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Online Comics => Escape From Terra => Topic started by: SandySandfort on May 13, 2011, 10:51:38 am

Title: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: SandySandfort on May 13, 2011, 10:51:38 am
As promised, here is the explanation about how one limits legal liability in a market anarchy. It solution should be obvious to anyone who understands the concepts of voluntary dispute resolution (arbitration) applying common law principles, under the ZAP in a market economy.

First, though, let explain what it isn't. It is not a get-out-of-jail card for individuals whose personal actions cause loss or harm to another (as defined by the ZAP). This is no different than under current legal systems. There are always limits, to limited liability.

Now the truth of the matter is, under the conditions in the first paragraph, above, limited liability does not require any particular entity such as a joint stock company or a business trust. They only thing they really bring to the table are pre-existing structures, created without having to ask for government permission. So using them opens up a lot of "history" to interpretation and precedents that help create predictability and guidance, should arbitration be necessary.

In a market anarchy, any group-action (business or otherwise) entity can limit its liability. In fact, any individual can limit his/her liability in the same way and to the same extent.

How is that possible? Easy, you simply declare it! Well, maybe not simply, but certainly easily. This is not unprecedented in the least. Remember I asked the question about how corporations could lose their limited liability protection? Depending on the circumstances certain ultra vires acts can lead to it loss of limited liability protection. In practice this usually means the sole owner has acted beyond the legal scope of the corporation's power or has ignored the formalities of the legal separation between himself as an individual and his corporation.

More on point, though, another way to lose the protection is to fail to give sufficient notice to people with whom the corporation does business, that it is an entity of limited liability. An example of this is most obvious when someone has incorporated his business, for legal protection, but does not use words denoting limitations on liability. So Dr. Monkey could incorporate his practice as "Dr. Monkey, Inc.," "Dr. Monkey, Ltd.," "Dr. Monkey, Corporation.," "Dr. Monkey, LLC.," "Dr. Monkey, SA." (in Latin countries) and so on. However, if the good doctor does not use one of those designations and simply holds his medical services out as "Dr. Monkey," if he commits malpractice, his entire financial butt is on the line, not just the assets within the corporation.

So, the declaration of limits of liability is very important in law. Why? Because it lets people make an informed decision as to whether to do business with the company in question. If you do business with Dr. Monkey, you have a reasonable expectation that he is willing to back up his medical expertise with his all wealth. If on the other hand, you do business with Dr. Monkey, Inc., that tells you that he is not willing to stand behind his work product. So when he commits malpractice, you will be SOL beyond the limited corporate assets.

Now, this is not to say that limits on liability are bad. In fact, they serve a valuable socioeconomic purpose that benefits everyone. If an investor had to expose himself to unlimited liability for every $10 investment he made, it is obvious that there would be few, if any, investors. However, large projects that provide cars, homes, medical care, etc. need a great deal of start-up capital. Without limiting the liability of investors, much of modern civilization would not be possible.

Okay, what do I mean with regard to an individual or group "declaring" limited liability and how would it work in practice? In a new society on a frontier, I think an individual or group would have to make a very explicit declaration. Let's use a farmers co-op as an example. The co-op is a group of 100 farmers who have entered into an agreement to act as a single business entity. They adopted the joint stock company as their business model. Each of the farmers buys shares in the co-op. The reason they joined together is because they want to eliminate the middlemen--food brokers and grocery store owners--to increase their profits from the sale of their agricultural products. So they create the "Farmer Direct to You Co-op." The Co-op will buy trucks to distribute its products to its own grocery stores.

All fine and well, but what if there is a slip-and-fall in one of their stores? Without some limitation on liability, all the farmers would be jointly and severally liable to a huge judgment against them. That means a judgment creditor can sue and collect from any farmer he chooses. So before going into business, the farmers decide to limit their liability by prominently posting a sign outside each Co-op store that says, "The Farmer Direct to You Co-op hereby puts you on notice that by entering these premises, you accept that any judgment arising from a accident in the store will be limited to the assets of the Co-op and that the individual shareholders of the Co-op may not be held individually liable."

So given this scenario, a shopper has a slip-and-fall and sues everyone and his brother in arbitration. He sues the Co-op and farmers 1-100 and their heirs and assign. He sues their dogs. Assuming you are the arbiter in this case, what liability would you find in the farmers, individually? Of course, it is obvious. As long as the declaration of limitation of liability was sufficiently clear, by entering the premises, plaintiff would be found to have assumed the risk under the stated temporary license of entry. He could sue the Co-op, but not its owners. Q.E.D.

My guess is that over time, as this concept became generally understood, it might only be necessary to append "Limited" or some such to the name, for a business to achieve limited liability, but that would be up to arbiter decisions over time.

Before you start positing edge cases, ("Yeah, but what if the customer could only read Urdu, huh? What about that?") let me remind you that we already face similar situations today and courts have already addressed the issue. You might not like the answer, but answers there are. That is why it is called "dispute resolution." In real life, some resolution is usually better than no resolution at all. For one thing, giving everyone their "day in court" greatly reduces the dangers of "self help."

I think the preceding disquisition is clear, obvious and dispositive of the question of limited liability in the Belt. If you disagree, want clarification or (praise be!) see this as a rational approach to liability allocation in a dispute resolution, please jump right in.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: Tucci78 on May 13, 2011, 11:45:55 am
I'd been paying attention to the thread upon which this subject began to be discussed, and had posted there just a bit before I'd noticed that Counselor Scuttling Weasel had made this effort to offer his brilliant suggestion about how limited liability might work in an AnCap society. 

Might as well transplant it over here.

The more I give it thought, the more convinced I've become that limited liability would not be possible in an AnCap society. The conditions required to make such a "legal fiction" work - the evasion of responsibility for injuries inadvertently inflicted upon other people - simply cannot exist in the absence of a government. 

People in the Belt would have to act at all times and in all ways with a great sense of consequence.  With the unimpaired authority to act must come the unabated responsibility to deal with adverse eventualities resulting from those actions.

I think you're right in principle. But when people use language they almost never use it in exactly the same way, and trying to pin down definitions only compounds the problem. Mutual understanding is often more poetic than otherwise.

In any field of human endeavor, technical language - contemptuously dismissed as "jargon" - is developed in order to reduce such confusion (and to foreclose shyster duplicity) by increasing specificity and precision.  This helps to mitigate the errors of interpretation. 

Effort invested in "trying to pin down definitions" is, in fact, precisely what's required to solve the problem. 

So, the purpose that encourages people to support limited liability laws is that they want not to be held responsible for things they actually are not responsible for. Say you are a minor partner in a business. You live in San Francisco. A low-paid employee of the corporation in Washington DC makes a mistake that injures thousands of people. And the lawyers sue *you* for everything you've got. We don't want that.

There could be methods that tend to prevent that sort of travesty, without government force. Those methods could be called "limited liability".

Nope. There must be a government - a "standing army" ready to intervene with aggressive violence in human affairs - operating to provide any "limited liability" in the sense where we're using the expression here.

Were a collective enterprise - that Mordor-on-the-Potomac "business" in which the San Francisco resident is invested - to cause harm to someone in its proximal area of operations, what we're speaking about is an arguable violation of individual rights perpetrated (whether deliberately or inadvertently) by the agents of the business. 

The concept of "limited liability" is nothing more than the intervention of government thugs to prevent the enforcement of the injured parties' rights.

In an AnCap society, "no government" means "no limited liability."  No way, no how, no matter what the guy in San Francisco (or anybody else) might want. 

You could be completely correct, and still Sandy could have a point claiming that liability is not always completely unlimited.

I expect that whatever you do *yourself*, you will be completely liable for. You can't divide yourself up into ten corporations and hire yourself by one corporation at a time so that whatever you do cannot lose more than 10% of your net worth.

But you are not always completely liable for what your employees do without your permission. And you are not always completely liable for the details of what people do as side effects while fulfilling contracts for you. Etc.

No, I'm pretty well convinced that Sandy is wrong, both because he hadn't really thought this issue through and  because he's now obstinately refusing to admit that he's trying to build his argument on a foundation with the tensile strength of an aerogel.

Anybody who has ever employed people understands the concept of "chain of command" liability, even if he's never been sued for some error or malefaction committed by one of his employees. There are always questions that need to be settled about responsibility both direct (was the damage done while the subordinate was following procedures and implementing policies that you had ordained?) and indirect (was your employee being supervised to within a "reasonable" degree in order to prevent misadventure?), but if you own the business - even just a piece of it - it's your responsibility. 

That's why even limited liability companies issuing common and preferred stock have stockholders' meetings which not only have to vet major policy decisions but also provide for the election of directors who are supposed to embody the everyday exercise of the owning stockholders' responsibility to supervise the employees managing the business. 

Unlike Sandy, who's been weaseling about how "limited liability" might be secured in an AnCap society (it ain't gonna happen, folks), I know of one way in which it should be possible for a business enterprise to gain capitalization from the fat cats and the small fry alike without vesting ownership responsibilities in those who provide the valuta. It's got plenty of precedent.

Remember, buying stock in a corporation makes you a part owner of that corporation, and to the extent that your share of that company is a fraction of the corporation's liabilities (as well as its assets), you are - or you sure as hell ought to be - responsible for what your employees do or fail to do, acting as your agents.

Such businesses, however, routinely take out loans, some formally secured by stipulated assets, some unsecured.  The issue of corporate bonds is nothing more than floating a loan, with the promise to pay at a certain rate of interest during a specified period. The secondary market value of such bonds tends to depend upon the perception of the issuing company's relative reliability as a payor.  "Good" companies' bonds sell at a premium.  Corporations perceived as unreliable or declining in their market performance have their outstanding instruments of debt discounted in this secondary market, and when they come again before the public to take out subsequent loans, they either have to offer higher rates of interest or they're diddled.

Instead of you "buying a piece of the action" in becoming a stockholder, you either lend directly to the owners of the enterprise by purchasing a bond (in whole or in part) from them, or you take part in the loan indirectly, by way of the secondary market. 

You do not get to make decisions as a part-owner of the business, but you also don't have to worry about being dispossessed of your personal property to compensate somebody injured by one of the enterprise's employees. 

Your liability in case of an adverse outcome is limited to what you've lent the business, when and if the owners of the business default on those loans.

Because "limited liability" is impossible in an AnCap society, I tend to go along with writer L. Neil Smith, who has observed that a libertarian sociopolitical system would be the first genuinely adult society in the history of the human race.

=====

To continue in light of Counselor Weasel's self-satisfied excuse for a solution....

In a market anarchy, any group-action (business or otherwise) entity can limit its liability. In fact, any individual can limit his/her liability in the same way and to the same extent.

How is that possible? Easy, you simply declare it! Well, maybe not simply, but certainly easily.

Shorn of hypothetical exemplification, that's it. 

As in "that's all of it."  All there is.

In effect, what Counselor Weasel is proposing is the restoration of explicit and implicit contract as opposed to what has been so perniciously subsumed by tort in America's judicial system over the past half-century and more.

Counselor Weasel is saying that when a customer walks onto the premises of the farmers' co-op, he's entering into a contractual relationship with the owners to the effect that there's no way to claim compensation for injuries inflicted (no matter how grievous) beyond the limits set by the owners in posting the notice mentioned by Counselor Weasel.

How this works if one of the co-op's trucks (remember the trucks?) runs through a crowd of people, killing and maiming, we can all wonder about. Counselor Weasel doesn't seem to have considered this.

Maybe he thinks that prominent signs on the trucks declaring some variation on Counselor Weasel's hold harmless declaration ("The Farmer Direct to You Co-op hereby puts you on notice that by entering these premises, you accept that any judgment arising from a accident in the store will be limited to the assets of the Co-op and that the individual shareholders of the Co-op may not be held individually liable") will suffice.

Yeah, sure.

The objective of the Zero Aggression Principle (ZAP) is the preservation of individual rights in the course of human interaction.  So how are the rights of negligently or willfully injured parties preserved under the scheme of "limited liability" proposed by Counselor Weasel?

Jeez, we got them (*Crickets chirping*) again, don't we?
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: Ike on May 13, 2011, 12:10:30 pm
I agree that, in a 'market anarchy' - charming phrase by the way - there are no methods of limiting liability because such limitations require a government fiat creating such limitations.  That said, there are methods of distributing the risk or the potential losses.  First, in any business organization which can arise in such a market, the partners or associates may agree among themselves that Partners A, B and C or Shareholders A, B and C in a joint stock assocation, agree to pay for any such liabilities as arise in the course of the business.  Second, insure against the potential future liability.

To the objections that no large enterprise requiring vast capital sums can possibly come into being without laws providing limitations on liability, I point out Lloyd's of London and its associated underwriters etc and the New York Stock Exchange - as well as the various commodities exchanges, bonds exchanges, and similar activities around the world - as counter-factual examples.  The actual source of the problem of acquiring 'vast capital sums' arises from every government's penchant for inflating costs and thereby decreasing the value of money, to the benefit of themselves and their clients/patrons of course.  No?  Look at how many expensive business ventures were financed in the 18th and early to mid 19th centuries in Britain:  rich men pooled their money and it was enough because the government then and there had not yet ruined the value of the money.  Therefore, I hypothesize that in a 'market anarchy' that objection would not prevail, since costs and prices would match their market values and whatever the currency of that time and place would be wouldn't be devaluated by fiat for the benefit of a small portion of the business owners and their rented politicians.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: SandySandfort on May 13, 2011, 01:26:30 pm
In scanning Dr. Touchy's diatribe of sound and fury signifying nothing, I note he is simply repeating his claim that you need government to have a limitation on liability, making ad hominem attacks and speculating on my motives and thought processes. "Standing army" my ass! No evidence beyond the bald assertion. Also, I noted that he studiously avoided addressing the Co-op, slip-and-fall, scenario and--most importantly--the arbitration. To wit, would he find for the plaintiff or the defendant... and why? Huh, Touchy? Cue (*Crickets chirping*).  ;D

Remember this is against a background where most posters accept the premise that you can ban smoking on your own property. How big a leap is it to recognize that you can also limit liability? Hell, you could eliminate all liability if you wanted. It is your property. Of course you might get many customers.

On your own property,  you can ban smoking, require smoking or limit your liability and will win in arbitration. Q.E.D.


The objective of the Zero Aggression Principle (ZAP) is the preservation of individual rights in the course of human interaction.  So how are the rights of negligently or willfully injured parties preserved under the scheme of "limited liability" proposed by Counselor Weasel?

I'm so glad you asked. It preserves everyone's right to decide with whom they wish to interact. It preserves choice in an open market. If I choose to jump out of a perfectly good airplane, I assume the risk that I could die.

If I enter a store that I know limits it liability to the assets of the company itself, but protects its shareholders, I assume the risk of sustaining an injury. even if the assets of the store may be insufficient to cover the cost of such injuries.

Why would I do that when there is a store across the street that posts no such limit. Well, maybe the store that limits its liability, it may have lower expenses due to having fewer frivolous law suits. If it passes along those savings to its customers, I might prefer to take my chances of a slip-and-fall, in order get a buck off on cat litter, If so, I have made an informed decision in a free market. So how about actually addressing my slip-and-fall arbitration instead of... well, weaseling out of it?  ::)

Note to readers: Does anyone else see the irony of a man railing against limited liability in a free market, who relies on a government granted monopoly to ensure higher fees and who hides behind a government limited liability corporation to keeps his losses low when he commits malpractice? He must have taken the "Hypocritical Oath."  ;D
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: SandySandfort on May 13, 2011, 01:34:38 pm
I agree that, in a 'market anarchy' - charming phrase by the way - there are no methods of limiting liability because such limitations require a government fiat creating such limitations. 

A lot of doubter say that, without any support, yet don't seem to be able to address my quite realistic, co-op, slip-and-fall, limited liability disclaimer, arbitration scenario. Care to give it a shot? Who wins, plaintiff or defendant, and why?

BTW, I agree that there are a number of ways to mitigate losses with insurance-like means and otherwise, but that is obvious.

The question under consideration hre is can you limited liability on your own property or by contract. (We haven't addressed the latter. I assume that is because it is so blinding obvious that even Touchy gets it.  :D
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 13, 2011, 01:45:27 pm

Okay, what do I mean with regard to an individual or group "declaring" limited liability and how would it work in practice? In a new society on a frontier, I think an individual or group would have to make a very explicit declaration. Let's use a farmers co-op as an example. The co-op is a group of 100 farmers who have entered into an agreement to act as a single business entity. They adopted the joint stock company as their business model. Each of the farmers buys shares in the co-op. The reason they joined together is because they want to eliminate the middlemen--food brokers and grocery store owners--to increase their profits from the sale of their agricultural products. So they create the "Farmer Direct to You Co-op." The Co-op will buy trucks to distribute its products to its own grocery stores.

All fine and well, but what if there is a slip-and-fall in one of their stores? Without some limitation on liability, all the farmers would be jointly and severally liable to a huge judgment against them. That means a judgment creditor can sue and collect from any farmer he chooses. So before going into business, the farmers decide to limit their liability by prominently posting a sign outside each Co-op store that says, "The Farmer Direct to You Co-op hereby puts you on notice that by entering these premises, you accept that any judgment arising from a accident in the store will be limited to the assets of the Co-op and that the individual shareholders of the Co-op may not be held individually liable."

So given this scenario, a shopper has a slip-and-fall and sues everyone and his brother in arbitration. He sues the Co-op and farmers 1-100 and their heirs and assign. He sues their dogs. Assuming you are the arbiter in this case, what liability would you find in the farmers, individually? Of course, it is obvious. As long as the declaration of limitation of liability was sufficiently clear, by entering the premises, plaintiff would be found to have assumed the risk under the stated temporary license of entry. He could sue the Co-op, but not its owners. Q.E.D.

I can imagine a society where this is used. I think it could serve the needs of investors in corporations, co-ops, etc.

Now, I want to imagine a co-op where the farmers are a bit paranoid. Farmers know that horrible accidents can happen in an instant.

So they don't just have the co-op to protect their own assets. They have a separate corporation for each individual store. The co-op does business with those corporations, it sells them produce etc. And sometimes the corporations pay extra profits to the parent co-op, though not when they need to make improvements in their building etc. So if someone slips and falls, you don't lose the whole co-op. You only lose one store.

But they can take it farther! Have one corporation that owns the store, which got the money to buy it from a loan from the co-op. It is paying off the co-op's loan as quickly as it can, retaining just enough money for maintenance and improvements. This corporation rents the building to another corporation that sells produce. Now if someone sues for a flaw in the building that resulted in them falling down, they can sue a corporation that owns nothing at all but a heavily-mortgaged building.

Etc. The more corporations the merrier! If you have 1000 corporations, then no one lawsuit can take more than 0.1% of your assets.

Depending on what the society accepts, this could effectively limit liability and serve the needs of business owners and investors. But maybe the society wants less limited liability? The arbitrators would find ways to sue multiple corporations for the same accident.

I don't think legalisms are central to this problem. The issue is, how much do we want liability to be limited? Providing a legal mechanism that lets you salami-slice liability as thin as you want to bother with, does not answer that question at all. Unless the answer to the question is that you should be able to limit liability as much as you want to bother to do.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 13, 2011, 02:22:00 pm
I noted that he studiously avoided addressing the Co-op, slip-and-fall, scenario and--most importantly--the arbitration. To wit, would he find for the plaintiff or the defendant... and why?

I remember my first year in college, this guy fell on some steps all alone late at night. It was a place with 4 stone steps about 8 feet wide, and they had handrails on either side but not in the middle. He was lying on the ground screaming when some students and campus security found him right away and called the ambulance. They carefully put him into some kind of contraption that kept him from moving at all and took him to the ER. I never actually got the medical reports but I tended to think he was faking. He was a pre-law student and his father was a lawyer. He sued for $1.5 million. He went 4 years without a girlfriend, probably partly because he was a fat guy who wore his big white neckbrace all the time, and he was crabby. But when we graduated he was confident he would win the lawsuit. It would more than pay for his college and law school education.

If I had been on the jury, unless I saw actual medical evidence, I wouldn't have awarded him anything. But if it was somebody else, truly disabled as the result of true negligence, I would.

My criteria are:

1. Was someone negligent?
2. Who was negligent?
3. How much were they negligent?

When people fall down, pretty often they are somewhat negligent themselves. If at all possible I would want to look at the place it happened.

If there was actually a way for only-partly-negligent people to stumble there, what was done to minimise the risk? The best approach is to find a way to eliminate the problem, but marking it helps too.

Etc.

Assign the costs in proportion to whoever the degree of negligence, to the extent that can be determined. Have a partial overlap. Like, 3 negligent parties might be assigned 150% of the debt, and each pays his part as he can with debt exchanged among them as in the discussion of Sandy's 3 criminals. Any one of them might find himself paying as much as 2/3 soon, and get as much as half of his payment back from the others when he can.

As much as practical, base payments on current needs. Within practicality, don't decide on a lump sum ahead of time, but predict expenses and pay expenses as they come up. I'm not sure about this part. It isn't good to reward people for wearing a neck brace for years at a stretch. I'm unclear on the details.

Quote
Remember this is against a background where most posters accept the premise that you can ban smoking on your own property. How big a leap is it to recognize that you can also limit liability? Hell, you could eliminate all liability if you wanted. It is your property. Of course you might get many customers.

On your own property,  you can ban smoking, require smoking or limit your liability and will win in arbitration. Q.E.D.

Sure. You can announce that you claim the right to sodomize at gunpoint anybody who comes onto your property. I wouldn't come onto your property for anything, unless it was to collect my own property that you had stolen, or perhaps to search for my daughter that I had reason to think you had kidnapped. If I have the right to come onto your property (for example to recover my own), then I have the right to do that without following all of your rules.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: SandySandfort on May 13, 2011, 03:12:59 pm
My criteria are:

1. Was someone negligent?
2. Who was negligent?
3. How much were they negligent?

You left out contributory negligence.

If your fellow student was blind drunk, that would have clearly constituted contributory negligence. The laws are divided as to how much that mitigates, if at all, the property owner's negligence.

Sure. You can announce that you claim the right to sodomize at gunpoint anybody who comes onto your property. I wouldn't come onto your property for anything, unless it was to collect my own property that you had stolen, or perhaps to search for my daughter that I had reason to think you had kidnapped. If I have the right to come onto your property (for example to recover my own), then I have the right to do that without following all of your rules.

How about addressing my Co-op arbitration? Assume the facts do not involve sodomy, kidnapping or dandruff. Just accept the facts as stated. Who should win, Plaintiff or Defendant and why?

Speaking of Moon is a Harsh Mistress.???  It was the theme for one of my famous epic costume parties. My most famous guest was Poul and Karen Andersen. Great party. I completely shaved my head--including eyebrows. and dressed as a Lunar Freedom Fighter in a black jumpsuit and red beret.

My photos are all in storage in San Francisco, but I was just apprised of a website with a Japanese documentary about the Cypherpunks. After the first 2 minutes some stills from that Harsh Mistress party and other sources are shown. I don't have the beret, but I think you will know which one I am among the still photos. Later, I appear in the outdoor "Cypherpunk Brunch" scene. I think I am interviewed in the second half of the video, but my video software choked for some reason at about the half hour mark.

     http://vimeo.com/23562982

(BTW, our memories differ, but I don't plan to re-read Harsh Mistress to deal with your BO statement. So I will concede you might be right. If you re-read it, please quote me chapter and verse. Memories are notoriously unreliable.)
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: Tucci78 on May 13, 2011, 03:14:28 pm
Counselor Scuttling Weasel really ought to unwedge his head anent the meaning of the expression "ad hominem," which he's erroneously using in the sense that he's complaining "Tucci's got my number, and I hate being accurately characterized as the arrogant, stumbling chump I truly am."

Insulting - or, in this case, discerning - language (whether conjectural or factual) regarding the character of Counselor Weasel is not argumentum ad hominem, which is a fallacy of logic. 

There could only be ad hominem in an assertion were one to predicate an argument entirely upon some proven, possible, and/or imagined feature of a contending disputant's person instead of on the qualities of that disputant's contentions independent of his characteristics.

To say that Counselor Weasel's position on this or that is not to be received as valid because Counselor Weasel sneaks onto other people's property at night and futters their barnyard animals (for example) instead of addressing the elements in Counselor Weasel's assertions which do not correlate with reality would fall into the category of argumentum ad hominem

Real ad hominem (as opposed to simple insult) is a failure to meet the obligation of an honest disputant to address the goddam subject.  Insult offered incidental to the presentation of lucidly reasoned argument (as I have undertaken to do) is not.

In scanning Dr. Touchy's diatribe of sound and fury signifying nothing, I note he is simply repeating his claim that you need government to have a limitation on liability, making ad hominem attacks and speculating on my motives and thought processes. "Standing army" my ass! No evidence beyond the bald assertion. Also, I noted that he studiously avoided addressing the Co-op, slip-and-fall, scenario and--most importantly--the arbitration. To wit, would he find for the plaintiff or the defendant... and why? Huh, Touchy? Cue (*Crickets chirping*)

Whether or not a particular arbiter might or might not arrive at a particular finding in a particular case is really not relevant, is it? We're working here on the consideration of a more general guideline for human action in an AnCap society, and the fixation of Counselor Weasel on a hypothetical "slip-and-fall" (while shysterly ignoring what we'll call the "truck-gone-amok" scenario) is a genuine straw man fallacy in flagrante delicto.

My assertion regarding the fact that only by way of government fiat can there be "limited liability" as the concept is understood to exist - and other posters in this forum have expressed their concurrent understanding of this usage - is well-supported and irrefutable.

Which is probably why Counselor Weasel is sweating so furiously about it.  Oh, well....

Remember this is against a background where most posters accept the premise that you can ban smoking on your own property. How big a leap is it to recognize that you can also limit liability? Hell, you could eliminate all liability if you wanted. It is your property. Of course you might get many customers.

On your own property,  you can ban smoking, require smoking or limit your liability and will win in arbitration. Q.E.D.

Bullpuckey.  Is Counselor Weasel really trying to peddle the bloody nonsense that there is some kind of equivalence between obliging those visiting one's property to refrain from some specified action - smoking, spitting, fornicating, leaping up-and-down, juggling gerbils, whatever - and preemptively absolving himself (ex cathedra, perhaps?) of responsibility for injury to other human beings such as might be sustained as the result of that property owner's neglect?

May we now begin to infer that Counselor Weasel is suffering from delusions of competence?

The objective of the Zero Aggression Principle (ZAP) is the preservation of individual rights in the course of human interaction.  So how are the rights of negligently or willfully injured parties preserved under the scheme of "limited liability" proposed by Counselor Weasel?

I'm so glad you asked. It preserves everyone's right to decide with whom they wish to interact. It preserves choice in an open market. If I choose to jump out of a perfectly good airplane, I assume the risk that I could die.

And here's where Counselor Weasel flunks his Bar Exam. In any society, there are uncountable instances in which the human beings participating will be interacting without regard to their consciously directed choices. 

For example, when you decide to honk your horn in order to alert your friend in the convenience store that you're here to pick him up, the person standing across the street hears the noise and is startled.  You have interacted with that person though neither you nor he had decided to do so. 

Have you injured that person who became startled as the result of your horn honk?  Might could happen.  Most "heart attack" deaths are due to ventricular arrhythmias, and the susceptible individual can stumble into a potentially fatal dysrhythmia at the damnedest stimulus, if it hits him at the "right" instant in the cardiac cycle. 

Such interactions can't be prevented if we posit any participation in society.  People simply cannot "decide with whom they wish to interact" in each and every moment as they go about their lives in the presence of other human beings.

Getting on with the examples, should Counselor Weasel "choose to jump out of a perfectly good airplane," he assumes not only the risk that he could die but also the certainty that his body (whether he survives or not) is going to land somewhere, and in an AnCap society, that "somewhere" - ceteris paribus - is going to be some individual human being's property.

Best case, Counselor Weasel spatters himself across somebody's south forty instead of in the middle of a crowd of Kindergarteners standing in the schoolyard during a fire drill.  The potential fertilizer value of Counselor Weasel's remains aside, can it be argued that the owner of that patch of land has been injured - not by choice - through Counselor Weasel's inconsiderate surrender to the law of gravity and the false impression that his hot air would enable him to float?

If I enter a store that I know limits it liability to the assets of the company itself, but protects its shareholders, I assume the risk of sustaining an injury. even if the assets of the store may be insufficient to cover the cost of such injuries.

Why would I do that when there is a store across the street that posts no such limit. Well, maybe the store that limits its liability, it may have lower expenses due to having fewer frivolous law suits. If it passes along those savings to its customers, I might prefer to take my chances of a slip-and-fall, in order get a buck off on cat litter, If so, I have made an informed decision in a free market. So how about actually addressing my slip-and-fall arbitration instead of... well, weaseling out of it? 

In so electing, of course, Counselor Weasel has knowingly entered into a contractual relationship with the owners of the store.  Again - and why the hell is Counselor Weasel evading this? - what we are seeing is nothing more than the value of contract in regularizing human affairs, the old attitude of "You pays your money and you takes your chances."

The function of tort law is to address the realities of injuries inadvertently, accidentally (and, arguably, neglectfully) inflicted upon people in spite of precautions which an arbiter (or other dispassionate judge) might or might not decide had been reasonable and appropriate to the exercise of purposeful human action in the circumstances obtaining. 

Note to readers: Does anyone else see the irony of a man railing against limited liability in a free market, who relies on a government granted monopoly to ensure higher fees and who hides behind a government limited liability corporation to keeps his losses low when he commits malpractice? He must have taken the "Hypocritical Oath." 

Tsk. And this is also an example of Counselor Weasel shoving argumentum ad hominem up the reader's nose. 

Are my personal motives for taking the positions I've articulated - stated or inferred - relevant to this discussion? 

Nope.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: quadibloc on May 13, 2011, 03:18:22 pm
Now, this is not to say that limits on liability are bad. In fact, they serve a valuable socioeconomic purpose that benefits everyone. If an investor had to expose himself to unlimited liability for every $10 investment he made, it is obvious that there would be few, if any, investors. However, large projects that provide cars, homes, medical care, etc. need a great deal of start-up capital. Without limiting the liability of investors, much of modern civilization would not be possible.
This is true. And this is why, historically, the power of the state to initiate force was used to establish limits on corporate liability. But this historical fact doesn't prove a need to establish it this way: "when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail", as they say.

You are also correct that limited liability is in no way a shield for individuals who are culpable under our present system, and so any analogue of it under AnCap wouldn't be expected to do it.

The reason that the power of the state was originally needed, though, to limit corporate liability was because full partners in a company - which is what joint owners were regarded as whatever their share of ownership might be - were regarded as jointly and severally liable for the company's debts under English Common Law.

So, if we suddenly define "initiation of force" as "violation, or amendment, of English Common Law" then force is being initiated if arbitrators suddenly decide to recognize some equity investment arrangement as providing immunity from liability to third parties. If one does not hold English Common Law to be Sacred Writ, then indeed arbitrators might be able to recognize an arrangement which states that small investors are not liable as reasonable.

So the real issue I have that makes me doubtful on this issue is that I think some power to initiate force is implicit in the ability to decide between English Common Law, Xeer Law, and so on and so forth, in the first place. (But then, you've said different arbitrators might use different bases. That one makes my head hurt, but that may be my fault and not yours.)
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: SandySandfort on May 13, 2011, 04:41:37 pm

... Elided as irrelevant to the question under consideration.

In scanning Dr. Touchy's diatribe of sound and fury signifying nothing, I note he is simply repeating his claim that you need government to have a limitation on liability, making ad hominem attacks and speculating on my motives and thought processes. "Standing army" my ass! No evidence beyond the bald assertion. Also, I noted that he studiously avoided addressing the Co-op, slip-and-fall, scenario and--most importantly--the arbitration. To wit, would he find for the plaintiff or the defendant... and why? Huh, Touchy? Cue (*Crickets chirping*)


Whether or not a particular arbiter might or might not arrive at a particular finding in a particular case is really not relevant, is it? We're working here on the consideration of a more general guideline for human action in an AnCap society, and the fixation of Counselor Weasel on a hypothetical "slip-and-fall" (while shysterly ignoring what we'll call the "truck-gone-amok" scenario) is a genuine straw man fallacy in flagrante delicto.

Everyone see that? He avoids the questions, about whom he would find for and why. Thus avoiding having to show his "reasoning" on the underlying question. So once again we hear his crickets. Answer the damned question, McFly, or are you chicken?  ;D

My assertion regarding the fact that only by way of government fiat can there be "limited liability" as the concept is understood to exist - and other posters in this forum have expressed their concurrent understanding of this usage - is well-supported and irrefutable.
<emphasis added>

Let's take those one by one. Touchy (maybe a doctor, maybe not) uses the weasel, words, "as the concept is understood to exist," to avoid giving a definition. Cute, intellectually dishonest, but cute. Then he uses the argumentum ad populum, which is okay, I guess, but other posters have also have not agreed with him. Finally, he claims his assertion is "well supported" without actually providing any support and then states that his supposition is "irrefutable." He sounds like the global warming alarmist who claim "consensus" and that there is no doubt about human caused warming. Saying it is so, does not make it so. Plaintiff or Defendant and your "reasoning" as to why? How hard is that?

Is Counselor Weasel really trying to peddle the bloody nonsense that there is some kind of equivalence between obliging those visiting one's property to refrain from some specified action - smoking, spitting, fornicating, leaping up-and-down, juggling gerbils, whatever - and preemptively absolving himself (ex cathedra, perhaps?) of responsibility for injury to other human beings such as might be sustained as the result of that property owner's neglect?

Yup. Any more easy questions? Oh yeah, guess I need to add that my position is "well-supported and irrefutable." If you think that works for you, clearly, it should work for me too, right?  :) ;) :D ;D

May we now begin to infer that Counselor Weasel is suffering from delusions of competence?

Assume what you want, Touchy, but ad hominem is not responsive to the question, now is it?

I have elided several paragraphs in which he is busy avoiding thing about, or replying to, the simple but illustrative arbitration. He touches upon instances that involve individual liability, the doctrine of necessity, his misunderstanding of tort law, including the doctrine of respondeat superior (since he likes Latin), etc. Moving right along:

Tsk. And this is also an example of Counselor Weasel shoving argumentum ad hominem up the reader's nose. 

I'm a writer, not an otolaryngologist, shoving stuff up people's noses is not in my MOS. In any case, the accusation that you are, in effect, a welfare queen--and a hypocritical one at that--is still valid, maybe even "irrefutable."

Your turn.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: Tucci78 on May 13, 2011, 05:28:58 pm
Sliding into complete contemptibility, we've got Counselor Scuttling Weasel yet again.

In scanning Dr. Touchy's diatribe of sound and fury signifying nothing, I note he is simply repeating his claim that you need government to have a limitation on liability, making ad hominem attacks and speculating on my motives and thought processes. "Standing army" my ass! No evidence beyond the bald assertion. Also, I noted that he studiously avoided addressing the Co-op, slip-and-fall, scenario and--most importantly--the arbitration. To wit, would he find for the plaintiff or the defendant... and why? Huh, Touchy? Cue (*Crickets chirping*).

Whether or not a particular arbiter might or might not arrive at a particular finding in a particular case is really not relevant, is it? We're working here on the consideration of a more general guideline for human action in an AnCap society, and the fixation of Counselor Weasel on a hypothetical "slip-and-fall" (while shysterly ignoring what we'll call the "truck-gone-amok" scenario) is a genuine straw man fallacy in flagrante delicto.  

Everyone see that? He avoids the questions, about whom he would find for and why. Thus avoiding having to show his "reasoning" on the underlying question. So once again we hear his crickets. Answer the damned question, McFly, or are you chicken?  

Might be nice if Counselor Weasel were to demonstrate where the hell he'd asked a question pertinent to the issue at hand. How the devil can my purely hypothetical determination in a hypothetical particular case on the basis of (let's be charitable) holographic hypothetical "what-if?" information be relevant to what we're discussing?

No real person is actually being called upon to serve as an arbiter in this hypothetical episode, nor is there sufficient information given even to make Counselor Weasel's "slip-and-fall, scenario" a remotely useful hypothetical (were I to take on the responsibility of arbitrage, I'd insist on learning a helluva lot more about the matter than Counselor Weasel was allowing), nor could there be any point to pursuing Counselor Weasel's straw man down the trail blazed by the nitrocellulose dog chasing the asbestos cat through hell.

My assertion regarding the fact that only by way of government fiat can there be "limited liability" as the concept is understood to exist - and other posters in this forum have expressed their concurrent understanding of this usage - is well-supported and irrefutable. <emphasis added>

Let's take those one by one. Touchy (maybe a doctor, maybe not) uses the weasel, words, "as the concept is understood to exist," to avoid giving a definition. Cute, intellectually dishonest, but cute. Then he uses the argumentum ad populum, which is okay, I guess, but other posters have also have not agreed with him. Finally, he claims his assertion is "well supported" without actually providing any support and then states that his supposition is "irrefutable." He sounds like the global warming alarmist who claim "consensus" and that there is no doubt about human caused warming. Saying it is so, does not make it so. Plaintiff or Defendant and your "reasoning" as to why? How hard is that?

Sheesh.  After himself having perpetrated argumentum ad populum in his prior post on this thread ("Remember this is against a background where most posters accept the premise that you can ban smoking on your own property"), Counselor Weasel can't even recognize response in kind.

It isn't really a question of whether he's got his head wedged, but rather how far up there he's wedged it.

The concept of "limited liability" as it pertains to this discussion having been defined over and over again in the various comments posted in the thread from which Counselor Weasel has diverted this discussion - which accounts for my "as the concept is understood to exist" stipulation so as to preserve precision - is of central importance to this exchange.  

Or maybe not.  Looks more like the hot priority here is Counselor Weasel's determination to keep on writhing.  

Counselor Weasel is served notice that he has evaded addressing the potential for one of his hypothetical "limited liability" Farmers' co-op trucks blenderizing a crowd of pedestrians, fixates psychotically upon his "slip-and-fall" in the enter-at-your-own-risk store, and then tries to "blank out" all the prior posts on the "Pedo Bear" thread in which I'd discussed the government thuggery behind "limited liability," including the citation of a column published by writer L. Neil Smith in The Libertarian Enterprise, titled "Corporations, Mercantilism, and Capitalism" (see http://tinyurl.com/4y6y5d8).

Do I need to recapitulate the paragraphs I'd drawn from that brief article - to which Counselor Weasel, please note, made no goddam reply whatsoever - or can we expect Counselor Weasel to display some intellectual integrity and a degree of honesty in this thread?

Hell, no.  Escape From Terra is, after all, science fiction.  Not fantasy.

Is Counselor Weasel really trying to peddle the bloody nonsense that there is some kind of equivalence between obliging those visiting one's property to refrain from some specified action - smoking, spitting, fornicating, leaping up-and-down, juggling gerbils, whatever - and preemptively absolving himself (ex cathedra, perhaps?) of responsibility for injury to other human beings such as might be sustained as the result of that property owner's neglect?

