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Monday, December 1, 2008

Reader Mail #70

I liked this article, via Hacker News. Allegedly, social networking websites are more popular than porn now.



I liked this post on xkcd.



You know the mainstream entertainment industry has a problem when downloading something "illegally" is more convenient than buying it. Most of the DRM laws are due to lobbying of executives at large corporations, trying to protect their obsolete business model. Intellectual property is not a valid form of property.

The profit model for the entertainment industry is defective. Pick entertainer X. Promote entertainer X excessively. Then, people will demand content by entertainer X. Make sure the "hot and trendy" entertainer changes every few years, lest mature entertainers acquire political power. A new entertainer will bend over backwards so he can appear on TV. Older entertainers are more likely to speak their mind, and therefore must be discredited.



I liked this post on no third solution.

But the economics profession for the past thirty years instead focused on producing stochastic calculus porn to satisfy young men’s urge for mathematical masturbation.

I liked the characterization of mainstream economics as "stochastic calculus porn". Perhaps, "pro-State troll porn" is more accurate.



In this post on no third solution, David Z is complaining that the automobile industry is now lobbying the State for a bailout, in addition to the massive State subsidies they already receive. (Currently, the "big 3" automakers are the beneficiary of negative real interest rates and laws/regulations restricting competition.)

If the financial industry qualifies for a bailout, then why not bail out the auto industry also. Bailouts for everyone! (with sufficiently expensive lobbyists) The sooner the collapse occurs, the better!



I liked this post, via Hacker News. It is a critcism/analysis of Paul Krugman's work. (Paul Krugman recently won the Nobel pro-State Trolling prize.)

Once I saw "Paul Krugman wrote an detailed analysis of why Austrian Economics is wrong.", I realized "Aha! Trolling!"

If your goal is to win a Nobel pro-State Trolling prize, then it's important to criticize free market ideas.

State funding of economic research distorts published economic research. Most/all economics grants go to pro-State trolls. If you want a State economics research grant, then you'd better work on your pro-State trolling. Even better, the system as designed selects for people who believe their own bull****, making their propaganda even more effective.



I didn't like this post, via Hacker News, on the 48 laws of power. The fallacy is that such manipulation assumes that the target is a brainwashed pro-State troll. When you behave abusively like that, you're assuming that the people around you have been brainwashed to behave in a certain manner.

The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition actually have more useful advice, from an agorist point of view.



I liked this article on the NY Times, via Hacker News. After receiving the bailout money, executives at large banks are using the proceeds to buy out smaller banks, instead of issuing more loans like they were supposed to.



I liked this article, via Hacker News. If you use computers and the Internet a lot, it affects your brain. You become better at filtering information. You improve your logical thinking abilities.

For this reason, computers and the Internet will accelerate the collapse of the State. When people start applying their free-thinking abilities to money and politics, they will realize how badly they have been cheated.



I liked this post on the Picket Line. It's about interviews with ex-US soldiers in Iraq. Most soldiers who join the Army totally 100% believe their pro-State brainwashing, but once they're on the ground they realize it's one big lie. The average soldier is expendable cannon-fodder.

If the soldier complains about the stress, the army's doctors only solution is to prescribe anti-depressant and anti-psychotic drugs. I heard a rumor that anti-depressant and anti-psychotic drugs were originally developed for military purposes, and the bad guys are totally aware of the nature of the scam.

In this context, these drugs are used to suppress political dissent. Before being discharged, the Army's doctors ask "Are there any issues relating to the war you'd like to discuss?" If you answer "Yes!", then your discharge is delayed and your might be forced to take anti-psychotic or anti-depressant drugs. If they suspect you'll be publicly critical of the war after discharge, then you won't be released. Since the only solution is harmful drugs, the incentive is for soldiers to cover up their feelings.

I also liked the bit where the soldier was so stressed out that he started burning himself. When other soldiers saw him, they told him to stop, lest he be accused of "damaging government property". State bureaucrats and generals literally treat the average soldier as if they are personal property.

