Quick Roundup 479

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Social Networking Bleg

Apparently, my last post both impressed and disappointed. On the one hand, I got backlinks (that I know about) from Rob and Trey. On the other, I was asked by commenters why I didn't make it easier to alert readers to the post with Twitter, FaceBook, or NetworkedBlogs. Blog template editing time is nigh. If you see your favorite social network missing, let me know.

Thanks in advance.

Precautionary Principle and Pascal's Wager

Via HBL I learned of a ridiculous video whose creator regards it as an unassailable argument in favor of global warming legislation. Binswanger called it an application of Pascal's Wager to environmentalism and notes its more common name: the precautionary principle, which Wikipedia describes as:

... a moral and political principle which states that if an action or policy might cause severe or irreversible harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of a scientific consensus that harm would not ensue, the burden of proof falls on those who would advocate taking the action. [links omitted]
I find several things interesting about the precautionary principle. First, it basically means that one has to have (or beg for) approval of anything he wants to do from government officials. Second, as it is being used by global warming alarmists, it is clear what the pecking order is between "the public or the environment" whenever there is a conflict. (Just see how little attention the clown in this video pays to the depression he admits these taxes and laws would bring, and note that he makes zero mention of political freedom at all.) Third, this principle is basically a way for people who take Pascal's Wager to force the rest of us to do the same by smuggling in arbitrary criteria of harm to excuse government action in situations where it is not warranted.

Objectivist Roundup

Head on over to 3 Ring Binder!

"GoodThing in Life" Carnival and Chat

Inspired in part by a recent post of mine on cooking as a hobby, Martin Lindeskog is attempting to bring back something along the lines of the old Carnival of the Recipes, but not limited to cooking. He's targeting Thanksgiving weekend as a start date.

Like a Kazoo at a Funeral

The glomming-on-with-cum-backstabbing-of Ayn Rand by Libertarians continues as Reason TV (of all hosts) plans to "celebrate" the enduring legacy of Ayn Rand by interviewing two of her most famous detractors, Nathaniel and Barbara Branden.

Maybe it was something she said...

Actually, it wasn't that, but her insistence that the fight for freedom begins with intellectual rigor that earned exposed their enmity.

-- CAV


Mo said...

I like the description "hippies of the right" very true and funny at the same time.

BTW isn't anarchism a concept that grew in France during the 17th century ?

Gus Van Horn said...


Regarding the origins of anarchy as a school of political philosophy: maybe, maybe not.

Grant said...

Regarding the video about climate change: the flaw in that guy's argument is that the bottom two squares of his diagram, even though he doesn't admit it, are the same result.

Gus Van Horn said...

True, if we assume either that the warmists are completely wrong or that our governments would not find a solution to the problem (ranging from doing nothing to some kind of torts) that did not violate individual rights.

Grant said...

Well, my point is that if you have industry-killing, environment-protecting regulations, or if you have none of that and industry messes up the environment (an assumption, I know), both outcomes result in all of the terrible things he describes in the "true, no" box either way. It's only his predispostion to the environmentalist position that makes him rant and rave about one, and softly call the other "a different but liveable world."

Essentially, if it's true that the earth cannot support the population levels that industry/pollution makes possible, it's going to do something about it anyways. There's no need for the govenrnment do it for mother nature preemptively.

Gus Van Horn said...

"There's no need for the government to do it for mother nature preemptively."

I like the way you put that, and that is the essential issue in this debate as it is now.