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Online Comics => Escape From Terra => Topic started by: Apollo-Soyuz on April 14, 2011, 07:47:46 am

Title: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: Apollo-Soyuz on April 14, 2011, 07:47:46 am
Since things are generally "not illegal" rather than "legal" on AnCap Ceres, one presumes that augmentations that would be illegal on Earth aren't illegal there. Could the Black Mamba be surprised by running into someone faster?

Prediction (tongue-in-cheek): Chang is ordered and Ed is obliged (for some reason), to accept a duel.  Before it can start, Ronda gets subbed in for Chang, so Ed gets subbed out for Suki. 

T-cast duel that finishes the war cribbed out of the movie The Postman.

Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: Holt on April 14, 2011, 08:08:24 am
Well on the subject of augmentations I would wager that there's few places to get them on ceres as there is nothing to stop the religious nutjobs from burning the places down every time.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: quadibloc on April 14, 2011, 08:59:34 am
there is nothing to stop the religious nutjobs from burning the places down every time.
There is nothing to stop some people from among the vast majority of Cereans who want to see property rights respected from doing a number on the religious nutjobs, either. You must stop carrying over false assumptions from statist society into your picture of an AnCap society.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: spudit on April 14, 2011, 10:17:19 am
I wonder, regarding a duel. If rejuv can do all it has been shown to do their medical tech is damned good. Good enough, I wonder, to fix a blown out heart?

Or will Rhonda shoot high or low or whatever in the funky gravity, not having had the talk Carlos recieved?
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: Holt on April 14, 2011, 10:51:22 am
there is nothing to stop the religious nutjobs from burning the places down every time.
There is nothing to stop some people from among the vast majority of Cereans who want to see property rights respected from doing a number on the religious nutjobs, either. You must stop carrying over false assumptions from statist society into your picture of an AnCap society.

Why would the majority of cereans care? It's not their property. Plus the nutjobs can just do it quietly when no one is about.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: GlennWatson on April 14, 2011, 12:27:06 pm
I would love to see the look on Black Mamba's face when the professorial takes her down with his superior AnCap reflexes.  A pistol duel at 20 paces would be cool.

Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: Brugle on April 14, 2011, 12:56:45 pm
there is nothing to stop the religious nutjobs from burning the places down every time.
There is nothing to stop some people from among the vast majority of Cereans who want to see property rights respected from doing a number on the religious nutjobs, either. You must stop carrying over false assumptions from statist society into your picture of an AnCap society.

Why would the majority of cereans care? It's not their property.

Psychology can be very interesting, but does it matter?  I easily came up with 5 distinct possible motives for a person to voluntarily cooperate in protecting the rights of all, and I'm sure there are others.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: Aardvark on April 14, 2011, 02:52:19 pm
I don't see why augmentation would be illegal on Ceres. There are probably some occupations that would fine faster reflexes and extra strength useful. "Black Mamba" -- nice reference to "Kill Bill," that, would fit right in if she wanted to do the Ceres thing. She'd have to be careful, though. Ceres isn't like Earth, where she could be reasonably sure that she was the baddest b****h around. Ceres gravity would work against her, too. Once she's in the air, she's an easy target for any trap shooter.

It could get interesting if she tries to start something, especially with so many cameras running.

I predict pain. 
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: wdg3rd on April 14, 2011, 03:33:30 pm
Since things are generally "not illegal" rather than "legal" on AnCap Ceres, one presumes that augmentations that would be illegal on Earth aren't illegal there. Could the Black Mamba be surprised by running into someone faster?

Prediction (tongue-in-cheek): Chang is ordered and Ed is obliged (for some reason), to accept a duel.  Before it can start, Ronda gets subbed in for Chang, so Ed gets subbed out for Suki. 

T-cast duel that finishes the war cribbed out of the movie The Postman.


While augmentation featured to Postman: the Novel, I do not recall it in the film.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: Apollo-Soyuz on April 14, 2011, 07:50:18 pm
A pistol duel at 20 paces would be cool.
---
While augmentation featured to Postman: the Novel, I do not recall it in the film.

Pre-caffeine post. With Suki vs. Ronda I was thinking a hand to hand brawl in the big open space of the Place de la Concorde. The Postman reference was merely for two armies assembled on the battlefield and having it all come down to personal fight between two leaders.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: Aardvark on April 15, 2011, 09:21:42 pm
Any more plot predictions?

I've been trying figure out the possibilities with this Christmas War thing.

Chang seems to think that the Army company he nominally commands is there to take over Ceres after provoking a casus belli. Clearly, Chang believes that the Cereans are no match for his troops. Ed thinks that the U.W. company is being set up: the U.W. is looking for a casus belli, all right, but they don't think the company would win on its own, in fact, they don't want them to win. The U.W's real purpose, he thinks, is to create buckets of blood and body parts to edit and spin as barbarian aggression to the U.W's captive population.

Ok, as far as it goes, but it's a bit confusing. Do the U.W. subjects have access to the tanglenet? For the U.W's plans to work, I'm assuming that they do, but it's filtered. It would be ridiculous, after all, to claim one thing, then be proven as not only liars, but murderers, too. And yet, copies of the true incident would eventually be out there for all to see, unless the U.W. was planning to sever their population from the tanglenet entirely, which could be explained to the serfs as necessary because of war.

Consider the situation the U.W. is in: The checks will start bouncing soon, which will demonstrate to one and all the failure of the state and the lies they'd been feeding them, but what if they can blame all their problems on the Cereans? That changes things. The U.W. can launch a war against Ceres and pretend the Cereans started it, blame any damage to their economy on the Cereans, shut down on the tanglenet, and do whatever they want to unimpeded. By the time the truth is known, the war will be over and Ceres will be subdued or obliterated.

Now what would conceivably stop this nefarious plan before it gets off the ground? I think it would be very nice indeed to have a recording of Rhonda demanding that Chang order his troops to start killing Cereans, and, btw, spilling the entire evil U.W. plot. Before anything happens, Ed, or even better, Guy, (haven't seen much of him lately) walks in on Rhonda and tells her that the troops have heard everything.

Rhonda goes into a rage and attacks Guy, who, being more used to Cerean gravity, and is a skilled knife fighter, manages to hold her in the air where her strength would be useless, and put a knife to her throat. The U.W. troops are offered the same deal as the earlier invasion fleet and many stay.

I don't this will all happen, but I'd love to see it.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: SandySandfort on April 15, 2011, 10:30:18 pm
Nice analysis, but let's see what happens. BTW:

Quote from: Aardvark link=topic=563.msg13843#msg13843

Chang seems to think that the Army company he nominally commands is there to take over Ceres after provoking a casus belli. Clearly, Chang believes that the Cereans are no match for his troops. Ed thinks that the U.W. company is being set up: the U.W. is looking for a casus belli, all right, but they don't think the company would win on its own, in fact, they don't want them to win. The U.W's real purpose, he thinks, is to create buckets of blood and body parts to edit and spin as barbarian aggression to the U.W's captive population.

