Saw this and I thought it went so well with Beyond the Reach of God and Blue and Green on Regulation that I just had to post it here. It definitely articulates some of the frustrations I've had with people who break out in a rash of Libertarianism over one (on the surface) silly law being passed and reported on and then not:
A. Using the Principle of Charity to see what the opponent is really about. Even if it's silly, it shouldn't be *that* silly. See Policy Debates Should Not Appear to be One Sided.
B. Considering how it applies in the larger context. You should be free to buy big sodas but not [insert literally anything the government regulates here, which is a ton of stuff]. Why is this sillier than the other thing? See anything Less Wrong has written about the absurdity heuristic.
C. Thinking about your source of information, noting the feeling it's giving you, why it's giving you that feeling. Then realizing that it was specifically designed to give that feeling. If they did this, then dropping the line of thought or, deciding that they're so much smarter than the people in charge. *And then forgetting that the fact that they feel that was part of the plan of those who reported it, too.* Seriously, The Last Psychiatrist is great for that stuff.