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Self in Society Roundup 32

Airline protectionism, citizen journalism, AI written books, the identity trap, Orville, For All Mankind, and more.

Copyright © 2024 by Ari Armstrong
October 1, 2023; ported here on January 13, 2024

Colorexas: People are moving to Texas for economic freedom (in relative terms). People are moving to Colorado for personal freedom. Why can't we have "Colorexas" where we have freedom across the board? [Links added January 13, 2024.]

Airline Protectionism: Gary Leff: "Airlines and the major pilot union have lobbied the federal government to put premium air carrier JSX out of business, and the FAA has introduced a rulemaking to do just that." Via Jon Caldara.

Antitrust: Ayn Rand was right, notes Alex Tabarrok.

Journalism: Elon Musk Tweeted about citizen journalists. Chris Vanderveen replied, "Citizen journalism isn't something to be scared of. But it's also not a replacement for professional journalism. A citizen journalist can tell you a fire is burning a building. A professional journalist will try to find out why it burned."

Books: Publishers Weekly via Ted Gioia via Tyler Cowen: "KDP [Amazon's Kindle] said that, while it has not yet 'seen a spike in our publishing numbers,' it is lowering the number of new titles users can update to the platform daily to three, 'in order to help protect against abuse.' It is possible that the number may be lowered again in the future." Obviously, no actual person can write three actual books in a day. Amazon is just filling its market with garbage.

PragerK–12? Wow, it's so terrible to propagandize children in government-run schools, leftists sometimes recognize.

Identity Trap: Yascha Mounk discusses his new book on the "identity"-obsessed left, hosted by Sam Harris. The bizarre thing about that movement is that in many respect it denies the identity of individuals, seeking instead to define a person's identity mostly by unchosen group affiliations.

Slavery: Edward Larson's discussion with Michael Shermer about slavery in America is excellent.

Tracinski and Linker: Check out Robert Tracinski's discussion with Damon Linker. Linker critiques "the right."

Transgender: Erin Reed: "A Montana judge has blocked a gender affirming care ban for trans youth as unconstitutional, citing overwhelming medical evidence and violations of fundamental rights in the state constitution."

AI Fiction: A great "AI might destroy us" sci-fi story is "Identity" parts I and II from Season 2 of Orville (currently on Disney and Hulu). Orville is one of my top favorite shows of all time, worthy of multiple viewings, and better than all modern Star Trek in my view.

For All Mankind: The Apple show is about what might have happened had the Soviets beat us to the moon. Overall I loved this show (I've watched the first three seasons; the fourth season comes out soon). Be warned: Much of the show has people in and tied to the space program doing extremely stupid and irritating things, for the sake of setting up tension and drama between the characters. I loved the show anyway. Although the show gives too much credit to the Communists, it shows Russia actively stealing U.S. tech, which it actually did in spades.

Elemental: Overall I enjoyed the Disney/Pixar film. It's about "being true to yourself." A "fire" girl is supposed to take over the family shop, but she's not sure she wants to do that. Also, she's dating a "water" guy, which her parents aren't sure about.

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