Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Interview your blogger

Tim Blair has a good idea, and since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery I thought I’d copy quite shamelessly imitate: so I’m going to let you interview me.

Got any questions? Fire away in comments. Personal, political, professional ... ask anything*.

(*Does not imply that all questions will be answered. Or published. May not be used for the purposes of gambling. Offer void in South Australia.)

I don’t expect anything like the 137 questions Tim got. But breaking double figures will show much you love me.  Or not. ;^)

41 Comments:

Blogger Greig McGill said...

Your profile at SOLO says "at an early age he fell in love with the buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright and the writings of Ayn Rand - and he hasn't been the same since."

When and how exactly? Was there a formative moment or was it a slow evolutionary process?

As a latecomer to libertarian ways of thinking, I know that for myself it's been a very gradual shift as I slowly identified what my own principles were by interrogation and rationalisation. I'm extremely interested in how others come to libertarian ways of thingking - mainly because I wish to encourage it in others! :)

1/13/2010 03:23:00 pm  
Blogger Mark Hubbard said...

Greig has asked the question of when, and under what circumstances, were you introduced to Ayn Rand.

So my question is when did you become involved with Libertarianz?

Although here's the interesting one for me. Ayn had major disagreements with some of the main economists of the Austrian school, especially three of the big ones, von Mises, Hayek and Rothbard. Yet they are such good fit for Libertarianism and the only school of economic thought that hold with laissez-faire: how do you reconcile Objectivism with the Austrian economists? (Do you think it necessary to do so?)

1/13/2010 03:32:00 pm  
Anonymous Sean Fitzpatrick said...

I spent Xmas sampling many wonderful locally made beers. What was your favorite this festive season, PC?

1/13/2010 03:35:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

@Greig: "Your profile at SOLO says "at an early age he fell in love with the buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright and the writings of Ayn Rand - and he hasn't been the same since."

When and how exactly? Was there a formative moment or was it a slow evolutionary process?
"

1a. I discovered a book of Frank's writings (no pics) when I was about 14, and thought he must be the bee's knees. I never saw any of his buildings until much later (this was before Google, remember, and well before blogs) but when I did I realised he really was the bee's knees. And (unlike most of his colleagues, I was to discover) his manifestoes actually matched the work.

1b. When I left school I was working for a crowd called Real Foods in MOrningside, for two great people--Richard Keene & Pam Ruddenklau--from whom I learned an awful lot of the stuff you never learn in school, but need to. They were ideal entrepreneurs to learn from. Anyway, noticing that I was always turning up in the lunch room with some turgid tome or other, Pam strategically placed a copy of 'Atlas' in the lunch room and suggested, almost in passing, that I might like to read it sometime.
The rest, as they say, is history. :-)

2. With Frank, falling in love was a slow evolutionary process--until I saw that first building: the Robie House I think it was, when the love was consummated.

With Rand, falling in love was instant, but understanding her ideas was a slow evolutionary process. (I still maintain it takes an honest thinker at least ten years to properly absorb and integrate Objectivism.)

1/13/2010 03:48:00 pm  
Anonymous Nat Supporter said...

How can you stand or associate with idiots like Elijah? It is clear from past comments that have been made here on this blog by some libertarians (LibertyScott, Luke Howison, Greig McGill, etc,...) that Elijah is an asshole (indirectly) and yet you still tightly cling to (defend) him like a long lost lover?

What's so special about Elijah? The man is a disgrace for the Libz and it is something that doesn’t bother you.

1/13/2010 03:50:00 pm  
Blogger Dinther said...

Peter, seriously. How do you manage to remain sane while reporting your opinion on the never ending barrage of lunatic news.

I get depressed at times and need to stay away from news for a few weeks or I'd become a lunatic or manic depressed.

Whenever I get into that state I wonder. How do you do it?

1/13/2010 04:02:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

@Mark: "So my question is when did you become involved with Libertarianz?

When I came back to NZ in 1995 Lindsay Perigo was running the fantastic Radio Liberty (such a great loss) and my Objectivist friend from the eighties Ian Fraser was running a radio show Sunday nights, on which he announced a meeting of like-minded others to start a new political party called (at the time) the A-Team. I thought I'd go along and sit at the back . . .

" Ayn had major disagreements with some of the main economists of the Austrian school, especially three of the big ones, von Mises, Hayek and Rothbard. Yet they are such good fit for Libertarianism and the only school of economic thought that hold with laissez-faire: how do you reconcile Objectivism with the Austrian economists? (Do you think it necessary to do so?)

