Judging things by their outcomes

This post is beyond the contest between consequentialism and deontology, before anyone starts firing up his philosophy brain. I notice in our society there is a profound resistance to judging actual outcomes, whether it is a public program, government service, educational process, or even a workout routine. The tendency is to try to judge either the process for its own sake or to judge the intended outcomes of the process. A workout program seems fun at the gym – it’s a great program! But… did you gain strength and muscle, cut fat, or increase your athletic capacity? We can’t abandon…

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Boomer Economist vs. innerne’ pr0n

I really don’t know how to write about Paul Krugman. Others have talked about his economics which is beyond my scope here (in short – the criticism is that he’s bad at prediction and engages in nostalgianomics), but when it comes to something like this, it’s hard to know where to begin: This is like a piece of post-modern art, only it actually means something. It’s a portrait of a boomer, painted with the boomer’s own words. Mike Cernovich had this to say: Yes, obviously the idea that someone “compromised” his IP address to download child pornography is absurd, but…

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Social Proof

“Social Proof” is something you NEED to become familiar with. It’s essential if you are going to be doing any kind of marketing. What is social proof? Basically, it’s this: Other people think this, therefore it is likely to be true. If you are thinking straight away that this is a logical fallacy, just hold your objections. I’ll explain how social proof is different than an appeal to popularity. Social proof is a very fast method of judging initial likelihood of truth – A filter, more than “proof” in the logical sense. This is in the realm of induction, obviously.…

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The 5 phases of Corporate IP Ownership

For the purposes of this discussion, “IP” means “Intellectual Property” and comprises copyright and trademark ownership – such as the ownership of franchises like Star Wars. Phase 1: Creation A lone visionary or small team create something that is an unexpected success, usually on a small budget. Phase 2: Explosion The corporation looks to capitalize on the unexpected success of the creation. They buy up the IP to make movie and game adaptations, or order sequels to quickly deliver additional products to the market. The original team is still mostly intact with increased salaries to ensure they participate in initial…

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IP “Law” and Free Societies

From a fan: HI David, Love your content on youtube. I’d be very interested to hear your take on how IP law has distorted the entertainment industry, in particular, the Star Wars movies. I’m an anarchist and advocate of the dissolution of all intellectual property law. Although my main argument is principled, I also think that IP law is has had negative effects on every industry; including books, movies, music, and tv. I’d be stoked to hear back from you, or see a video inspired by this topic. Keep up the great work. Thanks! IP law is something I talk…

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Errors of Addition

Let us examine the two most common types of thinking errors that occur within the human mind, as I have witnessed and experienced as a writer, critic, philosopher, and political commentator. These are errors not of argument (though they can cause poor argumentation), but in understanding. The first is the error of Addition, which is where one adds information to a set of data or facts. The second is the error of Ignorance¸ in which one ignores or down-plays information that is relevant to a subject or judgment. Of these two errors, ignorance is the one that has over the…

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There is No Such Thing as a Bleeding Heart Liberal

Love of the poor. Care for the infirm. An infinite metric of the empathy of one human to another. And yet, not.   The term “bleeding heart liberal” gets thrown around from time to time, as often as not from the “bleeding hearts” themselves, but it represents nothing of the position of the American left. The belief in government assistance programs, and their targeting of the “underprivileged” in America seems to imply an excess of empathy. That excess of empathy is derided by the right and worn as a badge of honor by the left. The reality, however, is that…

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My Pool is a Swamp!

Lessons in Social Endorsements and Services So this week was interesting. I went out to my pool on Sunday, hoping to do a little swimming since it was 100 degrees (and I have a foot injury that makes running a bit difficult at the moment), and saw that my pool had turned green, and was just short of the opacity of pea soup. I went down to the water, frustration burning my throat like the first drag on a clove cigarette, and retrieved my chlorine floater. Not a tab or pellet was to be seen. I dusted off my test…

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Judgment!

Judgment. It’s a pretty naughty word these days. Everywhere I look, I see a message that I should “stop judging people.” Usually the act of judging is made synonymous with puritanical motivations, fundamentalist religion, or bigotry. Here are just a few articles on the matter, all of which point the finger back at the judger for his or her own failings: http://www.positivelypresent.com/2009/05/stop-judging.html http://tinybuddha.com/blog/3-causes-for-judging-people-how-to-accept-yourself/ http://dalepartridge.com/please-stop-judging-people-heres/ We’re told not to judge people for a host of things they wear, do or proclaim: http://hellogiggles.com/lets-stop-judging-women-tattoos There are also acceptance movements, to help you get over judging particular books by their relative colors. Fat Acceptance…

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Minimum Wage: Moral, Amoral, and Practical Arguments; Ad Hominem Non-Arguments.

The minimum wage as a political issue has long been a dangerous one to oppose. Recent trends have included phrases such as “living wage” in addition to a minimum, though the sentiments are much the same as they were when the minimum wage was first enacted back in 1933 (a law the Supreme Court later found unconstitutional). Proponents of wage controls generally make moral arguments, primarily that wages should reflect some correlation to the cost of living at some level of affluence, and that failing to pay such a wage was an immoral act. Opponents, however, tend to focus on…

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