Patterico's Pontifications

1/8/2016

The System Itself Is the Problem

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:19 am



You learn something new every day. Yesterday, while beginning Part 1 of Murray Rothbard’s history of economic thought, I learned the origin of the phrase “paradigm shift.” It’s a phrase I have used many times in my life without knowing its origin. I think it has some relevance to how we ought to think about politics, and I’d like to discuss it here.

The concept of a “paradigm shift” was brought into public parlance by Thomas Kuhn, a historian of science who published a radical book in 1962 titled The Structure of Scientific Revolution. In the book, Kuhn challenged the prevailing assumption that science had always proceeded in a linear fashion, in which the state of human knowledge always improved as great scientists added to a growing body of knowledge. By contrast, Kuhn argued, scientists typically settle upon a “paradigm” to describe their observations. Any observations that do not fit the current paradigm are considered anomalies that will some day be explained within the paradigm, as soon as someone can figure out how to do so.

Except that, every so often, a radical thinker comes along and challenges the entire paradigm, suggesting that the anomalies are not mere unsolved puzzles that will one day be explained by the current conception. Instead, these radicals suggest that the entire paradigm is flawed, and a new paradigm is needed. The new paradigm, being new, will also have anomalies, since every new paradigm does. But if the new paradigm better explains known anomalies, then ultimately there is a “paradigm shift” — and everyone starts viewing the world through the prism of a new paradigm.

The, um, paradigmatic example of this is the Copernican view of the solar system. It left plenty of things unexplained — but Kepler and Newton later came along to fill in the gaps. The thing is, even though Copernicus could not explain everything, there was no moderate, restrained way to move from a geocentric model of the solar system to a heliocentric model.

The previous way of looking at things was fundamentally broken, and a paradigm shift was needed.

I think there is a parallel here to our politics.

Many Burkean conservatives are wedded to the notion that we must improve things within the system. Gradual improvement is all we can hope for: building upon the past to improve the future, one election at a time.

But many other people are waking up to the idea that it doesn’t seem to matter whether Republicans or Democrats are in control. Government gets bigger either way. The debt increases either way. New entitlements are passed either way. Our children’s future is crippled either way.

It is a natural reaction to this distressing scenario to blame either the policies of the government . . . or, increasingly, the people involved in the system. To conclude that the problem is the character of the people in the system. That we need to replace those people with Better People. This is the central message of the giant buffoon currently leading Republican polls. To the extent that there is a coherent complaint articulated by a minority of his mostly uninformed and vacuous supporters, that complaint can be summed up in one phrase: we need to get competent people in government.

I would like to propose that you consider the possibility — not necessarily accept it as true, but just consider the possibility — that the problem is not the people in the system.

The problem is the system itself.

I suggest that what we need is a paradigm shift in the way we look at politics. We need to understand that the individual actors in the system — businesses engaged in rent-seeking; politicians bestowing favors as a thinly disguised quid pro the quo of campaign donations; voters who elevate their lofty intentions over reality because there is no reason to educate themselves on the consequences of their preferred policies — all these people are acting rationally, within a flawed system that actually encourages all this socially destructive behavior.

The only solution is to pass as much responsibility as humanly possible from our flawed system into the one thing that can replace it: the free market. Whenever we look at the possible social benefits of entrusting the government with control of an area of our lives — look how it improves schools! health care! the economy and employment! — we need to understand that the same system inevitably is exploited by rational actors whose actions, in the aggregate, harm society badly.

You can’t understand the solar system by thinking the Earth is the center of the universe. And you can’t fix society by thinking that we need better ways for government to fix society, or better people in government.

We need a paradigm shift.

146 Responses to “The System Itself Is the Problem”

  1. Have you read any Moldbug?

    I agree that the problem is the system itself, and am curious to see where you go with this.

    scrutineer (905d41)

  2. For more on “paradigm shifts” in science, I suggest you check out the excellent series “The Day the Universe Changed” by James Burke. There are many such examples throughout history.

    Darth Chocolate (347432)

  3. we have to get back to regular order

    right after we hand nancy and food stamp everything they’ve ever dreamed of

    happyfeet (831175)

  4. 86 baseline budgeting would be a huge shift in saving the govt. from itself.

    mg (31009b)

  5. The Founders provided a solution, it’s called the 10th amendment.

    ropelight (268f4d)

  6. i missed this

    here’s
    what I think is a full transcript of Mr. Senator Ted Cruz running circles around petulant NPR propaganda fag Steve Inskeep on the subject of climate change

    INSKEEP: Do you question other science, like evolution?
    INSKEEP: Do you question other science, like evolution?
    INSKEEP: Do you question other science, like evolution?
    INSKEEP: Do you question other science, like evolution?

    lol

    happyfeet (831175)

  7. And, SO, Mister Snotty, WHOM do YOU suggest can change the system
    towards a more Free Market approach
    BETTER THAN “the giant buffoon currently leading Republican polls”?!?

    TRUMP 2016. Because he’s the best shot at doing EXACTLY WHAT YOU SUGGEST IS NEEDED.

    Kauf Buch (b3071a)

  8. @Kauf Buch:Because he’s the best shot at doing EXACTLY WHAT YOU SUGGEST IS NEEDED.

    When a little old lady refused to sell her house to Trump, he got Atlantic City to condemn her house and take it by force. Yeah, that’s a free marketeer.

    Gabriel Hanna (3d8e32)

  9. when Republican voters went to the polls to say they were sick of uncontrolled immigration stealing jobs and degrading living standards, sleazy wiscopervert paul ryan opened the floodgates to millions of feral diseased “guest workers”

    happyfeet (831175)

  10. Ratified August 18, 1920 the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. Nothing has been the same since. Perhaps it’s just a coincidence it coincides with the beginning of the mad march of progressivism through our government and society but I doubt it.

    Talk about your paradigm shift.

    Rev. Barack Hussein Hoagie™ (f4eb27)

  11. While I don’t disagree with your fundamental premise, I think I view the problem a bit differently. We got to where we are through a number of decisions over the decades that eviscerated many of the fundamental concepts that our country was founded on. And you can see this continuing to happen in areas like intellectual property rights, and the absurd monopolies that are being “granted” by the government.

    This matters because it impacts what remedies are likely to work. For instance, arguing for free markets, when we have a regulatory state of the current size and scope, is unlikely to be enough.

    FedUp (e1ff48)

  12. Ideas like paradigm shifts tend to get reified*. That’s the reason I’ve never been comfortable with the idea, not necessarily because of anything Quine said about it, but because of where others have tried to take it.

    I think the concept is already accounted for by Karl Popper. He points out that until you have a scientific theory in place you can;t do anything with your experiments or observations, because you don’t know what’s relevant. A new theory might bring other experiments or observations into relevance.

    A good example is Maxwell’s theory or electromagnetism. Experiments on magnets wouldn’t seem to tell you anything about optics, before Maxwell. And Einstein’s special relativity actually is contained in Maxwell’s equations, provider you interpret them the way Einstein did.

    *Fallacy of reification:

    LIANE: Doctor! Did you find out what’s wrong with him?

    DR. DOCTOR: I’m afraid he’s… running out of time.

    LIANE: Why?? What’s wrong with him??

    DR. DOCTOR: It’s his time. It’s …running out.

    LIANE: Well what does he need?

    DR. DOCTOR: He needs to have more time.

    LIANE: What can we do?

    DR. DOCTOR: Well, I suppose we could try a time transplant. I’ll have to call in a specialist.

    LIANE: It’s going to be okay, baby. We’re going to get you more time.

    Gabriel Hanna (3d8e32)

  13. The thing is that the Constitution is literally a piece of paper. It can’t keep us safe. If tomorrow, we all pretended it didn’t exist, and we formally installed Barack Obama as our God Emperor, nothing in that paper would prevent it.

    Democracy is going to work as well as the people who compose it want it to work. The Constitutional system can make decay slower, as well as retarding progress (whatever you think progress and decay mean). But it’s not going to do the work for us any more than you can quit smoking by hiding your cigarettes from yourself.

    I don’t think Americans particularly want government as the Founders understood it. It’s possible they never did, most of them.

    Gabriel Hanna (3d8e32)

  14. Trump may be a buffoon, but he is the only one saying stop what you are doing, it’s wrong. You have to stop first before you can change direction.

    bud (b48f3e)

  15. @bud:he is the only one saying stop what you are doing, it’s wrong.

    Yeah, but he doesn’t mean any of it. It’s not even lies, it’s just bullshit.

    His campaign is part of his being a celebrity. Actually getting elected President is just a bonus, it’s not even the point.

