Naomi Klein on: individual action versus collective action.

“When I was 26, I went to Indonesia and the Philippines to do research for my first book, No Logo. I had a simple goal: to meet the workers making the clothes and electronics that my friends and I purchased. And I did. I spent evenings on concrete floors in squalid dorm rooms where teenage girls—sweet and giggly—spent their scarce nonworking hours. Eight or even 10 to a room. They told me stories about not being able to leave their machines to pee. About bosses who hit. About not having enough money to buy dried fish to go with their rice.

They knew they were being badly exploited—that the garments they were making were being sold for more than they would make in a month. One 17-year-old said to me: “We make computers, but we don’t know how to use them.”

So one thing I found slightly jarring was that some of these same workers wore clothing festooned with knockoff trademarks of the very multinationals that were responsible for these conditions: Disney characters or Nike check marks. At one point, I asked a local labor organizer about this. Wasn’t it strange—a contradiction?
It took a very long time for him to understand the question. When he finally did, he looked at me like I was nuts. You see, for him and his colleagues, individual consumption wasn’t considered to be in the realm of politics at all. Power rested not in what you did as one person, but what you did as many people, as one part of a large, organized, and focused movement. For him, this meant organizing workers to go on strike for better conditions, and eventually it meant winning the right to unionize. What you ate for lunch or happened to be wearing was of absolutely no concern whatsoever.

This was striking to me, because it was the mirror opposite of my culture back home in Canada. Where I came from, you expressed your political beliefs—firstly and very often lastly—through personal lifestyle choices. By loudly proclaiming your vegetarianism. By shopping fair trade and local and boycotting big, evil brands.
These very different understandings of social change came up again and again a couple of years later, once my book came out. I would give talks about the need for international protections for the right to unionize. About the need to change our global trading system so it didn’t encourage a race to the bottom. And yet at the end of those talks, the first question from the audience was: “What kind of sneakers are OK to buy?” “What brands are ethical?” “Where do you buy your clothes?” “What can I do, as an individual, to change the world?”

Fifteen years after I published No Logo, I still find myself facing very similar questions. These days, I give talks about how the same economic model that superpowered multinationals to seek out cheap labor in Indonesia and China also supercharged global greenhouse-gas emissions. And, invariably, the hand goes up: “Tell me what I can do as an individual.” Or maybe “as a business owner.”

The hard truth is that the answer to the question “What can I, as an individual, do to stop climate change?” is: nothing. You can’t do anything. In fact, the very idea that we—as atomized individuals, even lots of atomized individuals—could play a significant part in stabilizing the planet’s climate system, or changing the global economy, is objectively nuts. We can only meet this tremendous challenge together. As part of a massive and organized global movement.

The irony is that people with relatively little power tend to understand this far better than those with a great deal more power. The workers I met in Indonesia and the Philippines knew all too well that governments and corporations did not value their voice or even their lives as individuals. And because of this, they were driven to act not only together, but to act on a rather large political canvas. To try to change the policies in factories that employ thousands of workers, or in export zones that employ tens of thousands. Or the labor laws in an entire country of millions. Their sense of individual powerlessness pushed them to be politically ambitious, to demand structural changes.

In contrast, here in wealthy countries, we are told how powerful we are as individuals all the time. As consumers. Even individual activists. And the result is that, despite our power and privilege, we often end up acting on canvases that are unnecessarily small—the canvas of our own lifestyle, or maybe our neighborhood or town. Meanwhile, we abandon the structural changes—the policy and legal work— to others.”

Naomi Klein, Climate Change Is a Crisis We Can Only Solve Together

I like my life, therefore antinatalism is false!

There seems to be a trend in criticism of antinatalism, in that critics are actually now taking the time to understand what antinatalism is all about, but they still can’t confront the arguments. This makes their criticism a lot stranger: why take the time to understand antinatalism if you’re unable to confront it anyway? It is absolutely useless for them to be able to describe antinatalist arguments completely accurately if they are unable to deal with the arguments or provide a reasoned reaction to them.

Artir, of the blog Nintil, has written an overlong rebuttal to antinatalism called Pollyanna über alles: A critique of antinatalism. Now before I begin, I want to point out that Artir is not quite right in the head. What are we to make of someone who seriously writes: “someone who is never sad like me” and that “what follows is an argument from non-self-deluded, cheerful Pollyannaist optimist”? Why would anyone describe themselves in this way?

