My name is Andy Hallman. I am 23 years old and live in Washington, Iowa. I grew up in Pocahontas, Iowa, a town of 2,000 people. I studied political science at Iowa State University in Ames and graduated in 2008.
I am influenced by writers and thinkers from many fields. With respect to economics, I rely heavily on the work of David Friedman, the son of Milton Friedman. I also enjoy reading the blogs of economics professors at George Mason University such as Bryan Caplan, Robin Hanson, Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok.
Concerning issues relating to science, evolution, and evolutionary psychology, I enjoy the work of Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker and Michael Shermer. Pinker is a psychologist by trade but also an outstanding linguist and easily the most articulate person I’ve ever seen on television.
Concerning international affairs, I used to like Noam Chomsky a great deal but now rely on him less than before. Nevertheless, Chomsky can be counted upon to point out contradictions and hypocrisies in American foreign policy. I also like Michael Neumann’s style of writing and arguing, and he writes principally about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but also about war and terrorism in general.
On questions of general morality, I like to read Peter Singer although I don’t agree with him entirely. When I was in high school and college, I greatly admired Howard Zinn. While I’m not nearly the enthusiastic supporter of old, I still think he has done more than anyone else to change the way Americans view their country’s history.
I have also been influenced by authors I do not even particularly like but whose ideas caused me to rethink some of my own positions. Such authors include Ayn Rand, Leonard Peikoff, Robert Nozick, Thomas Sowell and many of the other rights-oriented libertarians.