Holt on February 27, 2011, 06:00:37 pm
Sounds good, but you'll never convince an anarchist that efficiency and convenience trumps freedom.
Anarchists prefer to be cold, starving and sick rather than admit than efficiency and convenience have their place.
Capitalist are all about money.  Nothing else matters.

So, it stands to reason that Anarchist Capitalists would prefer to be inefficiently and inconveniently cold, in the dark, and sick, but with pockets full of money than admit that maybe a collective might have a solution.

That's not one hundred percent fair to them. Some of them honestly believe that private business would eventually hash out a solution and there is evidence of that being possible as we've seen industries agreeing to common formats simply for the sake of making more money or because the biggest company in the pond forces everyone else into adopting their standard.

Others think that those things aren't necessary and that the freedom they gain is worth the price and that market competition may push progress forward. There's some merit to those thoughts too.

Others think that everything will just work better because anarchy is better. They're generally idiots.

spudit on February 27, 2011, 06:08:42 pm
Two days in.

We have had one (1) stated idea about a competent bad guy, like Guy but smarter and too hardcore, too much of a believer in the system to be swayed. I gotta ask, my what big brains we have here and all, is that it, the first villian, Mark II?

Holes and flaws, holes and flaws, some person could manipulate this and AnCap fails in this little make believe world. This would never work because of that, personify it please.

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Xavin on February 27, 2011, 06:13:18 pm
Public transportation was another example of the state approach providing superior service. Bus and rail travel was safer, cleaner and generally better before privatisation than it is now that private companies have been given it all. The national rail network was a purely state orchestrated project done in the time before privatisation with the majority of stations and rail lines in use today being the same ones laid down by our government back when they ran the rails. Under private operation rail maintenance, customer service and overall quality have degraded rapidly. A similar story with the buses.

Ummm... you are aware that the UK rail network was only nationalised in 1948, and that virtually the entire current network was extant at that time - built by private companies from about 1830 onwards?
And that the major effect of state control was the tearing up of huge chunks of it in the 1960s? Admittedly that was because those lines had become unprofitable, in light of competition from road haulage - which had just been privatised...

Lets put that another way - when the state controlled road haulage and the rail network was in private hands, freight moved by rail and was profitable.
When that swapped, so that road haulage was in private hands but rail was in state hands, freight moved by road and rail became unprofitable.

Note also that, since reprivatisation in the mid-1990s passenger numbers have gone up again sharply and are now at their highest level since 1920.

Are you sure you want to use this as an example of the merits of the state approach?

GlennWatson on February 27, 2011, 06:16:38 pm
I suggested a Stalin like opponent but only for the sake of discussion, not as an order/suggestion to the writer.  He can get his own ideas.

I'm kidding, I'm kidding.

Holt on February 27, 2011, 06:28:03 pm
Ummm... you are aware that the UK rail network was only nationalised in 1948, and that virtually the entire current network was extant at that time - built by private companies from about 1830 onwards?
And that the major effect of state control was the tearing up of huge chunks of it in the 1960s? Admittedly that was because those lines had become unprofitable, in light of competition from road haulage - which had just been privatised...

Lets put that another way - when the state controlled road haulage and the rail network was in private hands, freight moved by rail and was profitable.
When that swapped, so that road haulage was in private hands but rail was in state hands, freight moved by road and rail became unprofitable.

Note also that, since reprivatisation in the mid-1990s passenger numbers have gone up again sharply and are now at their highest level since 1920.

Are you sure you want to use this as an example of the merits of the state approach?

Oh? Dreadfully sorry got my history wrong there. Well the rest are still a valid example of the merits of a centralised approach.

Bob G on February 27, 2011, 06:36:46 pm
Since we have the anarchists representing all that is good in the world why not have a good statist acting as their protagonist?
Some UW politician who is a born leader, genuinely cares about others and wants to use the power of the UW to make things better for everyone. A reformer who wants to fix everything that went wrong.

It is impossible for any one person, or even group of persons, to have the depth of knowledge and breadth of scope required to 'fix everything that went wrong'. Nor can, nor should, he, she, or they have the power to do so. Said Louis D. Brandeis, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, "The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding. " You can have all the good will in the world and still be wrong, in which case you need to fail.

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The best "villains" are the ones you want to win just as much as you want the heroes to.

If you want them to win, they're no longer villains.
Whatsoever, for any cause, seeketh to take or give
  Power above or beyond the Laws, suffer it not to live.
Holy State, or Holy King, or Holy People's Will.
  Have no truck with the senseless thing, order the guns and kill.