Anyway, as I said, the rebuttal is extremely long, but I will not address most of it here. My position is that the basic argument used by Artir is absolutely wrong, and therefore there is no point in addressing the corollaries of Artir’s reasoning. So let me go straight to Artir’s argument.

First, he defines “UAPR” (“universal a priori antinatalism”), but that’s just his term for antinatalism. He also uses two other terms, UAPO (“universal a posteriori antinatalism”) and “individual a posteriori antinatalism,” which have nothing to do with antinatalism. Antinatalism is nothing more than the position that procreation is wrong. How you justify that proposition is irrelevant to the fact that you are an antinatalist, and you cannot say that an antinatalist must justify their antinatalism in certain ways. I think this is an attempt by Artir to single out the Asymmetry as a particularly extreme argument.

Talking about that, the Asymmetry is what Artir singles out. He seems to erroneously believe that refuting the Asymmetry proves that “UAPR” (i.e. what we call antinatalism) is wrong. This, of course, is false: there are plenty of other antinatalist arguments which are not based on the Asymmetry, and Artir fails to address any of those. Again we see this obsession with the Asymmetry that so many critics seem to have, possibly because it’s the argument on which Benatar spends the most time in his book. And yet, despite this obsession, the Asymmetry still has not been logically refuted.

Artir’s argument is the following:

1. My life is nice
2. Not bringing me into existence wouldn’t have allowed me to have such a good life, or a life at all
3. If you can cause me to exist by pressing a button – a small cost to yourself – you ought to do it. Failing to do so will mean that I wouldn’t enjoy my life
4. Hence, there is one life that is worth starting, and for which we have a duty to start it
5. But this contradicts UAPR
6. Hence, UAPR is wrong…

The antinatalist will criticise my premise 1 with arguments for UAPA, saying that my life is not that good. I’ll answer that later. The second premise will be criticise by means of the Asymmetry, so to it I turn. Premise three seems trivially true if one accepts even a minimalistic conception of positive duties.

I have no interest in denying premise 1 or 2. I really have no idea if Artir’s life is nice or not, but I’ll take his word for it. I have no idea why he thinks antinatalists would criticize premise 2, because it is almost trivially true. Not bringing a potential person into existence means that potential person will not become actual and have a lifespan. There is no disagreement possible on this point.

No, the only premise that is clearly false, and which antinatalists such as myself will criticize, is premise 3. Premise 3 is not at all trivially true, and in fact it is rather bizarre that someone would argue this, especially after considering criticisms for premise 2, which is actually trivially true. Logic is not Artir’s strong suit, to say the least.

Apart from the idea that we have an obligation to bring about enjoyable lives, a point which I will argue with the next quote, there are still many things wrong with the argument. For one thing, we do not come to exist at a minuscule cost equivalent to pressing a button. Since this is part of one of the premises, this means that his argument only proves that antinatalism is wrong if procreation comes at a minuscule cost. But it very clearly does not, therefore the argument does not refute antinatalism. Furthermore, as I said before, this argument does not refute other antinatalist arguments such as the misanthropic arguments, the risk argument, the teleological argument, the ecological arguments, the feminist arguments I’ve presented on this blog, and so on. So this argument fails to disprove antinatalism (of the “universal a priori” kind or otherwise).

As for the obligation to bring about enjoyable lives, Artir argues as follows:

I disagree that there anything special regarding a duty not to bring people into existence. Duties are mostly negative (To avoid harming), and a few are positive (beneficence). This stems from the idea that we ought not interfere with the life-plans of other and let them live their lives as they want. However, there is no pre-existing life-plan to interfere with in the case of unborn people. But if a new person is generated such that the person comes to regret its existence, then we would have wronged that person, for we would have put that person through a life that was not asked for, so it would still be wrong.

That said, if we accept that we have a broad duty of beneficence (to do good to others), then one way of discharging that duty is bringing more people into existence. Creating people who will be satisfied with their lives is a good thing.

What antinatalists are saying is that there is no universal duty to provide pleasure, and therefore the pleasures of life do not provide an obligation to bring about new lives. The duty of beneficence is about our duty to prevent others from suffering due to their position in society or their specific situation. This makes absolutely no sense in the context of procreation, because there is no human being there whose suffering we can prevent. The duty of beneficence therefore cannot disprove antinatalism.

