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Gus Van Horn blog

Reblogged:Friday Hodgepodge

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Notable Commentary

"The [Patent Trial & Appeal Board] was supposed to address the problem of low-quality patents; it now threatens all patents, undermining the foundation of the American innovation economy." -- Adam Mossoff, in "Patent Unfairness" at RealClear Politics.

"f there is no difference between words and action -- if communicating certain 'wrong' ideas is subject to punishment -- there is a corollary: the actual use of force can be exonerated if done in the name of the 'right' ideas." -- Peter Schwartz, in "The Ideology of Violence" at The Huffington Post.

"Bitcoin's unstable price makes it unusable as money." -- Keith Weiner, in "Bitcoin: Tragedy of the Speculations" at SNB & CHF.

"[The TC Heartland decision] significantly multiplies the costs to all patent owners in securing their property rights in court" -- Adam Mossoff, in "'Examining the Supreme Court's TC Heartland Decision': Testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Courts, IP, and the Internet" (PDF, 11 pages, June), George Mason Law and Economics Research Papers, no. 17-29.

"[Conservative commentator Star] Parker should embrace the one idea in Christianity that is the most secular – the importance of the individual. She should oppose secular collectivism and support secular individualism." -- Robert Stubblefield, in "Letter: Keep Religion Out of Government" at The Aiken Standard.

From the Blogs

ICouldAndDid wraps up his three-part critique of Sam Harris's Free Will over at You Can and Did Build It, and summarizes the whole as follows:
How Sam Harris wants you to see yourself. (Image courtesy of Pixabay.)
... The first part of this review identified the arbitrary underlying premise behind Harris' view that past brain states necessitate all future actions. He simply ignores, without any argument, the possibility that a being could possess capabilities that are enabled by and emerge from the brain yet are not completely necessitated in every detail by the brain's neurology. The second part of this review analyzed the gimmick that gives plausibility to the argument, namely focusing only on a straw man (the last split second of the process of choice) rather than the true nature of free will (the entire sequence of mental events and choices from the primary choice to focus and leading up to a final, higher-level choice). Finally, the present post identified the conceptual inversion involved in denying the validity of free will while depending on it for an argument. This vast collection of fallacies -- arbitrariness, use of straw-man tactics and hierarchy violations -- are the means used by the neurological determinist to deny the universal experience of free will. Any one of those transgressions alone would be sufficient reason to reject Harris' arguments, and to accept what one grasps from personal experience rather than deny it as a delusion. The combination of all three logical insults should make one recoil from the poisonous free-will-denier's doctrine. [bold added]
Earlier in the post, ICouldAndDid notes a similarity between what Ayn Rand called the "stolen concept fallacy" and the denial of free will by Sam Harris and his ilk.

-- CAV

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