It is the great multiplication of the productions of all the different arts, in consequence of the division of labour, which occasions, in a well-governed society, that universal opulence which extends itself to the lowest ranks of the people.
-Adam Smith, On the Wealth of Nations
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
-Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love
When I recently started reading the Wealth of Nations, this comparison came to me quickly, as the very first thing that Smith discusses are the benefits of the division of labor and specialization. It seems to me that specialization is a benefit to society as a whole, but being a Competent Man is of greater benefit to the individual. Having useful secondary skills are not usually beneficial to society, but can be quite powerful for the individual if the economy shifts drastically. There’s also the classic desert island scenario – when there is no civilization, you need to do everything for yourself. Continue reading “TOTD 2018-04-13: Adam Smith vs. Robert Heinlein”
I am a fairly experienced computer user, but for years I only used Windows versions. However, a friend had been using Linux for some time, and suggested that I try it. I was a bit hesitant, given what I had heard from people – it was a pain to install, only for high end applications like running a server, etc. However, I pressed on, and went to obtain a copy of Linux – but wait, which one?
We often go through life oblivious to how easy we have it. We take a few minutes and go across a bridge or through a tunnel. It seems so natural. But what if they were not there? A few minutes would turn into hours. Why are they there? Someone spent the money and did the labor to make them.
How many “bridges and tunnels” are in your life? Who paid the price to make your life easier? What do you take for granted that others don’t have?
I am using National Review as a place holder for the conservative punditry. This is a debate about moving the political dialog. Are books and articles the way to go or are comedies and images the way to go?
I haven’t watched Roseanne reboot but I liked the one clip with the woman in the Nasty Woman tee shirt and the pink hat. That image alone was enough to put things in prospective. The Left says and does foolish things and needs to be mock in a fun way. A light touch is better than a hammer. Roseanne did that in that clip. ... [Read More]
It is April Fool’s Day. Time to loosen the tops to salt shakers. Set various traps around the house. How about writing about the secret love letters between Vlad and Hill? Trump giving up the presidency and entering a monastery? CNN having a legitimate news story? I know those are all good but I think one has got to be more creative.
I want everyone to think. (Minky is excluded.) What is the prank of the century? What is the classic gocha? Write a comment and then look at my answer. Tell me if you agree.... [Read More]
April will shortly be here. Please sign up and write a Thought of the Day post. These can be short thoughts, quotes, pictures, interesting links, or serious pieces. Signing up helps you to write. Without a sign-up people are intending to write but rarely do. Writers need deadlines.... [Read More]