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Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Wikipedia Censorship Story

I almost never link to Wikipedia (but I allow Wikipedia links in the comment section). Every time I link to a Wikipedia page, I'm implicitly endorsing the entire site's content. Since Wikipedia is highly intralinked, and many sites link to Wikipedia, this effectively boosts the PageRank of *ALL* of Wikipedia's articles.

Similarly, if Wikipedia links to a website, that can *DRAMATICALLY* boost that site's PageRank. For this reason, Wikipedia's censors *RELIGIOUSLY* cull non-conforming links.

I conducted an experiment. On a drug page, I posted a link critical of that drug. The users I identified as drug PR agents culled the link. After an edit war, I imposed my Wikipedia boycott; I'll look up information on Wikipedia, but I refuse to contribute. From a different IP address, without logging in, I posted a link *PRAISING* that same drug. One of the drug PR agents sent me a PM saying "You should be a registered user; you'd be a great site admin!"

On Wikipedia, the "revert vandalism" bots are also usable as "auto-censorship bots". There's a fundamental flaw with Wikipedia's engine. "Edit wars" and censorship are a symptom of a defective engine design, and not an inherent problem that any popular website has. Wikipedia's secret backers *LOVE* the fact that Wikipedia gives the appearance of openness, while controversial topics are effectively censored.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Agorist Tookit - GIT

Linux Torvalds had a problem with source control systems for distributing the Linux kernel. The base of developers was distributed. He wanted a source control system with no centralized authority. This way, people could share patches before he personally reviewed them.

Linux Torvalds developed GIT. GIT is a totally decentralized source control system. This also looks like a decent implementation of the human TCP/IP network. Agorists could use GIT to share information in a completely decentralized fashion.

Some people suggest that agorists should specifically develop software for information sharing. As social networking software becomes more sophisticated, we should be able to directly use them.

An ideal agorist information sharing system should be completely decentralized, like GIT. If there's a centralized repository, then that is an attack point.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Reader Mail #61

I liked this post on lowercase liberty.


The sad fact is that when the AMA was founded in the late 19th century, most doctors made a deal with the devil. The state licensure boards - which were successful in their mission to keep competition low and prices high - not only created a pool of underserved consumers for quacks to prey upon, it also created traditions and political framework that quacks and junk scientists can use to provide cover for their fraudulent activities.

The main topic of the post was State-sponsored research on Chinese herbal remedies. People who give State research grants suffer the usual Agent-Principal problem. They're spending other people's money, so it doesn't matter if they waste it.

However, I didn't like the implication that Chinese herbal remedies are in fact useless. I consider that not proven. How do you know that the researchers aren't being ordered to conclude "Chinese herbal remedies are useless", when they are in fact beneficial?



This story on lowercase liberty, also cited elsewhere, is about an upcoming IMF audit of the Federal Reserve. People are saying "OMFG! The Federal Reserve is finally going to get its comeuppance!"

Be realistic. Having the IMF audit the Federal Reserve is like hiring Karl Rove to lead an investigation of misconduct by the Bush administration.



I liked this article, referred by Hacker News.

Attending a prestigious university is one of the strongest signals someone likes to color inside the lines: which is a great attribute for running legacy businesses or maintaining a status quo. But as this great critique of elite education in The American Scholar points out, big-name schools do not breed innovators:

Students who get into elite schools are precisely the ones who have best learned to work within the system, so it’s almost impossible for them to see outside it, to see that it’s even there. Long before they got to college, they turned themselves into world-class hoop-jumpers and teacher-pleasers, getting A’s in every class no matter how boring they found the teacher or how pointless the subject, racking up eight or 10 extracurricular activities no matter what else they wanted to do with their time.

In other words, attending an elite school represents that you're skilled at being brainwashed, rather than skilled at actual thinking.

Is that the State's mistake? I was "brainwashed" to be a good Mathematician and Computer Scientist. That means I was "brainwashed" to actually be able to think!

