Lion of the Blogosphere

The importance of Heinlein

I know that some readers are thinking, “Why are you wasting your time with posts about a long-dead science fiction writer? That’s stuff for nerds. We want to hear more about Donald Trump.”

I think, maybe, that Heinlein is more important than anyone realizes. I sense that most of the libertarian arguments I see today don’t actually come from Ayn Rand, but they come from Heinlein. Heinlein’s endorsement of libertarianism is a lot more subtle and less in-your-face than Ayn Rand’s novels. However, Heinlein’s novels are a lot more readable. And Heinlein understood that novels can be a powerful form of influence. You are much more likely to accept a new idea if first you come to identify with a character, and then the character comes to believe in the idea based on events that happen to him, even though the whole situation is a fictional setup by the author.

Heinlein’s novels were probably read by most white American engineering types when they were teenagers (at least the older ones), and that’s why engineering types veer so strongly libertarian.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 20, 2016 at 12:01 pm

Posted in Books, Libertarianism

71 Responses

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  1. call me crazy but I really don’t think a young Ayn Rand was that bad looking. Her philosophy was shit though. Although she had some good subtle anti feminism.

    Otis the Sweaty

    December 20, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    • call me crazy but I really don’t think a young Ayn Rand was that bad looking. Her philosophy was shit though.

      Dating a young Ayn Rand must have been quite something between her going back and forth between discourses on libertarian economics and her demanding her boyfriend play to her rape fantasies.

      The Undiscovered Jew

      December 20, 2016 at 5:43 pm

      • “Dating a young Ayn Rand must have been quite something between her going back and forth between discourses on libertarian economics and her demanding her boyfriend play to her rape fantasies.”

        Hilarious. Of course, only someone who read The Fountainhead can get the joke.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        December 20, 2016 at 5:58 pm

      • No chance for you, unless you happen to be psychopatic killer.

        http://michaelprescott.freeservers.com/romancing-the-stone-cold.html

        Zenit

        December 20, 2016 at 6:51 pm

      • Of course, only someone who read The Fountainhead can get the joke.

        All of the cool people have.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        December 20, 2016 at 7:32 pm

      • No chance for you, unless you happen to be psychopatic killer.

        Rand was a woman who enjoyed a challenge.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        December 20, 2016 at 7:43 pm

  2. I liked Heinlein as a kid/teen, but in retrospect his libertarian phase was basically an SJW-acceptance gateway drug. And here we are. Welcome to the Crazy Years, engineers!

    Glengarry

    December 20, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    • I’ve only read one of Heinlein’s books because I didn’t like his politics.

      destructure

      December 20, 2016 at 12:58 pm

  3. My knowledge of Heinlein comes from Starship Troopers. It wasn’t exactly Libertarian & the Hollywood movie mocked it as a type of Fascism.

    I think Heinlein liked the efficiency of the US military that had just defeated the Nazis and wanted to model society on it.

    Rotten

    December 20, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    • I didn’t take that from Starship Troopers. In the novel, the society they live in is one that recovered from a devastating world war, and the veterans rebuilt society. So the entire political system is one where only veterans or people who have volunteered for some sort of federal service have the vote. This is a radically different society from ours, although still a republic. As Heinlein said, “The moral difference between a soldier and a civilian is that the soldier accepts personal responsibility for the safety of the body politic of which he is a member. The civilian does not.”

      Starship Troopers is read at West Point and my son, who is currently in the military, recently told me he spotted the book in the recommended military reads at the PX. The entire description of both the intense basic training and combat ring very realistic, and of all Heinlein’s books, this one holds up the best and will likely still be read for decades, at least in the military community/

      Mike Street Station

      December 20, 2016 at 7:12 pm

  4. I have limited exposure to his work. I read Stranger in a Strange Land at 14, which was probably way too young to even understand the points he was trying to make, and consequently found it pretty boring in spite of all the kinky sex stuff. I’ve also seen the Starship Troopers movie. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is high on the list of fiction I want to read within the next year, though.

