SandySandfort on April 25, 2011, 09:03:31 pm
And if A gets pregnant by B, and B throws her out, who is aggressing?

That would depend on the circumstances--their previous agreement (or lack there of), what you mean by "throwing her out" (whose house is it?), was there an initiation of force or fraud, etc. Forget ZAP, no current or previous society could answer your questions without a lot more details and definitions.

When it comes to family matters and family law, the Zero Aggression principle does not help.

Sez, you. Have you ever been married or is your speculation purely academic? I would very much appreciate hearing about your practical experience as a patriarch. Really.

And is a shotgun marriage initiation of force?  Is divorce initiation of force?  Does the Zero Aggression Principle imply divorce at the whim of either party?  If so, does it imply the same thing for other contracts?  And if it does imply that, what about children and property?

Are these supposed to be real questions (i.e., you lack the capacity to apply the ZAP so want me to educate you) or are they "argument substitutes" (because you can apply the ZAP, but don't like the outcome)? I am not going to take you by the hand and walking you through what the ZAP actually means in practice. Create one detailed scenario, ask a question about it, supply your own answer and then we can discuss how well or badly you have used your brain to apply theory to practice. Man, these questions are totally inane.


SandySandfort on April 25, 2011, 09:25:16 pm
You wrote the following to Tucci78:

Then you argue that the rich can shelter their assets, but you can't.  Hmm.

You don't get that? Don't be so naive. An upper-middle class income person might be able to come to Panama an set up all of the structures needed to protect his assets. However, for most people, it is simply beyond their means and skill set. (Having said that, anyone interested in using Panama for corporate entities, banking, estate planning, retirement, immigration, income opportunities, etc., contact me privately.) (Holt need not apply. I know he doesn't have a pot to pee in nor an "estate" window to throw it out of. I'm pretty sure, he's unemployed and on the dole.)  :D


Tucci78 on April 25, 2011, 09:34:31 pm
Not sure what I said that was so controversial. It's a pretty standard conservative position. I don't care how Thomas Paine defined the words "society" and "government" at the moment. How about this definition?

A society or a human society is (1) a group of people related to each other through persistent relations such as social status, roles and social networks. (2) A large social grouping that shares the same geographical territory, subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations.

All I was trying to get across was that a society should creates basic equal opportunity, meaning, in the context I meant it, access to a certain level of basic public education for its citizens. In this day and age, that usually means schooling through high school. On Ceres, it could mean access to free school programs through the tanglenet, which anyone could use or ignore as they desired.

Sigh! And this...person...is on the Internet and could just look up Common Sense for himself, couldn't he?  How does one possibly infer that he isn't stupid?  Heck, let's just draw from the cited source:
Quote
Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.

Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.  

Thus we see that Aardvark's offer of a definition of "society" is evasive at best, and almost certainly nothing but purest deceit in any honest valuation of his effort.  

Again and again and again, we keep seeing the treatment of "society" as if this inchoate abstraction - the process of melding purposeful human action into a largely beneficial but definitely uncoerced interrelationship - were in some way capable of defining or securing any sort of outcomes which normative tyrant-wannabee assholes wish to impose upon their neighbors.  

I have become convinced that even those who conceive their intentions to be good - indeed, especially those self-righteous sons of bitches who have deluded themselves into believing that they can get away with all sorts of shit simply because they think their intentions are good - are so deeply committed to the aggressive violation of human rights that they have summarily made themselves the enemies of society, and cannot be treated as trustworthy participants in any social exchanges of any kind.  

Is Aardvark the kind of person who can be relied upon to steal a hot stove?  

Looks that way, doesn't it?

Oh, yeah.  "On Ceres, it could mean access to free school programs through the tanglenet, which anyone could use or ignore as they desired."

I'd like the authors of this ongoing graphic novel to explain to Aardvark about how the offer of anything to anyone as "free" in any society (much less the sort of AnCap society prevailing in the Belt) is either a charitable gift or - much more likely - an inducement to engagement in commerce.  

I could readily see that persons interested in selling instruction in more complex training would be delighted to package and offer boilerplate basic instructional materials for "free" Tanglenet download on the premise that such preparatory stuff will facilitate the development of more customers for their premium (and premium-priced) offerings.  That's very much what's being done in online education right now.  

