Do We, Now?

On a whim, I started watching the live stream of the Republican National Convention just moments ago. I was well rewarded:

“And we have the ingénue-ity [sic] to develop alternative sources of energy too.” — Condoleezza Rice.

The World Cup

For several years I was mildly curious about soccer. It seemed odd that the whole world but the U.S. followed the sport fanatically. I made it a point to catch a game or two on TV, to see if I was missing something.

Years later, my curiosity had shifted. I no longer wondered why the U.S. didn’t appreciate soccer. I wondered what the hell the rest of the world saw in it.

Eventually, I read an article somewhere that offered a plausible hypothesis. The writer, a neoconservative, I seem to remember, argued that soccer, low-scoring, slow-paced, circuitous soccer, was a sport apropos the goal-disoriented, crypto-nihilistic foreign mindset. Europeans or Africans, for example, are satisfied to cheer at a public nothing happening furiously for ninety minutes, just because they are satisfied to shrug through a private nothing happening placidly for threescore and ten years. The American mindset, in contrast, stresses man’s power to shape the world to suit his purposes. Likewise, when nothing is happening in his life, an American seeks to make something happen. When nothing happens in his sport, he wants a refund.

For the past few years, I have begun to wonder whether World Cup fever might not be catching over here. I seem to be overhearing more soccer-fan conversations. This year, it has been more pronounced than ever. It’s depressing to consider: maybe we’ve finally become Europeans.

I hope this is just a harmless case of pessimistic confirmation bias.

Capitalists, Note Well

[Hayek] argues that markets generally do not reward “merit.” That is, the people who become wealthy in the marketplace do not do so, for the most part, because they are somehow “better” people than those who are not as wealthy. [Merit is] not what the market rewards. The market rewards the creation of value in the form of providing goods and services that other people want. Period, end of sentence.

Something to keep in mind. From The Freeman Online via STR

A Sense of Proportion

The chancellor at Indiana University-Perdue University Indianapolis has apologized for accusing a janitor there of “racial harassment.”

Some are no doubt unsatisfied with the university’s apology, thinking it too little, too late. I think we should not get ahead of ourselves. We must maintain a sense of proportion here. Calling for the resignation of all key figures involved, or anything like that, would be inappropriate.

No, if the university were serious about redressing its mistake, not only would every official responsible for the accusation, the lateness of the apology, or its obvious insincerity be asked for his resignation, but all of the following measures would be implemented as well:

Continue reading A Sense of Proportion