The Last Jedi Betrays the Original Trilogy and its Heroes

Through sheer storytelling laziness, it tells us that nothing that came before mattered. The Last Jedi is the most disappointing Star Wars movie since Attack of the Clones. I don’t believe I’m overstating that. It’s a movie that, through its plot developments and characterization, makes the whole of the Star Wars saga less interesting and […]

Decentralization and privacy are inevitable — in tech and in government.

Decentralization and encryption/privacy are good principles for digital technology. They’re also pretty good principles for effective, fair, and just government. Those two principles are becoming more widespread within digital technology, and trend will only accelerate as more of our lives, interactions, transactions, and work move into the digital realm. This will have inevitable, positive effects […]

That Time Dave Thomas of Wendy’s Hung Out on My Website to Talk Dungeons & Dragons

A maybe true story. In 1999, with a couple of friends, I founded the Gaming Outpost. For a time in the early 2000s, it was the internet’s largest tabletop gaming website, until brought low by a combination a disgruntled employee, a late-night hack, tapering revenue, and founders who decided to get real jobs. But the Gaming […]

Technology, Radical Liberty, and Freedom Without Permission

Decentralization will bring about a radically freer and more dynamic world, and without waiting for the blessing of government. Decentralized, DIY Beginnings I got my start when I was 14, dialing into local BBSes to play text games, post to FidoNet, and download warez. This would’ve been 1993. For those of you born about that […]

Making the World Better

Do libertarians want to destroy social bonds so we can live in a world without cooperation? If you believe Nick Hanauer and Eric Liu, libertarians are nuts. In a recent commentary, they gave a litany of reasons for “Why libertarian society is doomed to fail.” The trouble is, they’ve managed not only to misunderstand libertarianism, […]

The Humble Case for Liberty

The virtue of humility is found in recognizing our limits — and that humility ought to make fans of limited government. I could be wrong about pretty much anything. What I don’t know so outweighs what I do that my actual knowledge appears as little more than a small raft on an ocean of ignorance. I suffer […]

America’s Hyperbole Problem

Why our culture has become so exhausting. Ours has become a culture of hyperbole. Nothing characterizes American social interaction, mediated through politics and social media, more than our need to assure ourselves, and broadcast to others, that whatever is happening now — whatever currently grasps our unexamined attention — is the most, greatest, acutest of whatever has ever been. […]

False Promises and Uncertain Economic Truths

Markets are overwhelmingly good, but the results of market processes aren’t always good for everyone, in every instance. Markets are overwhelmingly good, but the results of market processes aren’t always good for everyone, in every instance. Pretending otherwise isn’t persuasive. There’s an unfortunate tendency among some free market advocates to blame the victim: If you […]

Has There Ever Been a Box Office Smash Scifi Movie With Less Cultural Impact Than Avatar?

http://avaretarded.deviantart.com/art/Na-vi-Costume-No-edit-306654733 We’re on our way to four(!) Avatar sequels, which is probably the same as number of people excited about Avatar sequels. It’s pretty striking, really, how quickly Avatar vanished from the public consciousness. The movie came out at the end of 2009, and in the years since, we’ve seen really no lasting attempts to […]

Good Arguments Demand Careful Thinking

It is important to argue clearly, not loudly. If you watch enough people talk about politics, you’ll quickly conclude most people just aren’t very good at it. There’s often a kind of emotional intensity that clouds communication. But there’s also a general lack of skill at articulating the complex ideas and frequently-unexamined principles that motivate so […]