That's a very good description of what Chang and Ed are thinking. (It's Cererean, BTW.)

Quote from: Aardvark link=topic=563.msg13843#msg13843
Ok, as far as it goes, but it's a bit confusing. Do the U.W. subjects have access to the tanglenet? For the U.W's plans to work, I'm assuming that they do, but it's filtered.

Consumer tanglenet is set up to pass through a central node where it can be monitored, much as internet traffic can be intercepted. Encryption is possible, but who bothers? Think of the Western democracies now. There are all sorts of disclosure about government misdeeds on the internet, not to mention sites such as Wikileaks (my choice for the Nobel Peace Prize). However, internet sources are marginalized by the captive mainstream media and the government disinformation machine. Of course, there are black market tanglenet comms that do not pass through the monitoring nodes, nor contain GPS information. They are illegal because they could be used by "organized crime, terrorists and pedophiles." (You know, just like matches, telephones and automobiles.)

Quote from: Aardvark link=topic=563.msg13843#msg13843
... unless the U.W. was planning to sever their population from the tanglenet entirely, which could be explained to the serfs as necessary because of war.

The Obama Kill Switch? While it would be possible to cut off the normal commercial tanglenet by shutting down the nodes, illegal direct tanglenet comms would be totally untouched, or indeed, untouchable. Even though illegal, a lot of people have them, like unlicensed radio receivers in the old Soviet Union. Think "Radio Free Terra."

Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: Aardvark on April 16, 2011, 06:58:55 am
Quote
Consumer tanglenet is set up to pass through a central node where it can be monitored, much as internet traffic can be intercepted. Encryption is possible, but who bothers? Think of the Western democracies now. There are all sorts of disclosure about government misdeeds on the internet, not to mention sites such as Wikileaks (my choice for the Nobel Peace Prize). However, internet sources are marginalized by the captive mainstream media and the government disinformation machine.

Okay. That narrows it down a good bit. It's nice to get a feel for the U.W. Dictatorships come in many flavors. The modern dictatorships are generally much harder to overthrow because of modern technology. China is a good example. The protest movement that might have started at Tienamen Square was snuffed out early on because camera surveillance made it easy to identify the protest leaders. It took a while, but eventually, they disappeared. China's Internet filtering is combined with government monitors whose job is to flush out potential dissidents. The Chinese control movement within the country, and absolutely do not tolerate criticism. Students are given a state-approved education. As shown in the West Bank and Gaza strip, indoctrination from birth is remarkably effective. For these reasons, I've always thought that a world-wide dictatorship would be next to impossible to get rid of. It might not be Oceania, but using modern technology, it's controlling agency would be at least as effective as the Ministerium für Staatssicherheit, or the Ministry for State Security, the Stasi.

If the U.W. tolerates outside sources of information, then it looks like the U.W is a couple of steps below that level of control.

Quote
The Obama Kill Switch? While it would be possible to cut off the normal commercial tanglenet by shutting down the nodes, illegal direct tanglenet comms would be totally untouched, or indeed, untouchable. Even though illegal, a lot of people have them, like unlicensed radio receivers in the old Soviet Union. Think "Radio Free Terra."

Something very much like the Obama kill switch, yes.

*** Edited to delete extra text.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: Holt on April 16, 2011, 07:20:16 am
Honestly I doubt the UW would be as terrible as the author makes it out to be if such a system actually came to pass. The internal competition for power alone would make the old European throne struggles look positively pleasant. Making the bumbling retards we've seen so far be the dregs at the bottom of the barrel who failed utterly.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: mellyrn on April 16, 2011, 08:31:32 am
Quote
It would be ridiculous, after all, to claim one thing, then be proven as not only liars, but murderers, too.

"The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them." -- George Orwell

A huge portion of my countrymen are living proof of this.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: Aardvark on April 16, 2011, 08:48:29 am
Quote
"The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them." -- George Orwell

A huge portion of my countrymen are living proof of this.

Eric Blair was making something of a generalization, but overall, the principle is historically true enough. The corollary is also true: sometimes a man can see nothing but evil in a nation, no matter what the evidence. At the core, it's a tribal thing, and a tribe can be a nation, a race, an ideology, or a religion. It can take some courage to stand back and be objective about the group one identifies with.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: sam on April 16, 2011, 09:41:25 am
Eric Blair was making something of a generalization, but overall, the principle is historically true enough. The corollary is also true: sometimes a man can see nothing but evil in a nation, no matter what the evidence. At the core, it's a tribal thing, and a tribe can be a nation, a race, an ideology, or a religion. It can take some courage to stand back and be objective about the group one identifies with.

It follows then that those who rule America do not identify with it.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: GlennWatson on April 16, 2011, 10:27:01 am
It can take some courage to stand back and be objective about the group one identifies with.

Its is the hardest thing in the world.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: SandySandfort on April 16, 2011, 10:50:11 am
Okay. That narrows it down a good bit. It's nice to get a feel for the U.W. Dictatorships come in many flavors.

The word "dictatorship" covers a lot of territory. It may be helpful to think of the UW as US rhetoric united European social democracy. Like the old Soviet Union, it is a rag-tag conglomeration of competing power blocs. And like the USSR, it is hanging on by the skin of its teeth. It could collapse at any moment. Today's US is a fair enough analog--especially for the immanent financial collapse and subsequent social unrest (and potential collapse). It is a dying empire, which is a good thing, but billions of innocent people will suffer in its death throes.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: Corydon on April 16, 2011, 11:28:29 am
Today's US is a fair enough analog--especially for the immanent financial collapse and subsequent social unrest (and potential collapse).

I think you mean imminent here.  The two words are often confused, but mean quite different things.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: J Thomas on April 16, 2011, 11:45:55 am
Today's US is a fair enough analog--especially for the immanent financial collapse and subsequent social unrest (and potential collapse).

I think you mean imminent here.  The two words are often confused, but mean quite different things.

And yet the word he used fits in a rather poetical way.

As does eminent.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: GlennWatson on April 16, 2011, 11:53:26 am
Today's US is a fair enough analog--especially for the immanent financial collapse and subsequent social unrest (and potential collapse).

I think you mean imminent here.  The two words are often confused, but mean quite different things.


I'm sure it was a typographical error, nothing more.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: quadibloc on April 16, 2011, 12:09:13 pm
I'm sure it was a typographical error, nothing more.
I quite agree. If a financial collapse can be viewed as an event of eschatological proportions, then we can be confident of that, because it's the Utopian socialists who commit the folly of attempting to immanentize the eschaton.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: Holt on April 16, 2011, 12:28:52 pm
Growth obsessed capitalism works on boom and bust. Problem is few people are interested in sustainable capitalism least of all anarchists because it limits their ability to accumulate wealth.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: GlennWatson on April 16, 2011, 01:05:48 pm
I'm sure it was a typographical error, nothing more.
I quite agree. If a financial collapse can be viewed as an event of eschatological proportions, then we can be confident of that, because it's the Utopian socialists who commit the folly of attempting to immanentize the eschaton.

