Monday, August 04, 2008

Around the World Wide Web 73

This blog looks like crap in Firefox. The letters look strange and thin. Internet Explorer for me.

1. The Road to Serfdom.

2. From Litblog:

Then said Mrs Hauskbee to me--she looked a trifle faded and jaded in the lamplight--'Take my word for it, the silliest woman can manage a clever man; but it needs a very clever woman to manage a fool.'

--Three and-an Extra from Plain Tales from the Hills by Rudyard Kipling

3. Fred Hiatt analyzes Democrat thinking.

In this view of the world, Republican operatives, from Lee Atwater to Karl Rove, are more diabolically clever, and less bound by ethical restraint, than their Democratic counterparts.

Yes, the people who invented Borking and who have come to rely on October Surprise character assassination to win elections actually believe they are more ethical than Republicans. As altruists, their self-conception is so bound up in the idea that they are nice, benevolent people that they won't let themselves see how much they have damaged America in the last few decades by abandoning ideas and turning to smear tactics.

The rest of the article is worth reading.

4. Leonard Peikoff's July 21, 2008 podcast discusses not paying taxes, what fiction he reads, applying DIM to music, whether environmentalism is leading society to something like Anthem, what we should do toward cultural change, Galt saying "Don't look down" when there is a blackout in New York at the end of Atlas Shrugged, and speaking out about Objectivism.

His July 28, 2008 podcast looks at why Ayn Rand gave Howard Roark orange hair, how long it should take to master Objectivism, an email from a young man who (like Dominique) despairs in today's world, and the Big Bang Theory in particular and modern physics in general.

His August 4, 2008 podcast looks at whether a person who is "non-conceptual" (concrete bound, does not think in abstract principles) can change himself as an adult, whether the government should ban smoking, whether objective knowledge is possible, treason in non-wartime, and what a contextual absolute is.

5. Oil prices dropping.

Locally, the lowest price is $4.03.

(Oh, and 9/10. Can't forget the 9/10 of a cent. Inflation has made a penny worth so little that the 9/10 convention might be unnecessary. Is there enough difference between $4.03 and $4.04 to affect a consumer's buying? I can remember seeing gas for 19 cents in a "gas war" in Kansas in the 1960's. At 20 cents a gallon, one penny is 5%, so the 9/10 made a big difference in consumer perception. Back then one penny could buy you a piece of candy. At $1 a gallon, a penny is 1%; at $4 a gallon, .25%.)

(I once knew a numismatist who chided me for using the word penny. There are no pennies in American coinage! That almost worthless piece of copper and I think zinc is a one cent piece. England has pennies, short I believe for pence, and they looked like our one cent piece so people got confused and called the American coin a penny. Somehow "one cent piece for your thoughts" doesn't have the right ring to it...)

Anyway, these dropping prices are tragic for environmentalists, Democrats and socialists of all parties who want to use high gas prices to gin up a crisis they can exploit to expand the power of the state. I know, lower prices are good for consumers -- but let's not be selfish. Let's have compassion for the would be tyrants among us and raise the price of gas!

6. Zogby says it's McCain 42%, Obama 41%.

After Obama's last month, in which he has gotten the most glowing media coverage in the history of everything, he is in a statistical tie with McCain? Could it be that people are saying, "Please -- enough is enough with Obama"? Could it possibly be that we underestimate the good sense of the American people?

UPDATE: The price of gas on August 5 is $3.98! Madness! Americans will be buying more gas, driving more, and expanding their carbon footprints to Sasquatch-size. They will be more productive and, worst of all, happier! Can't we do something? Can't the President just order oil companies to raise their prices?


Jim May said...

Your blog looks fine to me in Firefox.

I started up IE7 to see what the difference was... and it locked up before I could even enter a URL.

Regarding the names of coinage, I got the same sort of thing in Canada, where we have 10 cent pieces, 25 cent pieces and 50 cent pieces, not "dimes", "quarters" and "half dollars". The latter are American terms :)

But thanks to inflation, there's hardly any more logic to our denominations. Not only were they designed for about 40 times more value than they have now, but inflation has taken all the logic out of it. Right now, every circulation coin that is supposed to be made out of silver, is now made out of copper disguised as silver - while the one coin that is supposed to be made out of copper, is actually zinc disguised as copper. Hell, even your "nickel" is only 25% nickel, 75% copper.

mike18xx said...

The dollar is actually recovering nicely from last winter, when gold approached $1,000/oz. (It's under $900 now, and continuing to fall.)