The Rhythm of Lovelace

I don’t like this scansion of Lovelace’s To Althea, From Prison.  The lines all have four stressed syllables, I think, rather than alternating four and three.  At least, they sound better when I read them that way. When LOVE | with UN | con FIN | ed WINGS Hov ERS | with IN | my […]

A Buck Is Just Another Ration Card

The price system, like queuing, is just another way of rationing access to resources.  And it’s perfectly reasonable for the government to prefer to impose a queuing system over a price system in certain circumstances.  For example, if you don’t want the rich to take all of a fixed resource. So it’s perfectly reasonable for […]

Preferences and Incentives

Our voluntary service he requires, Not our necessitated, such with him Finds no acceptance, nor can find, for how Can hearts, not free, be tri’d whether they serve Willing or no, who will but what they must By Destiny, and can no other choose? Paradise Lost : V : 529-34. Why is it so important […]

Natural Machines

“Machines — as in contraptions made with wire and metal and stuff — are not natural.  Sure, animals are like these machines in that they have nerves that connect things and bones and other mechanical parts.  But animals are really chemical contraptions; they’re not anything like the computers and cars that humans make.  That’s why […]