If you're investing other people's money, the incentive is to take the *MINIMUM* risk. If you're at the point where other people are entrusting billions of dollars to you, with the typical 2/20 management fee, then your first priority is keeping your job!



I liked this article. The EPA lowered its estimate of what a human life is worth.



I liked this article on mises.org, referred by the Mental Militia. (Mises.org has so many articles that I don't bother reading all of them. Anything really good is always mentioned by another site!) RadGeek has been quoting me on stories like this one.

Staffers at the FDA troll the Internet, looking for people who sell herbal remedies or other unlicensed products. (This shows that agorists need a secure system to sell their wares and advertise!) In the name of "consumer safety", they send legal threats to the operator of the site. The FDA doesn't actually determine if the herbal remedy is harmful. An unlicensed offering is sufficient evidence of guilt.

The FDA lawyer demands "Settle, or else face severe legal repercussions!" It's the usual "guilty until proven innocent" approach. If the victim refuses to settle, then their assets are frozen, preventing them from hiring a lawyer to defend themselves. The settlement is paid to the government as "restitution to victims". There are no victims, so the profits go to the US Treasury.

I find it amazing that so many State workers have nothing better to do than look for people breaking their silly laws. I feel guilty that wealth stolen from me via taxes funds such behavior. When I pay taxes, it's as if I personally assaulted the people offering herbal remedies.

The State is acting more like an extortion racket and less like a protector of individual freedom. That's great!



This post on Debt Prison had some interesting bits.

The national electric grid was subsidized by the State. This means that large electric plants can profitably sell electricity to rural customers. They didn't bear the true cost of laying their wires; it was externalized to the State. This prices small-scale energy out of the market. Solar, wind, and hydro power are priced out of the market.

Similarly, the Interstate system is corporate welfare. Large corporations don't bear the true cost of shipping goods to their customers. The State pays for building and maintaining roads. This makes large factories more profitable, because they don't pay the true cost of shipping to their customers.

Without State subsidies, small local producers will have an advantage over megacorporations and their management.



I liked this post on Check Your Premises. Fighting the State involves both raising awareness and actually performing counter-economic activity. Resources should be funneled away from the State and profitably invested elsewhere.



I liked this post on the Agitator. Police are harassing the owner of a bar. They hire informants to conduct drug deals in the bar. The police raid the bar. The claim the bar's owner was allowing drug deals in his bar.

Via laws banning possession of marijuana, it's very easy to frame anyone of a crime!

For example, police could plant marijuana in your residence during a raid. You can't prove that the police didn't plant it themselves. It's your word against the testilying of policemen.



I liked this post on the Agitator. A sheriff accidentally destroyed $225k of expensive plants, mistaking them for marijuana. The victim sued for compensation. A federal judge ruled that the sheriff was protected by "sovereign immunity". The victim is SOL for collecting compensation.

Even worse, the victim probably paid $50k-$100k in legal fees already.

If the State seizes/destroys your property, you are SOL. If you are killed or injured during an illegitimate raid, you are SOL.



I liked this post on the Agitator. Police "field tests" for drugs have many false positives.

If you have a test for drugs, there's no penalty for a false positive, so why not design a test that gives lots of false positives?



I liked this post on the Agitator. Police raided the wrong house in a drug bust. They aren't liable for compensation for property damage incurred during the raid. As long as the address they raided matches the address on the warrant, they are immune from liability. It's irrelevant whether the warrant is a forgery or not.



I liked this post on to herd or not to herd.

"Children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society which is coming where everyone is interdependent." --John Dewey, The Pope of the 'muricun ejicashun sistum.



This post on no third solution about scrip currency is interesting.

Most "alternate monetary systems" are set up in a way that allows profits for the organizers. For example, the Liberty Dollar is a multi-level marketing scheme, selling $18 of silver for $45 to agents and $50 to the general public. This behavior tends to discredit alternate monetary systems in general.

If you're going to set up alternate monetary system, why not base it on sound money (gold or silver)? There's readily quoted prices for gold and silver, so it's easy to mentally translate between gold/silver denominated prices and dollar denominated prices.

