SandySandfort on April 26, 2011, 08:12:47 am
Let's talk about the ZAP. In this discussion, I would like to relate the ZAP primarily to the EFT universe, but reference to the real world, for illustrative purposes would be fine. For starters, let's use the following explanation of the ZAP as our primary definition. If we want to get off onto discussions of nuances, fine, but the basic formulation will be as explained in this animation:

     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXkydzqPC6M

Holt on April 26, 2011, 10:45:25 am
The ZAP is best described as such: An ideal completely removed from reality.

spudit on April 26, 2011, 11:16:33 am
Cool video Sandy, I does explain it well.

And Holt is right as well. It really is an idea completly removed from his personal subjective reality, it suits the other six billion of us just fine.

But as pointed out it is a personal responsibility thing and you must be willing to be judged as a responsable person.

The term reasonable turns up in the courts a lot and does seem related. I wonder if you could put on your lawyer hat and help the slower students connect them since reasonable applies here too.

To misquote Dirty Harry from memory, when I see a naked man with a butcher knife ... chasing a screaming woman down an alley, I don't assume he's collecting for the Red Cross.
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Holt on April 26, 2011, 11:41:16 am
Actually I would say it is suited for maybe a few million overall. But in actual practical application? a few hundred at the very most. You could apply it to a community but you'd have to find ways to seal said community off from the rest of the world.

happycrow on April 26, 2011, 12:06:06 pm
Why?

Holt on April 26, 2011, 12:21:06 pm
Well at its heart the ZAP requires the majority to adhere to it and for that majority to be great enough that the minority can be subdued with force.
Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the case as if you present an opportunity people will exploit it. All it takes is for a few people to realise that if they work together they can plunder with minimal risk to themselves. Once one group does it more such groups will form. Eventually these groups will be bribed into leaving people alone. A while after that they may take to protecting the ones bribing them. Then come rules from the boss as he gets bored. After a few generations you go down the road to repeating the development of modern government complete with a period of tyranny followed by a period of democracy followed by the mix of both that the civilised world employs (note that in this regard the USA is not classed as being part of the civilised world)

J Thomas on April 26, 2011, 12:46:13 pm
Quote
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Quote from: J Thomas on April 25, 2011, 11:31:01 PM
Sometimes it's less clear. If the other guy has been aggressing against me there might be some circumstance where it's appropriate for me to punch him in the nose in response.

Sloppy, sloppy use of language and sloppy critical thinking. Let me red letter it for you. There are several formulations, but for our purposes here, L. Neil Smith's should do. "No human being has the right, under ANY circumstances, to initiate force against another human being, nor to advocate or delegate its initiation."

In your almost-a-scenario, you use the wiggle word, "aggression," without any clear definition. If your guy has verbally "aggressed" against you my saying that your mother wears army boots, there is no "force," so you would unequivocally be violating the ZAP if you punched him in the nose. If he had "initiated" (i.e., started it) "force" (i.e., physical aggression) against you, it would have been he who violated the ZAP.

Now, there are nuances. Fraud is usually included with the initiation of force, as is the threat of force, but for most situations, the key words are initiate and force. Got it? [/quote]

Sure. But there's a great big gray area with a slippery slope on it. I think that gets a lot narrower when people agree about common sense, and a community of like-minded individuals can probably do just fine.

So, here's a silly example.

You own a large plot with a nice home and a lot of trees. One day you are busy writing when you hear a chain saw nearby. You check on it, and there's this weird-looking skinny guy cutting down your trees. Being a level-headed sort, you ask him what he's doing.

"Some idiot is harboring dangerous trees here. They're a public danger, and I'm cutting themk down before they do more damage."

He's on your land cutting down your trees. At a minimum you deserve to take him to arbitration to get it established that he has no right to do that. But if you just argue with him about arbitration he'll cut down every tree you have before you can get it organized. Do you have a right to stop him by threat of physical force? I say you do. Probably better to stand back with a firearm and threaten him, since he is running a chain saw at the moment.

He then claims that you threatened physical force against him when you had no right to do that. It goes to arbitration. The arbitrator listens to him talk about the danger of allowing trees, and listens to you point out that it's your property, and I strongly expect the arbitrator will decide in your favor.

