Exhibitionist’s Dream

HT: Işılay Erol

I guess people could use this for going to the bathroom. Seriously, though… exhibit much?

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Brand Rep

Even if you contend that the name-brand products you have in your home are functionally superior to their generic or store-brand counterparts, your claim is based on, with variable intensity, experience and expectation. This has everything to do with reputation. You’re predicting the future every time you buy Cheerios – and the future is good.

On Monopoly

The market will always do a better job undermining monopolies than the Justice department will.

Erick Schonfeld

HT: Radley Balko

If you’re not with us, you’re against us.

Think pink gets much of its energy by offering a way for folks to be indirectly political; one can seem pro-women, and insinuate that others are anti-women, while only ever explicitly talking about health and medicine. AIDS awareness gets a similar political punch; one can talk only health, yet insinuate that others are anti-gay. Much of medicine is not about health, but about showing that you care, in this case caring about the right political groups.

Robin Hanson

Money Changes Behavior

This post by Robin Hanson got me thinking about how the sex starved could get sex in a way that isn’t a violation of someone’s rights. The idea that there are people who simply don’t deserve sex strikes me as something that can be solved. There should be a way to overcome that limitation. Ah, yes, the exchange of goods and services between consenting parties!

What is curious to me about prostitution is the idea that in paying an escort for companionship, the escort’s behavior is changed as a result of the transfer of money. This is a person who wouldn’t otherwise sleep with the john, but does so for the money. In doing so, the attitude of the escort is often different than it would be were it not for the money. It seems reasonable that an escort would find a person repugnant, but the money is enough for her to overcome her reluctance and sleep with the john.

But the John, even knowing that her behavior is an artifice, is nevertheless free to interact with the escort as though her behavior is genuine. Her behavior is genuine given the involvement of money in the interaction. He’s paying for her to behave a certain way. The idea that a person behaves differently  in different contexts, particularly those that involve the transfer of money, is simple for most people to understand, having lived that every day they go to work.

So the idea that people are a certain way, and that they often project an image that is different than their reality is romantic but probably not very useful. If the person who’s working for you would rather be at the bar drinking or at home playing video games or sleeping but they aren’t, what does it matter?

The Clarence Thomas Rule

From Radley Balko:

When a black person expresses views that liberal elites have deemed unacceptable for black people to hold, it is permissible for good liberals to respond by implying that said black person is either too stupid or too corrupt to think for himself, and to then call that black person racist names. In fact, not only are both responses permissible and not racist, they are a recommended way of displaying your open-mindedness.

Examples to follow.

Don’t Stockholm Yourself

Yes, you have reason to be afraid. There is comfort in anonymity, because you care about your reputation. You care about what people think of you, and you do what you can to control it. But you suspect that you can’t control it. You know that your enemies are legion and that they will destroy you using the weapons of your own manufacture.

But you’re forgetting that your life isn’t your own. It’s already been taken away, and now you’re pretending that the person with the gun to your head is a merciful benefactor that has the right, and not merely the power, to take it all away from you at any time.

Don’t Stockholm yourself. Don’t live in fear.