J Thomas on July 29, 2010, 11:08:10 am
Addicts make bad employees, and they can sometimes do a lot of damage before they're discovered and fired.

I don't think you intended this as it actually came across, so let's clarify: problematic addicts make bad employees, because they either steal from the employer, or perform inadequately because they're under the influence.

Sorry, agreed, that's exactly what I meant and did not say well.

People who can drink a little each day without being impaired can do OK. Similarly with oher drugs. They might like it or not, but they aren't a problem for society.

I note that tobacco is one of the most addictive drugs, but hardly any tobacco addicts are impaired to the point they can't work adequately.

Similarly coffee. There are lots of caffeine addicts who feel like they can't function without it, who don't take enough that they get the jitters and can't work. I believe there are long-term bad effects but I'm in a small minority in that, and employers generally have no objection to caffeine addiction and it isn't unusual for them to provide coffee to employees.

My concern is the addicts who can't handle it, who take more as they become habituated, who become unemployable and who likely cause damage to others as they decline. I don't know the word for them and used "addict" for it, a word that I think is often used for that by people who ignore the many caffeine, nicotine, alcohol etc addicts who keep it in reasonable bounds.

Archonix on July 29, 2010, 01:08:11 pm
I registered just to answer this (which is an odd thing to register for, but I've been lurking this thread in particular for a few days now).

The phrase you're looking for is "dependency addiction", or just a dependency. Addiction is when you consume or act out something regardless of need (which makes the phrase "addiction to oil" terribly amusing). Dependency is when you are physiologically unable to give up something. Dependency itself is not necesarily a bad thing - we're "dependent" on food, for instance - but if you're dependent on something that is detrimental to your health then it becomes bad.

An addict can quit given sufficient motivation; if they want to improve their health or think that the thing they're addicted to is bad for them, they can choose to stop. When you're dependent that choice is effectively gone; your body has adjusted to the point where you are physically and psychologically incapable of giving up your addiction no matter what the motivation. All the desire in the world isn't enough in that state and you will need other people to physically prevent your access to the object of your dependency.

A second point that seems to have been missed is the issue of purity and toxicity. Consuming pure alcohol is a very bad idea and in fact it's lethal in relatively small doses. Similarly caffeine is a potent carcinogen and highly toxic in its purified form; it's also a very powerful stimulant and just a spoon-full will get you high faster than you can say "gonzo journalism".

Cocaine is also a highly purified substance. In its unpurified natural form it makes a very refreshing tea-like drink that's a good cure for nausea, about as stimulating as a strong coffee and yet far less addictive. The dependency is in the purity. If you were to similarly purify the active substances in yerba mate you'd soon find yourself pilloried for creating a "new" street-drug, but it's consumed throughout south america as part of an infusion that I can attest is very, very tasty and very relaxing.

Dug pushers aren't interested in repeat purchase to the same degree as legal companies. They're trying to make big money relatively fast so they can avoid the wrath of the state, so they don't care about whether the stuff they're selling will kill their customers, and in any case they can always tout for more. They're the ultimate example of uncaring short-termism. A legitimate company would be careful to research the optimum dose for its product to maintain repeat buys without its customers randomly dying from overdoses. That would mean they'd probably have to make the dose very small; you don't see more than a few microgrammes of caffeine in a can of coke and you wouldn't seen more than a very tiny amount of cocaine in some sort of "coca tonic". Or Coca Wine perhaps. Look it up some time, and be shocked and dismayed at what people used to drink without ill-effect. ;)
« Last Edit: July 29, 2010, 01:17:31 pm by Archonix »

terry_freeman on July 29, 2010, 06:25:29 pm
The trade name Coca Cola derives from two agents in the original formula. The first of these was cocaine.

jamesd on July 29, 2010, 11:55:06 pm
Yes, they value freedom. Not only because they don't want to be bothered and bullied, but because they know the power of the vote in a democracy is a defense - against the tyrant stealing your property or your wife.
Voting is not freedom, nor is it a defense.  Your property has been stolen, and most young men today will wind up without a wife.

