Re: Christ, what an asshole

1

Good lord that guy needs to be forced to stick to an analogy ban.

Also,

Formerly a Slate columnist

Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 2:57 PM
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Hating on that asshole at unfogged : an eternal golden braid.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 2:59 PM
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Yep.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 2:59 PM
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For a moment, I was working on a joke about him molesting his own clone after an evening of slipping his clone roofies in his Irish car bombs, but then I checked, and I got the wrong creepy libertarian economist whom Brad DeLong makes fun of. So, sorry, Steven Landsburg! You may think Sandra Fluke is a whore, but at least you don't want to raise your own clone.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 3:24 PM
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4: Oh, god. Are libertarians ever not creepy?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 3:25 PM
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Oddly, he's also a prolific question answerer on Math Overflow. It sounds like he was an algebraic topologist before he was an economist.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 3:27 PM
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Once I looked at the link and saw "Rochester professor" I knew it could be no other.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 3:33 PM
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6: Yes, that's right. His degree is in math. I actually thought he had an academic appointment in mathematics, although I guess I never checked.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 3:34 PM
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There is an entertaining conversation about this asshat over at Balloon Juice, in which I offer my take.


Posted by: Grumbles | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 3:40 PM
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Not to defend this clown, but is he endorsing this, or coming up with a stupid thought experiment? Crooked Timber's had discussions of these, e.g., can you consent to a secretarial job where your contract says you have to be sexually available to your boss, but I wouldn't attribute them to the bloggers.

I take the view that not being able to see the difference between being raped and having photons cause you psychic distress (?) counts as a reductio of his position.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 3:57 PM
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The kind of logic that makes people think they can take copies people's artistic work for free and without compensation (because it hasn't directly destroyed someone else's physical property) leads precisely to the notion that you can finger-bang an unwitting woman so long as she never knows about it.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 4:01 PM
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Take that, internet!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 4:01 PM
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Stop trying to push the Overton Window on intellectual property, Halford.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 4:05 PM
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That was pretty impressive trolling, Halford.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 4:15 PM
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The kind of logic that makes people think they can take copies people's artistic work for free and without compensation (because it hasn't directly destroyed someone else's physical property) leads precisely to the notion that you can finger-bang an unwitting woman so long as she never knows about it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 4:29 PM
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I wonder what the story of his field switch was... His work in math looks quite good (Duke is a very good journal). He's still behind me at MO though.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 4:38 PM
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His appointment appears to be in economics.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 4:39 PM
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Rochester's economics department is world-famous. It's one of the schools that gives "freshwater economics" its name. I don't know if this makes this fool's microphone any bigger.


Posted by: Robert | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 4:40 PM
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MO

What?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 4:42 PM
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Unfortunate anagram there.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 4:42 PM
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Oh, I figured it out.

Missouri.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 4:42 PM
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Nah I mean Movember Overlord.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 4:42 PM
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It seems quite likely to me that this is a stupid thought experiment, but at some point even stupid thought experiments can go too far... Surely he could have found a less awful example that would still be awful enough to make the same point. Also he should have prefaced his discussion with "obviously the answer is that it's wrong, but I'm having trouble identifying the right account of why it's wrong." He's phrasing it as if he's not actually sure that it is wrong, just because he's not sure why it's wrong.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 4:44 PM
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6 to 19 if anyone else is confused.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 4:45 PM
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15- that's a very serious, thoughtful, argument that has never been made in such detail or with such care.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 4:46 PM
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I also hate when people make arguments based on "but what if you assume X, where X is impossible." It's just not possible to restrict to "cases where the perpetrators take precautions to ensure the victim never learns about it."


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 4:50 PM
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The kind of logic that makes people think they can take copies people's artistic work for free and without compensation (because it hasn't directly destroyed someone else's physical property) leads precisely to the notion that you can finger-bang an unwitting woman so long as she never knows about it.


Posted by: Batman | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 4:58 PM
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The kind of logic that makes people think they can take copies of people's artistic work for free and without compensation (because it hasn't directly destroyed someone else's physical property) leads precisely to the notion that you can finger-bang an unwitting woman so long as she never knows about it.

