Sunday, August 29, 2010

Libertarians in Space

World's Biggest Writing
In one sense, Nick Newcomen is a geographer after my own heart -- someone who conceived a grandiose project and then followed through on it. Using a GPS logger, he drove around the United States on a carefully planned route that would allow him to spell out the message, "Read Ayn Rand." By turning off the logger between words and letters, he left a trace of the intended message.

A few ironies appear to be lost on this adventurer:

1) He confined his stunt to the United States. It would have been bigger had he been willing to take this grandiose vision beyond the Lower 48.
2) He relied on Google Earth, which in turn relies heavily on taxpayer-funded maps and images.
3) He relied on GPS, which in turn relies heavily on taxpayer-funded satellites.
4) He apparently relied on public roads, which in turn rely heavily on payers of federal, state, and local taxes.
5) He distributes the entire project on the Internet, which was developed by taxpayer-funded military and academic institutions, and which has swallowed up private-sector imitators (such as AOL).

In the process, he demonstrated that the public sector is not necessarily so bad. What would über-libertarian Ayn Rand think of that?

1 comment:

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