Try Before You Know

Conducting an experiment to explore what works > Making a religion out of every newly discovered self-improvement technique.

In design thinking, there’s a process known as “Proof of Concept.”

This is when you create a pilot version of a project in order gauge your idea against the feedback of some real world experience.

This works not only for developing products, but also for developing your self.

If there’s new book you’re on the fence about buying, find a podcast interview or YouTube video of the author talking about the ideas. If that experience makes you want more, then you have your proof of concept. You now have a better indication that you’ll enjoy the book. If the experience makes you bored or irritated by the author’s communication style, that might be a good indicator that your time is better spent elsewhere.

If you’re considering a new approach to exercising, commit to trying it out for one week. That might be too soon to notice visible results, but it’s not too soon to notice how it makes you feel. Does it make you want more? If so, try two weeks. Does it make you feel less inclined to work out? If so, maybe it’s time to put something new to the test.

Marriage is a wonderful practice, but not everything in life needs to be approached as if it’s a marriage.

Instead of making a lifetime vow to eat a certain way, to get up a certain amount of time, to read a certain number of books, to work a specific set of hours, and so on, try the art of trying things out.

There’s no need to declare a dogmatic opinion about all your strategies and techniques. Being open-minded is good enough. You can get the rest of the information you need by taking a little action and measuring how that makes you feel.

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Jared Interviewed on the Everything Voluntary Podcast (34m) – Episode 005

Episode 005: Jared was a guest on the Everything Voluntary podcast in May 2018. With host Skyler Collins, they discussed the following topics: the Pacific northwest, career electrician, second marriage and dating, his political journey, Jack Spirko, Stefan Molyneux, Austrian economics, Lysander Spooner, challenging jurisdiction, Larken Rose, cognitive dissonance, outgroup bigotry, and more.

Listen to Episode 005 34m, mp3, 64kbps)

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Tucker Carlson Needs Love from His Leaders

Fox News host and Trump cheerleader Tucker Carlson is a culturally conservative, big-government, nationalist populist. As such, he’s upset that establishment politicians and their sponsoring elite don’t care enough to promote his and his fellow Americans’ happiness. (See his recent commentary.)

That’s weird. Why would he want them to?

Timothy Sandefur has exposed Carlson’s failure to grasp that individual freedom and its spontaneously emergent arena for peaceful voluntary exchange — the marketplace — make possible what Carlson insists he values most: “Dignity. Purpose. Self-control. Independence,” which Carlson correctly identifies as “ingredients in being happy.” In his view, those who oppose government interference with markets, that is, with our freedom to engage in mutually beneficial trade, prefer material things to higher goods like family and “deep relationships with other people.” That’s ridiculous: freedom is a higher good, and it underlies other higher goods.

But that’s not all that Carlson fails to grasp. Among other things, he misses the distinction between the libertarian’s appreciation (not “worship”) of markets and corporatism, or anti-market government support for favored business interests, such as tariffs and direct subsidies. He also engages in what I call the dark art of the package deal by assuming that America’s global empire and free markets are integral to a single rational political doctrine. On the contrary, war, big military budgets, and deficit spending make markets less free.

Let’s look at Carlson’s major complaint: that America’s so-called leaders (Trump excepted, I suppose) don’t love us. He spends a good deal of time whining about this. Rather than demand that our (mis)leaders get out of our way and leave the pursuit of happiness to us through private consensual interaction, Carlson calls on the politicians to care for us and even to make us happy. Why he doesn’t find that prospect disgusting is beyond understanding. Politicians could only do what Carlson asks by deciding what ought to make us happy and by forcing us to obey them. Thanks, Tucker, but no thanks.

“They [“members of our educated upper-middle-classes” whom most politicians represent] don’t care how you live, as long as the bills are paid and the markets function,” Carlson writes. Really? Then why does the elite-controlled government prohibit all kinds of peaceful conduct? For example, why does it impose behavior-distorting taxes, tariffs, occupational licensing, land-use restrictions, and intellectual-property rules, all of which impede economic mobility and harm families? Carlson disparages the private pursuit of wealth as detrimental to the pursuit of cultural values, but he ignores that prosperity can relieve the pressures that obstruct the cultivation of those values. He believes that marriage and family are paramount, but costs of government interference with private economic activity can take a toll on those institutions.

When Carlson disparages private decisionmaking in the marketplace, he shows himself to be in bed with the ruling elite. Contrary to his position, “market forces” don’t “crush” families; the government does. America’s problem is not an exaggerated desire for iPhones and “plastic garbage from China.” It’s political power.