Yup. Any more easy questions? Oh yeah, guess I need to add that my position is "well-supported and irrefutable." If you think that works for you, clearly, it should work for me too, right?

Hey, fine with me.  Counselor Weasel admits that he's pushing bloody nonsense, evades his responsibility to "Answer the damned question," and generally blows chunks all over the place.  

Like I said, I deal with adult patients. They lie all the time.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 13, 2011, 06:17:17 pm
My criteria are:

1. Was someone negligent?
2. Who was negligent?
3. How much were they negligent?

You left out contributory negligence.

I left out the name. But if the victim was negligent, that should be a part of it.

Quote
Sure. You can announce that you claim the right to sodomize at gunpoint anybody who comes onto your property. I wouldn't come onto your property for anything, unless it was to collect my own property that you had stolen, or perhaps to search for my daughter that I had reason to think you had kidnapped. If I have the right to come onto your property (for example to recover my own), then I have the right to do that without following all of your rules.

How about addressing my Co-op arbitration? Assume the facts do not involve sodomy, kidnapping or dandruff. Just accept the facts as stated. Who should win, Plaintiff or Defendant and why?

I answered that at great length before. So instead, I will present an even simpler case which is quite similar to yours.

Two men get into a fight. One of them loses, and then sues the other for crimes against ZAP. Who should win, Plaintiff or Defendant, and why?

Do you believe that from the information you gave, it should cut-and-dried, the same answer every time?

Quote
(BTW, our memories differ, but I don't plan to re-read Harsh Mistress to deal with your BO statement. So I will concede you might be right. If you re-read it, please quote me chapter and verse. Memories are notoriously unreliable.)

You probably remember the novel version. The one I remembered was from the Worlds of If serial. I very much doubt I still have that magazine. Yes, memories are unreliable. I remember being a bit repulsed reading it, when he callously says people with medical conditions should just treat it, when there wasn't a real MD in the whole place. And I remember reading the whole novel later and noting that comment had changed. It's a vivid memory, but even vivid memories can be false.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: Tucci78 on May 13, 2011, 06:53:23 pm
Two men get into a fight. One of them loses, and then sues the other for crimes against ZAP. Who should win, Plaintiff or Defendant, and why?

Do you believe that from the information you gave, it should cut-and-dried, the same answer every time?  

Hypothetical cases seem to have value only when they're not stretched too far.  In an earlier post, I'd made mention of a situation in which the honk of a car's horn, not intended to cause injury or even to get the attention of a fellow standing across the street, so startles that person as to induce ventricular fibrillation and death.

I did not try to press for any determination that he driver of the car had been at fault for the other man's death, but only to make it clear that human beings cannot exist in society without inadvertently doing things that affect other people.  Conscious choice, purposeful action, only goes so far to guide each person's interface with other folks, close by and remote.  

With the "Two men get into a fight" scenario as offered, there's simply not enough information provided for anyone to reasonably determine "Who should win...and why?" in any subsequent arbitration.  

You probably remember the novel version [of Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress]. The one I remembered was from the Worlds of If serial. I very much doubt I still have that magazine. Yes, memories are unreliable. I remember being a bit repulsed reading it, when he callously says people with medical conditions should just treat it, when there wasn't a real MD in the whole place. And I remember reading the whole novel later and noting that comment had changed. It's a vivid memory, but even vivid memories can be false.

I had the opportunity to pick up copies of those Worlds of If issues at a convention some decades ago, but failed to do so.  Now you've got me regretting the decision.  Usually, the magazine serial editions contain less than what later appeared in the book publication, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if your memories were correct and Heinlein used the hardback utterance of his novel to make revisions based on feedback he'd gotten (or just his own dissatisfaction with what he'd seen when it appeared in print for the first time).  

In the novel, the only mention of body odor I can find is this, speaking to how the Loonies were fumbling at self-government in the wake of the Warden's ouster:
Quote
I read tax proposals in Lunatic - four sorts of “SingleTaxers" - a cubic tax that would penalize a man if he extended tunnels, a head tax (everybody pay same), income tax (like to see anyone figure income of Davis Family or try to get information out of Mum!), and an “air tax” which as not fees we paid then but something else.

Hadn’t realized “Free Luna” was going to have taxes. Hadn’t had any before and got along. You paid for what you got. Tanstaafl. How else?

Another time some pompous choom proposed that bad breath and body odors be made an elimination offense. Could almost sympathize, having been stuck on occasion in a capsule with such stinks. But doesn’t happen often and tends to be self-correcting; chronic offenders, or unfortunates who can’t correct, aren’t likely to reproduce, seeing how choosy women are.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 13, 2011, 06:59:47 pm

Is Counselor Weasel really trying to peddle the bloody nonsense that there is some kind of equivalence between obliging those visiting one's property to refrain from some specified action - smoking, spitting, fornicating, leaping up-and-down, juggling gerbils, whatever - and preemptively absolving himself (ex cathedra, perhaps?) of responsibility for injury to other human beings such as might be sustained as the result of that property owner's neglect?

Yes. Sandy Sandfort has presented the idea that you can ban anything you want on your own property, and that all property has an owner who has that right. He has not yet suggested any limit whatsoever to that right.

I strongly doubt that this will be a tenable basis to create a society. It does make for a simple legal system, though. Any landowner who wants to, posts a notice that says he makes all the rules. So if neither disputant has escaped his property yet, he can just decide whatever he wants based on whatever he wants to base it on. Or he can decline to judge and throw one or both disputant off his property to settle matters some other way.


Quote
May we now begin to infer that Counselor Weasel is suffering from delusions of competence?

It's possible that if you take a less confrontational style, he might eventually back off too. From past experience I doubt Sandy will take the first move that way.

I would prefer seeing just the arguments. I'm sure there are people who enjoy the vitriol on both sides, but I tend to doubt that they are friends to either of you.

It might be easier if you look at the text you're responding to, and first delete all the insults. Forget them. Just look at the actual arguments. And if you don't find any of those, maybe the comment doesn't need a response after all....
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 13, 2011, 07:17:02 pm


Two men get into a fight. One of them loses, and then sues the other for crimes against ZAP. Who should win, Plaintiff or Defendant, and why?

Do you believe that from the information you gave, it should cut-and-dried, the same answer every time?  


Hypothetical cases seem to have value only when they're not stretched too far.  In an earlier post, I'd made mention of a situation in which the honk of a car's horn, not intended to cause injury or even to get the attention of a fellow standing across the street, so startles that person as to induce ventricular fibrillation and death.

I did not try to press for any determination that he driver of the car had been at fault for the other man's death, but only to make it clear that human beings cannot exist in society without inadvertently doing things that affect other people.  Conscious choice, purposeful action, only goes so far to guide each person's interface with other folks, close by and remote.

Yes, your example shows that people do affect each other even when they don't intend to. I say that it's a cultural issue which effects are considered actionable. Like, 30 years ago nobody cared much about peanut allergies. Now kids die from being in the same room with a peanut and it's a big issue. Before, you could smear anything you wanted with peanut butter and it was only an esthetic issue. Now, you can get in serious trouble just by bringing a peanut butter sandwich to work. Some places. What gets you in trouble is not the actual consequences, but the cultural assumptions about what ought to be acceptable.

Quote
With the "Two men get into a fight" scenario as offered, there's simply not enough information provided for anyone to reasonably determine "Who should win...and why?" in any subsequent arbitration.

Exactly. With Sandy's example, either there is not enough information, or the simple fact that the accident happened on private property is enough to decide in favor of the store. For any accident.

I like extreme examples because they can show the law is wrong. If the law has a solid moral basis, it can handle extreme cases. However, in practice the idea is to get something that can be defended most of the time. If it seems OK to most people most of the time, that's good enough. So in argument people don't want to even consider cases which make stupid laws look ridiculous. They won't happen every often in practice, so who cares?

So, we have the LOL who trips and falls and then wants to sue. She has no grounds because she was in the store.

And we have another LOL who is slowly walking (as fast as she can) in the same aisle that a fork lift is using, and the fork lift operator isn't paying attention. He knocks her down and drives over her legs. Surprised, he backs up and drives over her legs again. Realizing that something is wrong, he lowers his load to the ground crushing her. Is anybody liable? No, nobody has any responsibility because she was in the store.

That doesn't sound right to me. But maybe it ought to be right. I might see how good that approach is, after a lot more thought.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: SandySandfort on May 13, 2011, 07:49:47 pm
So the real issue I have that makes me doubtful on this issue is that I think some power to initiate force is implicit in the ability to decide between English Common Law, Xeer Law, and so on and so forth, in the first place. (But then, you've said different arbitrators might use different bases. That one makes my head hurt, but that may be my fault and not yours.)

Let me state that slightly differently. Different arbiters would probably offer different types of arbitration services. The importance of this is that it is another aspect of choice in a free market. I wasn't kidding about throwing the I Ching. At least one rather strange hippie-dippy commune in San Francisco used that very method to resolve disputes among its communards. Since everybody agreed to it, it worked well enough for them. Go figure.

So if you and your otherwise friendly neighbor have a dispute, you might seek an arbitrator who permits hearsay evidence or is an expert in the area that is the basis for your arbitration. If so, that is not my business, your business, J Thomas' business or the "community's" business.

My purely gut guess is that most people would just use whatever the usual standard was; the "default" setting, as it were. That's the way it usually works around the world. Most arbitrations follow rules of resolution that are some close approximation of those followed by the American Arbitration Association.

Incidentally, couple of interesting approaches to dispute resolution can be found in local Community Boards and in the way Black Rock Rangers find solutions to disputes or other problems at Burning Man.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 13, 2011, 08:03:22 pm

Are my personal motives for taking the positions I've articulated - stated or inferred - relevant to this discussion? 

Nope.

That's true. No matter what your reasons are for taking a position, your arguments might still be good ones or bad ones. You could have a personal bias which makes you take up the truth for your own benighted ends. It's still the truth.

However, I find it interesting to look at the metadiscussion about people's biases. For example, in the global warming issue, believers tend to be politically liberal while deniers tend to be politically conservative. Deniers often claim that believers believe because they want more government. And I do see an element of that -- once someone makes the mistake of depending on governments to force everybody to do the right thing, any giant problem will tend to lead to more government. On the other side, believers tend to claim that deniers mostly want to deny anything that might affect business profits. And I see that clearly, it's a big deal to reduce the rate that we consume nonrenewable resources, when that means we consume less stuff, and there's no proof the problems will even be that severe in our lifetimes. Not to be too impolite, but political conservatives are often greedy pigs who personally want to consume as much as they possibly can.

None of this affects the actual truth, but it could help the arguments a lot. So, conservatives might look for ways to encourage the market to do things we all know it needs to do anyway, like develop better alternative energy sources (which is currently risky because energy prices are so volatile, because of the particular market structure we have adopted). People who believe in global warming could rally behind that. And believers might look for ways to build a new better economy, not just look for survival but better wealth. The more the two sides agree about what to do in the short run, the less difference it makes what they believe.

Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: SandySandfort on May 13, 2011, 08:23:34 pm
Everyone see that? He avoids the questions, about whom he would find for and why. Thus avoiding having to show his "reasoning" on the underlying question. So once again we hear his crickets. Answer the damned question, McFly, or are you chicken?  

Might be nice if Counselor Weasel were to demonstrate where the hell he'd asked a question pertinent to the issue at hand. How the devil can my purely hypothetical determination in a hypothetical particular case on the basis of (let's be charitable) holographic hypothetical "what-if?" information be relevant to what we're discussing?

No real person is actually being called upon to serve as an arbiter in this hypothetical episode, nor is there sufficient information given even to make Counselor Weasel's "slip-and-fall, scenario" a remotely useful hypothetical (were I to take on the responsibility of arbitrage, I'd insist on learning a helluva lot more about the matter than Counselor Weasel was allowing), nor could there be any point to pursuing Counselor Weasel's straw man down the trail blazed by the nitrocellulose dog chasing the asbestos cat through hell.

Silly me. For a second I thought our soi-disant "doctor" was going to man up and answer the question. First, he claims that I haven't asked a question (or at least that he needs to given directions). Then he asks what the relevance of the hypothetical is (but ignores my specific explanation that it would show us his "reasoning"). He says--and this is the funny one--"No real person is actually being called upon to serve as an arbiter," even though I have specifically ask for his ruling in arbitration. So is he or is he not a "real person"? Then he claims there is not sufficient information, yet does not ask for the additional information. Finally he gives a cutesy, irrelevant little attempt at humor and quickly exits, stage left. I'm sorry, that is just pathetic.

Indulge me, answer the question so you can see me fall on my face trying to address your wise and insightful answer. BTW, I assume you will skinny away again, because at heart you are a coward. If so, I think I will just let you rave on. You certainly do not need my help to make a fool of yourself; you do quite well on your own.  :P

Two notes: First, I'm guessing "hospital orderly." With your hostility, I cannot imagine anyone letting you practice and interact with patients. Second, look into anger management therapy. You need it. That is indisputable.

Note to Forum members: There are assholes in every walk of life. If your doctor (or lawyer, for that matter) is an asshole, it is your prerogative to bring them to heel. If necessary, remind them who is the employer and who is the employee. There is no such thing as "doctor's orders." If your doctor doesn't understand the relationship, fire him and find a doctor who understand that he who pays the piper, calls the tune.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: Tucci78 on May 13, 2011, 08:23:54 pm
Yes. Sandy Sandfort has presented the idea that you can ban anything you want on your own property, and that all property has an owner who has that right. He has not yet suggested any limit whatsoever to that right.

I strongly doubt that this will be a tenable basis to create a society. It does make for a simple legal system, though. Any landowner who wants to, posts a notice that says he makes all the rules. So if neither disputant has escaped his property yet, he can just decide whatever he wants based on whatever he wants to base it on. Or he can decline to judge and throw one or both disputant off his property to settle matters some other way.

Strikes me as kind of Galambosian.  Or maybe the better referent is the "Personal Autonomous Zone" concept.  

It's not really that much of a system for organizing an open society - the interaction of human beings in a division-of-labor economy - but rather a profoundly antisocial condition that would tend to encyst the insistent party within the walls he's chosen to erect.  

Ever read F. Paul Wilson's An Enemy of the State (1980)?  Think "Eastern Sect KYFHO" and "Flinters."  Might could make that kind of society.  

Might certainly be people interested in interacting with such a person under his rules, whatever they might be, however they might vary from the Zero Aggression Principle, to whatever extent the proprietor regards the concept of other people's rights as human beings.  Some people will go anywhere, do anything, if there's the reasonable prospect of profit in it.  

As for those who'd choose to batten down their hatches and declare their sovereign immunity from consequentiality within their personal realms....

Well, every man to hell in his own handbasket, right?  
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 13, 2011, 08:56:56 pm
Yes. Sandy Sandfort has presented the idea that you can ban anything you want on your own property, and that all property has an owner who has that right. He has not yet suggested any limit whatsoever to that right.

I strongly doubt that this will be a tenable basis to create a society. It does make for a simple legal system, though. Any landowner who wants to, posts a notice that says he makes all the rules. So if neither disputant has escaped his property yet, he can just decide whatever he wants based on whatever he wants to base it on. Or he can decline to judge and throw one or both disputant off his property to settle matters some other way.


....

It's not really that much of a system for organizing an open society - the interaction of human beings in a division-of-labor economy - but rather a profoundly antisocial condition that would tend to encyst the insistent party within the walls he's chosen to erect.  

....

I may have misunderstood. Sandy may explain further. And it's OK if he changes his mind too. There's nothing wrong with saying "It seemed like a good idea at the time but now I have a better idea". I'd hate to be stuck with the position that I know it all already and I'm not going to learn anything.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: Tucci78 on May 13, 2011, 08:58:13 pm
I like extreme examples because they can show the law is wrong. If the law has a solid moral basis, it can handle extreme cases. However, in practice the idea is to get something that can be defended most of the time. If it seems OK to most people most of the time, that's good enough. So in argument people don't want to even consider cases which make stupid laws look ridiculous. They won't happen every often in practice, so who cares?

Well, there's a reason for the expression "Hard cases make bad law," by which is meant that legal precedents (case law) deriving from such "extreme examples" - and statute law created to address such extreme and therefore exceptional eventualities - tend pretty reliably to make a mess of the judicial machinery that's supposed to handle the usual-and-customary stuff.

It's got to be understood that the "solid moral basis" of law some cases will not always be immediately appreciable, though I'd think that the application of the ZAP would hose away a lot of the mud. 

Too much of modern law - it seems to me - is caught up in a proceduralism that's about as genuinely relevant to the resolution of dispute and the protection of human rights as is Kabuki theater.  There's so much focus on "CYA" that the inefficiencies overtake the maintenance of the real (nominal?) objective. 

Some years ago, a labor attorney explained to me that this has been one of the reasons why dispute resolution has increasingly been managed by way of arbitration rather than litigation.  The court cases get the noise in the news media, but the real work seems more and more to get done across the table from an arbiter.

But making "stupid laws look ridiculous" seems to me a useful objective.  In The Moon is a Harsh Mistress," Heinlein proposed (by way of Professor de la Paz) that a bicameral legislature consist of one chamber that makes the laws - passing them only with a two-thirds majority - while the other does nothing but repeal laws, by way of the votes of one-third of the membership.

Might be good to debride the statute books in such a "democratic" fashion ("If a bill is so poor that it cannot command two-thirds of your consents, is it not likely that it would make a poor law? And if a law is disliked by as many as one-third is it not likely that you would be better off without it?") in addition to embracing jury nullification. 

So, we have the LOL who trips and falls and then wants to sue. She has no grounds because she was in the store.

And we have another LOL who is slowly walking (as fast as she can) in the same aisle that a fork lift is using, and the fork lift operator isn't paying attention. He knocks her down and drives over her legs. Surprised, he backs up and drives over her legs again. Realizing that something is wrong, he lowers his load to the ground crushing her. Is anybody liable? No, nobody has any responsibility because she was in the store.

That doesn't sound right to me. But maybe it ought to be right. I might see how good that approach is, after a lot more thought.

Certainly might get Counselor Weasel's hypothetical "limited liability" farmers' co-op burned to the ground by way of retaliation, too, mightn't it? 

The purpose of peaceable resolution (by way of compensation for damages) in matters of negligent and intentional torts is to avoid resort to those informal methods which result in corpsifications.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: Tucci78 on May 13, 2011, 09:41:46 pm
For example, in the global warming issue, believers tend to be politically liberal while deniers tend to be politically conservative. Deniers often claim that believers believe because they want more government.

I'm certainly a "minarchist" libertarian - and therefore considered by the MSM hairspray addicts to be "extreme right-wing" - but what really ticked me off when the "FOIA2009.zip" archive hit the 'Net on 17 November 2009 was the confirmation that the AGW fraudsters had been perverting peer review and extorting the suppression of research results disproving the CO2 forcing hypothesis in the scientific literature throughout.

The gibbering fantasies of Counselor Weasel notwithstanding, I'm a physician with experience both of clinical medicine and academic publishing.  I've brought review and research papers through peer review in referee'd journals, and I've done some peer review myself.  On both sides, I've found it valuable both in improving the manuscripts I'd had a hand in writing and in obliging me to dig conscientiously through the literature to ensure that my personal fund of knowledge was adequate to do a proper job in vetting other guys' work. 

If you come at either job honestly and with a sense of responsibility to the people you're serving - and that includes the readers who are going to be relying on the stuff you've had a part in getting published - it's a hell of a learning experience. 

Those mother bastard "climatologists" had been corrupting peer review.

It had long been suspected.  The indicators had been obvious even to me for a decade at least, and I'm in medicine, not atmospheric physics or meteorology.  But it wasn't until Climategate that I had it made pikestaff plain to me just how thoroughly these criminal conspirators had gotten their squidlike tentacles into the discipline they were infesting.  Gawd, just considering the number of postgraduate students and post-doctoral fellows whose lives' work had been driven off the proverbial cliff into uselessness and contemptibility by the thieving, lying, power-drunken scum who'd pushed this bogosity so far....

Makes the thumbs to twitch in search of throats to crush even now.

And I do see an element of that -- once someone makes the mistake of depending on governments to force everybody to do the right thing, any giant problem will tend to lead to more government. On the other side, believers tend to claim that deniers mostly want to deny anything that might affect business profits. And I see that clearly, it's a big deal to reduce the rate that we consume nonrenewable resources, when that means we consume less stuff, and there's no proof the problems will even be that severe in our lifetimes. Not to be too impolite, but political conservatives are often greedy pigs who personally want to consume as much as they possibly can.

Yeah. It's not pleasant to find one's course even remotely congruent to those of either the social/traditionalist "conservatives" or the "Rotarian socialist" Hamiltonians. 

In their case, I've had to take consolation in the fact that even a stopped clock (we're talking analog, damnit) is right twice a day. 

None of this affects the actual truth, but it could help the arguments a lot. So, conservatives might look for ways to encourage the market to do things we all know it needs to do anyway, like develop better alternative energy sources (which is currently risky because energy prices are so volatile, because of the particular market structure we have adopted). People who believe in global warming could rally behind that. And believers might look for ways to build a new better economy, not just look for survival but better wealth. The more the two sides agree about what to do in the short run, the less difference it makes what they believe.

They woh't do either by intention, I'm pretty sure.  I'm certainly not gonna count on it. 

What's with the fixation on "alternative energy sources," though? You're a science fiction fan, right? This comments thread derives from a graphic novel about life in the asteroid belt.

Those planetesimals out there - which represent the same primordial stuff from which Terra got slammed together - are chiefly nickel-iron and carbonaceous chondrites.

You think there wasn't a whole helluva lot of carbonaceous chondritic material aggregated into the Earth during its accretion?

Coal is definitely fossil fuel, but there's a helluva lot of it.  Not likely to run out for several centuries, even with accelerated consumption.

Natural gas - methane?  There are planets out there - Uranus and Neptune - where the oceans are principally composed of liquid methane.  I recall one of Asimov's science articles in Fantasy & Science Fiction some decades ago - titled "The Thalassogens" - about the sea-forming chemicals in the solar system.  Water, ammonia, and methane

CH4 is a commonplace in this solar system, including here on the Earth, and as a fuel for combustion (to generate usable energy) we ain't never, ever gonna run out.

As for liquid petroleum - "rock oil" - the persistent maintenance of the notion that it's entirely (or even primarily) a fossil fuel has got to go away now. Oil exploration based upon the theory that the stuff is abiotic - the product of all those carbonaceous chondrites slammed together four billion years ago - is proving more and more successful in finding reserves suitable for exploitation. 

Most of those "believers" in the AGW fraud are socialistic Luddites.  That's the ones who aren't plain goddam fascisti, drunken on power and the illusions of power. 

Science fiction fen - particularly those of us who appreciate "hard" SF, and who have come to know and respect scrupulous "planet builders" like Hal Clement and Poul Anderson and H. Beam Piper - didn't get fooled for one goddam minute by the PhD'd incompetents and charlatans who've been pushing the AGW hoax since about 1979.

After all, it was obvious bullpuckey from the git-go, right?
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: Tucci78 on May 13, 2011, 10:58:52 pm
Kind of a "second thought" addendum here. Sorry.

Yes, your example [honk the horn, trigger v-fib] shows that people do affect each other even when they don't intend to. I say that it's a cultural issue which effects are considered actionable. Like, 30 years ago nobody cared much about peanut allergies. Now kids die from being in the same room with a peanut and it's a big issue. Before, you could smear anything you wanted with peanut butter and it was only an esthetic issue. Now, you can get in serious trouble just by bringing a peanut butter sandwich to work. Some places. What gets you in trouble is not the actual consequences, but the cultural assumptions about what ought to be acceptable.

Well, there's also the fact that people learn about stuff. I'd never thought to look into the matter, but I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that people had been showing up in Emergency Departments (and on coroners' slabs) as the result of anaphylactic reactions to peanut allergens for some buncha decades, and we'd just not picked up on the real cause of their morbidity and mortality. 

Since the '70s, I've seen whole categories of therapeutic modalities come and go - and some of 'em come right to hellangone back again.  If you're familiar with Milton and Rose Friedman's Free to Choose (1980) and the TV series from which they wrote it, you might remember mention of beta-blockers.  From the documentary series, I quote Friedman:

Quote
Well, if you examine the therapeutic benefits of significant drugs that haven't arrived in the U.S. but are available somewhere in the rest of the world, such as in Britain, you can come across numerous examples where the patient has suffered. For example, there are one or two drugs called beta blockers which now can prevent death after heart attack, we call it secondary prevention of coronary death after myocardial infarction, which if available here, could be saving about 10,000 lives a year in the United States. In the ten years after the 1962 amendments no drug was approved for hypertension. That's for the control the blood pressure in the United States, where as several were approve in Britain. In the entire cardiovascular area, only one drug was approved in the five year period from 67 to 72. And this can be correlated with known organizational problems at FDA.

I got to see beta blockers - starting with propranolol (Inderal) come to the U.S. market, become heavily prescribed for the management of hypertension, and then gradually decline in usage as the calcium channel blockers, the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB's) became available.

The calcium channel blockers (all of them L-type channel blockers; there are also N-type, P/Q-type, and R-type calcium channels) used for the management of hypertension have tended to fall into relative disuse because they were shown to confer less long-term cardiovascular survival benefit than were the early-generation lipid-soluble beta-blockers, and not only in the management of patients with hypertension but also those with histories of myocardial infarction and post-MI congestive heart failure.

Hell, in the latter category, the decision not to put these people on maintenance therapy with metoprolol or another beta-blocker has got to be explicitly supported, or else the physician responsible is open to being considered derelict in his duty to the patient. 

The FDA still "kills" lots of patients every year, though, by subordinating the review and approval of new pharmaceutical products to their bureaucratic imperative.  That's been a constant throughout my professional life.

Regarding the current arguably fanatic banning of peanut products, I'm not inclined to be too much disturbed.  They're really not being all that unreasonable about it when you consider the fact that Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and peanut M&Ms still get sold by the millions in vending machines all over the place.  Chocolate-enrobed and packaged peanut goodies don't put allergic patients at risk, as long as they avoid opening and consuming 'em.

I'd have you note that we've also been taking greater pains to provide people with insect sting allergies with immediate access to self-administered epinephrine injections (something almost unheard of in my youth), and folks with reactive airway disease with both maintenance and rescue beta-agonist inhalant medications as well as maintenance membrane stabilizers and (especially) glucocorticosteroid inhalers.

People we just kinda "expected" to get brought in dead are living way the hell past their first deadly encounters with the allergic diathesis, and we've found ways to keep them up and running around in spite of the Reaper's best efforts.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: quadibloc on May 14, 2011, 03:23:57 am
For example, in the global warming issue, believers tend to be politically liberal while deniers tend to be politically conservative.
This is certainly true. And it's understandable.

Political liberals have less of a problem with the government promoting some forms of energy production while restricting others. People who are environmental activists are more likely to be political liberals.

Political conservatives tend to value the economic (and consequent military) strength of their countries. They mistrust government regulation. Some might also be social conservatives who are skeptical of the authority of science - because, for example, for religious reasons, they accept arguments that scientists are wrong about evolution.

But while being aware of bias lets you discount arguments on both sides from a large number of people, it doesn't guide you to the truth.

I am inclined to accept the reality of global warming for a number of reasons:

the basic science behind it is straightforward,

it is the consensus of scientists in the field, and the hard sciences are still relatively free from political bias.

Also, the precedent of the ozone layer has made it seem reasonable to me that human activity is now reaching the point where its effects are on a global scale, and I am risk averse by temperament.

But my own (partial) political conservatism leads me to discredit claims that nuclear power is risky (since they tend not to come from the scientific establishment) and to favor it therefore as a way to keep the economy and the nation strong for both liberal (jobs) and conservative (defense) reasons.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 14, 2011, 06:47:37 am

Well, there's a reason for the expression "Hard cases make bad law," by which is meant that legal precedents (case law) deriving from such "extreme examples" - and statute law created to address such extreme and therefore exceptional eventualities - tend pretty reliably to make a mess of the judicial machinery that's supposed to handle the usual-and-customary stuff.

I'm not sure I followed that. Are you saying that if they build precedent around "hard" cases that take a lot of work to straighten out, that it results in too heavy a workload for the "easy" cases that could otherwise be handled quickly? A practical matter, since "justice" takes too much work?

Or is it that changes in legal precedent based on a solid foundation would be disruptive for the mass of existing law that's based on simple injustice?

Quote
....

In The Moon is a Harsh Mistress," Heinlein proposed (by way of Professor de la Paz) that a bicameral legislature consist of one chamber that makes the laws - passing them only with a two-thirds majority - while the other does nothing but repeal laws, by way of the votes of one-third of the membership.

One of my uncles suggested that each new law should include a section to repeal an old law. And for a limited time, maybe the next 50 years, to clear up the backlog of obsolete law, each new law should repeal two old laws. The idea may not have been original with him but he didn't tell me where he heard it.

Christopher Anvil, in a short story I don't remember title for, suggested having a Council of Dunces chosen by lottery at fairly short intervals, who would veto proposed laws if the meaning was not adequately clear to laymen.

Frank Herbert, in The Dosadi Experiment, briefly described Gowachin law which had a death penalty for giving professional legal advice or legal representation. They made it illegal to be a lawyer.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: Tucci78 on May 14, 2011, 07:28:36 am
..."Hard cases make bad law" ...

I'm not sure I followed that. Are you saying that if they build precedent around "hard" cases that take a lot of work to straighten out, that it results in too heavy a workload for the "easy" cases that could otherwise be handled quickly? A practical matter, since "justice" takes too much work?

Or is it that changes in legal precedent based on a solid foundation would be disruptive for the mass of existing law that's based on simple injustice?

Not at all. The reasoned contention - ratified by experience - is that the "solid foundation" of "legal precedent" tends more reliably to derive from what happens in the great majority of not-so-"hard" cases, not only because such episodes account for most of what gets brought into court but also because the establishment of precedent law preponderantly on the basis of the more frequently occurring problems tends to prevent matters from being brought into court, and even to prevent the problems themselves from developing.  They establish a "better-we-don't-go-there" guidance, and the more understandable that guidance is to the non-lawyer, the better. 

Develop those guidances on the basis of the rare "hard" cases, and you get large numbers of commonplace contratemps being handled inappropriately, inefficiently, ineffectively. 

The "hard" cases happen, no denying it, and they have to be decided, but unless we're dealing with truly stupid statutes at the root of the problem (by "stupid" I mean legislation which aggressively violates individual rights, and it's a damned good idea to get rid of them), such "hard" cases tend to cause nasty headaches well beyond the scope of their particulars. 

One of my uncles suggested that each new law should include a section to repeal an old law. And for a limited time, maybe the next 50 years, to clear up the backlog of obsolete law, each new law should repeal two old laws. The idea may not have been original with him but he didn't tell me where he heard it.

Christopher Anvil, in a short story I don't remember title for, suggested having a Council of Dunces chosen by lottery at fairly short intervals, who would veto proposed laws if the meaning was not adequately clear to laymen.

Frank Herbert, in The Dosadi Experiment, briefly described Gowachin law which had a death penalty for giving professional legal advice or legal representation. They made it illegal to be a lawyer.

I remember the Christopher Anvil story, but I can't put a title to it, either.  The notion of choosing legislators by lottery has always appealed to me, if only because it reduces the potential for the "demosclerosis" we suffer when we have government controlled by popularity contest winners.

Seems to me that the only time when these sphincters aren't campaigning is when they're diddling adolescents and children, and even then I expect them to argue that their real purpose is to cater to the "youth vote."

Making it "illegal to be a lawyer" sounds tempting on the face of it, but all that'd do is to create a black market for legal advice (if not representation).  If there are going to be formal, explicitly articulated codes of law in any polity, there are going to be people who develop expert knowledge of those codes, and those experts are going to be consulted for advice about "rocks and shoals," whether they call themselves lawyers or not.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: Tucci78 on May 14, 2011, 07:48:27 am
I am inclined to accept the reality of global warming for a number of reasons:

the basic science behind it is straightforward,

it is the consensus of scientists in the field, and the hard sciences are still relatively free from political bias.

Oh? And they doctored their data, corrupted peer review (turning it into "pal review"), put the hammerlock on journal editors, lied in their research grant applications, and generally did everything they could in the way of suppressio veri, suggestio falsi because their entirely fabricated "consensus" was just so bulletproof, right?

Hey, I don't mind you getting suckered so spectacularly.  Some people just love getting jerked off by filthy and diseased scum of the earth.

Just don't expect any honest human being ever to accept this fraudulent crap as the basis for statute law or regulations imposed on us by violent aggression.

Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 14, 2011, 08:04:43 am

Those mother bastard "climatologists" had been corrupting peer review.

Note that this does not affect the truth. It only makes it harder to tell whose research to believe. Their conclusions could be right even if their methods were wrong.

Quote
None of this affects the actual truth, but it could help the arguments a lot. So, conservatives might look for ways to encourage the market to do things we all know it needs to do anyway, like develop better alternative energy sources (which is currently risky because energy prices are so volatile, because of the particular market structure we have adopted). People who believe in global warming could rally behind that. And believers might look for ways to build a new better economy, not just look for survival but better wealth. The more the two sides agree about what to do in the short run, the less difference it makes what they believe.


They woh't do either by intention, I'm pretty sure.  I'm certainly not gonna count on it.

I'm afraid you're right.

Quote
What's with the fixation on "alternative energy sources," though? You're a science fiction fan, right? This comments thread derives from a graphic novel about life in the asteroid belt.

Those planetesimals out there - which represent the same primordial stuff from which Terra got slammed together - are chiefly nickel-iron and carbonaceous chondrites.

You think there wasn't a whole helluva lot of carbonaceous chondritic material aggregated into the Earth during its accretion?

Coal is definitely fossil fuel, but there's a helluva lot of it.  Not likely to run out for several centuries, even with accelerated consumption.

The USA and China have a lot of coal. How much of it we can use is a technical question -- estimates of our usable reserves cannot be firm. On the one hand a lot of estimated reserves haven't even considered how to extract them, and by current methods are useless. On the other hand we will surely find better methods with time. One central concern is politicians interfering wrongly in markets -- they can change the incentives so that we mine coal even when it takes more energy to mine it and use it than we get back from it.

We have enough coal for US needs for a long time, provided those needs don't increase. We don't have enough coal for the rest of the world, just USA and China.

Quote
Natural gas - methane?  There are planets out there - Uranus and Neptune - where the oceans are principally composed of liquid methane.  I recall one of Asimov's science articles in Fantasy & Science Fiction some decades ago - titled "The Thalassogens" - about the sea-forming chemicals in the solar system.  Water, ammonia, and methane

CH4 is a commonplace in this solar system, including here on the Earth, and as a fuel for combustion (to generate usable energy) we ain't never, ever gonna run out.

I strongly doubt it will ever be practical to mine methane on Uranus and bring it to Terra to burn.

There's some deep methane, for example coming from ocean vents, and it's a diffuse source. We'll find out how useful it is.

Quote
As for liquid petroleum - "rock oil" - the persistent maintenance of the notion that it's entirely (or even primarily) a fossil fuel has got to go away now. Oil exploration based upon the theory that the stuff is abiotic - the product of all those carbonaceous chondrites slammed together four billion years ago - is proving more and more successful in finding reserves suitable for exploitation.

Got to go away now? Maybe wait for the science? It's predictable that the exploration would work, either way. If there isn't much abiotic oil, still we've mostly already explored the likely sources that standard theory predicts. So if the oil is mostly found, what we'll find now will be the anomalies that the old successful methods didn't catch. Any theory which says to drill where they didn't before will be more successful than the theories which give no new chances. But there haven't been such big successes from abiotic theory yet. Mostly little successes which are predictable either way. Or maybe I'm out of date on this. 

Quote
Most of those "believers" in the AGW fraud are socialistic Luddites.  That's the ones who aren't plain goddam fascisti, drunken on power and the illusions of power.

There are certainly a lot of biased people on both sides.

So, look -- every living thing needs an energy source, and life has harnessed lots and lots of sources. There are bacteria that oxidise iron with sulfur, because that's what they have available. There are some that turn sulfuric acid into hydrogen sulfide, and use the oxygen to oxidise something else. The hydrogen sulfide percolates up to someplace where there's enough oxygen to oxidise it into sulfuric acid again. There are organisms that photosynthesize with sulfur.

There are organisms that release H2. The H2 tends to rise to the top of the atmosphere where the solar wind blows it away, and when there's more hydrogen leaving than the solar wind replaces, the earth loses hydrogen on average. Maybe part of the reason we can have so much free oxygen now is that the hydrogen which used to keep that oxygen as water has been blown away over geological time.

Humans have been burning stuff ever since we invented fire, and it's a good trick. We're better off if that isn't our main trick for energy. Not if we want a whole lot of energy. We can find more ways to collect energy, and of course we have to disperse it when we're done with it too. I'd like us to find ways to run the earth that let us keep it a place we want to live.

Going into space and taking with us as much of an ecology as we want to support us, might be easier for the people who make it there. I have a suspicion that for awhile, until the new systems are thoroughly debugged, immigrants are going to be searched carefully before they get on the shuttle. "No, you can't take this hairspray or this deodorant. We aren't sure what it will do to the algae and we don't want it in our algae-burgers or air. Your flamethrower will have to be locked up for the duration of the passage, captain's orders. You didn't clear ahead of time that this make-up is rated habitat-safe? Let me look at it. Sodium benzotriazolyl butylphenol sulfonate. No."

But back to the point -- people's biases seem to strongly influence their conclusions, so we don't want to accept biased people as authorities. Biased people can also present correct reasoning from accurate data. They are far more likely to find that if it supports their conclusions, but still they might be right.

So I say, don't take anybody as an authority unless you lack the time to look at the issue yourself. In that case you will naturally accept as an authority somebody you already agree with. Look at the arguments people present and imagine how they could be right, regardless of their bias. Do that with whatever arguments turn up. Imagine biases that nobody present actually has and see what arguments you can find to support those. Put everything that looks like it's true together and see what you get.

Finally, look for a synthesis that various biased people might not disagree too much with, even if it's obviously wrong, if it tends to lead in a good direction. It's useless to try to present the most truthful argument you can when both of the main prejudiced sides will inevitably ignore it. Usually, members of both sides will look at the bulk of what you say and decide whether you are for them or else for the enemy. If they think you're for them they'll welcome you into the club and ignore you except to cheer when you echo their arguments. If they think you're for the enemy they'll ridicule you and look for ways to ridicule what you say. If you don't look like either one they'll ignore you.

It's hard.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: SandySandfort on May 14, 2011, 08:19:10 am
I may have misunderstood. Sandy may explain further. And it's OK if he changes his mind too. There's nothing wrong with saying "It seemed like a good idea at the time but now I have a better idea". I'd hate to be stuck with the position that I know it all already and I'm not going to learn anything.

