34. Eventually, a computer will write the best novel ever written.
The fact is, I don’t know. Best to whom? By whose and by what standard of greatness? Who gets to decide? Who knows…they will probably eventually make computers fast and smart enough to assemble a story from trillions upon trillions of possible scenarios, each begetting trillions upon trillions of possibilities, and so on. But will a computer ever be able to imagine a fictional story from scratch? I don’t know for certain, but I tend to doubt it. If that happens, then what is more likely to have happened is that men will have learned to create intelligent, human-like life. Computers compute. Humans intuit and reason.
35. I should be able to sell my vote for cash if I feel like it.
Why not? It’s the only way I know of to make my "overwhelmingly important" 1 in 270 millionth "say" actually worth something to me. Of course, I don’t vote. I don’t vote because I’m opposed to it, on principle: I’m not a thief. I’m not going to sit around and rationalize why it would be "so great" to take your money in order to accomplish "all these great things." I assume that you’re competent to decide what’s great, and if great enough, voluntarily pay what it’s worth to you. That’s how I operate, and that’s all I expect in life. Thankfully, it’s more than enough, once you get the hang of it.
36. America isn’t as free as it thinks it is.
In many ways, social-level freedom has increased, when you consider that homosexual and interracial couples were in grave risk of their lives until relatively recently. There are many other examples, and many examples where it has gone the other way (smoking, food, recreational drugs, etc.). Economic freedom is completely non-existent. That doesn’t mean that you still can’t make a very good living, but the red tape exacts a heavy tax in terms of time, effort, focus, etc. — especially when one is just starting out. It’s theft, just like it always is. Personally, I was a rouge in every way possible (taxes, business license, employees, etc.). I would never have actually started in business had I worried one wit about "compliance." After a few years, once I was established, I went back and cleaned up the paperwork. Of course, I did it not out of any sense of obligation (the government can go fuck themselves), but only out of a cost/benefit practicality. In the beginning, the cost of compliance was infinite (I could never have succeeded). After succeeding, the cost of non-compliance became infinite (it would have eventually caused the destruction of the business by self-important pipsqueaks and clowns).
37. Employees should have the right to go on strike without the risk of being permanently replaced.
If employees want to go on strike without bearing the risk of any adverse consequences (have their cake & eat it too), then they ought to accumulate their own investment capital, put it at risk in their own enterprise, and then go on strike to their their heart’s content. Oh; I forgot, they’re risk averse. Well, then, I suggest they search out another "reality," where actions don’t have consequences.
Look, this has to be just about the most pernicious idiocy I’ve ever heard of in my life. You risk the capital; you risk your time; you work your ass off to build a company. Then someone comes along and proposes that they leave you high & dry and you’re supposed to leave their job open for them. Where do people come up with such insanity?
I’m not against unions, striking, or collective bargaining in principle, at all. It’s all freedom of association. The corollary is that employers have the same right, which includes the right to disassociate.
38. I think the American government should subsidize our small farms.
Let me qualify that. I’m fine with the state subsidizing farms, so long as it comes out of the personal pockets of all federal politicians and employees of the Department of Agriculture. Again, it’s all about theft, just under a different set of pretenses. If small farms are going out of business, then they’re not competitive. Welcome to Planet Earth! Welcome to reality. The practical reality is that subsidizing them is doing them no favors. Political whims change like the wind, and as soon as politicians find a bigger political payoff to "invest" their spoils, you’re subsidized fix is history, man.
39. The life of one American is worth the lives of several foreigners.
Man’s life is the standard of value, and that has nothing to do with national or geographic origin. Just wars are typically won through attrition, among other things. That’s the reality of the task, but it doesn’t speak to the worth of the soldiers on the receiving end, qua life. Every life is precious. It’s all we have as a point of reference for value at all. That said, there are some people who need to be killed because of their actions or clearly threatened actions. But nobody ever needs to be killed because their life is of less value.