I think Artir confused “duty of beneficence” with “duty to do good for others.” It is very clear that no one should believe in the latter idea, and anyone who says otherwise is pure evil: if we have a duty to provide anything that others find morally good, no matter what it is and no matter what moral evaluation we give it, that means we have a duty to do anything from having sex (i.e. being raped) to killing their enemies. I think it should very, very clear that no such duty could possibly be justified. We have a duty as a society to help others who are worse off or in danger, but we do not have a universal duty to do good to others.

That being the case, we have disproven premise 3 of his argument. I cannot have any obligation or duty to help conceive any given person on the basis of expected pleasures, because I have no obligation or duty to give other people pleasure (except if I create such an obligation for myself, and myself only, which clearly does not apply here since this is about Artir telling us that we have that obligation). The only universal duties that can exist are negative, duties which enjoin us to not harm others in some way and/or to prevent harm in some way.

Just to clarify a possible source of confusion, when I say we have no universal positive duties, this is not related to “negative rights” and “positive rights.” We do clearly have “positive rights,” because any conception of human rights is meaningless or empty without them. But human rights as a whole pertain to what we’d call negative duties. We have no human right to be given pleasure or satisfaction.

The idea that “we ought not interfere with the life-plans of other” (sic), but that this does not apply in the case of unborn people, is true. But while it may be true that procreation does not interfere with the future person’s life-plan, this is because there are still no values to protect, and there will not be any values to protect until the child is born. Therefore, the life-plan of the future person, whether it includes pleasure or suffering, is used in these arguments as a purely selfish factor: ultimately, it is the values of the parents which are being furthered by the act of procreation, no one else’s. So while the argument is technically true, it is also very conceited and selfish. At any rate, the consent argument takes care of it.

He also tries to validate his positive duty in another way, and to dispatch the consent argument as well:

Suppose you have a magic fist such that if you punch people in their arm you cause them to have greater intelligence, and be able to enjoy a range of pleasures that they weren’t enjoying before (Say, understanding quantum mechanics, learning History, and doing phlosophy). Furthermore, assume that people who have been punched in the past have all almost unanimously been glad to be punched. Is there anything wrong with you randomly punching people?

I argue that no, and in fact you have a duty -as part of a duty of beneficence – to punch people in the arm to improve their lives.

This case, however, is not totally analogous. You could obtain consent. Although in this particular case, the fact that most people are glad to have undergone the procedure could perhaps defeat consent, in a similar way to how parents impose certain rules to their kids, on grounds that they will come to see them as justified, because in the present they don’t have enough information to understand their choice. (If however, they manifested enough knowledge of the relevant information, then their consent would trump our duty to punch).

For non-beings, they consent via hypothetical consent. Had they been able to say yes, they would have. We can know this by asking people.

So this is what it comes down to: “hypothetical consent.” The belief in hypothetical consent is pure fantasy, it is only an imaginary construct, but it partakes of the same psychology as the imperialists who believe that bombing some brown people into the Stone Age to “liberate” them is justified by “hypothetical consent,” because they would consent if they knew just how great it is to be bombed until you’re “liberated.” In both cases, what we have is a person with high levels of belief in their own superiority: in the case of imperialists, in their mode of government, in the case of natalists, in the greatness of their own lives.

I have examined the view that we can assume consent by asking people if they are happy with their lives, as well as “hypothetical consent,” as expressed by our favourite natalist stooge Bryan Caplan. I am not aware of any survey asking people if they would have consented to be born, nor how anyone could imagine such a state (apart from using Rawls’ Original Position argument). Either way, even if someone said “if I was able to communicate as a fetus, I would have consented to be born,” that evaluation would be based on their current life, not on a hypothetical point of view as a fetus. People want to continue to live because they have accumulated values, desires and attachments, all things which our hypothetical fetus would not have.

Artir posits that you can just omit consent completely if you want to do things to people that most people are glad to have undergone. But this is just cultural relativism, plain and simple. Suppose, for example, that most people in a society are fundamentalist Christians and believe that it is better for them to die than to become atheists and be condemned to Hell. Would it therefore be fine to not ask an atheist for consent before killing them, because that’s what most people would want done to themselves? Or to take a real life example, was it ethical to burn widows to death by sati without their consent, because that was the accepted belief of a large majority of the population? What about female circumcision?