It's not hard! Just use gold and silver! If you use gold or silver as the basis of your alternate monetary system, then you don't lose your value if the issuing authority goes broke.

If you base an alternate monetary system on something other than sound money, then the issuer of the alternate currency realizes seignorage revenue instead of the central bank.

Also, unless you boycott income taxes, you're still dependent on State issued money. Income taxes *MUST* be paid in State issued money, which defeats the purpose of alternate monetary systems.

Suppose you set up a self-sufficient barter community. In reality, it isn't self-sufficient, because you need to raise dollars to pay taxes. You can only get dollars by trading outside of the community. Even if you manage to fully boycott income taxes, you still have to pay property taxes.



I liked this post on Raganwald.

I imagine that if we traveled back in time we would find monks bewailing what would happen if anyone was allowed to write. People—the monks would stammer—people might write doggerel! Pornography!! Graffiti!!!

But of course, they will also write beautiful things. And useful things. Like theories of Astronomy that violate what the priests “knew” to be true. And that is the point: if you leave things up to the priesthood, all you get is stuff that is neatly aligned with what they already know. You cannot make progress by subjecting new ideas to scrutiny in a committee, even a smart and well-educated committee. Maybe especially not a smart and well-educated committee.

If it were up to educated people, do you think there would be personal computers today?

The message is clear: You and I are worker ants. We do not think. We do not question our tools. We simply use them as we are directed by those in control. I find that far more horrifying than just about anything else I can imagine coming out of giving people more freedom.




I liked this post on Raganwald. From the employer's point of view, a software engineer is, essentially, a clerk. Just like you can hire a mechanic to fix cars all day, they want to hire someone who can write software all day. Great software engineering doesn't actually work like that, but most business employers are looking for basic competence, not excellence.

If your comp-sci course is easy then you’re either a genius or you’re wasting your money. The odds on that are not in your favour.

There is a culture of pretending business programming is more than it is. Some of you calling for more Java in University may take false hope that I am on your side. You may think that the people arguing for Scheme, Haskell, and OCaml are elitists. Wrong. They do not have a problem. You are the one with a problem because you don’t want to tell all your friends you have a job as a clerk.

You do a clerk’s job, you settle for a clerk’s working conditions and wages, but you take solace in the thought that you are somehow more than a clerk, because you have a university degree and the dental technician who cleans your teeth doesn’t.

Only everyone knows it’s a sham, especially the hiring manager who puts “University degree required” in the job advertisement. He wants to hire a clerk, someone who will work long hours doing as they’re told in a top-down, hierarchal command structure. Does that job sound like there is any Science involved? Of course not, everyone knows that, it’s why the industry is trying to weed all of the Science out of a Computer Science degree.

And you, my friend, are not monopolizing supply. Did your university have a strict cap on the number of undergraduates entering the CompSci program? No? Then your degree has absolutely zero leverage. Wait, I could be wrong. Do businesses refuse to hire workers with foreign credentials? They do hire workers with foreign credentials? Well, there goes that component of value.

Let me tell you, and I speak as a hiring manager. We lie to you. We write in articles and books and on blogs how much we value a degree.

Beyond your actual ability to write programs, a degree is only as meaningful as its scarcity. If degrees are easy to get, they mean squat. Sure, when I’m hiring I might choose to toss all the no-experience resum├ęs without degrees. I’m still left with a pile of two hundred people to interview. Do you think I’m paying any of you top dollar when I have 199 more people to see?

I liked this bit in the comments section.

At the moment, nobody has a very good idea how to certify salespeople. How do companies hire salespeople without universities giving people degrees in sales?




I liked this quote on Raganwald.

Argue with idiots, and you become an idiot.
If you compete with slaves you become a slave.

In other words, if you waste time debating trolls you become a troll.

In the US economic system, practically everyone is a slave. If you play by the rules of the economic system, then you're a slave.



I liked this article on Raganwald.



