Awake in the Night Land

 

From the staggeringly talented John C. Wright - an epic collection of four of John C. Wright’s brilliant forays into the dark fantasy world of William Hope Hodgson’s 1912 novel, The Night Land.

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From the ancient Greek for equality in freedom of speech; an eclectic mix of thoughts, large and small
Updated: 2 hours 37 min ago

The one knocking on the door

10 hours 5 min ago
The New Yorker traces the origins of “You will not replace us!” back to a cosmopolitan gay Gascon named Renaud Camus — no relation to Albert: In recent years, though, Camus’s name has been associated less with erotica than with a single poignant phrase, le grand remplacement. In 2012, he made this the title of […]

Leave the colonists to fend for themselves

Sunday, 10 December 2017 07:44
I would not call the foundation of American gun culture the “American Indian foundation of American gun culture,” but the Indians did have a clear influence: In England, there was no written, express guarantee of a right to arms until 1689, when Parliament enacted the English Bill of Rights. In America, arms rights were recognized […]

It starts much, much too early for me

Saturday, 9 December 2017 07:14
Studies have shown the benefits of later school starts, but what about really late school starts: Here we report on the implementation and impact of a 10 a.m. school start time for 13-16-year-old students. A four-year observational study using a before-after-before (A-B-A) design was carried out in an English state-funded high school. School start times […]

The class clown is onto something

Friday, 8 December 2017 15:45
Bryan Caplan’s The Case Against Education comes out soon, and he managed to get The Atlantic to publish a summary — which is sure to ruffle some feathers: How, you may ask, can anyone call higher education wasteful in an age when its financial payoff is greater than ever? The earnings premium for college graduates […]

Evolving towards ever-more-optimal and ever-more-efficient institutions for the good of all

Friday, 8 December 2017 06:51
Scott Alexander sees the idea of cultural evolution idea as a bit too optimistic: Like, there’s a perspective where lots of countries have a King, because societies that have a single central nexus to their coordination structure are able to coordinate better than ones that don’t, and having them rule for life promotes long-term thinking, and […]

Pearl Harbor Day snuck up on me

Thursday, 7 December 2017 12:06
Pearl Harbor Day snuck up on me. Here are some posts on the topic: World War II films aren’t about World War II A Whole Generation Rushing to Volunteer Surprise Torpedo Attack Whoever Controls Star Wars Duck Dynasty Escape from the Deathstar Jack Vance The Big Leak FDR’s foreign policy Asia First Captain Marvel Troops […]

They really, really didn’t seem prepared for crime

Thursday, 7 December 2017 06:57
Something kept seeming off about all the legal systems mentioned in Legal Systems Very Different From Ours, which only clicked into place for Scott Alexander about halfway through — they really, really didn’t seem prepared for crime: A lot of them worked on a principle like: “If there’s a crime, we’ll call together a court […]

All legal systems need a punishment of last resort

Wednesday, 6 December 2017 06:52
One of the most interesting things Scott Alexander got from Legal Systems Very Different From Ours is that all legal systems need a punishment of last resort — one that can be enforced whether or not the offender agrees with it — but these punishments practically never happen in real life: The Gypsies and Amish […]

Ordinary people blunder into highly advanced systems

Tuesday, 5 December 2017 07:47
Friedman’s Legal Systems Very Different From Ours and Scott’s Seeing Like A State — “the book G.K. Chesterton would have written if he had gone into economic history instead of literature” — both discuss cultural evolution and its magical results: In Seeing Like A State, ordinary people living their daily lives blunder into highly advanced […]

An account which is both amoral and alegal

Monday, 4 December 2017 06:51
Scott Alexander describes David Friedman’s A Positive Account of Property Rights as maybe the single most mind-opening essay he’d ever read. I came away with much the same impression. Read the whole thing, but here’s the last bit of the introduction: For all of these reasons, I believe it is worth attempting a positive account […]

He will break up the fight before they kill more men than they can afford

Sunday, 3 December 2017 07:08
Iceland, from the 10th through 13th Centuries, had a legislature (the Althing) and courts, but no executive branch: Unlike the Rom, the Icelanders’ problem wasn’t foreign oppressors — it was that they were the Viking equivalent of those hard-core libertarians who live in compounds in Montana where the Feds can’t reach them. In this case […]

The exotic anarcho-capitalist part comes in later

Saturday, 2 December 2017 07:02
Eighteenth-Century England had a government, a court system, and some minimal law enforcement, but the system seems ludicrously backward at first glance: There were no public prosecutors; anyone who felt like it could bring a criminal to court and start prosecuting him, but if nobody felt like it then the crime remained unpunished. Prosecuting took a […]

Peter Robinson interviews VDH about The Second World Wars

Friday, 1 December 2017 16:07
Peter Robinson of Uncommon Knowledge interviews Victor Davis Hanson about his new book, The Second World Wars: Hanson gave a longer, more in-depth talk at the Hoover Institute:

Have you seen broader American society?

Friday, 1 December 2017 07:56
The Amish form competitive dictatorships: The basic unit of Amish society is the church congregation; Amish settlements big enough to support multiple churches will have many congregations mixed together. Each congregation will have its own rules, especially about which technologies their members are or aren’t allowed to use. Amish people who violate their congregation’s rules, […]

There is no equality before the taxman

Thursday, 30 November 2017 15:52
This is no libertarian tax reform, but there are provisions that Veronique de Rugy of Reason really likes: Before breaking down these proposals, it is worth remembering that our current system is horribly complicated, making compliance costs exorbitant. It is incredibly unfair, extending privileges to some at the expense of others. There is no equality […]

Bulletproofing magic works

Thursday, 30 November 2017 07:50
Bulletproofing magic (gri-gri) works: Gri-gri comes in many forms — ointment, powder, necklaces — but all promise immunity to weaponry. It doesn’t work on individuals, of course, although it’s supposed to. Very little can go grain-for-grain with black powder and pyrodex. It does work on communities: it makes them bullet proof. The economists Nathan Nunn […]

There is also the phenomenon of government failure

Wednesday, 29 November 2017 15:10
The paradox of profits, Arnold Kling argues, is that while the profits that accrue to any given individual may be unjust, the profit system itself is necessary in order to have a modern, progressive society: Some people, like the management team that took over Freddie Mac in 2003, have enjoyed nice profits when they deserved […]

Just a bunch of Gypsies who got together and committed murder

Wednesday, 29 November 2017 07:44
While reviewing Friedman’s Legal Systems Very Different From Ours, Scott Alexander first turns to the Gypsies: Gypsies living scattered in foreign countries have generally wanted to run their own communities by their own rules. Nothing stops some of them from calling themselves a “legislature” or a “court” and claiming to make laws or pass sentences. […]

Handle’s theory of consolidation

Tuesday, 28 November 2017 15:39
Hayek claimed that local knowledge favors decentralization. Socialists hoped that cybernetics — what we’d now call “IT” — would overcome this problem. Handle thinks we’re just about there: IT and increasingly capable and sophisticated management information systems, which themselves benefit from massive economies of scale, and the management techniques they enable, has invalidated this argument. If […]

Whenever I read a book by anyone other than David Friedman about a foreign culture

Tuesday, 28 November 2017 06:53
Scott Alexander reviews David Friedman’s Legal Systems Very Different From Ours and really nails it: Whenever I read a book by anyone other than David Friedman about a foreign culture, it sounds like “The X’wunda give their mother-in-law three cows every monsoon season, then pluck out their own eyes as a sacrifice to Humunga, the […]

The Yawfle stares and stares and stares... at tech news, without the SJW shenanigans