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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When in Detroit, Do Like the Romans

For as long as I can remember, it’s been common for Objectivists, and for many commentators on the right, to speculate that we’re headed toward the same fate as ancient Rome. Just recently, libertarian-conservative columnist (and Objectivist sympathizer) John Stossel asked, “Are We Rome Yet?” “Unfortunately, the fall of Rome is a pattern repeated by […]

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I Believe It Because It Is Absurd

You have no doubt seen those “one weird trick” ads that have spread like a cancer across the Web. In case you were wondering about why you see them everywhere, an intrepid reporter bravely clicked on them and tracked down how they work, why they work, and who is behind them. Here is what he […]

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Trustbusters

Remember back when Microsoft was the huge juggernaut that was going to totally dominate the technology industry and take over the world? I do, because I cut my teeth as a political writer and activist by defending Microsoft against the antitrust persecution whipped up against it by envious rivals. One of the arguments I made […]

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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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Shooting the Messenger All Over Again

A few days ago, I mentioned the speech given to the United Nations by Malala Yousafzai—the 16-year old Pakistani girl who was shot in the head for defying the Taliban—touting the importance of education as the ultimate weapon against her attackers. So I was appalled to see a report in the Pakistani newspaper The Dawn […]

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Economics 101

The higher-education bubble has touched off a scramble among politicians to come up with solutions to make college more affordable. So far, “affordable” higher education has meant pretty much the same thing as “affordable housing”: encouraging people to pile up unsustainable government-subsidized loans. To avoid the rise of these ruinous student loans, the state of […]

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