To paraphrase Eric Beck, “At either end of the educational spectrum there lies a hacker class.” And we are not interested in hackers, even great hackers. We need those middle of the spectrum folks who are going to live in the suburbs, commute to our offices, and do a decent job for a fair wage week after week, year after year.

Quite honestly, the very fact that you passed on University tells us something disturbing about you. Quite obviously you aren’t stupid. And you knew that people like us would have a problem with your lack of education. But you believed in your heart of hearts that you could make up for this with excellence.

But you know what? That same attitude might have you think “It’ll look bad if I quit this job in less than five years, but I’ll make up for it.” That kind of attitude makes you a little fearless. And while we try our best to build a decent working environment, we like our people to be just a little afraid of leaving the nice security blanket we give them.




I liked this article summarizing the value of top sports franchises. Most of the top teams are in the NFL. The NFL is worth more than MLB and the NBA combined. The NY Yankees are the only baseball team in the top 27; the other top 26 are NFL teams.



I liked this article on Fannie Mae. Since the Federal government implicitly guarantees Fannie Mae's debt, Fannie Mae's management may borrow for only slightly more than the Treasury Rate. Even with huge outstanding debt, their borrowing rates didn't rise, due to the government guarantee.

This placed Fannie Mae in a conflict of interest position. They were issuing mortgage bonds. Since they could borrow cheaply, the incentive was for them to borrow and buy their own bonds. The spread between the Treasury rate and the mortgage rate was a (practically) riskless profit.

This was so lucrative, that Fannie Mae management lobbied for regulations increasing the types of loans they could offer. They lobbied for regulations allowing them to use more aggressive leverage ratios.

When the mortgage market imploded, Fannie Mae's extensive leverage scheme blew up. Before, they were borrowing at 4% buying mortgages yielding 6%. Now, they were borrowing at 4% buying mortgages yielding 2% (or less), making them technically insolvent.

Even though this was a bad decision, Fannie Mae's management suffers no adverse consequences. The State will bail them out. This is the "moral hazard" problem of large banks. The load up on leverage. When they're right, they make huge profits. When they're wrong, they get a bailout.

That suggests an interesting analogy. Fannie Mae's goal is profits for its shareholders, yet it is a quasi-government agency. Similarly, the Federal Reserve is a private corporation, earning profits for its shareholders.



This thread on mises.org was interesting. It was a discussion/debate of agorism by people other than me.

It's nice to see people besides me intelligently defending/describing agorism. I didn't notice such behavior a year ago.



This article was interesting. A study shows that differences in Math ability is uncorrelated with gender. Social factors are more important.

I don't see how such a study could be scientifically conducted.

I consider this "not proven either way". My guess is that the deficiencies in the education system and culture are greater than any biological difference (if biology is a factor). (At my current job, I might rate the two women as the #2 and #3 software engineers (out of 5 total). I rate myself #1, of course.)



I liked this article on the Onion, referred by the Mental Militia. In order to get the US economy back on track, another speculative bubble is desperately needed.

"The U.S. economy cannot survive on sound investments alone,"

Asset bubbles are built into the rules of the US monetary system. By the time you know where it will be, it's too late to invest!

The next market bubble should be in the overall stock market or the financial sector. The Federal Reserve is heavily inflating right now, which should turn up as higher stock prices eventually. It seems weird to me that the stock market is going down during a time of heavy inflation.



This article referred by the Mental Militia was interesting. Someone was trying to bring $1M in cash into the USA, and got busted by drug-sniffing dogs.

Possession of more than $10k cash is considered equivalent to having committed a crime. If police catch you with more than $10k cash, they may seize it and keep it.

Some people estimate that 90%+ of all circulating cash has drug residue on it. If I were an unscrupulous government agent, I'd *INTENTIONALLY* coat all money in drug residue!

The poster mentioned that you're better off using gold or silver than carrying around cash.



I liked this post on the Mental Militia.

