Don’t Check the Label

Is the Cowboy a Conservative or a Liberal?

Well, either and both I’m afraid.  Oh, and neither.  The Cowboy believes in freedom and personal liberty, free trade and free markets, less government intervention rather than more, human knowledge, reason and the scientific method.

The Cowboy also believes in epistemological modesty, to use David Brooks’ nice phrase.  There are limits to human knowledge; as much as we think we know, there is much we do not.  Even as we dramatically increase the scope of human knowledge, we keep expanding our understanding of how much we do not know.

As Levitt and Dubner amusingly describe in Freakonomics, even weather forecasters are surprisingly inaccurate in predicting the future.  Economists, political scientists, physicists, inventors and soothsayers all are reliably inaccurate on the whole in predicting what will come.  Apologies to Al Roker, Milton Friedman, the EIU, Alvin Toffler, Ray Kurzweil and Carnac. (The Cowboy is a fan of Kurzweil by the way.  Don’t be surprised if a post on the Singularity is near.)

There are times when action trumps inaction.  The passage of events – history if you will – is sticky. Events happen unpredictably, even in retrospect,  and sometimes all at once.

Liberty, modesty, reason, respect for others, integrity of thought – all are values that guide the Cowboy like stars on a dark night.  More will undoubtedly surface in future entries, but for now the Cowboy will sometimes eschew labels, sometimes brandish them with abandon and sometimes just mix and match.

Don’t fence me in.

The Majestic Sombrero Galaxy - Really

The Majestic Sombrero Galaxy (really)

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Published in: on February 24, 2009 at 19:41  Comments (2)  

2 Comments

  1. Can I just say ‘ditto’? You so eloquently described my views that I know I could never do myself justice! i anxiously await future posts.

  2. Very interesting; now I know the definition of epistemology.


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