Even though, while recruiting, the soldier is told that the Army is "one big happy family", they rapidly see the massive bureaucracy, incompetence, and neglect for the interest of the common soldier. It is practically impossible for a soldier to receive assistance after discharge. If the soldier is feeling stress after release, the only solution offered is anti-psychotic and anti-depressant drugs.



This post on the Picket Line had some interesting bits.

He linked to this post. A woman broke up with her boyfriend because he was a tax resister. If you are stupid about tax resistance, such as resisting income the IRS knows about, then you are a fool. Her boyfriend wrote the IRS a polite letter about why he's opposed to war and spent the tax money elsewhere. That is a stupid approach.

If you work as an agorist, your tax resistance is profitable. If you do it right, your risk is low.

In that sense, I am lucky that I am currently single. I'm not held back by a partner who would object to me practicing free market economics. I know some people who say "Agorism sounds cool, but I have an obligation to my wife and children." My parents would freakout if I attempted practical agorism, but I'm not going to live with them much longer.

I assert the opposite. If you're a good agorist, you're benefiting your wife and children. Your productivity and salary will increase by 2x or more. If you're careful, the risk of getting caught is small. If you can get paid 2x as much for your labor, then your wife can afford to homeschool.

There's another interesting tactic. You can get a "common law" marriage instead of a State-licensed marriage. If your property is in your wife's name, then it can't be stolen if the IRS pursues you. Further, if you aren't legally married, then your wife can't be prosecuted for her husband's tax resistance. However, a legally married couple gets so many perks that I don't know if that's a good strategy. In a "common law" marriage, you act like you're married, but don't register your marriage with the State.

David Gross also linked to an article about "underground government" or "shadow government". Some parts of the government are funded completely off-the-books. Some quasi-government agencies, like FRE and FNM, are technically part of the government, even though they have their own separate balance sheet.

Suppose that the Treasury department printed $1 trillion in Federal Reserve Notes. Suppose they mysteriously disappeared, and were spent on secret projects. Nobody would ever notice, except as extra inflation. In this manner, fiat money doesn't merely allow legal theft by inflation. It also allows secret theft by inflation.

If you don't like it, then you should practice agorism. Boycott the Federal Reserve and income tax, and then you avoid funding dishonest State practices.



I liked this post, via Hacker News. Some BitTorrent clients now have the ability to get .torrent files from peers, rather than from a centralized tracker.

When the State cracks down on filesharing, it only forces the shares to be more clever. Filesharing can't be eliminating without crippling the Internet. Too many businesses are dependent on the Internet now.

Right now, the tracker represents a single attack point for BitTorrent users. If necessary, "trackerless BitTorrent" will be developed. The bad guys are fighting an arms race they can't win.



I liked this article, via Hacker News. Current children aren't as smart as those 30 years ago. The public education system is doing its job! I'm not sure how accurate that is, because computers and the Internet are leading to an increase in logical thinking abilities.

The article made an interesting point I hadn't noticed before. "Frequent mandatory testing" has a negative effect on education. The incentive is to teach for the minimum standard required of the test, rather than for genuine intelligence. The goal is "Learn enough to pass the test!" instead of "Learn as much as you can!"



I liked this post, via Hacker News. Don Knuth stopped sending reward checks to people who find bugs in TeX. People were posting them on the Internet. Seeing your routing code and account number, this meant that identity thieves could steal from Don Knuth. The reward checks naturally contained a copy of his signature.

It is embarrassing that, just with a few personal numbers, it's possible to steal.



I liked this post, via Hacker News. Yahoo's CEO is a "mergers and acquisitions" specialist, who doesn't even use E-Mail himself! That certainly explains a lot. Yahoo's CEO is not computer literate!

Terry Semel -- a legendary Hollywood dealmaker, a guy who didn't even use email -- had not come to Silicon Valley to meekly merge with the geeky boys of Google.