A Guide to U.S. Newspapers

1. The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country.

2. The New York Times is read by people who think they run the country.

3. The Washington Post is read by people who think they should run the country.

4. USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country but don't really understand the Washington Post. They do, however like the smog statistics shown in pie charts.

5. The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn't mind running the country, if they could spare the time, and if they didn't have to leave L.A. to do it.

6. The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run the country.

7. The New York Daily News is read by people who aren't too sure who's running the country, and don't really care as long as they can get a seat on the train.

8. The New York Post is read by people who don't care who's running the country either, as long as they do something really scandalous, preferably while intoxicated.

9. The San Francisco Chronicle is read by people who aren't sure there is a country, or that anyone is running it; but whoever it is, they oppose all that they stand for. There are occasional exceptions if the leaders are handicapped minority, feministic atheist dwarfs, who also happen to be illegal aliens from ANY country or galaxy as long as they are democrats.

10. The Miami Herald is read by people who are running another country, but need the baseball scores.


All newspapers are pure propaganda, *ESPECIALLY* the "respectable" ones.



I liked this thread on the Mental Militia. Many states passed a regulation requiring RFID chips implanted in farm animals. The Amish are forced to abandon their livestock, because their religion prevents them from putting RFID chips in animals.



This article was interesting. Suppose you are comparing a film critic's review with your personal interests. Suppose the film critic's review is anticorrelated with your personal interests. In that case, the film critic is useful.

If the film critic's reviews are uncorrelated with your personal preference, then the critic is useless. A critic who's always wrong is just as useful as one who's always right!

Does this mean that the mainstream media is a useful information source? I estimate they're right far less than half the time, due to well-coordinated propaganda. That means that doing the opposite of what a mainstream source says may actually be a good idea. Of course, you still should think for yourself. It's just a guide, and not an absolute rule.



I liked this post by Kevin Carson. He coins a new phrase "Misoid", referring to the "vulgar libertarians" who control mises.org. I don't normally read their blog and articles, unless referred. (The signal-to-noise ratio is too low. Mises.org has a high volume of low-quality articles.) On the mises.org forums, the troll-to-human ratio is lower than it was on the Ron Paul Forum. There have been a few users besides me intelligently defending agorism.

Kevin Carson was referring to the common misconception that people "voluntarily" chose to leave their farms to work in factories in the late 19th and early 20th century. The reality is that boom/bust cycles and taxes created conditions of poverty, forcing people off their farms. If you have a self-sufficient farm, that isn't a sustainable lifestyle, because you must sell to raise money for taxes.

There was a dispute over "labor productivity" vs. "land productivity". As usual, some concrete numbers would be better.

For example, suppose that, before corporate farming, farmers worked 40 hours/week on 100 acres producing 100 units of food. After corporate farming, farmers work 60 hours/week on 150 acres producing 150 units of food. In this case, fewer people are working on farms, but productivity has not increased. If the farmer is working more hours for the same pay, then this is mislabeled as a productivity gain.

However, if food/acre or food/hour did in fact increase, then there was a genuine productivity gain.

As another example, suppose the farmer works 60 hours/week on 100 acres producing 140 units of food. Land productivity has increased, but labor productivity has decreased. Since there's a fixed supply of land, it might make sense to accept lower labor productivity in exchange for higher land productivity.

Kevin Carson was saying "extra unpaid work hours" should not be confused with "productivity gains".

A true free market would allocate labor most efficiently.



I liked this post on Techdirt. Congressmen are barred from using Twitter while at work. Are Congressmen also barred from blogging? (not that they would have anything interesting to say)

Many other people say "If you're concerned about any issue, write your Congressman!" Those letters are read by staffers, cataloged, and discarded. If your letter doesn't fit one of the categories the Congressman is looking for, then the letter is entirely discarded.



I liked this article on Linux kernel development. I'd like to see the market for tangible goods follow a similar process, via agorism.



I liked this article, for one quote.