In recent years the oppression of people who engage in victimless acts has diminished in some ways, for example, through the legalization of marijuana in some states. For Carlson, however, this is bad: “Why are our leaders pushing [marijuana] on us? You know the reason. Because they don’t care about us.” Carlson forgets that people have voted for legalization. But in his view, removing a restriction on liberty is equivalent to promoting what he regards as a vice. Freedom be damned. Remember, this is the same guy who claims to value dignity, purpose, self-control, independence, and family. He sees little relationship between those things and freedom, and anyone who does understand the relationship is impugned as a shallow materialist who cares little for his fellow human beings.

“The goal for America,” Carlson says, “is both simpler and more elusive than mere prosperity. It’s happiness…. But our leaders don’t care.”

Note the two problems here. First, “America” as a collective should not have goals. Goals are for free people to set, individually and within families and voluntary communities, according to their own values. Second, looking to “leaders” to promote our happiness means trusting rulers over free persons.

Carlson is an elitist in populist clothing.

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LGBT is Now a Movement to Control People

I would’ve considered myself a supporter of most LGBT values and goals up until 3 years ago. Anyone who knew me before then  knew very well that I strongly believed in treating gay people with respect and for them to have equal rights. However, 3 years ago I went from ally to an opponent of LGBT causes.

I want people to live by their preferences. If government has marriage, I believe it should be extended to all sorts of preferences (gay, polygamy, etc.). I also desire gay people to not be treated horribly on the cultural level.

3 years ago the LGBT movement accomplished every possible noble cause it had. Gay people can get married, and most of society treats gay people with respect. Anything else the LGBT movement can accomplish is likely to be absolute trash and government tyranny.

At the cultural level I want people to experience a base level of respect and honor. We have accomplished this. To try to cure bigotry in a small minority of people would require incredible tyranny. We are well passed the point of cultural victory for sexual preferences. Some people will be an ass, but asses exist for everyone and LGBT people don’t have a special right to not have to deal with the assholes everyone has to deal with.

Every goal that I see under the banner of LGBT today is about forcing people to have certain values through government violence. LGBT is now purely a movement that is trying to control people and take revenge on values they don’t believe in. I, obviously, think that is shit. The LGBT movement won its last noble cause 3 years ago … all that is left is victim peddling, and tyranny.

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America’s Sharia Law

One of the reasons I hear coming from “conservatives” for invading and occupying Islamic countries is so “they” won’t take over America and force Sharia “law” on “us”. You know, kind of an extension of the “fight them there so we don’t have to fight them here” excuse.

True, have no wish to live under such a brutal and primitive, and painfully stupid, system. But doesn’t that mean we should deal with the mote in our own eye and get rid of our own version of Sharia “law” too? Otherwise we are just being hypocritical. Again.

Sharia law is no more obscene than most of the counterfeit laws in America. Kidnapping and murdering people over plants? Or chemicals? Or because they refuse to facilitate their own muggings? “Laws” based on what people claim their god wants?

If we refuse to put up with being ruled by Sharia “law”, why don’t we refuse the US equivalent and refuse to tolerate drug laws, gun lawssex lawstax laws, seatbelt laws, property codes, obscenity laws… and the list goes on almost infinitely to embrace any and all “laws”, based on a religion, which attempt to control or regulate anything other than actual aggression or theft.

Sorry, but if your god approves of the War on Politically Incorrect Drugs, or government sanctioned (or prohibited) marriage, or 99%+ of the rest of the things that “The Law” concerns itself with, your god is a monster. And if you continue to follow your god (whatever name you call him) in spite of his monstrosity, then you are no better. And if you think it is a good idea to impose “laws” like this, and enforce them against your neighbors who may not share your religion, you should be happy with Sharia “law”. As for me, I’ll take liberty and respect yours as well.

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Jared’s Journey, Spooner, & Cognitive Dissonance (34m) – Episode 108

Episode 108 welcomes Jared Nordin to the podcast for a chat with Skyler. Topics include: the Pacific northwest, career electrician, second marriage and dating, his political journey, Jack Spirko, Stefan Molyneux, Austrian economics, Lysander Spooner, challenging jurisdiction, Larken Rose, cognitive dissonance, outgroup bigotry, and more.

Listen to Episode 108 (34m, mp3, 64kbps)

Show Notes

Jared Nordin, Facebook Profile
Jared Nordin, “My Philosophical Toolbox
Lysander Spooner, Collected Works
Scott Alexander, “I Can Tolerate Anything Except the Outgroup

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