Two Cents

    Two Cents – Everything-Voluntary.com

  • On Politics V

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Politics is the use of violence in society. Which is the greater evil: 1) the vices you may oppose, such as drug use, alcohol use, sex work, praying to the wrong god, sketchy business practices, et cetera, or 2) threatening violence and imprisonment against those who engage in whatever it is you consider vice? How you answer that question will determine what kind of person you are. Are you the kind of person to consider vice the bigger evil than violence? Or are you the kind of person to recognize the myriad evils of vice, but prefer non-violent methods of eradication, methods such as persuasion, ostracism, boycott, public protest, deplatforming, and shaming? Whichever type of person you are, how willing are you to personally engage in your preferred type of eradication, violent or non-violent? Or are you too much of a coward to do it yourself? That speaks to your character as well. Think long and hard about what behaviors you dislike and what you’re willing to do about them. Then remember that as you sow, so shall you reap. Good luck. And that’s today’s two cents.

  • On Intellectual Property III

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    The private property convention is meant to reduce conflict over naturally scarce resources. When something is made artificially scarce by government fiat, say when ideas are monopolizable (copyright and patent), it is as if a wrench is thrown into the works of a machine. Suddenly, property rights no longer protect an owner’s exclusive right of control over their naturally scarce property. Every creator on earth now has a right of control over how everyone else’s property may be used, ie. may not be configured in certain ways as to implement an idea created by someone else, somewhere else, at some other time, and whether the creator knows about it or not. It’s bad enough that property rights are made less secure by government fiat in many other ways (taxation, regulation, et cetera), but to add insult to injury, ideas (or rather, information) that may be helpful for a property owner to get the most out of his or her property are now off limits as well. It’s no surprise to me that so-called “intellectual property” has statist and corporatist (mercantilist) roots; all the biggest threats to property rights do. And that’s today’s two cents.

  • On Politics IV

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    The United States Federal Government currently threatens imprisonment for many behaviors it has deemed criminal but which do not have as a result the violation of any other person’s self-ownership or property rights (ie. victimless). Examples of these are possessing or selling marijuana, trading stocks on insider information, and evading taxation. That any state today threatens imprisonment, or worse, for a victimless crime sets them squarely in the category of government occupied in the past by Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, and today by Communist China. Strange bedfellows for any country purporting be “the land of the free, and home of the brave,” are they not? But such is the world in which we live, where people who play at government force their preferences and beliefs on the rest of us. Do we really have more to fear from climate change and poor immigrants than from these assholes? If you say so… And that’s today’s two cents.

  • On Intellectual Property II

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Here is further proof that believers in so-called “intellectual property” are trying to fit a round peg into a square hole: an owner of an idea may continue using his idea without ever becoming aware that it has been “stolen”. Try that with a wallet, or a car, or a laptop. Stealing property means removing it entirely from its owner’s ability to continue using it. You might steal someone’s property without them ever noticing, sure, but as soon as they go to use it, if it’s truly been stolen, it’s no longer where it was. It’s gone. Why is that? Because its finite and scarce, and therefore subject to conflict over its use. Ideas are neither finite nor scarce, and therefore not subject to conflict over their use. An infinite number of people may use a given idea simultaneously, all without any other user even being aware of it. “Stolen” and the owner never has to know; how’s that for misleading euphemism? And that’s today’s two cents.

  • On Borders II

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Government borders on a map were drawn arbitrarily as a result of violent conquest by people who make a living from robbing and murdering others. Should these sorts of borders be afforded any respect by people who claim as values peace, liberty, and justice? Only in the sense of risk mitigation. Otherwise, no, they are imaginary and represent most of what is wrong in the world today. They, like the criminal organizations that created them, should all be abolished. To pray, plea, and beg for these thugs to double-down on their encroachments in order to strengthen their borders in order to “pwotect us fwum thu scawy bwown peeple” that are only dying (literally) to get in due to these same thugs’ machinations is to be incredibly naive and and an ignorant halfwit at best. You are a goddamned fool to expect criminals to have your best interest at heart. And that’s today’s two cents.

