Wednesday, December 23, 2009 31 Comments

UR will return on January 7, 2010

Holidays with a real, live family make it hard to keep up a posting schedule. Also, I hurt my wrist a little writing a 70,000-word book. Merry Christmas to all UR readers!

31 Comments:

Anonymous Genius said...

Lamest excuse ever.

December 23, 2009 at 12:46 AM  
Anonymous Patung said...

glad you did'nt say 'happy holidays', really hate that one.

December 23, 2009 at 12:48 AM  
Anonymous Erik said...

A very merry Christmas to you too, Moldbug!

December 23, 2009 at 6:18 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Happy Christmas, moldster.

December 23, 2009 at 7:29 AM  
Anonymous Peter A. Taylor said...

It's Yule, damn it! Happy Yule!

December 23, 2009 at 8:01 AM  
Anonymous josh said...

merry x-mas

December 23, 2009 at 1:02 PM  
Anonymous Michael S. said...

"Chantons-an Noei, mé fraire,
An mille & mille faiçon:
Faute de pôvoi meù faire,
Poyon du moins an Chanson."

December 23, 2009 at 2:03 PM  
Anonymous blue anon said...

Micheal S's last line appears to be about you debating Hanson on Jan 22. Is it true? Have a good Christmas.

December 23, 2009 at 3:07 PM  
Anonymous P.M.Lawrence said...

If you want to tell people that's how you hurt your wrist, fine.

And Merry Christmas, everybody, whether you like it or not.

December 23, 2009 at 4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

merry christmas

December 23, 2009 at 6:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Hanukkah!

December 23, 2009 at 6:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mencius you tease

December 23, 2009 at 7:14 PM  
Blogger Straha said...

Mencius wrote a 7800 page long exegesis defending the new deal state.

December 23, 2009 at 7:23 PM  
Blogger Zimri said...

No. It's that Mencius finally recovered the real head of Oliver Cromwell. Finally he's had a chance to do that skull physically what he's been doing to it metaphorically for the last two years...

Oh, and Happy Christmas to all!

December 23, 2009 at 8:17 PM  
Anonymous Peter A. Taylor said...

Merry Christmas to you, too, Mr. Lawrence.
By the way, I'm curious about the Australian election systems (Single Transferable Vote and Alternative Vote). Do you think that Australian politics are any healthier than they would be if you used First Past The Post? Does it actually matter?

December 23, 2009 at 10:22 PM  
Blogger dbk_999 said...

Hi, this is totally off topic but i'm posting it here - can anyone tell me whats the difference between larry auster's views and rushdoony's views? are there any?

December 24, 2009 at 11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Jew who says "Merry Christmas." The internet is a weird and wonderful place indeed.

December 24, 2009 at 1:15 PM  
Anonymous P.M.Lawrence said...

Peter A. Taylor asked "By the way, I'm curious about the Australian election systems (Single Transferable Vote and Alternative Vote). Do you think that Australian politics are any healthier than they would be if you used First Past The Post? Does it actually matter?"

No, it would be bad either way. Where the latter creates a dynamic favouring a two party system, the former does the same with a few independents and minor parties and one material third party that gets to do some horse trading (currently, the Greens), and the system also encourages the donkey vote by being so very non-transparent (very much not WYSIWYG). In my view (based on serious research), the system would be better if a more transparent system like cumulative voting in multi-member constituencies were used for the lower (proposing, determining, refusing) house and a very different Canadian-style long-term system were used for the upper house (reviewing, sometimes proposing, but at most delaying past a new election or two - although with bills lapsing if not resubmitted then) to make that genuinely state-oriented and genuinely giving a different, non-party pressured perspective, with deadlocks only forcing new elections with no tie-break method (and so mitigating Arrow's Theorem issues), rather than as now having both houses more than a little correlated (i.e., not really a second opinion) and having deadlocks ultimately resolved by joint sittings after new elections. But the greatest flaw is probably compulsory voting, which has detached all the parties from their grass roots over time as they are no longer needed to get the vote out.

But this is all from the narrow perspective of how to make the democratic process "better", and "there is nothing as wasteful as doing well that which should not be done at all". A broader view is to make anarchism as practical as possible, allowing for the removal of these tyrannical institutions as much as possible.

December 24, 2009 at 6:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

70,000 words? What is it a picture book?

December 24, 2009 at 8:03 PM  
Anonymous Peter A. Taylor said...

P. M. Lawrence: Thank you, especially for the link on donkey voting.

December 25, 2009 at 1:15 PM  
Anonymous P.M.Lawrence said...

Ah, Peter A. Taylor, I see from your Election Systems 101 page that you write "Cumulative Voting: PR-lite. There are perhaps three seats per district. Voters get one plurality-style vote for each seat, but may lump their votes together on one candidate if they wish. Results are erratic."

