Someone was googling "why not have a separate fed rate for mortgages and one for regular credit lending". The answer is that banking regulations already take care of this. The actual cost of any loan equals the Fed Funds Rate, plus an allowance for the leverage ratio the bank uses, plus the cost of regulation compliance, plus the bank's profits. The government can change the relative interest rate charged for any class of loans by changing the leverage ratios allowed and the severity of regulations.
Someone else was googling "gold seizure of 1933 repealed". Technically, the gold seizure was not repealed. The people who had gold stolen from them didn't get it back! The restriction on private ownership of gold coins and bullion was repealed. The property stolen by President Roosevelt in 1933 was not returned.
Someone on CNBC said something interesting/offensive. They said "When executives on Wall Street get big bonuses, they spend that money hiring poor people to be their servants and build luxuries for them. Poor people should be grateful for this largesse. This stimulates the economy."
Let's restate this without any BS. "When the government prints new money and gives it to Wall Street executives, that's good for the economy. They indirectly use government violence to force poor people to work for them. Poor people, whose savings are primarily in cash, pay the cost as inflation. Who cares about them?"
For many poor people, the lack of business opportunities due to government manipulation of the market costs A LOT MORE than any welfare payments the might receive.
Variants of "Black-Scholes" searches are driving a lot of traffic to my blog now. My Black-Scholes series didn't cause a traffic spike, but is slowly getting me traffic. Some of that traffic sticks around and reads a bunch of pages. I'm on the first page or two for many "Black-Scholes" related searches!
Similarly, my post on the Hunt Brothers' Silver Corner appears to be headed for a steady 1-2 visits per day. I'm on the first page or two for most "Hunt brothers silver" related searches.
I liked this post on Freedomain.
It is recognized that one of the original drafts of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," was "life, liberty and property," but that the word "property" had to be removed because of its implicit repudiation of the concept of slavery – if all men can own property, no man can be property.There is an interesting bit where he compares Thomas Jefferson's war against the Barbary States to the current war in Iraq. The Barbary States themselves were armed by the US and other European governments.
The forced relocation of Native American tribes, for instance, was by any rational standard a far more egregious crime against humanity than, say, the minor indignity of the Stamp Tax, but because the Native Americans were not considered to be particularly human – at least not in the way that your average middle-class white male was – they could not be emotionally or conceptually "fitted" on the same moral spectrum.
The anarchist view of history can only regard the transfer of political power as directly analogous to the transfer of criminal power, as in the example of organized crime.
If we look at the actions of George Washington, we can see exactly the same pattern. This is a man who used violence to oppose a British tax that was not agreed to by the colonists. After the powers of the Federal government had been expanded by the replacement of the Articles of Confederation by the United States Constitution in 1789, it took less than two years for Alexander Hamilton to convince Congress to approve taxes on distilled spirits and carriages.
In order to control the increasing rebellions against this tax, George Washington and Alexander Hamilton summoned a militia of almost 13,000 men – approximately the size of the entire revolutionary army – and invoked martial law against those resisting the tax. The subsequent assault upon the rebels marked the first time that the U.S. Federal Government had attacked its own citizens in order to extract taxes, and set the precedent that laws could only be challenged through "peaceful" means.
After overthrowing the British central government, the new US government started imposing crushing taxes on alcohol.
That's the reason manufacturing your own alcohol is illegal. It prevents government from collecting the tax on manufactured alcohol.
If Mafia Gang A attacks Mafia Gang B – while claiming eternal hatred for Mafia Gang B's evil practice of extortion – and then, as soon as it overthrows Mafia Gang B, immediately sets up its own more predatory extortion rackets, we can clearly understand that Mafia Gang A was motivated by jealousy of Mafia Gang B, not out of any fundamental dislike of their practices.
When I switched to my new blogger template, I forgot to re-add the Google Analytics tracking code. I lost one day of visitor stats.
I liked this post on The Technology Liberation Front.
I liked this post on Scholars and Rogues. The show "quarterlife" was made originally for the Internet. With much hype, it was broadcast on NBC. It crashed and burned.
I liked this article on Marginal Revolution.
Chimpanzees are highly sensitive to inequity, and typically refuse to continue in interactions in which they get less than a social partner. However, chimpanzees from stable social groups do not respond negatively in situations in which their partners received better rewards, whereas chimpanzees from less-established groups show rejection rates as high as 60 percent.
I liked this article on to Herd or not to Herd, in reference to this article on Rayservers. (Rayservers doesn't seem ato have an RSS feed for his blog.) That article on Rayservers was already cited by Ineffabelle. I'm planning to do my own post on that article.
Imagine what would happen if the NY Times suddenly started strongly advocating for a gold standard. In other words, what would happen if a MSM propaganda outlet started telling the truth?
Actually, it would be a disaster. The Supreme Leader of Humanity would much rather have the smartest people discover the truth first. At this point, it's better if people gradually figure out what's going on.
The MSM is barred from telling the truth due to a massive conspiracy, but many bloggers are motivated to expose the flaws in the economic and political system.
I liked this post on Techdirt. A fugitive wanted in the USA was blogging under his own name. He mentioned in his blog that he was planning to travel to a US territory, Saipan. The police were reading his blog and caught him.
I liked this post on Techdirt. Wikileaks is back online again.
Techdirt is now talking about the Streisand Effect. If something you don't want is leaked to the Internet, sending a cease-and-desist letter to the website owner is frequently a bad idea. It could lead to a *LOT* of people talking about your censorship.
I don't see what this has to do with "Streisand".
I liked this post on the Technology Liberation Front. The Internet was not imposed by government violence, but market forces. At the time TCP/IP was developed, there were many competing protocols and standards. The original designers did *NOT* expect their protocol to reach such prominence. Therefore, they were free to design it intelligently. This allowed them to succeed.
If monopolistic business interests had their hands in the original design of the Internet, they would have made it proprietary/crippled/lousy like all the other protocols.
I liked this post on the Technology Liberation Front. "Age verification" is a veiled excuse to make it illegal for people to use the Internet anonymously. If your age must be verified, that means that some form of ID is in use.
"Child pornography" and "protection from child predators" are buzzwords the MSM uses to promote bad laws.
Statistically, a child is very unlikely to be abused as a result of online activity. If you solicit underage sex online, you're more likely to be talking to a cop than a child.
I liked this post on the Freedom Symposium. It is a parody of an obsolete job skills site.
Went Obsolete: 2020 Made Obsolete By UPB, Austrian Economics, philosophy, morality, etc.
Knowledge: Assumed How to shoot or jail people if they don't pay.
When useful: When politicians need money to fund wasteful/destructive projects.
How about one of those fake AD&D monster manual entries?
Frequency: Every paycheck
Treasure: All your money are belong to us.
Alignment: Lawful Evil
# Appearing: 1d10, may be accompanied by 5d6 policemen
Movement: very slow
Hit Dice: 1
Special Attacks: Drain Money
If the target intentionally fails their saving throw, the drain money attack takes half the target's money.
If the target attempts any resistance, the drain money attack steals all the target's money and the victim is sent to jail for 6d10 months.
Special Attack: Summon tax regulation
The target must spend 5d10 hours figuring out their tax liability.
Morale: infinite; Every death causes 5d4 more tax collectors and 10d100 policeman to spawn.
XP value: 0
A tax collector is actually human, although attempting to hold a conversation about "Taxation is theft!" would convince you otherwise. Government civil service exams guarantee that only people with the minimum human intelligence score of 3 are employed as tax collectors or policemen.