    The proof is in how little of his own resources he’s put in. His campaign is going no differently from Kanye West’s if he chose to run.

    Gabriel Hanna (3d8e32)

  16. The government of the future will consist of a computer, a man, and a dog. The computer will run the country, the man will feed the dog, and the dog will keep the man from touching the computer.

    Johnny Mustard (7537d3)

  17. Hoagie mentioned Women’s suffrage (19th amendment) as one possible paradigm shift, but I think the 17th is more telling.

    The Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution established the popular election of United States Senators by the people of the states. The amendment supersedes Article I, §3, Clauses 1 and 2 of the Constitution, under which senators were elected by state legislatures…

    This change drastically reduced the influence of State governments in the Federal system, which removed the only effective check on Federal expansion. Without the combined force of the States to maintain a balance of power the Federal government was able to ignore the 10th amendment and grow unchecked into the monster now infringing on our individual Constitutional rights.

    The Federal bureaucracy has become so arrogant they think nothing of deceiving the people, using agencies like IRS and NSA to suppress political opposition and collect data on individual citizens, they impose unlimited regulations without Congressional approval, they spend money like drunken sailors and leave our children and grandchildren to pay the bills, they consort with the enemy, lie to the public, and refuse to keep or release records of their activities, all this and so much more.

    I put the rise of the totalitarian regime at the point state government was eliminated as the only real check on the lust of Federal government to expand.

    ropelight (268f4d)

  18. TO Gabriel Hanna

    Is THAT all ya got, chump?!
    You can find cr*p like that on EVERY candidate.
    Smearing Cruz would be a cake walk compared to going against Trump.

    Kauf Buch (b3071a)

  19. It’s called the Second Coming. The Communists call it Utopia. When everybody lives together in peace, love and understanding and nobody strives to accumulate wealth and power at the expense of his neighbor. I’m all for it.

    nk (dbc370)

  20. The paradigm shift that happened was going from a vestige of Judeo-Christian belief and worldview to thinking we would be better off thoroughly rejecting God and doing as we dam*ed well pleased.

    The most fundamental paradigm is whether we are responsible ultimately to ourselves
    Or to an authority greater than ourselves.
    Anything that ignores that is rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

    MD in Philly (not in Philly) (deca84)

  21. @Kauf Buch:You can find cr*p like that on EVERY candidate.

    There are no other candidates who have built buildings with their own name on them.

    Smearing Cruz would be a cake walk compared to going against Trump.

    A revealing choice of words. What Trump did is a fact, not a smear. Yes, you could make up stuff about Cruz, and that would be easy: easier than trying to make a crony capitalist look like a free-market-supporting Tribune of the People.

    Trump is another Obama. People are seeing what they want to see in him. If he gets elected, we’ll get to find out which 5% of Trump voters were right about what Trump would do, and the other 95% will get to find out they were the chumps.

    Gabriel Hanna (3d8e32)

  22. Trying again, last version got moderated:

    /8/2016 @ 4:56 am

    The thing is that the Constitution is literally a piece of paper. It can’t keep us safe. If tomorrow, we all pretended it didn’t exist, and we formally installed Barack Obama as our Emperor, nothing in that paper would prevent it.

    Democracy is going to work as well as the people who compose it want it to work. The Constitutional system can make decay slower, as well as retarding progress (whatever you think progress and decay mean). But it’s not going to do the work for us any more than you can quit smoking by hiding your cigarettes from yourself.

    I don’t think Americans particularly want government as the Founders understood it. It’s possible they never did, most of them.

    Gabriel Hanna (3d8e32)

  23. The moderation algorithm doesn’t object to “God”, does it? Or does it object to “Barack Obama”?

    Gabriel Hanna (3d8e32)

  24. The paradigm has existed for 1,985 years. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    nk (dbc370)

  25. TO Gabriel Hanna

    Your non sequiturs are amusing but irrelevant.
    Your equating Trump and Obama confirms NO ONE should take you seriously.

    Kauf Buch (b3071a)

  26. I think the fundamental issue is whether humans are our own final authority,
    Or are we subject to an authority higher than ourselves.

    We are subject to the law of gravity, everything we do needs to humbly bow before it. We may make rockets, planes, and skyscrapers,
    But we need to make them within the constraints we are under.

    Is the moral universe similar in this regard as the physical universe?

    MD in Philly (not in Philly) (deca84)

  27. ropelight @3:09 a.m. is closest.
    It would be more the 9th Amdt than the 10th; but both are reflections of the actual paradigm shift that took place a century before the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.
    There’s no need to look for a new “shift”. Just give the one from 1689 a second sporting chance

    Yuri (dbad0d)

  28. Well, he was not saying that Trump and Obama have the same views or political ideology,
    He was saying that they are similar in the respect that a lot of people listened to Obama and believed what they wanted to hear,
    And that the same will be true of Trump if he gets elected.

    I think there is some merit in that.
    Obama always thinks he is the smartest in the room on everything,
    I think Trump would be the same way.

    MD in Philly (not in Philly) (deca84)

  29. @MD in Philly:Is the moral universe similar in this regard as the physical universe?

    No. Physical laws cannot be disobeyed. Moral laws can. The two concepts are entirely different despite the same word, “law”, being used to described them.

    We have no free will with respect to physical law. We may have with respect to moral law, depending on what theology you adhere to.

    Gabriel Hanna (3d8e32)

  30. Yes, when people are acting collectively in f*ed up way, it takes a shock to the system to change it. A shock that must challenge and change the underlying assumptions to how the actors interact.

    Ergo, Trump.

    Took a whole book to explain that?

    Rodney King's Spirit (3adc86)

  31. And, SO, Mister Snotty, WHOM do YOU suggest can change the system
    towards a more Free Market approach

    ….

    TRUMP 2016

    Mr. All Caps,

    Clearly the candidate proposing a 45% tariff on Chinese goods is the free market messiah we need.

    Patterico (74f607)

  32. The Free Market solution is the problem within the problem. Government should NEVER be allowed to do 90% of ANYTHING. All or none, because the corruption inherent in that 10% left to ‘partners’ is the golden calf. The Free Market weeds out bad actors – eventually – but the golden calf hides the trough, until its too late, because it IS the trough. Personally, I prefer the ‘none’ option.

    So, persons get disgusted, and throw rocks at everything outside the paradigm. Particle theory, AI, new energy, everything – Trump shoots holes in the trough, so he’s fair game too. Everyone else merely wishes to shrink the trough, or screw it, make it a swimming pool. Trump’s trough is a good start – a better-managed trough. Prosperity has a way of reducing the nattering piques for all but the perpetually unhappy.

    We’re stuck with fallen humankind. Free Market is the lesser of two evils.

    Martin (769f76)

  33. Paradigms are a metaphysical phenomenon, independent from God (or “Truth” or “Physics”) while tethered and dangling from an unbreakable string.

    “Free Will”, “Free Markets”, or the “Ego” writ large.

    An emergent ideological perception among humans and societies, dependent and subject to its vagaries and distortions. It is driven by an instinctual need to make sense of the world, thus achieving “Sanity” (acceptance).

    So it is no surprise for those from within an Established Paradigm to label those from without as “Insane” and vice versa.

    The contesting Paradigms are resolved ad infinitum by God, sometimes through violence, sometimes through reason, sometimes through accident, but never conclusively unto the day of Judgement. So no, Evil by whatever name like “Communism” will never “End” until we experience Armageddon.

    That there is no Final Resolution, however, does not mean that the pendulum will not swing.

    Copernicus is an idol – a vehicle – through which historians (aren’t we all?) view one such “Paradigm Shift”, the Heliocentric model and its principles. In fact, Heliocentrism goes back millennia before even the Ancient Greeks, Mesoamericans, Egyptians, etc. It is true that Heliocentrism has dominated as often as it has receded, much as the Moon waxes and wanes, possibly owing to primal mysticism; an instinctual affinity for the Sun in the sky – like bees using that same brilliant orb as the reference for their environment.

    It is an emergent genetic or societal instinct…

    …a Paradigm.

    In Western Civilization, the Copernican “Heliocentric” Paradigm did not supplant the Ptolemaic “Geocentric” Paradigm through a Narrative. Clean Narratives like Copernicus and Galileo are always fraught with convenience and colored by contemporaneous distortion. Paradigm shifts are not morality plays with chapter and verse of orderly turnover, themselves “Historic Paradigms”. This Shift didn’t occur because of one or two people, or even a group of vindictive Astrologists who demanded the Church uphold the Establishment by censuring Galileo.

    Far from it.

