Since it’s Christmas, and since I’ve only recently celebrated my two millionth visitor to NOT PC, I figured I’d wish myself my own Merry Christmas by blowing my own trumpet just a little. Well, a lot.
Since starting this blog way back in the mists of time--around half a decade ago—I’ve written and published precisely 5000 posts (this is the 5001st). With an average word count of around 350 words per post that represents . . . some very sore fingers and around 1,750,000 words—not all of them my own (thank Galt for copy and paste!).
Still, 1,750,000 words is more than the entire recorded output of, say Raymond Chandler. And his words were put together better too.
Still, as Poneke said when hosting his own self-celebration recently (you see what I mean by the beauty of copy-and-paste),
“Many of my articles over the first [five] years are still frequently Googled and read. Looking back at them, I can see why. Some of them contained substantial information on important issues, or were just plain good.”
And so say all of me. In evidence, your honour, I submit this baker’s dozen of the most popular posts here at NOT PC right from when it were just a wee babbie—or, at least, from when Google Analytics started picking up after me and my various guest posters by telling me who was reading what, and how many. Here, in other words, are the 0.26% of all those 5001 posts that has risen to the top:
Frank Lloyd Wright: Broadacre City (November 2005)
"Urban sprawl is one of the greatest enemies of good urban design," say some. I don't agree. The greatest enemy is a lack of choice, created by a lack of freedom. 'Sprawl' gives people choices: the alternative is mandatory slums. Frank Lloyd Wright's 1932 concept of the 'Broadacre City' . . . demonstrated that sprawl is not the enemy. . .
”There should be as many kinds of houses as there are kinds of people and as many differentiations as there are different individuals. A man who has individuality (and what man lacks it?) has a right to its expression in his own environment.” (FL Wright, 1908)
Read here about Frank's 'Broadacre City' concept - everything the planners hate -- and for Frank's own drawings which he prepared to indicate what such a place might be like . . .
The Global Financial/Economic Crisis: The True Causes And Only Long Term Solution (November 2008)
As financial and market instability persist, as governments flail and fumble, one thing is for sure - we're on the brink of a most serious economic event - a "depression" which is the BUST component of the typical "boom/bust" cycle.
Popular criticism is centred on blaming the bankers, the financiers, and to some extent the politicians, and the overall lack of "regulation." And above all there is a consensus emerging that it is ultimately the fault of the free market, of capitalism - and that what is needed to "fix" this problem is more regulation, more easy credit (debt), and ultimately more government.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Seeing spiders (February 2007)
Who would have thought that a post on Pitcairn Island’s spiders would have attracted several thousand visitors!
The Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus - Rubens, 1618 (November 2006)
”Success glows through his pictures in halcyon color. No one ever caught the rosy
bloom of healthy skin, the shimmering quiver of well fed flesh with such
lip-smacking skill. His women are displayed like great compotes of cream and
exotic fruits from the Indies— kumquats and soursops and apricots, the flesh of
melons and oranges from Seville—that the Dutch merchantmen were bringing back to the ports of northern Europe. It was an overdressed age, of velvets and taffeta
and ornate brocades, when rich men habitually wore three topcoats, when even the
walls of rooms were clothed in gold-embossed Spanish leather and the massive oak
tables covered in heavy tapestries.
The acquisitive burghers who owned such things would gain an additional frisson to see openly displayed the wide expanse of tender vulnerable bodies, their clothes torn away like the protective skin ripped off a ripe plum.”
Rubens, as you might have guessed, is not a painter for the politically correct.
Beer O’Clock – Heineken Mini-Keg (January 2007)
A long time ago, in a country just like this one, the beer scene was pretty sad . . .
"The invisible hand of the market doesn't deliver a sustainable nation." True or false? (November 2007)
IS THAT TRUE? If we assume that "sustainable" means something like "good for the environment," then is it really true to say that the market’s invisible hand doesn't deliver a good environment?
Well, no it's not. In fact, quite the reverse. As Czech president Vaclav Klaus pointed out earlier this week:“We know that there exists a huge correlation between the care we give to the environment on one side, and wealth and technological prowess on the other side. It's clear that the poorer the society is, the more brutally it behaves with respect to Nature, and vice versa. It's also true that there exist social systems that damage Nature - by eliminating private ownership and similar things - much more than the freer societies.”
It's indisputably true that the wealthier the country and the better its respect for property rights, the better its environment. Think about the environmental basket-cases that were Soviet Eastern Europe -- those places where the market's invisible and benevolent hand had been absent for nearly a century when the Berlin Wall fell in 1990, and compare that to how Western Europe looked.”
Annette Presley: The face of theft (May 2006))
Everyone wonders why people keep voting for thieving governments, but at the same time everyone wants a piece of someone else.
Moochers put their hands out for Welfare for Families, and justify it with a chuckle; students put their hands out for grants and interest-free loans, and justify their mooching by invoking 'the public good'; nosy neighbours claim the right to dictate what can and can't go on over their fence, and give impetus to envy-ridden laws like the RMA; and moochers and petty chisellers like Annette Bloody Presley (left) celebrate the just-announced nationalisation of a portion of NZ's largest company, and justify the theft by calling it 'unbundling.'
Let's call it what it is. It's theft. . .
And Presley? Instead of building up her own network or investing in Telecom shares in order to have a legitimate say in theirs, Annette Presley and others like her have been given the chance at something they haven't earned by a Government that doesn't care whose property they steal to do it. . .
Larry Williams put to her tonight on his Drivetime show that this represents a violation of Telecom's property rights. Presley's response: "Bullshit." Turns out she wouldn't know a property right from a prostitute, and doesn’t care who acts as her pimp.
Darnton on Aussie ABC (December 2006)
Australia's ABC radio sought out Bernard Darnton to find out just what was going on at the last election. Pledge card, misappropriations of public money, lies, retrospective legislation ... it's all right here. [Interview starts about 23:20]
As Bernard says, I assume that for slagging off the Clark Government overseas he’ll now get charged with treason.
The fatalism of entropy. The dynamism of spontaneous order. (December 2006)
People often talk as if the Law of Entropy somehow restricts human activity, or is a restraint on human free will. The idea, for example, that "even if human ingenuity is infinite, entropy may eventually put an absolute limit on the amount of wealth that can be created." Things fall apart, you see, the centre cannot hold, and there's not a blind thing we can do about it.
This is both an error of scale -- with entropy happening on a universal rather than a human scale -- and a mis-application. It ignores the very nature of human activity and human free will, and ignores too the very simple observation that confirms there is order all around us.
Sack the social workers (July 2007)
It's all our fault. Lowlifes being paid to produce children they don't want are killing them, abusing them, hitting them around the head with bats and pieces of wood, throwing them in dryers and against the wall -- all utterly in defiance of the Bradford-Key anti-smacking law which (you'll remember) was going to put a stop to all this.
And do you know who's to blame for all these incidents: According to all the experts, we all are! You, me, absolutely everyone. Everyone except for the lowlifes and those who take our money to pay for their breeding.
"They're not to blame," I keep hearing; "WE are."
What a lot of horseshit. These aren't our babies. “We” aren't killing them. . .
Lyon-Satolas Airport Railway Station - Santiago Calatrava (April 2007)
Built for the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France, this is Santiago Calatrava's competition winning Airport Railway Station for Lyon-Satolas - as a sketch (right), as a model (above), and as the real thing (left).
Isn’t it astonishing what Google’s readers, and you, find most enticing.