May 2013

May 2013

Volume 63, 2013

From natural systems to human systems, we start to notice patterns in nature that are products of good flow. Adrian Bejan discusses this crucial insight—and how it makes freedom even more needful—in this month’s interview. Zachary Caceres looks at what emergence can tell us about the universe, the market, the heart, and the sacred; Mike Reid recounts the tragedies produced when the State tries to impose its order on people who have already developed their own; Gary Galles channels Leonard Read: the State is a clenched fist, he says, so it cannot create; Brad Taylor says democracy might just be another imposed order in some situations; Karl Borden wonders whether an individual's right to be left alone can be part of the order of things; and much, much more.


Freedom Is Good for Design: An Interview with Adrian Bejan

MARCH 11, 2013 by

Adrian Bejan is a professor of mechanical engineering at Duke University. So why on earth are we talking to him? Bejan is the first person to articulate what could be one of the most important ideas since Darwin's theory of evolution. He calls it the Constructal Law.

Culture in a Cage

MARCH 12, 2013 by

Cultures evolve in a process of entrepreneurial discovery. State interference often has tragic results.

EEOC to Employers: Hire Criminals or Be Sued

MARCH 13, 2013 by

Using a criminal background check to screen potential new hires can get you sued. That's because minorities have born the brunt of bad laws, particularly drug laws. Bad laws, and not potential employers, should be the focus of equal-opportunity lawsuits.

The Clenched Fist and the General Welfare

MARCH 20, 2013 by

A clenched fist is effective for coercing, restraining, and penalizing others. But it cannot create.

Defining Democracy Through Thick and Thin

MARCH 26, 2013 by

In order to tell if a transition to democracy is a good option for any country, we first have to have an unbiased understanding of democracy that takes note of its possible failures.

The Right to Be Left Alone

APRIL 04, 2013 by

Do we in fact have the right to be left alone? The philosopher and the lawyer may have subtly or starkly different answers to that question. But in the real world of day-to-day affairs, the lawyer's answer determines our practical ability to demand independence.

Professionally Clever (I Don’t Want Your Waiter’s Money)

APRIL 09, 2013 by

Every artist would prefer to pursue art for a living instead of, say, waiting tables. But that's hard to do. It still doesn't justify forcing everyone--including the other waiters--to cough up money they would not have spent on your work otherwise.

Spontaneous Order: Awakening the Sacred

APRIL 10, 2013 by

The fundamental creativity of the universe steeps us in complexity beyond our comprehension. From the rigidness of iron to the endless variation in markets, we are part of a universe of wholes greater than the sums of their parts.


Freedom and Flow

APRIL 24, 2013 by

Appreciating the idea of flow unlocks a greater understanding of ourselves. We might also discover that, as we seek and strive, we play a role within evolving systems that gives our lives a meaningful connection to something larger than ourselves.

Bitcoin for Beginners

APRIL 02, 2013 by

Bitcoin is a revolutionary example of entrepreneurial awareness solving the problems caused by the State.

On Brakes and Mistakes

MARCH 29, 2013 by

In an era of change and uncertainty, people will fail as they seek out knowledge and better ways to do things. A culture that celebrates spectacular success should at least tolerate spectacular failure.

John Galt at the Treasury Department

MARCH 28, 2013 by

Andrew Mellon created wealth and wanted to unleash private enterprise. He puts his critics, who only want to seize and redistribute, to shame.

The Hair of the Dog

APRIL 08, 2013 by

Robert Zemeckis and Denzel Washington team up to present an excellent piece of character development. Then Zemeckis sacrifices all of the nuance for the sake of a tidy ending that presents the State as the realm of the gods.

Binding the Muse

MARCH 22, 2013 by

The tension between rules designed in advance and those that emerge from trial and error lies at the heart of the human experience, from poetry to civilization.

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