    Rather, the Paradigm Shift occurred as a consequence of thousands and eventually millions of people, among whom “Insane” knowledge became prevalent in the commons – knowledge that allowed wider dissemination and a plethora of tools to test the validity of the dominant Paradigm against its competitor – and ultimately against the “Reality” in God’s favor.

    That knowledge is now called “Math”.

    The language of Mathematics spawned a revolutionary bounty: Lens making and metal working. Ships and Trade routes. Banking systems and Currency. Architecture and Warfare. These professions and others, agents and practitioners of Math, unknowingly spread “Insanity” which undermined the established Paradigm, allowing for “Proof” and “Disproof” on an omnipresent scale, even as the establishment depended on such knowledge to prosper.

    From tradesmen and artisans, to money-changers and merchants, navigating seamen and warrior tacticians, Math became a “Skill”, a “Tool”, “Knowledge”, rather than “Magic”. More and more people used it because they needed it to thrive, and those who thrived were envied, emulated. The more successful it became, the faster it spread. Eventually, even the Astrologists and the Church followed suit with the rising tide.

    The Paradigm Shift Patterico refers to did not come about through the accomplishments of any one man no matter how brave or brilliant. People like Copernicus, Galileo, Columbus, etc, were as much symptoms of the Shift as they were its leaders and most ardent purveyors. Because the Paradigm and ideology itself was engendered and emerged from a culture of individuals, from professions across the spectrum of society who could break the code, test the “Truth” for themselves, and spread the gospel of what they found even to those less fluent yet eager to prosper.

    Like sympathetic harmonics forming spectra into a crescendo, a climax signaling the end of something – and the beginning of something else.

    Is there a Paradigm Shift happening today?

    How is it being disseminated?

    And how might the new Paradigm emerge?

    Who is Copernicus?

    Who are the Astrologists?

    The Church?

    Will it fail and wind up in the dustbin of history?

    And if it prevails, how long will it last?

    Rykehaven (d6b74c)

  34. “We need to understand that the individual actors in the system — businesses engaged in rent-seeking; politicians bestowing favors as a thinly disguised quid pro the quo of campaign donations; voters who elevate their lofty intentions over reality because there is no reason to educate themselves on the consequences of their preferred policies — all these people are acting rationally, within a flawed system that actually encourages all this socially destructive behavior.”

    – Patterico

    Yup. I’ve been saying that for years. Been saying all of these things for years. Can I get an “always trust content from Leviticus”?

    Leviticus (efada1)

  35. Prosperity has a way of reducing the nattering piques for all but the perpetually unhappy.

    Martin, the United States has been the most prosperous country for the last 100 years and the only thing being reduced is our Liberty and the only thing we’ve really increased are those “perpetually unhappy” bastards the colleges keep churning out.

    Rev. Barack Hussein Hoagie™ (f4eb27)

  36. Newt was speaking of paradigm shifts 20 years ago, they have him the Giordano Bruno treatment and then it was back to business as usual.

    narciso (094d9b)

  37. Thre points:

    1) I was aware of Thomas Kuhn’s book at least as far back as 1995, when I bought a copy, and I had heard of this idea before. But people miss things.

    2) The central message of the giant buffoon currently leading Republican polls is not we need to get competent people in government but we need to get competent people in government who are not governed by political correctness, and political correctness, as exemplified by not wanting to discriminate on the basis of race or religion, and not wanting to spy, or to waterboard, or wanting to support human rights abroad, or not making alliances wit terrible regimes, is causing a lot of things to go wrong.

    3) Yes, government is exploited, and that cannot be changed, but what can be changed is, if the right people get in office for a short period of time – what can be changed is elections can become more competitive, and there can be less of there being a single address that lobbyists can attempt to influence.

    The lobbying, on both sides, always avoids the best solutions, by the way.

    For instance, with campaign finance, we need dollar for dollar tax credits for campaign contributions, or even rebates that give people back more than what they contributed – yes, more, although it could be as little as an additional5% and have a low cap, like a maximum of $25 extra – and larger contribution limits so that politicians are not spending all their free time calling donors and raising money in other ways, and can get started quickly.

    For all of the small contribution limits, there are nevertheless sources where a politivcian can get a large amount of money at one time, like political parties and PACs, and bundlers, but there are too few of them. We also get things completely besides the point on gun control – both sides. On many things. The best solutions are not convenient for anybody lobbying. In the case of the estate tax, why not exempt non-liquid businesses or houses, or anything that would need to be sold that does not have areadily ascertainable market price.

    And of course you need a free market in education or medical practice – pressure always works best from the bottom up.

    Sammy Finkelman (dbec95)

  38. Patterico, I’m glad you read the Kuhn book. It’s a very important view of how science changes…or doesn’t change.

    The problem with politics is that it truly is not evidence based, but entirely based on slogans and emotions and ego nowadays. Maybe always.

    Reagan’s quote about politics being the oldest profession is correct. A necessary prostitution, maybe.

    But here is the thing. Change is either evolutionary or revolutionary.

    The former is slow. The latter is bloody.

    What continues to amaze me are folks who think that the system must crash…and yet not consider the incredible damage done by this, and the almost certain backlash *against* their goals if the crash did occur. If a crash happened, there is no guarantee that a market and freedom based result would arise from the ashes.

    Those of us with children think about this. Everyone should.

    It’s really no different than the communist knuckleheads in the 70s and 80s (sort of like Bernie) who insist it would be different this time…

    We live in sadly interesting times.

    Simon Jester (5dda81)

  39. You are not likely to change anything for the better by proclaiming that 30-40% of the people who are in many ways in agreement with you are “uninformed and vacuous”.

    mark johnson (c02ab4)

  40. The trouble with the Cpernican theory has been written about:

    http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100305/full/news.2010.105.html

    Galileo Galilei was right: Earth moves around the Sun, just as Nicolaus Copernicus said it did in 1543. But had Galileo followed the results of his observations to their logical conclusion, he should have backed another system — the Tychonic view that Earth didn’t move, and that everything else circled around it and the Sun, as developed by Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe in the sixteenth century

    The biggest reason is that the stars have apparent disks, making them too close for there not to be parallax visible, but there wasn’t.

    Galileo was also wrong about the tides:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/earth/galileo-big-mistake.html

    By the way, 1500 years before Copernicus, (but before Cladius Ptolemy) somebody else had it right, or at least felt that there was a model that could be built that was simple:

    http://sitsshow.blogspot.com/2015/10/2000-year-old-greek-analog-computer.html

    Sammy Finkelman (dbec95)

  41. Point taken, Simon but the reality is the system revolts against reform in a viral way.

    narciso (48ecae)

  42. Can I get an “always trust content from Leviticus”?

    Leviticus, because you do lean left, do you truly think people should have faith in your perceptions of good/bad, right/wrong, of basic reality in general?

    Mark (f713e4)

  43. #33 Newt was speaking of paradigm shifts 20 years ago, they have him the Giordano Bruno treatment and then it was back to business as usual.

    You don’t get sudden paradigm shifts in government and society without revolution. And for that you need lots of death and totalitarianism.

    Rodney King's Spirit (3adc86)

  44. Clearly the candidate proposing a 45% tariff on Chinese goods is the free market messiah we need.

    he went to wharton

    he definitely knows better than this

    this must be one of his clever ploys, pretending like he’d do this

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  45. Rykehaven (d6b74c) — 1/8/2016 @ 7:08 am
    Interesting post, actually more interesting than the time I will likely have to consider it today.

    Gabriel Hanna (3d8e32) — 1/8/2016 @ 6:24 am
    Hmmm, I thought I was generous in pointing out how your comparison between Trump and Obama works, instead of joining in how it didn’t.
    Of course you are correct in pointing out that physical laws need to be obeyed while moral laws are frequently broken,
    but the parallel I was trying to point out was whether the laws of the universe are things that are dependent upon us or are outside of us.

    But to return to it, while physical laws “must be obeyed”, there are ways we work to make an apparent disregard, such as lift and thrust overcoming gravity.
    In the moral world, perhaps it looks like we can break the moral law, but perhaps it is simply that the consequences of breaking it are simply not as immediate and direct.

    MD in Philly (not in Philly at the moment) (deca84)

  46. hf, Cruz did a nice job of eviscerating Inskeep (your #6). I suppose the WaPo is just as useful as the LaT for wrapping up the entrails. Curiously, Inskeep appeared to be completely unaware of the vivisection that had just been performed.

    This is a remarkable contrast to GOPe responses to issues that require some understanding of the subject. A paradigm shift, no less.

    BobStewartatHome (a52abe)

  47. The viral element, introduced according through the cra and other methods that took down the system.

    narciso (6b5b0b)

  48. Its just a fleshwound for him, bob.

    narciso (6b5b0b)

  49. @MD in Philly:there are ways we work to make an apparent disregard, such as lift and thrust overcoming gravity.

