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Link Archipelago

February 7, 2010
  • Suicide Tourism in Switzerland: “Dignitas only helps foreigners. The number of foreigners Dignitas helps each year—132 in 2007, compared to 91 in 2003—has increasingly left the Swiss uncomfortable with the country’s growing reputation for ‘suicide tourism.’ As of the end of last year, Dignitas had helped a total of 1,046 people to commit suicide.”
  • Political Competition and the Median Voter: “Political competition, though no less vigorous [than market competition], is conducted on very different terms — and often ends up stifling innovation instead of encouraging it.”
  • Technology Can Remake Society: Thoughts on Roissy, Geoffrey Miller, Devlin and Tucker Max: “Welcome to the New Paleolithic, where tens of thousands of years of human mating practices have swirled into oblivion like shampoo down the shower drain and Cro-Magnons once again drag women by the hair into their caves—and the women love every minute of it.”
  • The US has 300+ million people. The other countries in the top 10 of the Index of Economic Freedom average 12 million. Outlier or marvel? Arnold Kling: “there are serious diseconomies of scale in governance. The larger the polity, the worse the ability to govern. Yes, some small countries are very un-free, but the most-free countries are all small…democracy is a very unreliable friend of economic freedom. The ability to vote with your feet is more valuable than the ability to cast a ballot. The trend in the U.S. is toward giving people less power to vote with their feet, as power becomes more centralized.”

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5 Comments
  1. Chris permalink
    February 8, 2010 1:54 am

    What in the heck did that weekly standard article bashing sexual promiscuity have to do with technology remaking society? I read a full 6 pages, and skimmed the last few, and I didn’t see anything except opinions on male-female sexual interaction. Am I to take it that the thousand nations bloggers are saying this is a result of technology?

  2. Mike Gibson permalink*
    February 8, 2010 3:41 am

    Yes, two points, the first more symbolic than the second.

    When the pill was invented, it was as if humans could suddenly fly. It’s a great example of how a small group of passionate and dedicated people can develop a technology and radically change the way the majority live their lives.

    The second point, tied to tech, is that economic growth and rising standards of living can lead to unpredictable changes in the manners and mores of society. Here’s a recent post by Robin Hanson forecasting the way sex and reproduction might change for our wealthier descendants.

    http://www.overcomingbias.com/2010/02/the-future-of-sex.html#comments

    A final thought: I disagree with the moral sentiments in the article, but I think it highlights an important trend. And I think this is the first time these bloggers have been covered in a semi-mainstream magazine. Albeit a conservative one.

    But I hear ya.

  3. Chris permalink
    February 8, 2010 10:57 pm

    Thanks for your response, I didn’t get the connection and was genuinely confused. I agree with your points also, they’re the same sort of reasons I’m hopeful for seasteading.

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