quadibloc on December 03, 2009, 07:47:35 am
So you think you know where this story is going, do you? I think you may be surprised.   ::)

No, I don't think I know where it's going. But, indeed, it looks like I'm "surprised" today, and instead of Reggie King (or someone else doing much what he did in the first story) having to out-think the UW to find a legal loophole in their attempt to strangle Ceres... the story is instead going to be about the shooting war that seems likely to start shortly - or how that war is averted.

But I may be surprised again.

SandySandfort on December 03, 2009, 08:41:00 am
So you think you know where this story is going, do you? I think you may be surprised.   ::)

No, I don't think I know where it's going. But, indeed, it looks like I'm "surprised" today, and instead of Reggie King (or someone else doing much what he did in the first story) having to out-think the UW to find a legal loophole in their attempt to strangle Ceres... the story is instead going to be about the shooting war that seems likely to start shortly - or how that war is averted.

But I may be surprised again.

You will be.   :)

KBCraig on December 04, 2009, 12:16:32 am
Quote
In the US and elsewhere, mining claims are defined and controlled by law. Where there is no formal law, it is still in everyone's interest to have some standard for what constitutes a claim.
Indeed, in the American west, before there was any law the miners would get together and declare a mining "district", then write bylaws regulating the making and holding of claims.

This is yet another good reminder that anarchy does not mean "no rules", it means "no rulers".

quadibloc on December 04, 2009, 06:04:11 am
You will be.

Ah, yes. Some truly exciting developments.

EDIT: Despite having a poor record at guessing what will come next, after a while, I can notice the obvious. So I'm going to hazard another prediction about where we're heading. I could certainly be wrong, but here it is...

Since the MacGuffin of this story arc is an alien artifact, which is an official SF Really Big MacGuffin, perhaps all the story arcs that went before, entertaining though they were, were also aimed at getting us to know and care about the characters.

And so, this story arc, rather than being of similar length to the other ones, is going to be longer, and perhaps even take us to the end of the comic - because this is the main storyline.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2009, 07:47:59 am by quadibloc »

SandySandfort on December 04, 2009, 10:20:27 am
EDIT: Despite having a poor record at guessing what will come next, after a while, I can notice the obvious. So I'm going to hazard another prediction about where we're heading. I could certainly be wrong, but here it is...

Since the MacGuffin of this story arc is an alien artifact, which is an official SF Really Big MacGuffin, perhaps all the story arcs that went before, entertaining though they were, were also aimed at getting us to know and care about the characters.

Half right (but which half?).

And so, this story arc, rather than being of similar length to the other ones, is going to be longer, and perhaps even take us to the end of the comic - because this is the main storyline.

Hee hee.

Philosophy guy on December 05, 2009, 11:15:47 pm
If a 500 meter claim is all that's legal- wait, LEGAL? wait we don't got no stinkin laws 'round here.  Did you mean the word ALLOWED instead?  Allowed by whom?  We aint got no army or police!  I guess you could say it was CUSTOMARY to only claim a 500 meter oject at a time,  But I gotta tell ya where money (or power) is  concerned your customs seem damn irrelevant. I can't claim a big asteroid 'cause it's RUDE?

Sean Roach on December 06, 2009, 12:07:43 am
You can have rules without rulers.
Just look at bylaws.

Also, look at snubbing and ostracizing.  If everyone agrees to behavior, and someone decides to ignore the standard, everyone can choose to band together to isolate him.  A claimant with an "illegal" claim could find himself without access to refineries, air, fuel, other consumables, or timely warnings about hazards.  Not because they will be taken from him but because they'd be refused him.

The problem develops when one player gets large enough to demand exceptions, or do it all himself.  A Sam's SpaceMart could claimjump at leisure, safe in the knowledge that people would still deal with him in order to do any business at all.

SandySandfort on December 06, 2009, 09:35:20 am
If a 500 meter claim is all that's legal- wait, LEGAL? wait we don't got no stinkin laws 'round here.  Did you mean the word ALLOWED instead?  Allowed by whom?  We aint got no army or police!  I guess you could say it was CUSTOMARY to only claim a 500 meter oject at a time,  But I gotta tell ya where money (or power) is  concerned your customs seem damn irrelevant. I can't claim a big asteroid 'cause it's RUDE?

A more appropriate word would be recognized. I think you missed the whole point about being in everyone's best interest to adopt a common set of standards. I used ISO, because it is an NGO with a long and successful history of creating standards that are adopted and used. In the EFT universe, ISO also includes quasi-governmental bodies such as the Martian Organization for Standards and NGO standards organizations established for Ceres, Vesta, the Belt, etc.

Of course, not everyone will recognize or abide by standards. This is not a fatal flaw. Every day, there are people who do not recognize or abide by laws. either. However, in both cases, there are consequences. (See my next post.)

SandySandfort on December 06, 2009, 09:54:28 am
You can have rules without rulers.
Just look at bylaws.

Also, look at snubbing and ostracizing.  If everyone agrees to behavior, and someone decides to ignore the standard, everyone can choose to band together to isolate him.  A claimant with an "illegal" claim could find himself without access to refineries, air, fuel, other consumables, or timely warnings about hazards.  Not because they will be taken from him but because they'd be refused him.

Exactly.

The problem develops when one player gets large enough to demand exceptions, or do it all himself.  A Sam's SpaceMart could claimjump at leisure, safe in the knowledge that people would still deal with him in order to do any business at all.