Consider, for example, the Financial Reform Bill.  It is two and a half thousand pages long.  No one has read it.  The Glass-Steagall bill was seventeen pages.

What effect can democracy possibly have on such a bill?

Further, Glass-Steagall laid down rules.  The financial reform bill grants power to lay down rules, and change those rules from moment to moment, and no one knows what those rules are going to be.  Most paragraphs in this vast document are not rules, but grants of power, thousands of grants of power each of which will itself lead to thousands of pages of regulations by people mysterious, unknown, and unaccountable.

Whether the financial system continues to piss away trillions of dollars, or stops, is entirely a matter of whether the
Financial Reform Bill contains, or does not contain, the LeMieux-Cantwell Amendment.  That amendment, passed by both
house and senate, fixes the biggest problem, and if that problem is not fixed, the financial system will continue to
leak money - yet somehow, despite everyone voting for it, has strangely failed to be included in the final bill, mysteriously disappearing from the bill by a process no one understands or can explain.

Government backing for the NRSRO's is, at the moment, still in place, despite a majority vote, the LeMieux-Cantwell Amendment,  in both the house and the senate to take it away, a majority vote that seems to have somehow failed to be reflected in law and  regulations - part of the wonderfully democratic tendency of representatives to vote for popular and sane laws and  policies, and then, mysteriously, the laws and policies  remain insane and unpopular, demonstrating democracy to be a mere charade.

jamesd on July 30, 2010, 12:00:32 am
The trade name Coca Cola derives from two agents in the original formula. The first of these was cocaine.
Back in the good old days, when cocaine was legal, we did not have any very obvious problem with cocaine addicts
All drugs, recreational and medical, should be available the way alcohol and tobacco are today.http://jim.com/drug_peace.htm
"Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms" should be the name of a line of convenience stores, not a government department.

Brugle on July 30, 2010, 09:09:39 am
All drugs, recreational and medical, should be available the way alcohol and tobacco are today.
Highly controlled and taxed?  No, people should be free to make whatever arrangements they agree upon.

quadibloc on July 30, 2010, 10:37:09 am
Whether the financial system continues to piss away trillions of dollars, or stops, is entirely a matter of whether the
Financial Reform Bill contains, or does not contain, the LeMieux-Cantwell Amendment.  That amendment, passed by both
house and senate, fixes the biggest problem, and if that problem is not fixed, the financial system will continue to
leak money - yet somehow, despite everyone voting for it, has strangely failed to be included in the final bill, mysteriously disappearing from the bill by a process no one understands or can explain.
There is no mystery. This sort of thing happens all the time when bills go through committee.

In the American political system, members of the House and Senate are appointed to committees based on seniority. This means that a very senior Senator or Representative can always ensure Federal spending in his State or district, since, by being head of the right committee, he can ensure that bills don't get passed unless there is something in them for his consituents. This means that incumbent members of the House and Senate are virtually guaranteed re-election, leaving them a free hand in voting for unpopular measures desired by campaign donors (i.e. the DMCA).

J Thomas on July 30, 2010, 10:56:01 am
The phrase you're looking for is "dependency addiction", or just a dependency. Addiction is when you consume or act out something regardless of need (which makes the phrase "addiction to oil" terribly amusing). Dependency is when you are physiologically unable to give up something. Dependency itself is not necesarily a bad thing - we're "dependent" on food, for instance - but if you're dependent on something that is detrimental to your health then it becomes bad.

You've described a valid way to look at it, but it isn't what I want.

Try out this idea. Behavioral psychologists have the idea that when an action is reinforced less, it will happen less. If it stops being reinforced enough there will be "extinction", and the behavior will stop over a period of time. Some people do that. They can be addicted to cigarettes or candy or heroin and just keep taking the same amount, and when they get habiuated and it doesn't work as much then they do it less and wean themselves off of it. Or maybe they might keep taking it the same amount and just stay addicted.

