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The Bitcoin Experiment

I just came across a column from British financial commentator Liam Halligan that is one of the most terrifying things I’ve read in a while. It is nominally about the rise of Bitcoin, a recently invented “stateless” digital currency—but it is really about the decline of the big, traditional state-backed fiat currencies, most particularly the […]

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Ten Lessons of ObamaCare

President Obama is still trying to downplay the launch failure of ObamaCare as if it were just a few glitches on a website. No, it’s much more than that. It is a timeless demonstration of the failure of central planning, government regulations, and the entitlement state. It is a failure so total, so comprehensive, and […]

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Information-Age Philosopher-Kings

The award for Whiner of the Week goes to Salon’s Joan Walsh, who penned a water-carrying piece denying the disastrous launch of ObamaCare. She then hyperventilates about the response. I wrote a piece asking liberal critics of the ACA’s Web problems to take a larger perspective, and not rush to join the [semi-expurgated obscene word] […]

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So Who Is This John Galt Fellow, Really?

A Reader’s Guide to Atlas Shrugged, Part 4 Spoiler Alert: You do not need a reader’s guide to Atlas Shrugged—at least not for your first reading. Ayn Rand’s novel is clear, compelling, eminently readable, and perfectly comprehensible on its own terms. Yet Atlas is also a rich and complex novel, with an intricate plot in […]

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The Novel That Prevented Itself from Becoming Prophetic

Editor’s Note: My apologies for not sending out The Tracinski Letter for the past few weeks. I had a big project come up that demanded all of my time for a little while. It’s one of those things where I have been working, so far, behind the scenes, and I’m not sure when or how […]

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“Rational Quantum Dynamics, Were Such a Thing to Exist”

For most of the last century, the achievements of physics were used to prop up the failures of the humanities. Quantum physics was endlessly interpreted (and abused) to provide a supposed scientific confirmation for irrationalist and mystical doctrines. The latest discoveries of science, it was said, confirmed that knowledge is impossible, that we can achieve […]

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Who Owns Information?

In my work for RealClearMarkets, I’ve been following the story of the collapse of SAC Capital Advisors, a giant hedge fund that is being brought down just by being indicted for insider trading. The way things work these days is that being formally accused by the SEC is enough to sink a big trading company, […]

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The Psychology of “Normal Life”

How to Achieve a Benevolent Sense of Life, Part 3 This is part three of what looks like it might be a five-part series. In the previous installment of this series, I urged readers to become flame-spotters who look for the good in the world, so that this orientation toward the good becomes the psychological […]

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No, Ayn Rand Didn’t Kill Sears

An article from the leftist website Alternet (by way of Salon) gloats that “Ayn Rand Killed Sears.” No, not the novelist and philosopher herself, during whose lifetime Sears was still one of the world’s greatest retailers. The blame supposedly rests with Ayn Rand’s philosophy, as applied by Eddie Lampert, the hedge fund manager who bought […]

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A Little Rebellion Now and Then

The decision by Egypt’s military to intervene and force out the country’s Islamist president has produced a lot of hand-wringing about how this is an attack on Jeffersonian democracy. The irony is that this is “democracy” in the most literal, original sense, in a way that would have been easily recognized by the Ancient Greeks […]

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