Plus you make a big deal of only hiring these super-high-IQ kiddies and the fact is that most of them truly are smart, but then you put them into this horribly dull and easy drone work on AdWords and AdSense and they’re all bored to tears and totally disappointed because they really really really thought they were going to do something meaningful with their lives and now they’re just worker bees — pampered worker bees, sure, but still — and maybe they should have taken that offer from McKinsey but they really thought Google was going to be so cool and blah blah blah.

And you know what? There is something really evil about taking thousands of the world’s smartest young people and using them to sell online text ads more efficiently. Really. Think of all the really interesting and important things that this pool of brainpower could be addressing.


In other words, hiring smart young people and having them work on crud software projects is a colossal waste. Even worse, think of all those smart people working as quants or financial system programmers. They could be doing productive work instead!

In my experience as a software engineer, practically every job is a waste of time, at least the stuff I've worked on or interviewed for.

Is an "educated person" trained to be a good slave, or a true original thinker?



I liked this post, referred by the Mental Militia. (I've been lurking on "The Mental Militia", but not posting.)

The most evil aspect of the State is police. Without police, politicians/bureaucrats/lawyers/CEOs/judges/bankers are just crazy people shuffling irrelevant paper all day. Police are required to enforce their decrees.

In many ways, police are like a cult.

Actually, I've found a reasonable trick for dealing with random police on the street. Try and make eye contact with them, and they'll ignore you. Part of police programming is "Anyone who makes eye contact with you isn't dangerous."

I liked this comment:

Well if you wear the colors you're part of the gang......and the actions of the gang are a reflection on you.......



I liked this article, referred by the Mental Militia. Someone was arrested for taking a picture of a policeman.

There's a law that says that digital cameras and phones must make a clicking noise when they take a picture. Otherwise, someone could take pictures without being noticed.

It shouldn't be too hard for someone with technical ability to disable the clicking sound. However, I don't see the benefit.



I liked this thread on the Mental Militia. The AMA is lobbying for regulation declaring home-birthing illegal. Pretty soon, it will be a crime to give birth outside a hospital.

All State property must be registered and numbered at birth!

There was an interesting comment that a "full term birth" is actually 41+ weeks. Most doctors will "force labor" after 38-40 weeks. Due to propaganda, most people believe that a "full term" is shorter than it actually is!



Recently, the bank IndyMac was taken over by the FDIC. People who had accounts over $100k may not get their full deposit back.

What kind of dumb**** keeps over $100k in a bank? If you keep that much cash, you're practically guaranteed to get ripped off by inflation. The only rational explanation is if you have a business.

Someone was saying "My life savings of $200k may be lost!" If you're keeping that much cash in a bank, then you're guaranteed to have your savings stolen!

The article discussed the alternative to banks. You keep cash under your mattress. Of course, keeping Federal Reserve Notes under your mattress is pointless. You'll still be ripped off by inflation. Further, police interpret possession of cash as evidence of a crime.

The correct alternative is gold or silver under your mattress.



In this post by gilliganscorner, he wrote:

FSK has convinced me that agorism is the solution to move towards to create any meaningful way of preserving my labour (i.e. my money) from being taxed, confiscated, or regulated by the State.


It's good to see that I'm convincing some people. On mises.org, I now see people other than me intelligently defending agorism. Of course, the trolls will never be convinced.

The post was otherwise about Ithaca Hours. Why are all "alternate currencies" run by fools/scumbags? The Ithaca Hour is pegged at $10 per hour. This means that your savings are still stolen via inflation. Also, you still need to raise some slave points to pay income taxes, even if you use Ithaca Hours. Further, there's nothing that prevents the issuing authority from printing a bunch of Ithaca Hours and flooding the market.

What's wrong with using gold or silver as the basis for your alternate monetary system? If you tie an alternate currency to fiat money, that's loss-oriented thinking. Of course, an alternate monetary system based on sound money doesn't lead to much profit for those promoting it.



This post on no third solution was about another death via Taser. A Taser should not be referred to as "non-lethal". It should be referred to as "less-lethal".

If police shoot a criminal while he is running away, that is technically a homicide (although they'd probably get away with it). Technically, police are only supposed to fire their gun if they or someone else is directly threatened. Of course, the police can always testily "It looked like he had a gun!"