I've improved on the original so now I actually am entitled to legal protection of the previous sentence.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 5:11 PM
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The kind of logic that makes people think they can take copies people's artistic work for free and without compensation (because it hasn't directly destroyed someone else's physical property) leads precisely to the notion that you can finger-bang an unwitting woman so long as she never knows about it.


Posted by: Spartacus | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 5:12 PM
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I've improved on the original so now I actually am entitled to legal protection of the previous sentence.

Can I get a whole novel?

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, 'Meh' really summed it up."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 5:17 PM
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Very clever, you finger-banging rapists.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 5:17 PM
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Also the same logic that leads people to oppose infinite copyright terms leads precisely to the notion that you can fingerbang corpses so long as they've been dead long enough.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 5:27 PM
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FINGERBANG MICKEY


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 5:29 PM
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10: the problem isn't that he proposes the thought experiment. Its that he dismisses normal answers to the thought experiment as "red herrings" so he can drive inexorably to the conclusion that rape really is ok.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 5:33 PM
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Prae, what can we reap from the rape of a pear? A pre? Aper!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 5:44 PM
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36

It's six kinds of fucking stupid. Given that he's in an economics department, if he wanted to be contrarian about "it's not a crime if nobody sees it," he could have said something about an embezzler who pays back what he stole before it is noticed but is later caught.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 5:45 PM
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So it's okay to steal a million dollars from a billionaire as long as he's never going to miss it? Come on, freshwater economists - where's my contrarian Slate post on that...


Posted by: I ban myself | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 5:52 PM
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38

Pwned, all too pwned.


Posted by: I ban myself | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 5:57 PM
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39

Is it ok to steal a hundred million dollars from a billionaire who dies before he knows its missing, and has, as his sole heir, a child who never knew he was the heir of the billionaire? It's irresponsible not to.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 5:59 PM
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40

I dunno: I kinda don't think that's an ok thought experiment to pose (full stop) because the terms of the question are so offensive and tie so close to the hideously patriarchal and disgusting history of laws around sex. I mean, it's like, legal philosophy has spent a fair bit of a time on these questions and one aspect of that has been the realisation that hey! sexism exists. Erasing that sexism the way this hypothetical does is pretty fucked up I reckon.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 6:02 PM
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41

I'm kind of with 10 and 23: it's reasonable as a thought experiment, and raises potentially interesting questions. Which are answerable questions! I could see someone posing a similar question to a philosophy class: why is it wrong to rape someone if (s)he will never know about it?

Why he focuses solely on 'psychic' harms to the victim is unclear. No longer-term physical harms? Okay, I gather that's stipulated. Why he focuses on effects solely to the victim is egregiously, er, ill-framed. Don't economists like to talk about so-called externalities? Even if it's stipulated that the victim will never know about the rape, and it's further stipulated that nobody else will either, the rapists will. Their behavior will become that much more normalized. Etc.

I am *totally ignoring* the Farnsworth McCrankypants and Granola McMustardseed obnoxiousness.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 6:05 PM
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42

41 notwithstanding, 40 is correct.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 6:08 PM
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43

You know, I had a teacher pose this question, essentially, to us in high school---and he skillfully got us to grow our "WTF, that's just wrong"s into actual, thoughtful articulations, and when we had all come to an articulation that we were happy with he said with a flourish, "and now I hope this *also* means none of you will ever take advantage of a drunk person in college!" I had completely, totally forgotten about this until just now. It seems like an exercise like that, in a small classroom, with students who are used to you punking them and realize that this is a cue for them to work harder, and with the necessary restatement of actual values at the end, had value. The funny thing is I never remember the exercise, but I always remember the short story which prompted it (an item in a collection of contemporary African literature) when I think about why it's so amazing to me that people are unclear on this point. Asshole economist, on the other hand, seems inclined to approach the issue in exactly the opposite way: in public, not to teach but to pontificate and shock and show off, with no foundational moral grounding. Asshole economist also seems to be one of those mathy/philsophy people who badly needs some lessons in actual experimental physics and biology. There's a REASON I have no reason to complain when a neighbor turns on a porchlight. I do have a reason to complain if they turn on an extremely bright spotlight or a terrawatt laser pointed at my house.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 6:08 PM
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44

