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

It is ironic that this Cultural Revolution is being presided over by a Cavalier Prime Minister who is himself the embodiment of Libertarianism made substantial flesh. Boris Johnson faces the grim, unsmiling Roundhead figure of Sir Keir Starmer – perfectly typecast as a finger-wagging Puritan Witchfinder General. Ironic, too, that demands are being made to pull down the statue of Oliver Cromwell, the founding father of Puritanism made stone. But logic and consistency were never the hallmarks of the judgemental nay sayers to whom we must all now bow the knee.

Nigel Jones

Samizdata quote of the day

Everyone should be uncomfortable taking about ‘race’ rather than ‘people’

– Perry de Havilland.

– – –

This was in response to a message from a friend:

Work email with feedback from some diversity survey. “There were lots of comments about white colleagues being uncomfortable when talking about race.”

No shit.

Samizdata quote of the century

In a hotly contested race, this side of fusion power, Net Zero is a real contender for mankind’s stupidest idea since 1648.

– Perry de Havilland

Samizdata quote of the day

Just had to throw away some sausages, and it occurred to me: the same people complaining most about food waste are the ones who object to preservatives, aren’t they?

Why’s every social movement a puritan cult?

Guy Herbert

Samizdata quote of the day

SAGE minutes make it clear that the public was explicitly petrified in order to ensure compliance with lockdown. Mind-control is objectionable in itself, but has a real cost in lives: before a policy lever like lockdown was pulled, where was the cost/benefit analysis, or was SAGE only thinking of covid-19? Lockdown, after all, affects not just this thing over here (covid-19) but also that thing over there (cancer, cardiac, sepsis, etc.).

Through lockdown, A&E cardiac admissions have been as much as 50% down, so around 5,000 people per month have not been turning up at hospital with heart attack symptoms; heart attacks outside hospital have only a 1-in-10 chance of survival. Same story with strokes. And downstream, many cancers are touch-and-go even if you catch them early; give them a two month head-start and Stanford’s Professor Bhattacharya estimates the impact of urgent cancer referrals running 70% below normal levels will be around 18,000 deaths.

Alistair Haimes

Samizdata quote of the day

Have I got this right?

BLM are in no way responsible for the stabbings in Reading as it happened two hours after their “protest” ended.

But somehow all of us white people are still responsible for slavery 200 years after it was ended.

Is that about the gist of it?


Samizdata quote of the day

True, they were hypocrites. Jefferson himself was clearly aware of the ghastly contradictions. Pity they did not apply their own wise philosophies even-handedly, but they didn’t. That is was why Samuel Johnson hated them. And yet, their good ideas stand on their own merits.

– Perry de Havilland in response to “How do you respond to people who say that the Founding Fathers were hypocrites for owning slaves?”

Samizdata quote of the day

To be fair: I don’t eat food. Food here is so unsafe I decided years ago to subsist only on internet memes.

– Perry Metzger, in response to this breathtaking absurdity.

Samizdata quote of the day

Please stop adding fact Trump mentioned it to every article about hydroxychloroquine, making clinical efficacy a political issue is monstrous. Some people want it not to work.

– Perry de Havilland

Samizdata quote of the day

The Ferguson – or Imperial – coronavirus model is a load of Hooey. But not, or not alone, for the reasons generally given that it’s a tangled mess of code that doesn’t even produce the same answer each time. Nor because its output was so useless that even the originator wouldn’t obey the implied rules from its use when seeking a shag.

No, Ferguson failed because his model failed to include human beings in it. Which is really very weird indeed when attempting to model, erm, human beings.

Tim Worstall

Samizdata quote of the day

Finally, in my last post I wrote of confirmation bias among journalists and bloggers. I have noticed the same thing among photographers. The camera doesn’t lie, but photographers can and often do. Their choice of lens can make the same group of people look rashly hugger mugger or responsibly social-distanced, for example. Their choice depends on how they want you to see the world – and who doesn’t want others to see the world as they do themselves? The photographer is sometimes consciously deceiving his viewer but more often is first lying to himself. Attending many photo workshops has proved to me repeatedly that photographers standing in the same location with similar equipment will produce very different images. That difference seems to depend just as much on their metaphorical point of view as their literal one.

‘Tom Paine’

Samizdata quote of the day

As Ludwig von Mises states in his magnum opus, Human Action, the “market process is the adjustment of the individual actions of the various members of the market society to the requirements of mutual cooperation”.

Thus, markets will always be imperfect, but that is precisely why markets exist in the first place! Markets never conform to the “ideal” of perfect competition, but this is completely irrelevant, since under such state of affairs, markets are unnecessary and redundant, since all resources are already perfectly allocated to their most valued uses. Market processes exist precisely because to generate the information necessary to better coordinate the plans and purposes of individuals in a peaceful and productive manner. The entrepreneurial lure for profit and the discipline of loss is what guides such imperfect processes in a tendency towards the creation of more complete information between buyers and sellers.

Rosolino Candela, from Are Markets Imperfect? Of Course, But That’s The Point!