Principles Come First

In Noah’s post about Ludwig von Mises birthday, he links an interesting biography of Mises on the Mises Institute’s website. I know a little, but not much, about details of Ludwig von Mises’ life. I have never read a full biography of him, though there are some available. What was always important for me were…

Gay Lobby Bares its Ass

I only realized late last night that the premiere of season two of the new Doctor Who series was yesterday. Preferring to sleep, I assumed they would rerun it, but it turns out I just missed it. Ah well. Despite the obviously improved writing and special effects, I have mixed feelings about the new show…

Alles gute zum Geburtstag

Noah tells me via email that today is Ludwig von Mises’ birthday. And in fact, the link and title are both shamelessly stolen from the same email. (Let it never be said I don’t cite my sources!) The link goes into great detail about Mises contributions, so I will let it do most of my…

Pleased with Opera

Last week I jettisoned Firefox in favor of Opera. This didn’t really have anything to do with Opera per se. I was mostly just getting tired of using two different browsers all the time. See, I have a Mac laptop and Linux (Fedora Core 5) desktop – so it was Camino on the Mac and…

When the Bough Breaks…

Yesterday in Philosophical Foundations of Cognitive Science we talked some about Andy Clark‘s idea that the mind extends beyond the individual and into his surroundings. It goes something like this: we are accustomed to using tools to complete tasks – even mental tasks. When we have some complicated math to do, we tend to reach…

Real Multiculturalism for a Change

Via Samizdata – Australia’s “multicultural spokesman” Andrew Robb told muslim leaders that they need to do more to publicly condemn terrorism. Whatever one thinks about the fairness of making Muslim leaders responsible for condemning terrorist acts, this is welcome news for the simple reason that Mr. Robb is the government’s multicultural spokesman. This has got…

The Great Communicator

Preparing for tomorrow’s discussion section in the class I TA I had occasion to read over some of Ronald Reagan’s speeches online. We’re talking about analogy and innuendo and how politicians use them (YAAAWWWWNNN), so I went to americanrhetoric.com to scout around a bit for source material. I ended up settling on using Rumsfeld’s Old…

Where Property Rights Come From

Noah has an interesting post nitpicking a bit with some arguments presented in Timothy Sandefur’s CORNERSTONE OF LIBERTY: Property Rights in 21st Century America. Noah’s complaint is that Sandefur falls victim to the naturalistic fallacy in his attempts to justify property rights. The idea is that Sandefur assumes that because private property is sought out…

Are Connectionist Networks Symbol Systems?

Yesterday in Philosophical Foundations of Cognitive Science the topic was Connectionist Networks. The discussion, rightly I think, focused on whether or not these are a different kind of model for Cognition than the Newell and Simon Physical Symbol System Hypothesis. The case that they are fundamentally different is superficially compelling. After all, the biggest problem…

Scheme Suicide Note?

Friedman gave me a bit of a shock today when he hinted that the new version of Scheme might be dropping set-car! and set-cdr! from the language. For those of you who don’t know Scheme (but should!) – these are ways of modifying the values of variables. Truly Lexically Scoped languages do not allow this.…