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

Hatred is a transformative power. It can make the innocuous into the menacing. So it has become a weapon of choice. The left has used hate to transform President Trump into a symbol of the new racism, not a flawed president but a systemic evil. And he must be opposed as one opposes racism, with a scorched-earth absolutism.

Shelby Steele, writing ‘Why the Left is consumed with hate’.

Samizdata quote of the day

The correct answer is that the BBC can go boil their heads.

Tim Worstall

“I’ve long said that capitalism without bankruptcy is like Christianity without Hell.”

A quote attributed to USAF Colonel Frank Borman, the oldest living astronaut, businessman, one of the first men to orbit the Moon. He sounds like a splendid chap. This ‘b’ word is of course, is anathema to many in the political elite, as RBS limps on after a decade of State support, and many of the forecasting errors of a decade ago remain unliquidated. As others have noted, just as when a tree falls the light let in through the canopy allows new blooms.

But coming back to our hero, he has recently given an interview on his impressions of his time as an astronaut. He seems to be have set a high bar to be impressed.

“When asked if it was ‘cool’ to fly around weightless, Colonel Borman replied: ‘No.’

He said it was interesting to watch ‘maybe for the first 30 seconds, then it became accepted.’

And Colonel Borman denied ever saying he thought a poet should have been on board.

He said: ‘No, I didn’t- if I did, I didn’t- the last thing I would have wanted on our crew was a poet.’

Mr Cassius Clay, you were not the Greatest. As for the Moon:

He described the Moon as ‘devastation’ and said it was: ‘Meteor craters, no color at all. Just different shades of gray.’

And Colonel Borman revealed he had no desire to step foot on the Moon, as Buzz Aldrin did seven months later.

He said: ‘I would have not accepted the risk involved to go pick up rocks. It doesn’t mean that much to me.’

‘Somebody else wanted to do it. Let them take my place. I love my family more than anything in the world.’

Well, perhaps NASA could ask him to compare the Moon with Detroit?

As he said, he loved his family.

‘The dearest things in life that were back on the Earth- my family, my wife, my parents.’

‘They were still alive then. That was, for me, the high point of the flight from an emotional standpoint.’

‘The dearest things in life that were back on the Earth- my family, my wife, my parents.’

‘They were still alive then. That was, for me, the high point of the flight from an emotional standpoint.’

And the mission itself?

Lovell was mesmerized by space and exploration, and wanted desperately to explore the moon. I was there because it was a battle in the Cold War.

‘I wanted to participate in this American adventure of beating the Soviets. But that’s the only thing that motivated me- beat the damn Russians.’

Would he run in 2020?

Samizdata quote of the day

“I wasn’t even aware that Corbyn was an expert on the subject of English irony. I always assumed he preferred the robust congeniality of Gerry Adams over the acerbity of a Michael Palin or Ian Hislop. But I am no expert on the mind of Mr Corbyn, which seems like a sort of ball bearing ricocheting around a pinball machine, illuminating one Marxist trope after another. And the face of the Corbyn Labour Party is rarely one that smiles, being both humourless and menacing all at once. It is, after all, the party which includes as High Apparatchiks the likes of Dawn Butler and Emily Thornberry, neither of whom strike one as likely secretaries of the PG Wodehouse Appreciation Society.”

Sean Walsh. The whole article, even though it is about the disgusting subject of the Labour Party leader’s anti-semitism and association with terrorists, is an essay containing several mirthful sentences such as the final one of the paragraph above. My only beef with the comment is that frankly, I don’t find Ian Hislop, editor of Private Eye, very amusing these days.

Samizdata quote of the day

“What can’t be stressed enough about what happened in 2008 is that for economies to grow and markets to rise, it’s necessary that the mediocre and lousy constantly be replaced by the good and brilliant.”

Real Clear Markets, reflecting on the decade since the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers.

(Hat-tip, Stephen Green of Instapundit.)

Samizdata quote of the day

Which is to say that I understand the importance of the causes that equal opportunity activists and progressive academics are ostensibly championing. But pursuit of greater fairness and equality cannot be allowed to interfere with dispassionate academic study. No matter how unwelcome the implications of a logical argument may be, it must be allowed to stand or fall on its merits not its desirability or political utility.

Ted Hill

Samizdata quote of the day

Leave means leave

Marina Wheeler

Samizdata quote of the day

“From a libertarian perspective, the best course of action is not to elevate Trump to Satan or to Saturn, but to acknowledge that he is a mixed bag. In this, he’s perhaps more like Bill Clinton than anyone wants to admit. The major successes of the Clinton years—welfare reform, balanced budgets, capital-gains tax cuts, acknowledgment that the “era of Big Government was over”—came not out of one faction winning but the tension among various factions. If there is a problem to be solved, it’s not a president who, like his predecessors, refuses to cut the size, scope, and spending of government. It’s Congress, which has abdicated its constitutional role of actually writing legislation. And it’s government at all levels, which seeks to control and regulate the hell out of social and economic innovation in the name of some imaginary greater good. There are midterms afoot, so it’s easy to understand why people in the dying Republican and Democratic parties are desperate to view everything through partisan lenses. But the rest of us, especially libertarians, are free of such blinders and do well to remember that independence means first and foremost not making everything about politics.”

Nick Gillespie.

Samizdata quote of the day

Antifragility applies to emotional health as well. When you guard children against every possible risk – do not let them outside to play or walk home alone – they exaggerate the fear of such situations and fail to develop resilience and coping skills. Stresses are necessary to learn, adapt and grow. Without movement, our muscles and joints grow weak. Without varied life experiences, our minds do not know how to cope with day-to-day stressors. Measures designed to protect children and students are backfiring. Fragility is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you think certain ideas are dangerous, or are encouraged to do so by trigger warnings and safe spaces, you will be more anxious in the long run. Intellectual safety not only makes free and open debate impossible, it setting up a generation for more anxiety and depression.

Matthew Lesh

Samizdata quote of the day

And if someone died—for real Twitter addicts, that’s Asshole Christmas. If you could make a facile point that reinforced your team’s political stance on the day someone collapsed in front of his wife and kids—you were a true hero, the Twitter version of a captured pilot resisting torture in a POW camp. Except your prison was your mother’s basement, or your half of a Brooklyn apartment covered with Cheetos.

Jamie Kilstein

Samizdata quote of the day

We’ve a new little report, piece of scientific research, telling us that cheese and red meat are good for us. This in entire opposition to everything governments have been telling us about diet for decades now. This telling us that government is a seriously bad way of doing anything.

Sure, of course, humans are wrong, most humans are wrong a lot of the time. The problem with government being that when that wrongness gets propagated by our rulers it becomes the established fact. Meaning that we’re all affected by it, there is none of that natural variability of error which protects some and harms others. We all become subject to the error that is

Tim Worstall

Samizdata quote of the day

So, imagine this. We desire to move 500 lbs of food from the field to the town where the people want to eat it. It’s about 10 miles from field to town. We have two available technologies. Ten people carrying 50 lbs each in rucksacks, or one bloke with a handcart carrying 500 lbs. The handcart is a technology of course. Which should we use, the technology economising on human labour or not?

One answer is that ten people want and desire jobs so we should use the rucksacks. But that is to be an idiot. The other is use the handcart and leave nine people doing sod all. Which is the correct solution.

Tim Worstall