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Archive for April 14th, 2008

A guest-blog at Volokh by Cass Sunstein on libertarian paternalism. Hopefully we will see more writings on the subject.

Unlike some hardcore libertarians, I am sympathetic to the idea of libertarian paternalism, particularly the “one-click” variety that Cass mentions. In any case, as even libertarian opponents of the idea will agree, libertarian paternalism is certainly a huge improvement over the pervasive (and coercive) paternalism that exists today, and will possibly be easier to implement than full-blown libertarianism. Of course, the crucial point in libertarian paternalism is the ease of opt-out; if you make the default too hard to change, you take the libertarian out of the phrase.

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“For there is no such thing as sin; there are only differences.”

S.B.

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Some doctors did a study of the type of websites that come up when one enters suicide related queries in online search engines. The results were interesting – most of the sites are pro-suicide and many of them offer detailed prescriptions on how to commit the act.

While I strongly believe in an unalienable right to commit suicide, I am not pro-suicide personally — given a choice between apparent hopelessness and certain hopelessness, I lean towards the former.  Nevertheless, I do recognise that there exist situations when suicide is indeed the best of all alternatives, and for that reason it is useful to have the knowledge necessary for a quick painless end. For anyone wishing to have such a guide in your shelf, I highly recommend Derek Humphrey’s Final Exit — an excellent book on various methods of self-delivereance.

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Following Mommy

Taken yesterday, at the San Diego seaworld.

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