Money

David Deutsch tweeted the following:

David is right. The exchange of money for a painting is just a trade that does not alter the total amount of goods and services (resources) available in an economy. Person buying the painting acquires property rights over the painting, and the seller has the money–which represents claims on resources. The seller of the painting can do whatever he wants, including giving it to charity. The buyer could have given the money to charity instead of acquiring the rights to the painting. Continue reading “Money”

AMA – The 2nd Oct edition

Fragile by Sting

Indians know Oct 2nd as “Gandhi Jayanti.” Most Indians celebrate Gandhi as the one who is responsible for India’s independence from the British Raj. That’s patently false but being false has never deterred the ignorant. Most people — not just Indians — are ignorant anyway.

Gandhi was a monster. I have wasted a lot of time arguing why. Here are a few of my previous posts on Gandhi. Indians should be told who the man actually was. This one is not about Gandhi.

This post is about two of my favorite musicians who were born on Oct 2nd: Don McLean in 1945, and Sting in 1951.

To celebrate those two singers, here are two of their songs. First the 1971 super-hit song by Don McLean. Continue reading “AMA – The 2nd Oct edition”

Quotes – Mises

On this day, Sept 29, Ludwig von Mises was born in 1881. Happy Birthday, dear Ludwig.

“He who is unfit to serve his fellow citizens wants to rule them.”
― Ludwig von Mises
Bureaucracy

“All rational action is in the first place individual action. Only the individual thinks. Only the individual reasons. Only the individual acts.”
― Ludwig von Mises
Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis Continue reading “Quotes – Mises”

Lessons from Economics

Too ignorant to know that planning fails
The Road to Hell

The fundamentals of economics is fun to learn. They are also somewhat counter-intuitive, until you internalize them and then it becomes part of your intuition.

Friedrich von Hayek held that “The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.”

Social engineering and economic planning fails precisely when social scientists, instead of being students, presume to be able to intervene into things that are not amenable to design. The worst offenders in this regard are ignorant politicians. They push the country into needless poverty. Continue reading “Lessons from Economics”

The Imminent Energy Shock

The biological world presented a mystery to people for millennia. The variety of life forms on earth was clearly immense. It was also clear to some observers of the biological world of life on land and in water that they were the result of evolution that led to the formation of new species of plants and animals. It was well understood that the various life forms evolved from earlier life forms, and that all life was related to all others. The difficulty lay in explaining the mechanism for evolution.

Some other observers held a different view. They argued that the variety of life forms on earth were created by an act of creation. That implied that there was a creator who designed and seeded earth with the all kinds of life we see on earth. They are called “creationists” and are distinct from “evolutionists” who believed in evolution. Continue reading “The Imminent Energy Shock”

On the Interstate – Part 4

On I-20 West somewhere in Mississippi. Notice the little red Ganesha. Click to embiggen.

This is the final part of the set of posts related to my road trip from Newark, DE, to Dallas, TX. (Previously, part 1, part 2 and part 3.) I was slightly apprehensive about the drive not because of the distance — around 2,500 kms — but because my car had a roof-top bag. I’d never done such a thing. It turned out fine.

Let me tell you why all my road trips turn out fine. Notice that little red Ganesha on my dashboard? In exchange for him removing all obstacles, I give him sweets. He never fails to deliver. Honest. Continue reading “On the Interstate – Part 4”

On the Interstate – Part 3

Easy Rider

(Previously part 1 and part 2.)

I believe that part of my fascination with road trips derives from a movie I had watched many times during my teenage years. It was Easy Rider, now a classic American movie.[1] A bunch of guys on their Harley Davidson motorbikes.

I was attracted by the American landscape but what made it addictive was the sound track. Many of the songs became my favorite, the most loved being “Wasn’t born to follow” by The Byrds, which I append at the end of the post. The lyrics are magical. Continue reading “On the Interstate – Part 3”

On the Interstate – Part 2

This is the followup to the previous part.

I like road trips so much that I like to think that had I been born in the US, as a kid I would have thought that I would be a truck driver when I grew up. Some kids in the US dream of becoming garbage truck drivers or train drivers. Not me. But thank goodness, I get to drive a lot for fun.

The latest road trip was required. I drove from Newark, DE, to Dallas, TX, via Atlanta, GA. The journey was in three parts. First, the shortest of the three was from Newark, DE, to Ashburn, VA. I met a huge amount of traffic and ended up doing a 3 hour journey in 4 and a half hour. Continue reading “On the Interstate – Part 2”

On the Interstate – Part 1

In my view, how much we like some place depends primarily on two factors. One is the people we know there, and the other is the opportunities the place offers us to explore our interests.

(The image on the left is a graphic of the interstate highway system. Note that it is denser on the East than the West. Click on the image to get to the wiki page on the interstate highway system.)

I like living in the US. I have a large number of friends and acquaintances in the US (but no family and I don’t have my own family, anyway), and I can indulge my hobbies and my interests. One of my passions is the open road. I love road trips. The US is made for road trips. Continue reading “On the Interstate – Part 1”

AMC – Dolphins

By NASA–Wikimedia commons

I have never seen dolphins in the sea — only in captivity at the SeaWorld in San Diego, CA, and at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, CA.

It’s hard to believe that these animals evolved from land-dwelling mammals to become aquatic mammal within the infraorder Cetacea. The wiki says —

Dolphins are descendants of land-dwelling mammals of the artiodactyl order (even-toed ungulates). They are related to the Indohyus, an extinct chevrotain-like ungulate, from which they split approximately 48 million years ago.

The primitive cetaceans, or archaeocetes, first took to the sea approximately 49 million years ago and became fully aquatic by 5–10 million years later.

Continue reading “AMC – Dolphins”

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