So, this is fun. Over the weekend, I was the featured guest on a libertarian radio show — A Free Solution, by Kevin Wilson and Larry Sharpe. We talked about breaking up Facebook, tech monopolies, surveillance, and content moderation policy. I made the best libertarian case I could for trust busting. Cited Hayek, the presidential election of 1912, and other things.
We had a wide ranging conversation. Some thumbnail ideas include:
- Trust busting is the limited government alternative to extensive regulation.
- Facebook is right now meddling in every election. They can’t help it, because the very fact of an algorithmic news feed (and recommended groups, and decisions where to put election integrity resources) means meddling happens trillions of times per day.
- True patriots don’t stand for unelected dictators like Mark Zuckerberg deciding out of noblesse oblige to deign to try to protect them from foreign meddling in democracy.
- “Facebook Jail” as worse than the DMV. A giant kafkaesque bureacracy that gets things wrong and has no scope for appeal!
- Is Facebook biased against conservatives? I heard that it’s a very liberal company. The answer may surprise you!
- The ad-driven internet builds a surveillance society that is horrifying. Even if you’re okay with Walmart sending targeted ads to you, remember that all that data is also being sold to the NSA (and Chinese, Russian, etc agencies).
Kevin and I go back to around 2012, when I was living in Rochester as an adult. I met his then-girlfriend, now-wife, when she was working for Metro Justice. I wrote People-Powered Rochester in the MJ offices, sitting right next to her!
Even back then, Kevin and I got along. I think we bonded over the Restore the Fourth protests of 2013 and 2014. He’s always struck me as a real, principled libertarian. I’ve asked him for the hot takes on LP politics, and what the Trump era exposed about the libertarian movement. (While he’s a fan of Justin Amash, he definitely agrees with this famous Thomas Massie take). I donated to his run for congress in 2020, and urged my friends and family to vote for him. (The only LP candidate I have ever backed, to my knowledge).
So, it was a friendly interview. I really enjoyed it! Kevin was a gracious host. The format of the interview (radio show, with predefined slots of time) was a little frustrating — as soon as I felt we were ready to get deep into a topic, we’d start over. And the pacing felt rather fast. But it was fun, and I think I did a good job representing the ideas.
You can listen to the show here.
And the bonus (runoff) conversation that continued after the show officially ended:
I really enjoyed it! It was a fun intellectual exercise and a free-flowing conversation. Thank you to Kevin for having me on. Highlight of my week.
(And I think I’m really good at it. Got a podcast or radio show? Have me as a guest!)