This is where we part company. Your example assumes facts not in evidence, to wit, that in a free market, Sam's SpaceMart could ever attain sufficient size/power to safely ignore generally accepted standards. In a free market there are dis-economies of scale beyond relatively modest optimal enterprise sizes. It is government interference with the free market that skews incentive structures and make mega-companies such as General Motors, economically viable. In any case, Sam's still has to compete with Sears, Wards, Kmart and even 7-11. If Sam's pisses off miners by claim jumping, see how long it stays in business after most of its shoppers boycotts its stores and take their business to the Water Bros. Emporium. 

quadibloc on December 07, 2009, 08:47:48 am
In a free market there are dis-economies of scale beyond relatively modest optimal enterprise sizes.

If that is the case, how will anyone ever manage to build such a thing as a 45 nanometer fab under that condition?

Brugle on December 07, 2009, 10:06:08 am
In a free market there are dis-economies of scale beyond relatively modest optimal enterprise sizes.

If that is the case, how will anyone ever manage to build such a thing as a 45 nanometer fab under that condition?

Economies of scale vary greatly with the industry, so so does the typical firm size.  For example, at a minimum, an efficient oil-refining firm would need to be large enough to operate a fairly large refinery.

If the U.S. became free and nothing else economically changed much, I'd expect the typical firm to become smaller in most industries but to become larger in a few.  Of course, a free market changes continually, with firms growing and shrinking and merging and splitting for various reasons, including entrepreneurs who think that they can handle the economies and diseconomies of scale better than other people have done.

WarpZone on December 07, 2009, 01:25:39 pm
I'm pretty sure he's just calling it "clearly an artifact" because there's probably some rule that says you're not allowed to cut artifacts in half with a laser to resolve claim disputes.

Building on this pattern, I suspect if she now replies "understood," or anything at all, he can turn around and get her for violating the gag order.

This guy's a real douche, but his M.O. is certainly consistent!
« Last Edit: December 07, 2009, 01:41:57 pm by WarpZone »

quadibloc on December 07, 2009, 06:32:50 pm
I'm pretty sure he's just calling it "clearly an artifact" because there's probably some rule that says you're not allowed to cut artifacts in half with a laser to resolve claim disputes.

Building on this pattern, I suspect if she now replies "understood," or anything at all, he can turn around and get her for violating the gag order.

We'll soon see what develops.

Originally, I thought that it was just an asteroid, and this was part of a plot to strangle Ceres economically. But in that case, claiming it to be an artifact would be counter-productive. If it's just an asteroid, why pick a fight over one asteroid? If, on the other hand, it contains an alien artifact, which could disclose the secrets of science that's millions of years ahead of us - then the Cereans must prevent it from falling into the hands of the UW, since it could give them the power to turn the future into "a boot stamping on the human face, forever".

I think she should reply "Loud and clear", to avoid being shot at. (Since that's a direct answer to his question, the fact that it doesn't contain a promise to comply would be overlooked - not that I think heroes should be above lying in necessity.)

The United World does not have jurisdiction over Ceres, but I suppose they could attack individual ships and seize their occupants if they've decided to go in for asteroid belt piracy.

So I think it is an artifact. Saying there were two Deltas on the way was enough to get rid of the Split-Tail. Disclosing the fact that it was an artifact, though, was stupid. The word will be sent out - via Tanglenet - to Reggie and/or Guy - and then steps will be taken to overcome even two Deltas to prevent the catastrophe of an alien artifact falling into the clutches of the UW.

Hmm... while I disagree with the notion that the gag order was a trick to arrest the occupants of the Split-Tail, how about this: maybe saying it's an artifact is indeed a trick - to provoke an incident with which the UW can claim that Ceres is an aggressor! That would be a plausible reason for telling her it was an artifact when it wasn't true.

SandySandfort on December 07, 2009, 07:47:30 pm
In a free market there are dis-economies of scale beyond relatively modest optimal enterprise sizes.

If that is the case, how will anyone ever manage to build such a thing as a 45 nanometer fab under that condition?

But what is "modest" for a 45 nanometer fab? In any case, the concept of dis-economies of scale does not mean nothing big ever gets done. It just means that businesses (economic entities) have natural limits to growth.

terry_freeman on December 10, 2009, 01:12:32 am
Rules, laws, whatever they may be called, existed before the invention of the State, and will exist after the last State disappears down the trash chute of history. One example will be the Jewish people, before they got stupid and appointed a king, when "every one did what was right in his own eyes", but they chose to honor a fairly intricate set of laws nonetheless.

Mercantile law was developed by merchants who needed to settle disputes quickly and neatly, in many places, often across jurisdictional boundaries. It worked so well that governments appropriated the concept for their own.

Nothing in a free economy prevents the accumulation of great wealth - indeed, with the end of death taxes, we are likely to see great family accumulations - but smart family leadership will recognize that the best way to become wealthy is to have good relationships with customers, suppliers, and peers. The market won't be skewed by the Greenspan/Bernanke effect. Bad money drive out good only when people are forced to treat bad money as if it were as good as the alternatives.

Imagine an Intel in a free economy -- would they stay wealthy if their chips were no good? Or would an AMD out-compete them? The computer industry is littered with once-large computer companies which failed - DEC being one example. They made really great computers for a while, then they flamed out.