    They’re not “apparent disregard”. The law of gravity does not say that things can’t go up, or that things shouldn’t. Lift and thrust don’t “overcome” gravity: gravity is always in full effect at all times.

    You’re taking something you don’t know very much about, and using it inappropriately as a metaphor for something it doesn’t fit at all.

    It’s not culpable to not know much about gravity; people studying it all their lives don’t know as much about it as they wish they did. I don’t know much about medicine. What you are saying about gravity is about like if I were to say that people get sick because their humors are out of balance, and that’s why it’s so important to have a sense of humor.

    I thought I was generous in pointing out how your comparison between Trump and Obama works, instead of joining in how it didn’t.

    That’s kind, but I prefer that you agree with me only when I say true things that make sense to you, and disagree only when I don’t; that’s how I treat you, and everyone else who comments here.

    Gabriel Hanna (64d4e1)

  50. From one perspective culture is more fundamental than politics. Can the culture make a positive change, evolutionary or revolutionary, without yet reaping more of what has been sown.

    I’m not at all eager for a crash, the upheaval and suffering is likely beyond my comprehension,
    but it is not up to me which way it will go.
    That does not mean we won’t do our best to do our part.

    MD in Philly (not in Philly at the moment) (deca84)

  51. Yes one can escape gravity, but not for long periods, the cyclical nature of booms and busts operate the same way.

    narciso (6b5b0b)

  52. I did agree when things made sense, the “being generous” part was that I was looking for the aspect of the analogy/comparison that did work,
    rather than pointing out the inadequacy of the analogy
    (all analogies are inadequate of pressed too far).

    Gravity is a force that pulls things down, to be crude about it. Lift and thrust must “overcome”, i.e., be greater than the force pulling down for a plane to stay aloft.

    No??

    MD in Philly (not in Philly at the moment) (deca84)

  53. Amen. Everything wrong with America and its politics can be directly attributed to deliberate changes that were made to fix things.

    Ropelight is right about the 10th amendment, for example, but until the 100 yr old 17th amendment is repealed the states don’t have the power to assert themselves outside of limited legal challenges after the fact. The system we created seems virtually immune to the kinds of changes that are needed.

    Dismantling the national leviathan of state in favor of free market individual responsibility takes so many off the government gravy train that it’s hard to see how it will ever happen. That’s the real 3rd rail.

    crazy (cde091)

  54. An economist, philosopher and historian are all sitting at a table talking about Rothbard.

    The economist says “I really like Murray’s philosophy and history, but he wasn’t a good economist.”

    The philosopher says “I really like Murray’s history and economics, but he wasn’t a good philosopher.”

    The historian replies “I really like Murray’s economics and philosophy but he wasn’t a good historian.”

    — Bill Bradford (I think)

    Milhouse (8489b1)

  55. What was fundamentally wrong with Rothbard, in my view, was that he was willing to make arguments he knew were wrong as long as they led to what he considered the right conclusion.
    David Friedman

    Milhouse (8489b1)

  56. Here’s my short form history of political paradigm shifts:

    1215: Magna Charta, the King has a duty under law to his subjects.

    1776: The Declaration of Independence, rights (under law) are endowed upon the individual by his creator (the creator not specified.)

    1848: Marx published Communist Manifesto, popularizing the notion that rights are endowed on the collective.

    1861-1865: The American political experiment is purged of slavery, at a cost of 750,000 killed.

    1906 – 1920: Elitist politicians discover that applying the “progressive” wrapper to all sorts of ideas, some populist, but also including eugenics and hardcore racism, allow them to win elections.

    1941: FDR, freedom from want and fear are now rights, entailing giving up some old fashioned rights. Soft socialist policies are employed throughout the FDR Presidency to combat the feared popularity of communism. It is later learned that FDR was surrounded by Soviet operatives.

    1947(?): Joseph Stalin, summarizes the state of democracy in the world as “Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the vote decide everything.” “Landslide” Lyndon Johnson takes note, and begins his climb to power. The Chicago machine delivers 100,000 votes from deceased voters, many of whom voted in alphabetical order at their local precinct, to deliver the 1960 election to JFK, with LBJ as his running mate. No one cares.

    1955 – 1972: Mao applies communism in a serious way to China. Mass slaughter and starvation characterize this nearly perfect implementation of Marx’s ideas. Those expressing any concern about this process are the first to go, and their deaths are dragged out for months in the public square.

    1963: JFK pays off the Chicago unions by unionizing public employees, most significantly the teachers. College Board scores peak in 1963, and decline steadily thereafter. In 1992, the College Board adds 200 points to all scores to hide the decline. Subsequently, the College Board changes the test entirely to obscure any future comparisons.

    1999: The Gift of Fear points out that we need to trust ourselves when we sense fear. Thomas Sowell reinforces the value of experiencing “want” as a way of learning about the need to contribute productively to the economy. Regrettably, this potential paradigm shift is largely ignored.

    2008: A community agitator from Chicago gets elected on a platform of Hope and Change. All previous history and knowledge is discounted and intentionally ignored. The new President tours the world apologizing for America’s role in freeing almost everyone from tyranny, inventing the polio vaccine, wiping out malaria with DDT (temporarily,) inventing nuclear power, and hundreds of other things. Utopia beckons. But the tyrants take note of this child-man in the oval office.

    BobStewartatHome (a52abe)

  57. Righteous post. Kuhn’s book is still fundamental epistemology, no library should be without a copy.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-01-07/2016-oil-limits-end-debt-supercycle

    Our global economy runs on energy the price of which has fallen to half its cost of production. This fact will remain into 2017 at least.

    Our world views are about to change.

    DNF (755a85)

  58. A captious person might argue that the free market has brought us to our predicament. Start with whichever ascendancy of the merchant class you like — whether the Industrial Revolution or the Renaissance or earlier. The free market wants to expand — both its market share and its organization. It also wants to maximize its income. Further, historically, it has not been content with mere economic power but has used it (the economic power) to purchase political power. At some point, government becomes its instrument, customer and marketing tool. Crony capitalism supported by a new form of trade guilds, the public employee unions. The Venetian condottieri or British East Indian Army now the military-industrial complex and police.

    But I don’t want to get ahead of Patterico’s argument. Patterico, what specific free market changes do you propose?

    nk (dbc370)

  59. “Two Coffees in Heaven”

    Having arrived at the Gates of Heaven, Barack Obama meets a man with a beard.

    ‘Are you Mohammed?’ he asks.

    ‘No my son, I am St. Peter; Mohammed is higher up.’ Peter then points to a ladder that rises into the clouds.

    Delighted that Mohammed should be higher than St. Peter, Obama climbs the ladder in great strides, climbs up through the clouds and comes into a room where he meets another bearded man.

    He asks again, ‘Are you Mohammed?’

    ‘Why no,’ he answers, ‘I am Moses; Mohammed is higher still.’

    Exhausted, but with a heart full of joy he climbs the ladder yet again. He discovers a larger room where he meets an angelic looking man with a beard.

    Full of hope, he asks again, ‘Are you Mohammed?’

    ‘No, I am Jesus, the Christ; you will find Mohammed higher up.’

    Mohammed higher than Jesus! Man, oh man! Obama can hardly contain his delight and climbs and climbs ever higher.

    Once again, he reaches an even larger room where he meets this truly magnificent looking man with a silver white beard
    and once again repeats his question:

    ‘Are you Mohammed?’ he gasps as he is by now totally out of breath from all his climbing (Ed note: and all the lung darts).

    ‘No, my son, I am Almighty God, the Alpha and the Omega, but you look exhausted. Would you like a cup of coffee?’

    Obama says, ‘Yes please!’

    As God looks behind him, he claps his hands and yells out: “Yo, Mohammed, two coffees”

    Colonel Haiku (467f23)

  60. BobStewartatHome (a52abe) — 1/8/2016 @ 9:11 am

    I consider the Renaissance and the Industrial to make all of yours, with the exception of the Civil War, mere footnotes, Bob. The Civil War is very significant. It proved the failure of the Founders’ vision. A republic which must be held together by the death of 750,000 people in an all-out civil war is not a republic.

    nk (dbc370)

  61. 45. “You’re taking something you don’t know very much about, and using it inappropriately as a metaphor for something it doesn’t fit at all.

    It’s not culpable to not know much about gravity; people studying it all their lives don’t know as much about it as they wish they did.”

    What a pretentious pseudoliterate A-hole.

    DNF (ffe548)

  62. @MD in Philly:Gravity is a force that pulls things down, to be crude about it. Lift and thrust must “overcome”, i.e., be greater than the force pulling down for a plane to stay aloft.