Aardvark, are you completely bereft of any understanding of the "Free Lunch" concept?  
« Last Edit: April 25, 2011, 09:37:33 pm by Tucci78 »
"I is a great believer in peaceful settlements," Jik-jik assured him. "Ain't nobody as peaceful as a dead trouble-maker."
-- Keith Laumer, Retief's War (1966)

sam on April 25, 2011, 09:41:54 pm
And if A gets pregnant by B, and B throws her out, who is aggressing?

That would depend on the circumstances--their previous agreement (or lack there of), what you mean by "throwing her out" (whose house is it?), was there an initiation of force or fraud, etc. Forget ZAP, no current or previous society could answer your questions without a lot more details and definitions.

When people cohabit, their agreement is seldom written down explicitly in words capable of being notarized by a justice of the peace.  When people marry, who gets to say what marriage means?

And is a shotgun marriage initiation of force?  Is divorce initiation of force?  Does the Zero Aggression Principle imply divorce at the whim of either party?  If so, does it imply the same thing for other contracts?  And if it does imply that, what about children and property?

Are these supposed to be real questions (i.e., you lack the capacity to apply the ZAP so want me to educate you)

These are intended to be unanswerable questions.  I expect you to recognize that you, like me, cannot deduce sensible answers from the zero aggression principle, that the Zero Aggression Principle leads to no answers at all, or answers that are outrageous, or answers that are self contradictory.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2011, 09:45:57 pm by sam »

SandySandfort on April 25, 2011, 09:56:57 pm
These are intended to be unanswerable questions.  

Well then you fucked up. What you came up with were incomplete questions, not "unanswerable" ones. That is why I asked for specific examples, 'cause the devil is in the details. If you are capable of asking a complete question, I am more than capable of giving you a complete answer based on the ZAP. So far, you have failed to ask realistic questions and have fallen back on making unsupported claims regarding the application of the ZAP to domestic situations. Think you can fix that?

I expect you to recognize that you, like me, cannot deduce sensible answers from the zero aggression principle, that the Zero Aggression Principle leads to no answers at all, or answers that are outrageous, or answers that are self contradictory.

Again, sez you. Bald assertions do not impress or persuade anyone (except maybe the usual ignoramuses, but they will buy into anything that supports their preconceived biases). Try actually saying something and lets really get into it.

sam on April 25, 2011, 10:31:42 pm
These are intended to be unanswerable questions.  

Well then you fracked up. What you came up with were incomplete questions, not "unanswerable" ones.

The hypothetical couple somehow neglected to sign an extremely detailed pre-nuptial covering who does the washing up, child care responsibilities for future children, and division of assets in the event of dissolution of the relationship.

So the additional information that would enable application of the Zero aggression principle does not exist.

All those things that you want to be defined in advance, before they got together, have to be defined now,  The information you say should exist, does not exist, and has to be created retroactively.

That is why I asked for specific examples, 'cause the devil is in the details.

The main detail is that she was living with him and is now pregnant.   The rest really does not matter much.

But if you want minor details, suppose that she was contributing to paying off the home, but it was in his name, that she gets pregnant under the belief that he was committed to a permanent relationship and a family, while he believes he was tolerating her hanging around for a short while until he finds a better option.

Aardvark on April 25, 2011, 11:34:50 pm
Hi, Tocci78, what's going on?

Now, to business:

Quote
Tocci78: Sigh! And this...person...is on the Internet and could just look up Common Sense for himself, couldn't he?  How does one possibly infer that he isn't stupid?  Heck, let's just draw from the cited source:

Well, excuse this ... person .. for defining my own terms! I love Thomas Paine (in the long-dead platonic sense), but I wasn't thinking of him or his interpretations (not really definitions) of "society" and "government" when I wrote what I wrote. Unless he has become the acknowledged universal definer of those terms, what he thought is immaterial to this discussion.

Evasive? I stated the meaning and context of my very short sentence that you seem to be roiling in rage over. I supplied a suitable definition for those terms you disagreed with. You think I made it up? Here's the link where I cut and pasted it from:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society

Most of the rest of your reply was based on your faulty premise, so I'll ignore it.