This is usual, but a broader range is possible. I personally would prefer the variant with a larger number of votes than seats in a constituency, chosen to be easy to split fairly evenly in many different ways, e.g. 6 or 12 (the reverse of what makes prime numbers prime, and also why the pounds/shillings/pence system evolved its particular 240:12:1 pattern within the broader constraints of the values of gold:silver:copper coins of similar size). Also, erratic effects are reduced if constituencies are not deliberately and artificially constructed to have even demographic spreads/voter numbers and the same number of seats each (the number varying with electorate sizes instead of being the same for each constituency). It would also help to have special non-geographical constituencies for certain voter groups like public servants, as was once tried in Victoria but which was withdrawn under public servant pressure - which rather proves the need for it (it would be even better to disfranchise those completely, as long as that employment was a free choice - but the adverse pressure, a symptom of the approach's effectiveness, would be even greater).

December 25, 2009 at 6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Catholic reactionary E. Michael Jones is always entertaining.

December 26, 2009 at 11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

70k words huh.

I guess we can expect a 500k cut and paste "review" by TGGP.

inb4getahandle

December 27, 2009 at 2:24 AM  
Anonymous Peter A. Taylor said...

P. M. Lawrence: Does Australia have as bad a problem with gerrymandering as we have in the US?

December 27, 2009 at 9:34 PM  
Anonymous Michael S. said...

A couple of observations on P.M. Lawrence's post:

The traditional pounds/shillings/pence system to which he refers, though we identify it as characteristically British, was once in use throughout most of Europe. The ancient Roman unit of money was the aes, pl. asses. This was originally one 12-ounce pound (approximately the same as today's troy pound) of copper, but became devalued throughout the course of the Roman republic, principally to enable the state to pay off the cost of its wars in cheaper money. Eventually the prevalent Roman unit of currency became the sesterce (from sesqui-tertium, one-half less than three) which was thus 2-1/2 asses. In its turn as this became devalued, it was replaced by the denarius (= 10 asses, or 4 sesterces). The denarius is the ancestor of the British penny, thus the abbreviation d. for pence; the farthing (last minted, if memory serves, in 1956), the successor of the sesterce.

While we are accustomed to think of the historic ratio of silver to gold prices as 16:1 (as advocated by William Jennings Bryan), for most of the period before the discovery of the New World, it approximated 12:1. This was justified by the alchemical-astrological correspondence of silver to the moon and of gold to the sun, and thence of their respective values to the month and the year. The solidus or bezant was originally a gold coin, but eventually became (in Britain) the shilling, worth 12 pence. Inflation was worse in France; the proverbial 'sou' was what the solidus became in that country, and to be without a sou is to be very poor indeed. Scotland suffered a similar inflation, and Scots money had fallen at the time of the union of the crowns to about 1/12 the value of the comparable English denomination. Thus a shilling Scots was worth an English penny.

On the matter of parliamentary representation for non-geographic constituencies, I believe that until quite recently, the universities of Oxford and Cambridge had their own members in the Westminster parliament. Of course Oxford and Cambridge are geographic locations, but the respective convocations of the universities (which were the electoral bodies represented by those MPs) were not delimited by their physical boundaries.

December 28, 2009 at 12:11 PM  
Anonymous P.M.Lawrence said...

Michael S. wrote "On the matter of parliamentary representation for non-geographic constituencies, I believe that until quite recently, the universities of Oxford and Cambridge had their own members in the Westminster parliament. Of course Oxford and Cambridge are geographic locations, but the respective convocations of the universities (which were the electoral bodies represented by those MPs) were not delimited by their physical boundaries."

Yes, and London University, the Combined Scottish Universities, the University of Wales and the Combined English Universities had similar seats (with similar arrangements in Ireland before and after partition - apparently the Irish Senate still has them). These were removed in electoral reforms by the post-war Labour government.

It's also interesting to note that many of these returned more than one member, as did some other constituencies at least as late as the 19th century while variation of this sort between constituencies was still allowed; it was the latter that allowed Labour to break through the institutional barrier against third parties in the first place. It is ironic but understandable that Labour's own electoral reform agenda contributed to kicking the ladder away after it so that yet others could not come up that way (or return, in the case of the Liberals).

December 28, 2009 at 5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone ever thought about recording some of the reactionary books recommended by Mencius onto audio, mp3 or whatever? Surely there is a voice modulator that could permit one to hide one's identity. I would be more likely to ingest such things that way personally.

What I prefer is long stretches recorded by a single voice. That's not to say a whole book should always be done by one person. But if three people were to divide one, I think each should read a contiguous section, rather than alternating by chapter.

January 3, 2010 at 7:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On that last suggestion, librivox.org has a system set up for turning public domain books into audio books. Go volunteer and get started.

January 4, 2010 at 2:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have wanted those as audiobooks myself.. Looking forward to the next essay

January 6, 2010 at 2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I ever begin recording one at Librivox, I'll say so on whatever thread is live at the time.

January 6, 2010 at 6:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reactionary audiobooks guys, can we get a list of titles ordered by importance and maybe with URLs and wordcount?

January 9, 2010 at 2:48 PM  

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