Freedom of Expression in the Information Age

There’s a great tension today between two fundamental human freedoms. The first is freedom of thought and expression. A free person is able think, inquire, and express themselves and remain a regular member of society. The second is freedom of association. A free person only engages in activities they consent to. These come into conflict when one person refuses to associate with another over the second person’s expression.

In theory, this is easily resolved. Transactions are so common that missing out on one is a small price to pay for maintaining freedom of association. However, this isn’t as simple as it seems. For most people, their income comes from a single source. If your employer doesn’t want to associate with you, your livelihood is at risk.

(NB: A future article will cover the specific case of social media) Continue reading “Freedom of Expression in the Information Age”

Tackling The “Harvard Classics”

Liberal arts is an important field of study. It is also one which can be (and even in a college setting, largely is) self-taught. What most people get today is a far cry from what would be considered standard 100 years ago. The American founders would cry to see how far we’ve fallen when it comes to practicing the Western Canon. I myself am not nearly as well versed in it as I ought to be.

Charles William Elliot, former president of Harvard, claimed that one could achieve a full liberal education from reading 15 minutes a day from a 5-foot shelf. By my estimation, at 15 minutes per day, every day, this would take 18 months at a typical reading pace.

A publisher challenged him to choose the texts for this shelf. He wound up with a 51-volume, 2.5 million word collection which was published in 1909.

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How to Gain Political Power

Let’s say, for some crazy reason, you want to have political power in the United States today. You think that if you’re in the right position, you’ll be able to influence things for the better. That sounds great, I’m going to give you a system for gaining political power today.

As Scott Adams says in his book “How To Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big”, you should utilize systems to get ahead, not set goals. The system I’m going to lay out for you will assure you accumulate political power, but it doesn’t specify where you’ll end up. That way, there are many possible successful outcomes.

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CQW’s Simple Election Model

Tonight I decided it would be fun to build my own US Presidential Election prediction model. The goal of this is to show you how these things are built at their most basic level, and to show their limitations.

With those caveats, the goal for the model itself was to make it simple, something which most people can understand. All my source code will be included in the post. It’s only 50 lines of MATLAB code, I don’t mind if you steal it.

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Review of “A Throne of Bones”

I recently read Vox Day’s “A Throne of Bones”. Before I launch into a more thorough review, I’ll say this: if you are like me and enjoy Vox Day’s non-fiction and also enjoy epic fantasy, this is a book you will absolutely enjoy reading. For the rest of you, this review will cover why I devoured this book as intently as any I’ve read.

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The Wrong Side of History: The Anti-Federalists, Gerry and Mason

One of the things that I most enjoyed about reading Mencius Moldbug’s blog “Unqualified Reservations” was the use of primary source documents to analyze history. I have decided to embark upon a long-term project to investigate primary sources and to share interesting results with you on this blog. The goal of this project is to unearth counter narratives to the current narrative of historical events. My focus will be on understanding the viewpoints of those who found themselves on the proverbial “Wrong Side of History”. The long-term investigation will look at the writings of people who sat on the losing side of historical arguments in order to try understand their thought process and to judge whether or not they had valuable insights or supplied arguments that have not made their way down to today.

The first set of texts I will be examining are works of the Anti-Federalists, Founding Fathers of America who objected to the implementation of the constitution. I will be working from the Table of Contents of Storing’s The Complete Anti-Federalist. This provides more works and a differing organization to the main Anti-federalist collection which was assembled in the 1960’s. The work of the Anti-federalists were not coordinated in a way that created an easy comparison to the familiar Federalist Papers of Hamilton, Madison and Jay. Instead, they were individual essays written by dozens of Americans across the nation.

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The Holy Roman Empire: A Model for the Future United States

The United States faces a myriad of problems today. Chief among them is disunity amongst the people. We are a nation of many individual communities, with different views on government and different cultures. One government with a single set of rules, or even fifty governments with fifty sets of rules aren’t enough.

It is my belief that the United States was designed for governing the country as it was in 1790 and this paradigm has been pushed and stretched as far as possible into fitting the 21st century.  We are no longer a union of rural, largely agrarian states, physically isolated from any potential geopolitical rivals. As the United States has changed, we’ve changed the government, first through the amendment process, and now with the judiciary simply ratifying major changes to government. Its a process that has been getting ever more grating as the 1790’s government is stretched to fit 2016 realities.

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Links: 8/16/2016

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted links. I’ve been on vacation, which was lovely. It also seems like I’m getting pickier about what I put on here. Transient posts about the current news cycle tend to dominate as election season heats up and I don’t bother to post many of these. Also, it seems like amateur bloggers lower their output at this time of year. Nevertheless, I’ve found a few gems recently that you should check out.

Trump and the New Religion looks at the reaction to Trump among the conservatives who still think being graced as “respectable” by progressives is the most important thing.
The Tragedy of the Google discusses the effects Google and other internet firms are having on centralizing ownership and how they use government regulations to manipulate costs.
Social Media is a Tool of the State examines the effects social media has had on human behavior and how it has accomplished goals globalist governments find desirable.
One Man, One Vote, One Time lays out the motivation progressives have to push mass immigration. Rather than convince Americans to follow their program, they create new Americans to vote for them. Once a majority casts a vote in favor of a progressive program, it is locked in, and at least so far on American history, impossible to repeal.
Were the Arab Conquests a Myth? introduces the author’s book which presents a case that the traditional arc of the 7th century AD is false. Working from the assumption that Heraclius didn’t reconquer Syria and Egypt from the Persians, and that Muhammed and the pre-Umayyad caliphs didn’t exist, the author postulates a Persian Empire which converts to Ebonite Christianity and morphs into the Umayyad Caliphate over a century. This helps to explain some details in the historical record as well as synergy between Islam and the middle Eastern relgions that preceded it.

Syllogisms and Donald Trump’s Tweeting Style

Donald Trump’s tweeting style is well known and widely recognized by the media and casual observers alike. What very few people realize is that Trump is following rhetorical theory first laid down by Aristotle. Far from being a buffoon or a simpleton, Trump is using timeless techniques to influence his followers. Once you learn what Trump is doing with his tweets, it is impossible to forget it, and you will understand something 99% of the population hasn’t picked up on.

A typical example of Trump’s style:

So what’s going on here?

Continue reading “Syllogisms and Donald Trump’s Tweeting Style”