When threatened, a tax collector can cast summon policemen as many times as desired.
I liked this post on the Freedom Symposium, citing this YouTube video. If you take old Sesame Street songs and creatively bleep over certain parts, you create quite the pornographic experience!
I liked this post on Distributed Republic.
We can't get 20,000 people to move to New Hampshire to promote freedom. How are we going to get millions to act is ways that will get themselves jailed?
As long as you pay income taxes, you're part of the problem and not part of the solution.
That is semi-hypocritical of me, because I have a corporate slave job myself. I'm not sacrificing my lifestyle to fight the bad guys. Until I can earn a greater income in the free market, I'm going to continue working in the slave economy. I'm on the lookout for free market business opportunities, but I haven't found anything promising yet.
One of the attractive points of agorism is that, even if you don't succeed in overthrowing the State, you're increasing your own personal productivity and freedom. It's beneficial to be an agorist even if only a handful of other people are doing it with you!
I liked this post on SHOW ME THE LAW. The editors/censors at Wikipedia deleted the article on Federal Reserve critic Edward Griffin.
Edward Griffin does *NOT* have a valid claim against Wikipedia. They are a private organization and may do whatever they chose. If they choose to undermine the credibility of their own project, that's their problem.
Anyone who considers to Wikipedia to be a reliable source for controversial topics is out of touch with reality.
This post on Bradspangler.com was missing the point. The Libertarian party is a distraction to people seeking true freedom. They latch onto the Libertarian party instead of becoming true anarchists/agorists.
Brad Spangler says that the Libertarian party should voluntarily shut itself down. According to its bylaws, it can do this with a 7/8 majority vote. Why would people disgusted with the Libertarian party waste time going to one of its meetings? The Libertarian party should continue to exist as a distraction for fools. People who want the truth can find it on the Internet easily.
I liked this post on Rad Geek.
I liked this post on ASCII dreams, citing this Washington Post article. A world-class violinist gave a free street performance in Washington DC during rush hour. Nobody stopped to listen.
IF A GREAT MUSICIAN PLAYS GREAT MUSIC BUT NO ONE HEARS . . . WAS HE REALLY ANY GOOD?
Is it possible to just the quality of art, just by the number of people watching/reading? Can I judge the quality of my blog solely by the number of people reading? My readership trend has started increasing again, after flatlining for awhile.
But the behavior of one demographic remained absolutely consistent. Every single time a child walked past, he or she tried to stop and watch. And every single time, a parent scooted the kid away.
life slowly starts to choke the poetry out of us. It may be true with music, too.
I liked this post on xkcd.
I liked this article on Techdirt. It's about the Facebook online game Scrabulous, which is an implementation of Scrabble. Unfortunately, Hasbro sold the online rights for Scrabble to someone else. They are suing the authors of Scrabulous for copyright infringement.
Real Networks owns the online rights for Scrabble. They are in negotiations with the authors of Scrabulous to make their version officially licensed. The lawyers at Hasbro say that settling is a bad idea, because it sets a "bad precedent". A settlement would reward people who violated copyright.
This is really silly, because the Scrabulous game has probably led to increased sales of the physical game Scrabble.
Intellectual property is not a legitimate form of property. Under copyright laws that didn't last forever, the game "Scrabble" would have passed into the public domain by now.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "I Switched Blogger Templates":
It looks ok. Better than before. Though the white background looks very bright and harsh on the eyes.
I was thinking of changing the colors to match the way the old one looked. I'm partially color blind, so I don't know what wouldn't look disgusting.
Ah vast improvement.
I asked if I needed to switch templates, and everyone said the old one was fine.
The clincher for me was the inability for the old template to adjust as you widened your browser window. Blogger was cropping my images and tables, even though they were displaying properly in draft mode.
I looked at the old template, and couldn't figure out how to fix it.
gilliganscorner has left a new comment on your post "I Switched Blogger Templates":
I like it. I will miss the old one, flaws and all, as it reminded me of receiving words of wisdom from an old text.
However, I like how I it can resize and the horizontal lines to seperate your reader mail.
I actually *HAD* the horizontal lines in the older version! The template wasn't displaying them properly! They were showing up in the RSS feed, but not on the blog homepage.
For some bizarre reason, Blogger doesn't fully support all html tags. When I try the "edit html" feature, it frequently mangles my html. Now, tables appear correctly on my blog homepage, but not on the RSS feed!?!
I was thinking of editing the new template, changing the colors or background. However, Blogger's corrupted version of HTML is a PITA.
gilliganscorner has left a new comment on your post "The Hunt Brothers' Silver Corner":
FSK - I really enjoyed this post. You have hit the "silver" nail on the head. I always wondered about the Hunt brothers...
That post has been good for 1-2 visits/day. It's very popular in Google search. My series on Black-Scholes is generating quite a few Google search hits as well. It's almost time to update my "Best of FSK" list.
For "niche" topics, it's much easier to make the first page of Google search results.
BTW, I discovered a Google search tip. On the "preferences" page, Google will remember your preferences. I configured Google to always return 100 search results per page instead of the default value of 10.
WikiLeak blog has left a new comment on your post "The Problem With Wikileaks":
99.9% of the abuses with Wikipedia would vanish *IF* the IP address of *EVERY* edit were displayed. Contributors and admins are completely anonymous. This undermines Wikipedia's credibility.
That would not help very much.
Wikipedia already censors Tor users, and there are plenty of other ways to hide your real IP address.
You're making the opposite point of what you said.
If you log onto Wikipedia as a registered user, *ONLY* Wikipedia site admins can see your IP address. If you are a registered user, Wikipedia protects your anonymity from the general public. If you're a registered user, you can make all sorts of anonymous sabotage. For example, if a drug company representative monitors drug pages, if they're a registered user, they can do so anonymously.
If you edit Wikipedia as an unregistered user, your IP address is available to everyone.
If you edit Wikipedia as an unregistered user via Tor, you have an anonymous IP address.
If you edit Wikipedia as a registered user *AND* use Tor, even Wikipedia admins don't know your true IP address. This is the reason Tor is banned.
Your argument is self-contradictory. *IF* the IP address of every edit were displayed, *AND* someone was using an anonymous IP address, THEN that would raise a red flag. Anyone editing from a suspicious IP address would automatically have their activities questioned.
I no longer consider Wikipedia to be a useful information source for controversial topics. For non-controversial topics, such as looking up who won the World Series in 1930, Wikipedia is a decent resource. The problem is that, even if a topic is controversial, Wikipedia's rules demand that all evidence of the controversy be erased!
Censorship is so rampant on Wikipedia that I refuse to edit there now, although I will look up information. I like the blog format, because I have full editorial control. So far, I haven't experienced any censorship by Google.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Problem With Wikileaks":
I would me more concerned with g00gle. You are a smart human, why would you blog here?
Here is an entity that, just by tracking cookies and ip addresses, simultaneously has access to:
1) All your passing thoughts (searches,blogs,mail,chat)
2) 90% of sites you visit (g00gleanalytics)
3) All the mail you send and receive (gmail)
4) Everyone you know (gmail, social networks, groups,chat)
5) Your address and addresses of everywhere you go (maps,carts,etc)
They keep the information FOREVER. Who knows what red hands it will wind up in?
This list is far from complete.
I use scroogle to mask my IP address, and block all scripts from g00gle. I avoid it like the plague.
Given the content of your blog, I feel you owe it to yourself and us to blog somewhere else. Please?