The big mistake everyone seems to be making is assuming that because a person can make silly or onerous rules for their own property, the will make such rules and be antisocial. That doesn't happen now; why would it happen in a freer society? I don't permit smoking in my house. Does that make me "antisocial"? I think it just means I want to preserve the comfort and health of myself and the majority of people who come to my home.

Under our socio-legal system, I would be perfectly within my rights to require visitors to my home to take off their pants, paint their asses like a mandrill baboon and wear a bishop's miter. But I don't. I leave the reason I do not do so, as an exercise for the student.

Even with those massive violation of the ZAP that are called "public accommodations" laws, malls, hotels, restaurants, discos, etc. could be way more restrictive than they are. Most of the time, most such businesses strive to be as inclusive as possible. I won't go to a restaurant that requires a tie and coat, but I don't think that makes them "antisocial." Some people favor those restaurants. Voila!, the free market in action.

J Thomas, as much as you think that extremely unlikely and silly scenarios, somehow prove or disprove anything, they don't. Those are what Rand called "lifeboat" scenarios. Their relevance to 99.99% of human interactions is zero. If you want to test to destruction--in engineering or life--you first establish a functioning baseline and then realistically ramp things up until something breaks down. Then you can start your analysis.

I once dated a civil engineering student. Before one of our dates, she proudly showed me a broken block of concrete that she had made. Her pride did not arise from her block being unbroken, it wasn't. What she was gleeful about was the very high pressure it withstood before it failed. Engineers do not, and cannot, build bridges that will never fail. They build them for the 7.5 earthquake or the hundred year flood or whatever and that is sufficient the vast majority of the time.

So it is with social systems. They should be judged on the basis of how they perform in the majority of cases, not on the basis of some scenario that posits a mall that bans, left-handed, albino pygmies... with dandruff. Perfection is not possible. We make things that work in the vast majority of real-life situations and hope for the best. If there is a breakdown, we don't necessarily throw out the system, we refine it.

It is child's play to come up with totally unrealistic, extreme scenarios under which any system will break down. The important question is, what systems works best under the greatest variety of reasonably anticipated circumstances. For me, that is something like the social system that serves as the default setting in EFT. For further clarification, read what I wrote about successive approximations.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 14, 2011, 08:49:26 am
..."Hard cases make bad law" ...

I'm not sure I followed that. Are you saying that if they build precedent around "hard" cases that take a lot of work to straighten out, that it results in too heavy a workload for the "easy" cases that could otherwise be handled quickly? A practical matter, since "justice" takes too much work?

Or is it that changes in legal precedent based on a solid foundation would be disruptive for the mass of existing law that's based on simple injustice?


Not at all. The reasoned contention - ratified by experience - is that the "solid foundation" of "legal precedent" tends more reliably to derive from what happens in the great majority of not-so-"hard" cases, not only because such episodes account for most of what gets brought into court but also because the establishment of precedent law preponderantly on the basis of the more frequently occurring problems tends to prevent matters from being brought into court, and even to prevent the problems themselves from developing.  They establish a "better-we-don't-go-there" guidance, and the more understandable that guidance is to the non-lawyer, the better.

That sounds a lot like my first alternative. Do the mass of easy cases some way that's easy, and persuade the hard cases to go away.  

Quote
The "hard" cases happen, no denying it, and they have to be decided, but unless we're dealing with truly stupid statutes at the root of the problem (by "stupid" I mean legislation which aggressively violates individual rights, and it's a damned good idea to get rid of them), such "hard" cases tend to cause nasty headaches well beyond the scope of their particulars.

When it's hard because it's hard to establish the facts, then there's nothing you can do but slog away establishing the facts or else throw up your hands and decide something without the facts. But when it's a conflict between valid rights, or if laws usually misapply rights in a simple way that usually works, isn't it better to actually debug it?

Otherwise you get used to the system operating in failure mode.

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Frank Herbert, in The Dosadi Experiment, briefly described Gowachin law which had a death penalty for giving professional legal advice or legal representation. They made it illegal to be a lawyer.


Making it "illegal to be a lawyer" sounds tempting on the face of it, but all that'd do is to create a black market for legal advice (if not representation).  If there are going to be formal, explicitly articulated codes of law in any polity, there are going to be people who develop expert knowledge of those codes, and those experts are going to be consulted for advice about "rocks and shoals," whether they call themselves lawyers or not.

Sure, we couldn't really get rid of lawyers any more than we can get rid of prostitutes. Herbert showed their laws interacting in a somewhat pleasing way. Like, they insisted that in court nobody had immunity. Anybody could be punished for their crimes revealed by the trial, regardless whether they were the one on trial. So in a trial with three judges, the hero pointed out that one of the judges was known to have practiced galactic law (not on Gowachin) and executed him on the spot.

Of course we couldn't eliminate professional lawyers, but we could at least kill a lot of them and blackmail whichever ones get discovered who actually have money. It's something. I'm not serious, I just liked Herbert's story.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: spudit on May 14, 2011, 09:27:19 am
I suspect there may be something to global warming but, but, are we doing it all by ourselves and is it a bad thing over all if agriculture gets harder in Oklahoma and easier in Minnesota. Dunno, dunno how you could know, sure the people in those states have opinions as to the effects on them but over all? Dunno.

The thing the warmers don't get is that life goes on despite the climate. The world was warmer and wetter in dinosaur days and before than it is now. By those standards, the world is a wreck today. Compared to 20,000 years ago when where I am now was a mile deep in ice, this current interglacial is paradise. And it is a break between cold spells, is CO2 helping or hurting, dunno. I can't control the climate and if some damn fool is changing it by burning coal, fact is, I can't control him either.

Get rid of the lawyers and someone will fill the void. Just ask who comes close now. Off the top of my head, CPAs would become just a bit better on tax law and fill that niche. Nope, as long as there is a complex scenario to be understood someone will be there to explain it. Now simplifying complex manmade things, well, it's complicated.

As to control of private public places? I carry sometimes and my bank has a big no guns sticker on the door. Secure in the belief that everything in my pants is my business, I ignore it. I surely understand why a bank would be a mite twitchy about guns and I suspect walking in with a rifle would agitate their hive just a bit but it is not a law, it's a request, a preference. Now the postal orrifice, where the mail comes out, has the same rule. There it is a law backed up by all the force of the Feral government. Do I, should I, treat them differently?

 
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: SandySandfort on May 14, 2011, 09:31:35 am
Here is something I find fascinating about the posts on this subject. I started the thread, so you would think I would have posted to most material. But I have not. And it's not J Thomas, it's Tucci.

 I am a professional writer. I try to follow Shakespeare's dictum, "Brevity is the soul of wit." The non-writer's biggest error is logorrhea. Tucci has that in spades.

Over the years I have noted that most doctors and lawyers think they are really good writers, though in truth, most suck. In the past, I have edited magazines and done freelance editing work. The worst stuff always came from those two professions. They were long winded, repetitive, used long convoluted sentences, lacked focus and use too much jargon.

They believe they can write well because of their massive egos (doctors, especially) and the fact that they get published in obscure or specialized journals where they rarely get paid and are only tolerated because they are the only ones who have the specialize knowledge in the subject matter. (By way of illustration, the preceding was a doctor-like run-on sentence. A professional writer would chop that into at least three easy-to-follow sentences to enhance communications. Just sayin'.)

The relevance here, is that Tucci has written little more than massive core dumps of naked opinions, invectives, irrelevancies and unwarranted declaration of certainty, to the subject of this thread.

Yet in all his verbiage he has failed to address (or dodged) one simple question (or to seek clarification, if he feels it is needed). I cannot help but assume this failure is nothing more than moral cowardice on his part. So, I don't intend to reply to him unless he replies to me with an answers my simple question or asks for clarification and then answers my question after he receives that clarification. Of course, I will continue to reply to other people's post, as appropriate.

Having said all that, it might be time to take the initiative here. Maybe we got off on the wrong foot. While I am not without blame, the sheer level of rancor out of Tucci has been astounding, especially given his profession. Nevertheless, I am now taking the first step in lowering the level of testosterone and venom.

Henceforth, I will simply refer to Tucci as "Tucc"i and drop my personal assessments, sarcasm, etc. When Tucci answers my question, we can move forward, but I hope without the heat. BTW, I have no problem calling him "Dr. Tucci," if he prefers. I only ask that he reciprocate by calling me by my professional identity. Any one of these will do: "Writer Sandy," "Entrepreneur Sandy" or "Dr. Sandy" (as, of course, I do have a Juris Doctorate.)  Gee, I feel better already.  :)

What say ye, Tucci? How about we drop the name calling, you answer my question and we move forward in the exploration of liability issues in a stateless society?

P.S. Just to be fair, I'm giving you a free pass on part of this post. Say whatever you want about everything that comes before "Henceforth." So I'm giving you the last (nasty) word.  ;)

Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 14, 2011, 09:43:37 am
I may have misunderstood. Sandy may explain further. And it's OK if he changes his mind too. There's nothing wrong with saying "It seemed like a good idea at the time but now I have a better idea". I'd hate to be stuck with the position that I know it all already and I'm not going to learn anything.

The big mistake everyone seems to be making is assuming that because a person can make silly or onerous rules for their own property, the will make such rules and be antisocial. That doesn't happen now; why would it happen in a freer society?

Ah. Well, but if we can assume that people will not be antisocial, we don't need laws or arbitration at all. The whole point of discussing this sort of thing is the assumption that people will not always be reasonable.

Now you want to assume that landowners *will* be reasonable so we can trust them to do whatever they want, the same as some people want to believe in police and government-appointed judges. "We can trust them to do the right thing, and we can't trust random citizens. So it's right for them to get all the power." Same thing.

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J Thomas, as much as you think that extremely unlikely and silly scenarios, somehow prove or disprove anything, they don't. Those are what Rand called "lifeboat" scenarios. Their relevance to 99.99% of human interactions is zero.

See, you have been a lawyer and apparently you have never rethought the premises you had to accept then.

What would you think if a computer programmer told you "My accounting program works correctly 99.99% of the time, and that's good enough"? "My database only loses 0.01% of transactions." "See, there are these rare special cases, and if we test for them that would be inefficient 99.99% of the time, so we just ignore them."

How about other professions? "My beef is 99.99% mad-cow-disease free." "My JDAMs explode prematurely only 0.01% of the time."

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If you want to test to destruction--in engineering or life--you first establish a functioning baseline and then realistically ramp things up until something breaks down. Then you can start your analysis.

Sure. So, is a law more like a computer program or more like a computer? You can overclock your processor until the failure rate is a little bit higher than you want to accept and then slow it down a little. But what level of programming errors do you want to accept?

I say laws should be more like mathematical theorems. And your theorem is disproved if there is one counterexample.

"Legally, we will decide that there is no such thing as a prime number. We know that the larger the number, the less likely it's a prime, and so the fraction of primes among all the numbers is vanishingly small. So when a prime actually comes up we will consider it a "hard case" and ignore the possibility otherwise."

"No, wait! There are 4 primes among the first 10 numbers. People use lots of little numbers and there are lots of primes among the little numbers."

"OK, so this ruling needs to be amended. From now on, we rule that legally there are no prime numbers larger than 10,000."

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So it is with social systems. They should be judged on the basis of how they perform in the majority of cases, not on the basis of some scenario that posits a mall that bans, left-handed, albino pygmies... with dandruff. Perfection is not possible. We make things that work in the vast majority of real-life situations and hope for the best. If there is a breakdown, we don't necessarily throw out the system, we refine it.

Mostly people don't even get to design social systems. They just live in them and the systems change, often at random, as a result of people's actions.

But when you're deciding what's fair, you'll get a whole lot less trouble if you actually make sense of it than by using trial-and-error, "This sort of worked in the past and it's been patched repeatedly when it failed and now the remaining failures aren't worth patching. It's fair and just -- because we said so".

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It is child's play to come up with totally unrealistic, extreme scenarios under which any system will break down.

It might be child's play to come up with extreme scenarios where any system will look unfair. I don't know, I haven't tried that for every system. Maybe we could get a system that was actually fair where it wouldn't be childs play to get examples where it fails.

If we state our rules for what we think is fair, we can base  judgements on those rules. Maybe Goedel's theorem applies to this and it's always possible to find cases that the rules don't decide -- but that's different from finding cases where the rules are contradictory.

You have done some of that -- simple explicit rules for what's fair -- and I complain that I don't like your idea of fairness. Like, "let the landowner decide everything and there's always a landowner" is simple and clear, but I don't like it. Why not one that's even simpler?

"Always let the guy who's pointing a gun at you decide what the law is."

We can depend on most people to be reasonable and fair. 99.99% of the time, nobody will point a gun at you unless they have a very good reason. And what's the point of even having a gun if you can't point it at people and make them do what you want? This system looks about as reliable as yours which depends on landowners. And we don't have to worry about what to do when the visitor shoots the landowner instead of vice versa.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 14, 2011, 09:49:30 am

Henceforth, I will simply refer to Tucci as "Tucc"i and drop my personal assessments, sarcasm, etc. When Tucci answers my question, we can move forward, but I hope without the heat.

Thank you! That's a great offer! I hope he accepts.

Incidentally I believe he did answer your question, buried in a couple of long posts.

It's understandable that you would have missed it.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: spudit on May 14, 2011, 09:51:04 am
Defusing the tension is good; bickering and name calling are no fun.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 14, 2011, 11:48:28 am

But my own (partial) political conservatism leads me to discredit claims that nuclear power is risky (since they tend not to come from the scientific establishment) and to favor it therefore as a way to keep the economy and the nation strong for both liberal (jobs) and conservative (defense) reasons.

Risk is a hard topic. You can do laboratory tests that determine failure rates for parts, under lab conditions. You can add up the known failure rates and guess from there. But it seems to work better to actually use field data. The failure rates from lab tests are unlikely to be lower than in the field, but....

Probability theory gives us the following --

If you add or subtract multiple gaussian (normal) distributions, you get another normal distribution. If you know mean and variance for the starting distributions you can calculate those for the new one.

If you add or subtract other distributions that all have finite variance, the result will be closer to a normal distribution than the originals were. The sum tends to converge to normal.

If you multiply distributions with finite variance then you tend to get something with finite variance.

If you divide one normal distribution by another normal distribution, you get something with infinite variance. It does not act like you want it to.

How do you tell whether you are sampling a distribution which has finite variance or not? As you keep sampling, you will occasionally get "outliers" which are far from the norm. At first they will seem like just rare outliers. You adjust the mean and variance to account for them. But the longer you collect data, the higher the variance goes. Sometimes the mean keeps rising too. And eventually you have enough data to say this is not a gaussian, or a gamma, or whatever you thought it was. It probably has infinite variance.

Or you may decide that theoretically, if you have reason to think that there is division of one random variable by another. In the equations you use to describe the thing you're measuring, look for division.

Notice how engineers estimate hundred-year-flood levels, and then they get bigger floods sooner than they expected so they make new hundred-year-flood estimates, and then they get bigger floods again. Maybe the climate is changing so the past estimates don't apply. Maybe they're trying to estimate something that does not have finite variance.

So, we have say, 10,000 plant/years of experience with nuclear plants, but they're mostly old plants and we won't build them that way any more. We have, say, 500 years experience with new nuclear power plants, all in other countries. Say we build 20 times as many nuclear plants as currently exist -- then we will get twice sa much new safety data as we already have from the last 10 years. And if there's a very rare accident possible, the chance that it happens that first year is roughly twice the chance it will have ever happened before.

What's the chance we get a really bad accident? We have no experience to judge. We have never had a bad one. If we had a whole lot of power plants and we had one Chernobyl-level accident a year, we could probably handle that. We could find cheap ways to decontaminate. Like, get radio-controlled bulldozers to seal the whole thing in clay. If water can't get in then water mostly won't get out and won't carry contaminants. Then pile a whole lot of dirt on, and cover it with concrete, and call it decommissioned. If anybody sues for damages laugh at them. You're out an expensive nuclear plant so you'll have to pay for a new one, but no big deal except the money.

But what if we got a real bad accident? What's the chance of that? Nobody knows. If it's a normal distribution we can guess. We can assume that the new plants are like the old ones, or the new plants or 10 times better, or whatever. But we don't know that it's a finite variance distribution. We're just guessing. We have no data to go on.

So I say, if we can afford to go slow on nuclear power then we ought to go slow. Find out better how to do it.

But if we can't afford to go slow, if that means we lose a war or something, then we have to take the unknown risks and hope.

We can't get our data for this from the scientific establishment, because the chance of a rare bad accident is not something we can do science on.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: SandySandfort on May 14, 2011, 12:56:34 pm
I may have misunderstood. Sandy may explain further. And it's OK if he changes his mind too. There's nothing wrong with saying "It seemed like a good idea at the time but now I have a better idea". I'd hate to be stuck with the position that I know it all already and I'm not going to learn anything.

The big mistake everyone seems to be making is assuming that because a person can make silly or onerous rules for their own property, the will make such rules and be antisocial. That doesn't happen now; why would it happen in a freer society?

Ah. Well, but if we can assume that people will not be antisocial, we don't need laws or arbitration at all. The whole point of discussing this sort of thing is the assumption that people will not always be reasonable.

I observe that most people are social, most of the time. You conclusion has two flaws. (1) It is based on the unstated and false premise that I said all people will not be antisocial. Most won't, so we will still need ways to deal the tiny antisocial minority. (2) Your conclusion is also based on the unstated and false premise that laws and arbitration only deal with antisocial behavior. There are plenty of situations were disputes arise between quite social people. It is because they are social and seriously want to resolve issues, upon which they disagree, that they will seek arbitration of one sort or another.


J Thomas, I have decided that I do not wish to be a co-dependent to your bad habit of making posts that lack focus. So, I will limit myself to responding to your first issue or scenario per post. If after others or I have responded to that first element, you feel compelled to reintroduce the other issues/scenarios, knock yourself out, but only one per post, please.

You have a creative and agile mind, J Thomas. All you lack is self-discipline in your writing. The first step is focus. (The second is responding to what is actually written, instead of your restatement. You almost always get it wrong, as above. Actually that might be the first step, but both steps go hand in hand.)
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: Tucci78 on May 14, 2011, 02:51:52 pm
[I'm too prolix for his taste, medical doctors are arrogant incompetents who can't write, he's a freaking genius with all sorts of editorial experience, and yadda-yadda-yadda.]

One of the Austrian School economists (von Mises, Hayek, I'm not sure) once wrote that putting forth supported argument for free market theory is so damned tough because the various anti-free market crap accepted as "conventional wisdom" is both raddled with error and seductively attractive to what Mencken used to call the "prehensile gentry."

The job of the free market economist, therefore, has to include detailed and absolutely inescapable dissection of the lies at the heart of Keynesianism and mercantilism and socialism and all the rest of the confabulated excuses for violent aggression in the purposeful affairs of human beings. 

I liken it to the lessons taught in trauma surgery. You've gotta cut away the crushed and tattered and otherwise nonviable stuff before you can even begin to understand what there is for you to work with in closing the wound.

So both to address error and to better expound valid observations, I carve until I find tissue that bleeds and has a chance of surviving.

Nasty analogy, ain't it?

But by all means, let's keep it brief.  Counselor Weasel (who started with the animal name-calling to begin with, remember) doesn't like it when we write long posts.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: Tucci78 on May 14, 2011, 03:34:05 pm
Those mother bastard "climatologists" had been corrupting peer review.

Note that this does not affect the truth. It only makes it harder to tell whose research to believe. Their conclusions could be right even if their methods were wrong.

Nope. What it means is that the "climatologists" pushing the AGW fraud have deliberately and concertedly evaded the error-checking mechanism of peer review.  If their "truth" was objectively verifiable, why the hell would they do that?

Rhetorical question, of course. They did it because they knew that "Their conclusions" were wrong, and that this must inevitably be demonstrated by honest review of their methods, their data, and the results of their analyses.

In addition, they have used peer review (and induced the collusion of conference and journal editors) to prevent the publication of colleagues' research results in cases where evidence developed thereby has caused the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis to be called into question.

Not even the contention that the AGW fraudsters have come across "conclusions" that correctly reflect what happens in the physical universe by way of the "stopped clock" mechanism (methods wrong, output  miraculously right) can be supported. 

When you've caught somebody breaking into a bank, it's pretty stupid to accept his explanation that he was only making a withdrawal from his own savings account.

But let's be brief in this post. Counselor Weasel doesn't like me to make lengthy comments.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 14, 2011, 03:40:22 pm

The big mistake everyone seems to be making is assuming that because a person can make silly or onerous rules for their own property, the will make such rules and be antisocial. That doesn't happen now; why would it happen in a freer society?

Ah. Well, but if we can assume that people will not be antisocial, we don't need laws or arbitration at all. The whole point of discussing this sort of thing is the assumption that people will not always be reasonable.

I observe that most people are social, most of the time. You conclusion has two flaws. (1) It is based on the unstated and false premise that I said all people will not be antisocial. Most won't, so we will still need ways to deal the tiny antisocial minority.

If people have some rights even while they are on someone else's property, then we need a way to preserve those rights in the rare case that a landowner abuses them. This is no different from preserving people's rights in general in the rare case when some other person abuses them, whether that other person is on their property or the abuser and abused are both on some third party's property.

It's a creative solution to say the landowner is always right because he always gets to make all the rules on his own property, but I don't like it. Give people a trump and a few of them will abuse it.

Quote
(2) Your conclusion is also based on the unstated and false premise that laws and arbitration only deal with antisocial behavior. There are plenty of situations were disputes arise between quite social people. It is because they are social and seriously want to resolve issues, upon which they disagree, that they will seek arbitration of one sort or another.

Suppose two reasonable people. Likely they can work things out without any third person involved, they each listen to what the other wants and work something out that satisfies them both independent of what anybody else says is right.

Suppose two reasonable people have trouble understanding each other. A mediator might be able to listen to them both and get it clear, and they agree without any prior stipulation that they will let him decide for them.

Suppose two reasonable people are bullheaded enough that they simply disagree, and they disagree about what's right, and they don't want to make allowances for each other. They can agree to binding arbitration and then they both do what the arbitrator (that they both chose) says.

It sure looks to me like all the big issues come from the tiny minority of unreasonable people.

It might be a small minority of unreasonable policemen etc that cause most of our problems with the current system. Maybe? Or maybe putting them into positions of authority might tend to *make* them unreasonable? Give them that trump and they get used to the idea that they don't need to be reasonable....
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 14, 2011, 03:49:58 pm
Those mother bastard "climatologists" had been corrupting peer review.

Note that this does not affect the truth. It only makes it harder to tell whose research to believe. Their conclusions could be right even if their methods were wrong.

Nope. What it means is that the "climatologists" pushing the AGW fraud have deliberately and concertedly evaded the error-checking mechanism of peer review.  If their "truth" was objectively verifiable, why the hell would they do that?

Rhetorical question, of course. They did it because they knew that "Their conclusions" were wrong, and that this must inevitably be demonstrated by honest review of their methods, their data, and the results of their analyses.

No. If we accept that they did distort the peer-review system more than usual, they could have done it to make *inconclusive* results look conclusive. It is not proof that their conclusions were wrong.
 
Quote
In addition, they have used peer review (and induced the collusion of conference and journal editors) to prevent the publication of colleagues' research results in cases where evidence developed thereby has caused the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis to be called into question.

Again, if it's true that they wrongly prevented publication, we need to actually see the research results that were suppressed to decide what those results proved. If someone who is biased rejects your research, that does not prove that your research would have passed legitimate peer review. Back when I looked at creation science stuff, I occasionally saw claims that a creation science researcher had sent his results to some prestigious journal and gotten rejected, and that proved that they were biased and wrong because if they had been honest they would have published his work. I strongly doubt this conclusion in the individual cases I saw. What they published for themselves would not pass my own tests.

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Not even the contention that the AGW fraudsters have come across "conclusions" that correctly reflect what happens in the physical universe by way of the "stopped clock" mechanism (methods wrong, output  miraculously right) can be supported.

Yes, it can.

Quote
But let's be brief in this post. Counselor Weasel doesn't like me to make lengthy comments.

He offered to stop namecalling. You look bad when you reject that offer.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: SandySandfort on May 14, 2011, 04:48:29 pm
If people have some rights even while they are on someone else's property, then we need a way to preserve those rights in the rare case that a landowner abuses them. This is no different from preserving people's rights in general in the rare case when some other person abuses them, whether that other person is on their property or the abuser and abused are both on some third party's property.

It's a creative solution to say the landowner is always right because he always gets to make all the rules on his own property, but I don't like it. Give people a trump and a few of them will abuse it.

Fortunately, no one has made the claim that the landowner is always right. So, defeating that strawman proposition doesn't do us any good. People always have rights. That was never the question. The question is what are those rights and when may they be traded away for some advantage? The main question in this thread has to do with limited liability. Can you partially accept a store's limited liability in order to receive a benefit? I say, yes. In fact we do it all the time.   

Suppose two reasonable people...

Stating a conclusion about people and their motives is special pleading. Give me a scenario where, on the basis of their actions, I can infer whether or not they are "reasonable people." Give a scenario from real life, not any of your left-handed, albino pygmies with dandruff. Then we can talk. Something as simple and common as my property line example, please.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: Tucci78 on May 14, 2011, 04:50:10 pm
Those mother bastard "climatologists" had been corrupting peer review.

Note that this does not affect the truth. It only makes it harder to tell whose research to believe. Their conclusions could be right even if their methods were wrong.

Nope. What it means is that the "climatologists" pushing the AGW fraud have deliberately and concertedly evaded the error-checking mechanism of peer review.  If their "truth" was objectively verifiable, why the hell would they do that?

Rhetorical question, of course. They did it because they knew that "Their conclusions" were wrong, and that this must inevitably be demonstrated by honest review of their methods, their data, and the results of their analyses.

No. If we accept that they did distort the peer-review system more than usual, they could have done it to make *inconclusive* results look conclusive. It is not proof that their conclusions were wrong.

Can I presume that you've got no experience of (nor an accurate appreciation of what's involved in) peer review?

Understanding that no matter what the AGW fraudsters did to "distort the peer-review system" (what the hell is this "more than usual" bit? any purposeful distortion of peer review is a violation of ethical standards), or how they did it (colluding with each other to arrange for themselves what is commonly called "pal review"), the fact that they did do it is enough to make every damned thing they published absolutely invalid as material to which other scientists can make reference in future.

The whole idea behind the expression "peer reviewed literature" is the assurance that what's published in the proceedings of such conferences and the various referee'd periodicals has been vetted for consistency and validity.  You can use it as support for assertions of fact.  It's the good stuff.

In medicine, there's a lot of respect for periodicals like The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine because the publishers of those journals have established reputations for close scrutiny of the stuff they choose to publish. 

And even those top-of-the-line journals get diddled sometimes. What they do in such cases is to conscientiously publish retractions, and when you go into their digital archives online, there are all sorts of warnings and other caveats to notify the reader that these legacy articles contained errors  and/or duplicities, with links to corrections or retractions.

By evading and corrupting the mechanism of peer review, these "climatologists" have committed such glaring breaches of professional ethics, have so thoroughly violated the scientific method, that they have absolutely no credibility whatsoever.   

Think about Jayson Blair (see http://tinyurl.com/7uhnhq). Is anybody ever in future likely to believe his reporting as a journalist?

And you still believe these lying, conniving bastards? What the hell is wrong with you?
 
In addition, they have used peer review (and induced the collusion of conference and journal editors) to prevent the publication of colleagues' research results in cases where evidence developed thereby has caused the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis to be called into question.

Again, if it's true that they wrongly prevented publication, we need to actually see the research results that were suppressed to decide what those results proved. If someone who is biased rejects your research, that does not prove that your research would have passed legitimate peer review. Back when I looked at creation science stuff, I occasionally saw claims that a creation science researcher had sent his results to some prestigious journal and gotten rejected, and that proved that they were biased and wrong because if they had been honest they would have published his work. I strongly doubt this conclusion in the individual cases I saw. What they published for themselves would not pass my own tests.

One of the most wonderfully corrupt and stinking aspects of this whole "climate change" hoo-rah over the past couple of decades has been the fraudsters' reeking crap about how "The science is settled!"

Remember that phrase "peer-reviewed literature"? The allegation of the political prostitutes and their "climatologist" pimps has been that if the results of "denier" research (i.e., anything which tends in any way to disprove the AGW hypothesis) cannot get published in those scientific periodicals which the warmist cabal controls by way of corrupted peer review and editorial stonewalling, nobody is supposed to consider it as valid.

So the "denier" scientists and analysts have taken their results to the 'Net with increasing frequency, perforce foregoing the "filters for folly" provided by legitimate peer review (which they really don't want to do, but needs must...) to secure a kind of "open source" review in the public forum.

And the "climatogist" fraudsters cannot rebut them. In the marketplace of ideas, the AGW hypothesis is indefensible. 

Your analogy to the creationists doesn't work.  Hang "creation science" out there on the Web where people can shoot at it, and it gets blown away.  Do the same with analyses of how the AGW fraudsters played "Mike's Nature trick" to "hide the decline" (and other distortions and deceptions), and the warmists get screwed. 

The AGW hypothesis - like "creation science" - can't survive honest reasoned analysis in any way.  That's why the perpetrators of this fraud have striven so mightily to freeze out such critique of their bogosity. 

Not even the contention that the AGW fraudsters have come across "conclusions" that correctly reflect what happens in the physical universe by way of the "stopped clock" mechanism (methods wrong, output  miraculously right) can be supported.

Yes, it can.

And your basis for how it can is precisely...what?

He [Counselor Weasel] offered to stop namecalling. You look bad when you reject that offer.

Actually, he didn't.  He offered the use of a contemptuous diminutive ("Tucc'") instead of the "Dr. Monkey" he'd started with. 

Thus my use of the cognomen "Counselor Scuttling Weasel" when referring to him.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: quadibloc on May 14, 2011, 06:33:53 pm
By evading and corrupting the mechanism of peer review, these "climatologists" have committed such glaring breaches of professional ethics, have so thoroughly violated the scientific method, that they have absolutely no credibility whatsoever.
What color is the sky in your world?

Now, it certainly is true that a lot of papers get published based on highly speculative computer models that keep saying different things about what the climate will be like in five or ten years. If these papers were all claiming that the climate in five or ten years really would be exactly like they predicted, plus or minus 5%, then indeed one could say that anyone who supports the AGW view is getting a free pass on peer review - because those papers are contradicting one another that obviously most of them would have to be nonsense.

But that is not happening. While those papers about climate models are getting published, because they contain useful information for other people working on climate models, they do not make exaggerated claims about their likely accuracy.

One of the most wonderfully corrupt and stinking aspects of this whole "climate change" hoo-rah over the past couple of decades has been the fraudsters' reeking crap about how "The science is settled!"

Remember that phrase "peer-reviewed literature"? The allegation of the political prostitutes and their "climatologist" pimps has been that if the results of "denier" research (i.e., anything which tends in any way to disprove the AGW hypothesis) cannot get published in those scientific periodicals which the warmist cabal controls by way of corrupted peer review and editorial stonewalling, nobody is supposed to consider it as valid.
The science is settled, and the fact that anti-AGW papers don't get published should be no more surprising than the fact that Creation Science papers don't get published - for the same reason.

And the "climatogist" fraudsters cannot rebut them. In the marketplace of ideas, the AGW hypothesis is indefensible.
If the AGW hypothesis is so indefensible, why is it that nearly everyone competent to judge it accepts it?

That's like saying evolution is nonsense, and has failed in the marketplace of ideas, because most people in Sa'udi Arabia don't believe in evolution.

Of course, I can't blame the general public for rejecting global warming out of hand - because I don't want to live in a world where the electricity goes off when the wind isn't blowing either.

My answer is simple. Apparently, the AGW science is good. The fear-mongering around nuclear power, on the other hand, is totally bogus - the political correctness conspiracy has, somehow, failed to get competent scientists to endorse it, which is one of the reasons why I don't think they've managed to bully the scientific community into lying about AGW either -

So, build enough nuclear power plants to produce enough electricity... to meet peak-load electrical power demands, to convert home heating from fossil fuels to electrical heating... to produce synthetic fuels, without competing with food production, that allow existing motor vehicles to be used in a carbon-neutral fashion. Do this sustainably through reprocessing and the Thorium breeder.

And enjoy a stronger and richer energy-independent America, with the funding sources for terrorism cut off, and watch as the Greens that wanted a weaker America, unable to maintain a strong military on wind, solar, and geothermal power, and a poorer America where people go back to using slide rules because at least they don't use electricity (perhaps they gossip with local friends or walk to the library instead of using the Internet)... writhe in agony as the hated atom powers the nation.

I dislike ecologist kooks too, but I keep honest scientists out of it.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 14, 2011, 06:44:16 pm
If people have some rights even while they are on someone else's property, then we need a way to preserve those rights in the rare case that a landowner abuses them. This is no different from preserving people's rights in general in the rare case when some other person abuses them, whether that other person is on their property or the abuser and abused are both on some third party's property.

It's a creative solution to say the landowner is always right because he always gets to make all the rules on his own property, but I don't like it. Give people a trump and a few of them will abuse it.

Fortunately, no one has made the claim that the landowner is always right. So, defeating that strawman proposition doesn't do us any good.

I haven't seen you set any limit on landowner authority.

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People always have rights. That was never the question. The question is what are those rights and when may they be traded away for some advantage?

Yes, they can be traded away. That was the basis of feudalism. Serfs signed away rights for the advantages they got as serfs.

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The main question in this thread has to do with limited liability. Can you partially accept a store's limited liability in order to receive a benefit? I say, yes. In fact we do it all the time.

It gets done. Maybe those rights should be determined by a free market? You trade with merchants for things like air, water, food, power, communication, and rights. In a competitive market with two or more merchants, you get whatever rights etc that you can, from whichever merchant will give you the best deal. A free market in justice!

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Suppose two reasonable people...

Stating a conclusion about people and their motives is special pleading. Give me a scenario where, on the basis of their actions, I can infer whether or not they are "reasonable people."

You brought it up.

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The big mistake everyone seems to be making is assuming that because a person can make silly or onerous rules for their own property, they will make such rules and be antisocial. That doesn't happen now; why would it happen in a freer society?

I used the word "reasonable" instead of "not antisocial". You pointed out that we can trust landowners with special rights because they won't be antisocial. I say this is pretty much the same as saying that we can trust gun owners with special rights because they won't be antisocial. Or cops.

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Give a scenario from real life, not any of your left-handed, albino pygmies with dandruff. Then we can talk. Something as simple and common as my property line example, please.

I'm not at all clear what you want from me. I say that in general we don't want to give "special" people special rights on the assumption they won't be antisocial. You say to give certain kinds of people special rights and you have not set any limits on those rights except that they end at the property line. It looks to me like it's you that might clarify your view.

A whole lot of US counties got their boundaries from travel issues. A county seat was one day's travel from anywhere in the county, and the county line naturally tended to follow waterways that were sometimes impassable. Those were the natural boundaries.

But now it makes far more sense not to split watersheds between counties. We are far more mobile, and we need to manage watersheds. The reasons have changed.

It might make sense on Ceres to assign land ownership the way we do on earth, where you get the rights to your two acres down to the center of the earth unless somebody else gets the mineral rights etc. Or maybe you should get rights to "cubic", you get the empty contents of whatever section of tunnel you own. Maybe the technology will leave it making more sense that people on the same air supply have some special bond and some common obligation. If anything goes wrong with their air while it's on your property, of course they have the right to come in and fix it quickly.

There are lots of ways the rights might go, and property lines might not be the most important thing at all.

It's your idea, and I'm pointing out things you have left unclear or things I don't like about it. You're welcome to explain it farther.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 14, 2011, 07:09:14 pm

Can I presume that you've got no experience of (nor an accurate appreciation of what's involved in) peer review?

Presume what you want, but you would be wrong.

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Understanding that no matter what the AGW fraudsters did to "distort the peer-review system" (what the hell is this "more than usual" bit? any purposeful distortion of peer review is a violation of ethical standards), or how they did it (colluding with each other to arrange for themselves what is commonly called "pal review"), the fact that they did do it is enough to make every damned thing they published absolutely invalid as material to which other scientists can make reference in future.

No, that's what people say when they are looking for a way to deny results. If the peer review process failed, then the actual papers become no worse than papers that did not go through peer review.

So, which work do you decide to distrust? The work done by the particular people that you believe were caught distorting peer review? The work they touched? Or the work of everybody who got results you don't like....

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The whole idea behind the expression "peer reviewed literature" is the assurance that what's published in the proceedings of such conferences and the various referee'd periodicals has been vetted for consistency and validity.  You can use it as support for assertions of fact.  It's the good stuff.

In medicine, there's a lot of respect for periodicals like The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine because the publishers of those journals have established reputations for close scrutiny of the stuff they choose to publish.

Yes, an appeal to authority based on anonymous reviewers. It has been widely abused, but it might easily do more good than harm. Once I did work that built on the work someone else had been doing some years before. In some contexts it's considered "poaching" to publish that way, but I didn't think that applied to my case. The expert I was building on was naturally one of the reviewers, and he delayed publication until after his own work, essentially the same as mine, was published and mine was not. This is not particularly uncommon, though it's cheesy.

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By evading and corrupting the mechanism of peer review, these "climatologists" have committed such glaring breaches of professional ethics, have so thoroughly violated the scientific method, that they have absolutely no credibility whatsoever.

Well, see, if I found out about 3 people doing that, I'd think they lacked credibility. If I found out about 20 people doing it then those 20 would lack credibility. If I found out about 20 physicists doing it, I wouldn't decide that physicists lack credibility.

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He [Counselor Weasel] offered to stop namecalling. You look bad when you reject that offer.

Actually, he didn't.  He offered the use of a contemptuous diminutive ("Tucc'") instead of the "Dr. Monkey" he'd started with. 

Thus my use of the cognomen "Counselor Scuttling Weasel" when referring to him.

You might try telling him what name you want him to use for you, and take it from there.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: SandySandfort on May 14, 2011, 07:41:51 pm
I haven't seen you set any limit on landowner authority.

Correct. I will say, however, that with regard to liability issue (which is what this thread is about), I don't see any reason a proprietor could not disavow all liability, as long as there is a clear and unambiguous statement of such, made known to visitors who are capable of understanding it, for negligence that occurs totally within the boundaries of the property. At least that is what comes to mind off the top of my head. More conditions might need to apply, depending on the circumstances. Those things can be determined by usage and adjudications.

Yes, they can be traded away. That was the basis of feudalism. Serfs signed away rights for the advantages they got as serfs.

Totally false. Show me the contract by which serfs enslaved themselves. It does not exist. Serfs were enslaved by the self-proclaimed rulers against their will. A clearer violation of the ZAP would be hard to find. Even the laws of the times usually recognized that this relationship was in no way voluntary. In some places (England?) if a serf could escape to the city and stay free for a year and a day, he was declared a free man under law.

