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Archive for November 14th, 2008

There is still no cure for AIDS, but science has come a long way towards controlling it. Antiretroviral therapy has progressed so much in the last two decades that, according to current reports, a person who started taking the drugs at age 20 will on average live another 43 years.

And we can expect the science to keep getting better. Thus, a man in his 20′s who gets infected with HIV today can probably expect to live — by a conservative estimate — to his 70′s. That’s a remarkable state of affairs for a disease that only a decade ago was equated with a death sentence.

Of course, I still recommend that you use condoms when there is no intent to procreate!

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A post over at the Art of The Possible asking for libertarian perspectives on blackmail law morphs into an interesting discussion on private property, coercion, reputation and related philosophical issues.

I have detailed my position on blackmail law and related issues in the comment thread linked above, so I will not expound on it here. However there is one sentence from one of the comments that is worth repeating, especially for the benefit of non-libertarians:

[a]n insight that appears elsewhere in libertarian thinking (e.g. prostitution), namely that it shouldn’t be illegal to sell what one can legally give away for free.

This is of course, standard fare for libertarians, as it follows directly from the non-aggression principle. Nonetheless, I think it is an important insight that deserves to be highlighted separately because it clarifies the libertarian position on a lot of issues (blackmail, prostitution, minimum wage, social gambling vs for-profit gambling)  and applies to a great many situations in a more obvious manner than the NAP does.

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