Thanks for the good work.
Remember that as a corporation, Google is effectively a branch of the government. Even if I chose another blog host, my ISP would still be able to intercept my traffic. If the bad guys truly wanted to silence me, it would be easy for them to do so. They would merely have to subpoena Google's records and my ISP's records.
Another blog host, such as Wordpress, has the same deficiencies as Google.
If I self-host, I have the exact same problem.
There is *NO WAY* I can put content on the Internet, without the bad guys being able to trace it back to me.
I tried using Tor once. It was *SLOW* and a PITA. Besides, how do I know that the NSA hasn't already compromised a large number of Tor nodes?
My story about Tor is an interesting digression. There was a lawsuit alleging that Eli Lilly's drug Zyprexa caused diabetes. Eli Lilly *KNEW* the drug caused diabetes, but suppressed the information. During the trial discovery process, the plaintiffs gained access to documentation of the coverup. However, the lawsuit was settled. As terms of the settlement, THE DOCUMENTS WERE SEALED.
That is another argument against the corrupt legal system. Gross misconduct by corporate executives is revealed in a lawsuit. Rather than have the information released to the general public, the executives agree to a settlement. As terms of the settlement, the plaintiffs agree to keep the evidence a secret. In a fair legal system, NO JUDGE would agree to suppress such evidence.
Someone associated with the plaintiffs leaked the secret information. A handful of people gained access to the documentation that proved that Eli Lilly suppressed evidence that Zyprexa caused diabetes. Before they could be served with a "cease and desist" order, they plastered the documents all over the Internet. The judge ordered these people to stop distributing the documents, but it was too late. Anybody who tried putting the information on their website was served with a "cease and desist" order, demanding they take down the evidence.
I tried using Tor to get these documents. This was before I started my blog. Tor was *SLOW* and unusable. I found a torrent, where the tracker and seeds were located outside the USA. I read the "secret Zyprexa files".
There was evidence that Eli Lilly knew that Zyprexa caused diabetes. They had discovered this in their trials, but didn't release the information. There were instructions to marketing personnel. They were told to downplay the risk of diabetes whenever a doctor suggested it.
The most OFFENSIVE part of the documentation was the revelation of Eli Lilly's *ACTUAL* customers. Who are the customers of a drug company? The people actually taking the drug? *NO*!!! A drug company's customers are DOCTORS! A drug company has *NO* fiduciary responsibility to make sure that its drugs are beneficial! All a drug company needs to do is make sure that doctors prescribe the drugs.
Even more offensive, drug companies offer kickback schemes to doctors. The drug companies *TRACK* doctors and what drugs they prescribe. Do you remember selling cookies in elementary school, where you got a prize based on the amount you sold? Drug companies DO THE EXACT SAME THING with prescription drugs!
In a free market, patients would have a valid tort claim against their doctor, if he let drug company kickbacks affect his treatment strategy.
The FDA exists solely to rubberstamp drug companies' products. There is a revolving door between drug company executives and FDA regulators. This is true for most industries, where many executives also work a few years as regulators. Drug company executives successfully lobbied for "tort reform", which means that their liability is limited when they sell a drug later proven to be harmful.
If you actually read a drug company research report, the quality of science is incredibly shoddy. They never do a proper placebo test! I'll go through a research report if there's interest. The FDA is *NOT* an impartial regulator. The general public has a presumption "If the FDA approved it, then it must be safe." That is *FALSE*!
The FDA is one of many examples why government doesn't work. A truly free market is superior.
This is another digression that deserves its own separate post.
Let's return to your original criticism of using Google.
This goes back to a point Zhwazi and I made awhile ago. Just because the bad guys are collecting a ton of statistics, that doesn't mean they have the capability of using them intelligently. I assume the bad guys are able to collect all the personal information about me they want. It's one thing to collect information. It's another thing to send policemen to my door and arrest me. In the USA, I doubt policemen or a judge could arrest me based on my political views, without realizing that they themselves are also slaves. There still is a presumption of free speech and free press in the USA. Things are getting worse, but they aren't that bad (yet?). The Internet isn't going away, because it's such a useful tool for businesses!
If you really think about it, agorism presents a *GREATER* threat to the bad guys than Osama bin Laden or any other publicly declared enemy. Fortunately, only someone who TRULY understands agorism will come to this conclusion! Therefore, any spy working for the government who concludes that I am dangerous or subversive, ALSO must agree with my conclusions! It's very easy for the bad guys to dismiss me as a harmless anonymous blogger. (Maybe I really am harmless. I still work in a regular corporate slave job. I haven't found any decent free market trading opportunities yet.)
Back to your original point, I don't think there's a serious risk of the bad guys arresting me or killing me based on my political views. If they were that concerned, they would have done so by now.
Google *DOES* provide me with casual anonymity. I do have some protection from the corporate branch of government. A future employer googling my name will not find my blog. I don't want a future employer refusing to hire me based on my blog or political views. If red market spies really want to silence me, they could easily do so, no matter what precautions I take.
Google doesn't provide me with absolute perfect anonymity. Casual anonymity is good enough for my purposes. The flaws you mentioned with Google are present *NO MATTER WHAT* ISP or alternate hosting service I use. It's one thing for Google to collect information on me. It's another thing for them to use it in a way that I'm injured.
If you don't want me to have my blog on Blogger, what alternatives are there? Wordpress has the same defect as Blogger. If I self-host, I don't have anonymity, I have to pay $50/month for hosting, and I'm susceptible to a DOS attack. A successful DOS attack on Google is theoretically possible, but they have the resources to investigate.
For now, I like Blogger's UI. It has its flaws, but it's good enough. I don't earn income from my blog, so free hosting is my best option. I may move my blog someday, but not yet.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Who's the Richest Man in the World?":
The Supreme Leader has allowed the Internet to come to fruition because:
(1) the key to maintaining secret control is to maintain the appearance of democracy and freedom. The internet allows this, and even encourages many people to buy into its utopian communicational possibilities, which would provide hope that humanity might be able to rescue itself after all from self-destruction. Meanwhile this distracts them from the real problems at hand: namely the real bad guys. Of course, in the end, the internet's utility is mostly canceled out but its use as a device of entertainment.
(2) because he is bored. And this is entertaining for him.
There is at least another possibility. Maybe the Supreme Leader of Humanity really wants an agorist revolution? Perhaps he has also come to the conclusion that monopolistic government was a bad invention and needs to be eliminated. Anarcho-capitalists say that the size of government should gradually decrease to zero. That is not realistic, because people don't voluntarily give up power once they attain it. A better solution is for government to get bigger and bigger, until it collapses under its own incompetence.
How do you know that the Supreme Leader of Humanity is evil? It's possible that he is not evil. His low-ranking servants like the President and Congress give the public appearance of evil, but that doesn't mean the Supreme Leader himself is evil.
The Internet is allowing the truth to be distributed slowly. The most intelligent people will learn first, and figure out what to do. It's time for the Remnant to start acting.
Robert has left a new comment on your post "The Problem With Wikileaks":
Ok, so I didn't know where to leave this comment, so I left it on the top post of your site. I acknowledge that your hypothesis regarding banking and world finance is probably correct. My problem is this - if the problem is so intellectual, and the general populace is so dumb, what, if anything, can be done to counteract the status quo?
It's acceptable to post comments in arbitrary locations. I assume that you're reading regularly and you've noticed the "Reader Mail" posts. You can also E-Mail me, but then you run the risk of being censored by gmail's anti-spam filter.
