Serfdom was… and is… a state of mind far more than an economic or social position. The Serfdom State of Mind focuses on the desire for safety and security… of remaining clear of blame… to the detriment of self-reliance and living as a free and independent moral agent. Everyone enjoys safety, of course, but to [...]
My second set of extraordinary adventures was not at all what I had expected. My first adventure prepared me for them in some ways, but in other ways not at all. Furthermore, I suspect that the engagements you’ll find recounted here will prove to be unique. My feeling is that they were intended for the [...]
Sure, we’ve all seen this in practice and people have developed catchy terms for it, like echo chamber, but the polarization effect of social media has been demonstrated scientifically. In fact, some of us were warning about it more than a decade ago. And while I can no longer find my original documentation on the [...]
The mos maiorum, or “way of the old ones” were the traditional principles and practices of public life in ancient Rome. These customs included: Good faith Respectfulness Self-discipline Virtue Dignity I won’t go through a history lesson, but Rome, which had no written constitution, began to degrade as the mos maioram, the ancient ways, were [...]
We live in a culture that presents consumption as the ultimate end: Party with the pretty people drinking the good beer, get your husband to give you a car with a huge ribbon on it for Christmas, prove your love with a diamond, and so on without end. And it’s been going on for so [...]
Lèse-Majesté, an offense against the dignity of a ruler, is a little-used but very important concept. And it is the central crime that cannot be tolerated by the ruler. Lèse-Majesté stands against the concept of free speech, of course, but when push comes to shove, necessities stand above the law, and lèse-Majesté is a necessity [...]
Years ago I engaged in a long usenet discussion with another gentleman on immigration, life in the third world, etc. After some back-and-forths, the gentleman proposed a scenario: What would happen if the two of us were dropped, naked and with absolutely no way of calling for help, into the poorest and most desperate spot [...]
I have friends at the forefront of cryptography and privacy who don’t much care for Bitcoin; they see flaws in it and they think we could do better. And they are not wrong: There are flaws and we can do better. Nonetheless, Bitcoin is. And it is playing a crucial role in the formation of [...]
Here is something that was thrown in my face at a relatively early age, as I began to think seriously and independently: So, the world is wrong and you’re right!? But as it happened, I was more or less right. And very definitely the world was wrong. The hierarchies of the world are trying to [...]
Western civilization formed in the wake of Rome, based mainly upon Christian ideals. And because of those ideals, Europe became vastly different from Rome. Most overtly, Western civilization ejected slavery from Europe. To put it simply, European Christians replaced slavery (the economic driver of Rome and of more or less every civilization up to that [...]
“White Privilege” Is A Racist Enterprise Most of the time I live in my own little world, trying to understand and to build good things. But once in a while new pollutions seep in and require my attention. And so it has become with “white privilege.” It is now common (and I can hardly [...]
The second and final Farber essay, composed while both character and author were involved in dangerous cypherpunk projects, some twenty years ago.
There has been a lot of concern about a resurgence of socialism lately, and understandably so. But there is one aspect of it, and perhaps an important one, that I haven’t seen elsewhere. Here it is. Some Basics The socialists, we must admit, have two big things going for them: They are excellent at complaining. [...]
This podcast (published originally in an appendix to A Lodging of Wayfaring Men) was composed twenty years ago, while working in a difficult and even dangerous cypherpunk project. It expresses the things that were on our minds as we stepped away from the status quo and dared to build afresh outside of it.
I’ve written an unusual amount about the financial systems of the world over the past month. Honestly, I’ve felt that I’d be derelict not to. Please understand that I’m not giving you prescriptions. I trust that you are capable of making your own plans. My concern is that by living inside the present financial system, [...]
I am a long-time advocate of free markets. Voluntary commerce is more or less the only moral way for humans to cooperate on a large scale; everything else involves coercion. And as a bonus, free markets work better than anything else. That does not, however, mean that free markets deliver perfection, or that private businesses [...]
Paul did an interview with Ernest Hancock on Quantum Computing and the most recent issue of the Parallel Society newsletter: Using Crisis For Fun & Profit.
“Men,” wrote Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., “are idolaters, and want something to look at and kiss and hug, or throw themselves down before; they always did, they always will; and if you don’t make it of wood, you must make it of words.”
As you’ll see, this new model is something Jesus came back to incessantly. I find 19 instances in the gospels (not counting duplicates), and the fact that I could assemble that many is highly significant. Set in a modern book format, the four gospels contain less than 40 pages of unique material, and most of that is narration.
Imagine that some combination of circumstances end with you walking into a so-so bar, then accidentally causing some gigantic brute to spill his drink. Imagine also that this brute just learned that his girlfriend moved out, taking his bank account with her.