Pascal Bakker

Last Week Of June



Last week I read two books: Everything I Want To Do is Illegal and This Side of Paradise. The first is a nonfiction book and it discusses the madding experience of trying to deal with bureaucrats when running a small farm. The author runs an semi-organic old fashioned farm and is constant thwarted in doing the right, rational thing by bureaucratic laws that are completely disconnected from the reality. For example, he can’t process his meat on his own land; instead he has to send it to another faculty and have it returned as a ‘value-added’ product. Or he can’t have schools visit his farm for field trips or else he would be considered an amusement park and would have to follow another set of regulations. Beyond all the enraging regulations, he brings up a key point. Why do you have so much faith in our institutions? A conservative will have faith in the military and NSA are making a positive contribution to the country, while disavowing the EPA, USDA, FDA, etc. However, liberals tend to be the opposite, and put their faith into the EPA, USDA, etc while despising the military. We assume the institutions we like are making a positive impact because their goals are noble, but noble goals does not necessarily mean their impact is positive. In the case of farming, its nearly impossible to be a small farmer in modern America; you cannot stay ahead of government regulations. As a result, only big industrial corporations have what it takes to withstand the autocrat. This book is a gateway into becoming a libertarian. Let farmers farm. Don’t fall for the alluring top-down approach trap. I love this book and recommend it to anyone.

The second book, This Side of Paradise by Scott F. Fitzgerald, takes place in England during WWI (go figure) and was his first published novel. Its follows the inner conflict of a young boy named Amory and his egotistical and conceited attitude towards life’s problems. Because thinks very highly of himself and thus as a result thinks very poorly of himself. While he is egotistical, its in a very human and relate-able way. This book has excellent writing and great dialogue I recommend this book if you enjoy the Great Gatsby or any other of his works; or if you need to regain some empathy.

I got my hands on two more books: Antifragile by Nassim Taleb and Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami. Hopefully I’ll write review for these when I finish, they’re pretty long.