Leviathan on October 31, 2008, 04:55:32 am
First, why am I the one starting all the threads for this comic?   ::)

You get fined (or worse) for making agist, sexist, racist, or really any other descriminatory remarks in that terran society.  Except if you're talking about a capitalist.  Derogatory remarks to or about someone whose crime is to engage in free commerce are just fine, hah!  Reminds me of every conversation I've had with people who advocate market control or destruction.  They'll cry foul at all those fascists who they disagree with, and then advocate *drumroll* fascism.  "Don't oppress us!  Now here's all the ways I want to oppress you and anybody else I think is an abuser of society."

The funny part is they can't even conceive of some of the measures of dictatorial control that would be necessary for a monarchy to really be a monarchy in that storyline.  They didn't come up with all the finery rules for an audience before a king.  When they come before him, they don't even think to ask for identification.  They ask for the business cards.  And if the UWRA types weren't probably from a world where arbitration has been annihilated, they'd have thought about that part of the sign that hasn't had whiteout applied to it for the occasion, "arbitration services", hah!  The culture clash for that is just incredibly extreme, heh.

Okay, question.  One of the problems I've been contemplating for situations like seasteading and space colonies is the fact that some aspects under current engineering do not lend themselves readily to modular ownership and control.  The "commons" in EfT are things like the roadways.  Not that they themselves are necessarily *directly* tied to this issue, as they aren't in real life.  But the atmospheric systems are.  Without easy compartmentalization of the atmospheric systems, each segment owned and charged-for by its owner by whatever mechanism they wish to employ and the safety of each segment dependent only on its own integrity.  If any one segment of an interconnected system like that fails in space, they all go down.  And if all interconnected segments like that are owned by the same group, it would tend to result in compulsory taxation (like the socialists try to say, if you use the public services you should be expected to contribute to their construction and upkeep) and an easy pathway for hydraulic despotism to spawn (you don't follow my rules, you don't get to use my resource, even though you have no choice but to use it or die).  Only if atmospheric reclamation and having equally vacuum-safe construction is all pretty much zero-cost would it be easy to have commons like that without these issues.  Sort of like how replenishment and/or reclamation out here right now only happens to a piece of land if it's privately owned, because it takes significant resources to do so but any who would be contributing to "the commons" reaps almost no rewards from it.  And even if someone starts a charity replenishment effort, others will just strip it bare and pollute the crap out of it (into it?) again.  Curious what the solution to that issue would be here?

wdg3rd on October 31, 2008, 06:38:31 am
First, why am I the one starting all the threads for this comic?   ::)
Looking at the top of this forum, you've now started three out of six.
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You get fined (or worse) for making agist, sexist, racist, or really any other descriminatory remarks in that terran society.  Except if you're talking about a capitalist.  Derogatory remarks to or about someone whose crime is to engage in free commerce are just fine, hah!  Reminds me of every conversation I've had with people who advocate market control or destruction.  They'll cry foul at all those fascists who they disagree with, and then advocate *drumroll* fascism.  "Don't oppress us!  Now here's all the ways I want to oppress you and anybody else I think is an abuser of society."
Merely an extension of the current trend.  Note that hanging Sarah Palin in effigy is a Halloween decoration, but hanging Barrack Obama in effigy is a hate crime.  (Not that I like either of them).
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The funny part is they can't even conceive of some of the measures of dictatorial control that would be necessary for a monarchy to really be a monarchy in that storyline.  They didn't come up with all the finery rules for an audience before a king.  When they come before him, they don't even think to ask for identification.  They ask for the business cards.  And if the UWRA types weren't probably from a world where arbitration has been annihilated, they'd have thought about that part of the sign that hasn't had whiteout applied to it for the occasion, "arbitration services", hah!  The culture clash for that is just incredibly extreme, heh.
Hey, they've been busy.
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Okay, question.  One of the problems I've been contemplating for situations like seasteading and space colonies is the fact that some aspects under current engineering do not lend themselves readily to modular ownership and control.  The "commons" in EfT are things like the roadways.  Not that they themselves are necessarily *directly* tied to this issue, as they aren't in real life.  But the atmospheric systems are.  Without easy compartmentalization of the atmospheric systems, each segment owned and charged-for by its owner by whatever mechanism they wish to employ and the safety of each segment dependent only on its own integrity.  If any one segment of an interconnected system like that fails in space, they all go down.  And if all interconnected segments like that are owned by the same group, it would tend to result in compulsory taxation (like the socialists try to say, if you use the public services you should be expected to contribute to their construction and upkeep) and an easy pathway for hydraulic despotism to spawn (you don't follow my rules, you don't get to use my resource, even though you have no choice but to use it or die).  Only if atmospheric reclamation and having equally vacuum-safe construction is all pretty much zero-cost would it be easy to have commons like that without these issues.  Sort of like how replenishment and/or reclamation out here right now only happens to a piece of land if it's privately owned, because it takes significant resources to do so but any who would be contributing to "the commons" reaps almost no rewards from it.  And even if someone starts a charity replenishment effort, others will just strip it bare and pollute the crap out of it (into it?) again.  Curious what the solution to that issue would be here?
The problem of The Commons is one of the oldest debates in the history of anarchism and libertarianism.
Ward Griffiths        wdg3rd@aol.com

