March 7th, 2013

More on Against Autonomy

That book of Conly’s is the gift that keeps on giving, isn’t it? Much fascinating discussion in yesterday’s thread, which is not even the first time we’ve discussed it (see also this and this).

I especially recommend your wading through commenter “kolnai’s” effort; he’s far more erudite than I on the subject.

Discussions about autonomy and government are essential in trying to understand the differences between liberals (especially the left) and conservatives, and where libertarians fit into the mix. Not a whole lot of this was apparent to me when I was younger, prior to my change experience. For one thing, I was not especially political, and I followed the news in a much more surface way.

For another, the trend regarding government regulation of health “for your own good” was easier to ignore. For example, in the New York of my youth, I can’t imagine a mayor trying to ban large soft drinks. He’d have gotten tossed out on his ear for his pains. In fact, in the New York in which I grew up—and in the US as a whole at the time—smoking was everywhere, and no one thought much of it.

And we ate huge gobs of butter, too, if we could afford to do so.


I have no doubt, however, that the left had this agenda long ago, which seems obvious in retrospect by looking at the eugenics movement, which sacrificed liberty for what was seen—using what was though of as scientific evidence—as the public good (see this and this).

Taking on a somewhat different aspect of the topic, I’d like to respond to this comment by Jim Nicholas, :

Do we want the government, whether federal, state, or local, to help us make good decisions in taking care of ourselves? For example, do we want a government to examine and license physicians or do we want the government to get out of the way and let us evaluate whoever claims to be a physician.

If we think that the government should limit our freedom of choice in even a limited way about how we care for ourselves–such as limiting who can take care of us in a hospital–then, it seems to me, it is not always easy to decide what should be within or beyond a reasonable limit.

I am not allying myself with Conly, only saying that a polar opposite stand is also not a wise course.

I think Jim Nicholas’ example is a case where it’s relatively easy to draw the line. We are not stopped from going to a quack. The only thing the law stops us from is being deceived by a quack holding him/herself out to have training he/she doesn’t have, hanging out a shingle fraudulently claiming he/she is an MD or telling that to a clinic in order to be hired (see a this typical example of the way the law against practicing medicine without a license reads).

Licensing doctors does not protect us from ourselves. It protects us (supposedly, anyway) from going to an untrained doctor holding him/herself out to be a trained one. It is meant to establish minimum professional standards for treating other people, not oneself.

The same goes for rules of the road, and vehicle driver licensing.

A much better analogy is mandatory seat-belt wearing laws for adults. Those protect us against ourselves, and as such are much more suspect. The argument for them—an addition to arguments such as Conly’s—is that we all incur health care costs when people become injured, and that society suffers. Those arguments are too broad, IMHO, and can be used to justify nearly any restriction that affects health in any way—which is just about anything (this ties into the eugenics movement, to which I linked earlier).

Jim Nicholas uses the inclusive phrase “the government, whether federal, state, or local.” But those entities are allowed very different degrees of freedom to curtail our freedom. Local governments are allowed to do a lot that the federal government (at least, so far) is forbidden to do. Seat belt laws are passed on a state-by-state basis, and you can see there’s a lot of variation among states. So theoretically you can move to another state if the one you reside in isn’t libertarian enough for you. I wonder how long that will be the case.

42 Responses to “More on Against Autonomy

  1. DonS Says:

    Government got the food pyramid wrong long ago. Why do we expect it to get anything right?

  2. Ray Says:

    John Adams, an expert on risk, has long contended that the seat belt laws are not beneficial.
    Go here.

  3. Don Carlos Says:

    Jim Nicholas is a fellow physician. Somehow he must accept that medical analogies do not apply across the board.
    Licensing doctors does not prevent malpractice or poor practice, as he well knows. It is always up to the individual, whether doc or patient, not the State.
    Thanks, Neo.

  4. southpaw Says:

    Neo — I assumed everyone thought I was a kook when I ranted about the eugenics side of this in your first post about this woman.
    Everytime somebody mentions social science, or suggests that academics and scientists know what’s good for all of us, I drag it up. Almost nobody believes it originated here, and even fewer have heard this part of US history. What has disturbed me the most since I first learned about it myself, is exactly how little of it taught or remembered, while it should be a history lesson about popular consensus and pseudo-science that is never forgotten.

  5. thomass Says:

    “And we ate huge gobs of butter, too, if we could afford to do so.”

    If you wash it down with enough alcohol it’s probably perfectly safe. That was probably the undoing of many. A beer just isn’t enough to burn the cholesterol out of your veins.

  6. Sam L. Says:

    I started using seatbelts in ’67 when I got a car that would GO around corners, to keep myself in place.

  7. neo-neocon Says:

    Sam L.: I LOVE seatbelts. I don’t feel comfortable without them.

    But that’s my choice.

  8. Jim Nicholas Says:

    Unfortunately, Don Carlos is correct: state examining and licensing is not successful in screening out all medical school graduates who do not have the professional knowledge or moral character to be physicians. Also state medical boards too often fail to revoke the license to practice of physicians who are not practicing competently or ethically. Since the patient bears the consequences, for good or ill, of whom he or she selects, it is wise for the patient to take responsibility for doing his or her best to make that selection. But it does seem to me that most of us benefit from the state’s setting some limits on whom we may select. I certainly know that, even though a physician, I have difficulty evaluating physicians outside of my own specialty.

    I also agree that no analogy, medical or other, applies across the board. And so there is no simple rule to decide when a government at any level should limit our choices. That John Stuart Mill’s rule is easily stated does not mean it is as easily applied.

  9. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    The government’s interest in our health would not be so great if they had not passed Medicare in 1964, EMTALA (See this: ) in 1986, and the Medicaid programs in the 1990s. This is a history of government slowly becoming more involved in every citizen’s personal life and medical care. They are paying the bills for old codgers and the indigent so they feel free to tell us what to do.

    In my case I would prefer they give us guidleines on how to live healthier lives, but leave it up to us to do what we will and………then accept the responsibility by paying the bill ourselves.

    I don’t want to complain as I’ve lived beyond my normal life expectancy. However, even though I never smoked, I have always tried to control my weight, have been into exercise as a duty for most of my adult life; old age is catching up with me. I was hospitalized recently with pneumonia as a complication of a bad case of bronchitis. I am now informed that I have COPD. This is not something that is going to get better. It will be a managed descent into invalidism and, unless something else gets me first, death. All my good living and good intentions have not been able to overcome normal aging. So, eventually we all pay the piper. The only question is that of timing.

    Maybe the government would be better off to encourage smoking and other unhealthful habits. Then people would die younger and Social Security would be saved.

    As to regulations such as the licensing of various professions. I think the question has to be asked as to how much harm an unlicensed, untrained professional can do to others. I like the idea of high standards of licensing for doctors, pharmacists, and airline pilots. Dog groomers and hairstylists might be less necessary. Some licensing has been used to restrict the size of a profession i.e. to make the license more valuable. Some members of the AirLine Pilots Association wanted to get control of licensing so they could control the size of the pool available to the airlines. A move calculated to raise salaries.

    For everything the government does there is always an upside and a downside. Banding together as a tribe does for the common defense is one good use of government. Using tax money to build highways that encourage commerce might be another. The Federal involvement in education began after Sputnik, and in spite of trillions spent, our education system is no better than it was 50 years ago. A definite downside. The same with Medicare, EMTALA, and Medcaid. Those programs have had the effect of driving up prices of medical care such that the government can no longer pay for them. Another definite downside.