See how civil I am?

And now we have an interesting tidbit:

Quote
Tocci78: I could readily see that persons interested in selling instruction in more complex training would be delighted to package and offer boilerplate basic instructional materials for "free" Tanglenet download on the premise that such preparatory stuff will facilitate the development of more customers for their premium (and premium-priced) offerings.  That's very much what's being done in online education right now.  

Actually, I agree with you. That could well be a suitable way of supplying additional education. I'd even go further: Ceres needs qualified manpower. It might make good economic sense to supply free training programs to develop the necessary expertise. In fact, that principle would apply anywhere, not just for Ceres and the Belt.

Quote
Tocci78: Aardvark, are you completely bereft of any understanding of the "Free Lunch" concept?

Not at all. I loved R.A. Heinlein, especially Glory Road and Starship Troopers, and yes, I read The Moon is a Harsh Mistress some time ago. TANSTAAFL See what a nice, understanding ideologue I am?

Here's where I'm coming from:

I'm not an anarchist. I'm a non-religious conservative with a Libertarian bent. I couldn't care less if someone waves his anarchist bona fides in my face. I have my own mind and can think for myself, thanks. I do some writing and have  done some world creation, meaning I've thought about how societies might work. I'm interested in the story and especially in the world Sandy has made. I like Ceres society for the most part, but I have a few mostly minor issues with it.

So, why do I believe that there should be some sort of basic educational system set up for the masses in any modern society? it's a twofor. Firstly, history has shown that societies are bound with common standards, values, and customs. It would behoove any society that was planning on being around for a while to create a bond between its citizens and the society they live in. Secondly, uneducated people with little common bonds (and appreciation of ZAP) running around are liable to create problems. Like the merchants who created a fund to find the mugger, I think it actually makes economic sense to provide a common basic education to the young FREE OF CHARGE.

How do you like them apples? :)

SandySandfort on April 25, 2011, 11:47:38 pm
The hypothetical couple somehow neglected to sign an extremely detailed pre-nuptial covering who does the washing up, child care responsibilities for future children, and division of assets in the event of dissolution of the relationship.

So the additional information that would enable application of the Zero aggression principle does not exist.

Nonsense. That is not a question; that is a conclusion (and an invalid one, at that). Since you clearly do not understand the ZAP, you lack the standing to draw that conclusion. So ask a damned question already! I will draw the conclusion and explain it in terms I think you will understand.

For starters, the idea that a pre-nup is some sort of prerequisite for the ZAP to apply in domestic situations is silly on the face of it. There is nothing in the ZAP that requires a previous agreement. What part of "no one has the right to initiate force" don't you understand?

All those things that you want to be defined in advance, before they got together, have to be defined now,  The information you say should exist, does not exist, and has to be created retroactively.

No they do not. Please pay attention. What part of "no one has the right to initiate force" don't you understand?

The main detail is that she was living with him and is now pregnant.   The rest really does not matter much.

Oh really? How do you figure that? "The rest" absolutely does matter. Which I suspect you already know, because you added:

But if you want minor details, suppose that she was contributing to paying off the home, but it was in his name, that she gets pregnant under the belief that he was committed to a permanent relationship and a family, while he believes he was tolerating her hanging around for a short while until he finds a better option.

Now you are almost there. Are you saying they never discussed the ownership of the house and she just chipped in gratuitously? If that is what you are saying, I guess it could happen, but I have never ever encountered such a situation. It sounds like special pleading to me.

Now you also make statements about his and her beliefs without discussing how those beliefs arose. Did they discuss it or were they both flying blind? Again, possible, but so unlikely in the real world as to raise the specter of special pleading again. The answer to that question is absolutely critical to determine an outcome with regard to an market anarchist, ZAP resolution. Which is it?

Finally, you have overlooked (intentionally?) the matter of her being "thrown" out. How did that happen, specifically? Did he heave her out the door, threaten her with a baseball bat, or what? Specifics, man!

Fair warning. Much like under the common law, arbitration courts will take into account common expectations implicit in certain situations, actions and words. In other words, the "reasonable person" test will come into play.