The penultimate stanza of Rudyard Kipling's MacDonough's Song

GlennWatson on February 27, 2011, 06:37:43 pm
If you are referring to the success of America's railroads then I think you might be ignoring the corruption that was so widespread in the creation of the Transcontinental Railroad.  Was it useful, yes.  Did we pay to much in tax money for it, probably.

The Russian Transsiberian Railroad was built with slave labor so I reject the argument that it was a worthy project.

I am not aware of any government built railroad that was worth the cost of the tax money spent on it.  If it was worth the cost a company would have done it in the free market.

GlennWatson on February 27, 2011, 06:41:51 pm
I disagree with the idea that the best villains are the ones we want to win.  To me the best villains are the ones we hate and want to suffer and die.  That does not mean you can't respect a villain's ability but wanting him to win, no

In addition a good villain must be a real threat not some paper tiger.

Holt on February 27, 2011, 06:50:47 pm
Well look at Ceaser in fallout new vegas. He was a good villain even if the legion itself was terribad. He was a good villain. You could understand his way of thinking and even agree with him to some extent. Up until I walked into his tent and talked with him I was assuming he was some one dimensional shit tier piece of writing.

Xavin on February 27, 2011, 07:25:34 pm
Oh? Dreadfully sorry got my history wrong there. Well the rest are still a valid example of the merits of a centralised approach.

Well, the rail network example is the one that I happened to already know a bit about. I've done a tiny amount of research on a couple of your other statements as well:

The Royal Mail worked gloriously to an extent where competition with it was nigh impossible inside the UK, until privatisation of it began and companies instead of developing their own infrastructure simply threw their load on the Royal Mail meaning the state run segment not only had to deal with its load but every private companies load too which they had to take on either for free or at a reduced rate due to the laws surrounding the privatisation of mail in the UK. As such both private industry and the Royal Mail have suffered.

You seem to be suggesting that the lack of competition to the Royal Mail was due to its quality. You don't think it might also have had something to so with its state-granted monopoly then? The one that it held until 2006?

You are correct that what we have had since then is actually worse. The Royal Mail is now officially a limited company, but still entirely owned by the state. Private companies can now carry mail but pass it to the Royal Mail for delivery at legally restricted rates (i.e they get paid by their customers to take their mail away, then get the Royal Mail to deliver it more cheaply than they could do themselves). Note that, by law, the Royal Mail is not contractually obliged to deliver most mail, and can't be sued regarding any item more than 12 months after it was posted.

That seems to be the worst of all worlds - the state still owns the thing, makes it insane (on cost grounds) for its competitors to not pass it their mail for delivery, and takes away any obligation it has to actually do its job.

British Telecom had a similar story. Investment via taxpayer money made it possible for the UK to have a world class communications network fairly quickly with a consistent standard. The company was initially state run after it was spun off from the Post Office until it was privatised.

Again, your history is shaky - the original telephone network was developed by private companies starting from 1878. A lot of the smaller ones ended up getting taken over by the National Telephone Company, which appears to have responsible for a lot of the standardisation. The NTC didn't pass to state control (in the guise of our old friend the Post Office) until 1896, although it continued to exist at least in name until 1912 - when the Post Office took over almost all other telephone services in the country.

I haven't had a chance to look into your claims regarding the national grid yet but, based on your accuracy so far, I'm not currently inclined to take them at face value.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2011, 07:30:03 pm by Xavin »

quadibloc on February 27, 2011, 09:27:26 pm
The UW has weaknesses which the Cerereans can exploit. Instead of just conquering Ceres, they need to give their people some excuse for doing so.

So the Cerereans defeat the UW, and the UW suffers its economic collapse. Not too unbelievable.

What happens 100 years later, when the survivors on Earth are under a Stalinist-style dictatorship? How does Ceres retain its independence then?

By that time, of course, Tobi Kobayashi will have come up with something, though. And so will others like him.

terry_freeman on February 28, 2011, 12:28:50 pm

. . . helped the anarchists adopt the best of both a state approach and free market approach.

Would that be something like trying to merge the advantages of slavery with the advantages of freedom? The advantages of rape with those of consensual sex?

mellyrn on February 28, 2011, 01:44:13 pm
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Holes and flaws, holes and flaws, some person could manipulate this and AnCap fails in this little make believe world. This would never work because of that, personify it please.

I think you're asking for the moon, if you're asking for a villain who manipulates Ceres' systemic weaknesses.

I wish I still had links for the following; maybe somebody here remembers enough that we can search it out:

2002, US war games.  Scenario:  Red Team is, in effect, Saddam Hussein's Iraq, in terms of wealth, technology, people, &c.  Blue Team is the 2002 US mililtary (again, for wealth, tech, people, &c).