But some people, when they get habituated and it doesn't work as much, they take more to keep getting the effect. And more and more until they get into serious trouble of one sort or another.

These people are the ones that have a problem, and they're the ones that are a problem. Ideally we could help them so they wouldn't do that. Failing a good way to rescue them, we should find ways for them to go to hell without dragging anyone else with them.

Quote
Dug pushers aren't interested in repeat purchase to the same degree as legal companies. They're trying to make big money relatively fast so they can avoid the wrath of the state, so they don't care about whether the stuff they're selling will kill their customers, and in any case they can always tout for more. They're the ultimate example of uncaring short-termism.

This is the sort of generalization that bothers me when people make it about blacks or libertarians or policemen etc. Drug pushers think they'll make so much money they'll retire before they need new customers? They think they'll go to prison soon? Each new customer is a risk, and an expense, just like for other businesses that depend on steady customers only more so. There can be very short-sighted drug pushers, but if it's the norm it's because they tend to be bad businessmen, or because they sample the stock too much or something like that.

When you deal drugs and you have a customer who knocks on your door at 4 AM because he wants more, who can't ever get quite enough, who builds up to more than he can afford but he won't go away.... And when he gets arrested for reckless driving or whatever, can you depend on him not to give them your name? He might even blackmail you. You want to stay out of jail more than he does, he doesn't care about anything beyond the next fix. If you don't satisfy him....

Surely drug dealers of average intelligence would prefer steady dependable customers that they treat right. But that isn't what you have here. It might be best for the whole society if he dies quick. And that's easy to arrange when he takes whatever drug you give him. In a good anarchist society there'd be a better way. The society would recognise that he's a bad customer and it's OK for you to cut him off and if he initiates violence you do whatever it takes to stop him. But when he can rat you out to the police it's harder.

Quote
A legitimate company would be careful to research the optimum dose for its product to maintain repeat buys without its customers randomly dying from overdoses. That would mean they'd probably have to make the dose very small; you don't see more than a few microgrammes of caffeine in a can of coke and you wouldn't seen more than a very tiny amount of cocaine in some sort of "coca tonic". Or Coca Wine perhaps. Look it up some time, and be shocked and dismayed at what people used to drink without ill-effect. ;)

http://wilstar.com/caffeine.htm

Milligrans per 12 ounce can:

Jolt                            71.2
Pepsi One               55.5
Mountain Dew         55.0
Diet Coke               45.6
Coca-Cola Zero     35.0
Coca-Cola Classic 34.0

You're off by 4 orders of magnitude. But that doesn't affect your argument which is a good one, and anyway what's 4 orders of magnitude among friends?

jamesd on July 30, 2010, 01:25:32 pm
In the American political system, members of the House and Senate are appointed to committees based on seniority. This means that a very senior Senator or Representative can always ensure Federal spending in his State or district, since, by being head of the right committee, he can ensure that bills don't get passed unless there is something in them for his consituents. This means that incumbent members of the House and Senate are virtually guaranteed re-election, leaving them a free hand in voting for unpopular measures desired by campaign donors (i.e. the DMCA).
In this case, the measure is unpopular, because a handful of people understand it is likely to cause total collapse of our economy. In twenty five hundred page Financial Reform Bill, there were a dozen lines of actual reform, the LeMieux-Cantwell Amendment, and because it is not included, then Financial System is still going to go on doing what it has been doing.

Democracy has been failing for a long time.  This is an exceptionally serious failure.

Archonix on July 30, 2010, 05:24:19 pm
The trade name Coca Cola derives from two agents in the original formula. The first of these was cocaine.

My subtle point, you have made it. ;)

Quote from: J Thomas
You've described a valid way to look at it, but it isn't what I want.

Then I'm out of ideas. :D

Quote
You're off by 4 orders of magnitude. But that doesn't affect your argument which is a good one, and anyway what's 4 orders of magnitude among friends?