I already mentioned my solution, agorism. Agorism is the only political philosophy that isn't self-contradictory!
The solution is very simple. A group of people need to get together and start trading in private. They will ignore all taxes and regulations that restrict their productivity. You only need a handful of people to get started. An agorist trading group can get started with as few as 5 people.
There are two sides to agorism. First, there are the HUGE productivity gains you realize by avoiding taxes and regulations. Second, you should use sound money instead of Federal Reserve Points. Inflation is between 7% and 30%, depending on what measure of inflation you use. If you use M2, inflation is 7%. If you use reconstructed M3, inflation is 15%-20%. If you use the price of gold, inflation is 30%.
Suppose inflation is 15%. That means you pay a tax of approximately 1%/month on all the Federal Reserve Points you hold. Imagine if the police showed up to your door with guns once a month and demanded you turn over 1% of your money. You would object, right? With inflation, it's the exact same thing, except it's done transparently. Price inflation does not occur uniformly. The effects of money supply inflation aren't distributed uniformly. Therefore, people don't notice the true inflation rate.
It's very easy to use real money instead of Federal Reserve Points. The current spot price of silver is around $20/ounce. Suppose you're making a private free market transaction with someone. Instead of paying 20 Federal Reserve Points, pay them with an ounce of silver. A year later, when the price of silver is $22/ounce, you avoided paying the 10% inflation tax.
By avoiding income taxes, inflation taxes, and government regulations, your personal productivity will be raised by 50%-95% or more! Agorism is the *ONLY* resistance strategy where you undermine the bad guys *AND* show a profit at the same time! An agorist revolution will grow exponentially, once it gets started.
In the present, the main risk is finding trustworthy trading partners. Also, agorists also need to find ways to efficiently produce goods in the free market. Large factories have *HUMONGOUS* inefficiencies. Intelligent small-scale production should be profitable, especially if you avoid taxes and regulations. If you avoid taxes, a small-scale manufacturer is NO LONGER subsidizing large corporations!
The average person *USED* to have knowledge of small-scale manufacturing techniques. That knowledge has been mostly lost, but intelligent workers could easily re-discover it.
By E-Mail, someone wrote under the pseudonym "John Galt":
I am impressed with your thinking. Your thought parallels my own on a few things. I was particularly surprised just now to see that you have the same thoughts on the proper approach for digg/wikipedia and all the other democracy-based systems--it shouldn't be based on a global vote but based on who you implicitly/explicitly sanction. I actually wrote a prototype for this over a year ago, but the architecture wasn't strong enough to release. I still have thoughts of rewriting and releasing it. The main weakness is in the high-level architecture--deciding precisely how it should work to meet all the important design objectives. I also have ideas for a related system that might eventually lead to a powerful way to unify people in grassroots efforts (like moveon.org but far better).
Actually, someone else is simultaneously asking me about writing such an engine (see below in this Reader Mail post). I've had a couple of people ask me about writing a better forum/market engine.
I already wrote one specification.
Ideally, it should be a distributed P2P network. If you have a centralized database, you have a risk that the bad guys would shut down your site and/or seize your records.
I've been considering writing an engine myself. Blogging seems like a more effective use of my time right now.
What is your stance on your anonymity? I'd like to learn more about you and maybe collaborate on some software and other things.
I know that the government could figure out my identity if they really wanted to, by subpoenaing Google and my ISP.
Is "FSK" a more or less valid name than my State/slave name? You can collaborate with me without knowing my real name. I'm the only person that uses this E-Mail address. (Actually, you don't know that for sure. I could really be a team of people working secretly for the government to root out pro-free-market activists.)
Besides, "John Galt" isn't your real name either!
Oh, another idea of yours that has paralleled my own: a truly distributed information network/database. I am as it happens in the middle of implementing what is probably the second to last step toward such a system. There are a few important problems remaing to be solved. But combine this database with the anti-democratic approach and we have something that could be truly revolutionary.
Most of the "edit war" problems that plague Wikipedia would be resolved if they allowed multiple competing versions of each page. Then, you wouldn't need a "neutral point of view" policy. An ideal article on the Federal Reserve would have both the pro-State troll viewpoint and the truth. Currently, Wikipedia's censorship rules mean that only the pro-State troll viewpoint is presented on most controversial topics.
BTW, I find the pseudonym "John Galt" amusing. Megan McArdle, the pro-State troll, calls herself "Jane Galt". I went to an Ayn Rand meeting once in grad school. They seemed like a bunch of fruitcakes. It was like they hadn't read or understood her books. Many movements get hijacked by pro-State trolls once the founder dies. Agorism has to be a leaderless resistance movement, so it can't be subverted or infiltrated. Besides, there's another name for a leaderless group of people; it's called a "free market". (Don't confuse a "free market" with the current communist economic and political system. Most "evils of the free market" are directly or indirectly caused by government violence.)
In another E-Mail, John Galt writes:
Thank you for returning my email, I'll get back to it in a bit. At the moment I wanted to raise another issue.The state makes it hard and illegal to actually practice agorism. The benefits do not seem to be that high. I mean, you can buy gold in small amounts and hold it for many years and eventually benefit (if they allow the coin shops to operate that far into the future). But I don't see how you can have significant economic activity following that idea.
There are two separate aspects of agorism that you are confusing.
The Federal Reserve and income tax are two sides of the same evil. The Federal Reserve is responsible for an unfair monetary system. The Compound Interest Paradox enslaves everyone under a crushing debt burden. Negative real interest rates provide a massive subsidy to banks and large corporations, paid by everyone else as inflation.
You may ask "Why not boycott the Federal Reserve?" The answer is income taxes. Income taxes *MUST* be paid in Federal Reserve Points. Income taxes and government regulations prevent people from using sound money. The tax treatment of gold or silver makes on-the-books sound money transactions unprofitable and cumbersome. Banking regulations prevent people from opening a gold-denominated or silver-denominated bank account. (Services like eGold have their own flaws.) You can't take gold or silver coins to a bank and deposit them. There's no reliable and safe place for individuals to store metal money, unless they use a safe in their home.
Consider the first aspect of agorism, avoiding income taxes. Federal income tax rates are 40%. State income tax rates are around 3%-10%, depending on where you live. State sales tax rates are 5%-10%. If you trade completely off-the-books, your productivity is doubled, even if you still use Federal Reserve Points as money.
Suppose you trade off-the-books with Federal Reserve Points. Suppose you now have $10,000 cash. You can't just deposit it in your bank, because this triggers red market reporting requirements. Anti-money-laundering regulations aren't there just to catch drug dealers! They also are designed to catch people who attempt to work without paying income taxes!
If you hold onto your $10,000 cash, you're going to lose 15%/year to inflation. Now you appreciate the benefit of sound money. Instead of 10,000 Federal Reserve Points, suppose you had 500 ounces of silver or 10 ounces of gold. Now, there's no need to risk the crime of "money laundering"! You can hold onto the physical metal and be hedged against inflation.
Yes, it is very risky to trade off the books with someone else. You REALLY need to trust your trading partner and know that they won't rat you out to the bad guys. However, the productivity gains are more than 50% directly from avoiding taxes. If you include the cost of compliance with government regulations, the gain increases to 95% or more!
The Federal Reserve and income tax are two sides of the same evil. A true agorist will avoid income taxes, which leech 50% or more of your productivity directly. A true agorist will also use sound money instead of Federal Reserve Points. This avoids the 15%/year inflation tax on all the money in your wallet.
