Life, Eating Animals, and Ethics

Louis CK is one of my favorite comedians. In his latest Netflix comedy special, he said something to the effect that life is not that important. I think I agree. Hear me out.

I don’t mean my life. I mean “life” in general. It’s just not that important.

Of course, there are certain lives that are very important to me. But there are trillions and trillions of other lives that are not important to me. It would seem that on balance life is not that important.

Why aren’t they important? Because I don’t know those people or those animals or those other life forms. I haven’t bonded with them so that they gain some measure of importance to me.

I don’t want to hear about people getting murdered. I think, superficially at least, that it’s a moral outrage. Do I shed a tear? No.

Nor do I shed any tears for the plants, animals, and insect that are routinely slaughtered every second of every day, some of which end up in my stomach. I shed zero tears for them. In fact, I think they’re delicious and nutritious and have chosen that my life is important than theirs. That’s a fact.

Ethics, the science of morality, is important to me, but not for any religious or cosmic justice reasons, but because I value society with others, and behaving morally ensures that.

Do I value society with animals? Not really. I don’t even like my dog very much. It’s hard to like something that causes you allergy based discomfort. I probably wouldn’t shed a tear if my dog were killed. My kids certainly would.

Do I value society with animals that I find delicious? No. Of course not. I value their taste and the nutrition that they provide. That’s it.

And I obviously don’t value the hordes of insects I slaughter on a daily basis with my car. Who does?

Why is that alright, but eating animals not alright?

Life is murder. Every form of life murders other forms of life for survival. And that’s okay.

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Alternative Markets Saved Me a Boatload

I’m sitting here in the Salt Lake City airport about to board a flight to Phoenix to join a startup poised to disrupt the foreign/crypto exchange and savings markets.

My American flight to Phoenix only cost me $140. And my Delta return flight only $100.

The 2016 Accord Coupe I’ll be picking up for the week cost $290.

And my private room with full amenities and a pool cost $170.

That’s just under $700 for a 6-day, 5-night business trip. Not bad!

How’d I manage to save so much?

I used Skiplagged to find my flights, which are in actuality partial flights. I leave the trip after the first arm as the plane goes on to Vegas each way.

I used Turo to find a sweet ride and paid pennies on the dollar for it.

And I used Airbnb to find high-rated lodging with friendly and accommodating local hosts.

Each of these services is in the alternative market and have made major disruptions, saving customers millions.

I used to travel business a lot, and even a 3-day trip never cost less than $1,800 using traditional airline booking, Avis, and a hotel.

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Life is Shit and Rainbows

I don’t remember where I first saw that picture of a happy pile of shit sliding down a rainbow, but it was around a year ago. It spoke to me, so I made it my cover photo on Facebook. I’ve since added it Twitter and Google+.

One of my projects this past week was to update my personal website. I moved it to WordPress from Blogger and decided to keep it simple. I’d have only external links to various things that are a part of my life.

Front and center, however, I decided to use this shit and rainbow picture and make my site tagline, “Life is shit and rainbows.”

My kids love the picture also, as does my wife, but she was curious what it meant to me.

I think anyone alive can relate to this picture and my tagline. Life is indeed shit and rainbows. Maybe for some people, it’s mostly shit, and for others, it’s mostly rainbows. But I defy anyone to show me a person whose life did not contain both, however brief it may have been.

With the right attitude, rainbows are in store for everyone. It may be difficult finding them, but they’re there.

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Consent Should Be Obvious

The standard for consent should be a high level of obviousness. For example, this daredevil was gored nearly to death by bulls and has stated explicitly that he plans to partake in the experience again.

What can be more obvious than his consent here?

Contrast this to the begrudgingly way everyone remits their tax demands. Even when it’s made voluntary, most people prefer not to.

Ergo, taxation is theft.

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Spiting Putin, Banning Nukes

Sheldon Richman is spot on in his solution to preventing foreign meddling in American elections. Political power should be so weak that its inconsequential, and so what’s the point in meddling politically? (Meddling economically, on the other hand…)

Likewise, political solutions to banning nuclear weapons should make way to markets securing business partnerships in foreign lands. Deterrence only works because states are so involved in the political affairs of other states, rather than letting their markets do the talking and create “mutually assured wealth explosion” in the pursuit of nuclear disarmament.

It never fails, criminals forcing the rest of us into their crimes and to bear their costs, which is always economically ignorant and thus, short-sighted.

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Jobless Claims Rose Last Week, Cries the WSJ

Of course, that’s merely making headlines. Just three paragraphs in you get quite a different store:

“In short, claims remain low, consistent with the trend in employment growth remaining more than strong enough to keep the unemployment rate trending down,” Jim O’Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, said in a note to clients.

In other words, they’re trying to get clicks, not report the news.

In any event, unemployment is voluntary. There are thousands of available jobs in every market, but a person chooses to either work for less than they’re used to working, stop working, or to suckle at the teat of government. It’s all trade offs. When the teat pays more, you get more suckers. Removing the teat has the double benefit of restoring stolen funds to tax victims and increasing the incentive to take a pay cut or to try a new career. A win for everyone but the indolent, methinks.

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