Teleporter: Good or bad?

Good! People must be free!
13 (65%)
Bad! I like knowing that bombs won't appear in my house one day.
7 (35%)

Total Members Voted: 19

quadibloc on September 11, 2009, 08:30:43 am
Power makes rights.

Power determines whether or not you can safely exercise your rights.

People have rights because they are people, in the same way that an electron has a spin of 1/2 because it is an electron. Thus, although the Jews of Europe did not have the power to prevent or escape the Holocaust, what Hitler had done to them was still wrong, because he acted in violation of their rights. Therefore, it was legitimate to use force to stop Hitler.

dough560 on September 12, 2009, 05:59:17 pm
 ;)  Implied self-interest is a strong motivating force.  People co-operate when  their interests align, for no society operates without rules.  Right behavior becomes Custom, Custom becomes Law.  Laws develop from two perspectives.  Natural Law identifies activities causing harm to another;  Murder, Rape, Robbery, etc.  Situational Law deals with behavior of the individual;  Drug Use, Firearms Ownership and Use, Prostitution, Property Ownership, etc.  Then you have those who use Situational Law to gain power.  They initiate laws restricting competition and civil rights.  Such laws are designed to enhance a position and ensure societal control.  These laws are driven by fear, greed and the Socialist Belief a group has the right to remove or limit an individual's civil rights.
 
We labor under the fictions of Imminent Domain and the State being the Crime Victim.  (Crime being defined as actions restricted by law.)  Imminent Domain in the form of Zoning Laws restrict property utilization.  With these fictions, we pay extortion to the state in property taxes, only to have our property stolen and given to another who will pay a higher rate of extortion.  The more extortion paid, the bigger the government.  Criminal Law is concerned with control and punishment, not restitution.  The actual crime victim is not returned to their former state.  The government "Fines" "Unlawful" behavior, acquiring more wealth, allowing bigger government.  Additionally people are confined,  usually at their expense.  Confinement expenses and operating costs are billed to the criminal subject.  These actions also enable government growth and increase societal control.

As the government grows larger and larger,  people are treated as children.  Individuals, believed to be incompetent and unable to make decisions without government control or guidance.  Eventually, individuals come to believe this fiction.  With the rise of the "Nanny State" there is no incentive to develop as responsible adolescents and adults.  With the rise of the 'Nanny State" Individual responsibility is penalized.  Productivity is taxed to provide services to the now helpless population.  The more productive you are, the higher the taxation rate.  A  goal of the Socialist Dream, where the Elite control ignorant masses.

With government control of the schools, Ignorance is rampant and often accompanied with arrogance.  Pride in willful ignorance, ignoring any knowledge disturbing their beliefs.  It can be cruel to the willfully ignorant, challenging their beliefs with facts.  Mostly they won't believe you.  Watch them whine and cry, screaming all the way, when you don't back down to their "Feelings" and "Beliefs".  William W. Johnstone identifies such people as "Hankie Stompers".  A key part of their belief system is the learned distrust and fear of what another person could do, if they had access to uncontrolled, unlimited materials and technologies.  In a world of open access and opportunity, there would be little danger from another person's actions.  People act from implied self-interest.  Working for the betterment of their situation and environment.  Our problem today, is how to get there from here.  How do we grow as individuals and as a people.  Where we are not a danger to ourselves and others.  Where we have the confidence to treat others as we want to be treated.  I'm starting see a glimmer of hope, with the lessening of firearms prohibitions and spreading acceptance of open and concealed carry.  Of course the Elite, recognize the danger to their goals of this acceptance.  They are acting accordingly.  Currently the United Nations is meeting behind closed doors, hammering out a treaty prohibiting private ownership of firearms.  That treaty could see us living in "Interesting Times" in the Chinese sense of the word.   ::)

quadibloc on September 12, 2009, 08:34:40 pm
A key part of their belief system is the learned distrust and fear of what another person could do, if they had access to uncontrolled, unlimited materials and technologies.  In a world of open access and opportunity, there would be little danger from another person's actions.  People act from implied self-interest.  Working for the betterment of their situation and environment.  Our problem today, is how to get there from here.  How do we grow as individuals and as a people.  Where we are not a danger to ourselves and others.  Where we have the confidence to treat others as we want to be treated.