My thought for the past few years has been that what you really need is to maximally utilize freedom of speech while we still have it (you are doing that individually and I applaud you). We need radically better ways to connect to each other. And radically better ideas for organizing and intellectual movement. The Ron Paul movement inspired me further that this can work. We need something like that, but permanent and not fixed to a specific person, but rather a "virtual government"--a definition of how it ought to be. We need a growing registry of people who can sign up so we can measure our numbers. We should "live" in this "virtual government" in the form of forums, polls, recruiting, and perhaps moveon-like activities. A wiki-like thing can define what the law should be, and how it would be implemented in specific newsworthy cases. We can port our "virtual world" to the real world in whatever way is appropriate to the time and to whatever degree is wise given limited energy--whether that be gradualism or something more.
This is sort of the right idea. I don't like the way you refer to "polls", because democracy isn't a valid form of government. Unless there's near-unanimous consent, it isn't a real law. For example, most people agree "breaking into your house and stealing" is a crime. If you took a vote on "should marijuana be banned", even if a majority approve, that doesn't make it valid.
I originally discovered agorism when researching Ron Paul. I heard him at a debate where he said he wanted to abolish the IRS and the Federal Reserve, because they are unconstitutional. I did my own research and started writing down my thoughts. I realized that the income tax and Federal Reserve *REALLY ARE* evil. It doesn't matter if they're constitutional or not. Their *IMMORALITY* is far more important.
I also quickly realized that the odds of someone like Ron Paul being elected President are practically zero. You shouldn't place all your hopes on a political leader like Ron Paul. Voting is not an effective means for pursing political change.
I'm wondering what's going to happen to the Ron Paul grassroots groups now that his Presidential campaign is over. Hopefully, some fraction of them can be converted to agorism.
I would like to participate in a free market economy. However, I have no idea where to find trustworthy trading partners. Some trusted trading network needs to be built. It has to be decentralized and distributed, so it can't be shut down if the bad guys infiltrate it.
The main energy of the movement should be directed toward defining what it is moving toward and growing its numbers--ideas and members. The question of implementation is premature. Agorism puts too much energy in implementation at too early a phase. Think about the Ron Paul movement times 10. Wouldn't that make a massive cultural impact regardless of whether some individual member was breaking or following the law?What do you think?
I disagree regarding "ideas before implementation". I'm ready to move from the "ideas" phase to the "implementation" phase. The advantage of agorism is that you can start on a very small scale. You can start an agorist trading group with as few as 5 people working 5-10 hours/week. You can grow from there as you're successful.
Since I don't have any partners for "implementation", I'm still in the "spread ideas" phase. I'm hoping to start "implementation" sometime in the next few years.
I agree that the most important thing right now is to raise awareness. However, it'd be even better if I found a few trustworthy trading partners and started practical agorism instead of theoretical agorism. If I started practical agorism, that would improve the quality of my theoretical agorism!
If you're an "Ayn Rand" fan, then an agorist revolution is the closest you can get to implementing her agenda in "Atlas Shrugged". You don't need to move to a cave in the mountains somewhere. You can start practicing agorism anywhere! It's easier in a big city, because there's a larger pool of people to draw from. If you figure potential agorists have a density of 0.1% or less in the population, in a city of 1M people, that's 1000 potential trading partners. There's also the "Free State Project" approach, where a group of like-minded people move to the same area.
By E-Mail, someone else writes:
Our thinking is very much the same in many regards. I'd like to aggregate the blog over at the new social networking community which I've just help release but I can't seem to find the syndication link... perhaps you could help me out there.
I added a link for it.
If you enter the blog URL in Google Reader, it'll automatically find the RSS feed.
Your blog byline speaks for me as well. I quit my job last April and have been free-lancing ever since. As part of that adventure, I started re-purposing my web development skills.
If you're freelancing and still paying income taxes, you're part of the problem and not part of the solution. A freelancer has more freedom than an employee. If you're paying income taxes, you're still a slave.
That is semi-hypocritical of me, because I have a corporate slave job myself. I'm not sacrificing my lifestyle to fight the bad guys. Until I can earn a greater income in the free market, I'm going to continue working in the slave economy. I'm on the lookout for free market business opportunities, but I haven't found anything promising yet.
Speaking of which, I think you might be interested in myGoldmyMoney.com for research, discussions, and events involving Austrian economics, using precious metals as money, and unconventional investing strategies. This is the site I've been working on for the past year (I was inspired by Dr. Paul).
If you're using an off-the-shelf forum engine, you'll be like all the other forums. Check out the Ron Paul Freedom Forum. http://myfreedomforums.com
I don't see what you're offering that other forums don't already.
Feel free to repost my articles or use my feed. I'd appreciate a link back if you're doing that.
Unless you get a critical mass of users, your site isn't interesting. Why should I write posts specifically on your forum, when there's nobody there but you?
Actually, given what I've read from you so far, I'd like to actually talk with you about helping out on the project. It is sponsored by GoldMoney.com and is private, free, and does not have any distracting graphical ads. The number of members and site features are going to be increasing pretty quick so this is a good opportunity to be a founder of the community. I'd be honored if you would join us in the early stages. You seem like the pioneering sort :)
I am the pioneering sort. I've already joined websites and forums that failed or were deserted. You haven't given me a reason why your website will succeed where others have failed.
There already are gold and silver discussion forums, such as http://goldismoney.info/forums/
If all you're doing is aggregating content from elsewhere, I can do that on my own via Google Reader.
I received another E-Mail:
You wrote back!
I actually get very little blog-related E-Mail. Just now, I got an E-Mail from an economics professor defending the Black-Scholes formula (see below in this Reader Mail post). I pointed out to him that he was a troll. He probably got angry.
When you write to a MSM source, you almost never get a response. I'm still on a small enough scale that I can respond to everyone who isn't obviously a troll.
Thank you not only for writing back but also taking time to write a critique of my pitch and of the web application itself. You have raised some very good questions and concerns so the least I can do is attempt to answer them for you. I'm much happier to correspond with people who demonstrate critical thinking and attention to detail. You've only made me want to recruit you more now :)
You still haven't convinced me that your website is going to succeed. If you want to succeed, you need:
- a good engine
- a lot of users
When starting a new project, the initial user base is important.
I'll break my responses up into three areas based on your concerns: (1) The Software; (2) The Community; (3) Myself / My Tax Status.
Every single line of code in the application with the exception of the TinyMCE WYSIWYG editor is original and was written by me. I have used my own application framework and taken no products off the shelf. This is no PHP forum. As a result, the features will at first be likely less than what many other sites offer. In a matter of months, however, it will grow to be vastly more feature-rich than anything else that is comparable. I am developing this application as a full-time endeavor and have been since last June. It is now in a release state but it will never be finished.
By focusing on "a website", that is not the correct approach. It should be a distributed P2P application. If you have a centralized website, it's easier for the bad guys to infiltrate what you're doing.
It sounds like your project has overlap with what "John Galt" is writing above. Occasionally, I visit such alternative websites, but I've never seen anything that really seemed promising. The most promising Wikipedia-killer I've read about is Google's "Knol" project. If Knol was implemented correctly, it'll be a great tool.
Here is what is in the works:
1. Forums (infinately recursive). Xml syndication. Segmented media types for easier indexing and searching.
How will you make sure your forums don't get out of control if you have 10,000+ users? How will you make sure pro-State troll don't infiltrate your forum? That's what took down the Ron Paul forums. I gave up because it's hard to be the only logical person in a sea of trolls.
