wdg3rd on January 14, 2012, 08:29:34 pm
Let's go at this from the opposite angle. If you were Tobi, and you decided to implement the "Final Solution," what would you set up in the way of fail-safes?

I've always thought M.A.D. was a really dumb idea.
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

mellyrn on January 14, 2012, 09:32:24 pm
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I've always thought M.A.D. was a really dumb idea

Once upon a time a woman sat in the dentist's chair.  It titled back and the dentist adjusted his lamp.  Just as he was about to stick the mirror and hook into her mouth, her hand shot into his crotch and she very gently seized his manhood and, smiling, she said,  "We aren't going to hurt each other, are we."

fwiw, that was about the first even slightly naughty joke my father ever told me.

I can't say I like the idea of M.A.D. but that's what it comes down to, no?  Either you love me and consider my happiness and well-being as essential to your own, or I need some defense against your indifference to my continued existence if not your outright hostility to it.  And you need the same of me.  Not so?

SandySandfort on January 15, 2012, 06:07:08 am
Let's go at this from the opposite angle. If you were Tobi, and you decided to implement the "Final Solution," what would you set up in the way of fail-safes?

I've always thought M.A.D. was a really dumb idea.

I'm with Mellyrn on this one. An armed society is a polite society. Having the means to hurt the other guy if he hurts you seems rational to me. If you think MAD is dumb, what do you think is smarter?

Also, this is not really a MAD scenario. The Public Exploders are not threatened by Tobi, they are just there to protect 3rd parties. So it is not symmetric MAD, Mutually Assured Destruction.

Would I prefer a world of rainbows and unicorns to the gritty necessity of MAD? You bet your ass I would. However, so far, that world has eluded us.

enemyofthestate on January 16, 2012, 06:18:52 pm
Good, bad or indifferent, MAD worked.

The brain bomb may be overkill in Tobi's case but that doesn't make it a bad idea. Imagine if every elected official had a small explosive charge embedded at the base of his brain on taking office. Then 100 of his constituents would be randomly selected and given a veto switch.  All the switches are indistinguishable from each other and only thirteen of them would actually be active at any one time.  Which thirteen changes randomly on a daily basis. If seven of the thirteen for that day pressed their button within a few minutes of each other -- bang! -- a special election has to be held.

Azure Priest on January 16, 2012, 08:44:23 pm
Good, bad or indifferent, MAD worked.

The brain bomb may be overkill in Tobi's case but that doesn't make it a bad idea. Imagine if every elected official had a small explosive charge embedded at the base of his brain on taking office. Then 100 of his constituents would be randomly selected and given a veto switch.  All the switches are indistinguishable from each other and only thirteen of them would actually be active at any one time.  Which thirteen changes randomly on a daily basis. If seven of the thirteen for that day pressed their button within a few minutes of each other -- bang! -- a special election has to be held.


And you think "pork" is out of control now?

Bob G on January 17, 2012, 03:34:06 am
Good, bad or indifferent, MAD worked.

The brain bomb may be overkill in Tobi's case but that doesn't make it a bad idea. Imagine if every elected official had a small explosive charge embedded at the base of his brain on taking office. Then 100 of his constituents would be randomly selected and given a veto switch.  All the switches are indistinguishable from each other and only thirteen of them would actually be active at any one time.  Which thirteen changes randomly on a daily basis. If seven of the thirteen for that day pressed their button within a few minutes of each other -- bang! -- a special election has to be held.

Make it 12 people (the traditional 'jury of (one's) peers') with eight (a 2/3 supermajority) 'buttonpushers', and you might bring me on board.
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

macsnafu on January 17, 2012, 11:16:01 am
Good, bad or indifferent, MAD worked.
Did it?  There's obviously correlation, but is it really causation?

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The brain bomb may be overkill in Tobi's case but that doesn't make it a bad idea. Imagine if every elected official had a small explosive charge embedded at the base of his brain on taking office. Then 100 of his constituents would be randomly selected and given a veto switch.  All the switches are indistinguishable from each other and only thirteen of them would actually be active at any one time.  Which thirteen changes randomly on a daily basis. If seven of the thirteen for that day pressed their button within a few minutes of each other -- bang! -- a special election has to be held.

This still doesn't provide any significant economic feedback or incentives for the voters.  It doesn't cost anything to vote, and it's hard to know how much the results of a political action will cost.  The problem isn't with the elected officials, but with the electoral system itself.

Imagine, instead, no elected officials!
I love mankind.  It's PEOPLE I can't stand!  - Linus Van Pelt.

SandySandfort on January 17, 2012, 12:50:46 pm
[Imagine, instead, no elected officials!

My man!

TMIAHM on January 18, 2012, 12:55:42 am
It is a nice idea by Tobi, HOWEVER ....

This is a fail-safe to make sure Tobi doesn't go off the deep end and become a monster (which he fears could happen due to his access of enormous wealth)

Now, suppose 4 of his trusted advisors decided they wanted it all?

Trust, a simple word, but far from simple in terms of dealing with people.

History is litterede with so called trusted people stabbing the other in the back.  And tobi's incredible wealth COULD possibly turn his trusted people against him.

Bob G on January 18, 2012, 03:24:12 am
It is a nice idea by Tobi, HOWEVER ....

This is a fail-safe to make sure Tobi doesn't go off the deep end and become a monster (which he fears could happen due to his access of enormous wealth)

Now, suppose 4 of his trusted advisors decided they wanted it all?