    Jokah Macpherson

    December 20, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    • I would begin with Starship Troopers, as Mike Street Station said above it’s arguably his finest novel and the most approachable.

      Definitely read The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. It gives one hope that we could overthrow a corrupt government, albeit with the help of a super computer and a large distance between countries. Overall a good read.

      I thought Stranger in a Strange Land sucked and I couldn’t finish it. I just wasn’t getting the point that he was making, or maybe it’s because the point needed to be made in the 60s and not now.

      The last book I would recommend that I’ve read is Time Enough for Love. It’s my favorite Heinlein novel. Just something about the three novellas draws me back to reading it again. Moreover, I really liked the main character, because he’s so politically incorrect. His candor reminds me of Trump. Also, what would man do if he could live forever? Eventually you’d want to die. While the part concerning incest is revolting and fell completely on its face, and the fact that the ending was a cop out, nonetheless it’s a great read.

      DdR

      December 21, 2016 at 8:38 am

      • I would agree on Time Enough for Love. I’ve read it several times, although the first time I read it I didn’t realize it was actually a sequel to an older juvenile fiction SF novel, Methuselah’s Children. That book is a fun adventure novel, and explains the origins of the longevity of the main character in Time Enough for Love.

        Mike Street Station

        December 21, 2016 at 6:50 pm

  5. “Heinlein’s endorsement of libertarianism is a lot more subtle and less in-your-face than Ayn Rand’s novels. However, Heinlein’s novels are a lot more readable.”

    Heinlein was more of liberal libertarian degenerate. But i saw Rand as somewhat hostile to the liberal mentality. Her message was more of a “get those liberal do-gooders off our backs!” kind of thing. Therefore, I have a lot more tolerance for Rand than Heinlein. Still, I only got through about 600 pages of Atlas Shrugged. That 100 page soliloquy by the greaser was just too much.

    “And Heinlein understood that novels can be a powerful form of influence. You are much more likely to accept a new idea if first you come to identify with a character, and then the character comes to believe in the idea based on events that happen to him, even though the whole situation is a fictional setup by the author.”

    You’ve just explained Hollywood.

    destructure

    December 20, 2016 at 1:27 pm

  6. If our young intellectual movement should dare to hope to shape our decadent society, it better get creative and write some Hollywood entertainment. The people will be seduced with stories long before they could be persuaded with reason.

    Lion is right that stories and screen-writers probably have more influence than our elected leaders. These are the elites that matter most.

    Thin-Skinned Masta-Beta

    December 20, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    • Hollywood is just a mouthpiece for the powerful pushing whatever agenda is currently in favor. As the entertainment industry has become less a meritocracy and more of an aristocracy its quality and originality has also dropped.

      redarmyvodka

      December 21, 2016 at 5:03 pm

  7. Libertarianism is based heavily on the premise that people are rational actors. In reality, people are irrrational actors. So libertarianism is fatally flawed and can never work in a large society. Is there a political philosophy based on the idea that people use logic to justify emotions?

    Asf

    December 20, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    • Libertarianism isn’t based on the premise that people are rational actors. It’s based on the premise that people should have the freedom to choose for themselves.

      destructure

      December 20, 2016 at 6:30 pm

      • Check the split between consequentialist (soft core) and deontological (hard core) libertarians. The former support freedom because they believe it will bring good consequenses, like high economic growth and happiness. The latter support freedom on principle, because it is free, even if it made everyone miserable and turned the world to hell.

        Zenit

        December 20, 2016 at 6:48 pm

      • They choose to turn into pedestrians at a crosswalk, file charge-backs on their credit cards after they break something, have sex with others while knowing they have an STD, drink soda all the time and get cavities and pass the cost off onto the company health plan, cheat on their girlfriends, drink and drive, piss on the floor of public restrooms, etc… People choose wisely all the time.