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.  --  Denis Diderot

Monkt on October 31, 2008, 10:49:33 am
I get this strange feeling that they are being screwed with.

Frank B. on October 31, 2008, 02:27:49 pm
First, why am I the one starting all the threads for this comic?   ::)

Well, you've started half of them.  ;)

Okay, question.  One of the problems I've been contemplating for situations like seasteading and space colonies is the fact that some aspects under current engineering do not lend themselves readily to modular ownership and control.  The "commons" in EfT are things like the roadways.  Not that they themselves are necessarily *directly* tied to this issue, as they aren't in real life.  But the atmospheric systems are.  Without easy compartmentalization of the atmospheric systems, each segment owned and charged-for by its owner by whatever mechanism they wish to employ and the safety of each segment dependent only on its own integrity.  If any one segment of an interconnected system like that fails in space, they all go down.  And if all interconnected segments like that are owned by the same group, it would tend to result in compulsory taxation (like the socialists try to say, if you use the public services you should be expected to contribute to their construction and upkeep) and an easy pathway for hydraulic despotism to spawn (you don't follow my rules, you don't get to use my resource, even though you have no choice but to use it or die).  Only if atmospheric reclamation and having equally vacuum-safe construction is all pretty much zero-cost would it be easy to have commons like that without these issues.  Sort of like how replenishment and/or reclamation out here right now only happens to a piece of land if it's privately owned, because it takes significant resources to do so but any who would be contributing to "the commons" reaps almost no rewards from it.  And even if someone starts a charity replenishment effort, others will just strip it bare and pollute the crap out of it (into it?) again.  Curious what the solution to that issue would be here?

When the Russians crashed their freight hauler into the US Spectre module, they closed off that module.  A high degree of redundancy is required when you don't have an effectively open system environment.  In a tight closed system environment, economics is a harsh mistress.  Regardless of political will, you can't get around that reality.  On Ceres, like on Mir, each segment, regardless of who owns which and how many will be built to be able to be isolated from the rest on day one.  Thus, your segment can be "safed" from your neighbor's problems.  The problem they had when this happened on Mir was they had a tragedy of the commons non-management problem with a lot of power and data cables run through the hatch ways ignoring the full economic repercussions of such poor practices.  So, to save their lives they litteraly had to cut all of that out of the way to close the hatch.  They don't do that on the ISS because of what happened on Mir.  They also planned for other ways of running new data and power externally to avoid what necessitated the Mir problem.

I imagine folks living on Ceres would have either thought ahead, or learned the less the hard way (remember most of the first 100 died).  On Ceres, the owner of the problem segment would have to do what any private individual has to do to raise money and pay for repairs.  If their segment incorporated a commonly used path, then those who commonly use it will look to help pay for repair as it is worth their while.  If a segment owner (or owner of segments) did a poor job of building and maintaining their segments with common passage, people would be less inclined to use those segments and invest/purchase better paths/segments.  Remember, free markets favor productive spending over non-productive spending.  They have to.