What does that mean? As an example, let's say I go into McDonald's, go up to the counter person and say, "Give me the Big Mac Combo with a diet Coke and super-size it." When the cashier gives me my order may I just walk away without paying? My argument being I did not say anything about buying the Big Mac. I merely asked the clerk to "give" to me. Do you think that in arbitration I would get away without paying? Of course not. The reasonable interpretation of the use of the word "give" in this context means "sell me." (For reasons you may surmise, computer geeks, schizophrenics and those with Asperger's Syndrome, often fail to understand this concept.) So in arbitration, things that have non-literal, but common meanings are what the arbiter will find.

Okay, now give us the relevant details and pose your "is such-and-such the initiation of force" question. "You may fire when ready, Gridley."

Aardvark on April 26, 2011, 12:16:21 am
Hmm! Ed is asking the phony tourist if he's lost. That's pretty clever. Rhonda is going to have to give Ed a lot of slack because her mission depends on him, or someone like him, caving. Could there be a Ceres-wide search going on for the girl? That would be interesting.

Addressing a stranger as "friend" creeps me out a little, though. It reminds me of that original Star Trek episode with Landroo, the mass mind. 

J Thomas on April 26, 2011, 12:31:01 am

These are intended to be unanswerable questions.  I expect you to recognize that you, like me, cannot deduce sensible answers from the zero aggression principle, that the Zero Aggression Principle leads to no answers at all, or answers that are outrageous, or answers that are self contradictory.

There's some truth to that.

The ZAP cannot answer all questions by itself. Something outside the ZAP has to decide about what's aggression. Who has which rights? Sometimes that's pretty clear. I don't have the right to walk up to a perfect stranger I have had no dealings with before and punch him in the nose. Sometimes it's less clear. If the other guy has been aggressing against me there might be some circumstance where it's appropriate for me to punch him in the nose in response.

So to actually apply the ZAP, it helps to use a whole lot of common sense. If you use common sense and the other guy uses common sense then very likely you'll reach an agreement about what you both ought to do.

And if you can't agree then very likely you can together choose an arbitrator who will apply common sense in a way you can both understand. Even if you agree ahead of time to follow an arbitrator's rulings, and you keep your word, it's a whole lot better for you to understand why he's right.

I can imagine two sorts of people who assume that sometimes common sense won't win out. One is philosophical types. They want to point out that common sense is not perfectly reliable and people can be hypocritical liars who pretend they are following ZAP while not really doing so. I'm guilty of arguing that sometimes. When a society gets too much hypocrisy and deceit you can't solve it with things like ZAP because people will develop a consensus to lie about it. Probably the best you can do in that case is move somewhere else and start over.

A second sort of person who assumes common sense will not apply does it because he wants to make any claim he can to argue that the system can't work. A society where few people have common sense will probably fail, and he can point out that  the system does not work to keep fools from doing anything foolish, and therefore the system cannot work.

It's no fun having discussions with people like that. They are likely to be deceitful and hypocritical and also they have no common sense.

J Thomas on April 26, 2011, 12:36:30 am
You wrote the following to Tucci78:

Then you argue that the rich can shelter their assets, but you can't.  Hmm.

You don't get that? Don't be so naive. An upper-middle class income person might be able to come to Panama an set up all of the structures needed to protect his assets. However, for most people, it is simply beyond their means and skill set.

He said he is deeply in debt. Maybe I'm naive about such things.

Tucci78 on April 26, 2011, 12:43:06 am
Well, excuse this ... person .. for defining my own terms! I love Thomas Paine (in the long-dead platonic sense), but I wasn't thinking of him or his interpretations (not really definitions) of "society" and "government" when I wrote what I wrote. Unless he has become the acknowledged universal definer of those terms, what he thought is immaterial to this discussion.

Evasive? I stated the meaning and context of my very short sentence that you seem to be roiling in rage over. I supplied a suitable definition for those terms you disagreed with. You think I made it up? Here's the link where I cut and pasted it from:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society

Most of the rest of your reply was based on your faulty premise, so I'll ignore it.

See how civil I am?