        Fuk off

        December 20, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    • I’ve always found that the strongest argument for libertarianism comes from Friedrich Hayek. What society basically experiences is a conflict over planning. The idea is to allow a sphere of individual action for people to be able to plan and organize their own lives, mostly because individuals are in the best position to know what their wants and needs are and have the greatest interest in fulfilling them. In the absence of the individual planning his own life, someone else must plan it for him. Therein lies the conflict.

      This is actually a much more sophisticated and nuanced libertarian position than Rand’s. Rand is too focused on the “specialness” of her producers to realize that most people are not the kind of geniuses that would be quite content living in Galt’s Gulch. The vast majority of humanity is not going to produce “difference engines.” Yet, allowing sphere’s of individual action is a reasonable and humane thing to do.

      Of course, there is still the added problem that we don’t exist as individual but as families.

      map

      December 20, 2016 at 10:59 pm

  8. Heinlein is extremely influential on the alt-right. There is a large amount of ex-libertarians on the alt right.

    Jjbees

    December 20, 2016 at 1:53 pm

  9. The left is really banging on this “Putin hacked the election” thing. Listen idiots: the public doesn’t care! Give it up.

    The left is so out of touch.

    Otis the Sweaty

    December 20, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    • Don’t help them!

      Encourage them to make the same mistakes and alienate the public even more.

      Rifleman

      December 20, 2016 at 4:02 pm

  10. Heinlein’s novels were probably mostly read by white American engineering types when they were teenagers (at least the older ones).

    Fixed that for you. Engineers lean libertarian because they like systems that run on their own. They’re also engineers because they have poor social skills and as a result couldn’t expect themselves to do well under big government schemes that would require getting lots of people’s approval to do things. As a result of being of at least slightly above-average intelligence, they tend to have stable, in-demand jobs and find themselves overwhelmingly not in need of government welfare.

    Chucks

    December 20, 2016 at 2:19 pm

  11. “Its time to blame implicit bias for the Berlin attack. Racism against muslims was the number one factor preceding this attack. If the muslim community hadn’t been discriminated against in their search for work, nobel prizes, cancer research and so on, this would not have happened. If we allow more to come into Germany, this may make them less angry. In such a manner I compute 78% favorability ratings of Muslims after they become 78% of the electorate”

    – Angela Merkel, 14/5/13

    “A ban on burning the flag of the United States goes against the 1st amendment and free speech. I may not particularly agree with such an act. And I may not agree with the politics and result of such an act, but censorship is just not who we are. To this end, I have proposed congress place a ban on burning the Saudi Arabian flag in sympathy with our Muslim campaign donors, sex slave ring operators and military equipment consumers. These activities are American pastimes as old as transgender bathrooms and spraying my facebook pages with black people smiling with me to prove I’m not a bad person”

    – Paul Ryan, 10/10/16

    The Philosopher

    December 20, 2016 at 2:20 pm

  12. I think a biography of a real person could change my thinking more than a work of fiction. I don’t even like philosophy being transmitted via supposed dialogues, and always wondered why Jesus’s words were often presented in parables rather than straightforwardly.

    Anthony

    December 20, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    • Because stupid people understand stories better. Ever wonder why Trump talks dumb like that?

      The Philosopher

      December 20, 2016 at 2:48 pm

      • Not at all. Stories engage people on an emotional level.

        destructure

        December 20, 2016 at 6:37 pm

  13. Trump’s last rally in Alabama is a proper barn stormer. Exactly like the first one I watched in August of 2015. Very excited about him next year!!

    The Philosopher

    December 20, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    • The Trump candidacy/presidency is a turning point in history.

      redarmyvodka

      December 21, 2016 at 5:31 pm

  14. You think Ayn Rand founded libertarianism? Libertarian is just the new label for classical liberalism after socialists and economic fascists stole the term liberal.

    https://www.libertarianism.org/publications/essays/history-libertarianism

    Mercy

    Mercy Vetsel

    December 20, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    • In Europe and Australia the word ‘liberal’ means free market.