Thought Experiments that tend to validate rape culture are bullshit. In any way shape or form. In the smallest measure.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 6:11 PM
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45

I'm kind of surprised this guy is at Rochester -- but this thing was on his personal blog, not presented in a course. Anyway, some of the people at Balloon Juice are declaring that he should be fired, and I can't agree.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 6:12 PM
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I didn't say that it was reasonable, but I wasn't clear on what he was endorsing. It takes a very delicate touch to propose a case like that.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 6:20 PM
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47

If a tree falls in the woods and one of the branches penetrates someone's vagina, did it make a sound?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 6:23 PM
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48

It takes a very delicate touch to propose a case like that.

Phrasing?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 6:28 PM
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49

Landsburg does not seem to have an invisible touch, yeah.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 6:31 PM
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50

He reaches in, and grabs right hold of your... ok, enough of that.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 6:35 PM
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46: Yeah, "reasonable" applies only to the cleaned-up version (i.e. "Why is it wrong to rape someone if (s)he will never know about it?") As numerous people have said, the presentation of this thought experiment is unacceptable.

It's too bad, in a way, because it reminds me of questions like "Why is it wrong to engage in cannibalism?"

In any event, Landsburg seems to be a hack of some sort.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 6:36 PM
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52

I mean, it almost seems like an April Fool's joke. But everyone knows you can't joke about rape, for god's sake.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 6:39 PM
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48: boom! [\archer]


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 6:49 PM
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The Armchair Economist was the first economics book I ever read, and I found it highly entertaining. That said, Landsburg does have an irritating habit of always trying to be as controversial as possible.


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 6:51 PM
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43: Asshole economist also seems to be one of those mathy/philsophy people who badly needs some lessons in actual experimental physics and biology. There's a REASON I have no reason to complain when a neighbor turns on a porchlight.

I object! Philosophy types aren't particularly prone to think one has reason to complain of bodily invasion from the photons emanating from a neighbor's porch light.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 6:51 PM
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I find it odd that he's so quick to dismiss his first two scenarios (but admittedly not as odd as the idea that the three scenarios are comparable in the first place) as bases for policy decisions. The attitude toward pornography in the first one may not be very influential in policymaking now, but it certainly was until fairly recently, and the attitude toward wilderness in the second is hugely influential and has been for a long time.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 7:06 PM
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Jeez, I just read the actual linked article even though I knew it would not make me happy and he LITERALLY NAMES STEUBENVILLE?

... Where the rapists weren't doing anythig to make sure the victim would have no physical aftereffects, and the social aftereffects were guaranteed? That isn't even the example he seems to be trying to make.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 7:19 PM
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Given that he's in an economics department, if he wanted to be contrarian about "it's not a crime if nobody sees it," he could have said something about an embezzler who pays back what he stole before it is noticed but is later caught.

Sometimes I fantasize about doing a very simple graph of a representative set of thought experiments, to illustrate how very unpleasant it is that rape/various violations of bodily integrity represent such a disproportionate number of them. I honestly cannot believe this is so widespread, and yet I keep being presented with evidence that it is.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 7:34 PM
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Given Landsburg's history, I don't see any reason to assume this was an innocent thought experiment that happened to involve an unfortunate choice of examples rather than a deliberate attempt to use the Steubenville case as a hook to write something "daring" and "provocative."


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 7:38 PM
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58: I'd be interested to see that graph. Where would you be getting your representative examples from?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 7:39 PM
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I don't see any reason to assume this was an innocent thought experiment

Not unless he's stupid.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 7:40 PM
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Right. I think the only plausible options here are that he's an idiot or an asshole, and all the other available evidence points toward asshole.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 7:43 PM
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I questioned my moral intuitions about this and they all said, unanimously, they think he's an asshole and an idiot.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 7:52 PM
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Why on earth is an economist trying to do amateur hour legal theory anyway? Like, what academic purpose does this fulfill?


