We Are Survivors, Not Yet Thrivers

People don’t tend to defer to authority because it is an advantageous way to have a civil society. They do it because for most of human history, defying authority got you killed. We are the timid survivors of a genocide of free spirits.

The result is that we’re wired to know how to win the war, but not the peace.

Success Validates Failures

Dear reader,

If you’re ever feeling hopelessly lost, like the road leads only downhill and that you will never amount to anything, keep in mind that one great success validates all your failures.

Think of the biographies of great men. Their early years are often filled with struggle, defeat, and even mediocrity. But since they ended up in a worthy position, those failures become challenges they overcame. They become the ingredients of their character.

It is a similar case when one falls in love. Suddenly all that wandering beforehand becomes important, because it led you to that special person.

If you can somehow create a situation with which you are truly happy right now, all prior steps gain the satisfaction of a destination. And changing any one of them would jeopardize what you have achieved.

– Mike

The Ultimate Right

I have come to the striking conclusion that the ultimate right – that which secures all others – is the right to leave.

If that right is not respected, however well you are treated, you are indeed a slave.

This “Market” You Speak Of…

We need to remind our friends caught in the statist dogma that when we refer to “the government,” it means a specific organization; but when we refer to “the market,” it means all human activity that is not coerced.

“Can the market handle X, Y, or Z?” really means “Can we all handle X, Y, or Z without employing coercion?”

– M. Vine

The ROSE Amendment: Right of Secession

Even back in my minarchist days, I always thought decentralization was the most promising path to liberty. Today, I stumbled upon the text of a proposal I had for a Right Of Secession (ROSE) Amendment to the US Constitution, which would explicitly recognize the right of self-determination of the constituent states:

Considering it the most expedient way to create legal recognition for the inherent right of free individuals to remove territories they own from the political authority to which they were formerly bound (by choice or force), we hereby express our support for the addition of the following amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America: 

WHEREAS the issue was formerly settled by force of arms over reasoned discourse, and 

WHEREAS, since the War Between The States, it is generally accepted that this Constitution prohibits secession, 

THEREFORE we, the citizens of the States, hereby make explicit the unilateral right of secession by any constituent state or territory under this Constitution, in a manner to be specified by the laws of said state or territory. 

Rams’ Ten Commandments of Good Design

Good design:

  1. Is innovative – The possibilities for progression are not, by any means, exhausted. Technological development is always offering new opportunities for original designs. But imaginative design always develops in tandem with improving technology, and can never be an end in itself.
  2. Makes a product useful – A product is bought to be used. It has to satisfy not only functional, but also psychological and aesthetic criteria. Good design emphasizes the usefulness of a product whilst disregarding anything that could detract from it.
  3. Is aesthetic – The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products are used every day and have an effect on people and their well-being. Only well-executed objects can be beautiful.
  4. Makes a product understandable – It clarifies the product’s structure. Better still, it can make the product clearly express its function by making use of the user’s intuition. At best, it is self-explanatory.
  5. Is unobtrusive – Products fulfilling a purpose are like tools. They are neither decorative objects nor works of art. Their design should therefore be both neutral and restrained, to leave room for the user’s self-expression.
  6. Is honest – It does not make a product appear more innovative, powerful or valuable than it really is. It does not attempt to manipulate the consumer with promises that cannot be kept.
  7. Is long-lasting – It avoids being fashionable and therefore never appears antiquated. Unlike fashionable design, it lasts many years – even in today’s throwaway society.
  8. Is thorough down to the last detail – Nothing must be arbitrary or left to chance. Care and accuracy in the design process show respect towards the consumer.
  9. Is environmentally friendly – Design makes an important contribution to the preservation of the environment. It conserves resources and minimizes physical and visual pollution throughout the lifecycle of the product.
  10. Is as little design as possible – Less, but better – because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity.

[via Wikipedia]