      The Undiscovered Jew

      December 20, 2016 at 5:47 pm

      • I don’t think so. Read the ozconservative blog for a while to see what it means. The owner of that blog is the best in the world at analyzing Liberalism.

        CamelCaseRob

        December 21, 2016 at 12:07 am

    • no it does, “Liberal” is the name of the conservative party in Australia. australians who use “liberal” to mean centre-left have been americanized.

      james n.s.w

      December 21, 2016 at 7:56 am

    • Ozconservative might use liberal to mean left because he’s targeting an American audience he followed as a disciple of Larry Auster. Like Ozconservative European and Australian journalists sometimes use liberal in the American sense if Americans are their audience. But whether they mean free market or leftist is usually clear from their writing’s context.

      The Undiscovered Jew

      December 21, 2016 at 5:21 pm

  15. (((alisa rosenbaum))) rebuked libertarianism.

    aloha snackbar!

    December 20, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    • Just like Bolsheviks rebuked the anarchists.

      Zenit

      December 20, 2016 at 6:39 pm

  16. >>The answer is that he is hypnotized by Bonforte’s personal doctor

    What exactly is hypnosis? Anybody here ever been hypnotized, or know somebody who has? What is the effect on consciousness? Where can I find a hypnotizer (sic)? I would like to try this. Now that a huge mushroom operation has been busted in Brooklyn, producing enough shrooms to supply thousands of heads, the shroom market may be tight for a while and I won’t be able to get any, even when I figure out how to use Tor, VPN and GPG. I figure that hypnosis may alleviate depression. Worth giving it a shot.

    Daniel

    December 20, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    • My aunt used hypnotism during childbirth back in the sixties. Apparently it worked to distract from the pain, but I’ve never heard anyone else using it for pain management.

      Mike Street Station

      December 20, 2016 at 7:18 pm

      • That was one of the original applications, actually. For example:

        … The greater number of the somnambulists whom we have seen, were completely insensible … we might pinch their skin, so as to leave a mark, prick them with pins under the nails, &c. without producing any pain, without even their perceiving it. Finally, we saw one who was insensible to one of the most painful operations in surgery, and who did not manifest the slightest emotion in her countenance, her pulse, or her respiration.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_magnetism

        Glengarry

        December 21, 2016 at 7:40 am

    • I knew a guy who was a trained hypnotist. He took the courses to help with his kid’s leg cramp’s/pains. The kid had muscular dystrophy or something. He said it worked but that the effects were temporary. So he had to do it regularly. Another guy had him hypnotize his wife before an interview. She was prone to stress, anxiety, panic attacks, etc. She said it absolutely worked. Studies have shown that hypnosis can help with depression, too. But I’m guessing the effects would be temporary. It wouldn’t be a permanent cure.

      I’d probably suggest trying meditation and exercise first. They’ve been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, depression, etc. I’d also recommend you get to bed on time and keep regular hours. Lack of sleep and odd hours will mess with your head. Besides, these things are free and you can start doing them today. If it doesn’t help after a couple of months then you can try something else.

      destructure

      December 20, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    • In my opinion there is a connection between hypnosis and trips in that they are both working with the subconscious mind in a direct fashion. Really one should consider dreams in this grouping as well.

      By subconscious mind I mean the basic hidden routines we learn at young ages that pretty much create the life we find ourselves in (tell yourself you’re great all you want, if the BIOS doesn’t say that you got a tough row to hoe my friend). Shrooms help us become aware of hidden energies, internal and external, by bridging the divided mind. One of my favorite discoveries (not by tripping but by reading) is that turtles actually can talk to each other, people just assumed they were deaf and mute but it turns out the pitch is below the threshold of human hearing, mostly underwater or something. Now I always say hi to the turtles in the pond when I walk past them. What else is outside our normal perception?