I could spend time going through where Eminent Domain came from, and why Hammurabi had to do something about family feuds in ancient Babylon. But I think the points quoted above are more directly germane.

In large, anonymous, urban areas, gun control is not inherently unreasonable. And it you have a large, alienated, minority contributing to the crime statistics, that just makes it more reasonable.

While most people will act rationally to advance their own self-interest, there are always a few crazy and violent people... being able to buy the materials for a hydrogen bomb at your local hardware store doesn't need very many crazy and violent people to lead to bad consequences.

So the road to "there" from "here" would take a level of quality control of the human population that could only be carried out under totalitarian, not Libertarian, conditions.

While I think of anarcho-libertarianism as an unattainable ideal, though, going back to the kind of government that the United States had when it was true to the ideals of the Founding Fathers does not seem unattainable. The national government is allowed to levy taxes, but only for a restricted set of legitimate purposes. If more government is needed than the Federal Government can supply, the State governments are less constrained - but they're limited, because people can vote with their feet against ambitious schemes of wealth redistribution.

If you want to assign blame to who broke it, who made "States' Rights" a dirty word, it seems to me that those who were responsible for imposing Jim Crow are more fitting culprits than those who worked to bring about legal equality for all Americans.

In a democracy, at least one gets to vote for the government. If power in the hands of the government is likely to be abused, how much more likely to be abused is uncontrolled power in the hands of any and all of my neighbors?

J Thomas on September 12, 2009, 09:18:32 pm
In a democracy, at least one gets to vote for the government. If power in the hands of the government is likely to be abused, how much more likely to be abused is uncontrolled power in the hands of any and all of my neighbors?

Honey attracts bears and raccoons etc. Once a hive has honey they have to fight for it.

So when there is concentration of power, the people who want to mis-use power will try to get access to it so they can mis-use it. Government concentrates power.

It would be about as bad to have a few libertarians with a lot of concentrated power. Which I guess we do. So, if you don't like the way the Rockefeller family or the Dupont family uses their power, you're welcome to go into business and outcompete them and then you'll have the money and they wont. That would be just as true in a libertarian society as the present one.   :o  On the other hand, with a democratic government you get one vote and Bill Gates gets one vote. What could be fairer? See, Bill Gates has no more power over the US government than you do! What a wonderful system!

The overwhelming problem is concentration of power. Without that, if you and Bill Gates had some dispute and you couldn't arrange a fair settlement, you could have a shootout and if you were better with a gun you'd win. He'd usually do better to let you alone than face those odds. But when the power is highly concentrated then you lose whatever the details of the system.

wdg3rd on September 13, 2009, 08:19:32 pm

By-the-by, if Tobi does crack the problem, I guarantee the solution will not permit bombs or strangers to be transported to your home. Why? I don't find this line of inquiry sufficiently interesting to write about. At least not in the context of EFT. It's a good forum topic, but deadly boring (IMO) for story telling.

Plus, the subject has already been covered by Alfred Bester and Larry Niven, among others.  (Not that any of that prevented Commander Data from jumping into a prepubescent girl's bedroom during one episode of ST_TNG).
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

terry_freeman on September 14, 2009, 12:38:30 am
Gun control in urban areas is not "reasonable" - it is both an invasion of one's rights to self-defense, and stupid. Such stupid laws actually increase the risk of violent confrontations.

I grew up in Pittsburgh, which is a large urban area. Some while ago, the state adopted "shall issue" CCW laws; it is one of about 40 to do so. California is one of the holdouts. The District of Columbia is notorious for their draconian and absurd gun control laws. ( In D. of C., an ordinary semi-auto pistol is legally defined as the equivalent of a full-auto "machine gun" - simply because it has a detachable magazine. )

So explain to me why, when I ( who stand 6'3" and weigh 250+ ) was walking in D.C. with my 6-foot friend in broad daylight, we were given directions - by two young black men - to detour around a certain block because "it was a bad neighborhood"?

In Pittsburgh - where one can legally carry concealed weapons - I never had to curtail my walk in any neighborhood during the day. At night, one used common sense and avoided some places - but in any event, Pittsburgh - and many other cities where CCW is freely available - has lower murder rates than D.C.