I liked this article, via Hacker News, on the LHC and its problems. Suppose you have a large superconducting electrical circuit. Due to a flaw, a tiny bit becomes "normal" or non-superconducting. Then, all the resistance of the entire circuit is now realized in the tiny fraction. This causes heat/friction, due to the resistance. Now, adjacent areas also lose their superconductivity. This can cause an explosion.

When a small part of the circuit becomes non-superconducting, the only recourse is to heat the *ENTIRE* circuit so it becomes non-superconducting. Then, the heat/resistance is dissipated over the entire circuit, instead of concentrated in one spot. The warning system in place to prevent this failed.



This article was interesting, referred by the Picket Line. A dentist decided to refuse paying income taxes in protest. The dentists' union (ADA) revoked his State dentist license. He continued practicing dentistry anyway. One of his patients told another dentist he was unlicensed. The patient knew, because he needed antibiotics and the unlicensed dentist could not write a prescription. That dentist complained to the State. Police ordered the unlicensed dentist to shut down operations. Rather than risk jail, he complied.

This is a very interesting story. It contains several key points.

Why did the State licensing board revoke the dentist's license for his tax evasion policy? Does the dentist's licensing board work for the IRS? The dentist was not convicted of a crime for his tax evasion behavior. This illustrates the corrupt relationship between State licensing boards and the State.

The dentist was unable to write prescriptions. This illustrates one of the risks of isolated agorist resistance. A true agorist dentist or doctor would be able to get prescriptions from an agorist drug manufacturer. In that case "I can't write prescriptions" would not be a restriction. (A dentist sometimes writes prescriptions for antibiotics when treating an infected tooth and a root canal.)

The person who complained to the State was another dentist. If you don't have a State license for industry X, then your biggest risk comes from people who do have a license for industry X. Suppose I cook and sell food out of my house/apartment, and you have a licensed restaurant. The incentive is for you to complain to the State that I have an unlicensed food service business.

An agorist always risks that his State-licensed competitors will complain to the State. The risk will never be completely eliminated. If you deal with trustworthy partners, that risk is mitigated. If you advertise to the general public, you have a risk.

With State enforcement of licensing requirements, a union externalizes its costs to the State. State-licensed dentists don't bear the cost of cracking down on unlicensed dentists. That cost is paid by the State. Similarly, people who own the cost of taxi licenses don't bear the cost of cracking down on unlicensed taxi operators. If people with a State license for X had to personally pay the cost of assaulting people who violate the cartel, then their extortion racket would not be profitable.

When the police inspected the unlicensed dentist's office, they found violations. The rules are so strict that any inspection will find violations. If you have a State license and there is no reason for the police to be nasty, then you will just get a minor fine or polite request to comply. If you don't have a State license, then the violations are "OMFG!! State regulation is necessary!!"

Dentistry is a bad occupation for agorists, because of the expense of dental equipment. However, portable dental kits could be developed. If I were an agorist doctor and got busted, then I'd carefully inspect my customer list, and then start operating elsewhere under a different name.

Reading the comments was interesting. Some people were praising the dentist for standing up for his beliefs. Others were criticizing him for "free-riding" off the rest of society. The problem with taxes is not that tax evaders are free-riding. Taxes enable the parasite class to free-ride off everyone else.



This post on Blagnet was citing my blog again, from Reader Mail #68.

“Obama is the fake change most Americans deserve.”

Unless you're eliminating the Federal Reserve, income tax, and extensive State regulation of most industries, then you aren't really changing anything.

Both the Democrats and Republicans like big government, because it increases their power and influence. If you don't believe "government can solve people's problems", then you don't try working in politics.



This post on no third solution was interesting. State policemen are complaining that terrorists are using Twitter.

Anything useful can be used both for good and for evil. I consider "trying to blow up buildings or assassinate State employees" to be a real crime and pointless, even though the State is evil. Even if you murder a State employee, someone else will merely take their place. The correct option is to build alternatives to a corrupt system.