It took me three attempts at careful reading before I got this.  Very funny. 
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: GlennWatson on April 16, 2011, 01:07:19 pm
Growth obsessed capitalism works on boom and bust. Problem is few people are interested in sustainable capitalism least of all anarchists because it limits their ability to accumulate wealth.

Nothing is sustainable.  As Keynes said, "In the long run we are all dead."
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: SandySandfort on April 16, 2011, 02:11:12 pm
Today's US is a fair enough analog--especially for the immanent financial collapse and subsequent social unrest (and potential collapse).

I think you mean imminent here.  The two words are often confused, but mean quite different things.


Quite right. My error.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: Holt on April 16, 2011, 02:26:47 pm
Growth obsessed capitalism works on boom and bust. Problem is few people are interested in sustainable capitalism least of all anarchists because it limits their ability to accumulate wealth.

Nothing is sustainable.  As Keynes said, "In the long run we are all dead."

Well ok sustainable as in we don't have to sacrifice a generation every now and then to prop it up.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: GlennWatson on April 16, 2011, 02:57:57 pm
Well ok sustainable as in we don't have to sacrifice a generation every now and then to prop it up.

Its inevitable.  The trick is making sure your little piece of the generation does not get sacrificed.  So far so good.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: Aardvark on April 16, 2011, 03:42:04 pm
Quote
It follows then that those who rule America do not identify with it.

That depends on what you mean by "Identify with." If it means identifying more with ideological concerns than American interests, then I'd say that your definition fits the entire executive branch, a third of the Supreme Court, about the same proportion of the the legislative branch, and 50% of the mainstream press. If you mean not identifying with American traditional values of individual rights and limited government, then the definition fits a whole lot more. This is s dreadful time to be an American.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: Holt on April 16, 2011, 04:12:10 pm
Well ok sustainable as in we don't have to sacrifice a generation every now and then to prop it up.

Its inevitable.  The trick is making sure your little piece of the generation does not get sacrificed.  So far so good.

Well Gen Y have been sacrificed for the Boomers wealth. All of us.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: Aardvark on April 16, 2011, 05:38:42 pm
Quote
The word "dictatorship" covers a lot of territory. It may be helpful to think of the UW as US rhetoric united European social democracy. Like the old Soviet Union, it is a rag-tag conglomeration of competing power blocs. And like the USSR, it is hanging on by the skin of its teeth. It could collapse at any moment. Today's US is a fair enough analog--especially for the immanent financial collapse and subsequent social unrest (and potential collapse). It is a dying empire, which is a good thing, but billions of innocent people will suffer in its death throes.

Do you have a backstory on how the U.W. was created? The story's emphasis is on showing an AnCap society, but I'm just as interested in the U.W.

Obviously, you're writing this, and doing a decent job of it, or I wouldn't care about the characters or relate to many of the issues. So, the U.W. is something of a conglomeration rather than a single unified entity.

Hmm. I can envision a sort of Super EU. The ultimate goal of the EU has always been a "soft" socialist dictatorship. Say Chavez and his ilk infect the rest of South America with socialist dictatorships. The US is on its way to becoming an immensely weakened socialist state. Africa is awash with brutal dictatorships. A united ME might come under a secular dictator like Hussein. India might revert to its socialist past. China is much more iffy; China is a dictatorship that sees the benefits of capitalism, but maybe they could go along with it to avoid being isolated.

It could happen that all the powers would get together and decide to stop competing with each other. Like Mafia families, they would divide the spoils in a permanently socialist world, all abiding under the same economic controls that would make the population dependent upon the government, but ruling from separate fiefdoms: Europe, China, the ME, South America, North America, India and SE Asia, Africa, and Oceania. There would be a central council of more or less equals. Naturally, there would be blocs within the council, and a preeminent bloc would emerge, whose composition might change from time to time. The council may or may not consist primarily of socialist ideologues, but I'm betting they all would be to some extent. Being at the top of a socialist, statist heap must be heady stuff with all those wonderful "helpful" government agencies to run.   

Is that about the size of it? I have trouble envisioning a less unified world government with a common socialist policy.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: quadibloc on April 16, 2011, 06:15:47 pm
Its inevitable.  The trick is making sure your little piece of the generation does not get sacrificed.
Not good enough.

Just because a few people find jobs in a depression doesn't mean that everyone else affected by it is to blame. If it was their fault, depressions wouldn't happen, because a generation of lazy people doesn't just come along every so often.

However, while government is part of the problem, fixing a depression by getting government out of the way might have the immediate result of lots of people suddenly going out and supporting themselves by hunting and fishing and logging and trapping... with the result that the resource base for those activities becomes depleted.

Capital is the opportunity to transform labor to wealth, and so for the broad masses of ordinary people, managing it properly is the key to their survival. But just because the Marxist demagogues had a point, of course, didn't mean that their "solution" was any good. Unfortunately, no one has come up with an idea for a socialism as strictly limited as the Founding Fathers did for a government that was strictly limited.

I know that people here might feel that such an idea wouldn't do much good, but instead simply grease the skids on a slippery slope to Stalinism... but I am shocked that if not everyone agrees with Libertarianism or AnCap or some such idea as the right way to go, that there are no alternatives besides the obviously wrong one of the left.

China is much more iffy; China is a dictatorship that sees the benefits of capitalism, but maybe they could go along with it to avoid being isolated.
I don't see that China would be an obstacle to a UW. As long as they're a dictatorship, their capitalism would be no threat to a nominally socialist United World; if it makes them more productive, and thus able to put in more and take out less, all the better.

It's just individuals who can rock the boat that are a threat. The degree to which local economies are socialist or just call themselves socialist is almost irrelevant.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: GlennWatson on April 16, 2011, 08:09:04 pm
Well Gen Y have been sacrificed for the Boomers wealth. All of us.

Maybe, maybe not.  The standard of living in the world and the USA has increased a lot in the last 100 years.  There is hope it will continue to do so.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: sam on April 16, 2011, 08:25:54 pm
I know that people here might feel that such an idea wouldn't do much good, but instead simply grease the skids on a slippery slope to Stalinism... but I am shocked that if not everyone agrees with Libertarianism or AnCap or some such idea as the right way to go, that there are no alternatives besides the obviously wrong one of the left.

The center has collapsed.  Almost every elected poltician stands for socialism without a central plan and crony capitalism without markets or prices, a system worse than soviet style socialism.

