Yet another weird SF fan

I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Do Corporate Subsidies Necessarily Mean Corrupt Intellectuals?

According to Arnold Kling, John Baden is a counterexample:

For example, I trust John Baden, the organizer of the seminar for FREE. His commitment to principle is strong. At a dinner during our session, I sat next to Edgar Capen, who got to know Baden when they both were in Texas. Baden owed his position at the time to funding from the oil companies, who had found his free-market advocacy congenial. However, when oil prices fell in the 1980's, the industry developed a craving for subsidies. When Baden stuck to his free market economics, he was fired.

Many economists would have found a way to rationalize adopting a new viewpoint more congenial to their sponsors. I trust Baden when he provides information, because he chose to compromise his short-term financial interests rather than his economic principles.

Of course, Stephen, a commenter on that article, ignores the example:

actually, very few still read TCS … because it is blatently politically biased with an obvious right-wing pro-industrial-military complex slant.

It started out with a reasonable attempt to cover up the bias. But when the top was blown off the propaganda infrastructure of the right-wing conservative movement, TCS was among the first to tumble becuase their claimed scientific bases was shown to be fraudulent.

As far as I can tell, “the top was blown off the propaganda infrastructure of the right-wing conservative movement” is a reference to the fact that somebody had subsidized TCS. If Stephen could post that as though it necessarily meant something, he clearly could not have read the entire article he was supposedly commenting on.


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