It gets done. Maybe those rights should be determined by a free market? You trade with merchants for things like air, water, food, power, communication, and rights. In a competitive market with two or more merchants, you get whatever rights etc that you can, from whichever merchant will give you the best deal. A free market in justice!

What you are discussing are not "rights." Rights are innate. Your examples are more correctly called, licenses, permissions, easements, privileges, etc. Merchants do not give you rights. You already have those. What a merchant can give you are said, licenses, permissions, easements, privileges, etc.

Words have meaning. In general,* you have no right to enter another's property. If an owner lets you in, it is he who is giving up his right--at least temporarily and conditionally--to keep you out. Permission is is revocable.  In so doing, though, he has the right to set rules and exclude people who do not follow them.

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You pointed out that we can trust landowners with special rights...

Stop right there. I said nothing about "special rights." Everyone has the same rights. Nobody gets more rights or special rights. Words have meaning. Unless I had a stroke, I am certain I never said "special rights." Why? Because there is no such thing. When I said what I said, you chose to substitute your words for mine and proceeded to discuss your words as though they were mine. Bad poster! No attaboy!

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A whole lot of US counties got their boundaries from travel issues...

I'm sorry, you have exceed your focus limit. Please deposit another post to continue.

* To simplify things, what I am giving is black letter law. As noted before, there are alway special cases for which the common law has to expand beyond the basic black letter law. These are not exceptions, they are clarifications of the principles behind the black letter law.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: SandySandfort on May 14, 2011, 07:53:22 pm
Quote
He [Counselor Weasel] offered to stop namecalling. You look bad when you reject that offer.

Actually, he didn't.  He offered the use of a contemptuous diminutive ("Tucc'") instead of the "Dr. Monkey" he'd started with. 

Thus my use of the cognomen "Counselor Scuttling Weasel" when referring to him.

You might try telling him what name you want him to use for you, and take it from there.

I thought his name was Tucci. It is in his handle. If that is not his name, you are right, he should say what he wants to be called. Thanks for saying so. I believe you see I am trying to reduce the animus. Until he gives an alternative, I see nothing wrong with Tucci, the handle he picked for himself. Mutual respect is what I am offering and all that I ask.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 14, 2011, 08:03:34 pm
I haven't seen you set any limit on landowner authority.

Correct. I will say, however, that with regard to liability issue (which is what this thread is about), I don't see any reason a proprietor could not disavow all liability, as long as there is a clear and unambiguous statement of such, made known to visitors who are capable of understanding it, for negligence that occurs totally within the boundaries of the property. At least that is what comes to mind off the top of my head. More conditions might need to apply, depending on the circumstances. Those things can be determined by usage and adjudications.

Yes. I think more conditions need to apply.

Quote
Yes, they can be traded away. That was the basis of feudalism. Serfs signed away rights for the advantages they got as serfs.

Totally false. Show me the contract by which serfs enslaved themselves. It does not exist. Serfs were enslaved by the self-proclaimed rulers against their will. A clearer violation of the ZAP would be hard to find. Even the laws of the times usually recognized that this relationship was in no way voluntary. In some places (England?) if a serf could escape to the city and stay free for a year and a day, he was declared a free man under law.

There was a late ruling about "year and a day". My understanding is that this was not until the feudal system was already cracking, with cities that needed people.

I agree there was no written contract, but of course mostly serfs could not read. There were customs.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serfdom#Becoming_a_serf
The ceremony this link describes looks rather like a verbal contract to me. Serfs had specific rights and specifid duties.

Quote
It gets done. Maybe those rights should be determined by a free market? You trade with merchants for things like air, water, food, power, communication, and rights. In a competitive market with two or more merchants, you get whatever rights etc that you can, from whichever merchant will give you the best deal. A free market in justice!

What you are discussing are not "rights." Rights are innate.

Words have meaning. What operational meaning should we assign to innate rights? They are not in force unless agreed or enforced. What is the difference between an innate right that is not enforced, versus a privilege which is in practice granted? Operationally, it seems to me that the difference is that you actually do have the privilege and you do not in practice have the right.

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Your examples are more correctly called, licenses, permissions, easements, privileges, etc. Merchants do not give you rights. You already have those. What a merchant can give you are said, licenses, permissions, easements, privileges, etc.

Words have meaning. In general,* you have no right to enter another's property. If an owner lets you in, it is he who is giving up his right--at least temporarily and conditionally--to keep you out. Permission is is revocable.  In so doing, though, he has the right to set rules and exclude people who do not follow them.

So, do you give up your rights when you are invited onto someone else's property? Or is it only that if they don't like what you do they have the right to tell you to go away?
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 14, 2011, 08:08:07 pm
Quote
He [Counselor Weasel] offered to stop namecalling. You look bad when you reject that offer.

Actually, he didn't.  He offered the use of a contemptuous diminutive ("Tucc'") instead of the "Dr. Monkey" he'd started with. 

Thus my use of the cognomen "Counselor Scuttling Weasel" when referring to him.

You might try telling him what name you want him to use for you, and take it from there.

I thought his name was Tucci. It is in his handle. If that is not his name, you are right, he should say what he wants to be called. Thanks for saying so. I believe you see I am trying to reduce the animus. Until he gives an alternative, I see nothing wrong with Tucci, the handle he picked for himself. Mutual respect is what I am offering and all that I ask.

You made a typo and he took offense.

Quote
Henceforth, I will simply refer to Tucci as "Tucc"i and drop my personal assessments, sarcasm, etc.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: quadibloc on May 14, 2011, 08:09:03 pm
Stop right there. I said nothing about "special rights." Everyone has the same rights. Nobody gets more rights or special rights. Words have meaning. Unless I had a stroke, I am certain I never said "special rights." Why? Because there is no such thing. When I said what I said, you chose to substitute your words for mine and proceeded to discuss your words as though they were mine. Bad poster! No attaboy!
Now, now. His mistake was perfectly understandable.

While everyone would have the same rights, in the sense of the law being the same for everyone, obviously if some people were homeowners, and other people were renters, in a polity where a man's owned home is his castle, in practice the landowners do enjoy a different situation. (In the light of the magnitude of his (alleged?) misdeeds, I can't quite bring myself to loudly cheer the fact that apparently Osama bin Laden didn't beat any of his wives in the privacy of Abbottabad...)

He used a natural phrase to describe this difference in practical situation - even if it was one that did imply something very contrary to what you would be willing to advocate. People are so confused by the strange conventional situation we live in that his error was likely innocent rather than malicious.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 14, 2011, 08:15:31 pm
It might make sense on Ceres to assign land ownership the way we do on earth, where you get the rights to your two acres down to the center of the earth unless somebody else gets the mineral rights etc. Or maybe you should get rights to "cubic", you get the empty contents of whatever section of tunnel you own. Maybe the technology will leave it making more sense that people on the same air supply have some special bond and some common obligation. If anything goes wrong with their air while it's on your property, of course they have the right to come in and fix it quickly.

There are lots of ways the rights might go, and property lines might not be the most important thing at all.

Still, it might turn out practical to divide things up with property lines, and give each landowner absolute authority over everything that happens on his own land. That might work. And maybe that's what people will want to do.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: quadibloc on May 14, 2011, 08:24:33 pm
You made a typo and he took offense.
Oh, come on now. We all know that when he was typing "Tucci" on his computer, instead of pronouncing it Tucchi in his head, he was pronouncing it Tusshi...  :)
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: Tucci78 on May 14, 2011, 08:33:14 pm
By evading and corrupting the mechanism of peer review, these "climatologists" have committed such glaring breaches of professional ethics, have so thoroughly violated the scientific method, that they have absolutely no credibility whatsoever.

Now, it certainly is true that a lot of papers get published based on highly speculative computer models that keep saying different things about what the climate will be like in five or ten years. If these papers were all claiming that the climate in five or ten years really would be exactly like they predicted, plus or minus 5%, then indeed one could say that anyone who supports the AGW view is getting a free pass on peer review - because those papers are contradicting one another that obviously most of them would have to be nonsense.

But that is not happening. While those papers about climate models are getting published, because they contain useful information for other people working on climate models, they do not make exaggerated claims about their likely accuracy.

I hadn't brought up the matter of computer simulations - models - but when we keep in mind that those are also deceitfully cooked by the "climatologist" fraudsters.... 

Well, do you really want to go there?  At best, even honest computer models can only be extrapolations of the assumptions built into them. What assumptions were the AGW pimps building into their computer simulations?

The AGW cabal strove for years (even going so far as to criminally violate the freedom of information act [FOIA] provisions in their polities which required them to turn over the computer code of those climate modeling programs which had been created on the taxpayer's dime, and were therefore public property) to prevent analysts from examining the "machinery under the hood," the methodology by which the fraudsters tortured their data to produce the alarming outputs with which they pushed the great catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) hysteria.

Remember, that FOIA2009.zip archive contained far more than the AGW fraudsters' e-mail communications. The greatest portions of the file were made up of the modeling computer code they'd criminally violated U.K. freedom of information laws to withhold from scrutiny as well as the raw data they'd also refused to disclose.

In real science, particularly when it's being funded by government grants, when somebody asks for such data - especially now in the computer age - the proper response is "Sure; here y'go. You got a thumb drive, or do you want me to burn it on a CD?"

An honest scientist has no fear about disclosing the data upon which he's based his conclusions.  A fraudster, however.... 

The ethical scientific investigator expects to be obliged to defend his work, and is willing to admit that if he's made a mistake or missed something, and somebody else can derive better conclusions from the observations he's gotten, he'd like to see it, too.

The "climatologists" of the AGW high priesthood are not ethical scientific investigators, but charlatans who have been really, really good at presenting the seeming of scientific validity. 

To keep from getting pantsed, they've had to shout down, shut up, and handwave away the real scientists, and in some thirty years of concerted fraudulence (aided by the political prostitutes whom they serve) they'd been able to do such a honking great job of it that it took the Climategate data draw from the servers at the University of East Anglia in November 2009 to bust things open wide enough that only blithering fools continue to fall for their crap.

One of the most wonderfully corrupt and stinking aspects of this whole "climate change" hoo-rah over the past couple of decades has been the fraudsters' reeking crap about how "The science is settled!"

Remember that phrase "peer-reviewed literature"? The allegation of the political prostitutes and their "climatologist" pimps has been that if the results of "denier" research (i.e., anything which tends in any way to disprove the AGW hypothesis) cannot get published in those scientific periodicals which the warmist cabal controls by way of corrupted peer review and editorial stonewalling, nobody is supposed to consider it as valid.

The science is settled, and the fact that anti-AGW papers don't get published should be no more surprising than the fact that Creation Science papers don't get published - for the same reason.

There speaks somebody who really doesn't understand what the scientific method actually is instead of what the "climatologist" pimps have been suckering you into. 

There is a misunderstanding of what scientific method is when one says "The science is settled!"  The best that scientific method can do is to offer testable possible explanations of why certain observed phenomena have occurred. 

Such explanations are never, ever "settled." The best that can be said is that they haven't yet been disproved.  One effective disproof of any aspect of such an hypothesis, and the explanation is voided. 

The anthropogenic global warming hypothesis is based upon the extraordinary notion that the amounts of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by way of purposeful fuels combustion (of petrochemicals, principally) is responsible for global (Terran planetary) climatic temperature increases over the past century and a half or so, that this climatic warming is pernicious for various reasons, and that the abatement of such CO2 output will either reverse or mitigate this global warming.

The mechanism by which atmospheric CO2 is supposed to accomplish this global warming is by way of the greenhouse gas effect of carbon dioxide, which causes the tropospheric trapping of heat energy radiated by the sun to the Earth's atmosphere. 

Were this mechanism to be operating as the driver (as any significant driver) of the very slight rebound which the planet has been experiencing since the conclusion of what honest climatologists have long called the "Little Ice Age" (LIA), then as the atmospheric concentration of CO2 has steadily increased since the beginning of the Industrial Age, there would have to be an increase in heat trapping proportional thereunto. 

If there's no such increase in global temperatures as nasty-bad-awful carbon dioxide increases in the atmosphere continue (and accelerate), then the AGW hypothesis fails. 

So has there been such an increase in the past half-century? 

Nope. Remember that wonderful phrase "hide the decline" in the CRU e-mails?  What the AGW fraudsters were discussing was an indicated temperature decline in one of the proxy climate temperature indicators upon which they'd relied for allegedly valid measurements of global temperatures in the past.  "Mike's Nature trick" was to erase the declining proxy indicator data and substitute instead the readings of thermometers from selected stations, many of which were "sited next to a lamp" (i.e., located in places where local heat sources - air conditioners, sunbaked parking lots, jet aircraft exhaust - imposed grievous instrumental errors such that they could not be honestly included in any data set purported to measure actual climate conditions).

Prior to the peddling of the AGW fraud, the scientific consensus had solidly fixed upon insolation - the influence of the sun, which is (as we SF fen surely know) a variable star - as the primary driver of the temperature in the global climate.  The Earth's relationship with the sun, both in terms of planetary orbital mechanics and the solar fusion cycle, has been the key determinant in historical climate change, and previous eras in which the planet's atmospheric CO2 concentrations had been far higher than could ever be caused by human beings burning any fuel of any kind had in many cases been times of extreme cold, not warming.

The evidence also showed - and continues to show - that increases in atmospheric CO2 concentrations in the past have tended to follow increases in temperature, commonly by something between six and eight centuries of lag.  Such CO2 increases are reasonably supposed to be the consequence of planetary warming, not in any way a cause.  With enough warming, the oceanic water masses lost their ability to keep dissolved gasses in solution, and that included CO2.

You ever kept an aquarium, quadibloc?

Heck, there's plenty of information on all this available online.  I recommend Anthony Watts' Web site (http://wattsupwiththat.com/) as an aggregating source. 

The AGW hypothesis fails.  It's never succeeded, really.  It simply doesn't explain past climatic history, doesn't explain present climatic conditions, and there's absolutely no expectation that it has anything whatsoever to do with what's going to happen on Terra in the decades and centuries to come.

And the "climatogist" fraudsters cannot rebut them. In the marketplace of ideas, the AGW hypothesis is indefensible.

If the AGW hypothesis is so indefensible, why is it that nearly everyone competent to judge it accepts it?

Have you any understanding of the expression "secondary gain"?

How about four billion dollars per year in government grants for "research" that supports the political prostitutes in their global warming scaremongering?

For the AGW fraudster, the "catastrophe" of man-made climate change "showed me the way to promotion and pay."

My answer is simple. Apparently, the AGW science is good.

Nope.  As I've mentioned - and as there's plentiful information available all over the place to support this conclusion - the AGW "science" started out as a spectacular error on the part of Hansen (who concluded that because there's a CO2 greenhouse gas effect on Venus that an anthropogenic increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide on Earth would have to cause horrible-awful-nasty warming that hasn't yet gotten global temperatures up to the levels humanity enjoyed during the Medieval Warm climate optimum) and snowballed into the present humongous boondoggle and outright fraud that's got you so thoroughly suckered right now.

The fear-mongering around nuclear power, on the other hand, is totally bogus - the political correctness conspiracy has, somehow, failed to get competent scientists to endorse it, which is one of the reasons why I don't think they've managed to bully the scientific community into lying about AGW either -

So, build enough nuclear power plants to produce enough electricity... to meet peak-load electrical power demands, to convert home heating from fossil fuels to electrical heating... to produce synthetic fuels, without competing with food production, that allow existing motor vehicles to be used in a carbon-neutral fashion. Do this sustainably through reprocessing and the Thorium breeder.

And enjoy a stronger and richer energy-independent America, with the funding sources for terrorism cut off, and watch as the Greens that wanted a weaker America, unable to maintain a strong military on wind, solar, and geothermal power, and a poorer America where people go back to using slide rules because at least they don't use electricity (perhaps they gossip with local friends or walk to the library instead of using the Internet)... writhe in agony as the hated atom powers the nation.

I dislike ecologist kooks too, but I keep honest scientists out of it.

Well, block out the AGW pimps, then.  "Honest" is precisely what they're not, and have never been.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: SandySandfort on May 14, 2011, 08:53:50 pm
I agree there was no written contract, but of course mostly serfs could not read. There were customs.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serfdom#Becoming_a_serf
The ceremony this link describes looks rather like a verbal contract to me. Serfs had specific rights and specifid duties.

Yeah, that was the theory. The reality was that the serfs took whatever oaths took under duress. Serfdom was slavery.

Words have meaning. What operational meaning should we assign to innate rights? They are not in force unless agreed or enforced.

Really? Better look up the meaning of "innate." I'm sorry, but the following paragraph you wrote is word salad to me. Please take another shot at it.

So, do you give up your rights when you are invited onto someone else's property? Or is it only that if they don't like what you do they have the right to tell you to go away?

Do you think you give up your rights (which ones?) when you come to my "no smoking" house? You still have every right you had before. You have, however, agreed to do, or not do, something, as have I. This is a transaction to which rights have little or no relevance. It's about an exchange of benefits. Don't try to contort it into something it isn't. Anyway, what does this have to do with limited liability?
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: sam on May 14, 2011, 09:21:49 pm
People always have rights. That was never the question. The question is what are those rights and when may they be traded away for some advantage?

Yes, they can be traded away. That was the basis of feudalism. Serfs signed away rights for the advantages they got as serfs.

Under feudalism, in theory the serf could not leave the land, but in English feudalism, neither could the fief holder increase the rent.

Of course, in practice they could leave the land, and in practice the fief holder could increase the rent, so serfs were not in practice much different other tenants.

So either way, whether bound to the land or not bound to the land, serfs had far more rights and freedom than modern taxpayers.   Serfs generally could have armor piercing weapons, but modern taxpayers cannot have cop killer bullets.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: sam on May 14, 2011, 09:30:22 pm
No, that's what people say when they are looking for a way to deny results. If the peer review process failed, then the actual papers become no worse than papers that did not go through peer review.

So, which work do you decide to distrust? The work done by the particular people that you believe were caught distorting peer review? The work they touched? Or the work of everybody who got results you don't like....

The climategate files give us good reason to doubt any paper that has undergone peer review, and all papers that undergo peer review.

Truth can be obtained by observing nature, or by consensus.  Notoriously, consensus truth is apt to drift far, far from observable reality, hence early advocates of the scientific method denigrated consensus.

Peer review, as revealed in the climategate files, is the construction of reality on the basis of consensus, rather than observation.

We should trust papers on the basis that their conclusions follow from observations that are specified sufficiently clearly that other people could make the same observations to see if they are truthful.  Anthropogenic global warming papers generally do not do this.  They present pretty graphs, without the raw data on which these graphs were based, or the method of calculation whereby the displayed data was deduced from the raw data.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: Tucci78 on May 14, 2011, 09:40:42 pm
Can I presume that you've got no experience of (nor an accurate appreciation of what's involved in) peer review?

Presume what you want, but you would be wrong.

No, I think the presumption holds. See following.

Understanding that no matter what the AGW fraudsters did to "distort the peer-review system" (what the hell is this "more than usual" bit? any purposeful distortion of peer review is a violation of ethical standards), or how they did it (colluding with each other to arrange for themselves what is commonly called "pal review"), the fact that they did do it is enough to make every damned thing they published absolutely invalid as material to which other scientists can make reference in future.

No, that's what people say when they are looking for a way to deny results. If the peer review process failed, then the actual papers become no worse than papers that did not go through peer review.

Thus proving that you really don't seem to have a good handle on what peer review is, how it operates, or even what the significance of the expression "peer-reviewed literature" has been in the context of the AGW hypothesis and its impact upon political economics. 

As I've mentioned here, the argument of the AGW pimps and the political prostitutes for whom they've been pandering for all these decades has been that only what appears in the referee'd literature - the peer-reviewed journals and scientific conference proceedings - can be taken as "settled science," and anyone dissenting should be disregarded and even criminally punished.

The point is that the papers of the AGW fraudsters had, by virtue of their corruption of peer review, become no better than if they had never undergone peer review at all.

In order to gain the seeming of sound science, the authors of those papers had evaded the error-checking mechanism that is supposed to ensure the reliability of published material.  Accordingly, nothing in those papers can be accorded even the illusion of "settled science," and the perpetrators of these breaches of professional ethics are revealed as untrustworthy.

Recall my allusion to Jayson Blair?

So, which work do you decide to distrust? The work done by the particular people that you believe were caught distorting peer review? The work they touched? Or the work of everybody who got results you don't like....

All other things being equal, you repose no trust in anyone who has deliberately evaded or corrupted peer review.  Falsus in unum, falsus in omnibus.

But the question of trust is actually irrelevant.  Even when you get somebody with a completely bulletproof reputation, whose past performance provides a record of sterling conduct, the rule in science is always "Trust, but verify."

Always. Personal experience with clinical research investigators has confirmed my earliest impressions to the effect that even the top people in any field of scientific endeavor expect the obligation to defend their methods, their observational data, their analyses, and their conclusions to anybody who might pose a question. They're confident that they're right, else they wouldn't have published what they'd found and how they'd gotten to it.

Who the hell minds proving that they're right?

On the other hand, when you're wrong - or you're lying, as the "climatologist" pimps have been doing for the past couple of decades - you resent the hell out of it, and you do whatever you can to keep from getting caught.

The whole idea behind the expression "peer reviewed literature" is the assurance that what's published in the proceedings of such conferences and the various referee'd periodicals has been vetted for consistency and validity.  You can use it as support for assertions of fact.  It's the good stuff.

In medicine, there's a lot of respect for periodicals like The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine because the publishers of those journals have established reputations for close scrutiny of the stuff they choose to publish.

Yes, an appeal to authority based on anonymous reviewers. It has been widely abused, but it might easily do more good than harm. Once I did work that built on the work someone else had been doing some years before. In some contexts it's considered "poaching" to publish that way, but I didn't think that applied to my case. The expert I was building on was naturally one of the reviewers, and he delayed publication until after his own work, essentially the same as mine, was published and mine was not. This is not particularly uncommon, though it's cheesy.

Well, peer review people aren't actually "anonymous." The editorial staff of the journal or the conference sure as hell know who they are. In honest peer review (as opposed to the "climatologist" pimp simulacrum), the reviewing officers are acutely conscious of their own professional reputations, and how their performance in the dispassionate blinded review of colleagues' work will reflect upon them. 

So you knew who that reviewer was? How the heck did that happen?

By evading and corrupting the mechanism of peer review, these "climatologists" have committed such glaring breaches of professional ethics, have so thoroughly violated the scientific method, that they have absolutely no credibility whatsoever.

Well, see, if I found out about 3 people doing that, I'd think they lacked credibility. If I found out about 20 people doing it then those 20 would lack credibility. If I found out about 20 physicists doing it, I wouldn't decide that physicists lack credibility.

In the matter of the AGW fraud, it's been the "climatology" cabal participants in the pimp orthodoxy rammed down people's throats as "settled science" by the IPCC and its sputniki, emphatically including the CRU correspondents who were so spectacularly exposed by the Climategate information dump.

He [Counselor Weasel] offered to stop namecalling. You look bad when you reject that offer.

Actually, he didn't.  He offered the use of a contemptuous diminutive ("Tucc'") instead of the "Dr. Monkey" he'd started with. 

Thus my use of the cognomen "Counselor Scuttling Weasel" when referring to him.

You might try telling him what name you want him to use for you, and take it from there.

I don't much care.  "Tucci78" is the handle I've developed because in one online forum the ekename "Tucci" was previously taken (it's a very common Italian family name).  I just stuck a number after it.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: Tucci78 on May 14, 2011, 10:06:56 pm
The climategate files give us good reason to doubt any paper that has undergone peer review, and all papers that undergo peer review.

Well, I dunno about that.  Kind of a "baby with the bathwater" thing. While nothing is infallible, what peer review provides is actually expanded editorial input for a submission in manuscript.  

If it's conducted honestly - as opposed to the way the AGW cabal has long been perverting the process - reviewing officers serve a pretty valuable function in quality assurance and quality improvement. My experience with blinded peer review has invariably left me wishing that I could learn the identities of the guys to whose comments I was responding.  Lots of times, they made undeniable improvements in the work we were hammering into publication.

If nothing else, they provided hellaciously worthwhile feedback from representative samples of the people to whom we wanted to speak in those papers.  Because it was a "blinded" process, on neither side was there any worry about personal offense, which you can't get if you just hand a draft to a colleague and ask him pretty please to vet it for you.  

Truth can be obtained by observing nature, or by consensus.  Notoriously, consensus truth is apt to drift far, far from observable reality, hence early advocates of the scientific method denigrated consensus.

Peer review, as revealed in the climategate files, is the construction of reality on the basis of consensus, rather than observation.

Sounds like you're channeling Michael Crichton:

"I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had.

"Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world.

"In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. There is no such thing as consensus science. If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus. Period."


We should trust papers on the basis that their conclusions follow from observations that are specified sufficiently clearly that other people could make the same observations to see if they are truthful.  Anthropogenic global warming papers generally do not do this. They present pretty graphs, without the raw data on which these graphs were based, or the method of calculation whereby the displayed data was deduced from the raw data.

To that I'd add the provision that the authors of those papers must be willing - hell, eager - to make of their methodologies and observational information a completely "open book," to withhold nothing so that their studies can be replicated, their analyses scrutinized, their conclusions assessed by anyone who cares enough to do so.

This is one aspect of the scientific method in which the AGW pimps have conspicuously demonstrated egregious dishonesty.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 14, 2011, 10:07:50 pm

 Remember that wonderful phrase "hide the decline" in the CRU e-mails?  What the AGW fraudsters were discussing was an indicated temperature decline in one of the proxy climate temperature indicators upon which they'd relied for allegedly valid measurements of global temperatures in the past.  "Mike's Nature trick" was to erase the declining proxy indicator data and substitute instead the readings of thermometers from selected stations, many of which were "sited next to a lamp" (i.e., located in places where local heat sources - air conditioners, sunbaked parking lots, jet aircraft exhaust - imposed grievous instrumental errors such that they could not be honestly included in any data set purported to measure actual climate conditions).

http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2011/03/climate_change
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 14, 2011, 10:14:20 pm
Understanding that no matter what the AGW fraudsters did to "distort the peer-review system" (what the hell is this "more than usual" bit? any purposeful distortion of peer review is a violation of ethical standards), or how they did it (colluding with each other to arrange for themselves what is commonly called "pal review"), the fact that they did do it is enough to make every damned thing they published absolutely invalid as material to which other scientists can make reference in future.


No, that's what people say when they are looking for a way to deny results. If the peer review process failed, then the actual papers become no worse than papers that did not go through peer review.


Thus proving that you really don't seem to have a good handle on what peer review is, how it operates, or even what the significance of the expression "peer-reviewed literature" has been in the context of the AGW hypothesis and its impact upon political economics. 

....

The point is that the papers of the AGW fraudsters had, by virtue of their corruption of peer review, become no better than if they had never undergone peer review at all.

I said they were no worse. You said they were no better. This is your proof that I don't know?
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 14, 2011, 10:20:55 pm
The climategate files give us good reason to doubt any paper that has undergone peer review, and all papers that undergo peer review.


Well, I dunno about that.  Kind of a "baby with the bathwater" thing. While nothing is infallible, what peer review provides is actually expanded editorial input for a submission in manuscript.  

See, he just took it farther than you did.

You appeared to me to say that if a paper on climate science has been peer reviewed that proves the paper itself must be worthless. You believe that the entire climate science peer review process is bad, (there's a few steps missing here) then any paper they approve must have been fraudulent or it wouldn't pass their review. Or something like that.

You appeared to say that passing peer review meant it was a paper we should ignore as worthless. No good climate science papers could pass peer review.

And Sam just takes it farther and assumes that what you figure is true for all of climate science will also be true for the rest of science. If a scientific paper passes peer review it must be garbage. The same argument taken farther than you wanted to take it.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: Tucci78 on May 14, 2011, 10:28:23 pm
http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2011/03/climate_change

Fair's fair.  I'll give you two in return:

(1) http://tinyurl.com/4d6e977

(2) http://tinyurl.com/3jox4wg

Wanna play more "dueling URLs"?
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 14, 2011, 10:36:30 pm
http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2011/03/climate_change

Fair's fair.  I'll give you two in return:

(1) http://tinyurl.com/4d6e977

(2) http://tinyurl.com/3jox4wg

Wanna play more "dueling URLs"?

No, life is too short. You clearly have made up your mind completely.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: Tucci78 on May 14, 2011, 10:57:19 pm
The climategate files give us good reason to doubt any paper that has undergone peer review, and all papers that undergo peer review.

Well, I dunno about that.  Kind of a "baby with the bathwater" thing. While nothing is infallible, what peer review provides is actually expanded editorial input for a submission in manuscript.  

See, he just took it farther than you did.

You appeared to me to say that if a paper on climate science has been peer reviewed that proves the paper itself must be worthless. You believe that the entire climate science peer review process is bad, (there's a few steps missing here) then any paper they approve must have been fraudulent or it wouldn't pass their review. Or something like that.

You appeared to say that passing peer review meant it was a paper we should ignore as worthless. No good climate science papers could pass peer review.

And Sam just takes it farther and assumes that what you figure is true for all of climate science will also be true for the rest of science. If a scientific paper passes peer review it must be garbage. The same argument taken farther than you wanted to take it.

Nope. You elided the next sentence in my earlier post, which reads:

If it's conducted honestly - as opposed to the way the AGW cabal has long been perverting the process - reviewing officers serve a pretty valuable function in quality assurance and quality improvement.

It emphatically did not appear in my post that I had stated or implied that "passing peer review meant it was a paper we should ignore as worthless" but rather that manuscripts passing through the AGW pimps' perversion of peer review, their biased and corrupted simulacrum of legitimate examination for qualities of validity and adherence to established standards of methodological rigor, must necessarily be disregarded as unreliable and even arguably deceitful.  

You leap to the unfounded conclusion that I had meant to imply - hell, that I had implied - that "the entire climate science peer review process is bad" (though the great majority of it most certainly has been corrupted in climatology, atmospheric physics, and related disciplines).

With the improving understanding of this corruption, and in light of the failure of the AGW hypothesis ab ovo, it is necessary - not just because the AGW fraudsters have been shown to be untrustworthy - to regard as bogus everything based upon any supposition that carbon dioxide tropospheric heat trapping is responsible for global climate change until the supporting data has been extensively re-examined with particular attention paid to those factors which degrade the accuracy of the information gathered and the validity of interpretations based thereupon.

One of the horrors of the AGW fraud - as I've mentioned - is the fact that this hideous deception has led thousands of young scientists into a figurative blind alley and clubbed them to death like baby seals.  The work to which they had dedicated themselves as graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in climatology, in oceanography, and in more than a dozen other disciplines has been relatively invalid, and continues to be invalid. There is need for enormous work in salvaging what might yet be worthwhile in the results of all that effort.  

Even if we don't focus upon the monetary waste directly induced by the AGW priesthood in the form of grant funding allocated by the political prostitutes for whom the fraudsters were pimping, the professional lives of so many well-intentioned young men and women have been irrevocably blighted, and so much of the literature in the polluted areas of scientific endeavor are going to need revision before anyone can vest any reliance on anything these filthy bastards have tainted.  

Fantasize all you like about what I'd supposedly "implied," but when you try to pass that off in a post, quote what I'd written and let's see whether or not you're offering a reasonable supposition.  

Thus far, you haven't.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: Tucci78 on May 14, 2011, 11:01:05 pm
No, life is too short. You clearly have made up your mind completely.

Nope. I just try like hell to take seriously the "verify" part of that "Trust but verify" aphorism. 
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 14, 2011, 11:18:55 pm
The climategate files give us good reason to doubt any paper that has undergone peer review, and all papers that undergo peer review.


Well, I dunno about that.  Kind of a "baby with the bathwater" thing. While nothing is infallible, what peer review provides is actually expanded editorial input for a submission in manuscript.  


See, he just took it farther than you did.

You appeared to me to say that if a paper on climate science has been peer reviewed that proves the paper itself must be worthless.


It emphatically did not appear in my post that I had stated or implied that "passing peer review meant it was a paper we should ignore as worthless" but rather that manuscripts passing through the AGW pimps' perversion of peer review, their biased and corrupted simulacrum of legitimate examination for qualities of validity and adherence to established standards of methodological rigor, must necessarily be disregarded as unreliable and even arguably deceitful.

And the difference between what I said and what you said is.....

the difference is....

you claim that *real* peer review is good, but that any paper which has passed through the *fake* peer review that climate science papers get must necessarily be disregarded as unreliable and even arguably deceitful.

And you tell me that I got it wrong?

Quote
You leap to the unfounded conclusion that I had meant to imply - hell, that I had implied - that "the entire climate science peer review process is bad" (though the great majority of it most certainly has been corrupted in climatology, atmospheric physics, and related disciplines).

I think I see. It isn't every peer reviewed paper in climate science that's necessarily bad, just the great majority of them. And how do we tell which of them are arguably deceitful and which are not?

Quote
With the improving understanding of this corruption, and in light of the failure of the AGW hypothesis ab ovo, it is necessary - not just because the AGW fraudsters have been shown to be untrustworthy - to regard as bogus everything based upon any supposition that carbon dioxide tropospheric heat trapping is responsible for global climate change until the supporting data has been extensively re-examined with particular attention paid to those factors which degrade the accuracy of the information gathered and the validity of interpretations based thereupon.

I see! If it supports AGW which you know is wrong, then it is wrong and must be disregarded. But if it opposes AGW then it is good. Am I right about what you mean here, or did I get that wrong?
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: Tucci78 on May 14, 2011, 11:54:27 pm
you claim that *real* peer review is good, but that any paper which has passed through the *fake* peer review that climate science papers get must necessarily be disregarded as unreliable and even arguably deceitful.

And you tell me that I got it wrong?

Honestly blinded peer review works reasonably well, within its intrinsic limitations.  Review officers have their prejudices, but if the editorial staff isn't screwing the pooch too badly, the people they pick will have a track record of expertise in the pertinent area, and - as I'd mentioned - they're going to be a fair sample of the kinds of people who are gonna read the journal or attend the conference to which the manuscript is being submitted.  

What was being gotten with the machinations of the AGW pimps has been dishonest "peer review," unblinded review by complicit fellow pimps (what's mockingly called "pal review"), and the selection of review officers not to provide dispassionate evaluation of the qualities of the submitted work but rather to maintain the suppression of information which tends to disprove the AGW hypothesis.

You leap to the unfounded conclusion that I had meant to imply - hell, that I had implied - that "the entire climate science peer review process is bad" (though the great majority of it most certainly has been corrupted in climatology, atmospheric physics, and related disciplines).

I think I see. It isn't every peer reviewed paper in climate science that's necessarily bad, just the great majority of them. And how do we tell which of them are arguably deceitful and which are not?

Ceteris paribus, I'd start with the presumption that if it is based upon the AGW hypothesis, it is either intentionally deceitful or the authors have been suckered by the AGW fraud.

As I've said, the tropospheric CO2 forcing hypothesis is a failure.  Any allegation that anthropogenic atmospheric carbon dioxide might in any significant way cause any kind of effect upon the global climate or processes affected by such a climatic effect has got to be tested with the sort of honest review that such papers had been denied by virtue of the AGW pimps' influence.  

With the improving understanding of this corruption, and in light of the failure of the AGW hypothesis ab ovo, it is necessary - not just because the AGW fraudsters have been shown to be untrustworthy - to regard as bogus everything based upon any supposition that carbon dioxide tropospheric heat trapping is responsible for global climate change until the supporting data has been extensively re-examined with particular attention paid to those factors which degrade the accuracy of the information gathered and the validity of interpretations based thereupon.

I see! If it supports AGW which you know is wrong, then it is wrong and must be disregarded. But if it opposes AGW then it is good. Am I right about what you mean here, or did I get that wrong?

If it assumes (or supports) the AGW bogosity, then there's too damned much presumptive evidence that it's worthless for any honest and conscientious person to take it as "settled science."  It's escaped honest peer review, and that makes it as unreliable as a hand grenade assembled for you by somebody who wants you dead.  

I don't know if the legal expression "fruit of the poison tree" applies here in any way, but there's the same sentiment.  In clinical research and in the medical literature, I've seen lots and lots of situations in which an error (or a deceit) in a published report has come to do damage to many subsequent publications, including not only review articles, textbooks, and therapeutic guidelines but also research in the same and in associated areas of inquiry.  

Carving out such cancerous rot is troublesome, and the scale of the AGW fraud's rot in climatology and meteorology and atmospheric physics and all over the rest of science is horrendous.  Even a poetic reference to the Augean Stables understates the scale of the task.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: sam on May 15, 2011, 12:26:30 am
The climategate files give us good reason to doubt any paper that has undergone peer review, and all papers that undergo peer review.


Well, I dunno about that.  Kind of a "baby with the bathwater" thing.

We did not have widespread peer review until 1945 or so, and since 1950 or so academic science has been gravely ill.

It is a vampire baby.

Peer review is contrary to the scientific method as it was understood before 1950 or so.  At about the same time as peer review was introduced, science history was rewritten to deprecate the scientific method, or what was previously understood to be the scientific method.

Before 1947, history said that Roger Bacon did hard time for advocating the scientific method, and quoted his letter to the pope saying he was doing hard time in solitary on bread and water.

After 1947, history said that Roger Bacon was "under a form of house arrest" for advocating astrology - and primary information about the conditions of his arrest was no longer quoted in the history books or referenced in the bibliography.  In the pre 1947 version of history, the pope was suppressing science by telling scientists what to think.  In the post 1947 version of history, the pope was encouraging science by telling scientists what to think, because that is how proper science is rightly done. "Science" after 1947 is that which respectable authority tells you what is scientific.


Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: Tucci78 on May 15, 2011, 12:45:49 am
The climategate files give us good reason to doubt any paper that has undergone peer review, and all papers that undergo peer review.

Well, I dunno about that.  Kind of a "baby with the bathwater" thing.

We did not have widespread peer review until 1945 or so, and since 1950 or so academic science has been gravely ill.

It is a vampire baby.

Peer review is contrary to the scientific method as it was understood before 1950 or so.  At about the same time as peer review was introduced, science history was rewritten to deprecate the scientific method, or what was previously understood to be the scientific method.

Before 1947, history said that Roger Bacon did hard time for advocating the scientific method, and quoted his letter to the pope saying he was doing hard time in solitary on bread and water.

After 1947, history said that Roger Bacon was "under a form of house arrest" for advocating astrology - and primary information about the conditions of his arrest was no longer quoted in the history books or referenced in the bibliography.  In the pre 1947 version of history, the pope was suppressing science by telling scientists what to think.  In the post 1947 version of history, the pope was encouraging science by telling scientists what to think, because that is how proper science is rightly done. "Science" after 1947 is that respectable authority tells you what is scientific.

I had never heard of any sort of "Ministry of Truth" revision imposed upon the story of Roger Bacon, but having been raised Catholic (parochial education through the 12th Grade and then four years under the influence of the Jesuits), I can sure take it as credible.

