Friday Hodgepodge

Friday, September 20, 2019

Blog Roundup

1. At the blog of the Center for Industrial Progress, Alex Epstein reports that "YouTube suppresses Green New Deal video" and offers a way to fight back:

Here's what I get from DuckDuckGo when I type in the title of Epstein's video. Feel free to reuse my image. And when you tell people about the video, mention that it's easy to find if you use DuckDuckGo.
What comes up on YouTube when you search for the exact title of Alex's popular Prager University video "What's the Deal with the Green New Deal?" For most people it's not Alex's video, which has been suppressed, but tributes to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with completely different titles and lower view counts.

One way to fight back is to help us advertise Alex's video. It costs approximately 1 cent per new viewer to share this video. If anyone is willing to donate at least $1000 (tax deductible and generates approximately 100,000 views) please let us know and we'll put you in touch with the relevant people. [link in original]
This is a pathetic response to this five-minute video, which I found very informative.

I recall recommending Google -- YouTube's parent company -- to friends and relatives back when it was new, but very fast and very good. Compare what you see at the link within the quoted material above and what you see in the screenshot of my search results using DuckDuckGo. Guess which search engine I recommend these days -- at least if you want to find something besides ads and things the staff of Google agree with.

2. Jason Crawford persuasively argues that "Progress studies [are] a moral imperative" and I agree. And he has some ideas on how to fill this yawning gap in modern education:
Today, I'm writing this blog, and I'm starting to give some talks and do some podcast interviews. But I'm at a crossroads in my career: I've just left a job and I'm exploring opportunities for my next step. My career has been in the tech industry, but I'm considering a sabbatical to work on this project, if I can find a way to fund it. In addition to simply writing a lot more blog posts, future work could include a podcast or YouTube channel, or even interactive diagrams or games. Eventually, I'd like to write a book (or several).

If you would like to help fund this, or know of anyone who would, please get in touch:
When I wrote that we needed to improve our education system so people could continue to appreciate and support progress, I hadn't even conceived of this as a special field, which it plainly is.

3. Scott Holleran makes his case for a movie I had not heard of (in large part because I have kids -- but also because Hollywood seems to have forgotten how to make movies). He opens by saying, "The Goldfinch inspires," and continues:
It's the second movie this year that I instantly knew I wanted to feast on for its sumptuousness again as soon as it was over. The movie, based on a novel by Donna Tartt, unwraps, rewraps and unwraps its mysterious gauze. What remains is refined, simple and respectful of an ideal. This alone makes it exemplary.
Head over there if you're intrigued. As a bonus, you will find out his pick for the best movie of the year so far.

4. I am pretty sure I have mentioned here that since moving to Jacksonville -- a v-e-r-y s-p-r-e-a-d - o-u-t c-i-t-y -- I have taken to using errand days to listen to podcasts and presentations. In any event, although this is nominally a blog roundup, I'll link to a video by a former blogger, Kendall Justiniano (The Crucible), who spoke about The Trader Mindset" at a STRIVE conference some years ago.

I listened out of curiosity, and ended up learning quite a bit. I am following up by reading Becoming Steve Jobs, because Justiniano mentioned a problem Jobs faced and overcame.

I am grateful, because I know for a fact that I have the same problem.

-- CAV


Snedcat said...

Yo, Gus, I'll share a blog in return. Curtis Evans is a writer on (not of) mysteries from the Golden Age and other times with an entertaining blog on his latest reads and writes under the name The Passing Tramp. (The name is an allusion in part to J. Jefferson Farjeon's Ben the Tramp series, the first of which, No. 17, Hitchcock filmed--see the pic in the upper left corner.) It's good for keeping up on good mystery reads across the decades, if that's what anyone reading here is interested in (I've had many enormously enjoyable reads thanks to him), and he often has little essays of more general interest. Of the many entertaining posts there, I'll just link to this puzzled consideration of Ludwig von Mises' diatribe in The Anti-Capitalist Mentality against detective novels, which I remember flabbergasted me when I read it around age 17 or 18, since it didn't match any of my experience of mystery novels. My conclusion at the time was that it is the better part of wisdom not to put pen to paper until you actually know what in creation you're talking about. In any case, that post gives a good flavor of his style and his sense of humor (I love his picture captions).

Gus Van Horn said...


Thanks for the recommendation.

Learning that von Mises held that opinion about mystery novels reminds me of a Twitter I visit sometimes when I want a laugh: Pessimists Archive Podcast. (No, I haven't listened to any of the podcasts so far.) Typically, the Twitter shows news clippings from previous eras, such as this one blaming "dime novels" for turning boys into murderers. (A while back, there was a succession of such posts, at least one that gave me the impression that widespread access to fiction was causing a moral panic in some quarters.


Snedcat said...

I should add that some parts of The Anti-Capitalist Mentality are pretty good, from what I remember. That particular part, however, was not. And now that I think back about it, I think I checked that book out of my high school library. One of the political science teachers was a member of the Libertarian Party and made sure the better libertarian books were available in the library (I don't think she displayed her sympathies in her teaching). It was good reading for a budding rightist, combined with my reading most of the books recommended at the end of Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal. One result was that for a couple of years I was eager to read anything by Joan Kennedy Taylor--she edited a couple of collections of essays on free market alternatives to statist institutions that was very good for broadening the mind to alternatives to the trends of the century. For that matter, I need to make time to read this.

Gus Van Horn said...

Every once in a while -- and this is one of those times -- I hear about a sympathetic-sounding intellectual who had previously completely escaped my attention.

Filed away for future reference: Thanks for bringing her up.