Nah.  You're no more "civil" than you are honest or trustworthy.  You're simply trying ineptly to pass yourself off as such.

When I made reference to Thomas Paine's Common Sense as providing a definitive differentiation between "society" and "government" and you, Aardvark, strove to sidestep that citation by cutting-and-pasting (from "Wiki-bloody-pedia," of all sources) a definition which specifically contravenes Paine's expressed purpose in writing what we find in the first two paragraphs of his monograph, your intention was to evade rather than to sustain principled address of the subject at hand, and that's what you're still trying to do. 

When I asked - contemptuously - if you, Aardvark, are completely bereft of any understanding of the "Free Lunch" concept, you responded:

Not at all. I loved R.A. Heinlein, especially Glory Road and Starship Troopers, and yes, I read The Moon is a Harsh Mistress some time ago. TANSTAAFL See what a nice, understanding ideologue I am?

...thereby demonstrating that you really don't know diddly about where Heinlein derived the "TANSTAAFL" element in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, obviously not realizing that at the time Heinlein was writing that novel, the concept had become current and widespread by way of the popular writings of economist Milton Friedman, and even Friedman was only retailing a notion that had long since been accepted and acknowledged in his field. 

What Heinlein didn't mention in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (insofar as I recall) is that the "Free Lunch" elements commonly made available in saloons and other drinking estabishments back in the '40s and '50s were not only intrinsically low-cost but also salty and otherwise thirst-inducing, increasing the patrons' incentive to increase their purchases of beer and other profitably vended beverages. 

Even if the cost of the "Free Lunch" weren't included in the price of the drinks, there would therefore nonetheless be ample incentive for the proprietors of these establishments to serve it up.  Something very like that is seen in casinos, where buffet offerings and even alcoholic beverages are provided at low (or no) direct out-of-pocket expense in order to better ensure that gamblers have little incentive to leave the establishment. 

I'm not an anarchist. I'm a non-religious conservative with a Libertarian bent. I couldn't care less if someone waves his anarchist bona fides in my face. I have my own mind and can think for myself, thanks. I do some writing and have  done some world creation, meaning I've thought about how societies might work. I'm interested in the story and especially in the world Sandy has made. I like Ceres society for the most part, but I have a few mostly minor issues with it.

So, why do I believe that there should be some sort of basic educational system set up for the masses in any modern society? it's a twofor. Firstly, history has shown that societies are bound with common standards, values, and customs. It would behoove any society that was planning on being around for a while to create a bond between its citizens and the society they live in. Secondly, uneducated people with little common bonds (and appreciation of ZAP) running around are liable to create problems. Like the merchants who created a fund to find the mugger, I think it actually makes economic sense to provide a common basic education to the young FREE OF CHARGE.

How do you like them apples?

To be a political conservative, one must necessarily be a hypocrite.  Stupidity is a big part of the mental make-up, too, as well as self-deceit.  Not that this isn't also true of the self-declared "progressive" authoritarian, but what the heck. 

This continued insistence upon treating "society" as if it were some kind of entity is characteristic of both conservatives and "Liberals," and marks both factions as hostile to human rights. 

Aardvark, I do wish that you'd just quit using the term "society" when what you really mean is "government."  Society - the process of voluntary peaceable interaction among human beings who have no wish to rape, rob, or enslave anybody - really shouldn't be used by people like you to mask your meddling viciousness. 

You really think you're going to get away with this crap in a venue being run by people who understand the difference between factual reality and your peculiar fantasies?
« Last Edit: April 26, 2011, 05:10:48 am by Tucci78 »
"I is a great believer in peaceful settlements," Jik-jik assured him. "Ain't nobody as peaceful as a dead trouble-maker."
-- Keith Laumer, Retief's War (1966)

Aardvark on April 26, 2011, 12:53:28 am
Aardvark backs away from Tocci78 carefully, keeping his hand close to his holster, leaving Tocci78 to stew in his own bile....

J Thomas on April 26, 2011, 01:48:35 am

You really think you're going to get away with this crap in a venue being run by people who understand the difference between factual reality and your peculiar fantasies?