How d'you conjure "Peer review [to be] contrary to the scientific method" in any way?

As I'd said earlier, it has always seemed to me to be a kind of extension of the editorial function. If the editorial people of a particular journal or scientific conference don't have the time or the fund of knowledge to sift effectively through a manuscript to get some idea of the method and completeness of the submission, they farm it out - by way of blinded hand-off - to somebody the editor has found to be familiar with the area of study, willing to work for free, and able to get his comments back with some kind of reliability.

In my case, I think it was mostly the "willing to work for free" feature that made me an attractive option.

Peer review doesn't prevent validation of observation and experiment by replication, does it?
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: quadibloc on May 15, 2011, 01:08:19 am
I see! If it supports AGW which you know is wrong, then it is wrong and must be disregarded. But if it opposes AGW then it is good. Am I right about what you mean here, or did I get that wrong?
He explained himself a few posts back.

The "climategate" E-mails proved that the evidence showed that temperatures were actually decreasing, but the cabal of scientists was determined to "hide the decline" at all costs.

I understood this to simply mean that caution was to be exercised in media communications to avoid sound bites that would be twisted to mislead the general public.

He understands this to mean that the scientists in a position to control what could get into the respectable journals were deliberately conspiring to manufacture a complete and brazen hoax of rising world temperatures, and carbon dioxide causing them, out of essentially nothing at all.

Of course if I know someone is out to deceive me, I will basically ignore everything he says. But while his conclusions follow logically from his premise, I find his premise incredible.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: Tucci78 on May 15, 2011, 03:20:53 am
The "climategate" E-mails proved that the evidence showed that temperatures were actually decreasing, but the cabal of scientists was determined to "hide the decline" at all costs.

I understood this to simply mean that caution was to be exercised in media communications to avoid sound bites that would be twisted to mislead the general public.

Actually, the Climategate file confirmed that the CRU e-mail correspondents had been lying about the failure of their proxy temperature indicators to conform to the heavily cherry-picked and otherwise "cooked" instrumental temperature readings in the three principal global temperature datasets, all of which had come under pimp control and had been purposefully corrupted to show alarming "hockey stick" rates of recent warming.

You are, of course, wrong in your understanding that the communications exposed in the e-mails portion of the Climategate draw were for no purpose other than refining the "messaging" among the conspirators. That was their best grab at a plausible lie when their connivances hit the 'Net, and you got suckered by it.

He understands this to mean that the scientists in a position to control what could get into the respectable journals were deliberately conspiring to manufacture a complete and brazen hoax of rising world temperatures, and carbon dioxide causing them, out of essentially nothing at all.

Not "nothing at all."  It's been acknowledged that since the end of the Little Ice Age (LIA), there has been a very slow, very steady rebound in global temperatures which has not in any way accelerated, nor does it trend likely to achieve within the next century (and more)  the temperatures prevailing during the pre-LIA Medieval Warm climate optimum, about which honest climatologists had accumulated ample well-supported and therefore convincing evidence.

It should be noted that the AGW fraudsters have lied their asses off to "blank out" the Medieval Warm and the earlier Roman Warm climate optima. 

Were it the case that global warming to the extents seen in those two well-documented climate optima could put humanity in the 21st Century at any hazard, one would think that the AGW "climatologists" would be drawing upon the historical evidence provided by these two periods of recorded human history to prove their case for the aggressive mitigation of the supposed CO2 tropospheric temperature forcing mechanism upon which their hypothesis is predicated.

But, of course, those two climate optima were actually times when planet Earth was far more hospitable to Homo sapiens than the preceding and succeeding low-temperature centuries had proven to be, not only in terms of land surface area available for habitation (the seas did not rise so as to cause great inundations), agriculture was not blighted, proportions of deaths due to contagious diseases did not increase, etc.

Insofar as the greenhouse gas effect of increasing atmospheric CO2 levels is concerned, the AGW fraudsters have also failed utterly to account for how the same proxy temperature indicators in which they've vested so much confidence have shown that during periods of the Earth's prehistory, there have been periods of much, much higher atmospheric carbon dioxode concentrations in which global temperatures were much, much lower than they had been even during the relatively recent LIA. 

If CO2 is the culprit, why the hell have things been so damned cold during times when there was a boatload more carbon dioxide in the air than another century of much-increased human petrochemicals combustion could ever come close to causing?

Then there's the fact that their computer simulations - the "models" that impress the botched and the gullible so goddam much, drawing their "hockey stick" curves - bear no real relationship to anything except the underlying assumptions built into them by the AGW fraudsters, who have enormous incentive to "keep up the skeer" in any way they can.

Feed "red noise" - Brownian random numbers - into those computer models and you get (guess what?) those same "hockey stick" graphs. 

One of the most wonderful things about those pimp-peddled computer models is that even if you close your eyes to their utter bogosity, were the entire human race to cease the combustion of petrochemicals altogether, and totalitarian government were to impose upon everyone that level of technology prevailing in Europe circa 1645, there could be no significant abatement of the warming trends those models had been "cooked" to depict

Do you get that? According to the AGW fraudsters who have you so completely, abjectly, and helplessly suckered out of your socks, even if everybody goes completely "carbon-free," the supposed catastrophe they've been banging at your ears with is going to happen anyway.

Jeez, why don't you just shoot yourself right now and be done with it?

Of course if I know someone is out to deceive me, I will basically ignore everything he says. But while his conclusions follow logically from his premise, I find his premise incredible.

The thing about scientific method that you really don't understand - and appear to be refusing to understand, just like any other True Believer - is that what you find credible or "incredible," believable or unbelievable, matters not one goddam teensy tiny bit because science has absolutely nothing to do with belief.

Really pisses off the gullible to be told that their treasured totemic fetishes (see http://tinyurl.com/2lz6yl) and rituals of sacrificial propitiation (see http://tinyurl.com/97ahk) have no beneficial effect upon the world around them, and aren't going to do anything to preserve them from their own willful stupidity.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 15, 2011, 07:25:22 am
The climategate files give us good reason to doubt any paper that has undergone peer review, and all papers that undergo peer review.


Well, I dunno about that.  Kind of a "baby with the bathwater" thing.

I didn't say that, you accidentally put my name to something Tucci said. I have no firm opinion about peer review in general.

It can be helpful -- sometimes reviewers find flaws that the original researcher missed. We can make similar arguments in favor of government, police, banks, the mafia, etc. There are circumstances where it can be argued that they can be helpful.

Is it helpful on average? Is it helpful in the important cases, the small fraction of published papers that make a big difference? I don't know, and I don't know how to find out. It is voluntary, so that's good. If you prefer to publish your paper in a journal that doesn't do peer review, you can.

I do point out that Tucci admitted my criticisms. He has evidence that he believes shows a small minority of AGW papers had improper peer review. He considers this evidence that all AGW papers which have had peer review are worthless themselves.

He claims that AGW is wrong, therefore every AGW paper must be wrong and its data must be wrong.

And he accuses various others of not understanding scientific method....
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: mellyrn on May 15, 2011, 10:08:03 am
Tucci has evidence -- the emails -- that shows the big names in AGW lied, and conspired to lie.

Why would we read any further works by, or associated with, proven liars?

If you'd like to argue that we're putting unprecedented amounts of toxins (Corexit, fission products, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, ... ) into the environment and maybe we want to pause in that, I'm with you.  But the warming?  Feh.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 15, 2011, 10:39:50 am
Tucci has evidence -- the emails -- that shows the big names in AGW lied, and conspired to lie.

Why would we read any further works by, or associated with, proven liars?

He's arguing that all peer-reviewed scientific journals that published climate science were in on the conspiracy and refused to publish work that contradicted their claims. He has not claimed that the vast majority of scientists who did climate science were faking their results.

So, if you are doing climate science and you get publishable results, do you send them to a prestigious journal? Sure, why not? If the peer review process lets you publish, do you then publish? Sure, why not? Is your work fraudulent because you published in a journal with a bad peer review process (which by assumption is true of every prestigious journal you could use)?

See the problem?

Let me make a hypothetical case. We have 100 scientific studies. 50 of them can be interpreted as implying that AGW is false. 50 of them can be interpreted as implying that AGW is true. All of them are done honestly. All of them are sent to a journal with a dishonest peer review. The 50 that oppose AGW are rejected, and the 50 that support AGW are published. Some people then claim that AGW is proven and supported by all the evidence. (But aren't the other 50 published in journals that don't do peer review? Maybe not, those don't publish everything they receive.) So far, so bad. Then Tucci comes along. He says that everything that has been published is bogus because it was published in bad journals. So out of our 100 honest scientific studies, that need careful interpretation, we have none left. Half of them got rejected for bogus reasons by bad peer review. The other half got rejected for bogus reasons by Tucci.

Tucci's reasoning is circular. He believes he knows that AGW is wrong. So he knows that any scientific study which fails to reject AGW must be bogus. And so he is unwilling to look at any evidence unless it supports his prejudice.

That is not evidence in favor of AGW. Just because there are people who are utterly prejudiced and present wrong bogus arguments, does not show that their conclusions are wrong. They could still be right by accident.

When the argument itself is wrong, that means it does not tell us about the conclusion. Lawyers have a stupid lawyer trick they play, where they say that when the other lawyer's claim is wrong it means that they must be right. It convinces stupid juries. Scientists, of course, know better. Nobody who understands scientific method would fall for that one.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: Tucci78 on May 15, 2011, 01:08:32 pm
I do point out that Tucci admitted my criticisms. He has evidence that he believes shows a small minority of AGW papers had improper peer review. He considers this evidence that all AGW papers which have had peer review are worthless themselves.

He claims that AGW is wrong, therefore every AGW paper must be wrong and its data must be wrong.

And he accuses various others of not understanding scientific method....

Who the hell said I was using "scientific method" in my assessment of the "pal reviewed" faux "scientific literature" supportive of (and derived from) the AGW hypothesis?

This is simply the same kind of deductive reasoning at the heart of the diagnostic process, which makes use of a discerned general characteristic as a screen to sort those instances in which the pursuit of definitive investigation is needed.

I haven't voiced a claim that the AGW bogosity is "wrong", but merely an observation that the hypothesis fails, and fails spectacularly.  Moreover, even if we accept the contentions of the AGW fraudsters - both the political prostitutes and the "climatologist" pimps - that their "Harry_Read_Me" worthless data files (see http://tinyurl.com/yldb9jz) and their guaranteed-to-generate-a-"hockey stick"-graph-out-of-random-"red noise"-numbers computer models are reliable, not even the complete cessation of CO2 release into the atmosphere (in other words, "hold your breath, folks!") can prevent the continuation of the awful-horrible-nasty global warming trend they're attributing to anthropogenic carbon dioxide.

Whatever warming trend the planet is likely to experience in the next couple of centuries has preponderantly to do with that big ball of fusing hydrogen 93 million miles away, and effectively damn-all to do with the combustion of petrochemical fuels.

When we speak of whatever somebody "believes" in the context of the AGW hypothesis, the belief - as in religious belief, without factual support - is entirely on the side of the people who have gotten suckered by the pimps masquerading as "climatologists" and the authoritarian goons who have leveraged this faked-up catastrophe to plunder you.

The application of real "scientific method" to the notion of anthropogenic global warming has simply not yet taken place in any of the allegedly "scientific" literature uttered by the AGW caliphate. That's the problem with it.

That's what makes it necessary to treat it, as I'd analogized, the way you would treat "a hand grenade assembled for you by somebody who wants you dead."

Oh, yeah.  You're misstating my contention.  It's not that "a small minority of AGW papers had improper peer review" but that any publication which supports the AGW hypothesis, and all those which receive the AGW hypothesis as "settled science," have got to be considered invalid ipso facto until they can be properly - honestly - reviewed and corrected.

Most of them will simply be stricken from the literature. 

And you really don't understand "scientific method" at all, do you?
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: Tucci78 on May 15, 2011, 01:48:43 pm
  He's arguing that all peer-reviewed scientific journals that published climate science were in on the conspiracy and refused to publish work that contradicted their claims. He has not claimed that the vast majority of scientists who did climate science were faking their results.

So, if you are doing climate science and you get publishable results, do you send them to a prestigious journal? Sure, why not? If the peer review process lets you publish, do you then publish? Sure, why not? Is your work fraudulent because you published in a journal with a bad peer review process (which by assumption is true of every prestigious journal you could use)?

See the problem?

Let me make a hypothetical case. We have 100 scientific studies. 50 of them can be interpreted as implying that AGW is false. 50 of them can be interpreted as implying that AGW is true. All of them are done honestly. All of them are sent to a journal with a dishonest peer review. The 50 that oppose AGW are rejected, and the 50 that support AGW are published. Some people then claim that AGW is proven and supported by all the evidence. (But aren't the other 50 published in journals that don't do peer review? Maybe not, those don't publish everything they receive.) So far, so bad. Then Tucci comes along. He says that everything that has been published is bogus because it was published in bad journals. So out of our 100 honest scientific studies, that need careful interpretation, we have none left. Half of them got rejected for bogus reasons by bad peer review. The other half got rejected for bogus reasons [according to] Tucci.

Tucci's reasoning is circular. He believes he knows that AGW is wrong. So he knows that any scientific study which fails to reject AGW must be bogus. And so he is unwilling to look at any evidence unless it supports his prejudice.

You really, really don't get it, do you? Moreover, you insist - and I'm beginning to think that the descriptor "psychopathically" is becoming increasingly useful in characterizing your insistence - that what someone "believes" matters one goddam little bit about the implementation of scientific method.

What I know is that the burden of proof - especially in light of the extraordinary contentions being foisted by the AGW hoaxers - is on the people who advance the assertion, and that the people pushing the AGW fraud have failed to support that burden. 

They have, in fact, not only evaded that obligation but - as the Climategate CRU communications confirmed beyond any doubt - they have systematically combined (the word "conspired" enters here) to coordinate a deliberate evasion of professional responsibility.  Nothing they have done in the past couple of decades could possibly be excused as an inadvertency, an honest mistake, a simple blunder.

I'd welcome Counselor Sandfort's professional opinion as to whether or not this indicates criminal mens rea on the part of the "climatologists" guilty of this concerted breach of professional ethics. Inasmuch as their grant applications - for billions of currency units ripped off from taxpayers all over the globe - were predicated on knowing lies, it's not unreasonable to consider theft of value by fraud as among their crimes.

That is not evidence in favor of AGW. Just because there are people who are utterly prejudiced and present wrong bogus arguments, does not show that their conclusions are wrong. They could still be right by accident.

Whee! So that's your whole grasping-at-the-very-last-straw fumble to keep the AGW fraud going?  "They could still be right by accident"?

The authoritarian politicians, their bankster "carbon exchange" bagmen, the "climatologist" con artists - all of these and more are imposing aggressive violent force upon every innocent person they can get their claws into, and you're now saying that us victims should shut up and let them do it to us because "They could still be right by accident."   

Okay.  J Thomas, I herewith declare - on the basis of no investigation whatsoever, without evidence that can be examined by anyone, on the basis of my own "data," processed by way of methods I refuse to disclose - that you are an ambidextrous albino with achondroplastic dwarfism, allergic to certain exotic tropical plants, sexually fixated upon barnyard fowl (with a leather fetish thrown in, just for giggles), a staunch Republican, and a life member of the John Birch Society.

What the hell. I "could still be right by accident," couldn't I?
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 15, 2011, 02:44:19 pm

Quote
Tucci's reasoning is circular. He believes he knows that AGW is wrong. So he knows that any scientific study which fails to reject AGW must be bogus. And so he is unwilling to look at any evidence unless it supports his prejudice.


Quote
What I know is that the burden of proof - especially in light of the extraordinary contentions being foisted by the AGW hoaxers - is on the people who advance the assertion, and that the people pushing the AGW fraud have failed to support that burden. 

See, what you are doing here is not scientific method but something else. "Burden of proof" is not about science. Science is about testing hypotheses and noting evidence which is compatible with them or which is not compatible with them. In general hypotheses cannot be proven and the "burden of proof" is not on anybody to prove them.

That is not evidence in favor of AGW. Just because there are people who are utterly prejudiced and present wrong bogus arguments, does not show that their conclusions are wrong. They could still be right by accident.


Whee! So that's your whole grasping-at-the-very-last-straw fumble to keep the AGW fraud going?  "They could still be right by accident"?

No, you didn't read carefully. I'm saying that just because you present bogus arguments that no sensible person could accept, that is not evidence that AGW is right. Despite your failings in logic etc, you could still be right by accident.

Someone can make a confused wrong argument in favor of democracy, or AnCap, or national socialism, or whatever, and their failed argument does not tell us much at all about whether democracy, AnCap, national socialism etc are themselves wrong. Ideas stand or fall independent of their worst proponents.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: Tucci78 on May 15, 2011, 03:25:57 pm
Tucci's reasoning is circular. He believes he knows that AGW is wrong. So he knows that any scientific study which fails to reject AGW must be bogus. And so he is unwilling to look at any evidence unless it supports his prejudice.

What I know is that the burden of proof - especially in light of the extraordinary contentions being foisted by the AGW hoaxers - is on the people who advance the assertion, and that the people pushing the AGW fraud have failed to support that burden.

See, what you are doing here is not scientific method but something else. "Burden of proof" is not about science. Science is about testing hypotheses and noting evidence which is compatible with them or which is not compatible with them. In general hypotheses cannot be proven and the "burden of proof" is not on anybody to prove them.

"Burden of proof" is about reasoned argument in general. "Science" is indeed "about testing hypotheses" to establish whether they explain observed phenomena and provide reliable prescriptive guidance for future action, but the presentation of scientific investigation comes within the context of reasoned argument in order that it influence purposeful human action.

If there is adherence to "scientific method," it is likely that the testing of the hypothesis in question will provide valid, reproducible, reliable support for the explanation of the physical universe which the hypothesis was devised to deliver.  Willful and deceitful evasion of scientific method is a powerful presumptive indicator that the hypothesis has not been tested, and therefore has no assurance of reliability.

The argument to which the "Burden of proof" issue pertains here is not only whether or not the AGW hypothesis is valid (although because there has been a deliberate, systematic evasion of scientific method throughout the course of the AGW pimps' simulation of professional integrity, there is no reason whatsoever for anyone to assume that the alleged validity of this explanation for global climatic warming is in any sense genuine) but also whether the policy recommendations - and aggressively violent plundering political assaults upon individual human beings' rights - derived from the fraudulent AGW "catastrophe" caterwauling are in any way justified by the snake-oil "science" of the AGW cabal.

The actions to which people are being forced in the pursuit of "reducing mankind's carbon footprint" are glaringly devoid of support.  The "Burden of proof" pertains to those measures, which are far, far more pernicious, more costly, more destructive of human life and well-being than are the AGW pimps' peculations in their fraudulent government grant funding applications.

That is not evidence in favor of AGW. Just because there are people who are utterly prejudiced and present wrong bogus arguments, does not show that their conclusions are wrong. They could still be right by accident.

Whee! So that's your whole grasping-at-the-very-last-straw fumble to keep the AGW fraud going?  "They could still be right by accident"?

No, you didn't read carefully. I'm saying that just because you present bogus arguments that no sensible person could accept, that is not evidence that AGW is right. Despite your failings in logic etc, you could still be right by accident.

Someone can make a confused wrong argument in favor of democracy, or AnCap, or national socialism, or whatever, and their failed argument does not tell us much at all about whether democracy, AnCap, national socialism etc are themselves wrong. Ideas stand or fall independent of their worst proponents.

Hm.  Not only ambidextrous and albino, but also obtuse, ain'tcha? Isn't this the vaunted "Nurmee-Nurmee-Nurmee-I'm-not-listening!" defense?

Could you please explain your reasoning why the government thugs' desired shut-down of industrial civilization should be meekly received by honest human beings by virtue of your sole remaining argument, that the AGW fraudsters "could still be right by accident"?

Do you bring your sick and vomiting child to the doctor and hope that he'll come up with a diagnosis and treatment "by accident"?

Well, hell. I think it's safe to bet that you would.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: sam on May 15, 2011, 03:57:24 pm
He's arguing that all peer-reviewed scientific journals that published climate science were in on the conspiracy and refused to publish work that contradicted their claims.

In the climategate files, we have insider information as to how peer review worked in practice.

We also know that each of the journals violated their own rules in publishing climate science papers.  The major way that they violated their own rules is that most of them had rules that all data required for the paper's conclusions be made available, if not in the paper itself.  This rule is not enforced in climate science, nor in any political area of science, and every day more and more of science becomes political, though geology and astronomy are still mostly OK.

Peer review, in practice, means that if you rock the boat, you get in trouble.  So no one rocks the boat.  Since peer review was implemented in the late forties, early fifties, science has become very like professional wrestling.  If you deviate from the kayfabe, you upset everyone you are dealing with and are apt to become unemployed.  It is a conspiracy in the way and to the extent that professional wrestling is a conspiracy.  The truth is not altogether hidden, but is somewhat plausibly deniable.  Kayfabrication is not centrally planned by a handful of conspirators sitting around a coffee table, but certain people have a lot more influence on the kayfabe than other people - and the number of people whose influence is predominant on any major part of the story line is small enough to sit around a coffee table and feel each other's breath.

The era of rapid progress in science seems to have ended at roughly the time that peer review came to be widely applied, though technology continues to advance rapidly.  Lately, however, much of that technological advance has been coming from outside the west, for example e-ink which enabled asians to create the kindle and similar devices, and blue light semiconductor lasers, which make DVDs possible.

He has not claimed that the vast majority of scientists who did climate science were faking their results.

Some of the people whose writings appear in the climate gate files were faking their results in the sense of adding ad hoc "corrections" to make the answers come out right.  Everyone whose writings appears in the climategate files was, if not faking their results, cherry picking their results, for example selecting certain trees and not others as indications of past temperatures.  They did not simply make up their results, but of a very large number of trees cored, they found a few trees whose cores told the story they wanted to tell, and ignored the vast majority of trees whose cores contradicted the story they wanted to tell.

So, if you are doing climate science and you get publishable results, do you send them to a prestigious journal? Sure, why not?

If your results disagree with the kayfabe, they will not be published.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: Tucci78 on May 16, 2011, 09:33:38 am
So, if you are doing climate science and you get publishable results, do you send them to a prestigious journal? Sure, why not?

If your results disagree with the kayfabe, they will not be published.

Well, that's about the single most economical way of effectively describing the situation I've yet read.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: SandySandfort on May 17, 2011, 09:34:47 am
Once more time, with feeling!

Okay, I am temporarily free from fighting fires. I am going to revisit the slip-and-fall limited liability scenario. Now, with more details!

The following is a simplified version of the situation I wrote before. I have added stipulations to get past all of the “what ifs” so that we can focus on the underlying principles of arbitration of liability in a market anarchy like that of the Belt in EFT.

At the end, I will ask you to post how you would decide the case (“I'm not an arbiter, but I play one in EFT”) and explain the your thinking (“show your work”) in terms of the ZAP, law, equity or whatever theory of dispute resolution you think is dispositive of the issues in the case. If you think the facts and stipulations still need further clarification, please do NOT spin off into “what if” land. Just ask a specific question and I will answer it, okay?

Here we go:

Let's use a farmers co-op as an example. The co-op is a group of 100 farmers who have entered into an agreement to act as a single business entity. They have adopted the joint stock company as their business model. Each of the farmers buys shares in the co-op. The reason they joined together is because they want to eliminate the middlemen--food brokers and grocery store owners--to increase their profits from the sale of their agricultural products. So they create the "Farmer Co-op, Limited" (Co-op). The Co-op will buy trucks to distribute its products to its own grocery stores.

All fine and well, but what if there is a slip-and-fall in one of their stores? Without some limitation on liability, all the farmers could be jointly and severally liable for a huge judgment against them. That means a judgment creditor can sue and collect from any farmer he chooses. So before going into business, the farmers decide to limit their liability by adding the word “limited” to the company name and by prominently posting a sign outside each Co-op store that says, "The Farmer Co-op, Limited, hereby puts you on notice that by entering these premises, you agree that any judgment arising from any accident in the store due to the negligence or willful act of Farmer Direct employees will be limited to the assets of the Co-op and that the individual shareholders of the Co-op may not be held individually liable."

A little old lady (LOL) shopper slips on some liquid spilled on the floor by Bobby, a stocker, employed by the  employees, who then didn't bother to clean it up. She sues everyone and his brother in arbitration. She sues Bobby, the Co-op, farmers 1-100 and their heirs and assign. She sues their dog.

LOL, Co-op, all 100 farmers and Bobby enter into binding arbitration. The parties agree to the following stipulations:

+ There was no contributory negligence on the part of the LOL

+ Bobby was negligent

+ No other store employee were liable

+ LOL's injuries amounted to $2,000,000

+ Co-op net worth is $1,000,000

+ The farmers have individual net worths ranging from $1000 to $1,000,000

+ Bobby's net worth is $1,000

+ This is the first act of negligence committed by Bobby

+ Bobby had a positive background check

+ Bobby and all employees were given customer safety classes

+ The Co-op had never had any customer accident before

+ LOL saw, read and understood Co-op's notice of limited liability

In arbitration LOL argues common law respondiat superior “the master is liable for the torts of the servant.”

Co-op argues limited liability by notice and, therefore assumption of the risk.

LOL argues that in equity, there are limitations on what an owner may do to an invitee. By being open to the public the Co-op implicitly cedes certain rights, including the right to limit its liability.

Assuming you are the arbiter in this case, what liability would you find, in each of the defendants, Bobby, Co-op, Farmers? Upon what principles and what reasoning do you base your decision?

I am vary curious to see if a consensus emerges or if your responses are all over the landscape. I'm pretty sure I know what the commies would decide, but I am not sure about the rest of you.

Okay, have at it.

Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: spudit on May 17, 2011, 11:00:54 am
A quick one but someone has to be first.

I assume the store or coop have no insurance against such an action. Also, that there are no legal firewalls between coop and store.

First the arbiter gets the scale right; removes the emotional aspect. What are her real damages, an ER visit or a life changing broken hip? Sure add the emotional trauma in later as needed but do it to scale.

Did she see the note, can that be proven?

Was there an intent to harm?

Bottom line from me. Understand the physical damages by medical records. Understand how it happened by interviews. By all means fix the injury, fire the clerk, give her just enough to go away.

No one will be very happy but they will be happy enough. LOL wants more, the coop wants to pay less and Bobby is out a job. So be it.

More from others coming I am sure.

 
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: Ike on May 17, 2011, 12:06:55 pm
I agree that, in a 'market anarchy' - charming phrase by the way - there are no methods of limiting liability because such limitations require a government fiat creating such limitations. 

A lot of doubter say that, without any support, yet don't seem to be able to address my quite realistic, co-op, slip-and-fall, limited liability disclaimer, arbitration scenario. Care to give it a shot? Who wins, plaintiff or defendant, and why?

Let me re-state the facts in your hypothetical, to be certain I have them correctly in mind.  We're assuming a legal context in which there are no forms of business organization legally recognized which limit the legal liability of a business' owner(s) for any civil claim for damages.  Factuall, a farmers' cooperative is seeking a means to limit their liability and attempt to do so by simply posting notices at the entrances and various palces within limiting their liability.  Someone enters to shop or conduct other business and slips on something and falls, and are thereby injured.  They file in an arbitration-style court and the question is who wins and why.

First issue:  in an AnCap society, from what source do legal causes of action arise?  There cannot be, by definition, any statutory causes of action as there is no authority to issue such a statute.  So, from 'common law' sources.  Whose?  English?  Spanish? American?  I don't know enough about Spanish 'common law' - and in fact am uncertain that there is any such thing in those countries whose legal systems derive from that of Imperial Spain - so I won't assume that is their source.  We're left with English and/or American, if we're to talk about legal systems with which we are likely to have a common knowledge and understanding.  In American common law, each state has its own separate body of such law.  (I acknowledge that the Federal judiciary currently claims with great frequency to be deciding cases consonant with a 'common law of the nation', but that is pure sophistry; and an entirely different discussion.)  In nearly none of those states was there any common law right of action for a slip and fall whose cause was alleged to have been an act of negligence on the part of the property owner or his agents. (I say, "nearly", because I have not researched all the states, but in the course of my work have researched some twelve states' laws on that issue; thank Bog for computer searches, eh?)  In every state (other than Louisiana whose predicate legal system was the Napoleonic Code), such causes of action for negligence were either created by statute or invented by an appeals court when faced with a sympathetic plaintiff whose lawyers failed to plead alternative causes of action and who would have therefore lost on appeal, but for the court's invention.

Therefore the answer to your question would depend upon whether - and how - an AnCap society's legal system would come to a cause of action for negligence.   Assuming that there is no cause of action for the slip and fall caused by defendant's negligence, plaintiff loses because there is no legally cognizable cause of action for their loss.  I would take the position that causes of action for damages caused by negligence would not exist in the hypothesized system, because they are not a part of the 'common law' causes of action, all of which require an intentional act by a defendant or her agent in order to sue and recover.  Only by assuming that there is such a cause of action, then we can get to the issue of whether defendant's unilateral claim by declaration to limited liability can be a defense.

Second issue:  can a defendant in a suit for personal injury assert a defense of limited liability under these facts?  In order to do so, the asserted defense must somehow bar plaintiff's recovery, in whole or in part.  Given the absence of any statutory limited liability defense, can a unilateral assertion of no or limited liability succeed?  For the plaintiff:  Your assertion that simply by posting notices, any potential plaintiff assumes for herself the risk of being negligently injured, doesn't prove the point, but only re-states the issue.  I say that because of the notion referred to in slang as "adhesion contracts", which stands for the notion that some contractual provisions benefiting a large company against an individual ought not stand up in court because the individual has little or no practical choice, if he desires the company's services or product, than to accept the highly disfavorable terms.  Not a perfect fit, but the notion remains that it 'just isn't right'.  Furthermore, that argument relies upon the existance of an implied contract between a customer and the  Co-Op, the terms of which may be unilaterally amended by the Co-Op by posting the notices and a customer entering the store counting as acceptance of the amendment.  For the defendant:  the owner(s) of a business may set any terms and conditions for the purchase and use of their products and/or services as they choose.  So long as a potential customer knows what those terms and conditions are - in this case - prior to entering onto the premises of the Co-Op, then the defendants must win if their notice is sufficient to apprise the potential customer of those terms and conditions.  (I deliberately avoid issues about languages, literacy of the plaintiff and sufficiency of the notice.  This post is too long already.)

Defendants win, because no cause of action for negligent infliction of personal injuries can exist in the hypothesized society.

Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: mellyrn on May 17, 2011, 01:00:07 pm
This arbitrator would assign Bobby to work for LOL (for how long & such, I'd need way more background info on this particular community).  Personally, I think the matter is solely between LOL and Bobby anyway.  If there were some way for an employer to guarantee excellence in every employee, then I'd think the coop owed something, but there isn't, so they don't -- since this is a first offense and the employees do get safety training, coop has done what it could.

If it were my coop, though, I'd have offered to help from the first, as good community relations.

Further, this arbitrator wants to know why LOL chose suing everybody as her first move, rather than going to the coop seeking help and trying to work something out.  If I thought there was some reason why the coop should be involved -- maybe, Why did no other employee clean the spill? -- I'd find out what the coop would have offered, had they been approached for help, and then award half that to LOL.

I don't give a rap about anyone's common law.  What I'm interested in is what will encourage community good will and cooperation and what will drive wedges and create resentments.  Shit happens.  Simply being alive means some assumption of risk of that shit, so right off the bat I don't see that LOL is entitled to have all her loss made good (though it could all be made good if the giver so wished).  Awarding only half of what the coop would have provided if they'd been approached cooperatively:  that's to encourage future mutual good will practices and to discourage future looting-by-lawsuit.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: Ike on May 17, 2011, 01:14:34 pm
I don't give a rap about anyone's common law.  What I'm interested in is what will encourage community good will and cooperation and what will drive wedges and create resentments.  Shit happens.  Simply being alive means some assumption of risk of that shit, so right off the bat I don't see that LOL is entitled to have all her loss made good (though it could all be made good if the giver so wished).  Awarding only half of what the coop would have provided if they'd been approached cooperatively:  that's to encourage future mutual good will practices and to discourage future looting-by-lawsuit.

First, this would be a civil action, not a criminal action, so there is no 'offense'.  Second, '...what will encourage community good will and cooperation...' would, in the hypothesized society, arise over time, in the form of .. a common law, which is nothing more nor less than the net result of many years of judicial decisions - yes and jury verdicts as well - by folks who are trying to reach just such a result as community good will and cooperation.  Societies which, in real life, have attempted to compel good will and cooperation or impose some ruling group's notions of what constitutes those things have failed miserably in their attempts.  It is my understanding that we're discussing the methods by which a fair and just society might be arrived at; the process, not the end result.  Too bad that you choose to ignore the results of hundreds of years of the trial and error struggles of people trying to reach the goal we all seek.  They didn't always decide from the 'best' motives and were not always deciding 'impartially', but over time, in a free society, the best wins out.  Attempts to impose someone's - or some group's - notions of good will and cooperation will, inevitably and in the very acts necessary to impose them, drive wedges and create resentments between groups of people.  More specifically, between those who get to decide and those who are imposed upon by the decisions.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 17, 2011, 01:17:06 pm

Let's use a farmers co-op as an example. The co-op is a group of 100 farmers who have entered into an agreement to act as a single business entity. They have adopted the joint stock company as their business model. Each of the farmers buys shares in the co-op. The reason they joined together is because they want to eliminate the middlemen--food brokers and grocery store owners--to increase their profits from the sale of their agricultural products. So they create the "Farmer Co-op, Limited" (Co-op). The Co-op will buy trucks to distribute its products to its own grocery stores.

.... the farmers decide to limit their liability by adding the word “limited” to the company name and by prominently posting a sign outside each Co-op store that says, "The Farmer Co-op, Limited, hereby puts you on notice that by entering these premises, you agree that any judgment arising from any accident in the store due to the negligence or willful act of Farmer Direct employees will be limited to the assets of the Co-op and that the individual shareholders of the Co-op may not be held individually liable."

A little old lady (LOL) shopper slips on some liquid spilled on the floor by Bobby, a stocker, employed by the  employees, who then didn't bother to clean it up. She sues everyone and his brother in arbitration. She sues Bobby, the Co-op, farmers 1-100 and their heirs and assign. She sues their dog.

LOL, Co-op, all 100 farmers and Bobby enter into binding arbitration. The parties agree to the following stipulations:

+ There was no contributory negligence on the part of the LOL

+ Bobby was negligent

+ No other store employee were liable

+ LOL's injuries amounted to $2,000,000

+ Co-op net worth is $1,000,000

+ The farmers have individual net worths ranging from $1000 to $1,000,000

+ Bobby's net worth is $1,000

+ This is the first act of negligence committed by Bobby

+ Bobby had a positive background check

+ Bobby and all employees were given customer safety classes

+ The Co-op had never had any customer accident before

+ LOL saw, read and understood Co-op's notice of limited liability

What is LOL's net worth?

How much of the care for LOL's injuries has already been spent? Like, there could be some immediate emergency care which was provided, and with her condition stabilised she could need considerable work to be made whole, or some increased expense to survive in a crippled state.

What is LOL's expected future lifetime earnings?

What is Bobby's expected future lifetime earnings?

How much capital does Bobby need to function? (Like, to keep a job he needs presentable clothing, maybe a computer or equivalent, a cellphone or equivalent, money for transportation? etc. It might be counterproductive to take the money he needs to make money with. If his only bankrupt choice is a barracks bunk at the pig farm, but by keeping control of a little money he could make much more, that's worth paying attention to.)
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 17, 2011, 01:34:38 pm
This arbitrator would assign Bobby to work for LOL (for how long & such, I'd need way more background info on this particular community).

That seems like a good thing to do, assuming that Bobby looks like an honest, conscientious worker. If he is undependable then it is not at all appropriate to tell LOL she has to let him into her home. Particularly if she is crippled due to his action, it might be unreasonable for her to be dependent on his assistance for her survival, unless she trusts him.

It might make more sense for him to get some other job and pay part of his income to her, than to maintain lots of close personal contact. Or it might work out fine for him to become her personal assistant. It depends.

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If it were my coop, though, I'd have offered to help from the first, as good community relations.

Agreed! Though if LOL says she'll take whatever is offered and then sue for whatever I'm worth, that would give me pause.

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Further, this arbitrator wants to know why LOL chose suing everybody as her first move, rather than going to the coop seeking help and trying to work something out.

Good question. One obvious answer -- if she knows that she needs $2 million and she knows the co-op only has $1 million, then she needs another $1 million and she has no obvious way to get it. It's kind of understandable that a woman who in one second goes from perfectly functional to a crippled little ball of pain, might be ready to do almost anything. Not necessarily moral or ethical or legal or practical, but understandable.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: SandySandfort on May 17, 2011, 01:43:21 pm
I assume the store or coop have no insurance against such an action. Also, that there are no legal firewalls between coop and store.

Correct. This scenario isn't about how one mitigates damages, but rather about limiting liability in a market anarchy.

First the arbiter gets the scale right; removes the emotional aspect. What are her real damages, an ER visit or a life changing broken hip? Sure add the emotional trauma in later as needed but do it to scale.

Did she see the note, can that be proven?

Was there an intent to harm?

This questions are irrelevant to the arbiter. He has been handed a list of stipulations to which the parties have agreed. Those stipulations cover, or obviate the need for, the answers to your questions and concerns.

Thanks for playing (and especially for going first).
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 17, 2011, 01:54:32 pm

What are her real damages, an ER visit or a life changing broken hip?

That's a good question.

"+ LOL's injuries amounted to $2,000,000"

I would guess this involves expenses that must be paid to someone, that some of the work has been done but not yet paid for while other of it has not been done, and that all of it is necessary to avoid serious adverse consequences. (It does not include rejuvenation to make her physiologically 15 and beautiful, for example.) Details on this beyond my assumptions could make some sort of difference.

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Did she see the note, can that be proven?

She said she did.

"+ LOL saw, read and understood Co-op's notice of limited liability"

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Was there an intent to harm?

It would make a big difference if there was intent to harm, wouldn't it? But nobody has mentioned the possibility so far. All have agreed that Bobby was negligent, and no one has suggested that anyone was malevolent.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: SandySandfort on May 17, 2011, 02:08:54 pm
I agree that, in a 'market anarchy' - charming phrase by the way - there are no methods of limiting liability because such limitations require a government fiat creating such limitations. 

(... lots of pretty good analysis)

Defendants win, because no cause of action for negligent infliction of personal injuries can exist in the hypothesized society.

The cause of action is tort. Essentially all legal systems recognize the concept of tort. However, this scenario contemplates it arising out of the Anglo-American common law.