Leviathan on October 31, 2008, 07:26:35 pm
Frank:

Well, the weirdness is I did just check, no airlock-type installations have been drawn yet.  Drawn roadways have been fairly seamless.  No signs of vertically-rising barrier locks, swivelling-disk valve locks, submarine-hatch-style locks, iris locks, or vertically-descending barrier locks.  I suppose some future-techy method of sealing segments in the event of larger damage could be used, heh.  Such as, say, the pseudoglass reacting like a cut vein collapsing.  But are the roadway segments pictured part of the same business ownership/roadway-lease/easement contract?  I get that there can be multiple owners, but the larger segments pictured so far are all the same basic aesthetic for the pseudoglass, and I wouldn't necessarily expect different networks to all have the same solution to low-grav locomotion.

I am suddenly picturing one possible alleviation solution for rock-induced failures.  Skyscan companies, clearing rocks that are set to collide with their customers' property for a fee.  The quality would necessarily correspond to how small their detection and redirection/destruction threshold is.  Rock forecasting like we do weather forecasting.  Etc.

Monkt:

Ya think?  Naw, they really have a Monarch who rules them with an iron fist, taxing them to expand his own grandiose palace  ;)

wdg3rd:

I was talking about the current practitioners.  I've had a lot of arguments lately, before I gave it up as pointless, with "classicalist" anarchists.  People who don't believe in the validity of property, who believe an employer is an example of a fascist authoritarian because he or she requests in exchange for providing the worker with valuable capital resources that they contribute equivalent value to the business.  Which would entail showing up when multiple workers can actually contribute to each others' projects, putting in sufficient volume and quantity to justify the expense of the worker, things like that.  The fact that most CEOs put at least half again as many hours per day in as the hourly workers (the CEO who spends all day, every day at the golf course or sipping martinis is pretty mythological, his company would go down in flames around him and/or the board would fire him for contributing zero value to the company), that their value is usually in direct proportion to their salary as Ben&Jerry found when they tried to restrict the wage gap at the company when they left, makes no impact on these types.

As far as them not being able to put forward the full fascist image, my point is that they're so far removed from it they can barely imagine how an oppressive tyrant would act, heh.

As far as the tragedy of the commons, I'm just saying true commons pretty well requires an authoritarian regime to snag a bit of property, tell everybody nobody has exclusive access to it, and set up any available rules for people to loot them if they're not "enclosed".  In a free society the closest to a "commons" is charity-run parks and such, where to keep up donations the charity has to put the resources into maintaining them to justify continued contributions, and businesses that expect people who aren't explicitly invited to use a piece of property, such as a toll road.  It's why you can see the dividing line between Haiti and the Dominican Republic from the air.  Due to the horrible ownership rules in Haiti, almost the entire country is "the commons".  Right across the border, people can own the land and so invest in preservation, replenishment, and other sustainable methods that preserve the value of the land.

Frank B. on November 03, 2008, 03:01:18 pm
Well, the weirdness is I did just check, no airlock-type installations have been drawn yet.  Drawn roadways have been fairly seamless.  No signs of vertically-rising barrier locks, swivelling-disk valve locks, submarine-hatch-style locks, iris locks, or vertically-descending barrier locks.  I suppose some future-techy method of sealing segments in the event of larger damage could be used, heh.  Such as, say, the pseudoglass reacting like a cut vein collapsing.  But are the roadway segments pictured part of the same business ownership/roadway-lease/easement contract?  I get that there can be multiple owners, but the larger segments pictured so far are all the same basic aesthetic for the pseudoglass, and I wouldn't necessarily expect different networks to all have the same solution to low-grav locomotion.

Well, I have to admit that I'm guessing here.  I may be the publisher, but I'm not one of the creators.  You have to consider that the panels you see are static shots of scenes, and all manner of things exist outside the frame.  It could be just dumb luck that non of the shots, so far, have revealed any indications of segment transition points, such as the more mechanical locks you suggest.  As far as I know, there are no force fields, or other exotic seal devices.  Or there could be some other tech which negates a need for segment segregation.  Perhaps I can coax Scott or Sandy to comment.

Leviathan on November 03, 2008, 05:59:11 pm
Too many Biesers on the project?  :P

Sure, here's a cattleprod if they need any encouragement  :D  Or I can just wait if it's planned to be pictured at some point.

Monkt on November 04, 2008, 12:34:17 am
That was amazing.