Similarly, police should only use their Taser when someone is directly threatened. The trend is to use a Taser when physically restraining someone would suffice.

Even if a Tasering leads to only 1 in 10,000 or 1 in 100,000 deaths, then it's going to happen when Tasers are heavily used.



I liked this post on RadGeek. There is a proposal to give all airline passengers electroshock bracelets. The staff may shock any passenger at will.

This sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. The number of actual terrorists is negligible. That means there will be many false shockings.

On the other hand, I'm always in favor of stupid laws! Whatever makes people lose respect for the State is fine with me!



I liked this thread on the Mental Militia.

i know someone who lost an internet gold account. the feds said 'terrorists laundering money' and seized all of the accounts. all gone and no recourse.



I liked this article. Someone created a profitable business in just 3 weeks after launching his product. Notice that his *BIGGEST* expense was "lawyers". The second biggest expense was "taxes".

Also, that calculation assumes that his time was valued at $0. In order for the business to be truly profitable, the revenue must exceed what he'd earn elsewhere.



This post on Check Your Premises was interesting.

For those of you who don’t already do this, it might be instructive for you to be conscious of all the lies and misrepresentations you are dealt with on a daily basis. Whether it be watching television or reading the newspapers (if you still haven’t weaned yourself off MSM), going to the grocery store, or hearing other people talk, pay close attention and catch all the lies, misrepresentations, false associations and manipulations you can. You might be surprised.

I do this already. The 1988 movie "They Live!" was an interesting documentary. I call those secret messages "fnords" (just like the Discordians). (Get it via BitTorrent and watch it, or rent/buy it.)

The really interesting bit is that there's both good fnords and evil fnords. The good fnords are alien-generated, and are clues to help people figure out what's going on. For example, "The Matrix" is an example of a good fnord. The evil fnords are human-generated. The evil fnords are everywhere. For example, the top story on the local news is frequently a murder case. The fnord is "People are intrinsically evil. Therefore, the State is needed." Similarly, "news" coverage of Obama or McCain is an evil fnord saying "Your vote for President matters, and these two people are the best choices."



This post on the Liberty Papers was interesting, but missed a key point. It cites "American Idol" as an example of democracy. If democracy works, then "American Idol" winners should almost aways have better post-Idol careers than non-winners. It's only slightly correlated.

The Liberty Papers missed a big point. The voting system on American Idol is a variant of "Instant Runoff Voting". The voting system on American Idol is *MORE FAIR* than that used in elections. Could you imagine American Idol using the electoral college to choose the winner?



I liked this post on Bill Rempel. If you have important documents, store them under your TV. The FBI won't check there when they raid your house.

I've been wondering about safe places to hide gold or silver coins, in the event of a State raid.



This article on no third solution was entirely missing the point. He was complaining about a pro-"anarchy" website that advocates destroying State property. He couldn't convince people on that forum that destroying property is pointless.

Don't you recall the joke?

Q: How do you tell who's the Federal spy in your group?
A: He's the guy telling you to go blow up stuff!

Those fake anarchy sites are probably, directly or indirectly, funded by the State. The State wants people disgusted with the State to think that destroying property is their only option!

Alternatively, some people intentionally live in poverty and eat out of dumpsters to avoid supporting the State.



I liked this article on ArsTechnica about patents.





Outside of the chemical/pharmaceutical industry, patents soak up more in litigation costs than profits for patent holders.

The pharmaceutical industry is a bad counter-example for the pro-patent argument. FDA licensing requirements distort the market. A patent *AND* FDA approval for a drug are the magic combination for profit. In the pharmaceutical industry, it's mostly irrelevant if a drug actually benefits patients or not.

I read somewhere that pharmaceutical corporations spend more on marketing and lobbying than actual scientific research.



I liked this article about YouTorrent. It's a torrent site that hosts exclusively 100% legal content. For example, if you're self-publishing a vlog, you might benefit from YouTorrent.

