‘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

Visca la vida ara i aquí

Deride no-end their looks, their ingenuousness, their very simplistic worldview, their communal ethos, whatever.

But have you ever heard any hippy telling you how to live or not to live, what to think or not to think, what to say or not to say, or metooing and de-platforming you?

No. Above all, they valued freedom and agency, theirs and the other ones’.

Same as, above all, the woke value submission and control, theirs and the other ones’ —especially the other ones’.

You choose.

Sisa, Visca la llibertat

Misinformation About Misinformation – by Bryan Caplan

Yes, there are plenty of other reasonable complaints about the war on “misinformation.” There’s massive hypocrisy: People who attack “misinformation” often peddle it themselves. There’s thinly-veiled authoritarianism: People should only be free to express approved views. There’s the Kafkaesque pettiness of bots labelling a post “misinformation” for soliciting doubts about a controversial article. The list goes on and on.

Still, the fundamental problem with the war on misinformation is that it scapegoats misinformation for the sins of irrationality. If human being were rational, misinformation would be basically harmless. Thomas Jefferson famously said, “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” Similarly, I say, “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have irrationality without misinformation or rationality with misinformation, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

Misinformation About Misinformation – by Bryan Caplan

Or add another dilemma: tyranny without misinformation vs liberty with it.

Links of the day

Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster,” Friedrich Nietzsche famously warned. The German philosopher might have offered the same caution about tangling with thuggish regimes, given how quickly they rub off on their opponents. Just months after Russia attacked its neighbor, the efforts of the United States and other western nations to assist Ukraine’s defense are themselves trending authoritarian, including dictates to the private sector and intolerance of dissenting views.

But not because the law was applied accurately. The problem is the law is utterly rotten, constructed of a slew of immunity doctrines that give special protections to the government by the government, all while prohibiting victims—whether of a prosecutor, a police officer, a prison guard, a judge, a legislator, a public educator—from achieving any sort of recourse.

One of the great ironies of American political life in the 2020s is that the people most exercised about the spread of false information are frequently peddlers of it. Their lack of self-understanding arises from the belief that the primary factor separating their side from the other side isn’t ideology, principle or moral vision but information—raw data requiring no interpretation and no argument over its importance. It is a hopelessly simpleminded worldview—no one apprehends reality without the aid of interpretive lenses. And it is a dangerous one.