Major disagreements? Don't get hung up on her marginalia. She thought Mises was a hero who every Objectivist should read. And she said so, everywhere from 'The Objectivist Newsletter' to 'Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal.' Rothbard used to send her fan letters [like this one http://mises.org/journals/jls/21_4/21_4_3.pdf ], but when he broke with her he began telling lies about her, and stole without attribution large parts of her corpus--reason enough for her poor opinion of him personally, and of the movement he started.
That said, there's no difficulty at all "reconciling" Objectivism and Austrian Economics. THe founder of Austrian Economics, Carl Menger, was an Aristotelian, so Austrian Economics stands firmly on that base. Rand herself learned much from Mises and Menger about value theory that almost certainly helped to inform her ethics, and its rational selifishness. That the Austrians call their value theory "subjective" is neither here nor there, in that respect.
If you want to see the two formally reconciled, there are very good pieces by Ed Younkins and Richard Johnsson that I'm sure you can find on Google that do the job.

1/13/2010 04:04:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

@Sean: "What was your favorite this festive season?"

Phew, an easy one.

I loved the Renaissance family of beers.

I enjoyed some delicious Little Creatures Pale Ale with an Australian friend before Christmas.

We popped a bottle of Moa out of the champagne bottle in front of the fire on the beach at NYE.

Had some great Dux Pale Ales.

And I was overjoyed when a friend turned up on a parched afternoon with a bagful of Epic Armageddons. Now that's what I call a friend. :-)

1/13/2010 04:08:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

@Nat Supporter: "How can you stand or associate with idiots like Elijah?"

Rich, don't you think, when you clearly associate yourself with clueless appeasement-merchants like John Key?

" . . . yet you still tightly cling to (defend) him like a long lost lover?"

Really? Is that what I'm doing?

1/13/2010 04:12:00 pm  
Anonymous Frankie Lee said...

1) I've gathered that you're a huge admirer of Duke Ellington, when and how did you get introduced to his work. And while I'm at it, what would you recommend for someone who's intrigued about Ellington but has no idea where to start?

2) Did you have any sort of religious upbringing, or have you always been an athiest?

1/13/2010 04:13:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

@Dinther: "How do you manage to remain sane while reporting your opinion on the never ending barrage of lunatic news."

Sane? Perhaps you have me confused with someone else. :^)

1/13/2010 04:14:00 pm  
Anonymous Jimmy Jangles said...

Strangest place you ever drank a beer.

1/13/2010 04:17:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

@Frankie Lee: "1) I've gathered that you're a huge admirer of Duke Ellington, when and how did you get introduced to his work. And while I'm at it, what would you recommend for someone who's intrigued about Ellington but has no idea where to start?

2) Did you have any sort of religious upbringing, or have you always been an atheist?
"

1. When I started in architecture school down in Wellington a group of us who worked late togther on projects used to play a few tapes of mine called "Jazz Classic in Digital Stereo" (an Australian ABC thing, which you can now get on CD) which were great late-night listening. And then the film 'Cotton Club' came out that year, and even though the soundtrack was John Barry aping Duke, I clicked: Duke was my man.

What to recommend? Hmmm. Well, don't start with one of those $2-bin CDs from the warehouse anyway. Some are great, but too much junk on too many of them.

Best starting CD is probably
a double called 'Beyond Category.' Get that one and you get to survey his entire career, and then check out which part of it you want to follow up on.

Have fun. :-)

2. Mother was a Presbyterian, so was forced to go when I was a kid. I discovered early that the creed at the heart of Presbyterianism is boredom--and that the religion around it made no earthly sense. When I was twelve a bloke in the same class at school went up front to "give his heart to Jesus," which my mother thought was splendid, whereupon I asked her if she thought he was old enough to give his heart away like that. She said he was. So I said I was old enough to do the opposite, and I never went again.

1/13/2010 04:57:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

@Jimmy Jangles: "Strangest place you ever drank a beer."

Hmmmmm. Many contenders there, only some of which I could publish.

Personal favourite is probably the Kilburn Catholic Social Club in North London, where I'd been commissioned to show up one Saturday before Xmas to begin the design and build of a moveable stage for their Xmas show.

Now as you might know there's a few Irish Catholics around Kilburn--Shane McGowan used to drink around there--and when I opened the door to the "Social Club" round nine in the morning I discovered most of them were in there. Turned out "Social Club" was a euphemism for "the pub." Open all hours. Attached to the largest Catholic church in North London. With a door straight through to the cathedral. It was when the priest wandered over and started plying me with Guinness, insisting I sup along with him while I worked, that I wondered whether I was maybe a wee bit hasty on it rejecting that old religious malarkey, you know.