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 7:55 PM
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65

This was a post on his personal blog. It doesn't appear to have anything to do with his academic position. Also, this is the sort of thing economists try to do all the time.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 7:58 PM
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Right. It's just mysterious to me why he would bother, since it was on his personal blog, and he's not writing for Slate any more, and presumably he doesn't need web traffic. I guess he likes being a minor celebrity for a day. Or it really is possible that he doesn't see the difference between scenarios 1, 2, and 3, but he's, like, trying hard to figure it out.

A master troll, it would seem.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 7:58 PM
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A master troll, it would seem.

A professional, even.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 8:00 PM
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65 -- I guess it's part of the traditional "economist tries to be as offensive as possible" game. Even more assholish, I suppose.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 8:00 PM
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he's not writing for Slate any more

I had a vague sense that Slate was getting (a little) better---now I know why.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 8:02 PM
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Also, this is the sort of thing economists try to do all the time.

IT IS ??! I find myself somewhat horrified if that's true.

What, so, they're trying to game out a plain, flat utilitarian view of ... morality? Not just of human behavior.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 8:11 PM
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I'm pretty sure -- although not positive -- that Landsburg is the guy they hired after Krugman left Slate for the NY Times.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 8:11 PM
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I had a comment to post but then I realized the post title pwned me.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 8:12 PM
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73

Krugman used to be on Slate? I did not know that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 8:24 PM
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55: sorry! you're right. :-)

44: Hmm. I feel like really good literature, by its nature, is going to sometimes bring up thought experiments that *involve* rape culture, inasmuch as rape culture is a prevalent part of real culture. In my teacher's defense, he made it pretty clear that he was punking us with the "thought experiment" and that the goal was for us to articulate our opposition rather than merely shriek it, and moreover, this was prompted by short story that included a date rape in it, and forcing us to talk about why it was wrong made a real impression on all of us, and especially on some of the boys more inclined-to-be-a-douche. When I think back to the boys who had strong douche leanings in, say, 8th and 9th grade but seemed to have become much nicer by 12th grade and become upstanding gentlemen by the time we reunited after college, at least two of them were in this class. And as a naive girl who was pretty sheltered and wide eyed, I think it was helpful for me to articulate what was not acceptable to me very clearly in what was a pretty safe and nurturing space, so that years later I didn't have to freak out about it on the fly. My point was, there can be good contexts to play, very briefly, the "eat babies" card---and this was not one of them.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 8:25 PM
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What, so, they're trying to game out a plain, flat utilitarian view of ... morality? Not just of human behavior.

Well, they probably wouldn't agree that there's much of a distinction there. But they do have a tendency to try to take over any and all other disciplines they can.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 8:26 PM
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76

One of his hobbies is Aerial Silk. Neither here nor there.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 8:27 PM
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73: At the bottom of the page linked in 76 is one video titled "I Bet You Paul Krugman Can't Do This."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 8:28 PM
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But they do have a tendency to try to take over any and all other disciplines they can.

Like Aerial Silk!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 8:29 PM
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[\archer]

Impressive.

Like, what academic purpose does this fulfill?

Disciplinary hegemony? Didn't you know that there's no field that can't be improved by the disciplined mind of an economist?

It's sort of like physicists who think every other scientific discipline must be pretty easy, but for the social sciences and humanities.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 8:30 PM
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But they do have a tendency to try to take over any and all other disciplines they can.

That does seem to be true. You'd think they'd become embarrassed at some point.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 8:32 PM
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You'd think they'd become embarrassed at some point.

I think the sort of person who would be embarrassed by this is unlikely to become an economist.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 8:39 PM
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82

The videos in 76 are admittedly pretty impressive.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 8:39 PM
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83

To trivialize your competitors, see them defunded before you, and to hear the lamentations of their grad students!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 8:40 PM
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The utility of the self respect, self reflection and social graces inherent in embarrassment is probably harder for them to compute, and therefore acknowledge, than the cold hard cash of getting a grant for a study you're totally unqualified for, or lots of book deals and speaking gigs. I'm not under the impression that world of Big Ideas cademics selects highly for self reflection or intellectual humility, and economics is sort of the mother of Big Ideas academia. (It's so hung up on its first big idea it can't ever fully come to grips with empirical contradictions.) There are a lot of great economists out there who are both very empirical and very self-reflective, obviously, it just seems like a field with a culture that's particularly tolerant of the weeds of a certain kind of hubris. They're sort of like theoretical physicists permanently set free from the need for eventual experimental validation. String theorists also often think they attack any problem better.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 8:40 PM
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String theorists also often think they attack any problem better.

