"But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?"
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Vetting roommates currently. I settle on my house in 9 days, and I'm trying to decide whether to shack up with someone who shares values (stimulating conversations, physical activity, a wee bit of partying) or a quiet someone who pays rent and I don't interact with much.
Maybe for the first time around, I go with the latter. There's a religious guy who is interested and who's nice and quiet would probably fit the bill. I could always change it up later.
In NYC right for spring break. Beautiful outside! Gonna spend the day thrift store shopping.
Bravo. That was chilling and brilliant.
- Someone asked me the other day when I was giving a talk a really interesting question. They said, “If you abolished the government, would America be more or less equal?” Because there’s all the equality that comes from redistribution but there’s all the inequality that comes from rent-seeking. And it’s not clear to me which one.
Fascinating. At another point in the conversation, he mentions the tendency of rent-seeking to spike if people sense that the overall pie isn't growing as fast. Instead of investing and taking risks, folks try scramble to find their musical chair before anyone else does.
You mentioned Graeber. Would he have been your champion of choice against Murray?
Was just gonna post this!
This seems like an opportunity begging for both sides to pick what they want from the event and solidify tribal allegiances. Exhibit A) Charles Murray is a cantankerous son of a bitch, an old school traditionalist who thinks what'll help the have-nots is a heaping pile of personal responsibility. Want proof? Look at how well white families have performed in the past. QED. Exhibit B) Liberals are pants-on-head retarded and can't even listen to someone before rioting and injuring a registered Dem faculty member of one of the most liberal colleges on earth.
I've read a few things by Murray, so I'm 10% qualified to speak on my disagreements with him. He's got a few good ideas. Some bad ones, which unfortunately have a lot of currency in conservative social circles. That said, there is still an unproductive tendency for (some/a lot... not sure the proportion) college-aged liberals to boil over red with anger and shut down all non-emotional faculties when confronted with conservative viewpoints. I understand that there is an incalculable cost associated with the unchecked racism that runs through the country's history, but Charles Murray was just vindicated for the rest of his life and I don't see how that helps.
edit to add: I've been thinking about how little I've managed to do in the wake of Trump--excluding all writing on the Internet as that has next to zero real world benefit--and I'm really dismayed. I have excuses like that I'm busy (college, buying a house) but they feel cheap. And when I think about the trapped feeling that most of my peers feel, rioting against the system and protecting the disenfranchised seem less condemnable.
Coordination is surely an issue. No one wants to make the first move because it's so risky. But surely the goal is dense, vibrant, dynamic neighborhoods. Being the first to move into a neighborhood or city that's blighted or vacant means a several year to lifelong commitment. That's a huge investment for an unassured thing. But one would have to conclude that it's absolutely necessary.
That's why I light up at new experiments like these. Create some data. Start a discussion.
Unfortunately, I know nothing about city building codes and what stands in the way as especially onerous regulation, so I can't speak to your point about construction in the 80s. That does sound like just a convenient cutoff point--as far back as we can go before we start insulating with asbestos. The 1980s don't strike me as an especially innovative time RE construction, but again, not my area of expertise.
- and people with the means to fix them being unable to buy and fix because the current resident won't leave.
These people have that opportunity right now. They just aren't taking advantage. Detroit currently has programs to sell houses for $1 if someone promises to move in and pay a pittance in taxes for a few years before reselling. Baltimore has done this in the past, its current iteration of the program being a "Vacants to Value" subsidy. They want for these people the means to fix them.