I liked this article on sleep paralysis. I sometimes have "lucid dreaming" where it seems like someone else is there. I'm asleep, unable to move, and aware that I'm asleep. I'm not frightened by it like I used to. Is it possible that the alien overseers can communicate with me while I'm "lucid dreaming"?



I liked this article on how the "money changers" manipulate the economy. I'd previously heard "Jesus Christ was assassinated for kicking the money changers out of the temple." That was the first time I read "Ceasar was killed over a dispute with the money changers."



I liked this article, via Hacker News, on "Things I wish I'd learned when I was younger."

You can rarely, if ever, please, placate, change, or mollify an asshole. The best thing you can do is stay away from every one you encounter. Being an asshole is a contagious disease. The more time you spend around one, the more likely you are to catch it and become one too.

"Don't deal with pro-State trolls" is good advice. Don't attempt to convince them. Just avoid them.



I liked this post, via Hacker News. Porsche has been buying shares of Volkswagen, driving up the price. Hedge funds thought this rise was irrational, and bet against this by short selling. Porsche continued buying. Porsche announced that it had bought up almost all the outstanding shares, via call options.

This caused an "infinite short squeeze". The hedge funds had huge short positions. Porsche had enough cashflow that it could afford to buy and take delivery of the Volkswagen shares. The hedge funds could be forced to cover their short positions at any price.

This is your bailout money at work!



I liked this post, via Hacker News. An E-Mail "out of office auto-reply" wound up on a road sign.

Unfortunately, the e-mail response to Swansea council said in Welsh: "I am not in the office at the moment. Please send any work to be translated".



I liked this post, via Hacker News. A Mathematician used a Fourier Transform to decompose a chord in a Beatles song. Nobody could figure out how the chord was generated. It turned out that one of the notes in the chord came from a piano. It's impossible to reproduce that chord on a guitar.

From the comments, there's a paper:

From the paper:

George Harrison on 12-string pairs 2 through 5: (A2 A3) (D3 D4) (G3 G4) (C4 C4)

George Martin on piano: D3 F3 D5 G5 E6

John Lennon on 6-string: C5

Paul McCartney on his Höfner bass: D3

Expert mixing masks the timbre of the piano amongst the guitars, leading to the "mystery."




I liked this post, via Hacker News. Someone built a robot/printer that's able to mostly make a copy of itself.



I liked this article, via Hacker News. Google was planning to scan old abandoned copyrighted books and make them available on the Internet, providing phrases around search results. A class action lawsuit was filed. Google settled and severely crippled their search results.

As usual for class action lawsuits, the bulk of the fees paid go to lawyers.

Intellectual property is not a valid form of property. It is silly to suggest that copyright must be enforced on works that are 20+ years old to encourage new authors. Most/all of those copyrights are no longer owned by the original author. For many works, they are still copyrighted, but it is unknown who actually owns the copyright.



One of my least favorite phrases when interviewing for a job is "I want someone who can hit the ground running." Actually, it's a useful phrase, because it's like the interviewer said "I'm an idiot who knows nothing about software and I'm abusive." People who say "hit the ground running" are usually saying "I want someone who already has exactly the experience I want", rather than looking for a generally smart person.

I noticed another stupid thing at another startup interview. The interviewer said "I want you to do X." I replied "X is impossible. No matter how much you try or how much you spend, X cannot be done." The interviewer said "I don't want to hear that response. I want to hire someone who will try anyway." They deserve failure, wasting time and money on something hopeless.

That's an interesting fnord. "I can succeed if I try hard enough, no matter what the circumstances." is *FALSE*. Some situations are truly hopeless. For example, "The State can be reformed." is hopeless. Anybody who says that is a fool and is pro-State trolling.

I read that the mark of a successful person is not just spending a lot of effort, but spending a lot of effort in situations where you can make a difference.



I liked this post, via Hacker News. Twitter is looking for a "founding associate". That is silly, because Twitter isn't a small startup anymore.

