Sunday Links

Hello world! Well, I had a feeling things would get quiet around here in the early-quarter crunch, but I failed to predict just how much I would lose control. The details aren’t especially important, but suffice it to say that I drove myself slightly crazy in these first few weeks. I’m just resurfacing now, and can affirm that my idea of “living intentionally” has gained entire unforeseen layers of meaning. I’m tracking my progress in January in-depth in a private log, and the relevant details will likely surface here come my winter quarter review next month.

For now, let’s focus on the reading! I’ve kept up my reading habits over these past few weeks, though my focus has shifted from online posts and articles to books.

  • “In Praise of Passivity” has been making quite the splash in libertarian circles recently. Michael Huemer sums up decades of pro-free-market discourse and asks us to consider the forgotten wisdom of doing nothing — of not “fighting” for the causes we “believe” in, and of not pushing current social theory into undue prominence.
  • Michael Nielsen’s “How the Bitcoin protocol actually works” is a fascinating intuitive explanation of the innards of the Bitcoin protocol. This post added much to my understanding of the system, even though I had already read (and thought I understood) the original Satoshi paper.
  • Friedrich Hayek contrasts two strongly opposed schools which both take the same name in “Individualism: True and False”. He scorns the individualism which he labels as “Cartesian rationalism,” which supposes that a society must promote the search for those pinnacles of human reason who can serve as “wise legislators” to lead the rest of us. Hayek puts forth his own idea of individualism, a measured and exceedingly humble recognition of any individual’s fallibility and the consequent need for free interaction and group consensus in a political system.
  • Walter E. Williams defends capitalism in the face of Pope Francis’ recent harsh critique.