If the Tea party is "extreme right" for proposing that we move back to the status quo of 2008, what would you call someone who want so move back to the status quo of 2004?  Ultra extreme far right super nazi extremists?

There is no center any more, no support for centrist policies, no one left for compromisers to compromise with.  Economic policies are heading for economic collapse, and politics is heading for civil war.  Every close election results in ballot box stuffing, and every episode of ballot box stuffing is more blatant, and the election it fixes less close.  At some point the economic policies result in the collapse of the currency, and the electoral policies result in people ignoring the outcome of elections.  I wish I could predict that the outcome would be anarcho capitalism, but something closer to Mugabe's Zimbabwe is more likely.

In the recent Wisconsin judicial election, massive and blatant ballot box stuffing did not quite get the leftist judge over the top.  The leftist judge was running on a platform of overturning the executive and legislature, of judicially exercising legislative and executive power.  Suppose the left had succeeded.  Would the right have accepted an obviously unconstitutional and illegal election?  Suppose they had accepted it:  Next time would have been even more extreme ballot box stuffing, and sooner or later there will be an election they will not accept.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: sam on April 16, 2011, 08:42:20 pm
Well Gen Y have been sacrificed for the Boomers wealth. All of us.

Maybe, maybe not.  The standard of living in the world and the USA has increased a lot in the last 100 years.  There is hope it will continue to do so.

In recent years, the standard of living in the US, as measured by the amount of food, petrol, clothing, cooking, and air conditioning the average person can afford has been falling like a stone, a state of affairs partially concealed by increasingly fraudulent statistics.

The last man on the moon left in 1972

The tallest building in the united states was finished in 1974.

Cars are becoming humbler.

US electricity production was growing exponentially until 1972.  After 1972 it grew more slowly.  Per capita electricity consumption  seems likely to have peaked around 2007 or so.

Supposedly GDP is still growing rapidly, just as supposedly inflation is zero, but it seems improbable that GDP is growing when per capita electricity consumption is not.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: Holt on April 16, 2011, 08:57:38 pm
Well Gen Y have been sacrificed for the Boomers wealth. All of us.

Maybe, maybe not.  The standard of living in the world and the USA has increased a lot in the last 100 years.  There is hope it will continue to do so.

Well in the UK gen Y faces 20% unemployment. They're less likely to ever own a home, have difficulty finding full time work and are more likely to avoid ever having children. We're a lost generation.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: SandySandfort on April 16, 2011, 10:12:55 pm
Quote
The word "dictatorship" covers a lot of territory. It may be helpful to think of the UW as US rhetoric united European social democracy. Like the old Soviet Union, it is a rag-tag conglomeration of competing power blocs. And like the USSR, it is hanging on by the skin of its teeth. It could collapse at any moment. Today's US is a fair enough analog--especially for the immanent financial collapse and subsequent social unrest (and potential collapse). It is a dying empire, which is a good thing, but billions of innocent people will suffer in its death throes.

Do you have a backstory on how the U.W. was created? The story's emphasis is on showing an AnCap society, but I'm just as interested in the U.W.

I have a rough backstory. I need to fill in the details, which I will probably do in future stories. One of the obvious elements of the backstory of the UW creation is the real-world trend toward multinational unions. The EU, of course, but also the proposed North American Union (Canada, USA and Mexico) and regional common markets such as MERCOSUR in South America and the South American Union movement.

... It could happen that all the powers would get together and decide to stop competing with each other. Like Mafia families, they would divide the spoils...

And we all know how well that works out. Such alliances are dynamically unstable. As with OPEC, there is every motivation to cheat.

“Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity” -- William Butler Yeats

(of course, he probably meant "chaos" not "anarchy," but you get the idea.

Your analysis is cogent, as usual.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: Apollo-Soyuz on April 16, 2011, 11:20:33 pm
Quote from: Holt link
Well Gen Y have been sacrificed for the Boomers wealth. All of us.
Maybe, maybe not.  The standard of living in the world and the USA has increased a lot in the last 100 years.  There is hope it will continue to do so.

No, we're screwed. For at least the next 20 years. The US took on crushing debt so the banks were rewarded for failure. The budget is insane and unsustainable. Consider this recent quote from Rep. Hensarling:

Quote
“On the one hand, this is the single largest year-to-year cut in the federal budget, frankly in the history of America in absolute terms… probably for that we all deserve medals, the entire Congress,” the Texas congressman said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday. “Relative to the size of the problem, it is not even a rounding error. In that case we probably all deserve to be tarred and feathered.”

Oops! They let a little truth out...
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: J Thomas on April 16, 2011, 11:23:37 pm
Well Gen Y have been sacrificed for the Boomers wealth. All of us.

Maybe, maybe not.  The standard of living in the world and the USA has increased a lot in the last 100 years.  There is hope it will continue to do so.

In recent years, the standard of living in the US, as measured by the amount of food, petrol, clothing, cooking, and air conditioning the average person can afford has been falling like a stone, a state of affairs partially concealed by increasingly fraudulent statistics.

The correct statistics take a long time to collect. The BEA says that the hasty statistics used to come out pretty similar to the right results they announce later, but it's getting increasingly skewed. I haven't noticed them explain how it happens that the data which is easier to get comes out consistently so much more positive than the data they can only find later.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financialization

Quote
Supposedly GDP is still growing rapidly, just as supposedly inflation is zero, but it seems improbable that GDP is growing when per capita electricity consumption is not.


Quote
Wolf (2009), for instance, noted that over the last three decades the US financial sector grew six times faster than nominal GDP and argued that there is something wrong ....
http://www.voxeu.org/index.php?q=node/6328

By official statistics the financial sector is still only 9% of GDP, but it has risen a whole lot in recent years. So, say you sell a stock. Nothing was created, only the stock changed hands, so that does not affect GDP. Only the transaction fees you pay to the broker for his services count.

Say you sell an option on the stock. You have not sold the stock but you have sold somebody the right to buy it. You have created a new financial instrument and that is part of GDP. Each time it changes hands after the first is not GDP, it's only people buying and selling. But when you create it, GDP goes up. When you buy or sell insurance. Etc. 9% of our GDP consists of people making financial instruments which is not "making things" in the traditional sense.

Also government's contribution to GDP has risen to $1.7 trillion out of a $14 trillion economy.

It could be argued that much of the "services" provided by the financial and the government sectors to GDP are illusory.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: Apollo-Soyuz on April 16, 2011, 11:29:29 pm
I have a rough backstory. I need to fill in the details, which I will probably do in future stories. One of the obvious elements of the backstory of the UW creation is the real-world trend toward multinational unions. The EU, of course, but also the proposed North American Union (Canada, USA and Mexico) and regional common markets such as MERCOSUR in South America and the South American Union movement.

Have you ever noticed that NAFTA enables corporations to cross borders far more easily while doing nothing to allow citizens to relocate themselves to the new job markets?