I liked one of the comments on Hacker News. "Anybody who would deliberate seek such a job is automatically unqualified." If you really are qualified to join Twitter and make it profitable, then you should start your own company instead. Via this job, Twitter is likely to hire a professional ladder-climber and MBA, rather than someone who will turn their business around.



I liked this article, via Hacker News. It was about investment bankers profiting during the boom. I didn't like the way the article glorified the investment bankers, saying "They are geniuses." A more correct description is "They are parasites."

One banker had an interesting attitude. "Why should I care if I'm looting and pillaging? If I don't do it, someone else will instead?" The problem is the corrupt system and not the individuals exploiting it for their personal benefit.

I liked this quote:

As Lehman plummeted, some of their traders, having nothing to lose, went long, in a kind of financial Hail Mary. If Lehman got bailed out and the market rebounded, maybe they’d get rich. If not? Hey, it wasn’t their money.

This illustrates the problem with limited liability incorporation. If you're the manager of a nearly insolvent corporation, the incentive is to take bigger and bigger risks and cover up problems. You can always declare bankruptcy and cheat your creditors.

The bankers who lost their cushy jobs during the crunch are expendable. The true insiders got their bailout, and are preparing for the next inflationary boom.

I liked this quote:

Here’s the logic: If they lost so much money, they must know something.

If someone trusted me with billions of dollars and I lost it, then I must be a genius or I never would have been given so much money to manage in the first place. Therefore, I should be bailed out so I may try again. Even if you're the CEO of a failed bank or hedge fund, you can usually use your connections and "experience" to find another cushy job. The insiders are taking zero risk, other than the risk that the economic system/scam will completely collapse.

This bit was really funny. It's a quote from a hedge fund manager/employee.

The talking heads of CNBC prattle on in the background, interspersed with video of exhausted senators walking around the halls of the Capitol. “We should take pictures of the politicians who voted against the bailout and stick them on the Internet,” declares a partner. “If they get killed, so what? Work it out.”

They're advocating for the murder of people who voted *AGAINST* the $700 billion bailout. That's such a wonderful attitude. They're so accustomed to lobbying the State for favors, that anyone who suggest otherwise is evil.

That article was mostly pro-State trolling, but it was amusing.

I really liked this bit:

Now the clock is reset. Everyone must try to save their own skins, and if someone else has to lose theirs, so be it. You can kiss your boss’s ass and remind him how much you contribute to his P&L, or you can try to take out the guy on the next rung above you and hope that you’ll get his job when he’s fired. “At most banks, there are no defined boundaries, and it’s always been a bit of a civil war,” says one banker. “Now, in the midst of the crisis, what we’re all really trying to do is kill each other. I arrive at work every morning worried that someone else is going to be sitting in my seat. It’s like sub-Saharan Africa, with everyone driving around in pickup trucks cutting each other’s arms off.” This week, a colleague is accusing him of mismarking his positions. “I’m going to shoot him dead,” he says, merrily.

This is the attitude of almost all executives at large corporations. It's particularly bad in the financial industry. When you're managing other people's money, petty politics are more important than doing real work. In the financial industry, nobody is doing any real work.

This backstabbing attitude is dominant because they've become completely divorced from people who do anything useful and productive.



This article, via Hacker News, shows zero knowledge of the options market. He claims that it is possible to make a guaranteed riskless profit by trading options, by trading at the closing price.

The fallacy is that most options only trade a couple of times per day. The closing price is the last trade, and not a trade that occurred at the closing bell. For example, if one option's last trade is at 1pm and another option's last trade is at 3pm, then the quoting closing price could indicate an opportunity to make a guaranteed riskless profit.



I see a lot of articles saying "The VC industry is tight right now, due to the recession." In other words, VCs are saying "HAHAHA!!! We can get more onerous terms now!"

If you're serious about starting a web company, and you're a software engineer, you should just buy hosting, keep 100% ownership, and not hire any other people until you have a profitable business.

It appears that the problem is web startups founded by MBAs, rather than people who great knowledge of software.