The Red Team leader was a ?brigadier general? who had led some remarkable adventures in Vietnam?  This is the part I really, really wish I could remember:  this guy's name.

One of the first things Blue Team did was something sophisticated to knock out Red Team's telecommunications.  So Brigadier General (BG) set up a super-low-tech system of -- I dunno, semaphores, or just plain runners.  Bue Team could neither intercept it nor interrupt it, and it worked.

There were a bunch of other things BG did, which turned his low-tech "dis"advantages into advantages, and he completely wiped Blue Team's backside for them.  He wiped it so soundly, the game was replayed, and rigged so Blue Team could win -- things like, all their shots were declared to have landed on target, but if Red Team scored a hit, Blue suffered no losses.

A creative player will beat a merely powerful one.  What you or I might see as a Cererean or AnCap weakness might be an advantage in the hands of someone like BG.

I see the UW as being intrinsically at a huge disadvantage in the "powerful villain" department:  it's so old, so straitjacketed by everything it "knows" to be true, that a fresh, creative mind arising to command the UW forces seems (to me) as pathetically improbable as when the movie hero gets beaten and beaten and beaten, till he's nearly dead and then suddenly rises up and defeats the villain. 

The Cerereans, otoh, have been innovating all along.  Their whole society is one long exercise in creativity.  Even if both parties in the Christmas War were states, my money goes on whichever civilization is the less heavily patterned.

One other story:  there's a breed of sheepdog which is extraordinarily successful at protecting a flock.  The full adult of this breed exhibits neoteny to such a degree that it's basically a puppy brain in an adult body.  It thinks the flock is its pack.

Wolf comes along, smells dinner -- and smells another adult canine, i.e. competition.

It does the usual:  lays back its ears, bares its teeth, growls.

The response is supposed to be:  the other adult canine also lays back its ears, bares its teeth, and growls, in a lower key to suggest that it is bigger.

This exchange is to continue, with a scuffle of teeth & claws thrown in, until the on-board EROEI system of one or the other says, "OK, that's enough" and the loser withdraws.

That doesn't happen.

Wolf plays its part in the opening move.  Dog responds by:  OMGOMGOMG something new out there BARKBARKBARKBARK and goes running out towards this strange new thing.  Then it gets nervous, being too far from its "pack" and runs back, still barking.  But Dog is still excited by this strange new thing (and, being a dog, no matter how often it sees a wolf, it's still going to think it's BRAND! NEW! WOW!) and so it runs back out, yapping away.  And then hurries back to safety.

Wolf, meantime, has a problem.  The nose says, "this is another adult of nearly my own kind".  The eyes and ears, and its instinctive pattern-recognition processes, all say, "this is an infant".

Typically what happens, in the real world with real flocks of real commercial value, is:  Wolf, confused, just goes away and looks somewhere else for dinner.

This is what's known as a "pattern interrupt".  Humans are just as subject to pattern interruption as any other creature.  What Gandhi did in India was a huge pattern interrupt (and all those who say it could never work again please me immensely, since it means they're still in the grip of the very pattern that Gandhi interrupted -- which means it certainly will work on them).

The biggest, baddest villain will look feeble and inadequate when a kid or little old bald guy with the right pattern interrupt shorts out his circuits.

SandySandfort on February 28, 2011, 05:51:06 pm
[I think you're asking for the moon, if you're asking for a villain who manipulates Ceres' systemic weaknesses.

Actually, that was the whole idea of the exercise. Ceres' so-called systemic "weakness" is that its cultural imperatives, market anarchy and ZAP, do not allow them to interfere with what most of us would identify as a palpable threat. This is the "problem" often brought up by "national defense" statists. That is why I decided to explore it.

This is what's known as a "pattern interrupt". 

When I was a teen, a family in my neighborhood had a pet rabbit as well as a couple of dogs. One day, the rabbit got out of the house. A neighbor's dog saw the rabbit and charged. The rabbit had no fear of dogs. He hung out with them every day. So when he saw the dog charging him, he just sat there looking back. He didn't run, which is what the dog was expecting. The dog put on the brakes at five feet, then backed away. Talk about pattern interruption!

So what happens to Chang's head when Ed offer to help him conquer Ceres?

mellyrn on February 28, 2011, 06:42:56 pm
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Actually, that was the whole idea of the exercise.

And I am looking forward to seeing how you work it.  I think you're going to pull a BG -- turn the apparent or so-called "weaknesses" into strengths.  I think the nature of the system, any system, is insignificant compared to the inventiveness of the strategist.

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So what happens to Chang's head when Ed offer to help him conquer Ceres?

Head go boom!

(And in Babbette I find a kindred soul -- oh how I want to ride that coaster!)


 

anything