Friday Hodgepodge

Friday, July 28, 2017

Four Things

1. If you want to see the solar eclipse -- but avoid the hurricane evacuation-like commute -- fly Southwest:

At the moment, Southwest hasn't created more flights for the sole purpose of viewing the eclipse, but perhaps if there's a market for it, they'll find a way to make it happen.
Brilliant marketing idea. Since the article lists only five flights, I hope they can follow the above suggestion.

2. Of all things, there's a battle royale over control of Snopes:
On Monday, the editorial staff of wrote a short plea for help. The post said that the site needed money to fund its operations because another company that Snopes had contracted with "continues to essentially hold the web site hostage."

"Our legal team is fighting hard for us, but, having been cut off from all revenue, we are facing the prospect of having no financial means to continue operating the site and paying our staff (not to mention covering our legal fees) in the meanwhile," the note continued. [link omitted]
If you value having a ready-made salvo of facts and common sense at your disposal whenever the credulous, the misinformed, or the young come a-knocking, you might consider donating.

3. Quote of the Week:
When Did It Become offensive to expect people to earn? -- Yaron Brook
The full context comes from a video segment of a Q&A on Equal Is Unfair that was blogged by PJ Media. This comes in answer to a question, "Don't Western companies hurt poor workers in developing nations by paying them too little?" raised by someone who, from the looks of it, doesn't really give a damn about the answer. That's okay, because almost anyone else who hears this will learn something. Watch it for catharsis, sure. But also keep it in mind when someone who really does wonder about that issue asks a similar question. (via HBL)

4. Carrie-Ann Biondi, a philosophy professor, has written one of the most benevolent pieces about Ayn Rand I have ever seen in popular media. She starts by asking, "Mocked by philosophers, adored by readers -- what is the enduring allure of Ayn Rand?" And she finishes as follows:
Whether one agrees with Rand's provocative views or not, it's valuable for philosophers to take them seriously and study them carefully. Her theory provides a systematic alternative to other schools of thought and challenges the academy's conventional wisdom to keep us on our intellectual toes. She reframes traditional philosophical questions in ways that cut through what she considers to be false dichotomies: mind/body, reason/emotion, moral/practical, duty/utility, intrinsic/subjective, nature/nurture. This leaves conceptual space to offer and defend a "third way" on a range of significant philosophical issues.

Rand offers Objectivism as a philosophy for living, not just contemplating, not just existing and getting by. We have minds equipped to deal with the world, a world where we can be efficacious. So long as there are individuals committed to their own happiness, voluntary cooperation, reaching for the best within themselves, and creating the social and political institutions needed for achieving these values in a free and responsible way, Rand's work will continue to speak to countless numbers of people in all walks of life. But don't take my -- or anyone else's -- word for it. Exercise the virtue of independence and read Rand's work for yourself. You'll see firsthand what the enduring appeal is all about.
This isn't even the most enjoyable part, but I like the general overview. (via Randex) Update: Greg Salmieri of Check Your Premises discusses the same piece and the author's background.

-- CAV


Today: Added link to Check Your Premises at end of Item 4.

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