Unfortunately it's a significant enough error that some will be able to use it as an excuse not to read what I wrote. I'll have to be more careful about quantities, I guess. :)

Hey if anyone wants to see what the end-game of your current little political game with the left will be, look at Argentina. Down there they had a constitution very similar to the US (granted, differences can easily be found but in fundamental substance it was very similar) until it was systematically taken apart by the statists from whose ranks Péron ascended. Now the middle class has been all but eliminated by the redistributionist policies of the left, poverty has risen almost exponentially, and the country lives in near-permanent recession. It's a shame to see such a beautiful country reduced to penury.

Or look here in the UK. Our bill of rights wasn't quite perfect, since it had a very anti-catholic bias, but it guaranteed the right to bear arms, freely assemble, petition the government and all that. It's the ancestor of the US constitution. It's also been ignored completely for the better part of a century - most people don't even know it exists because they educational establishment decided to not teach about it some time in the 60s or 50s. Because it's been pushed in to obscurity the state has arrogated to itself the power to control every aspect of our lives (and subsequently handed most of that power to the EU, but that's another rant) and, without the knowledge of the limitations the Bill of Rights placed on Parliament, the people have not had the ability to defend themselves against this. I know your schools don't teach the US constitution very much, except in very general terms that allow the confusing use of the word "rights" as a catch-all for "desires". Another generation or two and you'll be like we are now.

In both cases, "law and order" are claimed as the sole right of the state, but the state has no ability to enforce order any more and violent crime has risen year-on-year for the last decade or two if I remember the stats right. As the saying goes, when seconds matter the police are just minutes away.

jamesd on July 30, 2010, 11:09:00 pm
Hey if anyone wants to see what the end-game of your current little political game with the left will be, look at Argentina. […]

Or look here in the UK. Our bill of rights […] guaranteed the right to bear arms, freely assemble, petition the government and all that. It's the ancestor of the US constitution. It's also been ignored completely for the better part of a century - most people don't even know it exists because they educational establishment decided to not teach about it some time in the 60s or 50s.

The Glorious Revolution also got edited out of British history, with all the changes that flowed from the Glorious Revolution being attributed to the French Revolution.  I think that today the average Britisher, if he has heard about the Glorious Revolution, thinks it was about the right to beat up Catholics and gays.

quadibloc on July 31, 2010, 04:21:39 am
Democracy has been failing for a long time.  This is an exceptionally serious failure.
In fairness, I should point out that while I often throw bricks at the committee system in the United States, the alternative form of democracy, the parliamentary system, while it tends to produce somewhat better results in practice most of the time, is less resilient. It's highly vulnerable to being taken over by a would-be dictator, because a Prime Minister with a majority government is very close to one in power.

All that is needed is for the President or Governor-General or monarch to be on side with his program. (Or, as happened in Germany, to step down in his favor.)

jamesd on July 31, 2010, 05:57:51 am
the parliamentary system, while it tends to produce somewhat better results in practice most of the time, is less resilient. It's highly vulnerable to being taken over by a would-be dictator, because a Prime Minister with a majority government is very close to one in power.

All that is needed is for the President or Governor-General or monarch to be on side with his program. (Or, as happened in Germany, to step down in his favor.)
To suppose that this matters, one has to suppose that present forms of democracy produce better results than one man, one vote, once democracy, which view is not supported by recent events, nor widely shared in this forum.

quadibloc on August 01, 2010, 01:30:26 pm
To suppose that this matters, one has to suppose that present forms of democracy produce better results than one man, one vote, once democracy, which view is not supported by recent events, nor widely shared in this forum.
One man, one vote, once? I thought that the fact that present forms of democracy produce better results than that form of government was proven by the very existence of this forum.

Even if many here do feel that in the long run, it will end up as the same thing - as depicted in the future Earth of this comic.

Rocketman on August 01, 2010, 06:53:28 pm
As time goes by it doesn'r really matter if a nation has a democracy or a parliamentary system.  If the citizens of the country don't watch it closely and keep it from developing statist tendencies then eventually they all become either a dictatorship or an oligarchy.  Examples are all around us.   >:(  >:(  >:(  >:(  >:(

 

anything