6-6-15 Hodgepodge

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Sign of the Times

Here's an example of advanced technology made possible through freedom -- in the service of the primitive, incorrect, and immoral idea of collective ownership:

California's Placer County Water Agency has two new smart phone apps, launched last October. One is a shower timer, which converts time in shower to gallons of water used.

The second, sure to be more discussed, allows people to report water wasters. [bold added]
I have already presented my thoughts on the propriety of government ownership and control of utility companies. To this I will add that, despite the purportedly educational nature of this app, the older, nearly-forgotten capitalist method of charging higher prices for scarcer commodities would have obviated the need for such "education".

Weekend Reading

"In theory, a computer could sense and respond to ... problems more quickly than a human, without hesitation, doubt, or panic -- provided it is programmed with the appropriate treatment algorithms." -- Paul Hsieh, in "Would You Trust a Computer to Knock You Out?" at Forbes

"A big impediment to living in the moment is what mental health professionals sometimes call 'irrational perfectionism'" -- Michael Hurd, in "Help! Everything Is Stressful!" at The Delaware Wave

"In weighing this concept, here are three questions to ask yourself..." -- Peter Schwartz, in "Are You Selfish? Why You Should Be Proud to Answer 'Yes'" at Quick and Dirty Tips

"From a psychological point of view, nobody can advocate or condemn divorce across-the-board except in cases of outright abuse or neglect." -- Michael Hurd, in "Kids and Divorce" at The Delaware Coast Press

In More Detail

The Schwartz piece links to an excerpt from his new book, In Defense of Selfishness.

Cluelessly "Defending" Bees

Via Clarissa's Blog, I ran across a thorough response (Scroll down.), by a beekeeper, to a self-congratulatory vegan who preened about the virtue of abstaining from honey since he objects to beekeeping (Note: I disagree with the notion that beekeeping has to be "organic", and I have no ethical problem with killing animals in and of itself.):
And do you know the best way to help make sure the bees survive?

Keep them. ... And here’s a secret about beekeeping; you inspect the hives whether or not you take honey, to make sure the bees are healthy and doing well. (There are mites and diseases that can severely harm bees, and even as an organic beekeeper who doesn’t use chemicals on her girls there are methods I use to prevent/treat things like varroa mite infestation that can kill an otherwise healthy hive).

And yes, when you open a hive to inspect it, you might crush one or two bees. But tell me, honestly, that you’ve never killed an insect. Bees themselves will kill sick/non productive members of the hive to ensure the health of the hive as a whole; I don’t see how my accidentally squishing one to ensure the health of the other 50,000 is any different.
This and more culminates in the beekeeper informing the vegan that his whole diet would be impossible without beekeeping. Enjoy.

-- CAV


Anonymous said...

Hi Gus,

Holey Honeycomb Batman!!!!

Didn't Rand predict that when the altruists had run out of enough of the human poor to 'speak for' that they'd begin to do the same thing for the animals? IIRC, she also wryly added that they'd have an advantage there because the animals they 'represented' would be unable to speak for themselves.

I know that it is a species of rewriting reality, but wouldn't it be nice if the advocates of these idiocies could be made to 'enjoy all the benefits' of the policies they advocate in their own persons?* I would pay good money to see Al Gore removed from his 30,000 sq ft carbon footprint and dropped into the middle of the anti-industrial future that he advocates. Now that's a "Survivor" that I might bother watching. And just think. Educating the masses! Surely no Leftist could object to that, right?

*The corollary of this is that those of us who DON'T advocate such idiotic policies wouldn't have to suffer for them.

c. andrew

Gus Van Horn said...


Yes. I might watch such a show, too.

Your comment also reminds me of similar thoughts I once had regarding a blackout I once endured and a natural disaster that affected me.


Snedcat said...

"I would pay good money to see Al Gore removed from his 30,000 sq ft carbon footprint and dropped into the middle of the anti-industrial future that he advocates. Now that's a "Survivor" that I might bother watching."

Yeah, but I imagine seeing some callow youth (intellectually speaking) say his or her last words, "Oh, what a cute little bear cub! Let's find your mother!" would get boring after a while. By the four or five thousandth time, anyway.