SandySandfort on November 04, 2008, 10:29:40 am
Well, I have to admit that I'm guessing here.  I may be the publisher, but I'm not one of the creators.  You have to consider that the panels you see are static shots of scenes, and all manner of things exist outside the frame.  It could be just dumb luck that non of the shots, so far, have revealed any indications of segment transition points, such as the more mechanical locks you suggest.  As far as I know, there are no force fields, or other exotic seal devices.  Or there could be some other tech which negates a need for segment segregation.  Perhaps I can coax Scott or Sandy to comment.


Frank has got it mostly right except about most of the original colonists dying. That's only what they told Guy and Fiorella. (By the way, much of what little Babbette told them was a fabrication too.) The only "commons" on Ceres are unused portions of the surface ice. BTW, the streets are no more a commons than are the roads in Disney World nor the parking lot at Wal-Marts. You have seen some airlocks, you just didn't know that was what you were looking at. As for blowouts and such, that is all taken care of by air skin nanobots.

Frank B. on November 04, 2008, 04:42:43 pm
Frank has got it mostly right except about most of the original colonists dying. That's only what they told Guy and Fiorella. (By the way, much of what little Babbette told them was a fabrication too.) The only "commons" on Ceres are unused portions of the surface ice. BTW, the streets are no more a commons than are the roads in Disney World nor the parking lot at Wal-Marts. You have seen some airlocks, you just didn't know that was what you were looking at. As for blowouts and such, that is all taken care of by air skin nanobots.

Like I said, I'm the publisher.  What the hell do I know.  ;D

Sean Roach on November 04, 2008, 07:59:47 pm
If you go to a mall, who pays for the air conditioning?
If you buy nothing while visiting the mall, are you charged a small fee for the music you listened to in the hall?
And yet, the mall owners, and businesses seem to have no problem with the various visitors who buy nothing on any given trip...just walk around the concourse.

How many McDonalds have you heard of complaining because you tossed a Taco Bell cup in their outside trash can after visiting the drive through?

McDonalds benefits more by having a customer who otherwise would feel obligated to revisit Taco Bell, so they could throw away the remnants of the last meal.  It'd be worth more to neighboring, but different, businesses to share connections, and air, just so customers at either one might casually drift over and shop at the other.  And even if two business have the exact stock and trade, they both want to associate closely with the third that doesn't, which has no positive incentive to shun either one.  Two rental places, one restaurant?  Do YOU want to be the one who doesn't allow free flow between the restaurant and you just because the other rental place connects there too?

The thing to consider isn't just "tragedy of the commons", but also Metcalfe's law.  The value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of nodes on it.  Besides, "tragedy of the commons" is a reflection of the overutilization of a free resource.  When a resource is charged for, in sync with its value, waste goes down.  Imagine how many people would take longer showers, or wouldn't bother to turn off the tap while brushing their teeth, if they were told the water bill was a flat fee.

The only issue I see with roads and such is it would tend to be a natural monopoly.  Whoever has the road can, do a degree, dictate terms as there is no alternative choice of transit except to move.  If the road operators decide they don't like you, you're stuck.  The same goes for any resource that's provided by right of way, (including water, gas, electricity, telephony...less so now.)  This gives the road management disproportionate power to dictate terms, (although they still have to balance keeping enough traffic on the road as a whole to keep the road profitable...)
Can you imagine someone coming by your house and saying "Our research shows you're a dirty libertarian.  Either shut up about that nonsense on all forums, or we're cutting off the power to your house.  We'll not serve people who mouth off about anarchy and such."?
No Shirt
No Shoes
No Service

Leviathan on November 04, 2008, 09:55:12 pm
Frank has got it mostly right except about most of the original colonists dying. That's only what they told Guy and Fiorella. (By the way, much of what little Babbette told them was a fabrication too.) The only "commons" on Ceres are unused portions of the surface ice. BTW, the streets are no more a commons than are the roads in Disney World nor the parking lot at Wal-Marts. You have seen some airlocks, you just didn't know that was what you were looking at. As for blowouts and such, that is all taken care of by air skin nanobots.

