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Reblogged:Friday Hodgepodge

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Blog Roundup

1. At How to Be Profitable and Moral, Janna Woiceshyn takes a cue from Apocalypse Never, and makes a condensed case for sweatshops. She closes as follows:
factory.jpg
Image by Remy Gieling, via Unsplash, license.
Despite ENGOs' and NGOs' arguments, fashion (and other) brands that source from factories in poor countries (and hold them accountable for worker safety) are not acting unethically, nor are the consumers of such brands. As Michael Schellenberger has shown, producing and consuming fast fashion and other sweatshop products is a win-win scenario for human flourishing: consumers get inexpensive products, workers and their employers prosper, working conditions improve and pollution diminishes, the planet gets greener, and the brands profit. [bold added, link omitted]
It was good to see this argument presented in shorter form than it was in the book, as compelling as it was there. More people need to be aware that such an argument exists, and it would not hurt for more people to take the implicit recommendation to read that book.

2. Noting that "'B-' is the lowest grade you can get on your report card and still have your work evaluated as 'good," Jean Moroney explains at Thinking Directions why that can sometimes be an appropriate standard for a work session:
These are objective standards that are based on identifying the quality of work appropriate to a given context.

The problem we perfectionists have in our own work is that we think there is only one standard: "as good as I can make it." This is a subjective standard that guarantees that you will always "need" more time, because with more time, you can always do better.

The injunction to do "B-" work helps you see that there are different standards in any context.
This and other practical points both illustrate the profound observation on her part that "Treating quality as an out-of-context absolute is self-destructive," and help us escape the trap of perfectionism.

3. At the blog of the Texas Institute for Property Rights, Brian Phillips comments on cultural and political opposition to gentrification, and rightly titles his post "Jim Crow Redux:"
n Louisville, a city councilman has proposed a law designed to prevent gentrification in historically black neighborhoods. Among the provisions in the law are a mandate that all development be approved by a community association and non-residents cannot buy property en masse...

While the law does not specifically prohibit non-blacks from buying property in the protected neighborhoods, the intention is clear: historically black neighborhoods should remain black. And to accomplish that, he proposes a law that essentially mandates racial segregation. [bold added]
The particular attempts to legalize segregation again were new to me, but are unsurprising in today's political climate. Likewise for the intimidation cited earlier in the post.

4. Over at New Ideal, Elan Journo or the Ayn Rand Institute discusses the ideas of Yoram Hazony and other "national conservatives," in a post titled, "Meet the Conservative Authoritarians." He closes as follows:
The "conservative" movement in America lacks a defined, coherent set of ideas. This was a pre-existing condition, vividly evident well before Trump's ascent. The movement has been a collection of disparate factions, with significant inner contradictions. The aim of "national conservatism" is to steer the broader movement toward collectivism, faith, and force. Politically, the more "national conservatism" succeeds in reshaping our society, the more we'll find ourselves moving further away from truly American ideals. [bold added]
I couldn't agree more, and am glad to see Hazony, who has come up in comments here before, examined from a rational perspective.

-- CAV

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On 2/12/2021 at 9:11 AM, Gus Van Horn blog said:

help us escape the trap of perfectionism

I am reminded of the traveling salesman problem, where it is much more practical to find a solution that has a high probability of being within a few percent of the best than it is to find the best.

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