Posts tagged ‘Human Advancement’

Entertaining Libertarian Voice

One of the problems with us libertarians is that we all sound like a bunch of academic dweebs when we talk.  Well, thanks to YouTube and Human Advancement, I saw Mike Lee, who I found unpolished but curiously entertaining as a defender of individual rights (though he's bit hawkish internationally for my tastes).  Anyone who can, in about 2 minutes, shift from Duke Lacrosse to North Korea to jury nullifaction has got to be interesting to listen to.

By the way, it is increasingly clear that Google and YouTube don't really want to be a free speech outlet, as they seem to be banning stuff as fast as it can be posted.  They are private concerns, and so can do whatever they like, and I can understand from their perspective why they want to avoid controversy  (though if they ban everything the RIAA wants banned and political groups of every stripe want banned and end up with just home videos of pet tricks, I am not sure it will remain as popular).  This in turn got me thinking about Neal Stephenson  (and I accused Mike Lee of rambling?)

In Cryptonomicon, one of the plot lines is a group of guys trying to create an offshore data haven free from threats by government censors, tax inspectors, and, I presume, copyright enforcers from the RIAA and the NFL.  While such a comprehensive haven may be out of reach, I do think there could be a great role for an offshore blogging/podcasting/video haven that would protect identities and be immune or out of reach from third party censorship.  The problem is that as an officer of such an endeavor, you would likely be subject to immediate arrest in many countries once you landed there.  Oh, that would never happen in a free country like the US would it?  Yeah, right.

BMOC Online Reviews

I am a little behind on my email, so I am late in posting some of the reviews coming in on my book BMOC.  My habit is to post every review I can find, positive or negative.  Let me know by email if you have a review and I will link it as well.  Some of the reviewers below seem to like the book a lot, while some are more lukewarm, but I thank everyone for reading it and taking the time to post a thoughtful review.

After years of practice with non-fiction, I am still refining my fiction voice and style.  It is hard to over-emphasize how important it is to get critical feedback from people who are not a) paid by me, i.e. editors or b) friends and family, who make up most everyone's first readers.  I am already learning a lot from reviews about what works and doesn't work, what is interesting, and what comes off as a cliche.   And of course I continue to be proud that I have some of the smartest readers in the blogosphere.  Thanks.  [Of course I am going to quote the good stuff, but click through to see everything]

Human Advancement (what a beautiful web design he has)

I picked it up Christmas morning, with the intention of reading a
chapter or two in that little lull that always comes after the presents
are opened. You've heard the cliche "I couldn't put it down"? Well,
next thing I knew dinner was ready, and after eating I picked it right
back up and finished it.

I had kind of assumed it would be another one of those libertarian
fantasy novels. You know the kind, Montana secedes from the US; or a
small band of people decide they won't take it any more and go off
somewhere to found their own government; or a lone rebel plots to take
down the system by finding and eliminating the few key people who keep
it going, etc. I've taken to calling it "LibFic". So I thought this
would be more of the same: a book from a fellow libertarian blogger
whom I've had on my blogroll almost since I started this, and a book
that was in a niche - a very narrow niche - that I like.

Turns out that it was a pretty mainstream corporate espionage novel,
complete with a murder to be solved, a young, attractive and competent
protagonist, and more than one opening for a sequel. It fits the genre
that is popular today, (with dramatic but generic names like "Malice of
Intent"), and as such is entertainment, not great literature. But it is
a good story, and while it is not overtly libertarian (seems that
Warren forgot to include the 70-page speech painfully "integrated" into
the plot that outlines his entire philosphical edifice), it does have a
refreshing libertarian sensibility that is usually absent from books in
that genre....

In the process, the book paints a picture of the media/legal/government
complex that is as damning as the portrayals of the
military/industrial complex, or the profit/oppression complex that is
usual the root of all evil. Warren pulls this off without lengthy
digressions to explain to us that this cabal exists, and why it is so
bad. Instead, he just shows it in action, and each example serves not
to "interrupt our plot for this important message", but to further the
plot and to draw the characters.

The Unrepentant Individual  (great blog name)

Pagan Vigil  (does everyone have a better blog name than mine?)

Dispatches from TJICistan (I wish he would stop making me feel guilty with his workout synopses)


There is also a nice 5-star review on Amazon.   You can also get a low-cost pdf version here.  And I have posted the first 8 chapters starting here.