My understanding of the EU is that when a country joins, companies can relocate in the new country while the new EU citizens may also move themselves, and establish themselves in any EU country to live and work and vote.

Normally, I wouldn't hold Europe out as a shining example of anything (except maybe nude beaches), but this sounds pretty good.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: Aardvark on April 17, 2011, 04:06:21 am
Quote
quadibloc

I don't see that China would be an obstacle to a UW. As long as they're a dictatorship, their capitalism would be no threat to a nominally socialist United World; if it makes them more productive, and thus able to put in more and take out less, all the better.

Maybe so. China is a weird case. They are an expansionist power, not one in decline. While the West is laboring under socialist policies and the debt such policies create, the Chinese government has a net surplus. Mao's vision is forgotten. The Chinese government has let the Chinese people loose to make money, the state is making the right steps to acquire control of foreign oil fields so their economy can continue to rise, and they are doing whatever they can to bully, destabilize, and weaken the powers in the region: India, Japan, and the US. They laugh at human rights and environmental concerns. China already have total control over their population, so why would such a power wish to join a world socialist union? It's socialist in some ways; the state does have control of everything, after all, but it's a pragmatic control, not really ideological.

Would they join the U.W. as nominal members to keep them out of their hair and to take advantage of the rest of the world's weakened economic state? Maybe, especially if they had the power to keep them that way. EFT is fiction, and it's far enough in the future when the conditions might be far different than they are today.

Quote
Sandy Sandfort:

I have a rough backstory. I need to fill in the details, which I will probably do in future stories. One of the obvious elements of the backstory of the UW creation is the real-world trend toward multinational unions. The EU, of course, but also the proposed North American Union (Canada, USA and Mexico) and regional common markets such as MERCOSUR in South America and the South American Union movement.

That's an interesting approach. The unions have every reason to promote socialism, as they are one of the greatest beneficiaries. If they should win the current battle in the US courts and stuff enough ballot boxes, enough people might see the writing on the wall and sign on to get their piece of the pie It would be all downhill from there. I'm less familiar with South America, so I can't make any observations except to say that socialism has never gone away down there. Almost every nation in South America has had or is having a bout with it.

Quote
And we all know how well that works out. Such alliances are dynamically unstable. As with OPEC, there is every motivation to cheat.

Mmm, for the traditional 19th century European model of infighting and shifting alliances, that true, and OPEC countries do indeed have economic reasons to cheat. But how would that work for an alliance of socialist powers? The closest thing to the U.W. in my head is the E.U. The swinish bureaucrats who run it take pains to suppress nationalism and disparate economic forces so they can get down to their lip-smacking Utopian vision of raping the masses and making them feel good about it. They have succeeded to some extent. A fair amount of people who live in the E.U describe their nationality as European rather than Italian or whatever.

I'm treading on sand here because this is not my story, nor my universe, but I would think that a conglomeration of super states such as the E.U., a North American Union, etc, would try the same thing. The people who run the U.W. would proclaim that man's vision of perfection is at hand, and that permanent peace has been achieved. Naturally, they would continue, to achieve this wondrous vision, certain adjustment would have to be made. They will unfold the U.W. banner and have everyone pledge allegiance to that, rather than to any regional flag. The economies would be harder to blend, but that's what socialists do. Think of a massive top-down structure, like a Ministry of Power. It would have control over power everywhere, across all the former state boundaries. The Ministry of education would control education everywhere. And so forth. After a time, an executive in the Ministry of Housing born in Rio would be able to transfer to Obama City in the former NAU and feel totally at home.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: GlennWatson on April 17, 2011, 08:04:44 am
Quote

In recent years, the standard of living in the US, as measured by the amount of food, petrol, clothing, cooking, and air conditioning the average person can afford has been falling like a stone, a state of affairs partially concealed by increasingly fraudulent statistics.

According to Russ Roberts and the economists he interview weekly that is not true.  He is a conservative Austrian Economist at George Mason with more than a touch of libertarian in him.  He has a great podcast every weeks.  I think many here would really like it.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: GlennWatson on April 17, 2011, 08:06:04 am
Well Gen Y have been sacrificed for the Boomers wealth. All of us.

Maybe, maybe not.  The standard of living in the world and the USA has increased a lot in the last 100 years.  There is hope it will continue to do so.

Well in the UK gen Y faces 20% unemployment. They're less likely to ever own a home, have difficulty finding full time work and are more likely to avoid ever having children. We're a lost generation.

We still have a better life on average that 99% of all the people who ever lived.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: GlennWatson on April 17, 2011, 08:18:51 am
No, we're screwed. For at least the next 20 years. The US took on crushing debt so the banks were rewarded for failure. The budget is insane and unsustainable.

Do you know what America's biggest health problem is.  We eat too much.
Do you know how much Americans spend every year on our pets?  We spend between $16 and $41 billion a year.
We are all but unassailable militarily.
We have a stable electoral system.
We have major problems but in the grand scheme of things, seen from a sweeping historical perspective we are doing better than average. That is undeniable
What will happen in the future?  I do not know.  But if the past 300 years is any indication things will get better.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: Holt on April 17, 2011, 08:49:12 am
We still have a better life on average that 99% of all the people who ever lived.

True. Fortunately here in the UK this mess means that we're unlikely to see anarchists in force for a long time.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: quadibloc on April 17, 2011, 09:48:23 am
In recent years, the standard of living in the US, as measured by the amount of food, petrol, clothing, cooking, and air conditioning the average person can afford has been falling like a stone, a state of affairs partially concealed by increasingly fraudulent statistics.
This is quite true.

In 1966, it was still the case that what people saw, from looking around them, was that if you behaved yourself in school, didn't do drugs, didn't get into trouble with the law, once you graduated from high school, even if you didn't make it into college, you would be able to get a steady job, save your money, buy a car, pay off a mortgage, raise a family, and so on.

A few years later, this all fell apart, and it hasn't been fixed yet.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: GlennWatson on April 17, 2011, 09:55:11 am

In 1966, it was still the case that what people saw, from looking around them, was that if you behaved yourself in school, didn't do drugs, didn't get into trouble with the law, once you graduated from high school, even if you didn't make it into college, you would be able to get a steady job, save your money, buy a car, pay off a mortgage, raise a family, and so on.

A few years later, this all fell apart, and it hasn't been fixed yet.

I doubt that is true but even if it is you are picking one year and saying look how great it was then.  It is a better idea to look at the trends.  The long term trends are moving up since the invention of the printing press.  They really accelerated with the Industrial Revolution.  Don't you agree that your life is better than your ancestors?  All of them.  Think about medicine and technology.  Whenever I get an earache I think about what I would do before penicillin.  I would suffer.  Now I don't have to.