But what if it wasn't trees, but malaria-carrying mosquitoes? Lots of Americans agree that it's OK for the Public Health Service to come onto people's property and demand that they eliminate mosquito nesting sites, because in places with malaria or avian encephalitis etc it really is a public danger. If there wasn't any Public Health Service I'd figure anybody who knows that you're raising mosquitoes that leave your property has a right to make you stop. And if they are draining your mosquito breeding areas and you point a gun at them, or even shoot them?

Somewhere between cutting down your trees and killing your mosquitoes, there's something that's real real iffy, where reasonable people could go either way.

I say that when that issue comes up, reasonable people can find a reasonable way to handle it. Things like that don't in any way invalidate ZAP. But ZAP does not tell you which side to take when it's all iffy and debatable whether somebody is aggressing at you or instead protecting the public from your aggression. It can't do that, and we can't expect it to.

So, again, when we decide what's aggression and what isn't, whether it's you initiating force against him, or him initiating force against your trees, or your mosquitoes initiating force against everybody whose blood they spit into and then suck, the ZAP does not tell us what to choose. We have to depend on common sense and reason and so on to come up with good answers, and the ZAP can't substitute for common sense.

SandySandfort on April 26, 2011, 12:47:37 pm
The term reasonable turns up in the courts a lot and does seem related. I wonder if you could put on your lawyer hat and help the slower students connect them since reasonable applies here too.

The "reasonable person" (formerly the "reasonable man," when dinosaurs ruled the earth) is a useful legal fiction that allows a jury or judge to use the "what the fuck was he thinking?" test. In your example, the reasonable person would be correct in assuming the naked guy with the knife was up to no good. So, if he were to shoot the guy, to stop him from killing the woman, most juries would impute the initiation of force or the threat of force to the knife guy, not the woman running and screaming in terror.

The Wikipedia's article is pretty good:

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Reasonable_man

SandySandfort on April 26, 2011, 12:59:43 pm
So, here's a silly example.

You own a large plot with a nice home and a lot of trees. One day you are busy writing when you hear a chain saw nearby. You check on it, and there's this weird-looking skinny guy cutting down your trees. Being a level-headed sort, you ask him what he's doing.

"Some idiot is harboring dangerous trees here. They're a public danger, and I'm cutting themk down before they do more damage."

He's on your land cutting down your trees. At a minimum you deserve to take him to arbitration to get it established that he has no right to do that. But if you just argue with him about arbitration he'll cut down every tree you have before you can get it organized. Do you have a right to stop him by threat of physical force? I say you do. Probably better to stand back with a firearm and threaten him, since he is running a chain saw at the moment.

He then claims that you threatened physical force against him when you had no right to do that. It goes to arbitration. The arbitrator listens to him talk about the danger of allowing trees, and listens to you point out that it's your property, and I strongly expect the arbitrator will decide in your favor.

But what if it wasn't trees, but malaria-carrying mosquitoes? Lots of Americans agree that it's OK for the Public Health Service to come onto people's property and demand that they eliminate mosquito nesting sites, because in places with malaria or avian encephalitis etc it really is a public danger. If there wasn't any Public Health Service I'd figure anybody who knows that you're raising mosquitoes that leave your property has a right to make you stop. And if they are draining your mosquito breeding areas and you point a gun at them, or even shoot them?

Somewhere between cutting down your trees and killing your mosquitoes, there's something that's real real iffy, where reasonable people could go either way.

I say that when that issue comes up, reasonable people can find a reasonable way to handle it. Things like that don't in any way invalidate ZAP. But ZAP does not tell you which side to take when it's all iffy and debatable whether somebody is aggressing at you or instead protecting the public from your aggression. It can't do that, and we can't expect it to.

So, again, when we decide what's aggression and what isn't, whether it's you initiating force against him, or him initiating force against your trees, or your mosquitoes initiating force against everybody whose blood they spit into and then suck, the ZAP does not tell us what to choose. We have to depend on common sense and reason and so on to come up with good answers, and the ZAP can't substitute for common sense.

The short answer to your question is that the Chainsaw is initiating force and you have a right to use (reasonable) force to stop him. If he takes you to arbitration after than, what stopped him from taking you to arbitration in the first place? This suggests your special pleading so you can have your cake and it it to. First, arbitration does not occur to him, then it does. Please.

For some insight into the problem of "helpful neighbors" or government flunkies, look up "officious intermeddler."

