February 2014

I commented on Gurri’s thread I was discussing earlier to chide Morgan Warstler. In case you don’t know him, he’s a libertarian-leaning Republican (though a detractor of neoreactionary tendencies) who frequently comments at blogs like The Money Illusion and bangs on about some hobby-horses. I’m often irritated by his confident proclamations which don’t seem to have any strong basis in subject familiarity, much less domain expertise (this unwarranted confidence also irritates me in neoreactionaries). Inspired by Bryan Caplan, a while back I made a 10:1 bet (in his favor) that Rick Perry would not get the nomination. For years afterward I would mock him at every opportunity about that bet and whether he was going to pay up, assuming he slunk away because he didn’t want to admit he got things wrong (although he started off his own blog doing just that). But it appears I did not give him enough credit. So credit where it’s due: plenty of internet blowhards will never agree to bet at all. And afterwards they may try to weasel out or minimize the results (even Bob Murphy seems guilty of the latter that to some extent, which I suppose shouldn’t be surprising given the Austrian attitude toward empiricism). But not Morgan. I’ll probably still be annoyed by some of his confident pronouncements, but a man willing to put some money where his mouth is and admit when he’s wrong should feel free to annoy me.

I haven’t been a very regular reader of Gurri & the Umlaut, but from what I have read it would be hard to think of a blogger better suited to write this. I vaguely recall seeing myself listed on the periphery of neoreaction, which is fair enough if Robin Hanson & Razib Khan are as well. I am of the right in part because I’m so far toward the latter end of Jacob Levy’s rationalism vs pluralism axis that he would not consider me included in the big liberal* tent (although I certainly have rationalist impulses). So it’s to be expected that I agree with Gurri’s critique of these neoreactionaries as being rationalist constructionists.
*As in “classical liberal”. (more…)