Why Anglo-American common law? When the US started up, it had essentially no history of its own of dispute resolution. However, there was a rich history, stretching back centuries, of dispute resolution from England. Rather than making every case in the new land a "case of first instance," the accumulated wisdom of the English common law was adopted, whole cloth. Of course, the American common law grew and mutated over the years, but the basic wisdom is literally hundreds of years old.

In EFT, a similar situation obtained. Once humans were beyond the direct control of Terran government, they still had disputes that needed to be resolved. The most peaceful, therefore least wasteful, was adjudication by arbitration. You might win, you might lose, but you don't have to fight.

Being a frontier, the only history of dispute resolution is what you brought with you from home. Early adopters were disproportionately Americans or other Anglophones, so that meant Anglo-American common law.

Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: SandySandfort on May 17, 2011, 02:18:40 pm
This arbitrator would assign Bobby to work for LOL (for how long & such, I'd need way more background info on this particular community).  Personally, I think the matter is solely between LOL and Bobby anyway.  If there were some way for an employer to guarantee excellence in every employee, then I'd think the coop owed something, but there isn't, so they don't -- since this is a first offense and the employees do get safety training, coop has done what it could.

If it were my coop, though, I'd have offered to help from the first, as good community relations.

Agreed, but not relevant to the arbitration, assuming the stipulations and the common law.

I don't give a rap about anyone's common law.  What I'm interested in is what will encourage community good will and cooperation and what will drive wedges and create resentments.

Of course, but one of the best ways to do that over the long term is for people to have some idea which things will fly and which ones won't. Not every case has to be a case of first instance to be argued to death from square one. To have this sort of predictability it is useful to have a set of precedents to provide general guidelines. I.e., the common law in this case.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: SandySandfort on May 17, 2011, 02:34:04 pm
What is LOL's net worth?

How much of the care for LOL's injuries has already been spent? Like, there could be some immediate emergency care which was provided, and with her condition stabilised she could need considerable work to be made whole, or some increased expense to survive in a crippled state.

What is LOL's expected future lifetime earnings?

What is Bobby's expected future lifetime earnings?

How much capital does Bobby need to function? (Like, to keep a job he needs presentable clothing, maybe a computer or equivalent, a cellphone or equivalent, money for transportation? etc. It might be counterproductive to take the money he needs to make money with. If his only bankrupt choice is a barracks bunk at the pig farm, but by keeping control of a little money he could make much more, that's worth paying attention to.)

All of your questions are irrelevant to the determination of liability, the only issue in this scenario. All of the relevant money issues (and then some) are stipulated. The questions you ask that address need are totally irrelevant to the issue of liability. Some of your questions about damages could be addressed, but none of them have any relevance to liability. What we do about Bobby cannot be addressed until after we have determined the liability question. So, if you intend to provide your judgment as the arbiter, first you must allocate liability, then assign damages, if you want.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 17, 2011, 03:37:44 pm
What is LOL's net worth?

How much of the care for LOL's injuries has already been spent? Like, there could be some immediate emergency care which was provided, and with her condition stabilised she could need considerable work to be made whole, or some increased expense to survive in a crippled state.

What is LOL's expected future lifetime earnings?

What is Bobby's expected future lifetime earnings?

How much capital does Bobby need to function? (Like, to keep a job he needs presentable clothing, maybe a computer or equivalent, a cellphone or equivalent, money for transportation? etc. It might be counterproductive to take the money he needs to make money with. If his only bankrupt choice is a barracks bunk at the pig farm, but by keeping control of a little money he could make much more, that's worth paying attention to.)

All of your questions are irrelevant to the determination of liability, the only issue in this scenario. All of the relevant money issues (and then some) are stipulated. The questions you ask that address need are totally irrelevant to the issue of liability. Some of your questions about damages could be addressed, but none of them have any relevance to liability. What we do about Bobby cannot be addressed until after we have determined the liability question. So, if you intend to provide your judgment as the arbiter, first you must allocate liability, then assign damages, if you want.

No. As arbiter, I get to ask any questions I want to ask, before I decide anything. I say these make a difference to me in dealing with the situation, and I want to know about them.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: SandySandfort on May 17, 2011, 04:20:01 pm
No. As arbiter, I get to ask any questions I want to ask, before I decide anything. I say these make a difference to me in dealing with the situation, and I want to know about them.

Arbiters are consultants hired by the parties. It is the parties who get to decide what they want arbitrated. In this case it is liability. After you ask your questions, the parties can stipulate that they are not relevant to liability. If you insist on proposing looking at ability to pay and the rigging of outcomes, they fire you and hire someone who provide the serve for which they contracted. The questioned asked was who is liable, not who has a greater need or who has deeper pockets. Obviously, I think there is sufficient information to make an appropriate assessment of liability. Ike (or was it Spudit) and Mellyrn seem to agree. I am confident that others will too. At this point, the scenario has nothing to do with what the loser in arbitration has to give to the winner. At this point, all that is being asked is who does or does not have liability and why.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 17, 2011, 04:56:16 pm
No. As arbiter, I get to ask any questions I want to ask, before I decide anything. I say these make a difference to me in dealing with the situation, and I want to know about them.

Arbiters are consultants hired by the parties. It is the parties who get to decide what they want arbitrated. In this case it is liability. After you ask your questions, the parties can stipulate that they are not relevant to liability. If you insist on proposing looking at ability to pay and the rigging of outcomes, they fire you and hire someone who provide the serve for which they contracted.

Well, if either party gets to fire an arbitrator because they suspect he's heading a direction they don't like, then that will be an interesting system. Do you propose that system? How about if either party can fire the arbitrator after they hear his result?

If both parties agree to fire me, then as far as I'm concerned the problem is now solved from my point of view.


Quote
Obviously, I think there is sufficient information to make an appropriate assessment of liability.

Obviously you do. But you asked me to arbitrate, and you said I could ask questions, and now you refuse to answer them. You are a bad client.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: mellyrn on May 17, 2011, 05:30:26 pm
Quote
Quote
from: mellyrn on Today at 12:00:07 PM
I don't give a rap about anyone's common law.  What I'm interested in is what will encourage community good will and cooperation and what will drive wedges and create resentments.

Of course, but one of the best ways to do that over the long term is for people to have some idea which things will fly and which ones won't. Not every case has to be a case of first instance to be argued to death from square one. To have this sort of predictability it is useful to have a set of precedents to provide general guidelines. I.e., the common law in this case.

I.e., I need to know the community.  Of course.

Limiting myself to the list presented, I rule for the coop.  I doubt I'll be asked to be arbiter again, but given the safety training, the background check, and the up-till-now clean record, I don't see much difference between LOL falling in the puddle in the store and LOL falling in a puddle on no-man's-land.  Just because the coop has money (the way an unowned piece of something would not) does not -- on my planet -- create liability in and of itself.  If "common law" says that it does, get a different arbiter:  this one thinks that stinks.

Quote
Too bad that you choose to ignore the results of hundreds of years of the trial and error struggles of people trying to reach the goal we all seek.

Too bad you choose to hold today's people hostage to the baggage of the past.

In point of fact, I quite understand you:  today's people have been shaped by their past.  There's no way I could possibly serve my fellows well without knowing something of where we all came from (including me).  That said, the funny-peculiar terminology, for example (evidently from your post the word "offense" is a technical term belonging to "criminal" cases but not "civil" ones) will only matter to lawyers; the farmers won't care, Bobby won't care, LOL won't care if I speak of Bobby's error as an "offense" or not.  And I don't care if "offense" as a technical term stems from English common law or Spanish or Martian.  I don't care if it's a "tort" or a tortoise.  LOL wants her dreadful bills paid by someone other than herself.  Given the agreed-on list, all I can offer is Bobby's services, at most, keeping her personal sidewalk clear for a year.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: SandySandfort on May 17, 2011, 07:30:29 pm
If both parties agree to fire me, then as far as I'm concerned the problem is now solved from my point of view.

Though not resolved from the point of view of your clients. My guess is that the market would see to it that you had an early retirement.

Do you see what I mean, J Thomas? You always try to stretch things so far out of shape that there is no relevance to the real world. If I wanted to be a professional arbitrator, I would seek to demonstrate in word and deed that I am a sober, rational and learned person. I would listen to my clients, so that I could provide the best service possible. If people came to me with a simple case that turned on whether or not a declaration of limited liability should confer liability or not, I would not go off hunting for dandruff or left-handed, albino pygmies.

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Obviously, I think there is sufficient information to make an appropriate assessment of liability.

Obviously you do. But you asked me to arbitrate, and you said I could ask questions, and now you refuse to answer them. You are a bad client.

I answered them, but I am not the client. And anywhere but in your rich fantasy world, the clients would be right. So, the clients have all stipulated that your questions are irrelevant. You could ask one of the farmers the color of their undies, and claim it is relevant, but that does not make it so.

As to anyone being a bad client, have you never heard the business admonition, "The customer is always right"? Which leads to a semi-relevant question. Have you any experience running a real business (i.e., not just calling yourself a consultant, but with employees, offices, marketing, etc.) or have you primarily been a wage slave. I would guess the latter.

Now, I have responded to your questions, i.e., they are not relevant. I have a question for you. Why do you consider your questions relevant? The answer to which question would materially alter the determination of liability, the primary question the clients have hired you to determined?  You start with your first question. What possible relevance would the LOL's net worth have to do with the issue of liability? I am quite intelligent and yet can think of no plausible reason why her net worth would have on the question of liability, the question of liability, the question of liability, the only reason I created the scenario in the first place, the question of limitation of liability in a market anarchy like the Belt.

Again, if you can explain how your questions speak to the issue of liability, I would be happy to answer them, but I am pretty sure that is impossible for you to do.

POP QUIZ: What is the primary concept at issue in this arbitration scenario?
1. Liability
2. Damages
3. Need
4. Depth of pockets
5. Dandruff

Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: mellyrn on May 17, 2011, 08:02:06 pm
I'm thinking that the coop has no liability in this case because it had no power to do anything differently than it had done.  No power --> no blame; no blame --> no liability.  ?
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 17, 2011, 09:41:10 pm

Quote
Obviously, I think there is sufficient information to make an appropriate assessment of liability.

Obviously you do. But you asked me to arbitrate, and you said I could ask questions, and now you refuse to answer them. You are a bad client.

I answered them, but I am not the client.

Sv. Sandfort, that is correct. You are not the client. You came into my courtroom, on my property, and told me the order I must proceed on my case. You told me questions I was not allowed to ask, and told my clients not to answer them -- apparently based on your guess as to my purposes. You advised my clients to fire me.

You are way out of line.

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And anywhere but in your rich fantasy world, the clients would be right. So, the clients have all stipulated that your questions are irrelevant. You could ask one of the farmers the color of their undies, and claim it is relevant, but that does not make it so.

My responsibility is to find the best solution I can for my clients' problem. It is not necessary that my first action be to declare who is at fault. Sheesh.

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Now, I have responded to your questions, i.e., they are not relevant. I have a question for you. Why do you consider your questions relevant? The answer to which question would materially alter the determination of liability, the primary question the clients have hired you to determined?  You start with your first question. What possible relevance would the LOL's net worth have to do with the issue of liability? I am quite intelligent and yet can think of no plausible reason why her net worth would have on the question of liability, the question of liability, the question of liability, the only reason I created the scenario in the first place, the question of limitation of liability in a market anarchy like the Belt.

You have postulated multiple clients who are each so intent on liability that they can see nothing else. You have told them not to answer questions beyond that issue, though you have provided information about net worth for some of the individuals involved. But net worth for Bobby, the co-op, and the farmers is irrelevant for the only single legitimate question of liability. The ability of the various defendants to pay has nothing to do with their obligation to pay.  

Quote
Again, if you can explain how your questions speak to the issue of liability, I would be happy to answer them, but I am pretty sure that is impossible for you to do.

Sov Sandfort, you appear to have little concept of anarchy. You tell us the single legal code that arbitrators must follow, and you tell us the order in which they must follow it.

You do not need an arbitrator. Your needs would be better handled with a flowchart. The flowchart could give the questions to ask and the order to ask them, and a simple program could present the questions from a database. The program could be distributed for a small charge to anyone who suspected they might get into litigation, and they could game it out and find their best result for whichever answers their opponents were likely to give.

But unpalatable judgements aside, please just answer the questions. They are probably irrelevant to liability, but they are important to my solution for my clients.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 17, 2011, 10:11:56 pm
I'm thinking that the coop has no liability in this case because it had no power to do anything differently than it had done.  No power --> no blame; no blame --> no liability.  ?

I thought of a collection of things the coop could do to reduce the chance of this sort of accident, while increasing the chance of accidents that involve only employees or contractors. I'm sure you could too. I would suggest the coop consider the possibility of expanding their business in some of those ways, both to reduce the chance of another similar accident and to perhaps find new ways to profit.

But what they are described as doing is customary. Even if it creates accidents at some rate which could be statistically determined with enough experience, it is generally considered an acceptable rate and no one except me is advocating safer procedures. It doesn't make sense to say they're liable when they're doing the same things everyone else in their position is doing, and they were just the particular ones the accident happened to.

These are issues of community standards. If their procedures were considerably more negligent than usual, we would say they were negligent. But when they do follow the consensus community standards, we say they were not.

So, to make up a fanciful case, if they spilled a can of motor oil at the head of a stairway, and didn't clean it up for a week while a long series of customers slipped and caught themselves, and then a customer did slip and fall down the stairs, that would be negligence. They should have known better. Nobody else would admit to doing that.

But when it's one employee making a minor spill, and he chooses to complete his current quick task before he cleans it up (which almost makes sense -- after all, he might spill something else before he's done and clean them both at once -- and someone slips before he had any reason to expect anyone to arrive) when it's one employee making an error of judgement he was trained not to make, this could happen to any employer who allows customers onto his property. They would all be upset if one of them is held liable for something that could easily happen to anybody.

So -- community standards. If it could happen to anybody, you're not at fault when it happens to you. If nobody else admits it could happen to them, you're negligent.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: SandySandfort on May 17, 2011, 10:37:37 pm
But inpalatable judgements aside, please just answer the questions. They are probably irrelevant to liability, but they are important to my solution for my clients.

If your questions are irrelevant to the issue of liability, they are irrelevant to the clients. No one asked you for a "solution." They contracted with you for a ruling on allocation of liability. If you cannot do what you were hired to do, I guess they will have to fire you and get a more professional arbiter who gives the clients what they ask for and does not impose his personal opinion and engage in snooping around the client's personal financial information, beyond that which they disclosed in the stipulations. Since you have breached your contract, the clients will, of course, pay you nothing. They may even take you to arbitration, alleging fraud in the inducement.

J Thomas, I know that when you are up to your ass in alligators, it's hard to remember that you originally set out to drain the swamp. However, you should really learn to keep your eye on the prize and focus on what you have been asked to do, not go off on some personal, tangental quest.

BTW, who said the arbitration would be held on your property? The logical venue is the Co-op store in which the slip-and-fall occurred. Or maybe in an "outdoor" restaurant in the Place de la Concorde. Do you really think that justice depends on whose property the case is heard?

Your arbitration clients want you to demonstrate relevance before they will answer your intrusive questions. How hard is that?
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 18, 2011, 12:07:20 am
But inpalatable judgements aside, please just answer the questions. They are probably irrelevant to liability, but they are important to my solution for my clients.

If your questions are irrelevant to the issue of liability, they are irrelevant to the clients. No one asked you for a "solution." They contracted with you for a ruling on allocation of liability.

OK, fine. They do not need an arbitrator for that. They can merely consult your law.

You made it plain that no one should be considered negligent except Bobby. The store was run according to common practice and did everything that would normally be expected of them. The farmers were not negligent in choosing coop management, who did everything normally considered appropriate. They had no reason to expect Bobby would have his single failure.

Independent of the question whether they can limit liability by saying so, they did nothing wrong according to prevailing community standards. It is not appropriate to give the coop's total value to the LOL, providing her with half her needs. It is not appropriate to award her a token payment from the coop, though they may wish to contribute something.

Bobby's case is a little harder. At first sight it looks almost the same. He had an accident that could happen to anybody, and it turned into a catastrophe quickly after one minor lapse of judgement. You provided no details so I will make them up.

I make up that he was using a ladder to store currently-surplus applesauce on high shelving. He was doing this the standard approved way, which involved picking up a large box of glass jars of applesauce, and balancing it while climbing the ladder, and slinging it into place. He had eight large boxes to store this way, stacked on the floor. The fifth box slipped and fell, something that happened perhaps once every few months, rarely enough that nobody worried about the waste. He had a choice, he could leave the broken box with its exposed glass and applesauce on the floor along with the other three boxes while he left to get cleaning supplies, then clean up the mess, then put away the cleaning supplies, and then pack the last three boxes. Or he could pack the last three boxes first and then take the ladder with him when he went to get cleaning supplies. (If he had thought about it, he could have had the cleaning supplies with him so that he didn't have to go get them, and they would be one more thing for customers to trip over every time he did this job, not just a few times a year, in addition to the boxes and the ladder.) Or he could have called for help and gotten someone else to do part of the work. They could bring with them warning signs and maybe barriers to keep customers away.

Normally it wouldn't have mattered much which he did. But this one time, while he was balancing on the ladder holding a large box, a LOL came by, slipped on the spilled applesauce, and landed on a sharp piece of glass which left her quadriplegic.

A freak accident that could happen to almost anybody. Is he liable? Is he completely liable? Yes. Even though there was a sign that said no matter what he did, customers were on the premises at their own risk. He made a minor error that had catastrophic consequences.

Suppose he had immediately gone to clean up, and the customer tripped over the ladder. He would be liable.

Suppose he called for someone else to help, but he did not actively prevent the LOL from hurting herself. Liable.

The only thing he could do to avoid liability was to exactly follow the procedures he was taught as the right thing to do. Anything short of perfect behavior makes it his fault. It isn't fair to take money from people with deep pockets when they made things as safe as people with deep pockets usually do. It is fair to blame poor employees for absolutely any deviation from policy.

Unless -- maybe community standards on Ceres say it's OK to make the sort of mistakes anybody else could have made? Everybody makes little mistakes, and accidents do happen, and if nobody did anything wrong that was worse than usual then maybe it just wasn't anybody's fault at all.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: Tucci78 on May 18, 2011, 01:33:32 pm
You made it plain that no one should be considered negligent except Bobby. The store was run according to common practice and did everything that would normally be expected of them. The farmers were not negligent in choosing coop management, who did everything normally considered appropriate. They had no reason to expect Bobby would have his single failure.

What Counselor Sandfort is after is an impervious "hold harmless" concept in the rules of an AnCap society. Dunno how that might be enforced. Denying the LOL restorative or compensatory damages on the basis of Counselor Sandfort's "Tough luck, lady; you saw the goddam sign!" approach is entirely too likely to result in a Molotov cocktail response.

Bye-bye farmers' co-op.

In fixedly insisting upon the restriction of the arbiter's role to the determination of "liability," Counselor Sandfort is continuing to impose upon this hypothetical a constraint which really would not tend to happen in real life.  

In Escape From Terra, we've already seen one story arc in which the nuts and bolts of arbitration on Ceres have been demonstrated, and the arbiter in that case was focused not so much on "liability" as upon the proper compensation for damages done and how to get them out of the three miscreants culpable of the injuries inflicted.

When explaining how violent aggression against persons or property would be handled in an AnCap society, SF writer L. Neil Smith (in The Probability Broach) proposed that arbitration would determine not just "liability" but also compensatory damages to be remitted to the injured parties, giving each criminal case a civil resolution. The aggressor caught and put under such an obligation could either pay the set damages (thereby "paying his debt to society;" faugh...) or get the hell out of society ("Divers needed in the oceans of Europa! High pressure! High risk! High pay! No identification required").  

Such a system seems to necessitate that the usual-and-customary role of an arbiter include both determination of "liability" and appropriate compensation to be rendered by those found liable to the injured parties in each case.

I suppose you could posit a hypothetical situation in which the parties on both sides agreed to an arbiter who rules on nothing except the determination of "liability," but that's really reaching way to hellangone up there to find something to yank out that would suit Counselor Sandfort's taste.

Such an arbitration process would then leave the parties without resolution of just what compensation (if any) the successful plaintiff might be due.  Kinda half-baked, don'tcha think?
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: mellyrn on May 18, 2011, 05:57:10 pm
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In fixedly insisting upon the restriction of the arbiter's role to the determination of "liability," Counselor Sandfort is continuing to impose upon this hypothetical a constraint which really would not tend to happen in real life.

The original question was how could liability be limited in an AnCap society.  And yes, it's highly likely that an arbiter would be asked to solve the problem rather than merely determine liability.  However, these involved parties -- coop, LOL, Bobby -- have all agreed to ask the arbiter solely about liability.  This is Sv. Sandfort's way of asking you, dear reader, where you think the liability lies.  He did NOT ask you to solve the problem; he only asked, Where is the liability and why?

Maybe once we sort out where the liability is and why, THEN we can go on to solve their problem for them?  I understand the impulse to solve the problem; it was my first reaction, too.  But it isn't the question, and there's really no way even to offer a solution until you've determined liability (or the lack of it).

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Such an arbitration process would then leave the parties without resolution of just what compensation (if any) the successful plaintiff might be due.  Kinda half-baked, don'tcha think?

Why?  Maybe the grownups in the room want to work out their own solution, and it's only the question of liability they want someone else's opinion on.  Or do you want to require everyone to use only the solutions offered by arbiters?

Do you have the grace to say, oops, sorry, I misread the question?  Hey, I misread it myself, at first.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 18, 2011, 06:34:54 pm
You made it plain that no one should be considered negligent except Bobby. The store was run according to common practice and did everything that would normally be expected of them. The farmers were not negligent in choosing coop management, who did everything normally considered appropriate. They had no reason to expect Bobby would have his single failure.


What Counselor Sandfort is after is an impervious "hold harmless" concept in the rules of an AnCap society. Dunno how that might be enforced. Denying the LOL restorative or compensatory damages on the basis of Counselor Sandfort's "Tough luck, lady; you saw the goddam sign!" approach is entirely too likely to result in a Molotov cocktail response.

Yes, but probably not from a little old lady whose injuries require $2 million to fix. And if she's currently broke, if all her money has been taken out of the bank to pay for medical costs, then she isn't likely to be much of a threat otherwise either. The only problem comes if she can get word out to wealthy or violent altruists before her communications get shut down.

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Bye-bye farmers' co-op.

On the other hand, if they pay her a million dollars to give her half the medical care she needs, it's still bye-bye co-op.

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In fixedly insisting upon the restriction of the arbiter's role to the determination of "liability," Counselor Sandfort is continuing to impose upon this hypothetical a constraint which really would not tend to happen in real life.

Sure, but it's his story and he gets to set it up however he likes. Maybe later I'll make my own story and ask him to arbitrate it, and he will tell me that my story is unrealistic and a hard case so it isn't worth answering.

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In Escape From Terra, we've already seen one story arc in which the nuts and bolts of arbitration on Ceres have been demonstrated, and the arbiter in that case was focused not so much on "liability" as upon the proper compensation for damages done and how to get them out of the three miscreants culpable of the injuries inflicted.

Yes, but they did the liability first. It didn't take long because there was no question who was liable, and the plaintiffs chose not to sue for attempted murder but only for damage to their ship.

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I suppose you could posit a hypothetical situation in which the parties on both sides agreed to an arbiter who rules on nothing except the determination of "liability," but that's really reaching way to hellangone up there to find something to yank out that would suit Counselor Sandfort's taste.

Sure, but that's what he did. We can discuss it on his terms but if we go farther then he won't play. No big deal, it's his topic after all, and he can tell his own story however he wants.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 18, 2011, 07:15:05 pm

The original question was how could liability be limited in an AnCap society.  And yes, it's highly likely that an arbiter would be asked to solve the problem rather than merely determine liability.  However, these involved parties -- coop, LOL, Bobby -- have all agreed to ask the arbiter solely about liability.  This is Sv. Sandfort's way of asking you, dear reader, where you think the liability lies.

The trouble is, this is a bad example to decide whether a sign claiming that liability is limited is enough to limit liability.

The LOL doesn't get what she needs unless you decide that both the co-op and all the farmers are liable. So if you believe that the most important thing is to take care of the LOL, you'll declare them all liable. But a utilitarian wouldn't make that judgement. He'd think that bankrupting the coop and maybe 50 farmers is not a good deal to let an old woman live a few more years in comfort. Would a communist rule for the LOL? Probably not. By stipulation the coop did nothing wrong, so few people would rule for the LOL against the coop much less the farmers, even if they did not have a sign that claimed they were not responsible.

To test whether people believe in the limited liability sign, we would do better with a case where it's perfectly obvious in every way that the coop and the farmers should both be liable, except for the sign. If people agree that the sign overrides everything else then the sign provides limited liability.

As a possible example, maybe half the beef farmers are using chemicals that cut costs but which have bad effects on people who eat the beef. The farmers have heard about scientific studies that claim the harm, but they decide that it's junk science and consider cutting their costs more important. They do not tell anybody, but sell their beef through the coop. A lot of people get sick, and after months of careful expensive epidemiological work it is determined that they all bought beef at the coop, and testing shows the chemicals in some of the beef. A whole lot of people want to sue. A thousand people have had an average of $3000 each in medical costs plus some of them have lost time from work etc.

But the farmers argue that everybody saw the sign. They bought beef at the coop, standing on coop property, so they can sue only the coop and not any of the farmers.

Does the limited liability sign work to limit liability in this case?
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: spudit on May 18, 2011, 07:30:09 pm
This is not my sort of subject but I'll jump in with a couple questions and comments.

Question, what if the Bobby the clerk had been the one to get hurt?

Question, what if one of the farmers had fallen?

Comment, liability implies a mistake or deliberate action. If neither exists there can be no liability. So if it could not have been helped, if it had happened in the time it took Bobby to fetch a mop, no liability.

Easy to confuse with admission of liability but me, I'd pay the old broad's doctor bills, within reason, just to be seen as a nice guy in the community. I, myself, see it as a sound business practice.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: Tucci78 on May 18, 2011, 07:55:25 pm
The original question was how could liability be limited in an AnCap society.  And yes, it's highly likely that an arbiter would be asked to solve the problem rather than merely determine liability.  However, these involved parties -- coop, LOL, Bobby -- have all agreed to ask the arbiter solely about liability.  This is Sv. Sandfort's way of asking you, dear reader, where you think the liability lies.  He did NOT ask you to solve the problem; he only asked, Where is the liability and why?

Maybe once we sort out where the liability is and why, THEN we can go on to solve their problem for them?  I understand the impulse to solve the problem; it was my first reaction, too.  But it isn't the question, and there's really no way even to offer a solution until you've determined liability (or the lack of it).

Essentially, Counselor Sandfort has used an "Enter at Your Own Risk!" admonition to give the farmers participating in his hypothetical co-op a "hold harmless" escape clause, the notice defining to their customers the extent of the compensation for which they have decided to make themselves liable should a tortious act - intentional or negligent - take place on their property as the result of actions undertaken by themselves or their hired agents.

As I'd said, it's a "Tough luck, lady!" way of dismissing a customer's demand for restitution or compensation for damages suffered because of the co-op operators' direct or indirect failings in the discharge of their responsibilities to their customers.

As arbiter, I'd have to ask: "Would Bobby be doing anything in that co-op which might have resulted in this little old lady's injury?"

The answer, almost certainly, is "No."  Bobby was working as an employee of the co-op, a hired hand, performing tasks dictated by the management, most of whom are themselves co-op employees. Ultimately, the responsibility - the "liability" - for whatever happens in the co-op as the result of action on the part of the co-op's agents has to rest upon the co-op owners, who set purpose and policy and procedure.  As Counselor Sandfort so contemptuously snarked, respondeat superior.

There can be some distribution of "liability" in the sense that Bobby and his manager(s) and even the injured customer might be determined to hold some responsibility for contributory negligence, and this may be said to reduce the "liability" of the co-op owners. That's one of the reasons why an arbiter to whom this case is brought for no purpose other than to rule on Counselor Sandfort's "liability" fixation subject has to know a helluva lot more about the purposes, policy, and procedures under which Bobby - the co-op employee - was working when he had the accident that precipitated the customer's slip-and-fall.

Counselor Sandfort wants much (if not most) of the "liability" for the injuries sustained by the customer to be accorded the customer herself.  She was notified, before she walked into the co-op, that the operators of this place of business were by summary ukase limiting their "liability" for damages to the extent stipulated by Counselor Sandfort, and if anybody wanted to contest that assertion, they're screwed.

Might we call this the "Nyaah-Nyaah-N'-Nyah-Nyah!" defense?

So what the hell need is there for anybody reading Counselor Sandfort's hypothetical to say how that reader might allocate "liability" were he (or she) to have the case brought before him as an arbiter?

Unless he's able to deal the cards from a stacked deck, Counselor Sandfort doesn't want the game to be played.

Maybe the grownups in the room want to work out their own solution, and it's only the question of liability they want someone else's opinion on.  Or do you want to require everyone to use only the solutions offered by arbiters?

Do you have the grace to say, oops, sorry, I misread the question?  Hey, I misread it myself, at first.

Because the "liability" determination has to take into consideration the concepts of contributory negligence, "chain of command" (respondeat superior), and intentional tort (among other things), an arbiter's decision to let the co-op owners off the hook - which is what Counselor Sandfort is angling for in his quest for "limited liability in an AnCap society," without the privileges and immunities accorded by government thugs - is an unlikely outcome.

Moreover, as I'd observed, were that to be the case, the owners of the co-op would find themselves with a public reputation so damned bad that they lose custom.  In fact, some other person - not at the request of the injured little old lady but out of his own rage - might well burn the co-op down, particularly if he thought he could get away with it.

The farmers could go broke just trying to mount 24-hour guard on the place.

The kind of "Tough luck, lady!" attitude toward the co-op's visitors embodied in Counselor Sandfort's "Enter at Your Own Risk!" notice would tend to alienate customers and vendors alike. Given other options, people might prefer to take their money someplace other than Counselor Sandfort's unwelcoming "Screw You, Buddy!" farmers' co-operative.

All other things being equal, the provision of liability insurance offers a better solution, with customers paying the "built in" cost of that business expense to have both the surety of restorative compensation should they suffer some inadvertent injury and a less adversarial relationship with the proprietors when they visit.

By aggregating expertise on the subject of "liability," the insurance carriers not only help the co-op owners with the establishment of procedures to achieve usual-and-customary standards of risk mitigation but also participate in arbitration, when and if such becomes necessary.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 18, 2011, 09:24:13 pm

Essentially, Counselor Sandfort has used an "Enter at Your Own Risk!" admonition to give the farmers participating in his hypothetical co-op a "hold harmless" escape clause, the notice defining to their customers the extent of the compensation for which they have decided to make themselves liable should a tortious act - intentional or negligent - take place on their property as the result of actions undertaken by themselves or their hired agents.

Yes. And I believe this is not necessary -- if the farmers are not in fact negligent then a reasonable arbiter will not hold them liable.

Further it is not sufficient in general. The coop owns trucks that can have accidents. If a coop truck driver is responsible for $2 million in damages, does it mean anything if the coop has a sign on the truck saying they will only pay up to $10,000? Sov. Sandfort says anybody can declare any liability limit they like, and expect it to stick?

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As arbiter, I'd have to ask: "Would Bobby be doing anything in that co-op which might have resulted in this little old lady's injury?"

Sandy's story says that Bobby did not clean up the mess immediately. If he had cleaned it up sooner then that particular accident would not have happened.

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The answer, almost certainly, is "No."  Bobby was working as an employee of the co-op, a hired hand, performing tasks dictated by the management, most of whom are themselves co-op employees. Ultimately, the responsibility - the "liability" - for whatever happens in the co-op as the result of action on the part of the co-op's agents has to rest upon the co-op owners, who set purpose and policy and procedure.

As I understood the story, the coop had held classes which Bobby attended, that taught him to clean up spills immediately. He did not follow the rules to the letter. Therefore he was liable and the coop was not. You might make an argument that the coop was somehow liable in spite of doing everything they could think of to prevent such accidents, but I can't imagine an argument that the individual farmers were liable.

If the farmers were clearly not liable, I don't see that this story tells us how well the limited liability sign worked to prevent them being held liable.

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There can be some distribution of "liability" in the sense that Bobby and his manager(s) and even the injured customer might be determined to hold some responsibility for contributory negligence, and this may be said to reduce the "liability" of the co-op owners.

The parties to the dispute agreed that the LOL was not responsible at all, and that Bobby did not follow coop rules. He had taken customer safety classes, so he knew the rules.

"+ There was no contributory negligence on the part of the LOL

+ Bobby was negligent

+ No other store employee were liable

+ This is the first act of negligence committed by Bobby

+ Bobby had a positive background check

+ Bobby and all employees were given customer safety classes

+ The Co-op had never had any customer accident before"

What else could the coop have done to reduce this sort of thing?

1. They could try to do stocking when the store is closed, or if they do not close at times when a minimum number of customers are present.

2. They could have gates to keep customers out of problem areas. (Today I stopped by Home Depot and they had the place I wanted to go gated off to keep me from getting hurt while they did stuff with forklifts.)

3. They could arrange for home deliveries. The more customers that do not enter the store, the fewer customers that get hurt in the store. If a delivery contractor hurts a customer, that's between him and the customer unless there was something wrong with the shipment itself. Home deliveries might be popular, especially with LOLs.

4. There may be ways to reduce spillage in the first place. In Ceres gravity it might be cheap enough to package everything so it can withstand falls, or at least be contained. Less dangerous and easier cleanup. Even a small extra cost to prevent rare accidents may seem excessive, but customers may like to prevent accidents at home too....

5. Try to schedule truck deliveries when traffic is minimal, etc. There are lots of accidents to avoid, not just the one that happened.

But just because there may be further things the company could do to prevent accidents that are not yet common practice, is not enough excuse to say they are liable for the accident that did happen.

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Counselor Sandfort wants much (if not most) of the "liability" for the injuries sustained by the customer to be accorded the customer herself.  She was notified, before she walked into the co-op, that the operators of this place of business were by summary ukase limiting their "liability" for damages to the extent stipulated by Counselor Sandfort, and if anybody wanted to contest that assertion, they're screwed.

It's an interesting concept with lots of ramifications. Suppose that you sign a contract and in the fine print it says "Party A reserves the right not to be bound by any of the terms of this contract, but Party B is bound by all of them no matter what". They refuse to deliver any services whatsoever but argue that you must pay full price for the duration of the contract, for the services they do not deliver. Clearly, you should not have signed that contract.

Say a morose-looking man is sitting at a bar, and there is a small placard on the bar beside him that says "Sandy Sandfort refuses to accept any legal consequences for anything that happens if you approach him and say hello". Tucci says hello, and Sandy shoots Tucci in the head. Afterward Tucci cannot tell anyone whether he read the sign. Is Sandy liable for anything?

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Unless he's able to deal the cards from a stacked deck, Counselor Sandfort doesn't want the game to be played.

It's his game and his deck. If you want a different game, start your own.

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Moreover, as I'd observed, were that to be the case, the owners of the co-op would find themselves with a public reputation so damned bad that they lose custom.  In fact, some other person - not at the request of the injured little old lady but out of his own rage - might well burn the co-op down, particularly if he thought he could get away with it.

It's a bad situation. It's bad for them if they are judged liable. It's still bad for them if they are not judged liable. There has been an accident that the coop cannot make right. Maybe the best thing for them would be to be found not liable, to dissolve the corporation, and start over fresh with a new corporation. But this accident could happen to anybody, and another could happen to the new coop.

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The kind of "Tough luck, lady!" attitude toward the co-op's visitors embodied in Counselor Sandfort's "Enter at Your Own Risk!" notice would tend to alienate customers and vendors alike. Given other options, people might prefer to take their money someplace other than Counselor Sandfort's unwelcoming "Screw You, Buddy!" farmers' co-operative.

It depends on the customs of the place. Maybe all the businesses do it this way. Maybe it doesn't look like a great selling point not to do it this way. Business owners might think, "People mostly assume they won't have an accident. If I advertise that I have unlimited liability, will that mostly get me new customers who want to have an "accident" and hold me liable?".

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All other things being equal, the provision of liability insurance offers a better solution, with customers paying the "built in" cost of that business expense to have both the surety of restorative compensation should they suffer some inadvertent injury and a less adversarial relationship with the proprietors when they visit.

It depends. The insurance company gets a fixed income to accept unlimited risk? The businesses they insure have little reason to obsessively prevent accidents, because those have become somebody else's problem? Let's say the coop has gone 10 years with only one $2 million accident. Would that say a fair price for insurance should be somewhere around $200,000/year? Does that seem steep for a business that's worth $1 million? Is the insurance company required to open its books to its customers? Insurance is inherently a winner-take-all business, because other-things-equal the biggest company has the most predictable cash flow. If they raise your rates should you shop around to get a price from the other giant insurance companies?

Capitalist insurance is a snare and a delusion. Others probably are too.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 18, 2011, 09:36:01 pm
Question, what if the Bobby the clerk had been the one to get hurt?

Complicated. If they just fire him and leave him to rot, it's bad for morale. Unless he was unpopular or known to be clumsy. If he sues them it will be hard for him to get another job, but then if he's badly disabled it will be hard for him to get another job anyway. It makes sense for them to pay his medical expenses if they can, but if it's too much then there's no good solution.

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Question, what if one of the farmers had fallen?

Everybody would have been sorry for him. They would probably chip in to help him out, at least some. If he sued the coop and/or other farmers they would be outraged at him. Don't even go there.

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Comment, liability implies a mistake or deliberate action. If neither exists there can be no liability. So if it could not have been helped, if it had happened in the time it took Bobby to fetch a mop, no liability.

"A little old lady (LOL) shopper slips on some liquid spilled on the floor by Bobby, a stocker, employed by the  employees, who then didn't bother to clean it up."

The implication is that he could have cleaned it up before she slipped, but he had not yet cleaned it up. If she had slipped on it before he could have cleaned it up then it would not be his fault for not cleaning it up. But he might have done something else wrong. If he didn't do anything wrong, how come he spilled liquid on the floor in the first place? Surely he was taught how to do his job without spilling liquid on the floor.

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Easy to confuse with admission of liability but me, I'd pay the old broad's doctor bills, within reason, just to be seen as a nice guy in the community. I, myself, see it as a sound business practice.

She needs twice as much as the coop has. You could give her a token gift, but you plain don't have what she needs.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: SandySandfort on May 18, 2011, 09:37:16 pm
You made it plain that no one should be considered negligent except Bobby.

Nope, never said such a thing. This is why it would be very difficult for you to become a lawyer (or logician for that matter). You are not a critical reader. I think I know what statement lead you to this erroneous conclusion, but your inference is simply not supported by the very clear words I used. What is critical here is the farmers/owners liable for the LOL's injuries.

I am not trying to pick on you. As I have said is that you have an agile and creative mind. Now, you just have to work on parsing the English language and not drawing unsupported conclusions. I strongly suggest you review what I wrote, and look for anything I said that would lead to the conclusion that I "made it plain that no one should be considered negligent except Bobby" (emphasis added). If you find that I have made it plain, quote my plain words that support the idea that neither the Coop nor the farmers automatically have no liability.

