Will Wilkinson on the relative power of exit, the ability to take oneself and one’s business away from place A to B, for example, with “voice”, such as voting. There is a good Wikipedia item on the forces of “voice” and “exit”. Arnold is definitely an “exit” man and is in favour of things like creating new nations and the power to secede and emigrate. I need to think a bit more about the exchange between Will and Arnold before commenting at great length, but
…continue On the power of exit

Samizdata quote of the day

I won’t live in a country where people aren’t allowed to call me a fag – Brian Tiemann

With thanks to Steven Den Beste for the pointer

Other consequences

In a recent article Steven den Beste discusses the fate of human shield Faith Fippinger. If I were to look at this in a narrow context I’d probably agree with him. However… there are parts of the argument expressed by den Beste and others which I find troubling.

I cannot imagine myself standing in a Saddamite factory to stop speeding american bullets, but I can indeed arrive at scenarios in which I would find civil disobedience of this sort or even greater personally justifiable. So let us play “invent a scenario”.

It’s now 2015 and a bunch of us libertarians
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Why I Want to be a Teacher

“We won’t get those new books for two more years,” laments Morrison, who teaches in Manchester, Mo., near St. Louis.

To a large extent, this leaves secondary and even grammar school teachers relying on their own wiles to incorporate 9/11 and the events that have followed in rapid fire order into the classroom.

“The integration is challenging,” Morrison says about bringing Sept. 11 material into her lessons. Morrison says that last year she juxtaposed the Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa with Al Qaida’s Osama bin Laden. “Would Villa be considered a terrorist today,” Morrison asked her class?

History is more
…continue Why I Want to be a Teacher

What is really going on in Europe?

The proposed EU regulation of blogs and other forms of Internet speech being suggested by the Council of Europe (a quasi-governmental think-tank whose views have inordinate sway with the EU’s policy making elite) is very revealing about what lies at the heart of The Great European Project.

Steven Den Beste has written a rather good article on why the press is treated differently than broadcast media which use the finite resource of the electromagnetic spectrum. One can argue that as the EM spectrum is finite, it is reasonable to share out its use and as clearly not everyone can set
…continue What is really going on in Europe?

Le coeur de l’obscurite

There is a lot of remarkable news in Gabriel Syme’s posting about Sabine Herold, the young French woman who is spear-heading a brave fightback against the bolshevik hegemony that squats on her country like a poisonous toad.

That someone so young should be prepared to shoulder such a herculean (or perhaps even quixotic) task should be enough to earn her unqualified praise but what takes her stance onto a higher plane of bravery is the fact that she is prepared to do this openly. As this e-mail letter sent to Steve Den Beste reveals, France is a country where dissent
…continue Le coeur de l’obscurite

Another quote for today

“You teach people that it’s wrong to care. You tell them that the right course of action is to “not get involved”. When they see a crime being committed, then if they try to stop it they may end up in prison, but there’s no punishment for looking the other direction and not seeing. And thus fewer people will get involved.”

– Steven Den Beste writing on what happens when you punish people for killing robbers. Emphasis added by me.

Demise of a Disney Democrat

Steven den Beste points out something I missed entirely. With the change of Senate control, Senator Fritz “I whore for Hollywood” Hollings is no longer head of the Senate Commerce Committee. A very likely result is the DoubleSpeak titled “Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act” is most likely DOA. In case you don’t know, this is the act which would mandate control of your personal computer by the US government and anyone who can buy it.

War and Peace

In my last two postings about war on Iraq, I tried to set out the moral grounds for using military force against another country, as well as distinguish between civilians and combatants. The blogosphere had already been teaming with opinions, moral or otherwise, about the war on terror, Iraq, the US military power and its proper use. when Steven Den Beste posited the conflict as more than a mere ‘war on terrorism’ but rather clash of cultures and civilisations in his article last week.

The majority of reactions were, predictably, based on the respondents’ previously established positions. Some agreed
…continue War and Peace

Let them hate provided that they hear

Last night I came upon Steven Den Beste’s piece about the USA conquering and rearranging the Middle East, in the manner of the USA’s conquest and re-arrangement of Japan after WW2.

Like Perry I liked Den Beste’s description of the nature of the contest, but I recoiled somewhat from his proposed solution. I also found Eric Raymond’s supportive reaction to it very thought-provoking.

I wasn’t the only one who was provoked. Commenter Logi Ragnarsson (5.12 pm Thur 19) said, in among saying ruder things: “Why do you want to start a massive assymmetric war in the world I have
…continue Let them hate provided that they hear

Somewhat to my surprise…

I am not a huge fan of Steven Den Beste’s blog USS Clueless, as I dislike the style and content on so many levels. I frankly regard his understanding of history, geopolitics and in particular anything beyond the shore of his home country as generally underpinned by misleading stereotypes and ‘Hollywoodized’ history. In particular I dislike his frequent risible saccharine paeans to the transcendent superiority of an imagined United States of America in which in one would scarcely believe Waco, Ruby Ridge, civil forfeiture and Ted Kennedy would even be conceivable, let alone a reality. Such ‘feelgood’ writing is undoubtedly
…continue Somewhat to my surprise…