It was a good session as I recall. :-)

1/13/2010 05:08:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

@Jimmy Jangles: "Strangest place you ever drank a beer."

Oh, and there was the time I was buying rounds for the whole pub in an underground Murmansk bar, back in the early nineties when buying for the whole pub cost less than the equivalent of ten pence. Mind you, the beer tasted that way too.

1/13/2010 05:11:00 pm  
Blogger PM of NZ said...

Peter, With all the apparently well reasoned arguments and commentary that you and others of the Libz persuasion offer, what do you consider to be the main reasons that Libz continually fail to get meaningful traction at the ballot box.

No, you can breathe easy, I am not about to have a Damascene conversion to your Libz world views.

1/13/2010 06:30:00 pm  
Anonymous Julian said...

PC,

How did you find a girlfriend who is a vegetarian objectivist?

Julian

1/13/2010 07:50:00 pm  
Anonymous Falafulu Fisi said...

How come you never like funky music in general (not rap shit and those), such as Michael Jackson for instance?

1/13/2010 08:17:00 pm  
Blogger Shane Pleasance said...

Vinyl or CD?

1/13/2010 08:39:00 pm  
Anonymous Former blogger said...

I know you don't think much of The Church, but are there any churches, i.e., buildings, that you love? Which (if any) churches, cathedrals, basilicas do you admire as an architect? Any favourite periods in architecture?

1/13/2010 10:38:00 pm  
Blogger Mr Smith said...

How do you find time to be an architect, and write so many blog articles? Or do you just live in poverty?

1/14/2010 05:43:00 am  
Blogger Greig McGill said...

Good call Mr. Smith! I've also wondered how the hell he manages to do all that (and lounge around in his awesome garden drinking beer!) ;)

Ah, Red... how did you get so funny?

1/14/2010 08:19:00 am  
Blogger PC said...

@Julian: "How did you find a girlfriend who is a vegetarian objectivist?"

She found me. To her eternal regret, I'm sure. :-)


@Falafulu Fisi: "How come you never like funky music in general?"

You should come round and check out my James Brown collection. :-)


@Shane Pleasance: "Vinyl or CD?"

Both. But not MP3.


@Mr Smith: "How do you find time to be an architect, and write so many blog articles? Or do you just live in poverty?"

If you worked from home, you could write shitloads too instead of wasting all that time commuting. It helps if you write fast, too.


@Former blogger: "I know you don't think much of The Church, but are there any churches, i.e., buildings, that you love? Which (if any) churches, cathedrals, basilicas do you admire as an architect? Any favourite periods in architecture?"

Sure are. At their best they're fantastic examples of ideas made concrete: of man expressing in built form his idea of "the highest possible." And the best includes churches, cathedrals, basilicas like Notre Dame, Hagia Sophia, Frank LLoyd Wright's Unitarian Church and Unity Temple, Bruce Goff's Seabee Chapel and Crystal Cathedral, Felix Candela's sculpted creations, Corbusier's Ronchamp, John Scott's Futuna Chapel (NZ's best building), Borromini's little beauties, any number of Gothic creations reaching for the sky! I've even posted on some of them:

http://pc.blogspot.com/2006/05/architecture-is-scientific-art-of.html
http://pc.blogspot.com/2006/12/futuna-chapel-wellington-event-this.html
http://pc.blogspot.com/2006/10/futuna-chapel-john-scott-karori.html
http://pc.blogspot.com/2006/05/s-carlo-alle-quattro-fontane-church.html
http://pc.blogspot.com/2006/05/st-barbara-cathedral-in-kutn-hora.html
http://pc.blogspot.com/2006/05/sagrada-familia-basilica-antoni-gaudi.html
http://pc.blogspot.com/2007/03/hoshino-wedding-chapel-karuizawa-japan.html
http://pc.blogspot.com/2007/01/anthony-chapel-maurice-jennings-david.html
http://pc.blogspot.com/2006/02/crystal-chapel-project-bruce-goff.html
http://pc.blogspot.com/2005/09/cathedral-of-power.html
http://pc.blogspot.com/2005/07/futuna-by-john-scott.html
http://pc.blogspot.com/2005/11/corbusier-ronchamp.html

And don't even get me started on the great cathedrals of sport like the MCG, and Nervi's great stadia . . .
http://pc.blogspot.com/2006/11/bluffers-guide-to-worlds-great.html
http://pc.blogspot.com/2005/11/palazetto-dello-sport-pier-luigi-nervi.html
http://pc.blogspot.com/2009/05/zarzuela-hippodrome-eduardo-torroja.html
http://pc.blogspot.com/2008/09/no-live-coverage-im-afraid-but-main.html
http://pc.blogspot.com/2006/11/aucklands-rwc-stadium-another-pitch.html

1/14/2010 09:00:00 am  
Anonymous matt said...

