URLs du Jour

2017-03-24

■ Proverbs 28:18 has some bad news for our politicians:

The one whose walk is blameless is kept safe, but the one whose ways are perverse will fall into the pit.

"Giant sinkhole swallows most of Washington DC. God blamed. Film at 11."

■ Don Boudreaux's Quotation of the Day at Cafe Hayek was (for yesterday) a quote from Hayek himself, on the 25th anniversary of his death. Comments Don:

Hayek’s great lesson is that each of us, individually, can know only an infinitesimally small amount of the knowledge the full use of which is required for any great and prosperous civilization to exist – but that, when we engage with each other under the laws of private property, contract, and tort (what Hayek called “the rules of just conduct”), each of us is led by this engagement to combine his or her speck of knowledge with the specks of knowledge of countless others in a way that causes this use of these dispersed bits of knowledge to produce and sustain a great and prosperous civilization.

Which reminds me: Richard Feynman was asked: if all scientific knowledge were somehow destroyed, and only one sentence could be passed on to the "next generation of creatures", what would it be?

Well, you can click on the link to find out. But if the same question were asked about economic knowledge, I think the quoted sentence above would be a pretty good one.

■ Bryan Caplan writes on Good Manners vs. Political Correctness. He's a foe of "political correctness", as are all decent folk. But:

These days, however, I'm also often appalled by the opponents of political correctness. I'm appalled by their innumeracy. In a vast world, daily "newsworthy" outrages show next to nothing about the severity of a problem. I'm appalled by their self-pity. Political correctness is annoying, but the world is packed with far more serious ills. Most of all, though, I'm appalled by their antinomianism, better known as "trolling." Loudly saying disgusting things you probably don't even believe in order to enrage "Social Justice Warriors" further impedes the search for truth - and makes your targets look decent by comparison.

I'm disappointed and (somewhat) surprised by conservatives who think that it's appropriate to emulate the worst tactics of their opponents.

■ Not that it doesn't sometimes work the other way. Katherine Timpf reports on the progressive doin's at Gustavus Adolphus College: College ‘Diversity Council’ Admits to Posting Fake Racist Flyers On Campus. The College Fix has a Facebook post with an example:

Ms. Timpf comments:

Hey, kids? If you want to “help put an end to bias-related incidents that happen on our campus,” how about you address those incidents instead of distracting from them by making up a fake one? Seriously — just what is bringing awareness to a fake issue going to solve? It’s not going to help solve that issue, because — and sorry if I’m blowing your mind here — a problem has to actually exist in order for you to be able to solve it.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has a slightly different take: Torn down ‘Report Illegal Aliens’ posters at Gustavus Adolphus College turn out to be art installation criticizing anti-immigrant attitudes

The posters deployed by activists at Gustavus Adolphus aren’t imaginary or far-fetched; they’re duplicates of earnest posters being propagated at campuses across the country. Similar posters — which, unlike the Gustavus Adolphus posters, included the address of a white supremacist website — were recently removed by police at the University of Maryland. Others have been found at George Washington University.

FIRE goes on to note (however) the irony of Gustavus Adolphus administrators being pleased that (some) students tore down the signs and reported on the "hate speech" of their fellow students.