J Thomas on April 26, 2011, 03:43:10 pm

The short answer to your question is that the Chainsaw is initiating force and you have a right to use (reasonable) force to stop him.

I agree with you when it's your trees. When it's your tin cans and old tires that are full of rainwater and mosquitoes, I disagree. Somewhere in between there's a case where I can't decide.

Quote
If he takes you to arbitration after than, what stopped him from taking you to arbitration in the first place?

In the silly example with the crazy person, he thought the trees were too much of an immediate threat to wait for due process. He chose your trees instead of somebody else's trees because that's where he happened to be when he got his chainsaw running.

In the example where you have a disease-breeding garbage dump on your property, he does a public service to clean it up and one of the easier ways to find out who the vandal is who owns the dump is to see who shows up and claims it. Maybe they'll help clean it up when they see the problem. Common sense says it's better to talk with them first before starting arbitration -- maybe it won't need arbitration.

quadibloc on April 26, 2011, 03:53:36 pm
First, arbitration does not occur to him, then it does.
Perhaps the point is that the ZAP itself doesn't spell out the need for arbitration, or the relationship between arbitration and the ZAP.

So there is some additional principle, which governs how arbitration will work, that one needs to understand to be able to know what kind of a society one is going to be living in - what kind of rules one will have to obey - that provides information not visible from the ZAP alone.

SandySandfort on April 26, 2011, 04:37:26 pm
First, arbitration does not occur to him, then it does.
Perhaps the point is that the ZAP itself doesn't spell out the need for arbitration, or the relationship between arbitration and the ZAP.

So there is some additional principle, which governs how arbitration will work, that one needs to understand to be able to know what kind of a society one is going to be living in - what kind of rules one will have to obey - that provides information not visible from the ZAP alone.

That is where the common sense comes in. The basic statement of the ZAP is a very good first approximation, but rational people must still connect the dots. So you have to look for solutions that make sense and that do not violate the ZAP. If you are creative, there may be many solutions that make sense without violating the ZAP. Having to think them up is in no way failure of the ZAP, just a test of your powers of reasoning.

You did just that when you wisely noted that before anyone goes to arbitration, just talking with the other party should be the first step. That strategy neither violates or obviates arbitration or the ZAP. Since most everyday interactions in life do not involve the initiation of force, it is no surprise that reference to the ZAP is rarely necessary. Most people, most of the time interact voluntarily and live by the ZAP without even putting a name on it. Huh, how about that?

Holt on April 26, 2011, 04:40:13 pm
You keep coming back to this "rational people" thing. The problem there is your definition of rational is pretty much "people who agree with me" ok that's what a lot of people have rational set as but you're a minority within a minority. The number of folk who agree with you is gonna be rather small.

J Thomas on April 26, 2011, 05:03:42 pm
You keep coming back to this "rational people" thing. The problem there is your definition of rational is pretty much "people who agree with me" ok that's what a lot of people have rational set as but you're a minority within a minority. The number of folk who agree with you is gonna be rather small.

That's a problem in general when people try to make simple principles.

Like, lots of people agree that if they're going to have a government, that government should be responsible to the citizens. It shouldn't be a government imposed on citizens that forces them to do things they don't want. It is responsible to them, and if they don't like what it does they have the right to change it.

It's a clear simple obvious principle that ought to apply to governments.

But in practice, in the USA we say that the US government satisfies this principle because every 2 years you get to vote. There are usually at least two choices to vote between, and you get to choose which of those two people helps make the laws that will bind you. And every 4 years you get to vote for the President who may select Supreme Court judges for life. Therefore the government has fulfilled its obligation to you.

If the government does things you don't like, all you need to do is vote for people who will stop that. If there aren't good candidates running or they don't get enough votes then the citizens must like the system the way it is.

It's a simple clear obvious principle which I believe is a good one.

But in the USA we make a sick joke of practicing it.

Holt on April 26, 2011, 06:06:31 pm
Aye. Unfortunately for you, you don't yet have a history of an openly tyrannical government from which to push the USA from a democratic republic (an inevitably corrupt and decadent system) to a mixed system where you balance a tyrant, the will of the people and an elected government. I make a point of endorsing any one system but I can't deny that constitutional monarchy and similar systems seem to be good performers. Whether this is due to the regions they tend to hail from or the system itself I can't say.

 

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