I have been thinking about my I-Pad recently.  It has improved the quality of my life.  That is just one small example of how thing are better.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: Holt on April 17, 2011, 10:25:50 am
This is quite true.

In 1966, it was still the case that what people saw, from looking around them, was that if you behaved yourself in school, didn't do drugs, didn't get into trouble with the law, once you graduated from high school, even if you didn't make it into college, you would be able to get a steady job, save your money, buy a car, pay off a mortgage, raise a family, and so on.

A few years later, this all fell apart, and it hasn't been fixed yet.

Didn't really fall apart until the 90s. Really the boomers and Gen X were a bunch of spoiled cunts. They never actually had to put up with a world where things didn't come easy for them.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: quadibloc on April 17, 2011, 10:44:07 am
They never actually had to put up with a world where things didn't come easy for them.
It's only the leading-edge boomers that actually had things "come easy" for long enough that they could get their careers in place. And they faced other problems that people in later eras did not.

Trailing-edge boomers, and people in Gen X, saw the success of the leading-edge boomers, but they didn't get to succeed in the same fashion themselves. Now, maybe expecting the government to somehow manage the economy so that getting a steady job would be just as easy for everyone who came after the leading-edge boomers, forever and ever, is unrealistic. I view that, on one level, as irrelevant. The government is supposed to try to do what the people want, not give back talk.

On another level, though, I acknowledge that government doesn't have magic powers to make land for housing near major cities, or oil, appear out of thin air. If the population grows, some resources will be in short supply.

But there's another thing to consider. Those lucky leading-edge boomers - yes, they were able to get steady jobs coming out of high school. Many of them, though, raised families while living in cramped apartments, and could afford very little in the way of material luxuries. The people who say we are richer now than we were in the early 1960s are not entirely wrong - they have facts and figures to support their case.

What has really happened is that we are richer, but we feel poorer. The distribution of wealth is less equitable, but people still have more than they used to at all levels, even if things have improved more for the rich.

So there's no problem, right? People are just spoiled and envious, and it's their greed, not their poverty, that leads them to support evil socialist demagogues?

Would that it were as simple as that. The real problem is that the financial threshhold for what really matters in life, marriage and a family, has risen far more quickly than our level of material production. Or the material goods that count for that - housing and automobiles - haven't fallen in price like some others, thanks to cheap imports from China.

How do you fix that? Without taking away the equal rights women gained in the 1970s to have any jobs that they're qualified for?
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: Holt on April 17, 2011, 11:48:10 am
All the boomers grew up in a world where work was easy to find. There being more people than work was something that was rare for them while for younger generations like Gen Y it is the norm.

It's like a party. Imagine the pre "greatest generation" group of generations set up a big party for everyone. Lots of great food in a nice house and plenty of entertainment. The Greatest Generation came alone, took some food and then went and had a big fight in the pool which killed most of them. After that they wandered off looking for someone else to fight and eventually got picked up by the police and thrown in a cell. The Boomers came along and ate until they were sick, then ate some more. Took all the best entertainment for themselves and generally just made a mess and consumed as much as they could. Gen X came along, got to have some of the nicer stuff left behind that the boomers hadn't eaten yet and the boomers were even nice enough to let Gen X play with some of the stuff they'd taken. Then Gen Y came along. By this point there was nothing left except the shit the boomers didn't want and they noticed the message on the fridge that said they'd be the ones cleaning up after the party. Course Gen Y gets a bit pissed, tells the Boomers to stop shitting on the walls and being prats but the Boomers just continue and Gen X defends them because they think the boomers are their friends. Then the millennials come tearing into the party and their complete inability to discern right from wrong appeals to the boomers who take them in as their little pets and get them to raise some more hell for Gen Y to clean up.
Mind you by this point Gen X have noticed they'll probably have to clean up some of the mess too and are starting to grumble a bit but they're still too loyal to their buddy to actually do anything to stop him.

That is our world. That is what rampant unrestrained capitalism has accomplished.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: J Thomas on April 17, 2011, 11:56:03 am

In 1966, it was still the case that what people saw, from looking around them, was that if you behaved yourself in school, didn't do drugs, didn't get into trouble with the law, once you graduated from high school, even if you didn't make it into college, you would be able to get a steady job, save your money, buy a car, pay off a mortgage, raise a family, and so on.

A few years later, this all fell apart, and it hasn't been fixed yet.

Yes, but the real good times were from something like 1947 to 1970 or so. Before that we had the war and the depression. Before that there was a boom that didn't affect the majority of people much. The 20's were great for the minority of people that the media of the time paid attention to. Before that it was a series of booms and busts. There were lots of subsistence farmers who got left out of the booms but during the busts they got farm hands who helped out until there were actual jobs.

Bicycles made a big difference. Automobiles made a bigger difference. Telephones were important -- my great-aunt told me how it used to be, when the people closest to the lowlands saw the cop cars come up the road they'd call up the party line. "Law's coming in. Law's coming in." So everybody knew ahead of time. But electricity didn't matter much to country people until the REA during the depression. They used oil lamps until then, and cheap kerosene in place of whale oil was a pretty good deal.

Throughout the 19th century what made America a pretty good place to live was that we still had places you could homestead your own farm, and we had lots of resources to exploit, despite lots of immigration we never got that much of a labor surplus, and the government didn't do much. They drafted a lot of people to fight the Civil War, they set up official banks and "regulated" them, but mostly they just weren't very active.

But what we think of as prosperity -- lots of urban and suburban people who owned their own homes, bought new cars every 3 years, ate meat 4 or more days a week, had working catastrophic health insurance, and could afford newfangled devices like air conditioning, TVs, etc -- that was basicly 2 or 3 decades.

Now we have much better toys to buy but they don't sell that well. Like, as of last September Apple had sold 7.2 million Ipads total, out of 300 million Americans. It's a toy for affluent people. My family has one desktop for each person plus a laptop that gets used by whoever is going out, but a whole lot of families have only one computer to share among them all. There are still families that don't even have a computer unless you count the kids' nintendo or the offbrand MP3 players.

I pay $100-150/month for air conditioning on top of the eletric bill 7 to 8 months a year, because my wife likes it cold. Lots of people can't afford that but they do it anyway. How many people even had air conditioning before the 1960's? Lots of big companies got air conditioning for their computers first, and then later they got it for the office workers too.

So here we are, with frozen food that used to be available only fresh from French chefs, and 250 channels on TV, and telephones with enough call blocking etc options that they can't follow the instruction manual, and more electronic gadgets than they can pay attention to, and SUVs and MacMansions, and they can't pay for it all. They feel pinched. They feel like they aren't as rich as they used to be. The more new stuff that comes out that they can't afford, the poorer they feel.

There was one generation that had pretty near as much as it could imagine. Just one. Now there's a lot of stuff we could buy if we could afford it, that's available to somebody else. But not to us. The middle class is shrinking. It takes a lot more stuff to feel middle-class than it used to.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: GlennWatson on April 17, 2011, 12:22:51 pm
The government is supposed to try to do what the people want, not give back talk.