Now clearly, punching people to raise their intelligence is nowhere analogous to killing people or circumcising little girls. And I have no doubt that most people would consent to such a punch-based procedure (including myself!). That’s precisely what consent is for: to obtain permission from others to act upon them, whether you consider the act morally good or bad. The fact that most people would agree with it would not thereby nullify consent, since the act is still an act performed upon other people, and there is no prior justification to impose it on anyone else. If such justification exists, Artir has not told us what it is, his confusion about beneficence aside (which has generally little to do with raising people’s intelligence, and definitely has nothing to do with giving people new pleasures).

In that narrow sense, it is perhaps more similar to male circumcision (a topic on which I have an upcoming entry). Many advocates claim that male circumcision has some health benefits. Whether that is true or not, however, does not evacuate the issue of consent. The fact remains that, health benefit or not, the newborn does not have the ability to consent to such a dangerous procedure (especially when administered by some ignorant clergy).

While childism is not the topic of this entry, Artir brings it up when he uses children as an example. The fact that we accept childism (that children are inferior and need to be controlled by parents) and see this as normal is due to the fact that a large majority of people accept it, not because it is actually valid. I don’t really want to get into the childism issue because it’s rather off-topic and would take a lot more space than I want to use to address a single example (my entries on the subject can be read in this category), but my basic point here is that it follows the same relativist pattern I’ve already highlighted. The parents’ will, or their imaginary belief that the child would consent if they were fully informed, does not trump consent, because children are human beings who have the right, like all other human beings, not to be invaded upon without some higher justification (e.g. pulling a child out of the street, or preventing a child from getting burned).

Since Artir’s argument centers around the premise that we have an obligation or duty to bring about a life if that life would contain pleasures, the failure of his demonstration of “positive duties” also means that his argument as a whole fails. Therefore, as I stated at the beginning, I see no point in delving in his long rebuttal to the quality of life argument, since he does so for the sole purpose of shoring up premise 1, a maneuver which is entirely unnecessary in the first place and which, at any rate, cannot save his argument. As it happens, I do think his rebuttal to the quality of life argument so bizarre and delusional as to not deserve a response; he does explicitly call himself a self-deluded Pollyanna, so perhaps there are no surprises here, but it makes his argument useless cheerleading, about as valid as sports fans arguing which of their favourite team is the best (“Which team is the human race?” “Both.” “Duh.”).

Sinister Seductress – Tropes vs Women in Video Games

Introduction to antinatalism- some links to my past entries.

Antinatalism is, as of yet, very much a minority position and, even though there is a smattering of people talking about it online (mostly on Youtube), there’s not much material available about it. Here are a few of my entries that I would recommend as an introduction to the subject:

FAQ on antinatalism
Making the case for antinatalism.
Looking at misanthropic antinatalism.
Ecological antinatalism: worth another look.
Benatar’s asymmetry.
12 questions for natalists and breeders.

And keep in mind that you can always look at all the entries I’ve tagged with “antinatalism” by selecting it from the Categories drop-down on the right side (here is a direct link).

Quotes from Who Rules the World? by Noam Chomsky

“[A]s [Michael Scheuer] explains, bin Laden largely succeeded. ‘US forces and policies are completing the radicalization of the Islamic world, something Osama bin Laden has been trying to do with substantial but incomplete success since the early 1990s. As a result, I think it is fair to conclude that the United States of America remains bin Laden’s only indispensable ally.'”

“Support for democracy is the province of ideologists and propagandists. In the real world, elite dislike of democracy is the norm. The evidence is overwhelming that democracy is supported only insofar as it contributes to social and economic objectives, a conclusion reluctantly conceded by the more serious scholarship.”

“The protection of slavery was no slight concern to the founders: it was one factor that led to the American Revolution. In the 1772 Somerset case, Lord Mansfield determined that slavery is so ‘odious’ that it could not be tolerated in England, though it continued in British possessions for many years. American slave owners could see the handwriting on the wall if the colonies remained under British rule. And it should be recalled that the slave states, including Virginia, had the greatest power and influence in the colonies. One can easily appreciate Dr. Johnson’s famous quip that ‘we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes.'”

Libertarians desperately trying to justify basic compassion.