40. A society is only as successful as its least fortunate members.
Collectivist claptrap. Individuals are as successful as they purpose themselves to be and achieve. End of story. To the degree any "society" is successful, it is due only to the success of individuals who claim membership in such society.
41. Practical considerations aside, a person who doesn’t use many government services should pay less in taxes.
Of course, this question requires that I suspend moral outrage at all taxes of all kinds (theft). So, yes, a "progressive" tax would be one in which an individual’s net contributions to society would be accounted for and deducted accordingly. As a consequence, the rich who provide the engine of production (capital) would pay no taxes at all. Myself, as someone who employs about 30 people, puts food on their table, pays their family medical, and matches their 401K contributions would pay no additional "taxes" at all. It’s like kicking me in the teeth for doing something wholesome and beneficial for others (that benefits me too, of course). Does anyone have any idea how much personal income I forego so that I can pay highly competitive wages and full benefits, and then how much more I loose when the feds and California kick me right in the teeth with their damned corporate and personal tax bills? You have no fucking idea, do you?
42. I think everyone has a right to the basic material necessities of life.
Except for dependent children, everyone has a right to what they earn and own and only to what they earn and own. The better news is that everyone has an absolute and exclusive right to everything they earn and own; with no exception, on any grounds. Ever.
43. Who did you vote for in the 2004 Presidential Election?
I didn’t vote <—-
I couldn’t vote (please select this if you’re not a U.S. citizen)
Y’all are welcome to your extremely important 1 in 270 millionth say in things. I really don’t want any say at all in your life, but I want total and complete say in mine. Deal? Of course not, and do you know why? It’s because you think that the silly ritual of going into some silly little booth and running a poker through a piece of cardboard gives you some magical moral sanction to dictate the terms of my life and prosperity.
44. If you had to pigeonhole yourself as being ‘for’ or ‘against’ the following ideas, how would you do it?
a. Legal abortion?
For. I make distinctions between embryos and fetuses and between fetuses and human beings. I think that people should be responsible in their behavior, and that if they are, abortions will be rare. Still, it’s not an area where I could intervene no matter how unpleasant I believe most abortions to be.
b. The death penalty?
Against. You can’t undo an execution if you later find out that the conviction was in error. I have no moral qualms, however, with ‘a life for a life,’ so if one could be absolutely certain about the facts of a murder and the malicious intent, or, one has a solid confession, then I’d have no problem with it. In other words, I might be For if the the standard of guilt was raised from ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ to ‘beyond any doubt,’ if such a standard could even be practicable. I believe it’s probably not, so I remain Against.
c. The War on Drugs?
Against. This has zero place in a fee society. It’s just simply nobody’s business, ever.
d. Gun control?
Against. See previous comments related to how police do not protect. That’s the practical. The moral is that I have an absolute right to provide for my own defense, everywhere and at all times. The only one with a right to tell me to put my gun away is a property owner, as a condition to entry. I comply, or I find somewhere else to go.
e. War with Iraq?
For. With reservations. I don’t advocate the state, but then again, I have to get from place to place in order to live — among a whole host of other things that requires my use and/or submission to aspects of state control. If someone makes clear their intention to kill me at their leisure or first opportunity, then they give me little choice but to act, which could even involve preemptive killing. This is the moral sanction at work with regard to terrorists. We need not wait for them to carry out their next attack so that we can send in the police to pick up the pieces and decorate their personnel files with prosecutions and convictions. We kill them now, as many as we possibly can, as quickly as we possibly can, and the only way to effect that is through the military. Thankfully, it’s a volunteer force. I would not support the war if it wasn’t. There’s a lot more to say on this topic. Perhaps a separate entry later.
f. School prayer?
For. Not as a requirement or official event, of course. But, if someone wants to pray to a fantasy, or for that matter, to dance around a campfire to bring rain, I just can’t see how it’s any of your business or mine.
Did I change your mind about anything? If you’ve read all four sections, go take the test again to see if you’ve been swayed at all and report back with a comment.