I have no illusions, whatsoever, that the truth to fabrication ratio in what they're hearing is even close to 50/50.  But that part about the "air skin nanobots"...  Essentially they all have spacesuits, they're just, uhh, better than skin-tight?  I recognize door-locks, those are basic, on the outside of dwellings and businesses.  It's road-locks I can't see any of in the SL.  Unless, as stated, they're future-techy and I'm sure the details on that, if story-relevant, will come out eventually.  Also didn't figure the roads were a true commons.  Just a "closest equivalent in a free market to it", which means mostly-general access with one or another method of paying for itself.  Which is assuming it even has maintenance costs..  I guess I should stop making tech assumptions since the moment nanotech enters the picture, the limits are pretty much the storage and processing capacity of the nanites, the energy going to the nanites, and the limits of the manipulators on the nanites. 

Speaking of future detailing and the room available for it, how long is this one planned to be, if there's a distinct plan in place rather than an ongoing project?  TPB was 185, Roswell 265 if re-assembled from book "lines" to pages the way the 63 pages of "A Drug War Carol" work.  Timepeeper 120.  How much opportunity will we have to explore the world of escape from terra?  If it comes down to "civil war", that's an expensive fight to wage uphill when Terra has bankrupted itself through socialism and nanny-statism, so should be deliciously long-lasting.  Or is it estimated that there won't be enough of a following to justify a massive arc the way studio foglio is running girl genius?  The numbering standard for filenames implies it'll be divided by chapters, at least.  And that you're leaving enough room for double-digit chapter numbers, and triple-digit pagenumbers.  Please say it'll be a fairly long-running series?  Seems interesting enough so far.

Sean, McDonalds' trashcans aren't really a commons, any more than the causeways in shopping malls are.  The restaurant trashcans would probably be willing to accept competitor trash even with private trash disposal.  Because you're usually going there to pay for it anyway, and it at least gets you hanging around so you're more likely to make a purchase.  In a mall, even though rarely do malls harass non-buyers, there are almost no true non-buyers.  And even if someone is a non-buyer, chances are they're going to be free advertisement to buyers or eventually become buyers.  Regardless, the AC and other "common" utilities within a mall are paid for as a function of the rents in the mall.  Which has resulted in things on a mall-based scale going south.  I recall a mall when I was in Florida.  Big place.  Beautiful architecture.  Idiot management, at least initially.  They literally ran out every shop and had to sell it to another developer.  And one of their big-shop outlets got retooled to be a call center.  Putting aside the way shopping malls as made are largely the result of legislation for the moment, they have been known to pull the same kinds of extortionism and overbearing management that governments normally pull.  My curiosity was what setup the writers figured they were using that avoided it.

SandySandfort on November 04, 2008, 10:33:34 pm
Speaking of future detailing and the room available for it, how long is this one planned to be, if there's a distinct plan in place rather than an ongoing project?
Escape From Terra has no planned "run." It will last as long as I can keep pumping out good short stories to be converted into comic format and as long as readers continue to enjoy what Scott, Lee and and I create.

KBCraig on November 05, 2008, 02:47:17 pm
The only issue I see with roads and such is it would tend to be a natural monopoly.  Whoever has the road can, do a degree, dictate terms as there is no alternative choice of transit except to move.

You were really on a great track there! But then, you fell into the "But what about the roads?" trap.

Roads, in an anarcho-capitalist society, would be just like the mall air conditioning in your example. Merchants with stores would be useless without access, so they would join together to provide roads, so that their customers could visit their stores. They would build where customers could have easy access, and add access where needed. (Quite unlike today's "incentivized" system.)

When things became too congested, land on the outskirts would grow more attractive, until the owners would build new stores and new roads to access them. And so forth, and so forth, until even the long lonely cross-continent highways were provided for, so that the merchants could reliably receive their goods.


Leviathan on November 05, 2008, 06:10:29 pm
I didn't really fall into the trap, so much as recognize that roads that at least are appearing as a continuous system run possibly by one company, they may have fallen into the trap of not paying attention to who controls a hydraulic resource. 

In truth, that generally does manage itself as well (long logic behind it), but would be likely to result in some roadways that would probably seem very strange laid next to the government-standardized strips of asphalt we have now.  Hence the slight confusion at what doesn't look too different from a set of lined roadways with maybe a bit of a sportier appearance sans curbs, even with a much lower stringency guideline for what is allowed to drive on/above them.  And what looks pretty well standardized and continuous rather than, as stated, segmented and looking capable of compartmentalization.  Might be a bit different in color, heh.