    I’ve rambled on too long and not made much of my point which is that we should have proceeded with much more care before we instituted many programs and regulations that are now slowly bankrupting our government and strangling our economy.

  10. KLSmith Says:

    “I wonder how long that will be the case”.
    My guess is until Obamacare is fully implemented and its long tenacles reach into almost every aspect of our lives. It might take until Obamacare’s true goal of single payer healthcare comes to fruition. Almost everything can be argued to effect your health and they pay so they get the final say.
    Thank-you Democrats.

  11. Eric Says:

    This scene from South Park (ManBearPig, Season 10, episode 6) – – illustrates Conly’s premise of individual irresponsibility inflicting costs on the collective. For context for those who don’t watch South Park (you should; their commentary is sharp), Cartman swallowed a lot of fake treasure while trapped in a cave, became sick and couldn’t move, then demanded his friends rescue him from his self-inflicted state. Kyle nearly dies rescuing him.

    Kyle could – and maybe should – have left behind the heavy sick Cartman and saved himself with Stan and Kenny. But Conly, of course, assumes the premise that Kyle (the collective we) will and perhaps must bear the costs for rescuing Cartman (the irresponsible individual) from his own actions. From that obligation assumed, what right does Kyle have to prevent Cartman from hurting himself so as not to drag Kyle down, too?

    Which came 1st, the chicken or the egg . . . Does the desire to control the individual bring on the collective duty to, and the desire to control the resulting collective costs from, the individual? Or, does the collective duty to, and desire to control the resulting collective costs from, the individual bring on the desire to control the individual?

  12. Artfldgr Says:

    Licensing doctors does not protect us from ourselves. It protects us (supposedly, anyway) from going to an untrained doctor holding him/herself out to be a trained one. It is meant to establish minimum professional standards for treating other people, not oneself.

    That’s the public story we learn and are to believe.
    But most of us never take time to get into the things we carry in our heads and wonder whether they are right, wrong, or even worthy of such belief.

    before i say anything more, i ask if licensing does what its supposed to do? or what we are told its supposed to do?

    does licensing really keep you from going to an untrained doctor?

    Or does it replace the need to look to the person, the reputation, and having to have a more thoughtful life (and think too about limits)?
    What does it do for the amount of liability?

    Didn’t the state, get for its bargain, the ability to control the other?

    Once you accept that an entity can license you, you accept that this entity has control over the business or industry.

    Under the guise of public safety, what the state does is take over an industry. in effect functionally nationalizing it without the usual acts, because the key to the point is control, not those usual other points.

    licensing removed medical autonomy… no longer was medicine apart from the state and directed to its own endeavors, but now, medicine was state controlled – and from that point on, there was no way to keep it out. eventually the control would move from subtle, to more overt.

    medical schools became more concerned with counting races, than wanting the best and brightest to be educated regardless of that. they even merged with the state, till finally in Obamacare, they are part of the state. and wait till people find out that by connecting the IRS to medicine, they now have a way to seize property and sell it to pay bills. (yes, its in the law)

    inspecting does similar, as you can easily manipulate an area, and so change outcomes before changing zones, and other stuff. don’t forget, its legal for politicians to invest and take advantage of their advanced knowledge of whats going to happen. it only took them a while to stop trying to just do that, and start advocating bad tech for mandating. (ie. bad tech was cheaper to buy out, before making it king).

    licensing is restriction at the behest of the license authority
    it takes the place of liability, and so gives the state control as to payouts and limits. it also gives them control over what tests you can or cant have, and whether a doctor is a woman or a man (given recent changes, your not going to see many oppressor male doctors soon).

    were there quacks before licensing?
    are there quacks now?

    in the UK, they lowered the standards to control the number of doctors, and allow foreign doctors to practice to make up for deficits caused by prior manipulations. if licensing is supposed to maintain standards, then why lower them to solve a numbers problem? because the idea is to control the number, to control the economy. make licensing hard, you limit the number (and skew heavily in favor of Chinese, Jewish people, and Caucasians – just as changing certain standards will seem to even things out – but for that they affected the whole chain of people moving into fields). make it expensive, you limit to wealthy families.

    want to know why we have so many unemployed?
    because the modern education starting with the board of ed, and progressing forwards was stunted. it was not full, nor deep. its purpose was to make a factory worker who would work, and not go off and make some invention, or improve the product, and be paid for the patent. (they just changed patents now too).

    the problem is that these visionaries, lack vision.
    because they are not able to extrapolate as better able can, they always see doom. they also always fear freedom… anyone’s but their own.

    so their vision of doom and gloom is saved by their vision of seizing the steering wheel and saving us from the gloom, or just grab the wheel because what they want to do is only possible in a feudal state as free society kind of disfavors things like torture for pleasure, pederasty, pedophilism, bestiality and a few others which no longer are on the list.

    their systems become something other than what they are intended to be, or at least told or sold to people on.

    one thing that went with licensing was also the idea that the state is the one that makes the inventions and the products and the medicines, and not others. the schools and academics wholly believe this even though most of them want tenure and stay where they are and don’t turn paper they generate into anything real to use. (Szilard had something to say aobut that!)

    neo, you talk about how you remember the ny of the past. do you remember the ny deli and grocery shop keepers? how many were Jewish? how many were Caucasian? why are there almost none any more across all of NY? how did they accomplish the nazi equivalent of blood and soil laws that restricted Jewish ownership and participation in business? the SBA and all he perks with the different programs. it became too hard to compete with someone else that got perks that made bankers not want to deal with you as it skewed odds. all that’s left are the famous ones…

    licensing, inspecting, mandating, tickets/fines, and so on
    allows the state and councils to control things

    this is why they seek to license more and more

    in a few weeks, or less, your going to find out that kids and parents are now going to need a license to fly their hobby aircraft now that the state is playing with these toys… they were first created and devloped and improved as a expensive toy hobby for decades… now with the state doing it, they are paranoid about the hobby people.

    if course your going to need licencing for punkin chunkin too.

    and how did they take over the holloween parade in ny? it used to be this incredible disorganized parade of people and every one loved it because it didnt have a podium, and politicians, and so on. but no, you need a parade license… after all, it will protect us from the illegal parades that sprout up and destroy continents

    once you start looking at what they license, licensing doctors makes as much sense as the others.

    you need a dog license…
    they are talking about cat licenses…

    want to open a bar? you need a license to sell liquore?
    why? because the state controls the number of liquore licenses, ie. the means of production.

    want to give back massages? you need a license…

    want to drive a taxi? you cant, you have to pay a quarter million for a medallion. so you can never own your own taxi… you are forced to work for a taxi agency… oh, and in my nieghborhood, we all know how the local politco gets his kick back.

    i remember when the Bangladeshi used to try to pick up people by the train at the stairs. well, on the same street is the taxi company. (more down the other way). they do not station yellow cabs there, but they wanted these Bangladeshi out. they went so far as to trump up charges they were looking up catholic girls dresses under the stairs. then they even went so far as to make a concrete island and put a gate on it, that prevented them from legally parking there…

    want to go fishing, even for one day? need a license
    want to protest? need a license

    want to have a private family birthday cake on your blanket in the park? need a license…

    want to give tours? you need a license…

    want to know why so many people are not working? all the businesses need licenses to start, and inspections, and there is no way to get capital… so that’s that.. its like Russia, but without so much vodka.

