Friday, September 29, 2006

Happy Birthday, Ludwig von Mises

Today, September 29, 2006, marks the 125th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig von Mises. Although he has not been with us for quite some time, Mises inspires us regularly through his excellent writing about government, politics, and economics.

I love what Murray Rothbard had to say on the day of Mises's death:

When Mises died, and I was preparing an obituary, Professor Raico kindly sent me a deeply moving passage from Adonais, Shelley's great eulogy to Keats, that, as usual for Raico, struck just the right note in a final assessment of Mises:

For such as he can lend — they borrow not
Glory from those who made the world their prey:
And he is gathered to the kings of thought
Who waged contention with their time's decay,
And of the past are all that cannot pass away.

Of course, the Mises Institute and others are writing essays in his honor.

Mises on his 125th anniversary (J.G. Hulsmann)

Ludwig von Mises: Defender of Capitalism (George Reisman)

Rest in peace, Ludwig von Mises, you have not been forgotten, and your work was not in vain. Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito!

Update: The Mises Institute is selling Human Action: The Scholar's Edition for 20% for the next two days in Mises's honor. That is an absolute steal. And here is another link to more tributes to Ludwig von Mises.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Annan on the UN

I like how Mr. Ballor summarizes Kofi Annan's speech to the General Assembly of the UN yesterday:

“The United Nations is the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to utopia but through it.”

Pretty typical UN philosophy... Will they ever learn?

Nerd, geek, or dork?

You are a "Pure Nerd"

82 % Nerd, 47% Geek, 8% Dork

For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.

A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.

A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

You scored better than half in Nerd, earning you the title of: Pure Nerd.

The times, they are a-changing. It used to be that being exceptionally smart led to being unpopular, which would ultimately lead to picking up all of the traits and tendences associated with the "dork." No-longer. Being smart isn't as socially crippling as it once was, and even more so as you get older: eventually being a Pure Nerd will likely be replaced with the following label: Purely Successful.


Thanks Again! -- THE NERD? GEEK? OR DORK? TEST

My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on nerdiness
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on geekosity
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on dork points

Link: The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test written by donathos on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Trying new content formats...

The blog will be in flux the next few days as I am converting to full Blogger Beta. I'm still figuring out how to write effective html code... I probably should call my programmer brother instead of trying to figure it out all by my lonesome... [Hint!]

Monday, September 18, 2006

More great guitar...

Pierre Bensusan, one of my favorite guitar artists, has just released a new website. Go check it out for some free videos of him playing, some free sheet music, but no free mp3s (sorry).

DADGAD Music - Pierre Bensusan

I attended Pierre's concert in Austin nearly a year ago, and I'm telling you he sounds even better live than on his recordings. His sense of rhythm and use of sonority in his compositions is stellar. I wish I could go to one of his seminars and learn from him for a while!

Here are some of his CDs you can purchase from Amazon. I highly recommend each one:

Thursday, September 14, 2006


NERO: The Neuro-Evolving Robotic Operatives Game

I saw this random thing on Digg for a game about training robots to battle against other trained robots online. I checked out the site and found that it is a student project run at UT-Austin in our computer science department as an experiment in artificial intelligence. I am definitely checking this out!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Wales vs. Hoiberg on Wikipedia vs. Britannica...

... respectively.

The Wall Street Journal reports on an email debate between Wales of Wikipedia versus Hoiberg of Britannica on the value of open encyclopedias versus closed encyclopedias.

Top 10 (and a bit more) No Sympathy Lines

I admit, I've used one or two of these in my time too, but this is a good reminder of the TANSTAAFL Principle (There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch) and an inspiration to do well in your college classes.

Top 10 No Sympathy Lines from a Professor's Point of View

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Immortal Questions Answered

I often lie awake late at night pondering very tough questions... Lately, what has kept me from glorious sleep has been, “What would Snakes on a Plane be like if it had been written by Geoffrey Chaucer?”

I'm sure you do this too.

And you'll be relieved to know that there is an answer!

Here's another one I wonder about: what would have happened if Thomas Aquinas had written tabloids?