Independent of the question whether they can limit liability by saying so...

The scenario was designed to test the question of liability, as you have finally seen. If you want to create a reasonable scenario (i.e., one that  could realistically arise in the real world) about limits on compensation, knock yourself out. You can even use this scenario. However, it would be polite to first make a ruling as to who is liable and tell us why.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: SandySandfort on May 18, 2011, 09:51:42 pm
What Counselor Sandfort is after is an impervious "hold harmless" concept in the rules of an AnCap society. Dunno how that might be enforced. Denying the LOL restorative or compensatory damages on the basis of Counselor Sandfort's "Tough luck, lady; you saw the goddam sign!" approach is entirely too likely to result in a Molotov cocktail response.

Of course that is a totally erroneous misstatement of my words. It is my opinion, for what it is worth, that the Co-op would clearly be liable to LOL (as would Bobby). I really am surprised that all of this is not obvious to some of you.

BTW, please do not call me "Counselor Sandfort." I have asked you to call me "Sandy" to your "Tucci78." If you prefer the use of the honorific, "Dr. Tucci78," I would accept either "Writer Sandy" or "Dr. Sandy." I have agreed to call your what you specified, "Tucci78." Please reciprocate. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: SandySandfort on May 18, 2011, 10:03:21 pm
Maybe once we sort out where the liability is and why, THEN we can go on to solve their problem for them?  I understand the impulse to solve the problem; it was my first reaction, too.  But it isn't the question, and there's really no way even to offer a solution until you've determined liability (or the lack of it). (Emphasis added)

Bravo! Mellyrn gets it. Why is it so difficult for some of you to see the obvious? Read her words again. The scenario is really this simple, "there's really no way even to offer a solution until you've determined liability", duh!
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 18, 2011, 11:40:13 pm
You made it plain that no one should be considered negligent except Bobby.

Nope, never said such a thing. This is why it would be very difficult for you to become a lawyer (or logician for that matter).

I am a logician. I did not say that you said no one should be considered negligent except Bobby. I said that you made it plain.

Here is my reasoning, which you might disagree with.

+ Bobby was negligent

This is been agreed by everyone including Bobby.

+ This is the first act of negligence committed by Bobby

+ Bobby had a positive background check

+ Bobby and all employees were given customer safety classes

+ The Co-op had never had any customer accident before

The coop has done everything that could be reasonably expected of them to prevent accidents. They had no reason to think Bobby would be negligent -- they had no evidence he had ever been negligent before. They taught him what to do, and he did not do it. What more could they be expected to do?

+ A little old lady (LOL) shopper slips on some liquid spilled on the floor by Bobby, a stocker, employed by the  employees, who then didn't bother to clean it up.

You did not state that the customer safety classes taught Bobby to immediately clean up spills. But it was a customer safety class, and if it did teach Bobby to immediately clean up spills, and if he had immediately cleaned up this one, the LOL would not have had the particular accident she did. If she had slipped before he could have cleaned it up then you would not say that he didn't bother to clean it up.

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Obviously, I think there is sufficient information to make an appropriate assessment of liability.

So either you think we already know enough to know whether the coop was negligent, or the coop's liability does not depend on whether the coop was negligent.

If you believe you have given us enough to decide whether the coop was negligent, then I say that means the coop was not negligent. They showed Bobby how to do things to minimise accidents. Bobby failed to follow instructions leading to an accident. They had no reason to think Bobby would fail this way. Not negligent.

However, it's still possible you feel the coop was liable even if they did nothing wrong. If they are liable either way, then there is no need to decide whether they were negligent and you could say that the data you have provided does not show whether they were negligent or not.

But I say you would not try to trick us this way. You would not talk about the safety classes etc while hiding that the safety classes did not actually teach safety. So I say you made it plain that the coop was not negligent.

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I think I know what statement lead you to this erroneous conclusion, but your inference is simply not supported by the very clear words I used. What is critical here is the farmers/owners liable for the LOL's injuries.

I think perhaps you left out something, perhaps some bit of traditional legal background that you supposed we would have.

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If you find that I have made it plain, quote my plain words that support the idea that neither the Coop nor the farmers automatically have no liability.

I didn't say they have no liability. I said that they were not negligent. If they get liability only through negligence, then they have no liability, but we have not established whether that's true in your mind.

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Independent of the question whether they can limit liability by saying so...

However, it would be polite to first make a ruling as to who is liable and tell us why.

I did that in the comment you just replied to.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: Tucci78 on May 19, 2011, 12:16:14 am

What Counselor Sandfort is after is an impervious "hold harmless" concept in the rules of an AnCap society. Dunno how that might be enforced. Denying the LOL restorative or compensatory damages on the basis of Counselor Sandfort's "Tough luck, lady; you saw the goddam sign!" approach is entirely too likely to result in a Molotov cocktail response.

Of course that is a totally erroneous misstatement of my words. It is my opinion, for what it is worth, that the Co-op would clearly be liable to LOL (as would Bobby). I really am surprised that all of this is not obvious to some of you.

BTW, please do not call me "Counselor Sandfort." I have asked you to call me "Sandy" to your "Tucci78." If you prefer the use of the honorific, "Dr. Tucci78," I would accept either "Writer Sandy" or "Dr. Sandy." I have agreed to call your what you specified, "Tucci78." Please reciprocate. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Hm. You begin with the assertion that it is possible for "limited liability" - in the manner we today, in the Western polities, define the expression - to be effected in an AnCap society (a "MARKET ANARCHY") by way of the "hold harmless" notice posted outside the "Semper Fi, Mac!" farmers' co-operative, and now you're saying that you, Sandy, opine "that the Co-op would clearly be liable to [the] LOL (as would Bobby)."

So was there ever a point here, "Or are we just jerking off?"

(With all due deference to the good Reverend Johnson of Rock Ridge.)
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: Tucci78 on May 19, 2011, 12:58:05 am
It depends. The insurance company gets a fixed income to accept unlimited risk? The businesses they insure have little reason to obsessively prevent accidents, because those have become somebody else's problem? Let's say the coop has gone 10 years with only one $2 million accident. Would that say a fair price for insurance should be somewhere around $200,000/year? Does that seem steep for a business that's worth $1 million? Is the insurance company required to open its books to its customers? Insurance is inherently a winner-take-all business, because other-things-equal the biggest company has the most predictable cash flow. If they raise your rates should you shop around to get a price from the other giant insurance companies?

Capitalist insurance is a snare and a delusion. Others probably are too.

Tsk. If we go back four and five thousand years, we find insurance measures being developed in ancient China and in Babylon long before the concept of "capitalism" was even imagined. You're on the Internet.  Even "Wiki-bloody-pedia" gives supported information on the history of insurance.

The way I had it described to me some time ago, one way in which the modern concept of insurance came to be developed was in classic Greece, where merchants learned over the years that perhaps one cargo ship in ten would not return to its home port from its voyaging.

Even after allowing for known factors like season and distance to be traveled, soundness of the ships' hulls and rigging, quality of captains and crews, there was a predictable loss rate. It was just not possible to predict which ship was not going to come back.

So to keep themselves from being knocked out of business by one particular loss, the ships' owners and the merchants putting their goods aboard these ships decided to join in a risk pool, kicking in some percentage of the replacement value of their stuff so that when a ship was lost, some compensation could be paid from the pool to help the owner and the merchants recoup some of their losses.

This pooling of risk gave the participants cause to assess the knowable factors carefully.  A battered, leaky old cargo ship? The owner might not be admitted to the risk pool, or he'd have to put a greater percentage of the value of his ship and cargo into the pool in order to cover the higher risk that his particular ship would fail to come home again. A well-founded ship with an experienced captain? Might be judged as more of a "sure thing," with less of a risk assessment.

In a division-of-labor economy, people who become skilled and effective at inspecting ships, evaluating officers and crews, and otherwise assessing risk would become professional insurance people. The risk pools they manage keep their participants from going bust more effectively than others do.

"Better to deal with Agathon of Corinth or that shifty-looking little guy from Rhodes; they've both got good reputations. The fancy fella who set up in Pireaus last season? He couldn't tell you whether or not that washtub over there will hold water!"

Insurance companies in a market not deliberately distorted by politicians and the priorities of government have got to become experts at the assessment of risk.

In The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Heinlein put it this way, in a scene where Manny is being interviewed on Earth just after the Loonies had overthrown the Warden and declared their independence:

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One man demanded to know why, since we paid no taxes, we colonists thought we had a right to run things our own way? After all, those colonies had been established by Federated Nations - by some of them. It had been terribly expensive. Earth had paid all bills - and now you colonists enjoy benefits and pay not one dime of taxes. Was that fair?

I wanted to tell him to blow it. But Prof had again made me take a tranquilizer and had required me to swot that endless list of answers to trick questions. "Lets take that one at a time," I said. "First, what is it you want us to pay taxes for? Tell me what I get and perhaps I'll buy it. No, put it this way. Do you pay taxes?"

"Certainly I do! And so should you."

"And what do you get for your taxes?"

"Huh? Taxes pay for government."

I said, "Excuse me, I'm ignorant. I've lived my whole life in Luna, I don't know much about your government. Can you feed it to me in small pieces? What do you get for your money?"

They all got interested and anything this aggressive little choom missed, others supplied. I kept a list. When they stopped, I read it back:

"Free hospitals - aren't any in Luna. Medical insurance - we have that but apparently not what you mean by it. If a person wants insurance, he goes to a bookie and works out a bet. You can hedge anything, for a price. I don't hedge my health, I'm healthy. Or was till I came here."

In essence, real "Capitalist insurance" is more like placing a bet with an insurer (doesn't matter if it's a big company or a "friendly society" or just one guy) that whatever you're insuring against will happen to you. He's betting that it won't, and if he's any good as a bookie, he sets the odds of the bet so that you and everybody else will wind up paying enough into the risk pool that it more than compensates for the pay-outs to those people in the pool who win their bets.

With life insurance, you "win" by dying.

You got something against bookies?
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: sam on May 19, 2011, 04:32:09 am
A lot of people get sick, and after months of careful expensive epidemiological work it is determined that they all bought beef at the coop, and testing shows the chemicals in some of the beef. A whole lot of people want to sue. A thousand people have had an average of $3000 each in medical costs plus some of them have lost time from work etc.

But the farmers argue that everybody saw the sign. They bought beef at the coop, standing on coop property, so they can sue only the coop and not any of the farmers.

Does the limited liability sign work to limit liability in this case?

What does the sign say?  Does it say  "If our meat makes you sick, not our problem"

If that is what the sign says, does not matter if people thinks it validly limits liability, no one is going to shop there.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 19, 2011, 05:15:37 am
A lot of people get sick, and after months of careful expensive epidemiological work it is determined that they all bought beef at the coop, and testing shows the chemicals in some of the beef. A whole lot of people want to sue. A thousand people have had an average of $3000 each in medical costs plus some of them have lost time from work etc.

But the farmers argue that everybody saw the sign. They bought beef at the coop, standing on coop property, so they can sue only the coop and not any of the farmers.

Does the limited liability sign work to limit liability in this case?

What does the sign say?  Does it say  "If our meat makes you sick, not our problem"

If that is what the sign says, does not matter if people thinks it validly limits liability, no one is going to shop there.

The sign says you can only sue the coop and not any of the owners.

The coop sold contaminated beef without knowing it, beef that was contaminated by owners. Can you only recover money from the coop and not from the farmers who actually did the deed?

Does limited liability mean that the owners are not liable for what they do when it is in fact them doing it?
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 19, 2011, 05:51:51 am

In essence, real "Capitalist insurance" is more like placing a bet with an insurer (doesn't matter if it's a big company or a "friendly society" or just one guy) that whatever you're insuring against will happen to you. He's betting that it won't, and if he's any good as a bookie, he sets the odds of the bet so that you and everybody else will wind up paying enough into the risk pool that it more than compensates for the pay-outs to those people in the pool who win their bets.

With life insurance, you "win" by dying.

You got something against bookies?

I'm not sure I can explain this simply, but I'll try.

Lots of people believe in free markets. In normal free markets, anybody who has a particular product can sell it, and anybody who has the funds can buy. The price is set by whoever will sell at the lowest price versus whoever will buy at the highest price. It's possible that the guy who's willing to sell at the lowest price among all the sellers, is a fool. And it's possible that the guy who's willing to pay the most for the product is also a fool. But those fools will tend to be the ones who decide what the price is. When it reaches the point that nobody is willing to sell for the highest price a buyer will pay, and nobody is willing to buy at the lowest price a seller will sell, then there is no market until some fool comes along who will bridge the gap.

Now, there are a few situations where free markets turn perverse. One of them is banking. Bankers sell money today in exchange for more money later. And when people who get bank loans then put their money back into the bank, and people they buy from also put their money back into the bank, the bank can loan far more money than it actually has.

Another is markets themselves. If what you sell is the right to buy and sell in your market, at a fee per transaction, it turns out that markets are inherently monopolistic. The biggest market can outcompete all other markets unless they have some special ecological niche they can survive in that is not in direct competition with the biggest market.

A third is insurance. Larger insurance companies can outcompete smaller insurance companies, and markets get distorted by that. In a sort of reverse on banks, you pay them money today for the possibility of more money later. The bigger the insurance company, the more effectively it can invest your money, and the more effectively it can lobby the government, etc.

Could we run insurance like a market, where you put up your insurance policy for bids and out of the whole public who wants to sell insurance, the fool who will insure you at the least price gets the deal? No. He would have to put his money in escrow or you would not know whether the lowest-price fool would still have his money when you needed it. That business model does not work.

Instead, the largest insurance company has the best data about how previous insurance policies have gone, so they have the best information about how often they will have to pay off. You, as a customer, have very little information about how likely your insurance policy will actually have to pay off.

People make various arguments about free markets optimising or satisficing various social goods. Competition will tend to give you the lowest prices and the highest quality etc. Monopoly cannot persist because new competitors can move in and undercut the monopolist cheaper than the monopolist can push them out. Etc. All of these arguments work less well for banking, insurance, and market transactions than they do for markets in other goods.

When I call it "a snare and a delusion" I'm maybe overstating the case. But the arguments that most people here believe against fractional-reserve banking are not that different from the arguments I have vaguely sketched against insurance as it gets practiced today.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: mellyrn on May 19, 2011, 09:13:54 am
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The kind of "Tough luck, lady!" attitude toward the co-op's visitors embodied in Counselor Sandfort's "Enter at Your Own Risk!" notice would tend to alienate customers and vendors alike. Given other options, people might prefer to take their money someplace other than Counselor Sandfort's unwelcoming "Screw You, Buddy!" farmers' co-operative.

I'd take my money there preferentially.  They don't get to lie to me per the poisoned beef example, 'cos that's fraud and all that (I do ask my local farmers how they raise their meat).  But if they're going to assume that I'm a normally-competent adult capable of making my own risk assessments, I will be immensely grateful.

I was required to take Dupont Corp.'s special safety training a few years ago.  If you visit a Dupont site on a tour and you do not use the handrail on the stairs, they will stop the tour until you do, or ask you to leave.  Makes me want to take the tour, lay my hand on the handrail, fall anyway and then sue them for not specifying how much force I was supposed to grip with.  Mind you, I'm grateful for handrails; I like having a grip nearby in case I stumble.  But, to require that I use it when I'm not needing it?  Cheez, why not require me to use a walker any time I cross the open floor while you're at it?

I'm not so far from being the LOL in the current story.  'Cept, if I slip and fall in your coop and get hurt, I figure it's my own damned fault for not having learned how to fall long before.

Hmm.  How about, LOL goes to the coop and a shelf gives way and heavy wares fall on her?  Bobby built the shelf.  If I were the victim, I'd be terribly disappointed if the coop didn't help with my medical costs, but I wouldn't expect or ask them to take the whole burden; if I were not the victim and the coop didn't help, I'd shop elsewhere.  That's my bias.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: Ike on May 19, 2011, 09:28:40 am
The cause of action is tort. Essentially all legal systems recognize the concept of tort. However, this scenario contemplates it arising out of the Anglo-American common law.

Of course the cause of action is a tort.  Prior to post-WW1 America (roughly), there were only intentional torts.  Negligent infliction of an injury causing pecuniary loss was invented by (1) courts of appeals in state's where the legislatures did not enact it and (2) some state legislatures.   That's why the tort doesn't exist without government action because, like corporations, it was created by judges and/or legislators who wanted to make political points with their supporters.  So, I would expect that negligence actions, like corporations, would have been 'deleted' from the 'law' of early settlers.

Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: spudit on May 19, 2011, 09:42:18 am
Speaking of selling bad food, recall how I bought some about a month ago. Bad news, what knocked me flat in minutes could of killed a kid or that LOL.

Resolution, I went back, got an appology and equivalent store credit. Also the knowledge that it was an isolated incident. I am happy and still a customer. No, no, no, I did not want a replacement of the same item.

liability? I know it was not the sort of spoilage caused by bad storage because that manifests as nasty smell, color, taste, ect.  They didn't do it so no liability. Now the meatpacker, yes, probably, but I have no time for it.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 19, 2011, 09:43:50 am

Mind you, I'm grateful for handrails; I like having a grip nearby in case I stumble.  But, to require that I use it when I'm not needing it?  Cheez, why not require me to use a walker any time I cross the open floor while you're at it?

Lawyers. The lawyers tell them that they'll be liable unless they do what the lawyers say. They aren't going to pay the lawyers big bucks for expert advice and then not take it. If the time comes that community standards here say that they are liable unless they require you to use a walker, then they will require you to use a walker. The company will blame the lawyers. The lawyers will blame the many thousands of improper lawsuits in which plaintiffs won millions or billions of dollars they should never have been awarded. They point to the statistics that show US businesses lose trillions of dollars a year to stupid lawsuits by people who weren't really injured. They point out that it isn't the fault of lawyers, it's the fault of scammers who do improper lawsuits, and stupid juries who award them big bucks.

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Hmm.  How about, LOL goes to the coop and a shelf gives way and heavy wares fall on her?  Bobby built the shelf.

Maybe, Bobby built the shelf 6 years ago, Jimmy way overloaded it 3 years ago, and Cindy overloaded it a little yesterday.

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If I were the victim, I'd be terribly disappointed if the coop didn't help with my medical costs, but I wouldn't expect or ask them to take the whole burden; if I were not the victim and the coop didn't help, I'd shop elsewhere.  That's my bias.

Part of the problem is the medical industry. If it costs $2 million to restore a LOL to the full functionality she had before, but 50 years ago the medical people simply couldn't do as much and didn't charge nearly as much for what they could do.... The more they can do, the more that liable defendants are legally required to do for her.

Similarly, if you ding the paint on somebody's car, and some years ago the best the body shop could do was a pretty good job for $150, but now they can do it to the original factory standard for $1500, which treatment are you liable for?

Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 19, 2011, 10:36:38 am

They don't get to lie to me per the poisoned beef example, 'cos that's fraud and all that (I do ask my local farmers how they raise their meat).

Interviewer: So, you have been accused of lying about poisoned beef.

Farmer: That's a goddam lie. I've never poisoned anything and I don't tell any lies.

Interviewer: You didn't tell customers what was in your beef.

Farmer: It was none of their goddam business. They don't need to know all my trade secrets. My beef is completely healthy and they should mind their own business.

Interviewer: But there are scientific studies which show that some treatments do result in beef that makes people sick. And lab tests showed results compatible with you using those treatments.

Farmer: That's junk science! It's the vegetarians, they took over the science in that field and they only let scientists publish things that make beef look bad. It's the vegetarians and the soybean farmers, trying to put the beef industry right out of business.

Interviewer: You disagree with the science.

Farmer: Goddam right. They have all the journals sewed up, any scientist who tries to publish the truth gets shut down. He can't publish unless it's the lies they want.

Interviewer: Well, uh, there were more than a thousand people who got sick....

Farmer: I eat my own beef every day. There's nothing wrong with me. I stand behind my product 100%. I've been selling beef for years and nobody got sick until now.

Interviewer: A lot of people were getting these symptoms for years, but nobody knew why.

Farmer: Well it wasn't me. I think it's moldy rebreathers. People don't clean their rebreathers enough. The sickness this time was partly coincidence and partly the band wagon effect. Also a lot of people who think they can cash in. People heard what it was supposed to feel like, and then they started feeling that way. Those epidemiology guys used completely the wrong methodology. They did it all wrong because they wanted to cause trouble. And look when they published! Just the time it would make the most trouble. We farmers have funded a new study done the right way and when it comes out you'll see that there's no correlation at all.

Interviewer: So, these people who claim you have committed fraud....

Farmer: Completely bogus. I know i did nothing wrong, and I didn't tell any lies about it. I told the complete truth, which is that my beef is 100% fine, I completely stand behind my product, and the rest is nobody's business but my own. That can't be fraud. The problem is all these busybodies who won't mind their own business! All these people coming around asking questions that are none of their goddam business at all. This whole thing oughtn't to be news. It's just a bunch of vegetarians stirring up trouble.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: mellyrn on May 19, 2011, 01:48:11 pm
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Lawyers.

Yes, I know.

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Maybe, Bobby built the shelf 6 years ago, Jimmy way overloaded it 3 years ago, and Cindy overloaded it a little yesterday.

I like it.

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Farmer: Completely bogus.

Did I ask him whether it's "poisoned" or did I ask him how he treats his critters, what he feeds them, and whether he uses [stuff in question]?  If I ask directly after the stuff in question and he replies that it's none of my business, I don't buy his beef.

(The guy I actually do buy from does not label his product "organic" even though all his practices are; in our neighborhood, "organic" is a certification that must be bought (from what regulatory agency, I don't know) and he wasn't willing to pay up.)
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 19, 2011, 04:43:34 pm

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Farmer: Completely bogus.

Did I ask him whether it's "poisoned" or did I ask him how he treats his critters, what he feeds them, and whether he uses [stuff in question]?  If I ask directly after the stuff in question and he replies that it's none of my business, I don't buy his beef.

So you are not one of his customers. If you get the same symptoms the others get, that's a sign the problem is probably not with his beef.

This is how they decide which item at the church social was contaminated. If 70% of the people who ate one item got sick but 30% of the people who ate another one got sick, that doesn't mean much. But if 40% of the people who didn't eat one item got sick but 3% of the people who say they didn't eat a second one did, that pretty much nails it down.

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(The guy I actually do buy from does not label his product "organic" even though all his practices are; in our neighborhood, "organic" is a certification that must be bought (from what regulatory agency, I don't know) and he wasn't willing to pay up.)

Yes, there's a significant expense to proving that you didn't use pesticides for the last X years etc. If your customers will take your word for it without proof, that's cheaper.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: SandySandfort on May 19, 2011, 11:34:42 pm
Prior to post-WW1 America (roughly), there were only intentional torts.  Negligent infliction of an injury causing pecuniary loss was invented by (1) courts of appeals in state's where the legislatures did not enact it and (2) some state legislatures.   

The concept of legal liability for one's carelessness dates from time immemorial. The roots of modern negligence go back to the England in the1850s. The current statement of the tort of negligence dates from Donoghue v Stevenson in 1932. The common law, by definition, evolves over time.

That's why the tort doesn't exist without government action because, like corporations, it was created by judges and/or legislators who wanted to make political points with their supporters.  So, I would expect that negligence actions, like corporations, would have been 'deleted' from the 'law' of early settlers.

To the extent that the tort of negligence arises out of legislation, you are right. However, to the extent that it arose from dispute resolution under the common law, you are wrong. In theory, dispute resolvers "discover" the common law; they do not create it.

While it is true that courts derive their powers to compel civil compliance, from the government, they are independent of the governments executive and legislative functions. To the extent courts began to realize that carelessness, that results in harm, should be impose a liability on the careless party, is simply an example of how the common law grows, organically. The common law grows and adapts based on real-world realities, not fiat. Any system of dispute resolution--voluntarily or compulsory--could work the same way.

What I have in EFT is a system that uses a variation of the common law and simply adopts the Anglo-American common law as a default setting. (Cases can always be distinguished, if required in equity.) I cannot imagine there being a useful system of dispute resolution that did not include the concept of duty of care and liability for one's negligent acts. YMMV
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: SandySandfort on May 19, 2011, 11:38:27 pm
liability? I know it was not the sort of spoilage caused by bad storage because that manifests as nasty smell, color, taste, ect.  They didn't do it so no liability. Now the meatpacker, yes, probably, but I have no time for it.

FYI, most such cases arise when reefer trucks have their refrigeration off for a while for some reason. Truckers usually "forget" to mention the outage to the consignee.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 20, 2011, 05:37:31 am
liability? I know it was not the sort of spoilage caused by bad storage because that manifests as nasty smell, color, taste, ect.  They didn't do it so no liability. Now the meatpacker, yes, probably, but I have no time for it.

FYI, most such cases arise when reefer trucks have their refrigeration off for a while for some reason. Truckers usually "forget" to mention the outage to the consignee.

It can also happen that bacteria grow for a little while in food that then is treated to kill the bacteria. They don't grow enough to give any obvious signs but they make toxins which can make people sick even after the bacteria are dead.

I'd guess that would happen much less often than the trucks because it's in a factory setting where it's much easier to control what happens. Easier to prepare for accidents and such, compared to trucks which are out in the random world.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 20, 2011, 06:23:37 am
Maybe once we sort out where the liability is and why, THEN we can go on to solve their problem for them?  I understand the impulse to solve the problem; it was my first reaction, too.  But it isn't the question, and there's really no way even to offer a solution until you've determined liability (or the lack of it). (Emphasis added)

Bravo! Mellyrn gets it. Why is it so difficult for some of you to see the obvious? Read her words again. The scenario is really this simple, "there's really no way even to offer a solution until you've determined liability", duh!

In reality, that is not true. If you can find a resolution that all parties willingly accept, you have a solution. If all parties find the solution acceptable but you have not officially declared who was at fault, that's OK unless somebody insists for their personal satisfaction that you say who was at fault.

In the particular case you describe that looks unlikely. The LOL cannot be made whole, literally, unless she gets more money than the coop has. You'd have to take money from the coop and the richer farmers (and maybe some from the poor farmers too to be fair to the rich farmers) or she does not come out OK. You did not say whether the medical people are willing to heal her and leave her with a crushing debt, or whether they will not heal her without cash on the barrel head, or what. But if she is poor she is clearly in trouble unless the farmers pay.

Take the extreme case -- she dies slowly and miserably unless the farmers pay. Very very unlikely that we get a solution without deciding whether the farmers are at fault. They will not voluntarily agree to pay what she needs, they will only pay it if they have to. She will not agree to die miserably. Liability must be determined.

Take the mild case -- she is a multi-billionaire, she pays for treatment immediately, she wants whoever is responsible to get what's coming to them but after she thinks it over she isn't mad any more and agrees to just let it go, the time she wastes in arbitration to ruin people's lives is not worth it. Maybe she still wants somebody to admit they're liable but she isn't going to punish them, and maybe they don't mind admitting they were liable if they aren't going to be driven bankrupt -- which she could do independent of the legalities.

You are not interested in solving the particular problem but in establishing a precedent. So you probably want the extreme case.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: SandySandfort on May 20, 2011, 10:34:21 am
Maybe once we sort out where the liability is and why, THEN we can go on to solve their problem for them?  I understand the impulse to solve the problem; it was my first reaction, too.  But it isn't the question, and there's really no way even to offer a solution until you've determined liability (or the lack of it). (Emphasis added)

Bravo! Mellyrn gets it. Why is it so difficult for some of you to see the obvious? Read her words again. The scenario is really this simple, "there's really no way even to offer a solution until you've determined liability", duh!

In reality, that is not true. If you can find a resolution that all parties willingly accept, you have a solution. If all parties find the solution acceptable but you have not officially declared who was at fault, that's OK unless somebody insists for their personal satisfaction that you say who was at fault.

Which is the case I constructed.

In the particular case you describe that looks unlikely. The LOL cannot be made whole, literally, unless she gets more money than the coop has.

EXACTLY! That is why I created the dilemma. Does equity demand that LOL be made whole at the expense of innocent parties, no matter how bad off this leaves her and no matter how deep are their pockets?

If a drunk driver hits you and paralyzes you for life and in the process crashes and kills himself. Guess what? You are truly and totally fucked. Suing the boss who had just fired him for drinking on the job (this "causing" him to get drunk and drive) only creates an additional victim. There are no guarantees in life of perfect outcomes. Welcome to reality.

Really, this is about theft. These farmers are in the Co-op business to make money. They make money by providing goods at prices people find reasonable. This benefits everyone, including LOL who buys her cat litter there rather than from the door-to-door cat litter man. The Co-op is a buck cheaper, but they limit their liability.

So if the LOL choses to assume the risk to get a buck off at the Co-op and some individual's negligence causes her damage, is it okay to steal someone else's money to make her "whole" (while, by definition, making the richer person who did her no harm, less whole)? Remember, damnum absque injuria.

Take the extreme case -- she dies slowly and miserably unless the farmers pay. Very very unlikely that we get a solution without deciding whether the farmers are at fault. They will not voluntarily agree to pay what she needs, they will only pay it if they have to. She will not agree to die miserably. Liability must be determined.

Duh.

Take the mild case -- she is a multi-billionaire, she pays for treatment immediately, she wants whoever is responsible to get what's coming to them but after she thinks it over she isn't mad any more and agrees to just let it go, the time she wastes in arbitration to ruin people's lives is not worth it. Maybe she still wants somebody to admit they're liable but she isn't going to punish them, and maybe they don't mind admitting they were liable if they aren't going to be driven bankrupt -- which she could do independent of the legalities.

You are not interested in solving the particular problem but in establishing a precedent. So you probably want the extreme case.

If I am poor or if I am rich, I want the vindication of establishing that someone was liable by sticking it to them. You think this is extreme? My friend, it happens all the time, in every sort of situation, in current judicial systems. The most obvious cases are vindictive divorces, where the parties want to punish the other party, no matter what the cost is to themselves. (See, "altruistic punishment,")

LOL's wealth is irrelevant to liability. She and the other parties have agreed to arbitration. After the determination of liability phase of the hearing would come the assessment of damages phase, but these to phases must occur in this logical order.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 20, 2011, 12:19:31 pm

The scenario is really this simple, "there's really no way even to offer a solution until you've determined liability", duh!

In reality, that is not true. If you can find a resolution that all parties willingly accept, you have a solution. If all parties find the solution acceptable but you have not officially declared who was at fault, that's OK unless somebody insists for their personal satisfaction that you say who was at fault.

Which is the case I constructed.

In the particular case you describe that looks unlikely. The LOL cannot be made whole, literally, unless she gets more money than the coop has.

EXACTLY! That is why I created the dilemma. Does equity demand that LOL be made whole at the expense of innocent parties, no matter how bad off this leaves her and no matter how deep are their pockets?

So you designed a case where the owners are innocent, and the coop looks innocent, and the LOL is innocent, but Bobby is negligent.

And you want us to agree that the innocent owners should not have to pay. I agree with that. I agree with that even without a limited liability sign.

What about the case where the owners are guilty? Should limited liability also get the owners off scot free then?

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Really, this is about theft. These farmers are in the Co-op business to make money. They make money by providing goods at prices people find reasonable. This benefits everyone, including LOL who buys her cat litter there rather than from the door-to-door cat litter man. The Co-op is a buck cheaper, but they limit their liability.

And the coop's net worth is $1 million. Add up the savings everybody gets by dealing with them versus dealing with competitors. Does it come to $2 million? It's possible that they have not in fact done more good than harm. But the good is spread out over all their customers, and the harm is just to this one LOL who was going to die soon anyway because she didn't have enough money for rejuvenation treatment.

Maybe they really ought to close down.

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So if the LOL choses to assume the risk to get a buck off at the Co-op and some individual's negligence causes her damage, is it okay to steal someone else's money to make her "whole" (while, by definition, making the richer person who did her no harm, less whole)? Remember, damnum absque injuria.

When the farmers are innocent, I think it's not right to take their money. As near as they could tell the coop was being run carefully and correctly by responsible people.

To the extent that the coop was in fact being run carefully and correctly, it's not right to take their money either.

So then there's Bobby. he has $1000 and a strong young body. If the medical industry will pay, say, $2 million for all his fine young organs, he could pay his debt. Would that be appropriate? The death penalty for a simple mistake? It might be. It depends on how the customs go. (Note some of Larry Niven's stories about thumb-runners etc.)

But if employees automatically accept all liability, won't they demand higher wages? I guess they'd want to, but it would depend on supply-and-demand. If your choice is to starve or else take the job with a possible automatic death penalty if you make a small mistake, you take the job.

But wait! How about the store puts up a sign that says they have a maximum $500 limit for any damages paid. Or even $50! Then no matter what happens you can't collect more than $50 from the coop or its employees! Bobby can never have to pay more than $50, and he's home free just like the owners and the coop! Problem solved!

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You are not interested in solving the particular problem but in establishing a precedent. So you probably want the extreme case.

If I am poor or if I am rich, I want the vindication of establishing that someone was liable by sticking it to them. You think this is extreme? My friend, it happens all the time, in every sort of situation, in current judicial systems.

It often does, but it does not have to. And when it does not happen then it is possible to reach a settlement without a declaration of liability. In fact, doesn't that often happen IRL? The parties reach a settlement out of court, with no admission of wrong-doing by anybody? Sometimes after a court case has progressed pretty far.

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LOL's wealth is irrelevant to liability. She and the other parties have agreed to arbitration. After the determination of liability phase of the hearing would come the assessment of damages phase, but these to phases must occur in this logical order.

If the parties demand that, then that's how it has to be. But in general it does not have to be that way and determination of liability does not have to happen first, and facts of all sorts can be collected in any order.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: SandySandfort on May 20, 2011, 01:31:48 pm

The scenario is really this simple, "there's really no way even to offer a solution until you've determined liability", duh!

In reality, that is not true. If you can find a resolution that all parties willingly accept, you have a solution. If all parties find the solution acceptable but you have not officially declared who was at fault, that's OK unless somebody insists for their personal satisfaction that you say who was at fault.

Which is the case I constructed.

In the particular case you describe that looks unlikely. The LOL cannot be made whole, literally, unless she gets more money than the coop has.

EXACTLY! That is why I created the dilemma. Does equity demand that LOL be made whole at the expense of innocent parties, no matter how bad off this leaves her and no matter how deep are their pockets?

So you designed a case where the owners are innocent, and the coop looks innocent, and the LOL is innocent, but Bobby is negligent.

Not at all. I was giving you a possible example to explore the question. The case was designed to determine who is or is not liable to LOL. Of course, I have my opinion, based on limited liability by notice. However, if, as some contend, you cannot limit liability by notice, then LOL has more avenues of recourse.

And you want us to agree that the innocent owners should not have to pay. I agree with that. I agree with that even without a limited liability sign.

Cool, but you now have an argument with those who say it takes government action to limit liability.

What about the case where the owners are guilty? Should limited liability also get the owners off scot free then?

Wouldn't that depend on what they were guilty of? If it is decided that you have no liability then you have no liability. "Scott free" implies getting off for something for which you were liable. So you question is insufficiently specific to permit an answer.

And the coop's net worth is $1 million. Add up the savings everybody gets by dealing with them versus dealing with competitors. Does it come to $2 million? It's possible that they have not in fact done more good than harm.

Not relevant in the slightest. I think there is more good than harm, but the criteria for running a business in a market anarchy is not social benefit or utility.

So then there's Bobby. he has $1000 and a strong young body. If the medical industry will pay, say, $2 million for all his fine young organs, he could pay his debt. Would that be appropriate? The death penalty for a simple mistake? It might be. It depends on how the customs go. (Note some of Larry Niven's stories about thumb-runners etc.)

Dandruff. This is an extreme resolution that would never happen and could never be enforced. Killing people who have not violated the ZAP is a violation of the ZAP. Negligence is a tort, not the initiation of force in the ZAP sense. So I guess an arbiter could suggest that Bobby off himself, but it highly unlikely that Bobby would comply. (There are also issues of remoteness, proximate cause, proportionality and probably a lot of others, but in any case, there is no way under the ZAP your "seppuku solution" could be enforced.)

But wait! How about the store puts up a sign that says they have a maximum $500 limit for any damages paid. Or even $50! Then no matter what happens you can't collect more than $50 from the coop or its employees! Bobby can never have to pay more than $50, and he's home free just like the owners and the coop! Problem solved!

Dandruff, but essentially correct. If you can limit liability to the Co-op, you can limited to $50 or zero, if you wish. We are dealing here with a principle, not a price. Now, that does not mean what you think it means and there are not theories of equity, or factual situations, that can limit all liability in all cases. However, I see no reason going there until we have finished dealing with the threshold issue of assessment of liability in this case.

If the parties demand that, then that's how it has to be. But in general it does not have to be that way and determination of liability does not have to happen first, and facts of all sorts can be collected in any order.

Of course facts can be collected first; that's the way it usually works. However, depth of pockets and need are not the relevant facts. However, as to the idea of  assessing damages before liability is still Nonsense, but you go to your church; I will go to mine.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: SandySandfort on May 20, 2011, 01:55:53 pm
GOOD NEWS FOR MELLYRN!

While doing some research, I came up with a nation without a coercive government (because it has no government at all) that has a court system that enforces its judgments solely by the moral pressure of the community. It also basis its decision on community considerations. I think I will feature it in an upcoming arc. Oh yeah, it has existed for centuries.

Before I give it away, anyone care to take a stab at what the hell I am talking about?  ???

The first correct answer gets to name a character in an upcoming arc. (That's all you get. You release to me all rights over the name and its use in perpetuity--solely for use in ADVENTURES IN HUMAN SPACE and ESCAPE FROM TERRA--and you have to agree to this before I will accept and use the name. My determination as to whom posted the first correct reply, is final. Clear enough for you sea lawyers?)  ::)

Employees and associates of Big Head Press are eligible to post their guesses as well.

Unless someone gets it, I will spill the beans at noon CDT next Friday.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 20, 2011, 03:16:36 pm

And you want us to agree that the innocent owners should not have to pay. I agree with that. I agree with that even without a limited liability sign.

Cool, but you now have an argument with those who say it takes government action to limit liability.

I don't, but you do. I say, if the arbitrator says that the owners are not liable, then the owners are not liable. If the arbitrator says the owners are liable, then the owners are liable. They agreed to respect his judgement when they chose him.

Reasonable arbitrators will agree with me about which owners are liable and which are not. ;)   (Like the scripture goes, "Everybody I know who's right agrees with me.")

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What about the case where the owners are guilty? Should limited liability also get the owners off scot free then?

Wouldn't that depend on what they were guilty of? If it is decided that you have no liability then you have no liability.

Which is what you say. They put up a sign that said they have no liability, so they have no liability.