Why do you say that?

Quote
What has really happened is that we are richer, but we feel poorer. The distribution of wealth is less equitable, but people still have more than they used to at all levels, even if things have improved more for the rich.

I agree with most of that.  But I would say we are better off than say the peasants of the middle ages in relation to the nobility of our time.

Quote
How do you fix that?

You don't.  Jesus said the poor will always be among us.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: sam on April 17, 2011, 12:23:26 pm
Quote

In recent years, the standard of living in the US, as measured by the amount of food, petrol, clothing, cooking, and air conditioning the average person can afford has been falling like a stone, a state of affairs partially concealed by increasingly fraudulent statistics.

According to Russ Roberts and the economists he interview weekly that is not true. 

There are quite a lot things that are obviously false, yet no academic (libertarian or not) dares doubt them publicly.  Academia is a police state.  Economists are allowed to be libertarian, within certain limits, which limits tighten every year.   Doubting government statistics is one verboten topic, one of a great and increasing number of such topics. 
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: GlennWatson on April 17, 2011, 12:25:01 pm
All the boomers grew up in a world where work was easy to find. There being more people than work was something that was rare for them while for younger generations like Gen Y it is the norm.

It's like a party. Imagine the pre "greatest generation" group of generations set up a big party for everyone. Lots of great food in a nice house and plenty of entertainment. The Greatest Generation came alone, took some food and then went and had a big fight in the pool which killed most of them. After that they wandered off looking for someone else to fight and eventually got picked up by the police and thrown in a cell. The Boomers came along and ate until they were sick, then ate some more. Took all the best entertainment for themselves and generally just made a mess and consumed as much as they could. Gen X came along, got to have some of the nicer stuff left behind that the boomers hadn't eaten yet and the boomers were even nice enough to let Gen X play with some of the stuff they'd taken. Then Gen Y came along. By this point there was nothing left except the shit the boomers didn't want and they noticed the message on the fridge that said they'd be the ones cleaning up after the party. Course Gen Y gets a bit pissed, tells the Boomers to stop shitting on the walls and being prats but the Boomers just continue and Gen X defends them because they think the boomers are their friends. Then the millennials come tearing into the party and their complete inability to discern right from wrong appeals to the boomers who take them in as their little pets and get them to raise some more hell for Gen Y to clean up.  Mind you by this point Gen X have noticed they'll probably have to clean up some of the mess too and are starting to grumble a bit but they're still too loyal to their buddy to actually do anything to stop him.

That was the most complicated analogy I have ever seen.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: sam on April 17, 2011, 12:30:51 pm
Do you know what America's biggest health problem is.  We eat too much.
Do you know how much Americans spend every year on our pets?  We spend between $16 and $41 billion a year.
We are all but unassailable militarily.

China has recently acquired the capacity to sweep us from the ocean in a wide area around China.

We have a stable electoral system.

We do not have a stable electoral system.  Every year there is more fraud than the year before, and the day fast approaches when the losers will not accept the outcome.  The recent judicial election in Wisconsin was only close because of fraud.  Further fraud will push a judge over the top who intends to act as legislature and executive.  And if that does not cause the losers to mutiny, sooner or later there will be a fraud that does.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: GlennWatson on April 17, 2011, 12:32:52 pm
Yes, but the real good times were from something like 1947 to 1970 or so.

Not counting segregation, lack if civil rights for Blacks, smoking, the Cold War, possible nuclear annihilation, polio, no Internet, I could go on and on.  

The idea that we don’t live in a Golden Age anymore is just not born out by the facts.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: GlennWatson on April 17, 2011, 12:36:19 pm
China has recently acquired the capacity to sweep us from the ocean in a wide area around China.

Maybe, but I am more concerned about the area about the USA.  WE are all but unassailable.  So is China I guess.

Quote
We do not have a stable electoral system.  Every year there is more fraud than the year before.

No system is perfect but we have been doing well for over 200 years.  That a pretty good record of elections.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: Holt on April 17, 2011, 12:51:52 pm
That was the most complicated analogy I have ever seen.

Second most complicated I've ever seen.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: GlennWatson on April 17, 2011, 12:53:14 pm
That was the most complicated analogy I have ever seen.

Second most complicated I've ever seen.

Please share the first.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: Holt on April 17, 2011, 12:58:21 pm
That was the most complicated analogy I have ever seen.

Second most complicated I've ever seen.

Please share the first.

I don't feel like typing it all out. It would take me at least an hour.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: GlennWatson on April 17, 2011, 02:46:45 pm
That was the most complicated analogy I have ever seen.

Second most complicated I've ever seen.

Please share the first.

I don't feel like typing it all out. It would take me at least an hour.

Then I declare victory over you.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: terry_freeman on April 17, 2011, 02:58:53 pm
Growth obsessed capitalism works on boom and bust. Problem is few people are interested in sustainable capitalism least of all anarchists because it limits their ability to accumulate wealth.

Holt, I see you still refuse to read about Austrian Business Cycle Theory, or to learn therefrom.

Ignorance is curable, but you have to want the cure.

Boom and bust are properties not of voluntary exchange, which is the essence of AnCap, but of fractional reserve banking and (more fundamentally) the creation of money out of nothing. Artificial inflation creates the boom, including mal-investments. The correction of the mal-investments is the bust part of the cycle.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: J Thomas on April 17, 2011, 03:36:24 pm
Yes, but the real good times were from something like 1947 to 1970 or so.
Not counting segregation, lack if civil rights for Blacks, smoking, the Cold War, possible nuclear annihilation, polio, no Internet, I could go on and on.  The idea that we don’t live in a Golden Age anymore is just not born out by the facts.
The idea of a Golden Age is not an idea about facts.In a way, we are richer now because of the Internet than anybody was in 1967. Lots of things that you might not find with a long trip to the library are almost instantly available.

On the other hand there are various minor subtle points like "Will I have a job next month" which leave people feeling more precarious now than then.

I guess it's a trade off.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: Holt on April 17, 2011, 03:56:35 pm
Growth obsessed capitalism works on boom and bust. Problem is few people are interested in sustainable capitalism least of all anarchists because it limits their ability to accumulate wealth.

Holt, I see you still refuse to read about Austrian Business Cycle Theory, or to learn therefrom.

Ignorance is curable, but you have to want the cure.

Boom and bust are properties not of voluntary exchange, which is the essence of AnCap, but of fractional reserve banking and (more fundamentally) the creation of money out of nothing. Artificial inflation creates the boom, including mal-investments. The correction of the mal-investments is the bust part of the cycle.


over complicating things in regards to currency is the main part of the problem. It actually doesn't matter what "school of business" or banking you think is the correct one.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: quadibloc on April 17, 2011, 05:07:27 pm
a whole lot of families have only one computer to share among them all.
With cache and a pipeline... just like a four million dollar System/360 Model 195.