I’ve already commented many times on this blog about the fundamental cruelty underlying Libertarianism, voluntaryism, and other related ideologies. The root of this cruelty is their refusal to acknowledge so-called “positive rights,” i.e. rights which obligate other people to provide something. They believe that we all have rights, but that we can have no guarantee of access to the resources that make the expression of those rights possible. The end result is that Libertarians only really believe in human rights for those who can afford them. Children, women, people in emergency situations, and poor people, are basically useless and should be left to suffer or die, because the free market resolves everything and anything that’s left is not worth resolving (or is not even a problem).

This leads to problems with Libertarians who actually have some empathy or compassion. They are left with three possible resolutions:

1. Disagree with the cruel conclusions without disagreeing with the logic that leads to them. This seems to be the tack that most Libertarian commentators take on this blog. Unfortunately for them, it is nonsensical, because they can’t point out why the conclusions are wrong. All they can do is complain loudly that we’re misinterpreting their ideology, without actually telling us what the misinterpretation is.

2. Declare that those cruel conclusions are exceptions which should be dealt with using different rules. These people can both maintain the validity of Libertarian logic while asserting that it can lead to a just society if we just patch it up correctly. In this view, the free market is the best economic system that exists, it’s just slightly imperfect.

3. Agree with the cruel conclusions but reframe them as being kinder “in the long run.” The free market is perfect and expanding it can only bring positive changes to everyone. Some people just have to be left by the wayside. Once all the poor people with the bad time preferences die out, you see, everyone will be better off.

This leads me to an entry called Why Did Hayek Support a Basic Income?, by Matt Zwolinski. Zwolinski takes the second option: while he believes that most problems in workplaces are justifiable, he believes that there are some exceptions, and that these exceptions should be patched using a minimum income program (mincome).

Now, it may seem that a Libertarian could never contort themselves enough to justify supporting mincome, which is, after all, a socialist idea. Zwolinski has managed to do it, although it all hinges upon an equivocation on the word “freedom.” Let me first look at his definition of freedom:

A slave is unfree because his every decision is subject to interference at the will of his master. To be free, in contrast, is to be able to act according to one’s own decisions and plans, without having to seek the approval of any higher authority…

This is why Hayek saw a powerful regulatory state as a threat to individual freedom. The state’s regulations are always implicitly or explicitly backed by threats – “Do this or else!” – and thereby coerce citizens into acting in accordance with the will of the regulator (or the will of the special interests served by the regulator), instead of their own.

This, coupled with the fact that Zwolinski sees nothing wrong in principle about business owners telling their employees what to do, leads me to believe that Zwolinski is talking about freedom1 (i.e. freedom from physical coercion and nothing else). Obviously it is true that the slave is unfree, but this does not therefore mean that everyone else is free. An employee in a capitalist workplace is not “able to act according to [their] own decisions and plans.” People who grew up in a strict religion or cult, when they become adults, do not become magically “able to act according to [their] own decisions and plans.” Being “able to act according to [our] own decisions and plans” implies freedom1,2,3: the absence (or potential absence) of external determinism acting upon them.

Hayek’s commitment to freedom and opposition to coercion also explains his libertarian belief that free markets and private property are a necessary precondition of political freedom. After all, one of the most important functions that rights of property serve is to provide individuals with a domain in which they need not seek the approval of any other person in order to act as they wish. Property rights provide individuals with a kind of jurisdiction over which their own will is law.

Again, a very clear signal that Zwolinski is solely talking about freedom1. Anyone who proposes that free markets and private property are a necessary precondition of freedom is clearly not talking about freedom from the “kind of jurisdiction,” by which people control each other, provided by private property. If you believe in freedom1,2,3, on the other hand, such a statement is contradictory. Clearly anyone who is ruled by the will of another, whether through government programs or the threat of force of arms brought about by private property, cannot be free1,2,3.

This is the basic paradox of Libertarianism: they claim to believe in freedom from tyranny, but at the same time they advocate another form of tyranny, that of private property owners forcing everyone else to bend to their will in order to access their resources. Basically, private property owners in a Libertarian system are nothing more than tyrants in miniature, exerting a monopoly of power over a territory. Instead of one all-powerful and sporadically accountable government, they believe in hundreds of thousands of all-powerful and completely unaccountable governments who can still collude and establish cartels, which is not much of an improvement.

