"A Rational Life"
A Discussion of the Peculiar Consequences of
Individuals Living in Groups
"Life is of no value but as it brings
us gratifications. Among the most valuable of these is rational
society. It informs the mind,
sweetens the temper, cheers our spirits, and promotes health. "
Thomas Jefferson, 1784, in a letter to Madison
I recently retired from a career in engineering, teaching, and
dabbling with computers. For the first time in my life I now have the
time to ponder some of the social and philosophical issues that have
always been of great interest to me but, until now, could not be
addressed. I am interested in correspondence with others who have
I have posted a few of my essays here and, in some cases, I have
provided links to various sites on the Internet where others are
located. If you have any difficulty in retrieving these essays not at
this site, let me know by email and I will send you a copy by email or
To see recent changes, additions, etc., go to:
So, What's New?
What this Site is About:
Surely you have noticed that there is excessive amount of lunacy in the
world today. You are bombarded with "truths" from all directions:
religion, politics, academia, the media, etc. The advice is conflicting
and confusing. What to make of it all? Even if I could, it would be
pointless for me to provide you with yet another set of "truths" -- the
word no longer has any meaning. Instead, what I will try to do is
provide you with some observations that will confirm that what you are
being told is most likely not true and I will make some suggestions on
how you might be able to use Common Sense to
clarify some of the confusion and why you should. Here are the major
(Collective Action, Free-riding,
Game Theory, Games
& Puzzles, Prisoner's Dilemma, Public Choice, Public
Goods, Rational Choice, Social Choice, Rent-Seeking, Social
Dilemma Theory, Tragedy of the Commons,
Volunteer's Paradox, Voter's Paradox)
(Voting Paradox, Prisoner's Dilemma, Newcomb's Paradox, The Unexpected Execution Paradox, Vagueness and Ambiguity Dilemmas)
(Simple Theory of Politics STOP,
Helplessness of the Individual,
Control by Memes, Government Abuse, The Drug War, Forfeiture Reform, The Necessity of Government, The Tax and Spend Fiasco, Political Realities, Public Choice, Political Philosophy), The Welfare State
(A meme driven society, Equality, Social Behavior, Common Sense, Using Logic, Morality,
Love and Sex, The Mind)
(Quotations, Humor and Wit by Bob Black,
P. J. O'Rourke, H. L. Mencken and others)
I have added this much needed search function. Please try it!
Check out my Calendar and "Today in Political History" page,
created for your enjoyment and enlightenment. For each day of the year,
the almanac lists the major political events that occurred on that day!
Index of Keywords:
Altruism, Ambiguity, (Social) Behavior, Collective Action, Common
Good, Cognitive Process, Common Sense, Equality, Ethics, Freeriders,
Game Theory, Games
and Puzzles, Groups and Individuals, (My) Hobbies, Logic, Memes,
Morals, Mind, Music,
Political Philosophy, Poverty and Welfare, "Prisoners' Dilemma", Public Choice, Public Goods, Quotations, Rationality,
Rent-seeking, Satire, Selfishness,
Social Choice, Social
Dilemmas, Thinking, Trust, Vagueness,
Links to Other Useful and/or Interesting Web Sites:
- Here is an amazing site: MeaningS
of Life! Who does not want to know the answer to that implied
question? This site covers the issue fairly, presenting both the
religious and scientific views. Neither of which has a real satisfying
answer, of course. And if that does not satisfy you, then try this one;
Why this?" (purchase required), by Derek Parfit, my favorite
- An outstanding news and information source on Politics and other
aspects of life is the Freedom's
Phoenix site operated by Ernest
Hancock. What is particularly impressive is that he allows me to
of my ramblings there :-)
- A site for liberty run by ordinary folks, "LibertyGuys". I
quote; "We're not conservatives, we're not college professors, we're
not lawyers and we're not hippies. We're just regular ol' US citizens
who recognize the need to expand the scope of libertarian thought . .
." My kind of people!
- The Lady Liberty's
Constitution Clearinghouse is an
outstanding site for political information with a libertarian slant
(which is to say, truthful). Historical documents as well as current
news are presented along with lots of high quality links.
- Rational Review,
"The premier libertarian web journal of politics and culture", is,
IMHO, the best source for current political articles with a rational
(AKA, "libertarian") slant. It is also the best source for current political news,
which can be delivered to your email front door step every day if you
- "From 1900 to 1987, 170,000,000 people were murdered by
government. This incredible catastrophic democide (over four times the
number of combat deaths in all the international and domestic wars
fought over the same period) was carried out by officials or agents
acting under government authority.", quoted from R. J. Rummel. The
record of "democide" is documented at his site, Freedom,
Democracy, Peace; Power, Democide, and War.
- The most comprehensive and substantive site yet for Philosophy
resources: Peter King's "This & That".
Jensen's " Guide to Political Research On-Line" is a tremendous
list of resources in the fields of Economics, Politics, Law, History,
Philosophy, Freedom. It will take you awhile to go through all these
high quality links!
Gunning's Democracy Home Page
This site includes a generous and outstanding contribution to the field
of Public Choice Theory. Dr. Gunning has placed -- on
line -- a complete book on the subject!
- FRANZ KIEKEBEN has provided us with a site, "Philosophy and
Paradoxes", that is the most extensive listing on those subjects
that I know of -- both of which are of great interest to me! I
especially like is list of Philosophy Links: "Sites with Online
- A comprehensive list of links related to Ethics at the Ethical Spectacle
- You must read some of Mr.
Lizards stuff. Some would call him a curmudgeon, I would call him
an honest man (reptile?).
- A list of philosophical resources, with some "downhome"
contributions of their own, is to be found at Duane & Eva's Old
Kentucky Home Page. Of particular interest is Duane's Philosophy Discussion
area where you can find an active discussion with considerable input
from me and others.
- An excellent collection of personal philosophical essays by
Peter Landry is online at the BluPete
site. The quality of his work serves as an inspiration for me to
- William Markiewicz's informative and creative site, The Vagabond.
- Comprehensive sources of libertarian and rational politics, The Cato Institute and Reason Magazine.
- Here is a link to SOSIG (Now closed but archived), an outstanding site that covers the social sciences and provides a handy search feature.
HONORS and AWARDS
Now listed on The
great compilation of interesting links!
Selected for the Freedom
Home Page of the Week award for the week of Feb. 1-7, 1998!
One of the first winner's of the Simpliciter Award!
This page is under
constant revision; the last being on September 9, 2015.
Suggestions, comments, "go to hells", etc. may be forwarded to me
by email directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.