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Foobarista
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I'll admit that I'm deeply suspicious of the sort of desert-island "thought experiments" that political philosophers love to use for argument. Among other problems, they gloss over tribalism, since the "universe" is typically small enough that there's a single tribe. Also, the small universe implies a very low level of "government friction", to the point where the philosopher feels free to ignore it. In the real world, governments have a great deal of friction in their operation, particularly large governments. Also, in big societies, you have numerous tribalisms, as well as lots of agency and "public choice" issues in the government itself. But political philosophers don't appear to be interested in grappling with this sort of thing, or if they do, they become anarchists of one sort or another.
Toggle Commented Apr 2, 2011 on Why Not Capitalism? at Bleeding Heart Libertarians
I'm a congenital Dodger "hater" (born and raised in SF Giants territory and come from the school that says you don't change sports allegiances on a whim), but always liked Tommy Lasorda, and still wish the O'Malleys owned the Dodgers. After all, to properly regard a team as a proper spawn of the devil, they have to be reasonably good :)
Toggle Commented Mar 15, 2010 on Any Dodger fans in the house? at baldilocks
I'll admit that I don't like the odd feeling of alienation I get when I'm called a racist, which happens from time to time on the internet when "things get hot". I try to avoid "racial" threads, but sometimes I work up the nerve to wade in, and almost always regret it when the poop hits the fan. Basically, when the "racist card" is played, it behaves as any other ad-hominem attack and any interesting discussion ends.
When I think of "the good part" of California, government doesn't enter the loop (other than as a caretaker of places like Yosemite). It's the entrepreneurs, the immigrants with a zillion little businesses (most of whom don't pop up on government radar), the dreamers and out-of-the-box thinkers, and those who are free to be weird that make the place work. It's unfortunate that we've got hyper-greedy bureaucrat unions, machine politicians, and obnoxious "nice" lefties, but much of the rest of the world suffers from this affliction as well, and we'll have to get past it, hopefully sooner rather than later. And no, I'm not interested in moving to Texas. It may have better government, but the weather still sux. As for glamor, go to Beijing or Bangalore and say you live in California. People's eyes light up in ways that they won't if you say you're from Nebraska. Also, pretty much every restaurant in China has at least one thing on the menu they call "California-style". Maybe California isn't glamorous to "white" Americans, but they aren't a terribly numerous demographic.
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