My Hands Are Clean

Suppose someone accuses me of being a pickpocket.  I respond, “I have picked no pockets, therefore I am not a pickpocket.”  My accuser could naturally retort, “Oh yes you are, I have video evidence of you picking pockets on three separate occasions.” What would you think, though, if my accuser instead declared, “There’s a lot of pickpocketing in the world.  You’ve personally done nothing to stop it.  That makes you a pickpocket!”

The Price of Panic over COVID-19 (23m) – Episode 414

Episode 414 has Skyler giving his commentary on a new website he discovered called “The Price of Panic”. From their introduction: “The negative effects of lockdown are too often dismissed as small sacrifices, necessary to keep a highly deadly disease from spreading. These sacrifices are, in fact, neither necessary nor small, and the disease is only a threat to a minority of the population that can be protected without lockdowns. Sometimes, when major harms become hard to ignore, they are lamented as further damage caused by Covid, even though it is our panic-driven measures that are to blame. This is an effort to bring focus to the magnitude of suffering taking place around us because of lockdowns.”

Don’t Pickpocket Your Students

Imagine you’re a professor somewhere.  You here rumors of the creation of a new Office of Student Property Security.  “Whatever,” you think. Yet before long, you’re summoned to a brand-new mandatory training session run by certified officers of Student Property Security.  At this session (in-person back in the old days; now Zoom of course), they give you a tortoise-paced 90-minute Powerpoint presentation on the student property crisis and the appropriate faculty response.  And the whole spiel can be readily summarized in a single commandment: “Don’t pickpocket your students.” To me, such a training session would be insulting, pointless, and unhinged.

Capitalism, Communist Tax Evasion, Section 230, & Libertarian Congress (23m) – Episode 407

Episode 407 has Skyler giving his commentary on the following entries to r/shitstatistssay: @TikTokInvestors shares, “So capitalism is an economic system based on infinite ‘growth’ and infinite consumption…”; buttstuff_magoo writes, “In fact, not paying taxes is as communist as it gets. It’s free riding and profiting off of the contributions of others while contributing nothing yourself.”; Stunning_Capital writes, “I don’t see anything un-libertarian about repealing Section 230. These companies are protected from defamation suits on the grounds that they merely provide a public square. Well if they don’t want to provide a public square, that’s fine, but then they should be held liable for defamation just like the rest of us.”; and @omidG9 tweets, “Well one reason congress doesn’t work is libertarians don’t know how to run a government so they just blame the institution instead of themselves”.