Thanks to my dear philosopher friend, Rod Long, for helping me sleep more easily.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Digger Woes

Techcrunch reports on the recent troubles of As one who is mainly a digg consumer, not a contributor, I am slightly distanced from this issue. Yet, I think I can appreciate how Digg is enacting these changes.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


I have now graduated into the next stage of scholarship. No, folks, I have not attained my PhD, nor have I published some grandiose paper, nor have I written a paradigm-changing book. This new phase of uber-intellectualism is none other than wearing glasses!

I'm quite pleased with them. I don't have a reading problem, amazingly enough, just a distance problem. So I won't even wear them all the time, I expect to use them during classes and presentations and while driving.

Soooo, take a look at that handsome guy... Sorry ladies, he is married...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

A cool way to educate yourself in American history...

I often think about the best way to educate myself in a subject. In history, I think I now have a pretty good idea of how to do so. The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History by Thomas Woods is, in my opinion, one of the greatest ways to learn about American history. The format is fairly simple, Woods takes topics from American history and demystifies them from all the politically correct crap that surrounds it. Here’s the table of contents:

1) The colonial origins of American liberty
2) American’s conservative revolution [note: he uses the word “conservative” here because it’s what people will understand readily, technically he’s talking about classical liberalism]
3) The Constitution
4) American Government and the “Principles of ‘98”
5) The North-South division
6) The War Between the States
7) Reconstruction
8) How big business made Americans better off
9) World War I
10) The Misunderstood Twenties
11) The Great Depression and the New Deal
12) Yes, Communist sympathizers really existed
13) The approach of World War II
14) World War II: consequences and aftermath
15) Civil Rights
16) JFK and LBJ
17) The Decade of Greed?
18) Clinton

… all in 246 pages. Given, he doesn’t cover everything in excruciating detail, but here’s the cool part – he has an extensive bibliography and at least 3 or 4 recommended “books you’re not supposed to read” (that is, what the PC folks don’t want you to know about) per chapter!

My recommendation would be to go through the entire book in no more time than 1 semester, preferably something like half a semester, but whatever. Then, you pick out some books that he recommends that interest you and do further research. Alternatively, you could go at your own pace and research topics of interest as you meet them. For instance, you get to the chapter on the Constitution and then take a week to read and study the aspects of it. Read some of the Federalist Papers AND the Anti-Federalist Papers (I beg of you to not read just the Federalist Papers, the more I’ve looked the more I think one should be aware of both sides). Afterwards move on through the book.

I think this would be an excellent way to do independent study or fun and different way to approach history in a homeschool or private school environment. I've already recommended it to two families, and both have reacted very postively.

If anything, you definitely should buy this book and learn about the history of this great country without all the PC garbage.

Monday, September 04, 2006

A quick post for today on one of my favorite new web apps...

Need some free online storage? How about, where you can get a gigabyte of storage for absolutely nothing. Zip, zero, nothing. Pretty nifty huh? This works really well for backups or other random files which you want available at anytime, anyplace where internet is available...

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Joss Whedon speaks on BSG

Joss Whedon, creator of such magnificent television as Firefly, had this to say about Battlestar Galactica:

I'm just sneaking in to say I've been continuing to watch BSG, the wife and I are about halfway through season one and gushing isn't gonna cover this one. You guys have heard me gush, so it won't have any real meaning. You have to imagine Pauline Kael bursting into song, Lionel Barrymoore In "Wonderful Life" jumping up and jitterbugging with George Bailey, the Grinch's heart growing three sizes... you gotta start down there to explain what it feels like up here. I'll put it simply. The show is humbling. Not since the Matrix (the first one) have I had such a strong desire to go to writing school. I think it's so passionate, textured, complex, subversive and challenging that it dwarfs everything on TV. Or in theaters. Or boho perfomances spaces. Stuff hanging in the Tate? Not as cool. I'm not gonna go on, because I have to get back to work and because if I really start, this post will crash the internet from sheer length. Only downsides are a) I was already having a crisis of confidence, thank you very much and b) I can't go near any Sci-Fi mags for fear of spoilers. Apart from that, life is to be loved. The Gods are to be praised. Back to the job. -j.

Coming from Joss, that means quite a lot. Mark your calendar for Oct. 6th, the air date for season 3!