      Leave that aside, consider there are different levels of a trip, of which one opens up these programming routines in symbolic fashion largely, sometimes expressed via ejaculatory speech but primarily symbols from Jungian Archetypes, collective unconscious, pop culture, religious and individual totems of meaning.
      Folks who take these things too literally end up in the rain forest building temples, the rest of us consider that the house is possibly meant as our body and it might instead mean we need to get outside more. Additionally, I find they allow us to look at ourselves with kinder eyes, and being able to laugh at the ridiculousness of it all.
      So consider; Negative Thoughts = Limiting Thoughts = Demons = Archons all the same thing really at the heart of which are just waves of energy that can be redirected to useful purposes. (just probably not overnight but hey, Paul on the road to Damascus was pretty abrupt) (also note, I’m not suggesting there are not spiritual things out there that we should be careful of and some fearful of, we don’t see them and we don’t hear turtles talk but muh science sez turtles do talk).

      I haven’t approached these via hypnosis prior because I’m a moron, I’ve got a copy of “hypnosis and power learning” on my desk that I’ve been meaning to work through for the longest time to increase my reading speed and lower my sleep needs etc. I will bet you that this would be a vast improvement over my clunky method of trying to address the insights head on. Not to dismiss cognitive behavior therapy ideas but running solo is slow going.

      My experience with hypnosis is I stopped smoking after 2 one hour sessions (2 packs a day, 20+ years) but other sessions did not help me be a better tennis player (but by the same token, I got sidelined not too long after with injuries and work, maybe a little more and I would have had a breakthrough?) Hypnosis works but there are a lot of variables affecting the speed at which it works and the strength that the new habits take hold not the least of which the strength of the old habits (and that’s really all we’re talking about isn’t it? habits of thinking).

      If you try hypnosis to “stop being depressed” that’s probably not going to be effective, assuming you could get someone to do that kind of routine, but if you got a hypnotherapist to address certain negative thoughts that seem to be most pervasive, not so much that they go away altogether (although who knows) but instead to immediately counter them with a more rational thought, I bet that could be highly effective. Again I’m a moron I never thought of that before. Example, when I think “I’m a moron” counter that with “No one knows everything blah blah blah” I bet that would work but, I’ve reminded myself I’m a moron for 40+ years now, that is a deeply entrenched circuit to rewire that has untold other circuits connected.

      So, to recap:
      1. Get a notebook, keep track of the negative thoughts, categorize them down to major themes.
      2. Pay attention to your dreams for insights
      3. Trip for deeper insights (and to give yourself a break for a little bit) also for known physiological benefits
      4. Get a hypnotherapist to address the top negative thoughts.

      Think of the Mind as a Gymnasium.

      2 Minutes Alpha

      December 20, 2016 at 11:07 pm

  17. If Heinlein had any importance for delevopment of libertarianism and science fiction, it is long over. Libertarianism is dead ( as far as it was ever alive) and science fiction is dead too. Check the list of top grossing movies and bestselling books – nothing than vampires, wizards, superheroes and talking animals. This is what this age is about.

    Zenit

    December 20, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    • Rogue One is the top grossing movie this year.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      December 20, 2016 at 6:52 pm

      • Star Wars are fairy tales, not even pretense to any scientific background. “A long time ago in a galaxy far away…”

        Zenit

        December 20, 2016 at 7:05 pm

      • Rogue one is a soap opera

        Fuk off

        December 20, 2016 at 9:45 pm

      • The Star Wars series is a space fantasy. It features the trappings of sci-fi (spaceships, robots, and lasers), but beneath the surface it’s all fantasy.

        Over the last few years though, there have been quite a few intriguing sci-fi movies, like The Martian, Interstellar, Ex Machina.

        What’s interesting to me is that sci-fi from the 30s through the 60s remains relevant and genre-defining. You’d think new technologies would’ve changed that, but it hasn’t for the most part. (Jules Verne, for example, is still respected but his influence on modern sci-fi be is rather academic.)

        Sid

        December 20, 2016 at 10:24 pm

      • I assume part of it is because better writers worked in SF during that period. Now written SF seems kind of dead, doesn’t it? Twitching.

        It also raises the question, what do the engineers who read SF read these days? Or is it just Call of Duty during any downtime.

