Aug 28, 2005

Ethics of Capitalism

It takes a great man to see that evil is sometimes necessary. John Maynard Keynes, one of the most prominent economists, was apparently not enchanted with capitalism. Yet, he saw that we have no other choice. He wrote:

For at least another hundred years we must pretend to ourselves and to every one that fair is foul and foul is fair; for foul is useful and fair is not. Avarice and usury and precaution must be our gods for a little longer still.
For only they can lead us out of the tunnel of economic necessity into daylight. (JMK, CW, IX, pp.329, 331)

This rings very similar to my favourite quote by Winston Churchill:

Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time. Speech in the House of Commons (11 November 1947)

It is somewhat comforting to know that there are great people who can see the obvious. Neither democracy (or what passes for it today) nor capitalism are perfect. But for now, they are the best we have. And of course, this means there is a silver lining to all this: an implication that there is indeed something better, and as we slide faster and faster towards singularity, we get closer to the new, better world - with a fairer political and economic systems.

So, look forward to the future. I know I do.

And in the meantime, feel free to read this interesting article (

Aug 27, 2005

Busy busy busy

I have been busy like I haven't been for a long time. And my net access is still fairly limited. So in case any of you have the time I don't, I'd like to point you to the Collected Driblets of Baen: A Frankly Promotional Endeavor... a page with many snippets of upcoming Baen's books. Enjoy!

Aug 15, 2005

Short status update

While I usually don't write about myself here, as I don't consider my own persona to be that interesting, there are times and places for exceptions - especially when I can use my own person to illustrate some truly interesting stuff.

So let me tell you a story now. I am not in Pittsburgh, where I will be doing the PhD at Uni of Pitt :) I will likely be researching history of democracy, impact of communications technology on it and likely some issues related to the political system of 'noble's democracy' of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. So, I am of course quite happy.

But this is not what I wanted to write about - this is simply a background info to what I really wanted to tell you about - my first impression with US. Which is extremly positive. Everybody I met here, and I mean literally everybody, has been very very friendly. Starting from two others PhD studends from my program which helped me find an appartment in less then 24h after I arrived here (Tim and Marvin - if you are reading this - tnx again!), through very helpful and wonderful secreatries at my department (of Sociology, if sb wonders), to some old black guy in the supermarket which after hearing that I have no discount card lent me his own... well, the list can go on. I admit I am highly impressed. Maybe I am on some kind of 'meet nice ppl spree', but really...for example when I wnet looking for a Greyhound bas station yesterday and asked for directions, four different people I asked were very helpful - not simply pointing 'go there', but giving very specific directions and one guy even escorting me for few minutes through some intercity maze making sure I won't get lost. After hearing the America is the center of the rat race and such, I have to admit I didn't expect to meet so many kind people almost everywhere.

So this is a short status update. Thumbs up America, and expect the next post when you see it...

Aug 6, 2005

What are you made of?

In a few years, this will be no longer a philosophical question. With DNA sequencing prices plummeting, the new age in medicine is approaching. Another milestone in the quest toward immortality... just as Ray predicted.

It's coming'...
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