‘Defend speech, no matter how vile’

Link: Goodbye ACLU, Hello FIRE

The sad part for us is that, unlike in the USA, where, about the law

“When it comes to the law, the law is about as good as it’s ever been. But when it comes to the culture, our argument is that it’s gotten a lot worse and that we don’t have to accept it.”

Greg Lukianoff, FIRE’s president

in Spain the law is about as bad as it’s ever been.

Against Historic Preservation

Linking from Marginal Revolution:

First, it’s often the case that buildings of little historical worth are preserved by rules and regulations that are used as a pretext to slow competitors, maintain monopoly rents, and keep neighborhoods in a kind of aesthetic stasis that benefits a small number of people at the expense of many others.


Second, a confident nation builds so that future people may look back and marvel at their ancestor’s ingenuity and aesthetic vision. A nation in decline looks to the past in a vain attempt to “preserve” what was once great. Preservation is what you do to dead butterflies.


Ironically, if today’s rules for historical preservation had been in place in the past the buildings that some now want to preserve would never have been built at all. The opportunity cost of preservation is future greatness.


Third, repealing historic preservation laws does not mean ending historic preservation. There is a very simple way that truly great buildings can be preserved–they can be bought or their preservation rights paid for.

Alex Tabarrok, Against Historic Preservation

My collection, part 4 of 82

Muddy Waters, Baby Please Don’t Go
The Beatles, Back in the USSR
The Beatles, Bad Boy
A bad little kid moved into my neighborhood
He won't do nothing right, just sitting down and looks so good
He don't want to go to school and learn to read and write
Just sits around the house and plays the rock and roll music all night
Well, he put some tacks on teacher's chair
Puts chewing gum in little girl's hair
Now, junior, behave yourself
Xaloc, Bàlitx
Louis Armstrong, Beale Street Blues

Rafa Mayo (1966-2022), in memoriam

He was a plain and straightforward guy, one you could always rely on. I always was at ease with him. He wasn’t there for nonsense. He would tell you the truth. Last time I saw him it was more than thirty years ago, but somehow he has never slipped from my mind, and I’ve always wished we met by chance, on some occasion, at the countryside, in a slightly rough situation, just to feel his manly calm and hear him laughing his hoarse laugh.

Link of the day

Seven Varieties of Stupidity, by Ian Leslie

They are: pure stupidity, ignorant stupidity, fish-out-of-water stupidity, rule-based stupidity…

Very often, stupidity isn’t derived from an absence of mental materials but from a superfluity of them. It is the product of all the stuff we carry around in our minds and absorb from others: powerful algorithms, bad theories, fake facts, seductive stories, leaky metaphors, misplaced intuitions.

… overthinking stupidity…

You can trace a fundamental divide in Western thought between those who believe that knowledge and rationality invariably make us smarter and those who warn they can also make us dumber. On one side, Aristotle, Descartes, Kant, Voltaire, Paine, Russell; on the other, Socrates, Montaigne, Burke, Nietzsche, Freud, Wittgenstein. The latter group includes thinkers who are, in their different ways, interested in the ways that human intelligence generates a unique kind of stupidity.

… emergent stupidity

In my book CONFLICTED I show how avoiding open disagreement reduces the collective intelligence of any group. The more that members of a group follow a rule like ‘agree with the consensus’ or ‘agree with the leader’ the less gets contributed to the general pool of ideas and arguments. The shallower the pool, the more likely it is that something stupid will crawl out from it.

… and ego-driven stupidity

The truth is that stupidity is often an act of will: people make themselves stupid, when it suits them.

Go read the whole thing.

My collection (part 3 of 82)

Julieta Venegas, Andar conmigo
The Rolling Stones, Angie
Supertramp, Another Man’s Woman

Live versions not so good as the studio one, I’m afraid.

You ain’t nothing but another man’s woman… Not very elegant to say, absolutely not advisable writing it today, but nevertheless one of the most powerful sentences in lyrics you’ll ever hear, …living on another man’s land… Is there anything more basic or primitive, and so, honest, pathetic and also convenient, for a male to feel when he’s dumped by a female?

Anyway, the song’s terrific.

Esclarecidos, Arriba y abajo
No sé muy bien qué es ser feliz,
ni me preocupa demasiado,
pero cuando estuve cerca
tú estabas a mi lado
Schubert, Auf dem wasser zu singen