  13. Artfldgr Says:

    oh oh.. that was way too long… sorry

    communists control the market by seizing the property and running it themselves.

    fascists control the market by licenses, and all that kind of stuff.

    capitalists don’t control the market.

    and as i mentioned above, people don’t know their economics, nor do they know the points that define something, they just know what they think those points are (and usually its some surface thing)

    100 Years of US Medical Fascism

    One hundred years ago today, on April 16, 1910, Henry Pritchett, president of the Carnegie Foundation, put the finishing touches on the Flexner Report. No other document would have such a profound effect on American medicine, starting it on its path to destruction up to and beyond the recently passed (and laughably titled) Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA), a.k.a., “Obamacare.”


    By 1860, there were more than 55,000 physicians practicing in the United States, one of the highest per capita numbers of doctors in the world (about 175 per 100,000)……
    …….Schooling was plentiful and inexpensive, and entry to the most acclaimed schools was not exceedingly difficult. Most schools were privately owned. Licenses to practice were not required or enforced, and anyone could establish a practice.


    Like the mythical Hollywood portrayal of the American “Wild West” as a place in which the denizens of every town were killing each other in gunfights every minute of the day, the free-market period in American medicine has also been distorted as one in which towns were mobbed by traveling quacks prescribing dangerous treatments that killed the townspeople in droves. Organized mainstream medicine concocted this myth, and as previously noted, it was they and not the homeopaths and eclectics who were killing large numbers of people via bloodletting and metal poisoning.

    and that is a reason i left out from above. very often licensing is used by those who are in the field, to prevent or slow entry of new people into a field.

    and of course, as jimmy kimmel has proved, people would rather make up stuff that sounds right, than admit they dont know!!!!!!!

    medicine was not always safe, and it was not very long ago that we really didn’t have much medicine at all… compared to our computers, docs are still in the dark ages. we would like to think that they know what they are doing, but overall, their process is akin to throwing a wrench into a very complicated machine, and noting if the outcome was good for the machine. they do not necessarily do this wrench throwing with any formal process to knowing before they are throwing. their process of that is going up a scale of animals and dosages and seeing if they die first.

    so its not a very modern process if you think about it
    and i will tell you, i have thought about it, and am bewildered by the ways they can do things to get more answers faster – noting that they absolutely have no actual whole model. the blueprint model doesnt exist, its just a hat tip and a oft repeated hymn said without much thought.

    Even though they were only about 13% of physicians in practice, eclectics and homeopaths did damage to the incomes of the allopaths. The allopaths began organizing at the state level to use the coercive power of government to not only severely restrict (if not outright ban) eclectics and homeopaths, and the schools that trained them, but also restrict the number of allopaths in practice to dramatically increase their incomes and prestige.

    it was a devils bargain as it was also asking the state to take over their industry… with no way to get rid of it once it was of service.

    “the pretense was always more rigorous standards toward the supposed end of effective treatments, exclusion was the reality.”

    and from the states perspective, control and with that, personal benefit and ability to make deals over what that control can do for others.

    The AMA formed its Council on Medical Education in 1904 as a tool to artificially restrict education. However, the AMA’s conflict of interest was too obvious. This is where Abraham Flexner and the Carnegie Foundation entered the picture. Flexner’s older brother Simon was the director of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research and he recommended his brother Abraham for the Carnegie job. Abraham’s acceptance of the role was the perfect special-interest symbiosis. Carnegie’s desire was to advance secularism through higher education, thus it saw the AMA’s agenda as favorable toward that end. Rockefeller’s benefactors were allied with allopathic drug companies and hated for-profit schools that couldn’t be controlled by the big-business, state-influenced foundations. Last of all, the AMA got an objective-appearing front in Carnegie.

    funny how those names and people, and lines of thought just keep popping up no matter where you start unraveling the threads of your sweater…

    and medical school is big business…

    Regardless of these scandalous circumstances, state medical boards and legislatures used the report as a basis for closing medical schools. Around the time of Flexner, there was a high of a 166 medical schools; by the 1940s there were just 77 — a 54 percent reduction. Most small rural schools were closed, and only two African-American schools were allowed to remain open.

    it even limited a certain class of folk that the progressives have never been to fond of. just ask Sanger.

    By 1963, despite advances in technology and a huge growth in demand, one effect of the report was to keep the number of doctors per 100,000 people in the United States — 146 — at the same level it was at in 1910. Of the approximately 375,000 physicians in practice in 1977, only about 6,300 or 1.7% were African-American.

    After Flexner, incomes began to skyrocket such that a 1928 AMA study found average annual incomes reached a whopping (for the time) $6,354. Even during the Great Depression, physicians earned four times what average workers did. A 2009 survey put family-practice doctors (on the low end of the physician income range) at a median of $197,655 and spine surgeons (at the high end) at a median of $641,728. These figures are mind boggling to ordinary Americans, even in good economic times. In addition, the cyclical unemployment that throws workers out of jobs in almost all other industries with the arrival of recessions or depressions became nonexistent among physicians after Flexner.

    the rest of the story is one of more and more control, and fiddling and lies. the HMO laws certainly never lowered costs, it accelerated expenses and lowered care quality. it also got the people used to regimented medicine in which a non doctor tells the doctor what he can or cant do…

    there is a whole lot more at the link..

  14. rickl Says:

    For example, in the New York of my youth, I can’t imagine a mayor trying to ban large soft drinks. He’d have gotten tossed out on his ear for his pains. In fact, in the New York in which I grew up—and in the US as a whole at the time—smoking was everywhere, and no one thought much of it.

    New York was once a vibrant, dynamic, seething maelstrom of human liberty and individual initiative. It was a worldwide magnet for people who sought to pursue their dreams unfettered. It was undoubtedly the greatest city in the world in its prime, and was practically the symbol of America–the idea of America–for millions around the world. Ayn Rand loved it.

    WTF happened?

  15. Artfldgr Says:

    A much better analogy is mandatory seat-belt wearing laws for adults.

    given the history, its not a good analogy..

    American car manufacturers Nash (in 1949) and Ford (in 1955) offered seat belts as options, while Swedish Saab first introduced seat belts as standard in 1958. After the Saab GT 750 was introduced at the New York Motor Show in 1958 with safety belts fitted as standard, the practice became commonplace

    and when did the laws for seatbelts start?

    Seat belt legislation requires the fitting of seat belts to motor vehicles and/or the wearing of seat belts by motor vehicle occupants. The U.S. state of Wisconsin introduced legislation in 1961 requiring front seat belts to be fitted to cars. The Australian state of Victoria mandated front and rear seat belt use from 1970.

    they were standard for years already

    but this was part of a process of negating competition in the auto industry… which is why we have not had new companies. the auto industry is still the same old families and share holders who have yet to sell their great grandfathers shares which been cranking out dividends now for how long?

    but if new companies came up, they would not have the shares, and their shares might not pay as they did, or may even become, gasp, worthless.

    the amount of regulation and such insures that no one could build a car today.. and short run luxury or custom cars are not competition.

    wait till ya find out what minimum wage is for…
    (just kidding)

  16. neo-neocon Says:

    Artfldgr: once again you appear to have misunderstood and/or misinterpreted what I have written.

    I am well aware that licensing laws do not fully protect us in terms of assuring competence of doctors, they merely assure us that licensed doctors have jumped through the proper hoops as deemed by the profession and its controllers.