You won't have to deal with the troll problem until *AFTER* you're somewhat successful.
How will you handle the problem of undercover policemen infiltrating your forum?
2. Aggregated feeds organized by topic. May be rated, commented upon, favorited, etc.
I can already do this via Google Reader.
I already have a blog. I doubt you would have a better UI than Blogger or Wordpress.
4. Events/Meetings/Calendar. This will at least offer comparable functionality as MeetUp.
5. Guilds and a quest engine. This is very different than anything I've seen. It will take some explaining if you're interested.
Is this a MMORPG? You do need some form of user moderation. Otherwise, you'll have a troll problem.
6. Customizable Member Profiles. Photos, playlists, etc.
7. GoldMoney is working on some powerful new features which will be complete in 6-9 months and give them the ability to act as a full-service payment provider, like PayPal (only much cheaper). Buyers and sellers will be able to pay in their choice of fiat or precious metals and sellers will be able to choose to receive payment in any fiat currency, silver, or gold. When this is ready, myGoldmyMoney will add features similar to ebay and create a market.
Are the records stored in centralized database? What happens when the IRS seizes your records?
8. Private messages
9. Members will be able to create text ads which are shown to other members in a particular place on the screen. No outside advertisers will be accepted and no graphical ads or annoying flash/ActiveX type ads.
Who gets to be a member? Why can't an undercover policeman join the forum and see everyone who's working in the free market?
10. An advanced user interface which incorporates a heavy amount of AJAX design pattern is in the works. This will make the web pages seem more like desktop applications.
11. Generous amounts of help, instructions, a video tutorial, walkthroughs, user manual, support ticket system, and more are on the way to make the system easy to use and encourage community feedback. Ultimately, the community will determine what features it wants and I will build them. I will work for you :)
I was planning to write my own forum engine at some point, but I don't have the time.
For now, blogging seems like a more efficient use of my time than writing agorist-enabling software. I need to write human-readable software instead of computer-readable software! I'm trying to be a "human reprogrammer/repairer" instead of a computer programmer!
Basically, sky is the limit. I promise this will be much different and better than the other generic gathering spots out there.
You would need an original engine in order to succeed. You haven't convinced me that undercover policemen won't infiltrate your website, making it useless.
This application is sponsored exclusively by GoldMoney. I conceived of the project and brought it to them last May. The owners and directors of GoldMoney are involved in a partnership with me to develop and promote the site. James Turk and Anthem Blanchard are excellent marketing advantages. We will have exclusive content from these gentlemen and they are both out promoting the site and inviting knowledgeable people to join the community. In the two weeks that the application has been launched, we have attracted a pioneering 46 people (and counting). This is all from personal invitations such as the one I e-mailed to you. GoldMoney has set aside thousands of dollars for advertising and we are working on a more formal ad campaign which will commence soon. In the midst of this, GoldMoney will begin actively marketing the site to their 30,000+ customers. We are still in the very early stages. The community will grow and be successful. We will accept no other result :)
I agree that it's important to have a good initial user base. If the first 50 users are able to crack down on pro-State trolls, that'll be less of a problem later.
You still haven't convinced me that you've solved the "community does not scale" problem. With 50 users, any forum engine will work. If you have 1M+ users, then it's tricky to keep people in line. You have to allow everyone the freedom to express themselves, but you also need a way to filter the good content from the spam/garbage/trolls.
In terms of my personal taxation situation, I would be wise to not be shooting my mouth off to people I haven't gotten to know very well... I'm on a journey like so many other patriots. I'm in favor of abolishing every type of tax, particularly ones that are unconstitutional. I'm an army veteran and so are the majority of my friends. I'm a grassroots organizer and activist but I will never serve in any public office. I built this community to unite my passion for spreading liberty with a need to work to earn my keep. I'd like to share more about myself once we get to know one another better. Let me know if you have any other questions or concerns. Thanks for writing back again... I really do appreciate you taking the time.
I'm looking for ways to earn income without paying taxes. It's very tricky. I feel guilty working in a corporate slave job, but I haven't found any better alternatives yet.
It's amusing that a lot of the "freedom activists" are army veterans. Is that because they realize how badly they were tricked/cheated? Without government, you can't have war! War is only profitable when you can force people to pay for it via taxes.
You do seem to be overly worried about undercover police. I wouldn't worry about them because police are not an enemy just like guns don't kill. Police are a tool of the state. Don't bother with the man's dog. Keep your eyes on the man himself. When you look at the man and not his enforcers, you see how old and weak he truly is.
I actually have *NO IDEA* what the true risk is. Was I pro-State trolling? What is the true risk of performing agorist free market economic activity?
This goes back to what John Galt was saying. I need to move from "theoretical agorism" to "practical agorism". Only then will I know the true risk of free market labor!
There are ways of having a free market while not breaking any laws. One must understand that there are actually three types of dollars that are all valid dollars but are not equally exchangeable for each other.
This is FALSE! According to the IRS, *ALL ECONOMIC ACTIVITY* is subject to taxation. There are *NO EXCEPTIONS* according to the IRS. Even barter transactions are taxable.
Of course, what the IRS says is not always what a corrupt government court would say. Unfortunately, government courts tend to be biased in favor of the IRS. By the time you're in front of a judge or jury, you've already lost. Even if you're acquitted, you don't recover the time and expense of defending yourself.
Yes, there are several types of money.
There are Federal Reserve Points.
There are US government-issued gold and silver coins. Their "legal tender" value is less than their fair market value. According to the IRS, transactions using these coins is taxable income based on the fair market value, not the "legal tender value".
There was a case where someone paid his workers using government gold coins instead of Federal Reserve Points. Valuing the transaction based on the legal tender value, the amount paid was less then the legal reporting requirement. A jury acquitted them of tax evasion. However, that doesn't mean the IRS can't prosecute someone else or that the IRS can't pursue civil damages for unpaid taxes. Further, the defendants in that case can't recover the time and money they spent defending themselves. They still paid a "tax" to the lawyers who defended them.
Finally, there is gold and silver issued by private mints. They are called "rounds" instead of "coins". If you strictly interpret the US Constitution, these should also be considered money. According to the IRS, if you trade with real money, it counts as a barter transaction. You pay income tax on the fair market value of the goods transacted.
You've also asked a good question about the military and why so many liberty activists are vets. Not all government folks are bad and neither are all members of the military. You must have ownership in the society to care to defend it. If most people have lived as slaves.... then civic virtue will be lacking. Why should a bunch of slaves care to fix anything?
Actually, I dare say its relatively fewer people towards the top of the food chain that are causing alot of the grief. Our problems have more to do with treason than state power. If everyone who took an oath to the Constitution (which is like signing it and personally agreeing to the contract) actually upheld their oath, then we'd have a federal govt the same size it was in 1803. That would be fine with me. The problem is failure to uphold the law. We're being ruled by the arbitrary use of force now (law of the jungle). That's because the masses actually back this type of governance because they too can "get stuff for free".
You can't say the problem is with elected officials. Even if you replace one group of politicians with another, there's no guarantee the replacements won't be just as corrupt.
A "Constitution" is a discredited model for forming a government. It's time to move on to the next form of government, rather than saying "return to the original US Constitution".
