Monthly Archives: October 2012

Is the End of the Dockside Age Nigh?

by Thomas Knapp
Is the End of the Dockside Age Nigh?

For millennia, human populations have clustered near navigable waterways — oceans and rivers — for obvious reasons. They were important food sources, they constituted the main highways of commerce, and travel and communication over land were slow affairs.

Things are different now, due to everything from the locomotive and the automobile to the telegraph, telephone, radio and Internet. And yet I read somewhere awhile back that 90% of Americans (to pick a nationality) still live within 30 miles of a coast (including the Great Lakes) or major river.

I’m not trying to open up an argument on climate change here. Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that things like Hurricane Sandy are just the way it is and always has been.

Still, it seems kind of silly to put so much major economic infrastructure right up against the capricious seaboard when most of the population that infrastructure supports (virtually the entire population not directly engaged in sailing or servicing ships and the things coming on and off those ships) doesn’t really need to live or work there.

Arnold Kling is pessimistic about the cost and time involved in fixing New York. The repair bills for Sandy are already being guesstimated in the $50 billion range.

At what point do the operators of (for example) the New York Stock Exchange say “you know, we could do this just as easily from Indianapolis and hardly ever have to wade to work?”

No! THIS is Sparta – Part 2: Agoge!

by Gildas the Monk

Note: The Spartans beat Athens because the Athenians overstretched themselves and didn’t realise till it was too late that the Persians would throw a ton of gold into the scales against them. The first time the Spartans had to fight a set battle, at Leuctra, against something like a professional army, they lost, and then lost again. After that, they sank into complete insignificance. Torturing boys so they grow up into thieves and murderers isn’t a recipe for long term national success. Indeed, the real significance of Thermopylae wasn’t that the Spartans were brave – but that they bought time for the Athenians to pull themselves into fighting shape. Take Athens out of that war, and my own sympathies would be largely Persian. They weren’t bad overlords, let’s face it. SIG Continue reading

Against “Objective” Journalism

by Kevin Carson

Against “Objective” Journalism

The conventional model of “objectivity” in professional journalism (otherwise known as “he said, she said” and “stenography”), as it’s practiced today in the dead tree media, goes back to Walter Lippmann.

As Christopher Lasch described it, in The Revolt of the Elites, Lippmann’s view of society and government in general was that Continue reading

In The Naughty Corner With You, Says Oliver

by Dick Puddlecote

Some years ago, I found myself being invited to a Conservative Party fund-raising dinner. I’d never been a member of the party so it was something that came right out of left field.

It turns out that a letter I’d had printed in a local newspaper, in conjunction with an e-mail I sent to a Tory PPC, was the reason for my inclusion on the guest list barely two days before the event. I’m still at a loss as to why they made this offer, but as it was usually £50 per head and I was getting nosebag for free, who was I to grumble? Especially since the guest speaker was Oliver Letwin – one of the composers of the Tory manifesto – and a post-dinner question & answer session was promised. Ideal for getting my gobby self close enough to quiz a high profile politician at first hand, I thought. Continue reading

David McDonagh on Sean Gabb

This is a response to:

Sean, you speak and write rather like a traditional one nation Tory than a pristine liberal. Nowadays you like Marx. I think that Marx was more in the tradition of being a one nation Tory than he realised, given the fact that his most important ideas, like the labour theory of value and the material conception of history, were mere delusions, lacking all existential import completely. Many feel Marx read a lot of Hegel but he read more of the economists, though Hegel also read the economists, and the then liberal journal, or newspaper [as it now  calls itself] The Economist but maybe he read most of all the state bluebooks, mainly written by moralising one nation Tories. Continue reading

Risk, Reward and the New Class
Risk, Reward and the New Class

The following article was written by Friedrich von Blowhard and published on 2 Blowhards, February 16, 2007.

Friedrich von Blowhard writes:

As you know, I am a small businessman. As a result of what I do I spend time talking with investment bankers and bankruptcy lawyers. In the process I have learned a little (okay, very little) about finance. I want to talk about one of the concepts I stumbled across in finance that seems to make a lot of sense. That is the notion of a general and positive correlation between risk and reward. This is a pretty basic concept; the Wikipedia article on risk (which you can read here ) puts it this way: Continue reading

A Meeting of the Deal-Southport Axis

The Director and Blog Master of the LA, together with their women and children, spent a most enjoyable and productive weekend in Southport. What we agreed will be revealed in due course through our actions. Otherwise, we went about our business in most of the charity shops in the town, and discussed the total failure in this country of every libertarian project, not excepting our own. We agreed that Google Books was the best thing for civilisation since the Internet itself, and exchanged pdf libraries. At the same time, bearing in mind the impending collapse of civilisation, and the probable failure of electricity supply, we agreed not to get rid of any of our books.

The only fly in this most delightful ointment was the extreme congestion of the English motorway network. Going up, it took six hours to get along the M25/M1/M6. Coming down, we spent three hours on the M6 alone. In the olden days, the whole journey could have been covered in a first class railway carriage, with one change of engine at York, and smart waitresses in the dining carriage. The journey could have taken place in black and white, with Joyce Grenfell, Herbert Lom and Alastair Sim to assist or oppose in a plot to deliver England to an unspecified foreign power. Charles Hawtree could have had a cameo as the ticket inspector. Instead, I had to recover myself with burnt coffee in the Clackett Lane Services, while Baby Bear ran about, taking photographs with my mobile telephone.