    That is exactly and precisely why I was so careful to put the word “supposedly” in there, as well as the phrase “meant to” [emphasis mine]:

    I think Jim Nicholas’ example is a case where it’s relatively easy to draw the line. We are not stopped from going to a quack. The only thing the law stops us from is being deceived by a quack holding him/herself out to have training he/she doesn’t have, hanging out a shingle fraudulently claiming he/she is an MD or telling that to a clinic in order to be hired (see a this typical example of the way the law against practicing medicine without a license reads).

    Licensing doctors does not protect us from ourselves. It protects us (supposedly, anyway) from going to an untrained doctor holding him/herself out to be a trained one. It is meant to establish minimum professional standards for treating other people, not oneself.

    Note, also, my emphasis on preventing fraud about a person’s medical training and the MD degree itself rather than actually being a good doctor or not.

    I am also quite aware of how licensing has affected (to a large extent negatively, in my opinion) the counseling field.

    I have noticed what I think is a pattern in your misunderstandings. You read a post or a person’s comments here, and notice that the post or comment is incomplete in that the author doesn’t go very deeply into a certain segment (or related topic) that you deem very important, and something about which you have a lot of information. You assume the omission is through that person’s ignorance or stupidity rather than assuming either that it just isn’t the aspect of the topic that the person wants to focus on, or that the person may have even hinted at part of it but hasn’t spelled it out in exhaustive detail.

    You then take it on yourself to fill in the blanks or gaps, but you do so with the assumption that the other person is ignorant or stupid or about it. Sometimes, of course, the person really is ignorant or stupid about it, but sometimes not. I would suggest just giving the information without all the other assumptions about what people know and don’t know.

  17. neo-neocon Says:

    rickl: excellent question.

  18. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States and some Canadian provinces Says:

    OK, two things — I haven’t taken the time to read all of the commentariat on this, so if I repeat something already noted, “mea culpa”.
    A) “(d) government does not make good decisions for people any more often than people do. One could even argue it makes good decisions less often, because it knows much less about the individual and it has another agenda (or agendas) as well”

    Indeed, this is much like Milton Friedman’s notion of the fact that there are four types of spending money, to wit:
    1) YOU make a decision about YOURSELF.

    2) YOU make a decision about SOMEONE ELSE.

    3) SOMEONE ELSE makes a decision about YOU.

    4) SOMEONE ELSE makes a decision about (A THIRD PARTY).

    Government decisions are almost always class 4. In the case of Class 3, YOU have a vested interest in the result, but the decisions will still be poorer because you DO have to convince the “SE” to go your way, and you rarely have means of coercion to cause that.

    Government decisions of type 4 are truly obnoxious, because the decider has limited knowledge of the victim(s) of the decision and only a marginal interest in the outcome.
    B) I would point out that Kant, Kierkegaard, and pretty much everyone else Kolnai mentions did ALL their work before the Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma was thoroughly researched.

    I would argue the IPD has profound implications on the philosophy of behavior and action. Because it provides what is essentially a mathematical proof that there is a best way to act in life in the general sense. And what I find most interesting about this is that Gandhi was about as freaking wrong as you can be: The Jewish maxim, “An Eye For An Eye” is not only NOT going to make the world blind, it is, in fact — tempered by the Christian concepts of forgiveness — the best social behavior there is — again, for the general case. Yes, the best way to play The Game Of Life is, in fact, the essentially Judeo-Christian “An Eye For An Eye with Forgiveness”. The “with Forgiveness” codicil means you sometimes let bygones be bygones, and that serves to cut off long runs of tit-for-tat, where Joe kills John because John’s Father killed Joes Father, who killed Joe’s Father because Joe’s Grandfather killed John’s GF… etc.

    And the fact that this behavior rule, which, oddly enough comes out of a very BLEAK notion in itself, The Prisoner’s Dilemma (“Screw everyone you can”), produces the essence of the Sermon on the Mount, strikes me as a fine argument in favor of God. No, not a conclusive one, that is certainly impossible — but highly indicative.

    This strikes me as having a substantial relevance to the entire basis for Natural Law. I would suspect one should seek to apply the notions of Game Theory to see if some of the precepts of Natural Law don’t automatically come out as proper actions in The Real World, much as they do towards the IPD.

  19. Otiose Says:

    Conly and her type scare me. I bet she understands Pol Pot and the need for a few million deaths to achieve a better society for the greater good. What’s a little discomfort for people who don’t appreciate that the government experts know what’s better for them?

    People make mistakes and often have odd ideas and opinions. One person’s insight or revelation is just weird to another.

    Government by and large is not more efficient in many if not most endeavors than individuals – one good argument for limited government.

    When we let the nose of the camel into the tent don’t be surprised when we start to feel crowded. When we start collectivizing certain social needs – taking care of the old and sick – health care in general – potentially worthy government endeavors, not only will politics get a chance to hijack the process but we also will get the collectivization of some really dumb politically driven and inefficient ideas that only will get more expensive with time.

    The problem with Conly is that there’s no off switch. And the recent step to collectivize health care another notch carries with it new justifications for extremely invasive collective decisions by ‘experts’ and their current fads for what’s good for us.

    As the numbers of people living in close quarters goes up the pull towards making more and more rules to manage the bumping and jostling of the individual autonomy becomes hard to resist and the proper middle ground for reasonable compromise harder to find.

    This was brought home to me personally when I was drafted to serve on a condominium board several years ago.

  20. SteveH Says:

    “”WTF happened?””

    I lay a lot of it at the feet of the “greatest generation”. They raised the first notable batch of panzy asses that in turn raised even worse panzy asses.

  21. rickl Says:

    Although my late father was a member of what is commonly called the “greatest generation”, in my opinion the real greatest generation was the one that lived circa 1776.

  22. rickl Says:

    For the vast majority of human history, people who lived in cities had access to the best education, health care, variety of food, fashion, etc. They were sophisticated cosmopolitans who could partake of the best that life had to offer.

    Those who lived in the countryside lived a life of backbreaking manual labor for little reward, and were usually illiterate and superstitious.

    Today, thanks to advances in communication and transportation, people who live in the most out-of-the-way places have the sum of human knowledge at their fingertips. They can order anything online and have it delivered to their doorstep the next day. Today, rural people are empowered like never before.

    But the statists and collectivists want to herd everyone into cities where we can be controlled and monitored. They want to bulldoze the suburbs, and turn rural areas into nature parks where only the elites will be allowed. (Similar to the hunting preserves in the Middle Ages, which were only accessible to the nobility.)

  23. parker Says: Apparently all those regulations and controls over doctors, nurses, hospitals, and medicine in general are taking nearly 20x the lives lost to firearms. Considering that a large number of deaths are related to firearms involve criminals killing other criminals or innocent bystanders, the ratio of medical death versus legal firearm death is 40x greater. We need doctor control far more than gun control. If it saves the life of one child.

    rickly says, “They want to bulldoze the suburbs, and turn rural areas into nature parks where only the elites will be allowed.”

    My 1st question: what would they eat? They do not know how to till the earth, deal with flood or drought, fight off the pests, or preserve the food they might harvest,. 2nd question: using Uncle Joe’s double barreled shotgun fired randomly in the air or through a door they will not take down much beyond a few unfortunate squirrels filled with birdshot and unfit to eat. 3rd question: Its not going to be a walk in the park, even with drones to flush us out, we know ticks to crete false positive target right environments We flyover folks will be resilient and very difficult to herd into their inner city FEMA camps. Good luck on that one statist pigs. We know the terrain and we know our neighbors. Plus, we are not stupid when it comes to organization and tactics. Many of use are savy on how to fight asymmetric warfare.