Trust, a simple word, but far from simple in terms of dealing with people.

History is litterede with so called trusted people stabbing the other in the back.  And tobi's incredible wealth COULD possibly turn his trusted people against him.

Where does it say that Tobi's 'triggermen' are his heirs? I doubt that Tobi would give them that temptation, what with his apparent insight into human nature and all.
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

SandySandfort on January 18, 2012, 06:57:26 am
Where does it say that Tobi's 'triggermen' are his heirs? I doubt that Tobi would give them that temptation, what with his apparent insight into human nature and all.

The fortunate that the Shah of Iran amassed before his death is still traveling around the world, through layers and layers of corporations, foundations and what have you. So it would be with Tobi. Tobi's closest employees already have a great life and he has put plans in place to see that this continues upon his death. One does not put C4 in one's head without first covering one's bases. ;D

Plus, there is no indication that Nisa and Mac know who any of the other Public Exploders are, besides each other. Tobi has thoroughly compartmentalized that aspect of his life.

mellyrn on January 18, 2012, 09:57:51 am
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Plus, there is no indication that Nisa and Mac know who any of the other Public Exploders are, besides each other. Tobi has thoroughly compartmentalized that aspect of his life.

This would mean that the necessary Exploders couldn't conspire to do Tobi in; they'd all have to be ticked off at pretty much the same time . . . which might very well happen if he did go rogue.  That interlocks pleasingly.

Gillsing on January 18, 2012, 11:54:39 am
At least with regard to Nisa and Mac, the brain bomb seems to be for some kind of situation where Tobi has made himself untouchable by more conventional means, or rather, the brain bomb is there to prevent him from making himself literally untouchable. Because if those two wanted him dead, they wouldn't need to conspire with anyone. They could just shoot him in the head. Granted, there may be consequences which they wouldn't be willing to face, so they might still prefer to use the brain bomb in such a scenario.

Would death by brain bomb be more 'official', legal and/or accepted? Perhaps Tobi's will states that death by brain bomb will be considered a justified killing? Possibly requiring confessions from at least four people in order to rule out hacking? Or perhaps it would be impossible to know which four (or more) people triggered the explosion, thereby making the legality of the killing a moot point unless some of the people confess?
I'm a slacker, hear me snore...

enemyofthestate on January 21, 2012, 10:02:27 pm
Did it?  There's obviously correlation, but is it really causation?
It is true that correlation between two variables, while necessary, is not sufficient to prove linear causation. However, it does indicate possible causes and areas for further investigation. Paraphrasing someone else, it waggles its eyebrows suggestively, points and silently mouths, "Look over there."

In smaller words, correlation is a clue.

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This still doesn't provide any significant economic feedback or incentives for the voters.  It doesn't cost anything to vote, and it's hard to know how much the results of a political action will cost.  The problem isn't with the elected officials, but with the electoral system itself.
I agree but inasmuch as there is a "contract" between the voters and the elected, some enforcement mechanism is preferable to none.  Putting that mechanism outside the control of the politicians and giving that veto to a small and unpredictable number is, I think, even better.  Besides I rather like the idea of a politician going to bed every night wondering if he will wake up at all.

In reality such a thing is unlikely to happen any more than Assassination Politics.  If it or something similar did happen, it would be hopelessly corrupt in a few years. I proposed it simply as a thought experiment  to illustrate the potential value of a veto the target cannot control.

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Imagine, instead, no elected officials!
That would be preferable.

Andreas on March 05, 2012, 05:23:14 pm
Wealth, itself, is neutral. But it can be misused for evil. Note what governments do with their stolen money--killer drones, nuclear weapons and worse. Let's say Tobi flew off in a rage and injured or even killed an employee (they're all employees on TLP). What practical recourse does the victim, or next of kin, have? Everyone is on TLP at Tobi's pleasure. There is no way to leave without his permission and active assistance of Tobi. TLP's very existence and location are deeply guarded secrets. He has lots of security people to protect him. He can simply refuse arbitration. There is no speaker for the dead. He has lots of money to buy silence.

Personally, I think he would likely come to justice... eventually. However, that still leaves him plenty of time to do all sorts of evil things. Today, Tobi is an extremely ethical man, but he know that even he could become corrupt or, through some accident of genetics or circumstances, he could become insane. He wants to protect against that. He does not have a death wish, but he knows that sometimes it is time to go. How many of you have had a relative tell you, or you them, "I don't want to kept alive, hooked to machines in a vegetative coma. Promise me you will pull the plug if that ever happens."

Monsters from the id, the mindless savage... Have we learned nothing from Forbidden Planet?

Well, Tobi does not want to live as a monster. He has given some trusted people the ability to pull his plug. Seems to me, like an honorable precaution to take.

In a future arc, we will explore when someone wants to be a monster and what can be done about it. Right now, though, we are talking about Tobi and his ethical decision. Some of you might think such a drastic step is unnecessary and/or stupid. However, no one can fault Tobi for recognizing a credible danger and choosing to doing something to eliminate it. YMMV


I think it's pretty smart. And there are more benefits: Let's say Tobi is pretty sure he's not going to abuse the power his wealth provides. Do other people know this? Other people might decide that they'd rather not run the risk of building up something only to have an Evil Overlord take it away because he can - and might decide to contrive it that the Potential Evil Overlord becomes less of a threat.
If there is this rumor that there are people who can keep the PEO on a short leash, that whole thing becomes less salient.