Wednesday Links -- 21 October 2015

Here's some of the stuff I've read about this week that's worth a comment or two.

YouTuber c0nc0rdance makes some really thoughtful videos, and this one is no different: Cannabis and Psychosis. After watching this, one does start to recognize the extremely low probability for the implicit claims made by pro-cannabis rhetoric, namely, that pot is harmless. Um, it affects your body, how could it be risk-free? But I don't think that trumps the overall rightness of decriminalization, since we know some people are genetically predisposed to alcoholism but booze is still legal. That said, I would hate for cannabis to gain national legalization only to have it be as aggressively marketed as tobacco was or alcohol still is. (Not to mention how those drug cultures are portrayed in the media.)

Air Koryo: Still the world's worst airline. Who knew people ironically enjoy shitty air travel? But to be fair, Air Koryo does sound cartoonishly terrible.

Topher Hallquist providing some nice ideas for a future crypto-reformist fifth column in the GOP: Fantasy Republican presidential campaign platform. I tried my hand at something similar before, and reviewed another effort by an actual conservative.

Bleeding Heart Libertarians don't shy away from criticizing libertarianism or the liberty movement. In this case, it's the former: The Bad Libertarian Argument for Commodification.
For any particular good X, is morally permissible for you to sell X?

Note that this question doesn’t ask whether selling X ought to be legal. Rather, it asks whether selling X would be morally wrong.

Some libertarians think these questions are easy. If X belongs to you, of course you can sell it. For example, “it’s my body” so of course I sell sex or organs. Right?

Not so fast. In Markets without Limits, Peter Jaworski and I explain why this kind of argument doesn’t do the work some libertarians think it does.
Nearly one year ago I wrote about this very thing!
The conversation about voluntary indefinite servitude was where things started to get interesting. Specifically, the idea that at some point in time t = t_0, you have sufficient moral agency to agree that, for all time t > t_0, your property rights are at the disposal of another person.

But there's a very open question: are the "you" of t = t_0 and the "you" of t = t_1 > t_0 actually the same person? What right does the t_0-you have to abridge the agency of all future you's? I think not; and in fact, indefinite servitude fundamentally being coercion of all your future selves seems like a damn good reason to morally reject such servitude.
Based on the excerpt Brennan provides, this is an independent objection: his and Jaworski's involve some more subtle distinctions, and I think they're less openly metaphysical and wanky as mine. Which is fair :P

The Iliad of MC Homer.
Muse, rhyme of the beef of the son of Peleus
that piled mad grief all up on the Achaeans
and spurred to Perdition the souls of real gangstas,
yo, and for bitches an' crows they made banquets.
Pretty great. The author makes a decent point justifying the stylistic choice, too.

It actually is sort of a One Weird Trick, try to watch for people making only positive claims, since that's a decent sign of crank epistemology: A Wonderfully Simple Heuristic to Recognize Charlatans. A cursory reading of my modest library of skeptic history and kook literature (and mail directories) would seem to validate the heuristic. See also Making beliefs pay rent (in anticipated experience), e.g., "It is even better to ask: what experience must not happen to you? Do you believe that elan vital explains the mysterious aliveness of living beings? Then what does this belief not allow to happen—what would definitely falsify this belief? A null answer means that your belief does not constrain experience; it permits anything to happen to you. It floats."

Not yet gods. I confess to lacking this sort of sci-fi-ideation-anxiety. So many in the rationalist and EA communities seem to exhibit it though, to some degree... is this unique to the subculture or is it just uniquely fixated? Like, do other people experience this with regard to, er, whatever it is that the Baby Boomers of Real America do?

Nothing much else to say here: People Livestream This Guy's Face to Be "Healed"

Two thoughts involving East Asia vis-a-vis the West, and history: Whig vs Haan and Of culture wars and Mongol hordes; Of immigrants and kings.

Beautiful gobbledegook from Mitrailleuse, a Neo-reactionary blog: Towards a neoreactionary aesthetic. I guess 3.6k words probably does pass for "preliminary notes" in a subculture where 10k words is like the bare minimum for any blog post of "substance"... anyway, stuff like this delights me because it makes the crankitude of NRx that much more obvious. And cranks with universal world-systems are so much more fun than those who run around handing out nude photos of themselves because God told them to. Not to mention that I can't help but smirk with ironic glee whenever someone can use the words "decadent" or "degenerate" with total seriousness in a political commentary.
The phallic form itself is emblematic of Exit. That which pierces the heavens comes to a point; it elongates, it thrusts, it penetrates through barriers, even the firmaments themselves. While not beautiful in and of themselves, skyscrapers have a quality of Exit to them morphologically. The flying-machine, the rocket, the ship, the car, all of these present aspects of the aesthetic of Exit. Exit is masculine, transcendent and impregnated with distance. Exit is aggression, conquest, domination; but it is also exploration, discovery and adventure. It is the begetter.
Not just vacuous nonsense, but hilarious vacuous nonsense. Granite cocks, indeed!
Anyone who read the book Jurassic Park (the movie doesn’t count for this at all, since it lacks the cerebral aspect) knows actually a thing or two about chaos.
my sides