    I know the terrain of much of SE KY and NE TN. The legions of my cousins and extended kin, plus like minded neighbors will not suddenly go quietly in the dark night. Patrols of less than 60 men will not come back alive and their flesh & bones will be consumed by hogs. Arms and other tactical gear will be impounded, and uniforms/boots will fuel the stoves baking corn bread. And this is just on isolated area in the USA.

  24. parker Says:

    Millions of us have been thinking on this and planning accordingly. Ever sinse Ruby Ridge and WACO. If the Death Star wants to bring it on they will find the battle field is not what they planned for, it will be beyond their contingency plans.There will be no more gib targets. There will be thousands of small, mobile targets that are transitory. Meanwhile others will be staged near you homes and they will be burned it down to the ground.

    Rea it and weep Van Jones.

  25. thomass Says:

    Don Carlos Says:

    “Jim Nicholas is a fellow physician. Somehow he must accept that medical analogies do not apply across the board.
    Licensing doctors does not prevent malpractice or poor practice, as he well knows. It is always up to the individual, whether doc or patient, not the State.”

    and how much of state is there in licensing. My state has only a few people actually verifying doctors practicing medicine are actually licensed (vs. lying or not mentioning it one way or the other). IMO government does not deserves the credit for medical licensing / protecting us via a program requiring it (at least in my state).

    Its the sort of general pattern that when government gets into too many stupid things it has no time or money for valid things….

  26. thomass Says:

    rickl Says:

    “But the statists and collectivists want to herd everyone into cities where we can be controlled and monitored. They want to bulldoze the suburbs, and turn rural areas into nature parks where only the elites will be allowed. (Similar to the hunting preserves in the Middle Ages, which were only accessible to the nobility.)”

    I can’t recall if I mentioned it; but having just gone from a city back to a suburb I think the people your describing are sort of fighting using something that would have worked in the last war. Its easier and cheaper for me to get to places in the suburbs now (I’ve been away 15 years and they’ve changed). There are office parks and jobs here plus it was always easier to get to family things in the suburbs (lower land price makes it economical to have things like skate rinks whereas in the city I had to drive 45 minutes out of the city to take my child to one). So; short commute in suburb and easier access to many things than in a city… and a city is 45 minutes away if I really need to do something that is only there.

  27. kolnai Says:

    IGotBupkis –

    Damn, that was an interesting comment. In fact, one chapter of my dissertation concerns decision theory – not directly the IPD but other developments in experimental or “behavioral” game theory.

    I have long danced around the idea of BGT basically confirming a lot of what “common sense” implicitly understands about natural law, particularly what I call “second tablet natural law” (2TNL), i.e., the second tablet of the Ten Commandments.

    I won’t drag this comment section off-course by getting into a deep discussion of the matter, but have you read Herbert Gintis by any chance? He’s an interesting guy; MIT educated with PhD’s in both mathematics and economics, an erstwhile Marxist, and now my favorite kind of liberal: heterodox, unafraid of shibboleths, and truly fair-minded. Much of his work goes over my head (I don’t have the math), but usually I just skip over the proofs and axioms and read his expositions, which are eye-opening, to say the least. He recently published a book with his longtime co-author Samuel Bowles on the new understanding of evolution as revealed or implied by behavioral game theory, “A Cooperative Species.” It’s good, good stuff.

    He also performs a kind of public service by writing reviews of whatever he’s reading on Amazon, and he never considers it beneath himself to mix it up with the commenters there. I just flat-out admire that.

    Anyway, thanks for the comment – much food for thought there.

  28. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States and some Canadian provinces Says:

    }}} WTF happened?

    Postmodern Liberals. Like — Ephin’ DUH.

  29. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States and some Canadian provinces Says:

    }}} Anyway, thanks for the comment – much food for thought there.

    I think so, too, thanks for affirming my belief that there was.

    I have to say, one thing that always depressed the hell out of me was the basic Prisoner’s Dilemma.

    Why would a benevolent God create a universe where He demanded behavior that was absolutely ass-backwards from the wiring He built into the universe itself? Not just the PD but also Entropy, which basically defines that All Things Feed On The Death Of Other Things.

    Seems to suggest a Creator who was telling you, “Do unto others before they do unto you”, aka, “Screw everyone!” as opposed to the words attributed to Him.

    Even plants basically feed off the slow death of the Sun. Life itself is a localized aberration to the running-down clock of the universe.

    And yet… when you just ITERATE the PD, a remarkably simple process, something dreary and depressing and downright evil manages to flop around completely and kick out The Sermon on the Mount.

    You don’t HAVE to believe in God because of it, but it damned sure strikes me as the universe going, “What? What? C’mon!”

    A seriously devoted atheist can probably explain it away as being the result of a subconscious understanding of How The Universe Works — except 2000 years before we had the ability to actually test it in any way, it’s so subtle.

    Possible, but not the way I choose to bet.

  30. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States and some Canadian provinces Says:

    re: Herbert Gintis

    Hrm. Looking over his stuff at Amazon, it’s not exactly priced to sell. Even the used copies of his stuff are in the 20 dollar plus range, as is the *kindle* edition.

    I obviously haven’t read his stuff, but anyone who calls themselves a Marxist in this day and age strikes me as a few beers short of a six-pack. That’s even less likely to work than Keynesianism, and I think you have to be brain damaged to even START to believe in the latter, much less the former.

    The commentaries about his books on educational reform seem on-point for their era but absolutely wrong in terms of today. The problems they appear to speak of (from multiple commenter’s views) are that, in order to increase profits, schools have dumbed down workers and taught them submission to authority. I’d grant that as working in the past, when factory work was the end result for many.

    But we aren’t IN that condition, now — KNOWLEDGE work — which is what a huge percentage of the country DOES — requires intelligent, independent thinkers. I do believe that schools STILL teach that, but it’s no longer what makes industry more profitable.

    What it DOES is benefit the OPERATORS of the schools, which is … yes: The Government.

    Better sheep.

    Industry, if it has any sense at all, would want to have most workers being taught MORE independence and MORE critical thinking skills.

    And the ones who aren’t looking for that in their employees are going to get their lunch eaten by those who do.

    The increasing number of stories of someone doing some utterly ephtarded thing at work, and getting their company in trouble is suggestive of that.

  31. Highlander Says:

    And just how coercive is Professor Conly willing to get in the implementation of her ideas? What happens when some lesser human beings insist on making their own decisions about their lives? Re-education? Incarceration? Extermination?

    One could be tempted to dismiss her as a crank, educated beyond all common sense, but at present, there are too many like-thinkers within reach of the levers of power in this country.

  32. SteveH Says:

    “”there are too many like-thinkers within reach of the levers of power in this country.””

    We shall refer to them as the articulate retarded.

  33. Highlander Says:

    “We shall refer to them as the articulate retarded.”

    Well said SteveH.

  34. expat Says:

    I just want to bring up an issue that Instapundit has linked to a few times: access to your own DNA sequence data. There have been attempts by the gov’t to limit this, and while I find that abhorent, I do see the reasons there is an impulse to control it. No one really knows what a difference in a particular stretch of DNA means, but I am sure there will be snake oil salesman who will try to milk millions by pushing diets, supplements, treatments, etc.

