In order to read my blog critically, you’ll need to know a little bit about what my beliefs and biases are. I’m economically and socially to the far left of American politics. In a nutshell, I believe in work, I believe in meritocracy, I believe in the rights of the individual, and I am something of a skeptic.
- I believe in work. I believe that hard work for honest pay and the chance to be self-sufficient is the cornerstone of human dignity. The overwhelming majority of human beings are happier when they are contributing to their community. Laziness exists in all of us, but given the choice people would rather work hard and be compensated and feel self sufficient than have a hand out.
- I believe in meritocracy, but I don’t believe we live in one. Maximizing each individual’s unique gifts and talents would benefit all of us, and we should strive to do so. As things are, prejudices based on race, gender, class, disability, and other factors result in the wasting of human potential on a massive scale. A meritocratic system would reward hard work and ingenuity while ensuring that a person’s birth does not disadvantage them and that setbacks and mistakes don’t permanently cripple an individual or their children’s ability to contribute.
- I believe in the rights of the individual. A person is usually the best judge of what is right for him or her. People should have as much freedom as possible without harming or encroaching on the rights of others. I’d favor getting rid of laws whose primary purpose is to protect people from themselves (prohibitory drug laws, mandatory seat belt laws, etc), but allows for more gentle methods of encouraging people to understand risks and facilitating safety (regulating how one can obtain dangerous drugs, forcing car manufactures to install seat belts, etc).
- I’m something of a skeptic. I try not to believe things too quickly, or believe them just because they’re convenient or reinforce my biases. I seek out intelligent people who disagree with me in order to test and refine my ideas constantly. I am always willing to throw out a belief and start over, if the evidence suggests that this is necessary.
So, that’s me. If you have questions, leave them in the comments. I’ll try to answer everyone.