Just a little while ago I got back from the wedding of a friend. He’s roughly the same age as me, which I would of course consider much too young. I wouldn’t consider it an instance of a rash decision by younguns that will surely backfire on them, as they had it planned out years ago and seem to know what they’re doing. My friend is something of a screwup and from a screwed up family, but his now-wife is the smart, level-headed and responsible type. I only worry that her very Christian Social Gospel aspects will rub off on him. I was pretty lousy as a friend back in high school, believing he was the jolliest person around up until he overdosed on anti-depressants I didn’t even know he was taking. Apparently the signs were obvious to all but the oblivious. At my current rate of progress I’ll reach that life stage around never. Perhaps its because I’ve been so much better off that in complacency I neglect to seek happiness through others. Ludwig von Mises said something or other about that.

Of course the big news in libertarian circles and elsewhere is D.C vs Heller. I’m conflicted about it for decentralist reasons, as discussed by Stephan Kinsella and Kevin Gutzman. The District is the most local authority, so it has the responsibility to pass laws against things like murder that are beyond Congress. However, not being part of a state it has no state constitution to enumerate its powers and add any extra limitations on those powers. I don’t expect in an antifederalist future that rural areas will have the same gun laws as urban areas, and think that residents of the latter would be more comfortable with lax laws in the former if they needed interfere with their own way of doing things. There has been lots of interesting commentary on it at places like Volokh, though speaking as a layman Scalia’s opinion can be taken straight (D.C’s quasi-state status was not at issue). The case for an individual right not limited to service in any organized militia appears convincing, but perhaps I’m not the best judge since I believed that in the first place. Breyer’s argument for “interest balancing” strikes me as ridiculous for a judge to be engaged in and renders any right moot. It’s fun to laugh at what appears to be his hypocrisy depending on which side of the culture wars a law stands on. I admit though that I didn’t read all of Stevens and Breyers’ dissents, as it was past 3 in the morning and I had to get up early for an aforementioned reason. I might get to them later, but now I have a new distraction. UPDATE: I don’t normally link to Arthur Silber because his posts are long, drama-queen ethical pornography and every once in a while I’ll even disagree with his main point! However, on Heller I’ll make an exception.

Right after I got back I found that Demonic Males had arrived. Though at least co-authored by a scientist and describing some of their own research, judging by the first chapter it’s not at all dry. Though the subtitle specifies only “apes”, it has already let out that only chimpanzees and humans display that level of aggression, offering as a contrast the chimp’s close cousin: the bonobo. I recalled reading a New Yorker article on whether the bonobos are really hippies, but I guess I’ll to wait until much later in the book for Wrangham and Peterson to discuss it. I’ve heard that when brought together in captivity the chimps beat up the bonobos, so I wonder why these doves haven’t been replaced by hawks yet. Just this morning I brought the book to the attention of Mark Crovelli after reading his Austrian-inspired a priori theory of international relations. His theory is that tax collecting and legislation enacting states are the cause of war, with democratic states especially likely to engage in it. Like Pinker I think there is good evidence that war and violence were endemic in pre-state society, but perhaps that evidence will mean little to someone who rejects a posteori reasoning when it comes to human action. That book was recommend to me by Mencius Moldbug, who also rejects positivist “social science”. We argued about that in the comments to this GNXP post about the decline of violence.

On an unrelated note, Odessa Syndicate seems to have dissappeared and have been replaced with Occidental Dissent. I have to say I miss the allusions to Stalinist/Nazi authoritarianism and the dystopian society from the film Equilibrium. Also, I have now updated the previous post about my ban from EconLog with a message from Lauren Landsburg.

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