The fact that property rights provide individuals with “a domain… over which their own will is law” is precisely what’s wrong with property rights and why they are anti-freedom. Freedom cannot exist at the expense of other people. Rights which authorize coercion against other people are not real rights.

Zwolinski quotes long lists of wrongdoings by businesses against their workers, and then proceeds to whitewash most of them by saying that they are “necessary cost-control measure[s],” whatever that’s supposed to mean (necessary for what?). But then he says:

Are we really willing to say that each and every one of the outrages documented by Bertram et al. is the product of workers’ free choice, rather than (what they appear to be) something imposed on workers against their will by those who wield power over them?

If libertarians are concerned to protect the freedom of all, and not just the freedom of most, we will want some mechanism that catches those who fall through the cracks left by imperfect market competition. We will want, too, some mechanism for protecting individuals whose economic vulnerability renders them vulnerable to domination outside the marketplace – the woman, for example, who stays with her abusive husband because she lacks the financial resources to support herself without him.

You will note here that we have now completely switched gears. “Imperfect market competition,” in Libertarian theory, is an oxymoron. Most importantly, the equivocation has now come into play, as he’s now clearly talking about freedom1,2,3. In fact, his examples perfectly demonstrate this fact. The previous examples, which are “imposed on workers against their will,” concerned compensatory power. And the example of the woman who stays with her abusive husband is a case of conditioned power as much as it’s about money, if not more.

That was the magic trick. He’s equated a defense of freedom1 with something based on freedom1,2,3, which means that he can pretend to be compassionate (i.e. a supporter of freedom1,2,3) while still supporting a cruel and evil system (one based on freedom1). So, in a sense, his argument is not in the second category as I said before, but also just a logical fallacy. Because he doesn’t expect people to realize this, he thinks his readers will think of him as being a Libertarian of the second category. Well, he is, after all, addressing other Libertarians, and presumably he knows how smart they all really are.

And now, the conclusion:

Cases such as these point the way to a freedom-based case for a Basic Income Guarantee, of the sort that Hayek might very well have had in mind. A basic income gives people an option – to exit the labor market, to relocate to a more competitive market, to invest in training, to take an entrepreneurial risk, and so on. And the existence of that option allows them to escape subjection to the will of others. It enables them to say “no” to proposals that only extreme desperation would ever drive them to accept. It allows them to govern their lives according to their own plans, their own goals, and their own desires. It enables them to be free.

The point of a basic income isn’t to give everyone the same amount of wealth. It is to ensure that everyone has enough access to material wealth to render them immune to the coercive power of others.

From a Libertarian standpoint, this is pure nonsense, because the free market is the optimal state of the economy and gives the greatest amount of freedom and prosperity to everyone. This is a socialist argument. Zwolinski is only able to make it because he’s switched his conception of freedom to freedom1,2,3.

From a socialist standpoint, I would say that these are all good points, but if your goal is freedom and prosperity for all, then why bother with a capitalist economy at all? Capitalism has always been about funneling these things towards the elite classes, the minority, against the majority. There is no point in patching up the free market with a mincome if you could just not have a free market and be better off in most, if not all, regards.

But his goal here is not to present a correct account of freedom, his goal is to present an account of compassionate Libertarianism. Unfortunately for him, he is only able to do so by stealing the radical conception of freedom. This is only another practical demonstration of why Libertarianism is a bankrupt ideology.

The “Transgendering” of Children – Stephanie Davies Arai (Julia Long Mirror)

If you’re a voluntaryist who’s pissed at me, debate me!

Recently I have become aware of certain voluntaryists who are not particularly impressed by the fact that my anti-voluntaryist entries (especially this one) rank very highly on Google when they search “voluntaryism.” I think that’s great! People should be exposed to the utter vacuity of voluntaryism.

If you don’t like it, and you can’t comment because the comments are closed on these old entries, you know what you can do? You can debate me on this very blog. And people will see that, too! However, keep in mind that the first debate I had with a voluntaryist didn’t go very well for them. You might want to read that first and prepare to counter those points.

If you want to start a debate, simply write a response to any anti-voluntaryist entry I’ve written (preferably The Voluntaryist Delusion, as it is the most exhaustive, and we’d just come back to the points I wrote there anyway), and post the URL here. But I will only do debates one at a time, in case more than one person starts at one time (optimistic, I know).