    So the question I have is how do we get sound information to the public (which will most often be, we don’t really know enough to say what this means) without violating autonomy. I think this is a problem that could make the vaccine debate look miniscule.

  35. artfldgr Says:

    no.. i do it because the OTHERS Dont know what the person is actually talking about if they stop before elucidating the key point of it.

    licensing was NEVER about protecting the citizenry
    it never protects them… so your point as to it being a little bit about that is completely wrong, its never ever ever about that. thats the SELLING point the idea for public consumption, the spoon ful of sugar that helps the sh*t go down.

    the public in general does NOT know the whole of the things you bring up.
    and if you stop short, there is absolutely NO WAY for me to know that you stopped because you knew, and it was an editorial choice, or you stopped because you actuall dont know.

    if you can be so kind as to inform me of what clue to pay attention to so i can know what the source of the ommission is, i would be forever grateful as i am used to the people who have something more to say, hat tipping towards more before they stop.

    the gease is on me to know something i cant know because you and others are not revealing it to me… did they stop because they thought that was enough? did they assume everyone else knew? do they know themselves? what clue from the absense of information can i create to know what i need to know to chosoe whether to tell the information or not?

    i guess the safe thing is to accept that people are liberal trained and self esteem trained and so they cant take that strangers cant look into their head and know what they know, and what they dont know, and then analyse it so that they can speak without insulting them!!!!!!!!!!!

    as i say to my wife when she does this. do me a favor, please publish a book of what you know and dont know, that way i can reference it and not insult you for not having that book since we are now neo modern trained and cant hack others not knowing us by assumptions that are only correct.

    hows that for the source of a problem?
    do i go left? do i go right? what sign did you give for me to know?

    of course, what i am doing is from the “art of conversation” where you ignore your desire for conversation (ie. what my subjects are i never get to talk about, so all i can do is work off of others subjects. they wont give me that same gift so what interests me is not allowed with most people as this is their attitude, and as i have heard “they have enough friends”)

    i do the conversation art better in person as i can see your face and have learned over the years some of the signals that would have me change direction. you also could say, ah yes, and didnt X do that, which would clue me in. but this is exposition, one step at a time, and if you dont signal in your writing, then i have no way to know.

    and i always default to more information… and that the order youg et information is important… telling someone smoking is not allowed is not as good as telling the room is full of gas… is it? they may decide to ignore you on your fanatical anti smoking bs, and blow everyone up. and certainly not giving information is not good. as lie by omission is the lefts favorite tools as most are trained to respond by filling in the blank till they are so used to doing it they have no way of saying “i9 dont know”

    Come to an occasion armed with topics at the ready
    Tailor the conversation to the listener.
    Don’t talk to only one person when conversing in a group
    Build off the others selection of conversation

    Asperger’s survival guide: conversation

    It may be known to you that the art of conversation is carried out within a set of constraining rules.

    and when people are ignorant of those rules, or the script, then sociopaths have free reign, and people like me are floundering… (then the social milieu punishes the person because thats how it teaches. woe be the man or woman who cant pick up on it, as they are doomed to forever misery at the hands of people who would otherwise think they are harmless and wonderfully nice)

    When people take part in a conversation, what they say normally has to follow on from the last thing that was said. We stick to the relevant so that the conversation flows smoothly.

    ah, so the key to my being part of a conversation is knowing enough to be able to talk to people when they have a desire to hear themselves, adn to be able to add interesting things to the conversation. (the closer you get to pulling this off, the more normal you appear, but the closer you get the more serious and nasty the punishments are for not quite getting it. so its easier to not try, than to keep working against a wall that gets harder the more you get closer)

    Be careful of stating the obvious. You may also wish to avoid asking questions when you can work out the answer for yourself. This way, the conversation covers more useful ground.

    Conversation is a tool, and not a very good one. but i am nothing if i am not useful!!!
    that is my only reason to be… as no one values me for me, nor have they ever. they valued me all my life for what i could answer, what i could make, what i could give them, what i could help with, what i could do for them, etc… me? never for me… they have no time, nor do they feel the need to reciprocate with lessers… ONLY in the realm of knowing and doing am i more than most people, otherwise, i am not even human. and to consider it otherwise is more painful than accepting the box that they are going to force you into or kill you trying… (not fast, but slowly, by taking away your health and life till its just empty)

    Try to avoid repeating yourself or rephrasing yourself when you have already been understood. This may be rather difficult because repetition of thought is quite fundamental to autism. However, I take the approach of always looking for new things to think about. This seems to have been quite a successful move.

    funny how there is this common list for people… just think of how much extra work i have to do just to say hello… just think of how destroyed i am that after 50 years, your post means i havse not even got the basics yet. and everything you can do or get in life depends on it if your outside academia… and i am not inside it. so those special skills are just wasted… not appreciated… and my life is just a litany of you didnt get it right, here is your punishment, etc. by now its no longer advice, its just the same old same old from a new set of ignorant people too concerned with how they feel and how you should cater to them, while not willing to do much the same (neo excluded from this point as she has been giving me the opportunity to fail and learn from it. something that most everyone gets over when they are 7 – and so have no patience for when your 49.)

    Also, some people reply to things you say before even giving you a chance to finish your sentence. However, if they have anticipated you correctly then their is usually no need for you to finish

    yeah, this is a bad one… the compulsion to finish the thought is strong… to not leave uncompleted loose ends… its impossible for me to see the boundaries that divide the world arbitrarily into pieces.. i dont do that. i actually see and take in all the connections at once and remember all the facts at once… i can usually hold as many as 50 math terms in my head and tick off adding and subtracting and running code on it… so i can generally find an answer with no lagging forgotten point that negates it. when i worked for fortune 10, they lauded that ability, and doubled my salary in under two years. but when people dont know how to use a tool, te tool suffers. not the person abusing it. us a screwdriver as a chisel and see who pays.

    another aspect of this is that if someone interrupts, it may be necessary to go back to the first step to start over again. if they are not smart enough to shut up, they will end up arguing over my starting over again, rather than just be patient. in fact, i noticed that people will waste more time in complaining and trying to change things around them, than just glossing over it as they used to int he past, and as asians do so you dont lose face

    If you say something that doesn’t make sense to the people around you, they might get annoyed but will probably forgive you. After all, everyone does this sometimes. Just don’t do this too often.

    HA! that is not my experience, but i can see telling someone that will help them get out there and grow a thicker skin… but no… they will not do that… they will punish you for the annoyance… it will stick with them. they will carry the misery with them, polish and hold it, and then act on it for a long time… note how the explanation doesnt tell you HOW to not do this too often!!!!!!!!! because the ability to know what they know or dont is not on my side of the fence!! only THEY can excuse me… and they are too offended to do that, and its too much fun to have an excuse to lash out in our frustrated society. (Again, neo is not the point of all this, this is general, and i have been here so long because neo tries not to, and i try not to and i learn from this. i dont learn from the nasties as their advice dont work, and its more about making them happy, not actually about helping you. dont believe me? try their advice!)

