• Uncategorized

    A response to Henry George and the Lunar Society

    I recently completed listening to this long and good interview of Lars Doucet on the Lunar Society Podcast – it aroused many strong feelings, so I thought I would share.

    In no particular order

    • The problem with Georgism is the Georgists. To mix adages, the Georgist argument would be more convincing if they had more skin in the game and climbed Chesterton’s Fence. Why has the single tax on land been on the shelf for the past 100 years? Why do we have these other taxes? Explain!
    • A common problem in rationalism (and adjacent ideologies) is the inability to effectively understand and address the concerns of people ten years younger or older than the rationalist.
    • The soul of man does not contain a hole in the shape of high density living. People like the benefits, but density for the sake of density is not an inherent drive. A lot of Georgism seems to take that for granted.
    • Doucet presumes effective urban governance. Does Georgism make made sense with 70s level urban decay and state capacity?
    • The use of video game evidence creates a strong counter reaction in me.
    • Doucet takes the notion of “Rent” as a given -and provides no evidence that landlords do not compete the rent away in some form or fashion, or lose the rent in maintenance and improvements. Or if he did present compelling evidence I missed it.
    • The notion that the rentiers (to use Piketty’s term) do not contribute anything seems wrong. Why won’t the land owners just coordinate to increase the value of the property and increase overall prosperity via network effects? Seemingly the landowners would coordinate to bring productive labor and capital to their properties.
    • Why has no one, in any country, ever, tried a single tax on land? Sorry, but Norwegian oil isn’t similar enough. Come to think of it – how similar is it to land valuation in the age of serfdom?
    • Doucet does not provide any reason that a tax on land would necessarily displace ANY other form of taxation. He presents the land tax as just an additional tax.
    • Doucet should provide some explanation for why he should tax land rent and not educational/human capital rent. He alludes to the concept early in the conversation and does not adequately answer the question.

    The list makes it seem like I’m more critical than I am – the topic fully engaged me and I will be reading the book at some point in the near future.

  • Uncategorized

    Dan Bern at Eddie’s Attic was a bust

    It would seem that an “All Ages” music show does not equal and “Age Appropriate” music show (it was explicitly advertised as all ages).

    I’ve only seen this guy once before (pesky pandemic) but the whole family likes him. His previous show (that I saw) was much cleaner. All of his online shows were much cleaner. The two kids I brought were the only kids there, maybe he didn’t see them. Oh well.

    As a show it was nowhere near as good as the other one, or his average online show actually. The show did improve markedly as it went on, but sadly so did the inappropriateness. We left halfway though.

    I imagine I will go see him again, but alone. A lesson learned I suppose.

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  • Drug War

    On Vietnam, addiction, and substitutions

    I saw the “During the Vietnam war American troops used lots of opiates , but when the troops came home very few of them continued using” line again.

    I saw it on this substack post. Go ahead and read their entire post for more detail on their theories, but proponents of the this theory usually mention community and environment as inherent to the addiction process.

    That could be the case, but one GIANT missing part of this story is that all of the troops went from a place where opiates, in the form of heroin, were common (Vietnam) to a place where alcohol was common (America). The human body substitutes opiates and alcohol easily. In and of itself a dropoff in opiate use proves nothing. The troops could just switch from heroin to the culturally celebrated and easily accessible alcohol. People use this example over and over without ever considering substitution.

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  • Uncategorized

    If it gets measured, it gets managed

    And arguably improved – the January to December results show “limited” progress, but that does not show the real progress. I was advancing far too quickly and the lifts were getting to be feats of strength, and not refinements of technique, which is dangerous with kettlebells.

    I went to a lower weight early in the year and have been moving back up with better technique ever since.

    I’m going to wait until February before I introduce the 80 lb kettlebell back. I could probably do it now, but there is no need to rush. Also – my shoulders feel great, which was not the case this time last year.

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