        Glengarry

        December 21, 2016 at 7:44 am

      • All Star Wars movies do well simply because of their branding. And the average American loves to be distracted by all kinds of low brow and inane entertainment.

        JS

        December 21, 2016 at 2:44 pm

  18. Something more about Ayn Rand you shall know:

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/12/russian-novel-chernyshevsky-financial-crisis-revolution-214516

    TL;DR: There is nothing American about Ayn Rand’s philosophy. The cornerstone of her philosophy, “rational egoism” was taken from Russian revolutionary thought.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rational_egoism#Philosophy

    What she accoplished was to translate Russian revolutionary nihilism into English. She was inspired by the same book like the Bolsheviks and other Russian revolutionaries. Fortunately, America hadn’t lose a big war and the Randist crowd found no foreign sponsors.

    Zenit

    December 20, 2016 at 7:13 pm

  19. OT: Congress: Obama Admin Fired Top Scientist to Advance Climate Change Plans
    Investigation claims Obama admin retaliated against scientists, politicized DoE

    http://freebeacon.com/politics/congress-obama-admin-fired-top-scientist-advance-climate-change-plans/

    destructure

    December 20, 2016 at 10:02 pm

  20. I’m not sure I’d call Heinlein a libertarian, of any stripe. He was a free thinker who was as baffled as anyone about why he was adopted by the Yippies of his time. They must have seen Stranger in a Strange Land as some sort of Free Love Swinger thing and missed the whole alien angle. Heinlein basically didn’t like his time. His Starship Troopers is a really dystopian view of where he saw the World heading. I wouldn’t put him in the Fascist category either. That movie was horrible. It looked like they were filming scenes from an Honor Harrington Novel and then decided to slap Heinlein into it. He disowned the film, and rightly so. Its every stereotype of Fascism from Hollywood ever. Although that coed shower scene showed a serious Military recruitment tool that explained the huge standing army that could afford to lose 500,000 troops in one battle.

    Joshua Sinistar

    December 21, 2016 at 12:23 am

  21. City of LA using tax money to provide defense for illegals facing deportation. Not everybody on NeoGaf agrees: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1326814

    Trump’s defunding of sanctuary cities really is going to divide the left. A lot of douchebag liberals in cities will lose their minds at getting their services cut/having to pay higher taxes.

    Otis the Sweaty

    December 21, 2016 at 6:51 am

    • The combined number of voters in NYC and Los Angeles who chose Clinton over Trump during the presidential election surpassed the entire population of her supporters in certain Blue States.

      JS

      December 21, 2016 at 3:15 pm

      • If New York City were its own state, it would have the 12th largest population.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        December 21, 2016 at 3:17 pm

      • And NYC and Los Angeles are where most of the Jewish population reside.

        JS

        December 21, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    • Defunding sanctuary cities is long overdue but California is a sanctuary state. Trump’s hardliner immigration platform which consists of deporting millions of criminal aliens, defunding sanctuary cities, empowering local/state police to enforce federal immigration law, encouraging self deportation, and building the wall will transform the state in a big way. A Trump presidency and GOP Congress must also enact nationwide concealed carry and voter ID laws. The crime rate will drop and without massive Democrat voter fraud/illegal aliens California will become purple.

      redarmyvodka

      December 21, 2016 at 5:55 pm

      • Inner city poor people carrying concealed guns is not going to make us safer.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        December 21, 2016 at 6:26 pm

      • A concealed carry permit requires a background check and you are still liable for unlawful use of force. Criminals already carry weapons and engage in harassment, assault, rape, and murder. The police can’t be everywhere and in some places the cops are soft on criminals due to political reasons. Concealed carry simply evens the odds and states where it has been enacted have seen crime rates fall.

        For most of US history we didn’t have bloated police bureaucracies fleecing taxpayers with cushy pay/benefits while writing tickets all day. In the past individuals/families were heavily armed and defended themselves with law enforcement playing a minimal role in criminal justice.

        redarmyvodka

        December 21, 2016 at 6:46 pm

      • Many older, law-abiding black and hispanic men carry knives for protection against NAM thugs. The knives they carry, by the way, are illegal.