I liked this article, on the history of breasts in mammals. The "intelligent design" fruitcakes say "Breasts are really complicated behavior. That's proof against evolution. How could such a sophisticated system arise purely by chance/mutations." That article made an interesting point. Some researchers say that breasts originally evolved to enhance the child's immune system, and the nutrition aspect evolved later.



I liked this article, via sunnimaravillosa.com. The Supreme Court ruled that drug manufacturers cannot be sued for damages, provided they give a vague warning label about negative side effects of a drug.

Receiving health care from a State licensed doctor or hospital is dangerous! The doctor and drug manufacturer are immune from liability if there's a problem. Even if you do sue and win, insurance covers the damages. With a State granted monopoly/oligopoly, a victory in a medical malpractice lawsuit merely translates into higher prices for everyone else.

The presumption is "The FDA regulators, who were personally picked by drug company CEOs, approved the drug. Therefore, the drug is safe."

State employees are protected by sovereign immunity. They are nearly absolutely immune from negative consequences for misconduct or negligence.

I was given/injected harmful drugs against my will. I am lucky that I suffered no serious permanent side effects.



This post on no third solution about the evils of welfare underestimated the problem. He's referring to individual welfare and not corporate welfare.

The problems with welfare are:
  1. Welfare is funded via taxes. You can't accomplish anything good if the first step is "Use violence to force people to pay."
  2. Before the growth of the Federal government and the Great Depression, private charities did a much better job. State-funded welfare, high taxes, and regulations affecting non-State welfare programs nearly completely eliminate private welfare programs.
  3. More money is spent on salaries for bureaucrats enforcing welfare laws than on payments to welfare recipients. The true point of welfare is that it subsidizes the bureaucrats who administer the program!
  4. Most welfare comes with strings attached. For example, a welfare recipient must consent to State inspections of their residence at any time.
  5. Some welfare recipients have a marginal tax rate over 100%. If you get a job, you lose your welfare benefit, plus you owe taxes on your salary. Some welfare recipients find an off-the-books job and get paid in cash. Is such behavior immoral? I'm not interested in doing it, but the more money wasted by welfare recipients is less power for the State!
  6. There are many regulations that make it hard for individuals to start a business. Taxi licensing requirements means that you can't work 10 hours/week as a taxi during times of high demand. Food service licensing requirements make it hard to cook and sell food out of your apartment. Welfare is a patch on a corrupt system. Individuals don't have the right to start a business, but they get welfare instead.
  7. Welfare helps create the illusion that many people are net beneficiaries of the State, while the State is the primary culprit for their poverty. A communist economy like the USA is dependent on a large pool of low-skill labor desperate for any job they can get.



I saw an article on negotiations between the NFL and the players' union regarding extending the regular season from 16 to 18 games. The players' union says that players who already signed a contract deserve a raise. If you were due to be paid $1.6M in a 16 game season, then your contract should be automatically adjusted to $1.8M in an 18 game season. The NFL says that's not perfectly fair. Increasing the regular season by 2 games doesn't increase the league's revenue by 2/16. For example, there still would only be one Super Bowl per season. Increased TV revenue would be reflected in a higher salary cap, and players already under contract don't deserve an automatic raise. Plus, rosters might be expanded to allow for more injuries during a longer season.

There's one fair solution I've never seen mentioned. The league could increase the regular season from 16 to 18 games, but not have it take effect until several years in the future. For example, the regular season could be increased, effective in the 2013 season. Then, it would not be discriminating against players who already signed a contract.

I also read some interesting bits about Personal Seat Licenses (PSLs). When I first read about PSLs, I thought the PSL meant that you no longer had to pay for your annual season tickets. If you own a PSL, you still have to buy your season tickets or forfeit your PSL. Of course, you may sell your PSL or individual tickets if you no longer desire them.

It seems like PSLs are a ripoff. Suppose you buy a PSL. Having already sold the PSL, the team could raise ticket prices. Once you buy the PSL, you have to keep buying season tickets, even if the team is lousy. Normal season ticket arrangements force the buyer to keep purchasing, lest they lose their seats.