    No??

    No. Satellites for example have no lift or thrust and stay aloft just fine with gravity being the sole, and unopposed, force on them. But that’s not the point.

    You are saying that disobeying laws has negative consequences. You are citing physical laws, which cannot be disobeyed in any way, as an analogy.

    No one can “break” or “defy” or “escape” or “challenge” physical laws. Those sound like plausible constructions if you think of a physical law as analogous to a command from a sovereign, like a “legal” law is, or like a moral law is command from God (to some).

    But physical laws are not commands from on high, they are mathematical statements of how reality works.

    Gabriel Hanna (64d4e1)

  63. @DNF:What a pretentious pseudoliterate A-hole.

    Do you think name-calling will persuade others to your point of view? Have you even stated one in this thread?

    Why bother to make a comment like this? What did you contribute?

    I think you’re making yourself fit the name you applied to me, but others will decide that for themselves, I don’t need to actually call you it.

    Gabriel Hanna (64d4e1)

  64. It’s very culpable not to know enough about gravity. That’s how legs and other things get broken.

    nk (dbc370)

  65. But physical laws are not commands from on high, they are mathematical statements of how reality works.

    Ha, ha, ha. Ok, that’s so simple-minded it’s funny. Physical laws are absolute commands from on high, immediately self-enforcing, and existing without any need of mathematical statements or any other kind of statements.

    nk (dbc370)

  66. 58. Case in point, a Platonist explaining an empirical process, e.g.:

    “You are citing physical laws, which cannot be disobeyed in any way, as an analogy.

    No one can “break” or “defy” or “escape” or “challenge” physical laws.”

    Virtual pairs of matter and antimatter are produced equally in boson spontaneous annihilations(save the graviton being too weak to be observed doing so) captures with symmetry-breaking instance of certain weakon creation of mesons.

    This is thought to be the explanation for our universe consisting only of matter; when it condensed out of a neutrino/boson soup a slight preference for matter in one pair creation out of scores or more gave us order.

    DNF (755a85)

  67. Your equating Trump and Obama confirms NO ONE should take you seriously.

    Really? Perhaps you can poin to the differences, then. Trump is exactly like 0bama. He is selling hopenchange.

    Milhouse (8489b1)

  68. Well he’s pushing achievable objectives, not pie in the sky unicorn dust.

    narciso (732bc0)

  69. nk, I somewhat agree, but the Magna Charta was the single document that pointed from the Renaissance to modern government. And the Renaissance may have been nothing more than the happy accumulation of wealth during the medieval warm period coupled with a few novel technologies. It also marked the disruption of the Catholic Church’s ascendancy, which led to increased development throughout Europe. The Declaration of Independence was the apex of the Age of Reason, and I rather doubt the Industrial Age would have amounted to much if England and the U. S. weren’t established with their traditions and laws. Progressive thought was simply the repudiation of the Declaration’s ideas, and it is based on the elitism that has so mangled our political process, aka: mother knows best, so shut up, and FDR’s “a chicken in every pot” appeal to distressed citizens.

    Your comments on the “free market” are basically acknowledging that the free market revolutionized the development of efficient means of production, which accelerated the accumulation of wealth. This wealth, alas, can be misused as it always has been historically. But unlike past regimes that experienced an increase in “wealth”, say Spain in the 16th Century with its loot from the Americas, this increased wealth has also improved the lives of ordinary people. The powerless, slovenly, drug-addicted bums living under the I-5 in Seattle have access to material things, including medicine, that would be the envy of Kings two centuries ago. This enhanced creation of wealth spread through society could not have happened under regimes like those of Louis XIV, particularly if the English hadn’t been competing with the Catholic kingdoms.

    BobStewartatHome (a52abe)

  70. @64:Physical laws are absolute commands from on high, immediately self-enforcing, and existing without any need of mathematical statements or any other kind of statements.

    So you agree with me that physical laws are almost, but not quite, entirely unlike moral laws in every way in which the good doctor wished to use them as a metaphor.

    Gabriel Hanna (64d4e1)

  71. Bob, I think where we might disagree is at what the point the free market should be fettered (or whether it should be fettered at all), because I acknowledge all its benefits, foremost improvement in quality of life which allows the greatest possible number of people to live beyond a hand-to-mouth existence. The successes of Soviet communism were abolition of hereditary class distinctions and the opportunity to rise within the system on one’s own personal abilities and talents. Its failures were breakfast, lunch and dinner. 😉

    nk (dbc370)

  72. Interesting the way underlying biases come out in what should be the easiest of discussions.

    MD in Philly (not in Philly) (deca84)

  73. @Md in Philly:what should be the easiest of discussions.

    In what way does this discussion strike you as easy? The whole system is broken, is the title, and none of the people here can agree on what is wrong, much less how to fix it.

    I think if it were obvious to everyone that the system is broken and what the solution is, then there wouldn’t be a discussion at all.

    Maybe you’re thinking that it IS obvious to the right-thinking, and only the wrong-thinking don’t see it? I don’t accuse you of it, just asking.

    Gabriel Hanna (64d4e1)

  74. @nk:the opportunity to rise within the system on one’s own personal abilities and talents.

    I wouldn’t give them that much credit. Merit as we understand it didn’t count for much with them.

    Gabriel Hanna (64d4e1)

  75. No, Dr. Hanna. I agree with MD that even though the violation of moral laws is not immediately felt like a broken tibia, they are just as important and their violation is as perilous, if not more perilous, as violation of the physical laws. I further agree, if that was also MD’s point, that although we can adapt our environment to get around the physical laws for our convenience, we cannot do that with the moral laws. There are no handrails; no skidproof floor coatings.

    nk (dbc370)

  76. There is one way,
    And one way only,
    That I suggested physical laws and moral laws are similar,
    That being whether they have their origin in human abilities,
    Or whether their origins and existences are outside of human agency,
    And human agency can only learn of them and apply them.

    BTW,
    I think that is beyond proof one way or the other in our present existence.
    The best one can do is make a choice and follow the consequences
    And see if you can live with them.

    MD in Philly (not in Philly) (deca84)

  77. Thank you, nk,
    If I win the presidency,
    I will let you split press secretary responsibilities
    With Mark Steyn,
    Depending on whether I want to be explained
    Or just mess with the press corps.

    MD in Philly (not in Philly) (deca84)

  78. @nk:violation of the physical laws… we can adapt our environment to get around the physical laws

    Right, you cannot give an example of anyone or anything doing this. It is a fundamental category error, like “leather sunrise”. Everything you said is an example of understanding how the laws work, but none are an example of “defying” or “disobeying” them or even choosing to “obey” them. They are at all times and everywhere “obeyed” through no one’s and nothing’s choice.

    @MD in Philly:whether their origins and existences are outside of human agency

    That’s an interesting question, because I have no example of a universe to study that has no human agents in it. So I have no empirical basis on which to say one way or another.

    There actually are experimental ways to see if the laws of nature change with time and place, but no way to see if the laws of nature might change if humans don’t exist; all we can see is that there doesn’t seem to be evidence that they were different before we came along.

    And human agency can only learn of them and apply them.

    I can go with you this far, certainly.

    Gabriel Hanna (64d4e1)

  79. Neither I nor MD claimed that the physical laws can be disobeyed. I claim that the moral laws are no more tolerant of violation than the physical laws.

    nk (dbc370)

  80. Actually, having a universe to study without human agents in it would not necessarily help answer this question at all.

    You are either missing the point or refusing to acknowledge the point.

    MD in Philly (not in Philly) (deca84)

  81. I am sorry for my role in diverting this discussion from the main hallway into the argument clinic..

    MD in Philly (not in Philly) (deca84)

  82. Heh! I suppose if I sit along in my room and do not go to the Cabaret to hear the music play, I will be in less of a danger of breaking my leg and the Seventh Commandment, both. 😉 But that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re discussing a better form of government. Which necessarily involves our participation.

    nk (dbc370)

  83. Trump is exactly like 0bama. He is selling hopenchange.

    But one key difference is that What’s-His-Name has intrinsically ultra-liberal, “goddamn-America” sentiments, whereas Trump, if anything, has biases more along the lines of America-First-love-it-or-leave-it, infused with plenty of squish-squish, probably influenced by being in the middle of (and having grown up with) a ton of New-York limousine liberalism.