Let me tell you a story. If you take a gel like agar, or gelatin, or cornstarch, and you freeze-dry it, you may get a material which is very very light weight but has moderate strength in tension or torsion. It usually has low compression strength but it crushes at reliable rates which can be valuable.

I spent years in labs that had agar, and gelatin, and cornstarch, and lyophilizers, and I never discovered that. By rights I should have done it before the guy who did it. But I just never thought of it.

The world is changing. Every few years I find somebody has come up with something that I should have done and never thought of. Not just that I was too busy developing something else, things I never thought of that I should have thought of. My batting average on those things is less than 50%.

I've lived long enough that I've seen the world change. I saw smallpox get eliminated. Now it doesn't exist anywhere except in weapons labs in the USA and Russia and Israel, and maybe a few more secret places. There's a chance those labs might get destroyed without releasing smallpox and it will be gone forever -- except that the sequence is known and today it's a trivial exercise to build it.

When I was a kid there were no computers but mainframes. I read about them in the best books I could find in my town library and I learned about drum memory. But by 1984 I owned my very own computer with 2K of memory (I bought a 16K expansion pack) and I could test my own genetic algorithms without needing an account with anybody. Now my computer wastes more processing power every day than there was in the world when I was a kid.

When I was a kid I read popularized physics books from my town library. They explained that quantum mechanics (or the equivalent wave mechanics) was necessary because with classical mechanics an electron would rotate around a proton radiating until it dived right into the proton in an untraviolet catastrophe. Electrons never dive into nuclei. But later I found that sometimes some nuclei do spit out electrons, and some of them spit out positrons. And an electron and a positron will in fact spin around each other radiating gamma rays until there is nothing left.

Do you believe you know the true laws of physics? Do you believe anybody knows the true laws?

My experience has convinced me that most of the people who believe they know the difference between factual reality and fantasy, are fooling themselves. They think their fantasies are factual reality. That might not be true of everybody who thinks that. But if there's somebody who is really truly in touch with factual reality, he's got to be one man in ten billion. A rare bird indeed.

Tucci78 on April 26, 2011, 01:55:06 am
He said he is deeply in debt. Maybe I'm naive about such things.

No, you're just an asshole.

I'm perfectly content to leave my personal situation out of the discussion, but you, asshole, had to imply that my opposition to your venomous and idiotic desire for a "100% inheritance tax" came of no other motivation than my putative wealth and my selfish desire to leave my family members with some kind of "unfair" advantage after I'm dead.

I think it reliable to infer that you, asshole, have little experience of either responsibility for the support of dependents or eking out a living in a condition of effectively total debilitation.  

Even were that the case, however, the experiences of disputants in fora such as this one really aren't relevant, are they?  

Though I have less than nothing to leave to my heirs when I succumb to the pathology that is killing me, I recognize that were your screw-the-rich "100% inheritance tax" to have been in effect when I got hammered unexpectedly by the onset of the condition from which I'm dying - and it almost got me "Dead Right There" - my family would have been pauperized in spite of the reasonable plans I'd laid to protect them from such government death duty depredations.  

The truth of this peculiar socialistic scumbucketry is that the people who really suffer from high death taxes are never the "super-rich" nor even those in the upper strata of the middle class but rather those families whose material wealth is minimal, and who are just barely getting by in political situations where civil government in its various manifestations is consuming roughly seven-eighths of their productive effort in taxation of various kinds.  

Those who have the monetary resources to structure their affairs in exploitation of the many loopholes built into the governments' schemes of predation - by definition those "super-rich" you want to drag down, asshole - are the people whom you and your co-religionists are never going to be able to get at.

But in your blind, stupid, purely vicious envy-motivated hatefulness, you're pretty thoroughly determined to make life difficult or impossible for everybody else.

And to what purpose?  Your own sense of self-satisfaction?

Hm.  I wonder what makes the advocate of a "100% inheritance tax" that much different from a violent rapist or a murderer.  
« Last Edit: April 26, 2011, 02:57:16 am by Tucci78 »
"I is a great believer in peaceful settlements," Jik-jik assured him. "Ain't nobody as peaceful as a dead trouble-maker."
-- Keith Laumer, Retief's War (1966)