Monday, February 29, 2016

An Experiment

I spent the past weekend at the conference of the International Students for Liberty, a libertarian group I sometimes speak for. My talk was on feud as a form of law enforcement. 

I came across a critical summary of my talk on the blog of someone who described himself as one of a handful of leftists who infiltrated the conference. The blog does not seem to provide any commenting mechanism so I emailed the author, suggesting that he let his readers hear what I actually said by adding to his post links to my talk and the associated powerpoints.

I will be interested to see if he does.

And, at a considerable tangent ...  . Friday morning I finished reading Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. Before boarding my plane for D.C. I downloaded the Kindle of the sequel. Before boarding my plane back to San Jose Sunday I downloaded the Kindle of the third and final book in the series. I finished it Sunday night.

Very good stories with original ideas—I highly recommend them. Provided you don't have much that urgently needs doing in the next few days.


Attempting to be a Skeptical Thinker said...

It was fun reading that critique, the author had such a hard time seeing past his personal aversions and biases that he really couldn't bring himself to engage any of your ideas in a meaningful way.

I read the first couple of the Ancillary books and I found the whole gender bender background just confusing and useless. The apparent interaction confusion and gender hyper-awareness in the stories probably previews what we are in for here in the US as things progress. Shows like Netflix's Sense8 are just stuffed with LGBT fodder to the point of distraction, but at least no one has a tough time figuring out who's what at any given moment.

David Friedman said...

I found the use of feminine pronouns for all humans in the main civilization a bit odd, didn't look back to the beginning for an explanation. My guess is that she is trying to portray a society where biological gender doesn't matter—no gender roles and everyone is bisexual. Making the generic pronouns feminine might be motivated by ideology, but it could also be a literary choice—one that does a better job of getting the reader to see that feature of the society than the alternative of male and is less clunky than some invented system.

But it didn't really bother me, may have contributed to the "we aren't in Kansas" feel of the society.

cpwegener said...

I would find it more enlightening if you would explain how your system of feuds would work for the poor better than contingency fees which don't work for most people at all.

chriscal12 said...

Chris, one reason this would work better for the poor than contingency fees is that torts would be fully marketable. Contingency fees only work out for the plaintiff if they win their case, but not if they lose. A fully marketable system would allow the plaintiff to simply sell their whole claim, get the money (along with benefits from reputation/deterrence), and move on. It's now the problem of whomever they sold the claim to. It's currently illegal to sell tort claims, and even contingency fees are limited to cases where money is claimed. If we had a more restitution-based criminal system, contingency fees might be more common and work better. As it stands, I couldn't hire a lawyer on a contingency fee if I were bringing criminal charges against someone.

Anonymous said...

First, I should say that I really enjoyed your “Law’s Order” book. It is very stimulating.
From another perspective I am finding that it is odd to argue about alternatives in law enforcement in our age. Politics in pretty much of the whole world is going towards to socialism or any other big government solution. It is, probably, interesting from academic point of view but I’ve failed to see how in our democracy (so far) by people with very slight knowledge (if any) about economical freedoms any of these theories have any chance.

Tom Crispin said...

How does the portrayal of gender roles not mattering compare with Le Guin's "The Left Hand of Darkness" ?

TheVidra said...

I wouldn't worry about what every weirdo writes about you. From the Baltimore Post Examiner's site, this is the bio (probably self written, perhaps tongue in cheek) for the author of the blog:

Carl Beijer is a Marxist working in Washington, DC to slowly but surely inaugurate the dictatorship of the proletariat. He lives in Northern Virginia.

David Friedman said...

I don't worry about what he writes about me. But given the pattern of his post—hostile to my father and to my ideas but not to me—I was curious as to whether he was sufficiently honest to put up a link to my talk. So far he doesn't seem to have done so.

David Friedman said...

I think the gender issue is much more central in Le Guin's book. In this one it's background not, so far as I could tell, part of the theme or central idea.

Eric Rasmusen said...

The Marxist is rather complimentary, as well as unwittingly undermining himself:
"David comes off as a kind of affable old crank. His politics are dangerous and ridiculous, and anyone who advocates them should obviously be shamed and reviled as irresponsible sociopaths; but one gets the impression that he's at least earnest in his beliefs, not shamelessly cynical like so many of his colleagues. In another era, he would have been an aging dilettante bug collector, living out his twilight years poring over butterfly wings and thumbing through dusty old books in the study of his feudal manor."

I wouldn't mind somebody crazy saying that about me.

RJ Miller said...

David, I don't know if you're aware of this trend but what you've described reminds me of how some news sites have completely eliminated comments sections:

It wouldn't surprise me if there's a pattern in what kind of political slant such sites or blogs have that do this :-)

Aside from that I just got a third edition copy of TMoF, so it'll be interesting to jog my memory of the first book I ever read that convinced me the market could handle law and possibly national defense. If all goes well, hopefully I can add to the literature myself soon.

I always get a feeling Uber and Lyft should give you some credit for what you wrote in chapter 16 each time I reread it!