A bit left field, but what the hey: in your view what is the 20th century invention or idea that has raised human welfare the most?

1/14/2010 01:06:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

@PM of NZ: "With all the apparently well reasoned arguments and commentary that you and others of the Libz persuasion offer, what do you consider to be the main reasons that Libz continually fail to get meaningful traction at the ballot box."

Because it's far too early to expect to see very much at all that ballot box. We're trying to change the inbred statism NZers ingested with their mother's milk. That's gonna take some deal of cultural change first.

" . . . you can breathe easy, I am not about to have a Damascene conversion to your Libz world views"

Aw shucks, you jes sayin' dat 'cos youse friends is watching.

" . . . apparently well reasoned arguments . . ."

Don't think I didn't see what you did there. ;^)

1/14/2010 01:19:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

@Matt: " . . . what is the 20th century invention or idea that has raised human welfare the most? "

Excellent question.

Plenty of examples of what it's not:
* Federal Reserve system
* Fascism
* Socialism
* Communism
* Country & Western Music.

But the 20th century invention or idea that has raised human welfare the most? Let me think about that.

Here's some candidates:
* cars
* planes
* refrigeration
* modern pharmaceuticals
* modern electronics
* CAT scans/MRI scans etc.
* latex condoms
* the aluminium beer can
* the bra (great invention that)

Hard to know which one to put first, really.

1/14/2010 01:37:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

@Matt: Having said that, the 20th century idea, or set of ideas, that WILL raise human welfare the most--by making possible the freedom and the culture of reason necessary for raising human welfare--is without a doubt Ayn Rand's Objectivism.

True story.

1/14/2010 02:08:00 pm  
Blogger rsw37 said...

I really like the idea of libertarianism and would like to fully embrace it but am hesitant due to my uncertainty and so far dissatisfaction as to how the issue of children's (and to some extent mentally impaired or insane adults) rights are treated.
I would really like to hear how you view the rights of children and perhaps what role you view is appropriate for the state to take in protecting those rights?

1/15/2010 11:17:00 am  
Blogger libertyscott said...

Happy New Year good sir! If you could choose one Libertarianz policy you'd like to see a government implement first, what would it be?

1/15/2010 12:03:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

@rsw37: "I would really like to hear how you view the rights of children and perhaps what role you view is appropriate for the state to take in protecting those rights?"

Children aren't yet adults, but they are human beings, and as such deserve all the protection of law that implies.

They have rights which must be legally safeguarded, but not yet full adult rights. Why? Because they're not yet full adults. They're not yet mature human beings able to look after themselves. Essentially, their rights are "held in trust" until they are.

To be clear: They clearly have the right to life--as every human being does.
But they don't have full rights to liberty--since it would be ridiculous if they did; this would give them the right to play on the motorway whenever they felt like it. That would be dumb.
And they don't yet have full rights to property--since it would be just as ridiculous; imagine if they decided they had the right to consume a whole fridge full of **their** ice cream. That too would be dumb.

So their full individual rights are held in trust by their parents.

To see how law might protect children, we Libz insist that the position of children be enshrined in our proposed constitution. Specifically, as 'Article X' of the Bill or Rights:

"Article X - Rights Held in Trust

"Nothing in this Bill shall be construed as permitting activities which can be shown beyond reasonable doubt to destroy the potential of a child to become an adult with full rights and liberties eternally enshrined in the Bill of Rights and Bill of Due Process. Subject only to this constraint, parents and legal guardians shall have full freedom to raise their children as they see fit; equally, they shall be deemed responsible for the actions of their children.

"The age of independence shall be deemed by law, but the courts may deem an earlier age on application of the child, if the child can demonstrate its independence."

In our view, all laws and actions regarding children should be measured against that standard.

1/15/2010 01:01:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

BTW: You can find the full Libertarianz Constitution for New Freeland here:
http://freeradical.co.nz/content/constitution/index.php

1/15/2010 01:03:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

@LibertyScott: "If you could choose one Libertarianz policy you'd like to see a government implement first, what would it be?"

Happy New Year to you too, sir. :-)

What to do first? As the repository and transmission belts of most of the statist poison that is doing us over, as a first step I'd favour favour burning down the teachers colleges and giving back the schools.

Followed swiftly by the codification of basic common law principles, and the repeal of the RMA.