The least abusive way to sell tickets is to auction each individual ticket to each game. With the Internet, such an arrangement is very feasible. There are too many people who profit off the current system for reform to occur. The current system means that tickets are usually sold for less than the fair market value, guaranteeing a good secondary market for scalpers. This practice leads to resentment, and scalping is declared illegal.



This thread on google groups (alt.society.liberalism) was interesting. Someone quoted my article on "The Federal Reserve Caused the Great Depression". A pro-State troll responded "pig ignorant lie" to all the points made by the person who quoted my blog, without providing any further details. I would not have been so polite, were I participating.

Any forum where anybody may post a comment suffers from the "pro-State trolling" problem. Typically, there is one person with a clue and 5+ pro-State trolls drowning out the intelligent content.

BTW, many ISPs no longer carry the "alt" newsgroups, although they are still available via services like "Google Groups". I find blogs and RSS to be more productive than UseNet.



I liked this post, via Hacker News. Suppose that Google disables your gmail account, either by their automatic abuse detection or someone successfully steals/cracks your password. In that case, it is practically impossible to recover your account.

I keep backups of my blog on my HD every few months. Also, I could recreate all my content, if necessary.

It sucks that I could lose my blog based on the arbitrary whim of Google. Remember that my blog was falsely declared a spam blog?

I should look into switching to self-hosted Wordpress. I'm going to do that within the next year or two. Plus, if I did that, I could also offer forums, a roll-my-own forum engine, and "agoristbay".



This thread on Hacker News was missing the point. The question was "Are people born logical?" I say "Yes, people are born logical, but pro-State brainwashing beats the logic out of them. In self-defense, people learn to behave irrationally."

By studying Math and Computers, it is possible to re-learn logical thinking skills. A child who was never pro-State brainwashed in the first place would have a *HUGE* advantage.



I liked this post, via Hacker News. Amazon Web Services allows you to rent a "virtual" server by the hour. A programmer at the NY Times had a task that would have cost a ridiculous amount of computing power. He rented 100 Amazon Web Services slices for 1 day.

Actually, that's a bad example. He could also have performed the calculation on one PC over 100 days, which is also feasible.

Cloud computing allows someone to solve a problem that requires a large amount of computing power for a short period of time. Anybody has access to supercomputer-level power for a small fee.



I really liked this post, via Hacker News. With the shift to digital TV, a lot of spectrum was freed. The FCC ruled that some of this spectrum will not be licensed, but be available for anyone to use.

I disapprove of monopolistic State licensing of spectrum. If your device has a sensible protocol, this is unnecessary.

This ruling is the result of lobbying by Google and a few other corporations. This allows them to develop wireless Internet services.

Certain parts of the spectrum are more desirable than others. The earth's atmosphere distorts some frequencies more than others.



I didn't like this post on no third solution about alternate digital monetary systems threatening the State. David Z was missing a couple of big points.

First, running an alternate monetary systems as an on-the-books business is illegal. Consider what happened to E-Gold and the Liberty Dollar. Realizing the Internet was a threat to the monetary monopoly, the State made the laws stricter. Alternate monetary systems aren't outright illegal. They're taxed and regulated so heavily to make them impractical, especially when they don't receive the Fed Funds Rate subsidy like a State-sanctioned bank.

If your alternate monetary system is fiat based, then nothing prevents the issuing authority from printing too much money. Fiat money works only when there's a centralized issuing authority powerful enough to force people to use their money and forbid use of alternatives.

If your alternate monetary system is based on gold or silver or barter, then why not just trade physical gold and silver? Why bother with an online currency?

People writing about alternate digital monetary systems make things needlessly complicated. Just use physical gold and silver and that's good enough. If you use sound money, you don't need fancy software and strong encryption.

I did like David Z's reference to "the 27 Ninjas argument". Many philosophical discussions place you in a hopeless situation and ask you what to do. For example, "Four people are on a crashing airplane with only two parachutes. Who deserves to be saved?" Debating hopeless situations leads to practically no insight for handling everyday situations.