There is another form of treason. It is the MSM that allows all these abuses to go unreported. If the MSM wasn't biased and corrupt, there wouldn't be such a big problem. For example, a TV station or newspaper receives substantial advertising revenue from the pharmaceutical industry. No MSM news source would ever cover a story critical of the pharmaceutical industry, because they wouldn't want to lose the advertising revenue. Corporate executives can use the threat of withdrawing advertising money to suppress negative stories.
Fortunately, the Internet and blogging is allowing the truth to slowly leak out.
I'm not a pacifist. I see a difference between legitimate defense (Minerva) and war-mongering (Mars). I don't believe in empire, but I do believe in republic. I also think a whole new form of government will blossom in the future which we haven't imagined yet. I think it will be quite decentralized and deal with the issues that enabled the republic to become corrupted.
This is the non-aggression principle. It's acceptable to use violence to defend yourself. It isn't acceptable to initiate violence against others. For example, suppose a judge orders policemen to arrest someone for tax evasion. That is a violation of the non-aggression principle. As another example, suppose a judge orders policemen to arrest someone for breaking into someone's house. That is not a violation of the non-aggression principle.
Corrupt government courts have a carefully calibrated mix of genuine justice and corrupt justice. If they were corrupt all the time, it'd be obvious to everyone what is going on.
The pendulum is always swinging from negative to postive. Things look negative now but that will pass because the people who are behind the tyranny only resort to it because of their own smallness and incompetence. We're being ruled (but not governed, led, or represented) by a corrupt plutocracy who have fixed the market to their own advantage. Real leaders will continue to emerge to expose and eventually replace those in power now. For this to happen, we'll have to experience a complete economic collapse of the old system. The masses simply will not wake up and the plutocrats aren't going to roll over and play dead.
The solution is agorism. It's the only political philosophy that isn't contradictory.
Anyone who held a job from 2000 - present for lifestyle... I hope they've received a raise at least double their 2000 salary or else they've lost purchasing power. My "good" job by 2006 was putting me in the red every month. I think there are some misconceptions about how the free market works. This is very widespread. When you're out of work and refuse to consider any of the "Help Wanted" posts, you are part of the free market. It gives you a hunger and tosses you from your comfy spot. You are forced to survive. Interesting thing is that with creativity and drive, there will be much opportunity. With ALL your time back, you'll have experiences that would have otherwise been impossible. Many of these experiences will include opportunities to work.
I'm still looking for free market work, while working in my corporate slave job. It'd be nice to be able to earn more in the free market than in a corporate slave job. I don't see that possibility yet.
Inflation is 7%, 15%, or 30%, depending on what measure you use (M2, M3, or the price of gold). How many people got a 7% raise last year? Even fewer received a 15% or 30% raise.
As I see it, we've got three factions emerging:
1. McWorld. Back to Work! Time for your SOMA.
These people are irrelevant.
2. Jihad. Bomb everything. Tear it all down.
The red market *NEEDS* people who think like this! Many phony anarchists fall under this category. "Fighting terrorism" is actually an excuse to increase State power.
3. Liberty. What rises from the ashes of the battle of Jihad vs. McWorld.
I'm in this category in theory, but not in practice. I'm still working my McJob, while looking for free market trading partners.
Many of the people who claim to be in favor of liberty will actually turn elitist socialist and support McWorld or turn populist fascist and support Jihad. What decides?
[tail of the serpent] McWorld are happy being bribed to shut-up and support the status quo. They'll take the deal so long as its good enough. Once its not, they don't have any ability to complain. Today's big shot might find themselves in tomorrow's gulag. Enforcers take a little authority and money to support the order. When McWorld runs out of resources, its supporters will be taken care of in camps.
This is actually an important enslavement technique. You don't make conditions so bad that people revolt. You want people to feel pressure, but not so much that they do anything about it. The McJob "path of least resistance" is the course most people will take.
I'm actually on the high end of the talent scale. It's frustrating that the only job opportunities I see pay 1%-5% of the true value of my work. State manipulation of the market has denied me the opportunity to do productive and useful work.
Actually, I work as a financial systems programmer. This means that the actual value of my work is zero. It's like I'm a bookkeeper for the mafia!
[false head of the serpent] Jihad blames all the problems of the world on somebody else and then attacks them. Its the Jews. Nope its Israel. Nope, the CIA. Nope, the Illuminati. Nope, the Bilderbergers. Trilateral commitee. CFR. Mossad. You name it. Anyone but me and my credit card bills up to my neck! Jihad goes fascist even though it talks a good game about Liberty because Jihad refuses to share the blame. This makes it easy for them to hunt "the enemy". When Jihadis are captured (if their not killed), they'll end up in concentration camps.
If there weren't already terrorists, the red market would secretly pay for their operations.
Many sources indicate that the "radical Islamic terrorists" were originally funded and trained by the US government. I read an interesting article that said a major US bank secretly funneled money to finance Al Qaeda.
[true head of serpent] Liberty understands that we all share in the blame and it is up to us all to make changes in our own individual lives as well as work for social change. Its like alcoholics anonymous. Responsibility is required for liberty. You have to admit you have a problem, that society has a problem, and that there is a fix. Liberty requires creativity to imagine a better future and work towards it rather than simply attacking the status quo. Start using constitutional dollars and stop taking "benefits". They are loaded with adhesion contracts that force you into an agency that surrenders all your rights anyway. Shrug. Don't fight it or support McWorld or Jihad. Withdraw and start building the new vision. Don't want to? Take your chances with Jihad or McWorld. Violence is not neccessary for this revolution. The socialist system will simply implode on its own. Freedom lovers will make their own free camps for themselves and their families. They'll build their own houses and workshops, put skills and creativity to use, educate their own children, have their own transport, contract privately for medical care, grow their own food, supply their own power, and maintain a favorable balance of trade with the outside.
This is the point of agorism. You "starve the state" by avoiding taxes. You also starve the state by using sound money instead of Federal Reserve Points. If enough people do this, the system collapses.
It's not just cowardice. There are a *LOT* of taxes and regulations that discourage people from free market activity. It's REALLY TRICKY.
The things stopping people from embracing liberty are:
(a) Convenience. McWorld still provides an "easier" life. Can't give up those wonderful benefits!
(b) Responsibility. Jihad is too appealing to people who would rather blame others for the demise of McWorld.
(c) Courage. Nobody understands or believes possible a "Free Market" or "Individual Liberty". Won't I get tased?
Agorism is the *ONLY* resistance strategy where you can fight the State and show a profit at the same time!
There's one type of pro-State troll that keeps contacting me. Professors or graduate students in economics or statistics tend to make comments on my blog. They expect me to write back, "nice comment, genius", but when I say "stop trolling", they give up and sulk away.
The two subjects they seem to think they know are the Labor Theory of Value and the Black-Scholes formula.
By E-Mail, a statistics/economics "professor" writes:
The BS formula is indeed wrong for a zillion reasons.
Still, your observationWhoops! Axiom #7 contradicts Axiom #1.
Is not quite the nail in the coffin that you might guess.
You call yourself a "professor of Mathematics" and two contradictory axioms does not disturb you at all?
Every listed option is priced as if the expected gain of the underlying stock is equal to the Treasury bond yield rate of equivalent duration. This is a consequence of the put/call parity formula.
Everyone knows that the expected gain in a stock is greater than the Fed Funds Rate. If you invest at the risk-free interest rate, you are *GUARANTEED* to lose to inflation. Stocks are a partial inflation hedge, so they return more than then risk-free interest rate. When the Federal Reserve prints more money, the inflation-adjusted value of a corporation should remain the same. Therefore, stocks are an inflation hedge.