    Mark (8fe6db)

  84. My 10:54 am comment went into moderation. Oh, well. I can take a hint even if it is only from the spam filter.

    nk (dbc370)

  85. nk, I have little faith that anything the government does, particularly if it has significance in the creation or distribution of wealth, can be protected from the worst forms of corruption. One of the most discouraging events in recent times is Congress’ inability to discipline the IRS for its intimidation of conservative groups. The crime that was committed didn’t grossly impair the political process, but allowing it to fester does. Our government is supposed to have checks and balances, but this appears to be a false hope. If this was just a matter of personalities, then I wouldn’t be so concerned. But it looks to be structural. Concerns about this date back in my lifetime to Ike’s warnings about the “military-industrial complex”. It also raised its head in the transcontinental railroad 150 years ago, and those perversions continued into the modern era with freight tariffs, union rules, and monopoly protections.

    So this leads me to believe that the Federal government must be as small and insignificant as possible. The EPA, Army Corps of Engineers, and the BLM/FWS/USFS, should be either cut back to 25% of their present size, or disbanded entirely. The Federal government should sell 80% of its land in the West, and it should dissolve all the agencies that serve as instruments for asserting political power locally. This is especially true for those agencies that have been training and arming SWAT teams. They should be dependent upon local law enforcement for their protection and operation, and if they can’t trust the local cops, then they need to look to their own behavior to understand why the locals despise them. And the Federal Gulag, and all of its servants like Judge St. Eve and Judge Ann Aiken, should be shrunk or fired.

    The great thing about our republic in today’s world is that travel from one state to another is a trivial thing. Votes cast by someone’s feet cannot be altered to suit the needs of a corrupt gang of politicians.

    BobStewartatHome (a52abe)

  86. Gabe just came for abuse.

    narciso (732bc0)

  87. @nk: I claim that the moral laws are no more tolerant of violation than the physical laws.

    State a moral law. I can go out and immediately disobey it. There will, you argue, be negative consequences later.

    State a physical law. If it is a physical law I will be unable to do anything different from what it says I can do.

    So your claim is completely false.

    Gabriel Hanna (64d4e1)

  88. @narcisco:Gabe just came for abuse.

    Might as well have.

    Gabriel Hanna (64d4e1)

  89. Absolute bunk, Gabriel.
    I don’t care if your IQ is 180 and you have 10 PhD’s from elite schools,
    You are claiming that an apparent lack of evidence for “A” means”A” is definitely not true.

    Simply invalid.

    MD in Philly (not in Philly) (deca84)

  90. Perhaps the good doctor means to say that moral laws are all not of the form “X cannot be done” but rather of the form “doing X eventually results in result Y”. Therefore the fact that X can be done doesn’t invalidate them. But to my mind it makes them no longer moral laws at all; if I decide that the result is worth it there’s no reason why I shouldn’t do X.

    Milhouse (8489b1)

  91. Gabriel Hanna (64d4e1) — 1/8/2016 @ 9:34 am

    DNF’s remark was not for you, Gabriel. It was for the like-minded, and I concur.

    felipe (b5e0f4)

  92. MD in Philly (not in Philly) (deca84) — 1/8/2016 @ 11:56 am

    Md, IQ is a funny construct. I “tested” at 180. You are being overly generous, once again.

    felipe (b5e0f4)

  93. MD in Philly (not in Philly) (deca84) — 1/8/2016 @ 10:47 am

    You were right the first time, MD: He is missing the point.

    felipe (b5e0f4)

  94. Regarding Federal Property rights and legislative jurisdiction…

    It took me some time to find a scholarly legal analysis to corroborate my intuition regarding the original intent of the various clauses in the constitution related to Federal property rights and legislative jurisdiction that I find to be directed toward Federal police powers and pre-Statehood activity exclusively, which have been misconstrued to justify Federal acquisition of massive amounts of property for any twisted rationalization.

    I will somewhat paraphrase portions from the short article and link the document at the end.

    (1) Art. 1 Sec. 8 Clause 17. aka the “Enclave clause”: To exercise exclusive legislative jurisdiction in all cases whatsoever, over such district (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards and other needful buildings.”

    – The provisions of the “Enclave Clause” are not to be confused with two other historical Constitutional issues regarding exclusive legislative jurisdiction as applies to lands only while in a territorial state:

    (2) Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2: aka the “Property Clause”: which applied only to the “western wastelands”- territories east of the Mississippi that were ceded to the federal government by the original States;

    “The Congress shall have power to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to prejudice any claims of the United States, or of any particular state.”

    (3) Article II, Section 2, Clause 2- aka the “Treaties Cause” granted the ability to acquire new land outside the original boundaries of the United States. These (lands) were to be governed under the Rules of International Law while in a territorial, pre-State status. (This applied to Florida, Louisiana and the lands west of the Mississippi acquired through international treaty.)

    – Both of these exclusive federal legislative jurisdiction arrangements were supposed to apply only to lands while in pre-statehood territorial status, and were not to survive statehood. Under the equal footing doctrine, new states were to be admitted on an equal footing with the original States. Ceded (“public”) lands within the new Eastern States were temporarily retained only in regard to proprietary ownership by the federal government, as a trustee until the lands could be disposed of into private hands and the States completed in their sovereignty. Although ownership of “wastelands” in the far West has been claimed by the federal government on the basis of terms and conditions imposed through Enabling Acts for statehood, the status of political jurisdiction over lands within a Western State’s borders is SUPPOSED to be on an equal footing with that of the Eastern States.

    here is the link for more.

    http://famguardian.org/publications/propertyrights/exclufed.html

    Jester (5cd903)

  95. The EU is fining Donald Trump for not buying co2 credits per their global warming scheme…

    The Environment Agency, which is responsible for enforcing the European Union’s emissions trading scheme (ETS) in the UK, has issued Donald Trump a £1,610 ($2,339) penalty for “failure to surrender sufficient allowances to cover annual reportable emissions”.

    possibly the $100 million Boeing 757 he uses as a private jet

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  96. It’s not the AB32. It’s the thousand other predicate laws, fines, and permits. They threw in everything and the kitchen sink just so when people woke up to put a stop to this stuff, can’t do it in one fell swoop. It will be like clearing a river of Asian carp.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  97. Most of us have heard of Copernicus but few, I presume, have a mental image of the great Renaissance mathematician and astronomer. Let me help. To his contemporaries, he looked a lot like “the giant buff**n” of whom you speak. The good news is that the paradigm shift you are hoping for is well underway; the bad news is that the buff**n seems to be leading the way. That is, in a nutshell, the problem with paradigm shifts.s

    By the way, there are no bad people, only bad incentives. You may find the supporters of the buff**n distasteful, but they are the ones rejiggering the incentives.

    ThOR (b81f2a)

  98. @felipe: It was for the like-minded, and I concur.

    Save it for the plains apes impressed by tribal loyalty. Truth is not a team sport.

    This thing you guys do where you make one sentence derogatory comments about other people, without engaging the argument, is the least attractive quality this community has.

    Not to say you’re all bad people; you’re not, better than most. But the Mean Girl stuff is tiresome.

    Gabriel Hanna (64d4e1)

  99. @MD in Philly:You are claiming that an apparent lack of evidence for “A” means”A” is definitely not true.</.u

    That has no resemblance to anything I have actually written.

    I'm saying that physical law can't be compared to moral law in the way you are trying to do, because it's a category error. It's like saying freedom is heavier than succotash.

    Gabriel Hanna (64d4e1)

  100. Jester (5cd903) — 1/8/2016 @ 12:38 pm

    This is all complete nonsense, but I haven’t got time for a thorough fisking today. Maybe Sunday, if I get to it. Or maybe someone else will do the job.

    Milhouse (8489b1)

  101. “All complete nonsense”.

    Spoken like a lover of the lumbering leviathan. On the payroll or just enjoying the subsidy?

    Jester (5cd903)

  102. No, it’s like asking which is heavier, a pound of Freedom or a pound of succotash.

    Rev. Barack Hussein Hoagie™ (f4eb27)

  103. If anyone other than Gabriel Hanna wants further clarification,
    Just ask.

    MD in Philly (not in Philly) (deca84)

  104. social sciences don’t operate exactly the same as physical sciences, but the impact is close enough in broad strokes, likewise the transgression of moral laws have a aggregate effect,

    narciso (732bc0)

  105. If I knew how to draw Venn diagrams in a comment perhaps it would be clearer.
    If the physical universe that can be “touched” is all that there is,
    Then the likely answer is no to my query.
    If there is a “something” of Reality bigger than what is touched, which includes morality, Spirit, and whatever existed before the material universe began,
    That is the question.
    It cannot be answered definitively now
    One can choose which answer best fits the hints given and live with the consequences.

    MD in Philly (not in Philly) (deca84)

  106. If you can’t get along with MD, look internally for the issue. Imperious and condescending must not be a quality that some people are able to recognize in the mirror. This happened with Patterico as well.