I like the "Wrath of Kahn" solution (fnord!). If you're forced to play a no-win game, you cheat and break the rules so you can win!

Dealing with the State is a no-win game. Via agorism, you cheat and break the rules so the game can be won. If you strictly follow the letter of every law, then it is impossible to live a morally just life. For example, it's immoral to pay income taxes and use slave points as money, because the profits of taxation and inflation are used for war, terrorism, and corporate welfare. In order to live a morally just life, you have to boycott the income tax and Federal Reserve. Since you're a criminal anyway, you might as well boycott all the laws that place pointless restrictions. (Some laws are legitimate; I don't advocate boycotting the laws banning murder. Using violence to defend yourself against aggression by the State is morally acceptable but not practical.)

Some people say "Don't disobey the State. The State is omnipotent!" If you assume the bad guys are all-powerful, then there's no point doing anything at all. If you don't practice agorism and effectively resist the State because you're afraid of the bad guys, you're essentially saying "Life is a no-win game. Why bother doing anything?"

By the "27 ninjas argument", pro-State trolls say that resisting the State is pointless because the State is omnipotent. If your enemy is all-powerful, then why bother doing anything at all. I haven't been arrested or assassinated (yet?) based on my blog's content.

(The bit on 27 ninjas deserves its own separate post.)



I noticed this post on Azrael's Free Thoughts.

I have been an anarchist long enough that I have trouble remembering what it is like to think like a statist. It has not even been a year sense I made the leap off the cliff into the unknown abyss of anarchy.

I have noticed a lot more anarchist and real free market writing on the Internet in the past year. It isn't just my own increased perception. The volume of material is also increasing.

It's impossible to tell how much of this increase is a direct result of my efforts. I'm contributing some, but it's impossible to know exactly how much.



Kn@ppster has left a new comment on your post "Walter Block, a Pro-State Libertarian":

Block is a professor at Loyola University New Orleans, a private (Jesuit) school, where he holds the Harold E. Wirth Endowed Chair in Economics -- note the "endowed," which means his position is funded by a private donation, not by the state.

Insofar as Block's alleged "pro-statism" is concerned, your complaint seems to be that where the state wields power X, he has a preference as to which arm of the state wields that power, and to what effect. I don't see how that makes him a "statist."
DixieFlatline has left a new comment on your post "Walter Block, a Pro-State Libertarian":

FSK, you're so far out of line, and out to lunch on this, it's not funny. You should try reading Block's book "Defending the Undefendable" which has more agoristic thought in it than you have on this entire blog.

And then you should check out his videos on the MisesMedia YouTube channel.

Or you can continue to throw a tantrum on your blog and rant that you won't read anything, you won't do any research. Instead, you will make arbitrary judgments based on false premises.

Well you should know to ALWAYS check your premises.

Considering my updated definition of "State", I will reevaluate my opinion.



fritz has left a new comment on your post "Walter Block, a Pro-State Libertarian":

Fsk..I have read you for quite some time..I think you're on to something,,so keep up the good work,,you're point of view has entered my mind,and I feel like one of the remnant ,,peace

I'm looking for ways to accelerate the conversion of the Remnant.



I'm too stressed to respond more now.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

The idea to solve the problem by delaying extending the NFL regular season to 2013 or later would not work because (1) the NFL wants the additional revenue ASAP and (2) some players have contracts that extend beyond 2013.

I tend to agree with the NFL in this situation based on enforcing already existing contracts. If the players want an extra 12.5% salary to compensate for playing two extra regular season games, they can have their agents renegotiate their contracts.

Remember that the NFL, as with all major sports leagues, gets all the state benefits that all big corporations get. The major difference is we are distracted from that because the product is "free" and usually excellent.

Josh said...

Social networking sites more popular than porn?

Here's why!

1. It's free
2. Women use it too
3. People get laid
4. You can actually connect, for business or fun.

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