        Lewis Medlock

        December 22, 2016 at 1:37 pm

  22. I don’t often promote my own work here, but a few years ago I wrote a review of Heinlein’s very first novel, For Us, The Living.

    Oddly enough, that post is now a reference on Wikipedia.

    Mike Street Station

    December 21, 2016 at 7:59 am

    • What’s wrong with a future where people don’t have to work if they don’t want to? And with robotics and AI coming, it looks like humans won’t be needed for any value creation jobs.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      December 21, 2016 at 8:08 am

      • I guess I still regard such a future as science fiction.

        Mike Street Station

        December 21, 2016 at 8:42 am

      • Automation began with the wheel and people are still around. Stop reading shitty MSM articles. I do agree society needs to embrace some major reforms now though.

        redarmyvodka

        December 21, 2016 at 5:41 pm

      • Yeah this idea that machines will do all the work and people can all find themselves is what leads to paranoia. Skynet, HAL 9000 and the PARANOIA Role Playing Game are all examples of the wonderful world of computer control. I don’t think any of you really understand computers and machines. All this talk of AI is done by people who know virtually nothing about computers. Your old Star Trek viewings can tell you a lot of why people don’t know much about computers. Captain Kirk causing machines to blow up with irrational arguments and guilt tripping the M-5 Computer into suicide is all a perfect example of why no one who talks about this knows anything about it.
        Irregardless of how advanced an AI is, its still just a machine. Its actions aren’t a recreation of a human mind at all. All programs are actually mathematical codes running a sequence. The advanced pseudo AIs like SIRI use logarithms and fuzzy logic to come up with answers. Its not like your mind at all. If you saw WATSON on Jeopardy, it shows you how this works. The computer makes a probability analysis of its databanks to make a prediction. Its based on a long-form statistical analysis of variables used in your question to formulate a probable answer. Its not even similar to a human mind.
        And there’s the rub. A World or Society run by Computers won’t act or think like humans. Irregardless of how advanced the AI is, it still operates on a Mathematical Principle. It has to. All Digital Computers use a processor based on transistors which have just two positions. That’s why binary code has to be used. There are just two possible parameters built into it. All the thoughts and actions have to be done in binary codes based on string programs governed by Mathematical Models. Its completely logical, and far faster than you, but it won’t function or act like humans. At least not inside the machine’s processors where the “thinking” really goes on.
        But you know. TRUST THE COMPUTER. THE COMPUTER IS YOUR FRIEND.

        Joshua Sinistar

        December 22, 2016 at 5:42 am

      • The future of work will be quasi religious wars fought out in courtrooms and in legislative arenas. As the ability to convert the property of others increases so will the demand for those who can defend against such things. There will always be a King,the President, but also several feudal lords in the form of PACs, newspapers, etc. Karl Rove is one such feudal Lord.

        Curle

        December 23, 2016 at 8:38 am

  23. All of your blog posts could be about Heinlein and I would tune in.

    ColRebSez

    December 21, 2016 at 10:53 pm

  24. Lion–glad you’re finally actually reading some Libertarians.

    Amazed at some of the ignorance of the anti-libertarian commenters. Please get a life, people…

    RAH–A great Libertarian. Heinlein was a long-time LIO Libertarian when I joined back in the 50’s, tapped when he was in Annapolis. He was pretty active, even designed the logo for the US LP.

    His books do indeed mention internet, I-phones and more, common topics among L/libertarians for years. He also gave us the 30-year mortgage, waterbeds, the waldo or robotic arm. He worked directly to create NASA, SDI and the fall of Communism.

    He was one of the first to swear in to MG’s new Libertarians (after his wife did) in the early 70’s and was close friends with him.

    He wrote a lengthy analysis for FDR warning about Pearl Harbor in 1936.

    Robert

    December 22, 2016 at 9:40 am


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