So I ask you, which urban area has the more reasonable laws? The one where people are left free to defend themselves against criminals, or the one where that right is denied by the government?

As a young fellow recently explained to inquiring reporters, "I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop", or as someone else put it "when seconds count, 911 is only minutes away," Where there are more people - such as urban areas - it is far more reasonable to permit people free to defend themselves.

The infamous Sullivan Act of NYC was instituted because too many citizens were defending themselves from those nice respectable muggers in Sullivan's Red Hook district; it was a matter of worker safety for him.

J Thomas on September 14, 2009, 07:52:25 pm

So explain to me why, when I ( who stand 6'3" and weigh 250+ ) was walking in D.C. with my 6-foot friend in broad daylight, we were given directions - by two young black men - to detour around a certain block because "it was a bad neighborhood"?

Because, for whatever reason, they did not want you there. And they thought the warning might persuade you to stay away.

terry_freeman on September 14, 2009, 11:34:30 pm
They did not want me there? Let's just assume for the sake of argument, that your fascinating speculations explain that particular anecdote -- how do you explain the much higher murder rates in D.C.?

More to the point, how is is that urban areas in about 40 states have decided that the gun control myth is a piece of crock, if it is such a "reasonable" idea? I will admit that I favored "reasonable" gun control at one time in my youth - which changed when I spent a week in research for a debate, where I had to be prepared to argue either side.

The revelation which knocked me back was the sheer numbers of guns in America - hundreds of millions. By now, most of us except for the most ardent worshipers of the government admit that the Drug War is a total failure - we cannot even keep drugs out of prisons. Guns last just about forever; they are not consumed ( but ammo is ). With such a vast supply, it is totally unreasonable to believe that the government has the power to prevent criminals from owning guns.

So who is hindered by gun control laws? By and large, people who try to be law-abiding. In general, gun control harms victims, it does not deter crimes. Furthermore, gun use does deter crimes - about one million times per year. If you've been brainwashed by Hollywood, you might think that one million defensive uses means one million dead bodies, or even more -- Hollywood loves shoot-em-ups with lots of bodies, it makes for great drama! - but in reality, no shots are fired in most defensive uses of firearms. When shots are fired, not all of them result in a dead body. In most cases, defensive uses never make it to the news. Even fewer make it to national news.

In short, gun control Does Not Work -- and if it does not work, it can not be considered "reasonable" by any rational definition of that word. 

quadibloc on September 15, 2009, 06:17:10 am
we cannot even keep drugs out of prisons.

Surely that is not a physical limitation, and is simply a consequence of not really trying.

Rocketman on September 15, 2009, 10:23:29 am
we cannot even keep drugs out of prisons.

Surely that is not a physical limitation, and is simply a consequence of not really trying.

Define "really trying".  If drugs can be brought into a prison then it has to be one of three ways.  One, the guards bring them in and sell them to the prisoners. Two, friends of the prisoners bring them in concealed and the guards don't catch them.  Three, guards are bribed and friends of the prisoners bring them in.  Two is the only reason that meets your definition.  If somehow every gun in America except for the police and military disappeared tomorrow, I know exactly what would happen.  There would be a run on metal working lathes and anyone with machine shop experience would begin manufacturing guns to sell for a substanal profit to their friends and family.

quadibloc on September 15, 2009, 10:34:40 pm
Two is the only reason that meets your definition.

Part of really trying does include not trusting the guards.

And I quite agree that the right to own a milling machine is a valuable one. After all, in a peaceful society, one might not usually need a gun that much.

J Thomas on September 15, 2009, 11:15:07 pm
If somehow every gun in America except for the police and military disappeared tomorrow, I know exactly what would happen.  There would be a run on metal working lathes and anyone with machine shop experience would begin manufacturing guns to sell for a substanal profit to their friends and family.

Worse than that. Firearms are a 19th century technology that have kind of fossilized. Innovations are fairly rare and typically minor, not counting things like laser sights and the coevolution between personal armor and bullets that can punch through it.

