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Thoughts Left Lying Around

April 18, 2013

1. Privatization is a lot harder than many libertarians are willing to admit. In many cases, they become a mere handout to cronies or setup a dysfunctional public/private relationship where the firms created remain dependent on subsidies and wind up as a de facto government agency. The cases of private prisons in America is particularly frightening where prison companies make campaign donations to harsh judges swelling their populations with questionable prisoners. Is there a pattern of when privatization works and when it does not?

2. Does it matter what the contents of a holy book are? If you could pick two things that Jesus was in favor of, it would be forgiveness and wine. Many modern Christians are opposed to both of these things. The morality of the Old Testament is bizarre by modern standards. Perhaps religion will always simply reflect a societies’ values and long term impact of a holy book’s content is overstated.

3. Virtually all analysis following “Asset X is/isn’t a bubble” is meaningless. Exchange value is just as important as “intrinsic” value or use value. Long run value of a ham sandwich is 0, but so what? The long run value of pretty much anything is 0, but in the meantime, people have to exchange things to get what they want and one coordination point is as good as any other.

4. For any technology, there will be a continuum of how much various scientists approve/disapprove of it. The bigger the world gets, and the more available knowledge gets, the more scientists there will be at the extremes who have access to the possibility of developing the technology. Regardless of what the average scientist thinks of cloning a human, it *will* happen when cloning becomes so cheap that anyone could do it.

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