The Fly Bottle Cash-for-Content SuperNovember Fundraiser

Have I got a deal for you! What would you say if I told you that there was a way to get hot, fresh Fly Bottle content three times a day???!!! After you changed your pants, you'd say, “How, Will? HOW?!” Well, I'll tell you how: give me money!
That's right! You know I'm a big believer in positive sum games. Well, here's a positive sum game for you… If I raise $250 by November 5, 2004, I will guarantee at least three posts per day for all of November (the first five days are FREE!) That's almost 100 new Fly Bottle posts! I know you can hardly wait!!! What will I say?! What kind of crazy philosophical hijinks will ensue? What kind of dirty jokes and funny pictures will I begin to relate as I run out of good ideas? Will I amuse you? Perplex you? Titillate you? There are only two ways to find out(my preference being your non-free-riding option).
willswing.JPGI have two goals in mind: (1) pay my November rent; (2) Increase the readership of The Fly Bottle manyfold. You will of course feel the warm glow of benevolence knowing you have helped me pay rent. But better than other-regarding moral sentiments (and noble they are!), you'll get MUCH more of what you come here for, you'll know that by providing me with incentive to increase my posting output, you will be increasing the readership of The Fly Bottle (my traffic unsurprisingly triples and more when I post regularly), which will provide a permanent incentive to post at a higher rate. Wouldn't that be great!
You can contribute to this exciting endeavor through the Pay Pal or Amazon buttons below (and on the right column). Give a dollar! Give dickety-twelve dollars! Give til you stop! Pairwise Pareto improvements or your money back!
Do you want a freer world?! Me too! Do your part in the battle of ideas today! Strike a blow against ideological nonsense and Will's poverty-induced weight-loss problem! The future of November is in your hands.
I love you. Let's put the “undrai” in “fundraiser”!

Author: Will Wilkinson

Vice President for Research at the Niskanen Center

14 thoughts

  1. Ask Caldwell how Hayek truly fits into economics today. Ask him what economists think of him who are driven by goals that conflict with Hayek’s major life’s work on information, knowledge, markets and the fatal conceit.
    And if they think he’s not as relevant, what empowers them to clearly think so.

  2. I’m much more interested in humor than in laughter (and all its signalling utility and evolutionary history). Ask Holt about the fundamentals of why we find things funny, as opposed to why we laugh at things.
    Also, I’d be interested in what he thought of The Aristocrats.

  3. As far as I know, Robin has a wife, 2 kids, and a taste for beer. Where does Robin transform from Human to Hansonian?
    Also, riffing off Tyler, what is Hanson’s most absurd belief?

  4. Ask Caldwell about Wittgenstein’s influence on Hayek. I can see it peeking out whenever he talks about language and the embodiment & transmission of knowledge in the form of rules, but it’s never explicit (so far as I know — I haven’t read Hayek’s essay on his cousin) and I’m curious to know if Caldwell can shed any light on this, in terms of how much influence there actually was and the differences between the two.
    Also, I’ve had the vague notion for a while that Hayek meshes very well with much of Quine, but never sat and thought too much about it. If you and Caldwell could explore this at all, that’d be super-neat.

  5. Robin Hanson was interviewed by Russ Roberts on two very enjoyable EconTalk podcast episodes. The first was about health care, and the second was about signaling.
    Talk about prediction markets, especially the controversy around his DARPA-funded work — that will interest a broad audience and be a good intro, possibly. Get him to say some stuff about alternative political institutions related to futures markets.
    Ask him about his medical-skepticism, but if he sketches ideas premised on evo-psych speculations, please give him some push back. I wouldn’t waste a lot of time on post-human or cryogenic stuff as that’s weird and not all that interesting, I think.
    I’d avoid talk about Bayesian reasoning unless you want to dig directly into the controversy surrounding the different interpretations of probability — something too dry for the format, I think.
    Cognitive bias is an obvious point of conversation.
    Press him about utilitarianism, or whatever it was that led him to take up Mankiw’s challenge and come out in favor of a height-tax.
    You might try turning him on himself, asking which criticisms of his ideas he finds strongest. I think he’s a fair dealer and very clear headed, so that could be illuminating.

  6. As for Caldwell on Hayek, you should chat about how Hayek as political philosopher was concerned with helping the poor through institutions and contrast him with other libertarians, as you did so well in a recent blog post.
    If you discuss spontaneous order stuff, please be critical. In the price system, okay maybe; but gestures toward spontaneous emerging this-and-that in theoretical psychology and stuff about knowledge passed down through morality and law is weird. Also the central thesis of the book he is most well-known for is wrong, isn’t it? Please discuss.
    All three interviews will be great, I think.

  7. I’ve enjoyed the diavlog. I have two comments and a funny thought.
    First, I got the impression that Kerry thinks that fertility politics is all about telling women what to do. However, raising a family, especially with 2+ kids, is definitely a two-parents job.
    Second, retired people were mentioned as a united voting block that has become alien to the economic dynamics of a society. I’m sure there’s some of that, but they still need people to mow their lawns, to cook for them, to nurse them, etc….so if anything, old people should me even more aware of the benefits of immigration.
    Lastly, the funny thought. Throughout the broadcast I was imagining screaming kids in the background, running after each other, arguing repetitively “It’s mine! No mine! No mine!”, crashing sounds, etc….with Will and Kerry trying hard to maintain their composure 🙂

  8. I’d like to know more about Hanson’s views on religion. He’s taken issue with his co-blogger’s strident atheism but is reticent about his own views.

  9. I agree that you should press Hanson on the height tax issue. Bring up Megan McArdle’s post ( ) on why Mankiw’s paper doesn’t take everything into account, especially for women.
    Since I know you follow the Intelligent Design debate, you might want to bring up Hanson’s post on Expelled ( ). He seemed to like it quite a bit more than the average rationalist, especially in comparison to Sicko.

  10. I should mention that I chatted with Robin yesterday afternoon, before I had the chance to take all your excellent suggestions into account. I fear I spent too long on disagreement, and hope I can get to some of this other stuff in a sequel.

  11. I’d like to see Caldwell talk a little about Hayek’s agnosticism, and his views on religion generally. (I’m thinking of the kind of stuff found in the appendix of Fatal Conceit).

  12. Caldwell will tell you that most of what’s in TFC is suspect — Uncle Fritz was going senile by that point in his life and it was very heavily edited by WW Bartley, to the point where it’s more of a Bartley-Hayek hybrid than a genuine Hayek book.

  13. Just saw that “tyranny of the old” stuff. Wow. Let me get this straight. If a wave of immigrants from outside the US change a local culture to match their own, that is a GOOD thing, but if a wave of intra-US immigrants change a local culture to match their own (warm Iowa) that’s a BAD thing.
    Mighty fine logic there.

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