I gave an example where some of the owners did something wrong, and the coop did nothing wrong except fail to detect their wrongdoing and sell their tainted meat. The owners did not believe they were doing anything wrong. Should people harmed by this action be able to sue only the innocent coop, and not the farmers who actually did the damage?

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"Scott free" implies getting off for something for which you were liable. So you question is insufficiently specific to permit an answer.

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/scot-free
I don't see that the term necessarily implies liability. But perhaps it means that in legal jargon. Anyway, I postulated that the owners were guilty.

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And the coop's net worth is $1 million. Add up the savings everybody gets by dealing with them versus dealing with competitors. Does it come to $2 million? It's possible that they have not in fact done more good than harm.

Not relevant in the slightest. I think there is more good than harm, but the criteria for running a business in a market anarchy is not social benefit or utility.

You pointed out that they were running their business to make money and that they benefit people who like their lower prices. You seemed to be making a social-benefit argument. You say they deserve their money because they earned it, and they don't deserve to lose the money just because they hurt somebody. It's *their* money. A moral argument.

So, they make money by helping a lot of people a little bit, and then they hurt one person a whole lot. They deserve to keep the money they make by helping people, but they don't owe anything for the ones they hurt? As a moral argument this is full of holes. However, we don't need to make a moral argument at all. There's no need for arbitrators in an anarchic system to base anything on morality.

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So then there's Bobby. he has $1000 and a strong young body. If the medical industry will pay, say, $2 million for all his fine young organs, he could pay his debt. Would that be appropriate? The death penalty for a simple mistake? It might be. It depends on how the customs go. (Note some of Larry Niven's stories about thumb-runners etc.)

This is an extreme resolution that would never happen and could never be enforced.

Yes. Bobby cannot pay what he owes, but there is no way to force him to give his assets toward his debts. The most that happens is that people see that he refused to follow the arbitration and they disapprove of him -- hardly something to suicide over.

Or maybe somebody kidnaps him and sells him to the organ banks, and gives the money or part of the money to the LOL? Who would object to that, after arbitration said it was the right thing to do? Well, maybe somebody would object. It's an anarchy after all.

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Killing people who have not violated the ZAP is a violation of the ZAP.

Sure, but in an anarchy people violate ZAP whenever they choose, and they suffer whatever consequences arise from that.

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So I guess an arbiter could suggest that Bobby off himself, but it highly unlikely that Bobby would comply.

This is a situation that perhaps deserves some exploration. I personally do not think that a reasonable arbitrator would declare that result in this case. Bobby does not have the cash on hand to meet his debts. He can earn money and pay off his debt as chance allows, until the LOL dies.

That fits the tort in your comic, right? The perps were sued for damages, and if they had not been trusted to pay the money back as they earned it, they would have been incarcerated and forced to work until it was paid. But Merry paid their debt and they owed her, and she chose to let them work in freedom until they paid her off.

If Bobby looks like he might flee before he pays back his share of the $2 million (which might be the whole thing) then doesn't it make sense to imprison him? Or does that violate ZAP? Is it OK to do it to Merry's henchmen but not him, because they violated ZAP first although they are not being punished for that?

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But wait! How about the store puts up a sign that says they have a maximum $500 limit for any damages paid. Or even $50! Then no matter what happens you can't collect more than $50 from the coop or its employees! Bobby can never have to pay more than $50, and he's home free just like the owners and the coop! Problem solved!

... essentially correct. If you can limit liability to the Co-op, you can limited to $50 or zero, if you wish. We are dealing here with a principle, not a price.

Reductio ad absurdum. If you announce the general principle but there is some price that is obviously wrong, then the general principle is wrong unless it gives a sense of which prices are acceptable.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: SandySandfort on May 20, 2011, 08:10:16 pm
Or maybe somebody kidnaps him and sells him to the organ banks, and gives the money or part of the money to the LOL? Who would object to that, after arbitration said it was the right thing to do? Well, maybe somebody would object. It's an anarchy after all.

Just about everybody would object in a society where nearly everyone believes in--or at least govern their behavior--by the ZAP. Your altruistic kidnappers are violating the ZAP, big time. Why is this not clear to you?

Sure, but in an anarchy people violate ZAP whenever they choose, and they suffer whatever consequences arise from that.

Ditto for government law. In either case, criminals get punished. So what's your point? The money derived from parting out Bobby would go to Babby's next of kin in reparation for their loss. The criminals would face extreme damages and worse. The organ bank would be in big trouble for buying stolen property, etc., etc., etc. In other words, this is just another of your silly dandruff fantasies. Please try to stay on point.

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So I guess an arbiter could suggest that Bobby off himself, but it highly unlikely that Bobby would comply.

This is a situation that perhaps deserves some exploration. I personally do not think that a reasonable arbitrator would declare that result in this case. Bobby does not have the cash on hand to meet his debts. He can earn money and pay off his debt as chance allows, until the LOL dies.

What results? You never were specific. Under the ZAP, the arbiter is estopped from ordering a violation of the ZAP and he has no power to enforce such an order if he made it. It would simply be his last day in the arbitration business. The one thing your dandruff examples have in common is people noted for their reason, acting unreasonably. That is special pleading, out the ass.

Of course. That is why your example is another exercise in dandruff irrelevance. So I don't see why it has to be explored one second longer.

That fits the tort in your comic, right? The perps were sued for damages...

What tort? I see no tort in the LEAP OF FAITH arc. What I see is a clear and unambiguous violation of the ZAP.

... and if they had not been trusted to pay the money back as they earned it, they would have been incarcerated and forced to work until it was paid. But Merry paid their debt and they owed her, and she chose to let them work in freedom until they paid her off.

Actually, no. This is not the first time this mistake was made. Merry did not pay their debt. She posted a bond, which she would lose if they skipped. As they worked, they would pay off the judgment creditors. The amount of the bond was never stated, but at the time I wrote it, I thought it should be enough to give Merry a strong incentive to make sure her boys behaved. Given that the damages done were quite extensive, the bond would not be sufficient to cover the entire tab. So the brothers, Reggie and the boat rental guy would all be SOL for anything beyond the bond. Of course, they could always offer a bounty or track the guys down themselves.

If Bobby looks like he might flee before he pays back his share of the $2 million (which might be the whole thing) then doesn't it make sense to imprison him? Or does that violate ZAP?

Yes, but I will leave the answer as to why, as an exercise for the student.

Is it OK to do it to Merry's henchmen but not him, because they violated ZAP first although they are not being punished for that?

Is that your assumption? Interesting.

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Reductio ad absurdum. If you announce the general principle but there is some price that is obviously wrong, then the general principle is wrong unless it gives a sense of which prices are acceptable.

Nope. You can sue the Bishop of Boston for bastardy, but don't expect to win. The principle is sound at any price. What the reductio ad absurdum yields is only the price at which nobody will want to play with you any more.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: sam on May 20, 2011, 10:01:35 pm
I say, if the arbitrator says that the owners are not liable, then the owners are not liable. If the arbitrator says the owners are liable, then the owners are liable. They agreed to respect his judgement when they chose him. 
.

Unreasonable arbiters are not going to get much business.  This is analogous to your hypothetical of a mall owner who demands the right arm of all visitors, your hypothetical of the butcher with the sign saying "If you get sick and die from our meat, not our problem", and so on and so forth.

Reasonable arbitrators will agree with me about which owners are liable and which are not. ;)   (Like the scripture goes, "Everybody I know who's right agrees with me.")

I don't think many people would regard you as reasonable.

As I have remarked before, your worldview implies we are all guilty of dreadful crimes, requiring dire punishment, implies that the good, benevolent, and just state needs to execute a large proportion of its population, needs to execute everyone like me, and most people I know. I doubt arbiters with this world view would be popular.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 21, 2011, 12:10:45 am
I say, if the arbitrator says that the owners are not liable, then the owners are not liable. If the arbitrator says the owners are liable, then the owners are liable. They agreed to respect his judgement when they chose him. 

Unreasonable arbiters are not going to get much business.

Exactly. So people will mostly trust arbitrators to be reasonable. We don't need to pretend we have codified laws that decide ahead of time what arbitrators will choose.

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Reasonable arbitrators will agree with me about which owners are liable and which are not. ;)   (Like the scripture goes, "Everybody I know who's right agrees with me.")

I don't think many people would regard you as reasonable.

 ;) You of course speak for yourself. I think you are at least as far from the norm as I am.

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As I have remarked before, your worldview implies we are all guilty of dreadful crimes, requiring dire punishment, implies that the good, benevolent, and just state needs to execute a large proportion of its population, needs to execute everyone like me, and most people I know.

You wrong me. ;)

But back to the actual discussion.

When the public is pretty much agreed about what's fair, then that's mostly what arbitrators will judge. How could it be otherwise?

When the public is split the arbitrators will be split too, English Common Law or not.

So for example, imagine that the public disagrees about patent protection, as the libertarian community currently does. Jerry invents something. He announces that it's his invention and he'll let other people use it for a fee.

Billy puts up a sign that says he doesn't respect patents, and he starts building copies of Jerry's invention to sell.

Jerry takes Billy to arbitration. Billy realizes that there are enough people who do believe in patents that he doesn't want to just ignore the summons. Now they must agree on an arbitrator.

Billy takes the list of all arbitrators who have ruled in favor of patents, and says he refuses to accept any of them. Jerry takes the list of all arbitrators who have ruled against patents and says he refuses to accept any of those. What we're left with is the arbitrators who have never handled a patent case before, plus possibly arbitrators who have somehow taken more than one patent case and ruled more than one way.

Somehow they do get an arbitrator, Sally, who must decide. If she believes in patents, then she will agree that when Jerry put up a sign that claimed he owned the patent and nobody claimed there was prior invention, that gave Jerry the right to the patent and Billy's sign saying patents don't apply to him was void.

But if she does not believe in patents then she will agree that when Billy put up a sign saying he was not responsible for patent violation, that meant he had the right to violate patents.

Either way, she will probably never be called upon to do another patent case. Because the public disagrees.


But when the public is agreed, then it doesn't go that way. Say that Jerry puts up a sign saying that he has the right to sodomize anybody who comes onto his property. He doesn't get many visitors. Alice does not believe the sign, she thinks it's a joke. She comes onto his property trying to sell girl scout cookies and Jerry sodomizes her. She calls for arbitration.

But the community agrees that landowners have the right to enforce their own rules on their own property. She has a list of arbitrators that she will not accept who have ruled the wrong way on this issue. Jerry does not need a list because nobody has ruled the other way round. She is at a tremendous disadvantage. Not only does she lose the arbitration but pretty much the whole community thinks she got what she deserved. She gets no sympathy.


What if there are extenuating circumstances? What if John Wayne comes onto Jerry's property to warn him about a dangerous radiation leak, when Jerry has all his communication shut down? John is being neighborly. But Jerry does not listen to the warning because he's too busy sodomizing John, and they are both exposed to the radiation. Is Jerry liable this time? Maybe so. Maybe public opinion would split 60:40. If it's 90:10 the arbitrator can pretty safely go with the consensus. At 60:40 he can expect trouble whatever he does. But he can rule against precedent when there are clear extenuating circumstances and when the person he favors is popular while the other is unpopular. No matter what English Common Law says, the actual safe path for an arbitrator depends on the current community standards.


So I say, you can put up a sign to declare yourself not liable for anything you want. Whether it sticks or not depends on the arbitrator. If you don't put up a sign it still depends on the arbitrator.

And yet somehow we are arguing about what the arbitrator ought to do, when in reality his career will depend on how well he matches public opinion in his own community. We don't know what community standards will be like there, unless we assume they will be reasonable people -- which means people who agree with us.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: sam on May 21, 2011, 01:47:45 am
As I have remarked before, your worldview implies we are all guilty of dreadful crimes, requiring dire punishment, implies that the good, benevolent, and just state needs to execute a large proportion of its population, needs to execute everyone like me, and most people I know.

You wrong me. ;)

Recall our discussion of China, where you argued that the Chinese were guilty of acts of warlike aggression by selling us good stuff and low prices. This led to our discussion of the Jews.  I said that Hitler's accusations were against the Jews were mighty weak tea. You argued that if the Jews were guilty of the stuff that Hitler said they were, they needed killing.  But most Jews probably were guilty of most of the stuff that Hitler said they were.   And I am quite sure I have done lots more and worse of that sort of stuff than either typical Jews or typical Chinese.

You think that capitalism, or at least unauthorized and unapproved capitalism, is a war crime and crime against humanity, and since everyone practices capitalism, and in a socialist state everyone practices capitalism on the sly …

When the public is pretty much agreed about what's fair, then that's mostly what arbitrators will judge. How could it be otherwise?

When the public is split the arbitrators will be split too,

OK, give us a plausible split.  Mall owners are not going to ban people with tattoos, and butchers are not going to put up a sign saying "If our meat poisons you, that is your problem, we are not liable."

People would doubtless be split on whether prostitution should be legal, recreational drugs should be legal, but in such cases there is no complainant willing to pull his gun and risk getting shot to make what he says the law should be stick, so regardless of what arbitrators might say, such laws will not stick, whereas there is a complainant willing to hang a mugger from the lampost and stick a burglar's head on a pike on his front fence, so in such matters what arbitrators say will stick.  The arbitrator's power to coerce only comes from the actual possibility of violence, and in anarchic state, there is no group of men who can safely, easily, and cheaply get away with violence.

So what would people disagree on, that they would be willing to stick their necks out over?

So for example, imagine that the public disagrees about patent protection, as the libertarian community currently does.

A property right in anarchy is only going to stick if it is something you reasonably could and would smack someone around for violating.  If someone burgles me while I am present in my house, one of us will surely die.  If you shoplift from Walmart, Walmart security will grab you in the parking lot, and if you try to leave, they will grab you harder.

No one would do this over a patent, no one would think it right to do this over a patent.

Observe that even with overwhelming state backing, patent is very difficult to enforce.   Even though some libertarians think patent law is just fine and desirable, anarcho capitalists do not, because they believe that even if desirable, it would be a lost cause in anarchy.

A patent lawsuit is basically "I thought of that first".  Firstly no one ever thought of anything first, every idea has a thousand predecessors, a thousand earlier variants, everyone stands on the shoulders of giants, and secondly, regardless of who thought of it first, the guy who ran with the idea and made it profitable should be the one that profits.  But even if you believe that the guy who thought of it first should profit, that is mighty hard to enforce.

But when the public is agreed, then it doesn't go that way. Say that Jerry puts up a sign saying that he has the right to sodomize anybody who comes onto his property.

In anarchy, a lot of people will have signs saying "trespassers will be shot".  I expect that mostly they will get away with shooting trespassers.  In Texas, they usually do.

But the community agrees that landowners have the right to enforce their own rules on their own property. She has a list of arbitrators that she will not accept who have ruled the wrong way on this issue. Jerry does not need a list because nobody has ruled the other way round. She is at a tremendous disadvantage. Not only does she lose the arbitration but pretty much the whole community thinks she got what she deserved. She gets no sympathy.

Sounds like Texas.

What if there are extenuating circumstances? What if John Wayne comes onto Jerry's property to warn him about a dangerous radiation leak, when Jerry has all his communication shut down?

Jerry will not shut down communications.  A "trespassers will be shot sign" usually has a doorbell right beside it.  Again your argument is "Suppose people act really stupid, and we have no good and wise state to make them act sensible."

Most people will not act stupid, and Darwin should take care of those that do act stupid.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 21, 2011, 08:29:15 am
As I have remarked before, your worldview implies we are all guilty of dreadful crimes, requiring dire punishment, implies that the good, benevolent, and just state needs to execute a large proportion of its population, needs to execute everyone like me, and most people I know.

You wrong me. ;)

Recall our discussion of China, where you argued that the Chinese were guilty of acts of warlike aggression by selling us good stuff and low prices.

I argue that they are behaving like mercantilists. There are people who say that mercantilism hurts only the mercantilists themselves. I disagree, I say that the chinese hurt us too. I'm unclear what response is appropriate. What's your stand on mercantilism?

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This led to our discussion of the Jews.  I said that Hitler's accusations were against the Jews were mighty weak tea. You argued that if the Jews were guilty of the stuff that Hitler said they were, they needed killing.

No, I argue from a position of moral relativism, that the NS views and actions are not qualitatively different from those of many other nations including the USA. We have held moral views which are similar, but we did not take them as far. And part of the reason we did not take them as far was that we were never as desperate. It's partly the desperation that takes the normal disgusting moral views into full scale atrocities.

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And I am quite sure I have done lots more and worse of that sort of stuff than either typical Jews or typical Chinese.

I'm easygoing. Live and let live until I'm too threatened. From what you say you come across as creepy, but I do not consider that my problem.

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You think that capitalism, or at least unauthorized and unapproved capitalism, is a war crime and crime against humanity, and since everyone practices capitalism, and in a socialist state everyone practices capitalism on the sly …

I don't know where you come up with these things. I think that capitalist theory as usually stated is kind of inadequate. There are various short circuits available that would let some people manipulate the system to get rich without actually providing anything of value to anyone else, or sometimes by actively harming people. There are various traps that let people think they are doing well, while they in fact are storing up catastrophe that will hit suddenly. When people claim that the theory is flawless I naturally want to point out some of the flaws.

As one example, there is fractional-reserve banking. Many people agree with me that fractional-reserve banking causes problems. Some of them believe that if there was no government, the public would be smart enough not to cater to fractional-reserve bankers and so the problem would disappear. I say that government is not the only thing that gets people to follow their short-run interest and ignore the long run, and that getting rid of the government would not be enough to make people that smart. I'd be glad to be wrong about that....

That there are flaws in the theory that is commonly believed does not at all mean that capitalism in practice is a crime against humanity. In practice it sometimes has very good results. Sometimes things that get called capitalism have rather bad results, and people who want to improve the world can argue about whether the bad stuff is really capitalism or not, and whether the bad stuff under whatever name can be reduced. If they want to improve the world usually they want governments to do it, because the obvious alternative is to get a whole lot of people to act smarter. And they are reasonably sure that won't happen. Of course, getting governments to act smarter and more altruisticly is not real likely either....

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When the public is pretty much agreed about what's fair, then that's mostly what arbitrators will judge. How could it be otherwise?

When the public is split the arbitrators will be split too,

OK, give us a plausible split.  Mall owners are not going to ban people with tattoos, and butchers are not going to put up a sign saying "If our meat poisons you, that is your problem, we are not liable."

Software vendors very often do put up signs saying that their liability is limited to the cost of the software. If you have all your tax information on their accounting software, and a flaw in their software leaves you bankrupt, they will give you your $500 back.

Butchers might quite plausibly put up signs saying their liability is limited to $500 per customer, or whatever. That might seem like a generous liability to their customers. When they do that they are in fact saying "If our meat poisons you, we will give you no more than $500". But their customers assume that the meat will not in fact poison them, as do the butchers themselves. The butchers intend to stay in business, which they cannot do if it becomes known that they poison customers. Almost everybody assumes ahead of time that such things will not happen, and it's only after they do happen that the litigation starts.

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People would doubtless be split on whether prostitution should be legal, recreational drugs should be legal, but in such cases there is no complainant willing to pull his gun and risk getting shot to make what he says the law should be stick, so regardless of what arbitrators might say, such laws will not stick, whereas there is a complainant willing to hang a mugger from the lampost and stick a burglar's head on a pike on his front fence, so in such matters what arbitrators say will stick.  The arbitrator's power to coerce only comes from the actual possibility of violence, and in anarchic state, there is no group of men who can safely, easily, and cheaply get away with violence.

You claim that in muslim societies there are people who are willing to kill over prostitution etc. I say that was true even before muslims had much of a government. This looks to me like a counterexample to your claim.

In the USA, there are people who are willing to kill abortionists, but there is no one ready to kill to save abortion. Individual MDs could of course hire bodyguards who are ready to kill to protect their employers -- people who are ready to kill for money. By your reasoning, abortion could wind up functionally illegal even when the population is split, because of the distribution of violent murderers between the sides.

Others have argued that when there is a consensus, customs can be enforced even without killers doing the enforcing. Somebody gets a bad reputation and lots of people refuse to do business with him -- it gets just too inconvenient to violate expectations. If none of the mall owners will let you onto their property and only one oxygen-seller will sell you oxygen, and that at 5 times the going price, nobody has committed aggression against you -- they have a right to choose their customers. Life is easier when you don't get everybody mad at you. But when there is not a consensus that breaks down.

Your idea that it depends on the most violent ones ... that's interesting. It makes a certain sense that the ones who are most willing to kill and die for their morals, should be the ones who get to decide for everybody. It's certainly true in practice part of the time.

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So for example, imagine that the public disagrees about patent protection, as the libertarian community currently does.

A property right in anarchy is only going to stick if it is something you reasonably could and would smack someone around for violating.  If someone burgles me while I am present in my house, one of us will surely die.  If you shoplift from Walmart, Walmart security will grab you in the parking lot, and if you try to leave, they will grab you harder.

No one would do this over a patent, no one would think it right to do this over a patent.

OK. I picked that example because it's something that I know there's disagreement over. I can imagine that no patent owner would kill over theft of his intellectual property. He'd have to actually believe that his patent was valid and that it was actually his property that was being stolen. Nobody would do that. They'd know they were wrong, because of course nobody really believes in patents. ;)

If I pick something that libertarians and AnCaps agree about, then they will say it's a dandruff issue and that nobody with any sense could ever disagree with them so there cannot be any problem. Can you think of another issue that AnCaps are not 100% united over? I can't think of anything that AnCaps disagree about enough to kill each other about, so I guess there will always be consensus in every future AnCap society about what the laws ought to be.

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Jerry will not shut down communications.  A "trespassers will be shot sign" usually has a doorbell right beside it.  Again your argument is "Suppose people act really stupid, and we have no good and wise state to make them act sensible."

No, I'm not talking about a state. I'm talking about how the arbitration is supposed to work.

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Most people will not act stupid, and Darwin should take care of those that do act stupid.

I run into this argument a lot here. I ask, "How should arbitration handle this situation?". And I hear the answer, "Your example assumes that somebody has done something stupid. But in AnCap nobody will do anything stupid to get arbitrated over."

Doesn't a whole lot of government law actually deal with people who have done something stupid? Is AnCap going to make everybody stop acting stupid? So much that we don't need to arbitrate it?

Maybe, when somebody does something stupid, you should just kill him? And then it turns out he has a stupid  pregnant wife and 6 stupid children, and the arbitrator has to decide how much you have to support them for the next 20 years or so? Is that a smart move on your part?
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 21, 2011, 08:56:12 am

Reductio ad absurdum. If you announce the general principle but there is some price that is obviously wrong, then the general principle is wrong unless it gives a sense of which prices are acceptable.

Nope. You can sue the Bishop of Boston for bastardy, but don't expect to win. The principle is sound at any price. What the reductio ad absurdum yields is only the price at which nobody will want to play with you any more.

So, you can put up a sign that says you are not obligated to pay any debts. If somebody doesn't realise this and sells you something they bill you for, you can tear up the bill with no legal consequences. If they arbitrate for their money, your sign means you don't owe them.

But the reason you don't owe them is that they were stupid enough not to collect their money first, when they should have known that you would not pay. Once word gets around, you will not be able to get a lease to rent property -- but you can probably rent a cubicle where you put the money in the door in advance and when the money runs out the lock stops working. You can't get into a restaurant where they present the bill at the end, but you can go to Macdonalds or equivalent where you pay first. Nobody will extend you the least bit of credit because they know you are not obligated to honor it.

I can imagine that working.

Your own rules are whatever you say they are, provided other people know in advance. You handle whatever consequences come from that. I kind of like it.


Still, in the general case, one counterexample is enough to show a law is bad.

The legal system evolved, mostly before modern times, and evolution is messy.

Imagine a software developer using that approach. "This algorithm works correctly 95% of the time. We won't think about the other 5%, those are hard cases. If we think about the hard cases the runtime will be slower on the easy cases."

Imagine it in business. "Our customer satisfaction rate is 95%. That's plenty. If we catered to difficult customers then it would only encourage them and we'd get more difficult customers. We'll base our practices on sales to easy customers only."

Sure, in practice you will have some failures. But when you build in failure, when you design laws that must fail in some circumstances, you are doing a bad thing.

The major reason this works for government law is that law is a monopoly. So they can get away with it. And still people increasingly choose arbitration when they aren't so angry that they accept the damage they get from government law hoping they can hurt the other guy worse.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: mellyrn on May 21, 2011, 07:23:41 pm
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So, you can put up a sign that says you are not obligated to pay any debts.

I think you'd have to wear it.  You can put up a sign warning of limited liability towards those who enter the premises that the sign marks, but if you don't put it up where they can actually see it, you might as well not bother.  Likewise, if you put up a sign at home saying that you aren't obligated to pay debts, and then try to reference it when you go elsewhere, it ain't gonna wash.

There is probably lawyer language to explain why that is so.

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when you build in failure, when you design laws that must fail in some circumstances, you are doing a bad thing.

Can you show an example of a law that cannot fail?  (Seems to me that "can fail" = "must fail in some circumstances".)  "Law" is here used in reference to human intercourse; "laws" of science need not apply.

Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: sam on May 21, 2011, 09:08:44 pm
So, you can put up a sign that says you are not obligated to pay any debts.

You would have to be wearing it when you tried to borrow money.  Whereupon, you would be unable to borrow money.

Problem solved.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 22, 2011, 02:29:03 am
So, you can put up a sign that says you are not obligated to pay any debts.

You would have to be wearing it when you tried to borrow money.  Whereupon, you would be unable to borrow money.

Problem solved.

No problem to solve. Perhaps you would have the sign on your website, but the point is that if anybody doesn't notice it can be reasonably said it's their own fault. Like the sign in the store.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 22, 2011, 03:22:59 am

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when you build in failure, when you design laws that must fail in some circumstances, you are doing a bad thing.

Can you show an example of a law that cannot fail?  (Seems to me that "can fail" = "must fail in some circumstances".)  "Law" is here used in reference to human intercourse; "laws" of science need not apply.

I can explain the idea. First, laws must be interpreted and used by people, and it's always possible for an arbitrator to mess things up. There can be legitimate reasons to set a law aside, and there can be bad reasons to do that. Any time the result is not justice the system has failed some, but that doesn't make the law wrong.

When the law is inconsistent then there will likely be a way to arbitrage it. If the law says that you can't steal from me, but I can steal from you, how much property are you likely to wind up with? I say that in general that sort of law is bad. Make the law consistent, and then depend on individual arbitrators to handle the peculiar edge cases when it seems like it's actually a good thing for me to steal from you.

So for example we have a peculiar idea about "commodities". Any time we consider something unique, then my unique property belongs to me. If you borrow it you're supposed to give it back. But if I borrow a commodity from you, I am only obligated to return the same amount of the same commodity, or perhaps we might agree I owe you something more. And this allows arbitrage.

So, a bank can borrow your money (you "deposit" it) and then lend it to somebody else. The only requirement is that it give you back money when you want it. Under current rules banks need to have on hand about 0.5% of the money they owe people, because nobody but drug dealers etc actually take out much cash.

A stockbroker can borrow the stock you bought (you leave the stock with him, and it's inconvenient not to). He can sell it which helps to keep the price low, while you bought it hoping the price would go up. He can invest the money, or buy stock he will then try to sell to customers. His only obligation to you is that when you do want to sell it, he has to have some stock on hand he can sell for you. Just like the bank, except a bit riskier for the stockbroker because if he sells a lot of stock and the price goes up anyway, he loses money.

A wheat broker can sell your wheat. He loses money if the price has risen when you want to sell. This one is institutionalised as the commodity options market -- anybody can sell wheat they don't own, hoping the price will go down, or buy the right to wheat at a set price, hoping the price will go up.

If we treated automobiles as a commodity, then when you put your car in a parking garage, the garage owner could rent it out as long as he still has a car when you come back and want one.

If jewelry was a commodity, then when you put your jewelry in a safe deposit box the bank could sell it. As long as they could produce equivalent jewelry when you wanted it, they would be fine. Gold is a commodity, so you can buy gold from a gold dealer who stores it for you, and then you can buy and sell gold to your heart's content, and the gold dealer doesn't have to actually have your gold. All he has to have is the cash you will want if you decide to cash in.

We have a loophole in the law, where sometimes theft of commodities is not legally theft. If we were to close that loophole then we could still work out ways to share unused resources, but without the special arbitrage. You could if you wanted make an agreement with the garage that they can rent out your car between 8 AM and 5 PM, for some price. You get some money, they get to charge for more cars than they actually have storage space for, everybody knows what they're getting in to.

I can't give you an example of a law which cannot fail, any more than I can give you an example of a nontrivial computer program which has no bugs. I can give examples of laws which are designed to fail in some circumstances. I can give you examples of lawyers who say that "hard cases make bad law" meaning that they know about buggy laws and they say that's how it ought to be. I don't have any examples of software developers who say that buggy programs should not be fixed because "hard test cases make bad programs".
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: sam on May 22, 2011, 06:09:59 am
give us a plausible split.  Mall owners are not going to ban people with tattoos, and butchers are not going to put up a sign saying "If our meat poisons you, that is your problem, we are not liable."

Software vendors very often do put up signs saying that their liability is limited to the cost of the software.

I am more willing to buy software that might poison my computer, than food that might poison me.  I have a backup of my data.  I don't have a backup of me.

If you have all your tax information on their accounting software, and a flaw in their software leaves you bankrupt, they will give you your $500 back.

A flaw in their software will not leave you bankrupt.  If your tax bill looks grossly wrong, you are going to sanity check it.  If it could leave you bankrupt, you would be more alarmed by the disclaimer, just as you would be more alarmed by the butcher's disclaimer.

Butchers might quite plausibly put up signs saying their liability is limited to $500 per customer, or whatever.

Not plausible at all.

People would doubtless be split on whether prostitution should be legal, recreational drugs should be legal, but in such cases there is no complainant willing to pull his gun and risk getting shot to make what he says the law should be stick, so regardless of what arbitrators might say, such laws will not stick, whereas there is a complainant willing to hang a mugger from the lampost and stick a burglar's head on a pike on his front fence, so in such matters what arbitrators say will stick.  The arbitrator's power to coerce only comes from the actual possibility of violence, and in anarchic state, there is no group of men who can safely, easily, and cheaply get away with violence.

You claim that in muslim societies there are people who are willing to kill over prostitution etc.

No, they are willing to kill to make Muslims supreme over infidels and willing to kill to control female sexuality within  their family.  They are not willing to kill to control female sexuality in someone else's family.

In the USA, there are people who are willing to kill abortionists, but there is no one ready to kill to save abortion.[/quote]

If that was the case, then in an anarchic society, abortion would be illegal, but I observe the reverse - that violence against abortion doctors is so rare as to be entirely insignificant, whereas merely protesting peacefully against abortion is apt to result in violence against the protestors - because those seeking abortion, and those providing it, have compelling reasons of self interest to suppress protest, whereas those opposing abortion have merely altruistic reasons to protest, and so seldom do very much.  Indeed the frequency of violence against anti abortion protestors, and the rarity of violence against abortion doctors, leads me to the conclusion that in anarchic society, not only abortion but also infanticide would be legal, and we might well get the situation of the Roman Republic, where the patriarch could execute any dependent member of his household

Others have argued that when there is a consensus, customs can be enforced even without killers doing the enforcing.

Doubtless with an anti alcohol consensus, we could bust people who get falling down drunk in the streets, but not those who get falling down drunk in their homes. Similarly, probably could suppress streetwalkers but not brothels.

Your idea that it depends on the most violent ones ... that's interesting. It makes a certain sense that the ones who are most willing to kill and die for their morals,

Those willing to kill and die to control the drug consumption of some stranger far away are rather few.  Those willing to use violence to protect their right consume their drugs of choice are many.

So for example, imagine that the public disagrees about patent protection, as the libertarian community currently does.

A property right in anarchy is only going to stick if it is something you reasonably could and would smack someone around for violating.  If someone burgles me while I am present in my house, one of us will surely die.  If you shoplift from Walmart, Walmart security will grab you in the parking lot, and if you try to leave, they will grab you harder.

No one would do this over a patent, no one would think it right to do this over a patent.

OK. I picked that example because it's something that I know there's disagreement over. I can imagine that no patent owner would kill over theft of his intellectual property. He'd have to actually believe that his patent was valid and that it was actually his property that was being stolen. Nobody would do that. They'd know they were wrong, because of course nobody really believes in patents. ;)

Nobody really believes in patents in their guts, the way they believe in their guts that their land is their own.  A dog will attack you for treading on his master's land.  The dog will not attack you for imitating his master's intellectual property.  If you trespass on his land, the master and the dog will both snarl at you in much the same fashion.  You won't get that reaction from either one for intellectual property.

Can you think of another issue that AnCaps are not 100% united over?

Lots of things.  I think an anarcho capitalist society could and should produce a lot more violence than Sandy thinks it should.

Sandy thinks that infanticide would be suppressed by charitable organizations.  I say that if something needs charity to suppress it, it will not be much suppressed.  I just cannot see charitable organizations toting guns and facing bullets on behalf of strangers to whom they owe nothing.  But if charitable organizations would tote guns and face bullets, then you could get quite a bit of violence on these issues.

I think Sandy's society has more compliance than is plausible, and less violence than is plausible.  You could not get that much nice guy progressivism, without the sort of violence that the progressive state deploys, which violence would have to be applied by charitable organizations.  Assuming the existence of his violent charitable organizations, they would likely have extensive disagreements as to what charitable acts are actually charitable.

I run into this argument a lot here. I ask, "How should arbitration handle this situation?". And I hear the answer, "Your example assumes that somebody has done something stupid. But in AnCap nobody will do anything stupid to get arbitrated over."

They will get Darwin as their abitrator.

Doesn't a whole lot of government law actually deal with people who have done something stupid?

No.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 22, 2011, 09:52:19 am

Doesn't a whole lot of government law actually deal with people who have done something stupid?

No.

Did I phrase that wrong? Did you object to "deal with" instead of "involve"?

What kind of law have you done, that you would claim it's mostly smart people as victims, smart people as perps, smart people as plaintiffs and smart people as defendants?
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: sam on May 22, 2011, 03:47:01 pm
Doesn't a whole lot of government law actually deal with people who have done something stupid?

No.

Did I phrase that wrong? Did you object to "deal with" instead of "involve"?

If someone gets caught, he was probably stupid, just as if someone gets drunk and falls off a cliff he was probably stupid, but there is nothing inherently stupid about breaking government legislation - indeed, we have so many laws that everyone necessarily breaks them all the time.  If all laws were suddenly enforced fully and effectively tomorrow, the average honest respectable middle class businessman would probably be facing several hundred years worth of felony offenses.

That people who get in trouble for breaking government legislation tend to be stupid no more means that government law addresses stupidity than that people who get in trouble as a result of the law of gravity tend to be stupid means that the law of gravity addresses stupidity.

Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 22, 2011, 04:29:21 pm
Doesn't a whole lot of government law actually deal with people who have done something stupid?

No.

Did I phrase that wrong? Did you object to "deal with" instead of "involve"?

That people who get in trouble for breaking government legislation tend to be stupid no more means that government law addresses stupidity than that people who get in trouble as a result of the law of gravity tend to be stupid means that the law of gravity addresses stupidity.

Well, my point is that a whole lot of people do a whole lot of stupid things.

And then when I ask about AnCap arbitration dealing with the aftermath of stupid choices, you and others say that in AnCap people won't do stupid things so it won't be an issue.

I am frankly not convinced.

People will most probably still do some stupid things that result in arbitration.
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: J Thomas on May 22, 2011, 04:34:53 pm
And then when I ask about AnCap arbitration dealing with the aftermath of stupid choices, you and others say that in AnCap people won't do stupid things so it won't be an issue.

Meanwhile, we have this limited liability thing. A butcher might want limited liability because he's afraid that a frivolous or outright fraudulent lawsuit might cost him everything he owns. Sandy Sandfort says this is worthwhile and doable.

Sam wants high or unlimited liability on his butcher because he might poison Sam and Sam doesn't want that to be cheap for him. Sam is directly opposed to Sandy on this.

I say, most people will not pay a whole lot of attention to this issue most of the time.

What's the chance that a business gets frivolously sued and the arbitrator awards damages that are far too high? Not very likely, right? The arbitrator has to go along, and he won't.

What's the chance your butcher actually poisons you? Pretty low.

If more than a tiny fraction of cranks like Sam care about the amount of money they can sue their butcher for when the butcher poisons them, that butcher is already in trouble. When his customers are worried about how safe his beef is, a whole lot of them are just not going to buy rather than think about how much money they can sue him for. They assume the product is safe or they don't buy it. Whether the liability is the purchase price, or $50, or $500, or $5000 is off the radar.

Meanwhile, businessmen are not going to assume that all their customers are good people. Some small fraction of customers will try to rip them off for everything they can get. Ward off a fraction of the bad ones by putting up a sign? That's a good investment.

And if something does happen? And a business owner actually appears to the arbitrator like he should owe more than his stated liability? Is that going to stop the arbitrator from assigning more damages? No.

Unless the arbitrator is scared of doing the right thing. If doing the right thing means he's never going to do business in this town again.... If influential citizens can do that to arbitrators, when the arbitrators do the right thing and not some wrong thing, then what good are arbitrators?
Title: Re: LIMITED LIABILITY IN A MARKET ANARCHY
Post by: sam on May 22, 2011, 10:06:21 pm
And then when I ask about AnCap arbitration dealing with the aftermath of stupid choices, you and others say that in AnCap people won't do stupid things so it won't be an issue.

Very few people are as stupid as the people in your hypotheticals, and any that are will not have any money or power, or they will not have money or power for very long, so will be incapable of causing substantial problems for anyone else.  

They won't cause problems for arbitration because they will not have a lawyer, not a protection agency coming to their defense.  They might well get mistreated by the system, by any system - for much the same reasons as they are apt to get mistreated by the law of gravity.  I suppose that really stupid people are apt to get thumped by Walmart security.  Should the same thing happen in anarcho capitalism, will not be very surprised.


Meanwhile, we have this limited liability thing. A butcher might want limited liability because he's afraid that a frivolous or outright fraudulent lawsuit might cost him everything he owns. Sandy Sandfort says this is worthwhile and doable.

Sam wants high or unlimited liability on his butcher because he might poison Sam and Sam doesn't want that to be cheap for him. Sam is directly opposed to Sandy on this.

I don't want unlimited liability for the butcher.  I don't want him to liable if I eat too much and get fat.  I don't want him to be liable if I have an accident in his parking area, or fall over in his shop.  I don't want him to be sued a trillion dollars because an “expert witness” detects evil magic in his meat, or his ancestry, or the paint that he used to paint his shop or the racial imbalance in his staff. I do want him to be liable if I get food poisoning due to dirty meat.

Thus a sign disclaiming liability for cleanliness related issues would alarm me.  A sign disclaiming liability for everything other than cleanliness related issues and the meat being accurately labelled would not alarm me.