    JD (28f2b1)

  107. This particular paradigm shift appears to be cyclical in that any time socialist policies and programs reach a tipping point the house of cards collapses.

    dunce (32e46c)

  108. the cra revisions, along with the nudge from subsequent DOJ and HUD heads, created ‘the thrust’ behind the subprime bubble, but it ultimately fell to earth,

    narciso (732bc0)

  109. @JD:If you can’t get along with MD

    A funny notion of not getting along. He has been perfectly civil to me and I to him. It is other commenters who have not been, and I have not responded to them in kind.

    Imperious and condescending must not be a quality that some people are able to recognize in the mirror.

    Tone is notoriously difficult to interpret from text. Calling someone an A-hole is not; what adjectives would you apply to that?

    Gabriel Hanna (64d4e1)

  110. @Rev’m Hoagie:No, it’s like asking which is heavier, a pound of Freedom or a pound of succotash.

    This is a better way than I put it.

    Gabriel Hanna (64d4e1)

  111. the physical and spiritual worlds aren’t on the same plane, they may run parallel to each other,

    narciso (732bc0)

  112. Welcome to the light, Pat. The republic as we knew it is done, it’s a matter of how we replace it. Hopefully, we will not have terms dictated to us by those who refuse to acknowledge the God of Abraham’s central role in our lives.

    It will be most interesting to see the new monetary system which is invoked. Who will be made the losers, holding on to worthless debt? This is the first new paradigm to watch. Either we ruin the Fed, or the Fed ruins us. Not that we don’t deserve ruin, now. We’ve well earned such.

    Will God give us what we deserve, or lead us into a new and prosperous age?

    Ed from SFV (3400a5)

  113. Ed, God always gives us better than we deserve. He loves us so much! It is we who deny one another justice.

    felipe (56556d)

  114. Ultimately, yes, but the path is narrow and winding to that point,

    narciso (732bc0)

  115. Well, Pharaoh and company found that God can be pretty stern, so did the people of Israel multiple times.

    We do deserve ruin. Read through the early chapters of Jeremiah, and God asks, “How can I not judge a people such as this?”

    Judgement for sin always comes. Sometimes it comes onto the shoulders and back of Jesus, sometimes it falls on the individual who doesn’t accept His offer.

    MD in Philly (not in Philly at the moment) (deca84)

  116. Whether a paradigm shift will or won’t cure the following is debatable:

    “When the people find that they can vote themselves money that will herald the end of the republic.” ― Benjamin Franklin

    ^ The human nature behind that is a BIG part of the problem. That and the cheap, lazy ethos of compassion for compassion’s sake.

    A paradigm shift should at least (or needs to) involve kicking the foolishness of political correctness flat on its butt. That is much harder to achieve, however, if most people tip toe when it comes to the ideological biases of those all around them, subscribing to the line that often is recommended for family gatherings: In order to show a respect for one another’s privacy, to adhere to good manners, and to prevent unpleasantness from breaking out, AVOID talking about RELIGION and POLITICS.

    Mark (f713e4)

  117. This thing you guys do where you make one sentence derogatory comments about other people, without engaging the argument, is the least attractive quality this community has.

    I agree with this proposition as a general statement and have in the past sought to rein that in.

    That said, Gabriel, your tone in comment 44 struck me as nonconstructive. And when people start swinging around here, they sometimes invite the derogatory responses. Again, I don’t like that, because then things devolve — but let’s not pretend that you have been a model of courtesy throughout the thread. You wouldn’t behave this way talking to someone at a party (I hope).

    I like you — and I am being quite sincere in saying that — so this is meant to be a constructive comment.

    Patterico (86c8ed)

  118. Patterico, I’m glad you read the Kuhn book. It’s a very important view of how science changes…or doesn’t change.

    I didn’t mean to mislead anyone — I didn’t read the book. I first learned of its existence yesterday while reading (OK, listening to) the beginning of Rothbard’s book.

    Patterico (86c8ed)

  119. Agreed — the answer is the free market.

    The paradigm shift, then, is obvious: a separation of the State and economics, just as we have a separation of the State and religion.

    However, I think (if I read this as you meant it) that you’ve made an error here:

    I would like to propose that you consider the possibility — not necessarily accept it as true, but just consider the possibility — that the problem is not the people in the system.

    The problem is the system itself.

    You’re missing the most important people in the system, Patrick: THE People. In one generation, The People accepted State control over a very significant portion of the economy — i.e., the establishment of the Fed and of the income tax. This was shortly followed by the acceptance of (what appeared to be) something for nothing: the Social Security system. Where was the pushback, the riots, the demands for repeal? Where were the moral arguments against this statism? There were but there weren’t enough.

    With these three things, socialism was implanted in the American psyche and has remained there ethically unchallenged for 100 years. Small surprise, then, that Medicare/Medicaid featured (unlike Obamacare) Republicans voting for the measure. And, as we’ve gone farther into socialism, there are fewer issues that the Republicans fanatically disagree with the socialists about — and, even then, it’s merely about degree, never in regard to an ethical basis.

    With the melding of the State and economics, you wind up with the problem that the good folks left within the system won’t run because they can no longer change it. The system itself is a public bureaucracy subject only to the Iron Laws of Bureaucracy and not subject to the will of The People any longer. The folks in the middle don’t know what is ethical — either through ignorance or through irrational selfishness — and so vote themselves the apparent largess of the treasury. That leaves the running of the corrupt system to the bad folks within the system.

    As far as I can tell, that leaves you with two options:

    1. The People are shown the truth. That is, educated so as to be able to discern their objective interests in a rational government. It is the only way that you could have the populace vote to reverse socialism — which would necessarily involve many/most of them losing a great deal of tangible wealth/careers/opportunities/security in the process. (Difficult to do when the socialists control all facets of the educational establishment, the entertainment media and the news media.)

    Or

    2. Violent revolution to put things back to rights.

    I know which one I would prefer.

    J.P. (78aaf7)

  120. The good MD in Philly has it just about perfect in my estimation (and nk and felipe and Ed from sfv).

    It is such a shame that we’ve drifted so far in this country, that the solution Patterico desires (returning to faithful observance of the Constitution, I presume) would actually qualify as a “paradigm shift”.

    It does require that we “elect good people” as evidenced by Samuel Adams’ comment: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

    I subscribe to the belief that the schools have knowingly eroded the ability of our youth to understand the implications of the Constitution, and its reliance on a citizenry that has some self discipline, rather than unchecked desires to have whatever result moves them at the moment.

    Ken in Camarillo (061845)

  121. Electing good people now is probably not enough. I think some Constitutional Amendments are required, not because the Constitution needs to be fixed, but to reiterate what the original Constitution meant (just as Mark Levin says).

    Example: an amendment providing that no executive agency can create regulations; they must propose desired regulations which must then passed as a normal law by Congress, after sufficient time for the citizens to read about the proposed regulations. That way mischief makers can’t arrange for the bureaucrats to make regulations, and then claim “I had nothing to do with that”. That way, those who actually have the only power to create regulations are directly accountable to the citizens in their next election. In my opinion, this is the correct interpretation of the original Constitution, and it is a blot on the Supreme Court that it hasn’t been interpreted that way all along.

    Another example: an amendment to prohibit the federal government from making any funding decisions based on a State’s compliance or lack thereof with a federal directive that involves other than powers delegated to the federal government by the Constitution. If the Constitution didn’t delegate a certain power to the federal government, we must stop the federal government from using ANY method to exercise that non-delegated power. This too is a blot on the Supreme Court.

    Ken in Camarillo (061845)

  122. Judgement for sin always comes. Sometimes it comes onto the shoulders and back of Jesus, sometimes it falls on the individual who doesn’t accept His offer.
    MD in Philly (not in Philly at the moment) (deca84) — 1/8/2016 @ 6:12 pm

    That was very well said.

    felipe (56556d)

  123. Governor Abbott calls for convention of the states.

    You might want to read Ace’s piece on this. Great way to reform our wholly corrupt system of governance.

    NJRob (a07d2e)

  124. The problem is the system itself.

    I don’t agree, the political system does a reasonably good job of doing what it claims to do, which is reflect the collective wishes of Americans. Most of whom don’t want to live in a libertarian society.

    James B. Shearer (0f56fb)

  125. James. American Education, American Bureaucracy, and American Jurisprudence, have been TAKEN OVER, by the LEFT. Judges both elected and appointed are LIBERAL in the majority. The LEFT has made it their business to subvert what NORMAL AVERAGE Americans stand for. In fact, the LEFT has made GOVERNMENT the MEAL TICKET for WAY WAY WAY too many Government employees and those who rely on GOVERNMENT for their very existence and “Pay check”. It has not been by accident.
    The LEFT are Commies, and they make dependence THEIR path to staying in power.