The real problem is government-subsidized negative real interest rates.
For example, there are martingales with mean 1 for all n such that they go to zero with probability one.
Don't try that Math BS on me. The only way to get such a distribution is with an infinite time horizon.
On the other hand, the US stock market *IS* going to zero eventually, after the government collapses. In that sense, stock prices *ARE* going to zero eventually.
So, the problem is not an a priori logical problem.
It’s a little something else.
Personally, I prefer to argue against the BS formula by just observing that asset returns are not normal and not independent. Two things that are trivial to check.
This is the "standard" criticism of the Black-Scholes formula. You are focusing on deviations from a true normal distribution. That accounts for errors of about 5%-10% in the option price. The errors to which I refer, the mean of the distribution, account for an error of 200%-300% in the option price, if the option has a 2 year timeframe.
A richer inquiry is why the BS formula had such an impact.
David MacKenzie has written interestingly about this in “How Financial Models Shape Markets”
I don't waste time reading lies and propaganda anymore. If someone who isn't a troll has read that book and recommends it, maybe I'll look at it. There are enough good resources available for free on the Internet. I don't normally buy books anymore.
Like most economics professors, your knowledge of economics is zero. You are unable to recognize the fundamental flaw in the US monetary system and you are going through intellectual hoops to avoid facing the truth.
By E-Mail, someone else writes:
I have just started reading your stuff and am getting back into the agorism mindset (I'd come upon it a few years ago when researching anarchism). I will continue reading and share your blog with my more thoughtful friends. Do keep it up.
Agorism is the "one true" anarchist field of thought. All the other types of "anarchism" are variations of pro-State trolling.
But a question immediately springs to mind. I want to know if you have any practical suggestions for getting us from where we are now to where you would like us to be.
Obviously such a transition would be a mindbendingly large project. You talk about a peaceful revolution, etc. But from a practical standpoint, while educating people as much as possible about agorism would be necessary (itself a challenge when all vested interests would resist such efforts; it'd have to be completely grass-roots, etc), it is also necessary to convince them that essentially everything they know about society (gov't, voting, taxes, 'democracy', etc) is wrong or bad or counterproductive.
You aren't thinking like a free market trader. As a practical matter, the participants of agorism benefit EVEN WHEN IMPLEMENTED ON A SMALL SCALE. If you practice agorism, you will raise your personal productivity even while everyone else is working in a corporate slave job.
The average person only needs to understand "If I act like an agorist, I get paid twice as much and I can buy things more cheaply!"
Yes, an agorist revolution has to be completely grass-roots and decentralized. Otherwise, it could be shut down via violence or infiltrated. An agorist revolution is the ideal form of "leaderless resistance". Market forces ensure the participants cooperate!
Don't focus on converting EVERYONE ALL AT ONCE. Just focus on converting a handful of people you can profitable trade with off-the-books.
So, considering that you seem to be interesting in productivity and not wasting one's time, how would you react to the assertion that your agrorist revolution is a waste of time if there ever was one?
No, agorism is not a waste of time for the participants. Even if you have a trading community of 5-200 people, you will find VASTLY IMPROVED productivity. Even if you don't defeat the bad guys right away, your personal productivity will be greatly increased.
The initial implementation of agorism *WILL* be on a small scale, among highly-skilled workers.
I hope that's not the case. But I assume you can appreciate my point here. The gap between theoretical possibilities, however realistic they may be, and practical realities here is so great.
Start thinking small. Think in terms of "I'm going to find 5 friends and start trading off-the-books with them." Think on a small scale, things like repairing electronics/appliances, making clothes, cooking food, homeschooling, etc. Try to find small jobs you can profitably perform for your friends.
My only guess so far is the prospect of a financial disaster: the collapse of our dollar/debt system. Perhaps that would sufficiently throw things akilter to wake people up. Do you agree that's the best chance of creating momentum toward your vision? Or are there other viable ways?
The economic system won't collapse until a substantial number of people start trading like agorists. The current financial crisis will be solved very easily. The Federal Reserve is printing new money and giving it to banks and large corporations. If you print enough new money, eventually there is asset price inflation. All those "insolvent" loans suddenly become solvent. The debtor can now repay his debt, due to inflation. Alternatively, money supply inflation means that the confiscated assets can now be sold at a profit.
Until people start boycotting Federal Reserve Points, the Federal Reserve can *ALWAYS* solve any financial crisis. The Federal Reserve can *ALWAYS* print more money and give it to banks and large corporations.
Thanks for your time. Let me know if you've posted on this already.
Yes, partially. Look at the "Best of FSK" post list. Most of the stuff has been partially covered already, but not your specific questions. Maybe I should make a "Answers to criticisms of agorism" post?
By E-Mail, redpillguy writes:
Read about 30% down about Black Scholes being wrong:
The rest of the multipart series is linked here, about the financial crisis hitting the world, starting with "The Financial Tsunami":
/index.php?context=listByAuthor &authorFirst=F.%20William &authorName=Engdahl
The article is written by William Engdahl, the guy who wrote the book "A Century of War", which among other things, talks about the Seven Sisters cartel and the English Knights of the Round Table
starting WW1 and WW2...
I only read the first article. It seems like a pro-State troll to me.
He doesn't mention the Compound Interest Paradox *AT ALL*. The real blame for the subprime crisis is the monetary system itself. During each bust phase, the weakest class of debtors is forced into bankruptcy. This time, it was the subprime mortgage debtors. Next time, it'll be something else.
The bust phase of the economic cycle, COMBINED WITH EXTENSIVE LEVERAGE, contributes to the "economic crisis". As I mentioned above, the Federal Reserve can *ALWAYS* solve a financial crisis. The Federal Reserve prints new money and gives it to the banks, and that solves the problem. The Fed Funds Rate is currently 3%, while inflation is 7%, 15%, or 30%. That is a *MASSIVE* subsidy to the banking sector.
That article complains that there is a crisis whenever "everyone wants to sell at the same time". That is not the problem. Due to the Compound Interest Paradox, there is a shortage of MONEY, not buyers. There literally isn't enough money in circulation, so prices crash occasionally. Extensive leverage exacerbates the problem. During the boom phase, people assume the boom will last forever, so they load up on debt. During the bust phase, the weakest class of debtors are forced into bankruptcy.
"Long Term Capital Management" (LTCM) is one instance of a *PERIODIC* financial crisis. Such a financial crisis is *GUARANTEED* to occur every few years! LTCM and the subprime CDO problem are symptoms of the same problem. It's all about the Compound Interest Paradox.
I don't see the point reading an economics article written by someone who doesn't understand the Compound Interest Paradox. If you don't understand the Paradox, you can't write about economic boom/bust cycles without pro-State trolling.
As I said before, the Math of the Black-Scholes formula is correct. The problem is that its axioms don't model reality. This article is making the same false criticism that the statistics/economics professor is making above. You have to look at the MEAN of the distribution and not the SHAPE of the distribution to understand the seriousness of the problem.
The real problem is Federal Reserve subsidized negative real interest rates. The problem is that the market is *NOT* a free market. Every economist will draw every possible conclusion *EXCEPT* "The USA is actually a communist country!"
It is pointless to talk about any aspect of "regulation of financial markets" without discussing the Federal Reserve! He talks about a whole bunch of other banking regulations, but that's just patching around the fundamental problem. It's all about the Federal Reserve and the Compound Interest Paradox!