    If there is something you need to say which is not relevant but is important, for example “Bob phoned for you today” or “there’s something I’d like to talk to you about which is worrying me”, it is best to find the suitable person when they’re not having a conversation. Try to find the right moment, get your timing right. If you need to pass on a phone call and think that you might forget if you are kept waiting too long, just write it down and leave it by the phone.

    can you imagine having to live like that? i just dont bother… i try from time to time.
    but i know that people who are less than human never get to pick the topic. do they?
    they can try, but the others will get angry… so if they cant put up with others anger, they will be cut out of life.

    ergo i have learned to have a thick skin, as the alternative is to die lonely just sitting around… seeing amazing things and so on. my world is humongously rich!!!! if i could show you people my art work, my science, my tools, my output, its prodigious and never stops, and always blows peoples minds. (they dont put bread in my jar “and say man what are you doing here – to which i explain that to talk well and not do, is better than to do well and not talk)

    If what you need to tell them is vitally important, for example “Bob has just had a nasty knock on the head and is lying unconscious”, then you MUST interrupt their conversation.

    i am not that bad and i have gotten over a whole lot of things…
    but i pay a serious price for it, as the mistiming is not allowed despite the circumstance.
    ie. circumstances only help murderers go home, not people with good intentions

    To join in a conversation, you need to listen to it. Listening can be extremely difficult, especially if you have to keep your ears open 24 hours a day, but you can get better with practice. The most important thing to listen to is the plot of the conversation.

    i do poor on this… no way to practice it. and i accept that after half a century, i probably never will. it has to do with the boundaries thing. to get the plot the plot has to be isolated from everything else, and reality just isnt like that, everything is connected to everything else, and there is no actual thing as isolation… oh, you can be away from X, but you can not be isolated from reality… there is no container that is permanent.

    Be on the look out for eye contact from other people as it can often mean they would like to hear your point of view

    this is bad… i have not been allowed to have any raises in years becuase i dont know how to do this right. i either look through you, or i avoid looking at you. being taller, i avoid looking because wacko feminist women think your looking at their breasts, not that you cant stand their gaze because you cant read it. so it always looks angry and wrong, and you dont know… the wrong thing can screw up what you say, so its better to not look and be neutral than look and have the misreading insert stuff into how you speak.

    It is easier to listen if you don’t make any assumptions or pre-conceived ideas about what someone is going to say.

    thats nice for a normal person to say, but a normal person doesnt have to script it all and think ahead, and do a whole lot consciously!!! their brains are doing that in the background! so when the pause happens they have something to say that is fluid and automatic… but for me, its like being a script writer for a play, and your life depends on whether you can compose like mamet or the high school recital. again, the closer you get the bigger the punishment

    by now you may notice that i am following books on how to talk, as i dont know. i am always isolated from people so i dont get much practice, and they are nasty if i get it wrong. funny is that i can get along with street people, common poor people, and so on. u dont get along so well with the middle class i know everything liberal youths. their comprehension is very poor, and their belief is that its really great, and that your difference is your way of annoying them, so it requires an extra helping of punitive action!!!! whee!!! don’t ya just love people?

    Voltaire: People are hell!!!

    so a shout out to Vanderluen… would you like to be me to have the knowledge i have? or would you prefer to be you, and have a happier life and not know, and be free to harass people whoa re not like you? see how wonderful it is?

    Some topics of conversation are taboo subjects and if you are in doubt, they are sometimes better left alone.

    i can literally talk about anything, all facts are equal. what bothers people does not bother me at all. i do not get emotional over facts… this is why aspergers were once thought to be equal to the moral imbeciles (sociopaths), but it was discovered that while they can be dispassionate about facts, they are not without feelings or all of that. they love people, but people hate them – despite their not having nice lives and success, and so on.
    while this is crippling socially, to do things this is a huge benefit, as my starting point is like ayn rands ideal of not skewing… i have no bias… becasue i cant look at things that way. to me, the answer has to be right, nto be what i want. those are two different things, and i cant live if i dont get it right. its more important to me for survival than feeling good. lets just say that being accurate gives you more chance at a life that may make you feel good, so thats what i do. this OFTEN puts my ideas adn opinions at odds with the current female orthodoxy as the feelings are more important than facts.

    this is a major source of problems as we are so blunt as to be shocking to people.
    others will EXPRESS more sympathy, but we will express more correct answers.
    so if someone does something stupid that gets them hurt, we ask them why they were so stupid, not console them with the fact everyone stupid. the latter is better.

    [by the way, would you believe that autism researchers dont give a hoot as to what peoplel like me have learned to cope with without them? they are only focused on children and have pretty much given up on adults, other than lipservice]

    When a conversation becomes emotional, people often say things like “cheer up”, “it’ll be all right”, “oh that’s wonderful!” or “well done!”. When you try to say these things, they might sound rather corny and sentimental at first, but they serve the same purpose as remembering to buy someone a birthday card. They serve to open up the conversation and invite the other person to express how they feel.

    this is the last post on this post, because the list of things i have to remember and such is so long, it actually continues, and since i am pouring out how i feel, i dont want it to gbe cut in half cause i think too much.

    kind of speaks to the last post… cheer up is meaningless to me as i have to h ave a reason, i dont get to press an imaginary button to make me happy. so how people treat men and the conditions i am in impose on me the proper feeling and i have no defense to think happy thoughts. if you treat me like a dog, i have to be a dog, or else i fight to be treated right. and if i fight, i lose everything. so i am forced to accept what others cant, as my lack of expression also means i cant argue in my favor in a way that means something to others. nor can i get people to work with me, despite they are willing to pay me as much as $400 an hour for what i can do when things are good… (they are very bad now, i am in a room smaller than a bathroom stall, hot, and isolated now for more than two years… so its breaking down all the effort and learning and ability i developed over the years interacting with people.. you lose that when sentenced to isolation. but i am not even human in a liberal world)

    end part 1

    [ps. if we talked about stuff that was more personal, i could talk more personal, but we discuss things in whivh the facts are most important. otherwise we are wasting our times. and our lives are way too short to waste. maybe you the reader dont value yourself that much, but i certainly do… ]

  36. artfldgr Says:

    General Knowledge
    Although it is often true that autistic people are better at picking up details, this is only when making a conscious effort to do so and there may be great problems in picking up the right details.

    dealing with most people is exhausting as i have to think of all this and more AND be wonderful too… when most dont have to think of all this and can just BE.

    Also, getting absorbed into ones own head-space every other moment can make it extremely difficult to “learn things on the trot” which is the way most non-autistic people are used to doing it.

    right… if i fold into myself to engage the most power, the other people dont like it. they want me to have a radar up and ready to respond to them. but i often cant switch gears that fast when i go that deep into something. the nice thing is i can be in a hurricane and not notice it… only repetitive sharp sounds will confound me. but the benefit if not disturbed is that i can work problems real deep. i can do it on the fly as well. it makes me VERY unpopular with coworkers when i moved from fortune 10… in fortune 10 the managers LOVED that i could tell the outcome of a point way way down the line

    as always… its like George harrison said
    its all up to what you value

    It might be difficult to join in a conversation if you don’t have the general knowledge which is needed.

    The problem with this kind of knowledge is that there is no one source from which you can find it out but here are some tips:

    General knowledge in conversations is usually about sport (in the UK usually football), pop-music, films, politics, the media, TV, peoples computers, clothes, hobbies and going out. It is, however, rare to find someone who is an expert on all of these things.

    Many teenagers and young adults who are into music put more emphasis on the pop-stars than they do on the music they write. Sometimes they even select their partners on the basis of who they look like in the world of music or sport. Sometimes with this type of person, you just have to accept that you may not be compatible and look for friends elsewhere.