So here we are, with frozen food that used to be available only fresh from French chefs, and 250 channels on TV, and telephones with enough call blocking etc options that they can't follow the instruction manual,
Yes, in many ways we are rich these days.

The problem is, though, that while we have more toys, we don't have the kind of wealth that counts. The confidence of being able to send our kids to safe schools - the government used to pay for that; now, the ones it pays for aren't safe any more, at least not if you live where there are jobs in certain parts of the country.

So instead of looking at the toys and the gadgets, look at the census statistics on how many people are single and childless. Money is really important when the lack of it gets in the way of the things that really count in life, like love.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: sam on April 17, 2011, 06:08:03 pm
 It is a better idea to look at the trends.

By some measures we peaked in the 1970s, by other measures, such a electricity per capita, we have peaked more recently.  Information technology continues to progress, but medicine is stagnating.  China continues to progress by all reasonable measures, but the west is in both relative and absolute decline.  It has been in relative decline since 1970, absolute decline recently.

The long term trends are moving up since the invention of the printing press.  They really accelerated with the Industrial Revolution.  Don't you agree that your life is better than your ancestors?  All of them.

Most of them, not all of them.  My parent's life was better.

The long term world trend is still upwards,  People are building taller buildings than ever before, but not in the west.  More people are getting cars, but in the west, the cars are humbler.

The most readily visible part of a civilization is cars and big buildings.  The US built its biggest building in 1970 or so.  Recently the two towers were taken down, and have not gone up again.  Obama says “let them drive Priuses”.  If the cool car is a Prius, people's lives are not better than their ancestors.  When the cool car was a corvette, people's lives were better.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: sam on April 17, 2011, 06:20:35 pm
On another level, though, I acknowledge that government doesn't have magic powers to make land for housing near major cities, or oil, appear out of thin air. If the population grows, some resources will be in short supply.

If the population grows and land is getting shorter, buildings should be getting taller.  Buildings in the west are getting shorter.

We do not have a resource crunch on anything that it takes to produce electricity, yet electricity use per capita is stagnating.

people still have more than they used to at all levels,

Look at the cars. People in the west do not have more than they used to at all levels.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: sam on April 17, 2011, 06:54:21 pm
Boom and bust are properties not of voluntary exchange, which is the essence of AnCap, but of fractional reserve banking and (more fundamentally) the creation of money out of nothing. Artificial inflation creates the boom, including mal-investments. The correction of the mal-investments is the bust part of the cycle.

The long depression is often pointed at as evidence against this theory.  On the other hand, despite the “cross of gold”, living standards and production were rising throughout the long depression, hence not even a recession by our standards.  The majority thought that mankind was not “being crucified on a cross of gold”.

Debtors, then as now, are always eager to find evidence that money should be debased, hence such evidence should not necessarily be taken at face value.  Government, then as now, was the largest debtor.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: quadibloc on April 17, 2011, 08:19:47 pm
people still have more than they used to at all levels,

Look at the cars. People in the west do not have more than they used to at all levels.
I agree in the sense you're using the term. I meant they generally had more, materially, at all percentile levels, the poor as well as the rich, not that they had more wealth in all forms - as elsewhere I note that things like land and oil are in shorter supply.
Title: Jamming threads.
Post by: dough560 on April 18, 2011, 01:41:45 am
You guys want to talk about money structures.  Start a thread dedicated to the subject.  Otherwise stop jamming what ever thread you're on.  Your arguments amount to a bunch of kids saying "You can't do that." or "That's not the way it is or could be, because I say it can't.  Your scenarios are childish, convoluted, long and showcase either ignorance or deliberate obstructionism.

You want a better life here in the U.S.? Or anywhere else for that matter?  Work to limit government and repeal the multiple layers of taxes individuals pay.  Work to simplify tax and legal codes.  Work for constitutional balanced budget requirements for all levels of government and eliminate the duplication of government agencies and services.

You can't discuss the thread subject?  Then don't write anything.  You want to refer to a thread in your propitiatory thread.  Go ahead.  Keep your comments where they belong.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: quadibloc on April 18, 2011, 09:07:39 am
Speaking of the strip, Ed didn't get the chance to show of Ceres' littul kittons to Chang. Rhonda doesn't seem like the type to sit still for the grand tour, even if she would trust her ideological purity.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: spudit on April 18, 2011, 10:26:39 am
Amen dough560

Look at the thread title people, then look at the postings. Something don't fit. We all wander off on occasion, I surely do, but we don't have to stay there.

I spent the weekend in the real world doing my damndest to make mine better then came back to 4 or 5 pages of blather having nothing to do with augmentaions and just a post or 2 about the strip at all.

And some may wonder why I pulled the plug on that other thread.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: GlennWatson on April 18, 2011, 10:21:49 pm
You guys want to talk about money structures.  Start a thread dedicated to the subject.  Otherwise stop jamming what ever thread you're on.  Your arguments amount to a bunch of kids saying "You can't do that." or "That's not the way it is or could be, because I say it can't.  Your scenarios are childish, convoluted, long and showcase either ignorance or deliberate obstructionism.

You want a better life here in the U.S.? Or anywhere else for that matter?  Work to limit government and repeal the multiple layers of taxes individuals pay.  Work to simplify tax and legal codes.  Work for constitutional balanced budget requirements for all levels of government and eliminate the duplication of government agencies and services.

You can't discuss the thread subject?  Then don't write anything.  You want to refer to a thread in your propitiatory thread.  Go ahead.  Keep your comments where they belong.

Its funny how you tell people to stay on topic and then go right off topic.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: GlennWatson on April 18, 2011, 10:25:30 pm
Amen dough560

Look at the thread title people, then look at the postings. Something don't fit. We all wander off on occasion, I surely do, but we don't have to stay there.

I spent the weekend in the real world doing my damndest to make mine better then came back to 4 or 5 pages of blather having nothing to do with augmentaions and just a post or 2 about the strip at all.

And some may wonder why I pulled the plug on that other thread.

I don't wonder at all.  You lost control of something.  That angered yo.  you reacted by prevented others from enjoying themselves on a thread.  You justify this by telling yourself you are right and they are wrong. 

Just another example of why AnCap can't work.  To many people like yourself want to control others.
Title: Re: augmentations and plot perdiction
Post by: spudit on April 19, 2011, 12:27:44 am
Glenn, I can't even control the dog 3/4 of the time. No That thread was started in response to our bitching about where are the scary bad guys. Two months later, it was still a bigger badder version of Guy. It was done.

Is there a better villian, yes or no? Answer, somewhat but not dramatically better. Done.

Which way to the Post Office? Three blocks down and turn right. Done.

It is just that simple.