Quick Roundup 107

Friday, October 06, 2006

Good Reading

Thanks to Grant Jones, who recommended Lloyd Billingsly's Hollywood Party and Joe Kellard, who mentioned Journals of Ayn Rand, I have some good reading ahead of me in the near future. If the web site of the Ayn Rand Bookstore ever comes back up, I'll order Ayn Rand's Marginalia, too.

In the meantime, I eagerly await the current issue of The Objective Standard. Houston's two-week-long autumn should arrive any day now and I look forward to sitting outside with an ice cold brewski and the 'Standard while I do some grilling. Which reminds me....

Good Beer

I attended the monthly meeting of my home brewing club yesterday evening and was very impressed with the samples of Schneider's Aventinus Weizenstarkbier and an Eisbier by the same brewery. Both had complex and, frankly, fascinating flavors. My wife was with me. She's not a beer drinker and she raved about it. She made sure we took the bottle cap of the Weizenstarkbier home with us so we could remember it for later. Strongly recommended.

Opportunity Costs

I have been thinking about this subject from several angles lately. So I was intrigued when I stopped by Noumenal Self this morning and found this very good link on the subject in his side bar. Bad Analysis discusses the notion that the medical sector is "propping up the economy":

The basic flaw in this logic is a lack of accounting for opportunity costs, highlighted in the parable of the broken window. The parable basically explains that, even though you breaking your window provides work for the glazier, which means the glazier has money to spend with the baker, and so on, this doesn't mean we should go around breaking windows to support the economy. What is missing from the broken window analysis is opportunity costs, or what you would have spent the money on if you hadn't broken window.

If we weren't so inefficient in health care, it's likely that people would spend their money on other things, and we wouldn't need health care spending to "prop up the economy".
As the next presidential race approaches, I am afraid that we will be hearing all sorts of stupid proposals on "health care" as those who would enslave physicians like to call medicine. Those who favor capitalism in medicine would do well to remember that the invisibility of opportunity costs will require that we point them out frequently. You can read Bastiat's original parable here.

-- CAV


American Individualist said...

Gus, regarding my book recommendation, it was my pleasure. "Journals" is beneficial as an observation of Ayn Rand "thinking on paper" -- of her process or method of her thinking.

The focus of "Ayn Rand's Marginalia” is on her philosophic detection at work. Some of the integrations she makes in that book are mind-blowing.

And if you haven't already done so, buy "Ayn Rand Answers." What I got most out of this book, but even more so from listening to her various Q & As on tape, is how well thought out she was on so many subjects. This comes through more on tape, since she seemed to answer questions so abruptly after they were asked (sometimes before the questioner was finished), as if she had heard them asked so many times before, which, in some form, I’m sure she probably had.

Gus Van Horn said...

I figured as much and look at both books as being about as close to getting to read Ayn Rand as a blogger as one could get.

I happened to spot Marginalia at the AR Bookstore by accident yesterday and had already decided to buy it when I got your recommendation.

As for Ayn Rand Answers, I read that recently and thoroughly enjoyed it.

This exchange from ARA was one of my favorites since it was very profound while at the same time being an extremely thorough and efficient smack-down:

Q As an opponent of welfare, what do you propose to do with welfare recipients?

A They're not my property to dispose of.

Vigilis said...

Gus, please excuse the altitude of my weakened (sic) plane of discussion regarding your "Good Beer":

1) You did not mention if Ayn Rand liked (or even would have liked) it.

2) I can spell Schneider's, but where does one procure the "Great" beverage that you so highly recommend.

The last time it took longer to learn to pronounce and spell a beer than to find it, we found ourselves in a SF transvestite establishment full of "funny" Air Force er, "ladies", with unusually large hands for that gender. Needless to say, we got the heck out of there quick.

4) So, young Gus, where do we sample Aventinus Weizenstarkbier stateside?

5) If your answer is either negative or perplexing, are all objectivists as frustratingly obstructionist as you when it comes down to practicality?

6) Now, I am going to clean my double barrelled shotgun for local varmints.

Gus Van Horn said...

(1) How would I know? I hear that the entire defensive line of the Gamecocks are Objectivists and have recently formed a club. Might I suggest attending their next meeting witha Ouija Board in hand and suggesting to them that you would like their help in finding the answer to their question.

(2) In H-Town, one would get it at that emporium of good living, Spec's. As for your neck of the woods, I don't know. Your choices seem to be (a) drive to Houston, (b) go online, or (c) take your chances on the kind of establishment you described. Based on (6), it seems that I may already be too late in answering this question.

(3) [intermission]

(4) See (2).

(5) Yes and no.

(6) See (2c).

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with the bookstore? Is the purchasing part down? I can surf it just fine...

LOL, "intermission."

/Holy Grail intermission song thingy stuck in my head

Gus Van Horn said...

The 'Bookstore was down yesterday. Some error message, obviously from Microsoft software was displayed on the screen instead.

It appears to be fine now.

If I were in the business of selling something over the Internet, I would take such down time very seriously and switch to something more reliable.