Just like everyone who has ever commented on the internet thinks they can judge the validity of string theory.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 8:45 PM
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The utility of the self respect, self reflection and social graces inherent in embarrassment is counter-productive from the perspective of rational, if careerist, self-interest.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 8:45 PM
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85: it's no E-8, dude.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 8:45 PM
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Hey, I only think I can judge the validity of string theory because I totally know this one physicist online who's knocked it, so obviously it must be BS, right?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 8:46 PM
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so obviously it must be BS

Apparently, it's not even wrong.


Posted by: I ban myself | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 8:54 PM
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With BS, it could be right or wrong, but the BSer doesn't care which.


Posted by: Harry Frankfurt | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 8:55 PM
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76, 82: The videos in 76 are a nice thing for people to try to do: I associate that stuff with total hippies. You see incredible aerial silk work at hippie gatherings (Rainbow). I'm surprised that Landsburg is so snotty about Granola McMustardsee, in light of this.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 9:01 PM
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People say red meat'll kill ya. That's bullshit: green meat hairy frankfurters'll kill ya.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 9:01 PM
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What's "big ideas academia"?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 9:04 PM
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Academics who give TED talks?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 9:06 PM
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You know, stuff like Jared Diamond.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 9:06 PM
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I was about to make some comment about how long it will take for Gladwell to start raking in honorary degrees, but apparently he already has done.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 9:08 PM
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Meh, no one thinks honorary degrees mean anything, do they? I mean, you can't put it on your bio/resume/CV/book jacket flap as though you actually earned the degree, can you? It's more like having the magic princess fairy ding you on the head with her sparkly wand.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 9:16 PM
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They mean honor, which is something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 9:22 PM
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If by "magic princess fairy" you mean "riot cop" and "sparkly wand" you mean "Monadnock PR24 side-handle polycarbonate baton", then, yes.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 9:23 PM
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98: What was it the Spartan women said? "Come back carrying your honorary degree, or on it"


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 9:24 PM
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101

What was it the Spartan women said?

"Come home with your shield. There's a $50 deposit on it."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 9:27 PM
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98: I feel the urge to argue (that honorary degrees are bestowed in such a profligate way that they don't confer much of honor), but that probably means I should go to bed.

101 is funny.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 9:44 PM
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I was wondering if Gladwell listed his honorary degrees on his bio page, and it turns out he doesn't, although the agency that represents him for speaking engagements does list his honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of Toronto under his credentials. His own site does, however, include a lengthy disclosure statement addressing his massive conflicts of interest.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 10:05 PM
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104

He only has to produce forty to fifty thousand words a year for the NYer? Shit, I could do that.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 10:28 PM
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105

Shit, I could do that.

And it would all be one sentence.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 10:50 PM
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106

105 written with love and respect. F'reals.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 10:50 PM
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107

But what a sentence!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 10:51 PM
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108

I'm pretty sure the New Yorker still pays its writers truly impressive sums: either $2/word (which, before the crash was the Conde Nast rate -- sigh (for what once was)) or maybe even $5/word. Either way, neb's sentence is going to be worth low six figures. Not bad!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 10:56 PM
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109

||

Mmmm, beer. Take that, Passover!

|>


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 10:57 PM
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110

108 explains why so many New Yorker articles include so much description of clothes.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 11:03 PM
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111

It also explains why they keep so many of them paywalled on their website.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 2-13 11:09 PM
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112

93:TED talks are nothing. I mean people whose speaking fee dwarfs their already inflated salary.

88: in my case it's approximately 7, all offline.