  • On Sex II

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Here’s another thought experiment: An experienced and wealthy movie executive requires that adult male actors who want a part in one of her movies to have sex with her. In your opinion, is this as much of a scandal as a male movie executive requiring the same of female actors? In my opinion, it’s not. Why not? Because I have a hard time thinking of this scenario is anything approaching rape. For me, if I want the part that will pay me millions, I bang the hell out of that movie executive. If I’m not willing to do that, then I find something else. For me, this is just not that big of a deal. I think it would rise to the level of a big deal if the movie executive were able to tie me down or otherwise physically restrain me, and then force me to have sex with her. That would be a very big deal, but otherwise, I’m not feeling like a victim. Banging that movie executive might be gross, but it’s probably worth the tradeoff. I have a feeling many, if not most, guys feel the same way toward this scenario. What do you think? And that’s today’s two cents.

  • On Schooling

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    It’s no surprise to you I’m sure that I am not a fan of the institution of schooling. Among other things, I very much dislike the double threat of coercion that it engages in, which are the use of punishments to encourage desirable behaviors, and the use of manipulation, that is, telling children that without school they will be stupid. “Do what we tell you, or else your life will be made unpleasant and you will remain stupid and ignorant” is the battle cry of parents and teachers who believe in schooling. The former is rude and counterproductive, and the latter is just plain wrong. The fact that people grow up smart, happy, and nice to other people without the institution of schooling (and without punishments) proves it’s totally unnecessary. If you’re a parent considering your options, know that school is probably fine if your children retain their autonomy while there (and you don’t become an agent of coercion and manipulation on behalf of the school), but otherwise, run for the hills. And that’s today’s two cents.

  • On Intellectual Property

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    The hue and cry against “stealing” intellectual property makes a terrible assumption: that the creator or inventor is being robbed of something. What exactly are they being robbed of? Copying a creative work or building someone else’s invention does not deprive the originator of their work. When you steal someone’s car, they no longer have their car. When you “steal” someone’s story, they still have their story. On this point I hope we can agree, no theft has occurred. So where is the robbery? It is claimed that the robbery occurs when future profits are moved from the originator to the copier. Can robbery occur over future profits? If that is true, then wouldn’t other events that affect future profits also be considered robbery? May businesses compete without robbing each other of future profits? No, and that’s the point of competition, to “steal” profits from the other guy. Should competition be outlawed, like “stealing” creative works and inventions is? If we are to be consistent, then yes, it should be. What kind of world would that be when stealing future profits in every case is illegal? I don’t want to know. And that’s today’s two cents.

  • On Stoicism

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    To everyone who gets triggered or offended by words, take some advice from the ancient Stoic philosophy: recognize your own complicity in how you react to what you hear or read other people say or write. The Stoics taught that our emotional reactions to outside stimuli are largely our responsibility. Accepting this basic truth will allow you to take your emotional power back from those who upset you (including your children). No more will you require that trigger warnings be observed by other people, or expect them to condescendingly walk on eggshells around you. You will have more control over your mind and body if you learn that you don’t have to react in negative ways toward other people’s words. Simply observe them as you would observe a loud animal in nature, with curiosity, humility, and skepticism. And that’s today’s two cents.

  • On Confirmation Bias

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    I heard something interesting by an evolutionary psychologist recently. He said that he believed that our ability to reason was not born out of a desire to search for truth. Instead, it came from our need to persuade others toward our opinions. Nobody wants to get kicked out of their tribe for seemingly incompatible behavior, so we learned to argue in self-defense, perhaps. He also connected this to the phenomenon of confirmation bias. What is that? Confirmation bias is “the tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one’s existing beliefs or theories.” Nobody wants to be caught holding opinions contrary to their tribe, lest they get kicked out. If it’s true that our reasoning capability as a species was born from a need to persuade others, and it was preferable to avoid offending them in the first place, then perhaps we should elevate confirmation bias to confirmation imperative. The result is the recognition that this phenomenon is much more than a mere tendency. It’s an imperative toward our survival, and thus saturates our thinking. Understanding that insight should help all of us be a little more careful about how we judge new evidence relevant to our existing opinions. And that’s today’s two cents.

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