Alain de Botton’s “The Art of Travel”

I highly recommend if you plan to travel, and I just listened to it (during my commute). Surely it’s better with the video. It’s based on the author‘s book The Art of Travel.

THE ART OF TRAVEL, presented by Alain de Botton (and based on his bestselling book of the same name), looks into the philosophical impulses behind travelling and in doing so offers a profound and often witty view of some of the deeper issues underlying travel and our desire for it.

Thanks to Russ Roberts for interviewing Alain de Botton at EconTalk about his book The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work.




Leave a comment

Filed under arts, entertainment, sports, psychology

How Trigger Warnings Are Hurting Mental Health on College Campuses

College students are increasingly demanding protection from words and ideas they don’t like. Here’s why that’s disastrous for education.

Source: How Trigger Warnings Are Hurting Mental Health on Campus – The Atlantic., By Greg Lukianoff & Jonathan Haidt.

Victimhood Culture in America: Beyond Honor and Dignity – Americans increasingly want and expect adult supervision

Leave a comment

Filed under philosophy & religion

Store named Unfinished Furtnitu sells unfinished furniture. My not-so-original joke.

I thought my idea was so (arguably) funny and original — until I Googled (with quotes) the term unfinished furnitu.  Clearly I’m not the first to think of this. At least it’s still funny … to some people.pinebedroom3

Leave a comment

Filed under humor

Government, please impose “net neutrality” for UPS, FedEx, and the Postal Service!

In 2010, Business Insider CEO and Editor-in-Chief Henry Blodget wrote:

ISPs spend billions of dollars building fiber networks. Why on earth shouldn’t they be able to charge what the market will bear to deliver bits over those networks?  If people want their bits delivered quickly and securely, they can pay more.  If they don’t, they can pay less.  It’s as simple (and fair) as that.

To see how silly the whole concept of “net neutrality” is, all you have to do is glance at the physical world.

Imagine if the Post Office (or FedEx, or UPS, or DHL, or any trucking or transport company) were legally prohibited from charging more for delivering some stuff sooner than other stuff.

Ridiculous, right?

Yes, ridiculous.  Those shipping and transport companies spent billions of dollars building their transportation networks.  They have every right to charge whatever the market will bear to deliver stuff via them.

No one has any problem with the concept that the Post Office treats overnight packages differently than slow-boat ones.  Importantly, they also charge different rates depending on what is in the package–see “book rate” and all pricing by weight. So why all this hullaballoo about “NET NEUTRALITY”?

The answer is simple: Self-interest.

Net-neutrality zealots don’t own pipe companies. They haven’t spent billions of dollars building the networks that carry all those bits around.  They HAVE spent (collectively) billions of dollars building the bits that get carried around–so of course they’d like to keep that bit-carrying as cheap as possible.

Read the whole article: Stop Moaning About “NET NEUTRALITY” — Of Course ISPs Should Be Able To Charge Higher Rates For Premium Traffic.

See also:


Leave a comment

Filed under economics, public policy

Fifty Shades of Gray: Critics’ aesthetic snark as a means of dodging thought & engagement.

Nick Gillespie on Fifty Shades of Gray:

the main function of the Fifty Shades phenomenon is to let lazy elitists showcase their superior taste Mocking the literary merits of work that generates intense audience engagement is, quite frankly, the cheapest sort of criticism. It’s also a go-to move of critics who can’t be bothered to think about why audiences might respond to a given text or the issues that it raises. … Too often, aesthetic snark is simply a means of dodging thought and engagement.

Read the whole article: Fifty Shades of WTF – Hit & Run :

Leave a comment

Filed under arts, entertainment, sports

Why politicians add subsidies instead of removing costly government controls: It makes them look good.

Nick Gillespie of explains:

[The President’s] solution to every rising price is to subsidize its purchase (this is true for health care, education, you name it). But when you subsidize something with tax dollars, you’re likely to increase both aggregate spending on it and increase prices (this too is true for health care, education, you name it). And his nod towards “high-quality” child care suggests more rules and regulations on the practice, which also will like raise prices too.

This isn’t Obama’s failing alone, of course, but why do politicians rarely or ever talk about growing supply as a way of reducing prices? One of the most frustrating aspects of the Obamacare debate was that virtually no one on either side was talking about how to reduce prices by increasing supply. It was all about regulating prices by restricting or dampening demand.

That’s an ass-backwards way of looking at things, but it makes political sense, I guess: You want to be the person cutting the check to a specific beneficiary rather than fading into the background after deregulating an industry and letting innovators come up with new, better, cheaper goods and services.

Read the whole post.

Leave a comment

Filed under economics, public policy

‘97% Of Climate Scientists Agree’ Is 100% Wrong

Alex Epstein writes:

If you’ve ever expressed the least bit of skepticism about environmentalist calls for making the vast majority of fossil fuel use illegal, you’ve probably heard the smug response: “97% of climate scientists agree with climate change”–which always carries the implication: Who are you to challenge them?

The answer is: you are a thinking, independent individual–and you don’t go by polls, let alone second-hand accounts of polls; you go by facts, logic and explanation.

Read the whole article: ‘97% Of Climate Scientists Agree’ Is 100% Wrong – Forbes.

See also:

Making ‘The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels’,” a review of Epstein’s book economist Bryan Caplan’s blog posts about The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, and the I Love Fossil Fuels Facebook community.


Leave a comment

Filed under public policy, technology & science