    With reference to this last statement, sport (e.g. football) can also be quite selective. Sport is often a highly patriotic occupation in that people are friendly to each other if they support the same team but argue with and confront all those who support different teams.

    TV, radio, magazines, libraries, video libraries and newspapers can help you learn about these topics. Also, many leaflets which can be found in magazines give you a list of all the most popular albums, CDs and films. To force yourself to learn about things which don’t interest you, however, may be a waste of time since you won’t really want to join in with the conversations about them.

    since there are a billion people on the planet and i may meet anyone. i have spent my life reading about everything i can just so i can be with some nice people.

    this is why i know about so much… so i can be with epeople no matter where i am on the globe. i can speak chinese politics, and history with the chinese… indonesian history with them American history… try me on math, chemistry, genetics, physics, mechanics, electronics, and more… how about cooking? some people love cooking, so i have to learn that.

    oh. and i found out if you learn about weird stuff, the people who like that will really like you as they have no one to talk to about it. (but your stuff is verboten, there is never time for you. less than human)

    computers, nuclear physics, artififical intelligence, and so on. its why they want me to do work.

    the phds worked and called to make sure i was not laid off with everyone else, as they use me as a reference. you just ask me, and i spit out the references and such by memory. almost regardless of what it is. space program? no problem? history of the church and calendar changes? easy.

    at the end of the day… it was a mistake
    people like idiots much better than they tolerate someone who studied so hard to be useful to someone so that they can participate in life.

    If you decide to teach yourself the general knowledge you need in certain conversations, it is important that you also try to learn by listening to the conversations themselves, paying special attention to famous people when they are mentioned. This can make the learning process much faster.

    hard to listen to conversations when your put into a small space and you spend all your days with no humans or anyone to talk to. a blank wall in front, 150 watt bulb in the center. and people lauching at you while taking pictures of your office with you in it for facebook.. while asking you what crime you committed to be there…

    so there is nothing to do but kill time till time kills me.
    as i am learning that people dont want to know what i know and i should have not bothered. my bad. maybe next life will be better, eh? 🙂

    anyway, there is more… there is ALWAYS more..

  37. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    rickl said, “But the statists and collectivists want to herd everyone into cities where we can be controlled and monitored. They want to bulldoze the suburbs, and turn rural areas into nature parks where only the elites will be allowed. (Similar to the hunting preserves in the Middle Ages, which were only accessible to the nobility.)”

    This is a pretty good summary of the UN’s Agenda 21. The vehicle for convincing people to go along with this is climate change and the esoteric concept of “sustainability.” Whenever you hear the word sustainability you are being conditioned for Agenda 21.

    Read about it here:

  38. DNW Says:

    Neo writes,

    “The only thing the law stops us from is being deceived by a quack holding him/herself out to have training he/she doesn’t have, hanging out a shingle fraudulently claiming he/she is an MD or telling that to a clinic in order to be hired (see a this typical example of the way the law against practicing medicine without a license reads). “

    This category distinction is an important one, and its obscuration is very common in modern liberal argumentation. (Maybe it’s the result of their often monistic and non-causal thinking patterns spilling over into everyday matters. Or maybe not.)

    One saw for example, and continues to see, a parallel conceptual confusion to the one you mention, at work in the debates over the right to keep and bear arms.

    “You have to license (or register) a car, why not a gun?”

    “You have to insure a car, why not a gun?” (You don’t of course have to insure a car as property absent a lien holder or its use on a public road)

    “Mere hairdressers have to be licensed, why not gun owners?” (Your professional service offered for a fee, distinction)

    or on another topic …

    “You have to pay taxes for water which is essential to your life, why not health care?” (Public utility water service being to a house, and paid for by user fees, and infrastructure bonds, and can be shut off for nonpayment; while 40 percent of households use their own wells.)


    “You are taxed for an army to protect you, why not for universal health care?” (distributive problem)

    And so on.

    In each instance there is a conceptual error or factual discrepancy as to basis or application, which it takes a great deal of illustrative argument to get a liberal to even recognize much less admit. The end result? Usually a shrug and after a short pause the emission of similar falsely predicated and specious analogies.

    I earlier said that these distinctions may not be recognized because of certain ideological or metaphysical predicates which the average liberal embraces.

    It could of course be no more than that these distinctions have no emotional resonance with them. And that they are emotionally attracted and committed to a non-individualist, collectivist, and therapeutic vision of human life. In that case nothing matters, certainly no distinctions tracing agency or responsibility, apart from the conviction that something must be done in the way of transferring life energy and product from those who have “sufficient” to those who are through “no fault of their own” are experiencing an emotionally debilitating and humiliating inequality.

  39. Highlander Says:

    Rickl said

    “…But the statists and collectivists want to herd everyone into cities where we can be controlled and monitored. They want to bulldoze the suburbs, and turn rural areas into nature parks where only the elites will be allowed. (Similar to the hunting preserves in the Middle Ages, which were only accessible to the nobility.)”

    A generation or more of liberal rule of my home state of Maine has made serious progress towards these goals. The southern most counties have increased their population – partly at the expense of the north and partly as a result of an influx of liberal expatriots from Massachusetts and New York, who have made their money and who’s only interest is in preserving the status quo of Maine as a playground for the well-to-do. Business is discouraged and every attempt at development is fiercely resisted.

    Meanwhile, the northern and eastern counties are de-populating at an alarming rate due to the lack of work. If left unchecked, in another generation the northern half of the state will be nothing more than one massive wilderness park.

  40. artfldgr Says:

    ALERT-Potential License Denial or Suspension for Failure to Pay Taxes

    Effective July 1, 2012, the Department of Consumer Affairs and its constituent entities are required to deny an application for licensure and to suspend the license/certificate/registration of any applicant or licensee who has outstanding tax obligations due to the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) or the State Board of Equalization (BOE) and appears on either the FTB or BOE’s certified lists of top 500 tax delinquencies over $100,000. (AB 1424, Perea, Chapter 455, Statutes of 2011)

    Once it has been determined that an applicant or a licensee is on a certified list, the applicant or licensee has 90 days from the issuance of a preliminary notice of suspension to either satisfy all outstanding tax obligations or enter into a payment installment program with the FTB or BOE. Any such person who fails to come into compliance will have his/her license denied or suspended until the Board, Bureau, Commission or Committee they have applied to receives a release from the FTB or BOE. The form for requesting a release will be included with the preliminary notice of suspension.

    The law prohibits any of DCA’s Boards, Bureaus, Commission or Committees from refunding any money paid for the issuance or renewal of a license where the license is denied or suspended as required by AB 1424.

  41. neo-neocon Says:

    DNW: I see the failure to make such distinctions as multi-determined. One factor is, as you say, is that making them would get in the way of leftists and liberals doing what they would otherwise like to do. But another factor behind it is the failure to teach and encourage critical thinking in general. It takes a certain kind of thinking to care about what can seem to be hair-splitting, to realize that making such distinctions is important, and to take the trouble to apply it.

    Another factor is failing to learn about and understand the basis of our republic, the Constitution and the Founders’ thinking about government.

  42. holmes Says:

    Licensing is often abused by special interests, of which the AMA is a powerful one, to exclude competition. Licensing for MD’s seems reasonable enough, but they use this to limit people like Nurse Practitioners from “practicing medicine” by which they mean, “competing with us.” It’s just another rent-seeking behavior in general and it is a practice that originated under Divine Right rule.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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