    Gus (7cc192)

  126. NJRob, I was coming here to mention that.

    Ibidem (f7be92)

  127. I don’t agree, the political system does a reasonably good job of doing what it claims to do, which is reflect the collective wishes of Americans

    That must explain why Americans are so happy with it.

    Patterico (dc43de)

  128. And here I thought lobbyists purchased concentrated benefits on behalf of an entitled minority, while a mostly ignorant majority rationally ignored the details but knew that they were being collectively screwed somehow.

    No idea where I got that idea. Thank goodness we have James B. Shearer to set me straight!

    Patterico (dc43de)

  129. The problem with looking at how happy the American people are with the current state of affairs,
    is that people are unhappy for different reasons.

    Some people are really upset with Congress because they haven’t opposed Obama enough,
    and other people are really upset because they think the repubs in Congress have been opposing Obama too much,
    so you get 80%+ dissatisfied, but that is divided into two groups who want opposite things.

    Now, President Obama has been so feckless in his blind ideology in so many ways, there are things that even the center is no longer happy with, and I bet on some issues even the slightly left of center have had enough.
    But I don’t think you can win by blandly appealing to the center, you need to stand for what uyou stand for, and show the center where they agree with you.

    your tone in comment 44 struck me as nonconstructive. And when people start swinging around here, they sometimes invite the derogatory responses.

    Patterico (86c8ed) — 1/8/2016 @ 7:41 pm
    That was my thought, too.

    MD in Philly (not in Philly at the moment) (deca84)

  130. Hmm. To how many people does it matter whether the Sun goes around the Earth or the Earth goes around the Sun? I don’t mean how many people care. I mean what real difference does it make in their lives? My guess is around 5,000 or so worldwide, involved in space exploration outside the Moon’s orbit. If that many. Same thing with government. People will only care about those parts of it that touch their lives. And even then, they will put it on their hierarchy of concerns, maybe above the taste of their Coke but likely below having to shovel the snow off their driveway before going to church tomorrow morning.

    nk (dbc370)

  131. Great Sherlock Holmes reference, nk.

    It causes me great pain, but you are not wrong.

    Simon Jester (2af8ff)

  132. It took me a minute, Simon, and then I remembered Watson relating (on a train?) (traveling to Baskervilles?) that Holmes did not know that the Earth revolved around the Sun because Holmes deliberately chose not to clutter his mind with knowledge not useful to him.

    Which now makes me almost sad that my thought was not even second-hand, off of Patterico’s Copernicus reference in the post, but instead copyrighted by Strand Magazine 110 years ago, and that my mind is cluttered with such things. 😉

    nk (dbc370)

  133. food stamp says jobs are for kenyans not failmericans

    Washington To Help Kenya Raise $18 Billion For Oil Pipeline

    me i disagree but what’s a lil pikachu to do?

    happyfeet (831175)

  134. Well, probably, Warren Buffet does not own any railroads in Kenya, and Tom Steyer owns tankers that will transport it to China.

    nk (dbc370)

  135. Now, President Obama has been so feckless in his blind ideology in so many ways, there are things that even the center is no longer happy with, and I bet on some issues even the slightly left of center have had enough.

    I wish you were correct but there’s a level of corrosive, corrupt liberal sentiment out there (per below) that, even though the thing — the it — in the Oval Office is far worse, much worse in so many ways, than his predecessor was, he nonetheless is tracking at a higher (or less negative) rate than George W Bush did, particularly as compared with Bush’s last 12 months in office.

    People who talk about a need for a new paradigm shift are missing the crucial part of the problem if they’re oblivious to the sappiness of left-leaning bias and how that’s a big part of the problem. So unless fans of a paradigm shift want to disband America’s current system (ie, a system where the populace is allowed to vote for politicians), and slap all those people out there with their left-leaning emotions by rescinding their rights on election day, we’re headed down the road to Argentina-ville or Euro-sclerosis-ville or Mexico-ville.

    Gallup Daily: Obama Job Approval

    % Approve….% Disapprove
    45%…..50%………..01/5-7/2016
    47%…..48%………..01/4-6/2016
    46%…..50%………..01/3-5/2016
    46%…..50%………..01/2-4/2016
    45%…..51%………..12/30/2015-01/3/2016
    45%…..51%………..12/29/2015-01/2/2016
    44%…..52%………..12/28-30/2015
    46%…..50%………..12/27-29/2015
    47%…..49%………..12/23-28/2015
    48%…..48%………..12/22-27/2015

    Gallup tracks daily the percentage of Americans who approve or disapprove of the job Barack Obama is doing as president. Daily results are based on telephone interviews with approximately 1,500 national adults; Margin of error is ±3 percentage points.

    The only true paradigm shift will occur when every ounce of Peggy Noonan-ism (as evident in late 2008) no longer exists.

    Mark (f713e4)

  136. nk, from Chapter Two of “A Study in Scarlet”:

    His ignorance was as remarkable as his knowledge. Of contemporary literature, philosophy and politics he appeared to know next to nothing. Upon my quoting Thomas Carlyle, he inquired in the naivest way who he might be and what he had done. My surprise reached a climax, however, when I found incidentally that he was ignorant of the Copernican Theory and of the composition of the Solar System. That any civilized human being in this nineteenth century should not be aware that the earth travelled round the sun appeared to be to me such an extraordinary fact that I could hardly realize it.

    “You appear to be astonished,” he said, smiling at my expression of surprise. “Now that I do know it I shall do my best to forget it.”

    “To forget it!”

    “You see,” he explained, “I consider that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skilful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.”

    “But the Solar System!” I protested.

    “What the deuce is it to me?” he interrupted impatiently; “you say that we go round the sun. If we went round the moon it would not make a pennyworth of difference to me or to my work.”

    There is a zeigeist, I suspect. Maybe Jung was right about a collective unconscious. Above my pay grade.

    Simon Jester (2af8ff)

  137. Simon Jester, I was so befuddled by the phrase ” the Copernican Theory and of the composition of the Solar System” I misread your last sentence. In my mind I saw: Above my gay pride.

    Rev. Barack Hussein Hoagie™ (f4eb27)

  138. 117

    That must explain why Americans are so happy with it.

    As noted in 119 when people want different things you can’t make everyone happy. Especially when a lot of people want things that are more or less impossible.

    James B. Shearer (0f56fb)

  139. 118

    And here I thought lobbyists purchased concentrated benefits on behalf of an entitled minority, while a mostly ignorant majority rationally ignored the details but knew that they were being collectively screwed somehow.

    A certain amount of this sort of thing seems inevitable in a democratic system which naturally gives more weight to the opinions of people who care a lot about some issue.

    James B. Shearer (0f56fb)

  140. NJRob, I was coming here to mention that.

    Ibidem (f7be92) — 1/8/2016 @ 11:19 pm

    To me it’s logical. My only fear is that the state legislatures are filled with McCain types that would stab us in the back if they got the chance. But if they tried, it would cause an open revolt.

    NJRob (a07d2e)

  141. Claiming we need more free market and less big government isn’t much of a paradigm shift. In fact, it’s pretty much what every Republican thinks pretty much every day.

    larrd (2909d6)

  142. going back to newt, who introduced the idea of paradigms to me, one of his trial balloons were orphanages or similar facilities to hold disadvantaged youths, the notion promptly died, so did any conception, of how to deal with such a population,

    narciso (732bc0)

  143. 71. “I think that is beyond proof one way or the other in our present existence.
    The best one can do is make a choice and follow the consequences
    And see if you can live with them.”

    And that, is an empirical method.

    DNF (f7136a)

  144. The Sherlock Holmes theory of the brain’s capacity is absolutely wrong, by the way, although Arthur Conan Doyle might have believed it, although it is not clear if he did.

    Sammy Finkelman (dbec95)

  145. Example: an amendment providing that no executive agency can create regulations; they must propose desired regulations which must then passed as a normal law by Congress, after sufficient time for the citizens to read about the proposed regulations.

    That would not be at all practical. But what is needed is a provision (it doesn’t need to be in the constitution) that a simple majority in either house may veto any regulation within six months (or perhaps a year) of its publication in the federal register.

    Milhouse (87c499)

  146. It would be practical to have regulations passed into law by Congress. I think something like that is even the law in Austria.

    All you need is an omnibus bill passed every year that passes the regulations into law. A problem there is maybe only a few members of Congress, in the leadership, would be in a position to prevent any particular regulation from being included.

    Sammy Finkelman (dbec95)


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