Objectively Houston

In November, I launched a new website–ObjectivelyHouston.com. This is a collaborative effort with several friends to bring rational ideas to Houstonians. Below are links to a few of our posts.

Character and Preservation We are all familiar with individuals who are physically attractive but possess the character of Bernie Madoff. Rational people realize that we […]

Thinking Well

It has been said that the teacher often learns more than the students, and I can vouch for the truth of that adage. For the past ten months, I have been teaching a writing class for ESL students. The experience has greatly expanded my understanding of writing.

To set the context, my students are all […]

The Lessons of History

It has been said that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. But what if the lessons of history are worth repeating? What of the events, people, and ideas of the past that moved mankind forward? Shouldn’t we seek to emulate them? Consider Sam Insull and the electric industry as […]

The Free Market and Innovation

Throughout history, innovators have been criticized and mocked by their contemporaries. They have been accused of insanity and fraud. They have been scorned and ostracized. But when they have been free, they have been able to demonstrate the truth of their vision. When they have been free, they have been able to prove their critics […]

The Internet versus the Internet

We are often told that private companies won’t invest money into certain technologies, such as “green” energy, because it isn’t economically feasible. Government, the argument goes, must “invest” money for the research that will allow these technologies to become profitable. And as evidence, the advocates of subsidies to “green” energy companies point to the Internet.

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The Regulator Versus the Innovator

The regulator and the innovator are two very different people. The regulator enforces standards. The innovator questions standards. The regulator protects the status quo. The innovator challenges the status quo. The regulator erects barriers to innovation and progress. The innovator is the source of innovation and progress.

Regulation is about seeking permission. It is about […]

Overcoming the Squirms

Writing is seldom the glamorous activity that many perceive it to be. At times, it can be absolute torture. And this can be particularly true when we experience what Ayn Rand called “the squirms.” (This is better known as writer’s block.)

The squirms occur when we become paralyzed in our writing. No matter how clear […]

God is in the Details

Presenting philosophical ideas to a general audience is a huge challenge. This is particularly true when the ideas that we are presenting challenge the audience’s views and beliefs.

One of the most effective ways to do this is to concretize—to present examples that the audience can understand and relate to. It is easy to make […]

Atlas Shrugged Syndrome

One of the cardinal principles of writing is to delimit the subject. This can be very difficult at times, because everything is related. We can start with a narrow topic, and before we know it, we are trying to address every side issue. We wind up with a piece that is much longer than is […]

Bigots, Homophobes, and HERO

Last week, Houston City Council passed the controversial Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO). The ordinance makes it “unlawful for any place of public accommodation or any employee or agent thereof to discriminate against any person on the basis of any protected characteristic,” such as sexual orientation or gender identification.

As is usually the case, debate […]