Monday, April 26, 2010


Do women today have more libertarian freedom than in 1880?, por Tyler Cowen:

I'd like to make a simple but neglected point: negative liberty and positive liberty are not separable.

Here is one simple scenario. Let's say the government tells me I have to buy and place a five-foot ceramic grizzly bear statue on my front lawn. How bad an act of coercion is that? If I have an upper-middle class income, it's an inconvenience and an aesthetic blight but no great tragedy. If I have a Haitian per capita income, it is a very bad act of coercion and it will impinge on my life prospects severely. I either give up some food or they send me to jail.
Chimpanzees Prefer Fair Play To Reaping An Unjust Reward, em The Primate Diaries (via Gene Expression):
However, chimpanzees in this study went beyond the basic tenets of the social contract and demonstrated what could be considered the foundation of social solidarity. In 95 trials chimpanzees that received a grape were significantly more likely to refuse the high-value reward when their group mate only received a carrot (p = 0.008). Even those who benefitted from inequality recognized that the situation was unfair and they refused to enjoy their own reward if it meant someone else had to suffer.
Tolerance and HIV (pdf), via Marginal Revolution:

We empirically investigate the effect of tolerance for gays on the spread of HIV in the United States. Using a state-level panel dataset spanning the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, we find that tolerance is negatively associated with the HIV rate. We then investigate the causal mechanisms potentially underlying this relationship. We find evidence consistent with the theory that tolerance for homosexuals causes low-risk men to enter the pool of homosexual partners, as well as causes sexually active men to substitute away from underground, anonymous, and risky behaviors, both of which lower the HIV rate.
Tea Party: Pro-Torture, Pro-War, Pro-Freedom?, por James Bovard:

Many “tea party” activists staunchly oppose big government, except when it is warring, wiretapping, or waterboarding. A movement that started out denouncing government power apparently has no beef with some of the worst abuses of modern times.

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