= "Social Analysis and Programming"

A brief response to Josh Erickson (petty and Keene-centric)

Published by Skeptikos on Aug 11, 2014

This is a response to Josh Erickson’s post here, which, in turn, is a response to my letter to the editor here. (I love how Josh refuses to link to my original piece. I must be truly despicable!) Anyway, the main points:


You know nothing [about Free Keene/Stop Free Keene], Will May.

Actually, I lived in Keene from 2008 to 2013, and was heavily involved in the libertarian activist scene for the entire duration. From about 2009 onward, after I got annoyed at the 420 protests — you know, like normal Keeniacs ... Read more

Tags: Libertarianism Free State Project Free Keene New Hampshire

How libertarians go wrong

Published by Skeptikos on Aug 1, 2014

There’s a recurring theme in libertarian writing, that liberals mistakenly support left-wing policies because they haven’t bothered to think things through. More often, though, it’s the libertarians who get confused.

Look at Cathy Reisenwitz’s recent article “Kristen Bell is the Latest Celebrity to Fail at Politics and Economics” for an example. She argues that minimum wage supporters don’t understand economics.

Ironically, Cathy herself commits a stream of errors. She writes:

“Raising ... Read more

Tags: Libertarianism

Against conscience / for utility

Published by Skeptikos on Jul 21, 2014

Bryan Caplan argues that even dedicated utilitarians are poor utilitarians, and this supposedly shows that, on some level, they aren’t actually utilitarians – their consciences oppose their utilitarian beliefs.

Not long ago he wrote that consequentialism is inherently authoritarian, and presumably that explains this post. Basically, if Bryan Caplan accepts utilitarianism (a form of consequentialism), he’ll be under more pressure to abandon free market anarchism. So the utilitarianism has to go.

The argument ... Read more

Tags: Libertarianism

What good are left-libertarians?

Published by Skeptikos on Jun 18, 2014

My friend Alex Strekal, a former libertarian, wrote a dismissive piece about left-libertarianism at his “Anti-Libertarian Criticism” blog. At C4SS, a left-libertarian website, Natasha Petrova kindly responded. I have my own thoughts, but first, a quick review for non-libertarians:

Left-libertarians typically start as anarcho-capitalists, then modify their views with criticisms from leftist groups – anarchist communists, Marxists, feminists, the Wobblies, and so on. Instead of ditching libertarianism, however, ... Read more

Tags: Left-libertarianism Libertarianism

Some notes on the new website

Published by Skeptikos on Jun 12, 2014

I replaced the old NOMINATE data with Boris Schor's NPAT data. (Read about the differences here.) All 50 states now have interactive graphs. The state pages default to the most recent year of data available, but you can also see older years by clicking on the legislator links.

I intend to put the old NOMINATE data back up, along with more visualizations, but I won't predict how long that will take. A few other projects may take precedence.

Since I know some people were fans of a few of the older blog posts, I'll try to ... Read more

Designed by Will May