How does that grab you? :-)

1/15/2010 01:08:00 pm  
Blogger WWallace said...

You appear to tightly hold many very strong personal opinions. Is that so, or what, if anything, did you decide to change your mind about, in 2009?

At what age does a child have a right to life (Article X, mentioned above)? On what rational basis do you decide between the rights of an unborn baby, and the rights of a pregnant mother who wishes to kill her baby?

1/15/2010 10:59:00 pm  
Blogger libertyscott said...

Damnit if I can't disagree.

Education comes first, by a long shot. Property rights is certainly second.

So to play devil's advocate, which Libertarianz policy do you think would need the longest transition period? and the one which was the last big issue that you needed convincing on?

1/16/2010 01:44:00 am  
Anonymous LGM said...

How did you come to live in the Castle?

LGM

1/16/2010 08:35:00 am  
Blogger El said...

I was in Real Groovy yesterday, having a bit of a read of 'The A**sholes Guide To Dating Women' and found myself laughing out loud at some of it. My question to you is: 'Should I, (as a single gal) recieve counselling for laughing at such written material?

**Disclaimer: I didn't necessarily agree with what was written.

1/17/2010 05:39:00 pm  
Blogger The Tomahawk Kid said...

LibertyScott -
I could not agree more.
The education system is the key to everything, and nothing will ever change until it is removed from their grasp, and they (red or blue team) are not about to let that happen

1/18/2010 12:30:00 pm  
Anonymous Falafulu Fisi said...

PC said...
You should come round and check out my James Brown collection. :-)

Um, I was looking everywhere for my James Brown CD the other day which I haven't played it in over a year, and I couldn't find it. I thought that I took it to Papamoa during the previous christmas holiday (ie, 2008) which I played it a few times on CD player there (by the pool room). So I will definitely come around and check out your collection to see if my CD have somehow ended up there, because you were the last one to leave Papamoa.

Anyway, James Brown is a slightly different type of funk. My favourite 80s/90s funk group was the US-based Tongan group called The Jets. They had some US top 5 hits in their prime, but were a bit under-rated since they were up there with the likes of 80s/90s top funk pop artists/groups as Michael Jackson, Prince, Sheila E, El Debarge. If you want to see what I mean, then check out the dance from the links below. Anyway, I used to dance like that when I was younger (which I still do today but quite the same).

- You've Got Another Boyfriend (funky dance - Perform Live)

- Crush On You (funky dance - Perform Live at the Top Of The Pop)

- Somebody To Love Me (love song - Perform Live)

- The Same Love (Love song - Perform Live in Nuku'alofa)

- Private Number (funky dance - their best video)

- Rocket 2 U (funky dance - Perform Live on Japanese TV music channel)

- You got it all (love song - excellent vid)

Britney Spears remade The Jets original You got it all song which is awful. At least The Jets lead singers, Moana & Elisapeti were superb in their performance compared to fake Britney Spears. Check out Britney's version below:

- You got it all (Britney Spears version)

It is modern funk (such as The Jets and similar music groups/artists) that I have detected that you have no interest in. You will hide these types of funky CDs somewhere, so that they're not to be at all in the CD player (wherever).

1/20/2010 10:44:00 am  
Anonymous Falafulu Fisi said...

correction:

I said...
(which I still do today but quite the same)

meant to be:

(which I still do today but not quite the same)

I said...
so that they're not to be played at all in the CD player

1/20/2010 10:48:00 am  
Blogger PC said...

@Falufulu Fisi: You're a very serious chap, aren't you. :-)

@El: "'Should I, (as a single gal) recieve counselling for laughing at such written material?"

Yes you should. And I have a list here of single young men eager to deliver it.

@W Wallace: "...what, if anything, did you decide to change your mind about, in 2009?"
I decided that the idea of 42 hops per glass wasn't a bad way to make a glass of beer. Before trying Epic Armageddon, I was dead against it.
How about you?

"At what age does a child have a right to life (Article X, mentioned above)?"

When it becomes a human beintg, i.e., at birth.

"On what rational basis do you decide between the rights of an unborn baby, and the rights of a pregnant mother who wishes to kill her baby?"
There is no conflict to decide between. "An embryo has no rights. Rights do not pertain to a potential, only to an actual being. A child cannot acquire any rights until it is born." - Ayn Rand, 'Of Living Death'

1/20/2010 11:53:00 am  
Blogger PC said...

@Liberty Scott: "...which Libertarianz policy do you think would need the longest transition period?."

Welfare.

"And the one which was the last big issue that you needed convincing on?"

Drugs.

1/20/2010 11:56:00 am  

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