If the established brands were gone, there would be lots and lots of innovation. Like:

Your attacker gets stuck with a relatively slow-moving needle.
"What the hell!"
"You're infected now. Come with me to a hospital and we'll stand in front of the security guard and I'll tell you which antibiotic can cure you."

Maybe flechettes that can make a tight pattern or spread out, it's the default unless you have time to choose....

Similarly, bullets that can hold together to hit like a slug, or break apart into a thousand needle-sharp pieces that can't miss, the range determined by air resistance.

Lots of variations fueled by legislation. Note how the pharmaceutical companies keep coming up with "narcotics" that take time to become illegal. We'd get gun-equlvalents that would be technically legal until the legislature closed each new loophole.

With traditional 19th-century firearms everybody knows what to expect. There's the hole the bullet comes out of, and there's the trigger, and a bunch of stuff that isn't of immediate concern, and maybe there's a laser glowing on your heart. Easy to understand. Known quantities. Get a whole lot of things that maybe kind of look like guns, and it's anybody's guess what's going on.

terry_freeman on September 16, 2009, 12:49:37 am
So the argument goes, if we want to keep drugs out of prisons, we'd have to try really hard - including not trusting the guards. Then we'd have to not trust those who watch the guards, and we'd have to watch those watchers, and so on ad infinitum. Wow, that's sounds like the sort of society we'd be just delighted to have, just to eliminate drugs and - of course - guns, since that's where the conversation started.

You know what? If you want to live in such a society, give the warden of Leavenworth a call, see if you can wangle an invitation to stay for a while. As for the rest of us, we'd like to live in something which does not approximate a maximum security prison. I'm just sayin', that's all.

J Thomas on September 16, 2009, 07:36:22 am
If you want to live in such a society, give the warden of Leavenworth a call, see if you can wangle an invitation to stay for a while. As for the rest of us, we'd like to live in something which does not approximate a maximum security prison. I'm just sayin', that's all.

I agree with you in practice, though not in priniciple.

in Singapore you can get into somewhat-serious trouble for dropping a piece of gum on the sidewalk. Most of the public doesn't seem to mind.

If the vast majority of honest citizens felt they didn't need guns, then it would be no particular problem to make them illegal. Then criminals could be arrested if they're found with guns, and that inconveniences criminals, and nobody else minds much.

But we have a lot of honest citizens who do want guns. For a collection, for a hobby, maybe a lot of them like to fantasize about shooting people who deserve it but they don't actually do it. If guns were illegal it would seriously inconvenience *them*. So it isn't worth doing.

I would take the same stand on child pornography if the numbers came out different. If we had a large number of honest citizens who wanted child pornography, who did not actually accost children or do anything really bad, then the society would and should accomodate them. But we don't, so it's OK to make the stuff illegal since a lot of people want it that way.

Sean Roach on September 16, 2009, 11:04:04 am
Then criminals could be arrested if they're found with guns, and that inconveniences criminals, and nobody else minds much.
Right now, a person who has been convicted of a crime can not legally own a gun, and gun dealers can not legally sell to them.  There is already the paperwork in place to prevent this.
If a person who is a known former criminal is discovered to have a gun, he's in violation and goes back to prison for having an illegal gun.

Repeat criminals still use guns.

I would take the same stand on child pornography if the numbers came out different. If we had a large number of honest citizens who wanted child pornography, who did not actually accost children or do anything really bad, then the society would and should accomodate them. But we don't, so it's OK to make the stuff illegal since a lot of people want it that way.

The difference with child pornography, (nice attempt to kill the thread, by the way, but we've all heard the "for the children" argument so many times we get fed up when we hear variants on it,) is the subject is considered to be the first victim because he or she was TOO YOUNG to intelligently consent.  A crime was committed in the manufacture.  The other argument is that the possession of child porn gives the person the idea that having sex with children must be okay, and that argument is indifferent to whether or not the image was taken with a kodak or produced entirely in photoshop. 
The same is not true of guns.  HAVING a gun doesn't promote violence.  I can name a lot of other things that do, (do you want a videography?  list of violent video games?  how about songs on the subject of killing?), but the tool does not encourage murder.  A better comparison would be perhaps banning cameras because they're used in child porn.


 

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