Posted by: IIe | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 12:33 AM
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113

A similar but less unpleasant scenario appears in one of Iain Banks' books - one character wonders if one should legalise murder as long as the victim doesn't suffer, because surely it's suffering that's wrong?
What about the effects on their families. another asks?
No one pretends we prosecute murderers because of the effects on their families.
Ah, says the other character, but if everyone knew that you could be killed with impunity, any time, then everyone would suffer anxiety. Whoever you killed, they'd still have suffered.

The character who wants to legalise murder is, obvs, the sociopathic villain.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 2:14 AM
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114

A commenter chez John Cole says there's a petition going round to censure this bastard, but advises against signing it on the grounds that people who know him say he would take being censured as a major moral victory and bang on about his first amendment right being attacked forever.

A commenter at LGM notes that Rochester was notably more forward in defending Dickface's right to free speech in advocating rape than URI was in defending Loomis' rhetoric about heads on sticks.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 3:32 AM
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115

I've said this before, but there are a lot of economists around who think they have discovered a fascinating paradox when actually they're just not teaching very well.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 4:27 AM
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116


I presume Landsburg has no moral objection to digging up corpses of women. As long as no relatives of the "bride" ever find out, where's the possible harm?


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 4:55 AM
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116. Indeed. If somebody wants to fuck my corpse when I'm dead, I'll be totally cool with that, what with being dead and all. I just don't want to meet them while I'm still alive.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 5:00 AM
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118

113. I was sorry to learn that Iain Banks is on the way out.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 5:04 AM
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119

117: In the linked article, nobody appears to be having sex with the corpse.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 5:26 AM
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118. Damn.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 5:28 AM
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114: I noticed that. URI behaved like a bunch of little cowards over a tweet using a common metaphor.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 7:10 AM
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122

The post title does say it all. Also, fact that he can't tell the difference between a photon and a penis doesn't speak well of his penis. Or his critical thinking skills.


Posted by: wrenae | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 7:17 AM
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123

I am but mad north by northwest
When the wind is southerly I can tell a photon from a penis.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 7:26 AM
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When quickly skimming the thread I misread 109 as bear, momentarily thought that was odd, but then thought "hey, Alaska."


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 7:31 AM
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In other "libertarian asshole is asshole" news, Kleiman's resident troll turns out to be a comically awful parent: http://www.samefacts.com/2013/03/woolgathering/quote-of-the-day-7/comment-page-1/#comment-150261


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 8:14 AM
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126

It sucks when religious law restricts you to eating unleavened bear.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 8:14 AM
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OT & interesting: "Modem and Taboo marks our [the Baffler's] first issue with contributing editors Susan Faludi and David Graeber"


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 8:32 AM
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128

"modem and taboo", heh.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 8:38 AM
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129


||
Psssst, no one tell bob, or we'll never hear the end of it.
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Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 8:39 AM
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125: God, I fucking hate that guy. He used to infest CT until he got banned.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 8:45 AM
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This is probably the right thread to note that Lauren Chief Elk is worth following on Twitter.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 9:40 AM
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118 Oh damn.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 9:51 AM
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I went to UR, actually, but if it helps, I took almost no math classes. I guess I got out lucky.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 10:02 AM
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but advises against signing it on the grounds that people who know him say he would take being censured as a major moral victory and bang on about his first amendment right being attacked forever.

This.

But God, I am so sick of this dynamic.

Sociopathic (and pathologically stupid) hatemongerer puts forth vile and anti-social (perhaps racist; perhaps misogynist; perhaps anti-immigrant; perhaps a combination of some or all of the above) claims (which rarely if ever rise to the level of argument) under cover of "just pushing the boundaries of received opinion as a contrarian thought experiment, because: liberty of thought! liberty of expression!" and then, when said sociopath's idiocy meets with a predictably outraged response: "Well, see? It's just like I told you. Liberalism = Stalinism. Feminism = Feminazi thought police."

Thought experiment: Steven Landsburg on a previously uninhabited Lord of the Flies-type island. Would he be Piggy? or would he be The Beast?


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 9:03 PM
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135

Marcotte brings the snark on Landsburg.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 9:25 PM
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(I think she kind of misinterprets his Alaska example, but that's okay because I think that example was kind of dumb and ill-informed to start with.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 3-13 9:32 PM
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