I didn't see any provision on YouTorrent that allows self-publishers to upload their own content. It's hard to allow that, without potentially allowing copyright infringement.

Perhaps, for someone who's self-publishing, you're better off just starting your own Torrent tracker.



I liked this article, cited by the Mental Militia. Marshall Islands is having a financial crisis. They may cut off electricity service.



I saw a thread on the Mental Militia bemoaning the demise of child chemistry sets. It's illegal to possess chemicals without a license. The superficial reason is that chemicals can be used for making drugs and explosives.

I didn't realize that the average person is denied access to most chemicals. This makes it much harder for individuals to start businesses or invent things.

The more I research this, the more I realize that the average person has lost a ton of knowledge/rights compared to 100 years ago.



This article, referred by the Mental Militia, was interesting. A group of people were speculating about a military coup in the USA. First, they said there's no point for generals to orchestrate a coup. In the present, the military already gets to do almost whatever it wants. Second, a military coup wouldn't be accepted by the people as legitimate. A slow erosion of freedom is a much more effective coup strategy.

It's a problem of public opinion. All of the organs of opinion in this country would rise up with one voice: the courts, the media, business leaders, education leaders, the clergy.

No, you could shut down the media, but even if you did shut down the media, you still wouldn't be able to rule. Because, remember, in order to actually rule, you have to have acceptance.

What happens when people stop accepting the current government as legitimate?

It's interesting that the authors of that article are only considering a military overt coup. They aren't considering the possibility of a coup via gradual erosion of freedom. The authors of that article haven't considered the possibility of an agorist revolt at all.

It's one thing to have a huge army and para-military civilian police. It's another thing when their paycheck bounces. What good are mercenaries without a paycheck?

There was another interesting bit. Soldiers are barred from expressing their personal opinions publicly. Police officers are also under such a restriction. A policeman who expresses inappropriate political views will probably lose his job.

In fact, restriction of speech applies to almost *ALL* employers. Most employers will discriminate against future employees based on their person views. For this reason, I don't blog under my real name. I don't want to lose my job as a software engineer based on my blog. If my blog becomes popular enough to be a source of income, I may change that.

Some people say that a role model for blatant-in-public agorism is needed. I'm considering doing that, when I make my shift from "theoretical agorism" to "practical agorism". I wonder if blatant-in-public agorism is *LESS* risky than stealth agorism. If you're a partial celebrity, you're less at risk for frivolous beating by police.



I liked this post on Liberty is my Homie. (I couldn't get the picture link to work.)

Voting for Barack Obama is like a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders.

The author correctly points out that this applies for *ALL* politicians. All forms of taxation are theft.



I liked this post on to herd or not to herd, referring to this article.

Each and every one of us lives inside of a Cage. The Dalai Lama has a Cage. You have a Cage, and I have a Cage. George W. Bush has a Cage that is very small and does not admit light.
The Cage is not permanent, but it is certainly there. The Cage is there for all humans because the Oligarchy and its external agent, the Culture-Structure, wants it to be there, and has installed your False Mind to keep it there.

You have Power over your Personal Cage, though the Oligarchy teaches that you do not. The Cage exists to the extent that you believe the superstition that the Cage is Who You Are, and likewise, you are free of the Cage when you can acknow- ledge the reality of the Cage’s existence.



I noticed that Knol had a few articles published by psychiatrists. Curious to see what would happen, I wrote a review pointing out that psychiatry is a fraudulent industry. My review received some favorable ratings and some unfavorable ratings, leading to an overall low rating.

Contributing to Knol appears to be a waste of time, compared to blogging, mises.org, or other activities.



I liked this article on MSN. It turns out that the salmonella outbreak was not caused by tomatoes. It was caused by jalapeno peppers.

This is a pretty big ****up. There was a false panic and unnecessary large-scale destruction of property (tomatoes). It's the usual sovereign immunity problem. The people responsible for the mistake still get to keep their jobs and suffer no negative consequences. People should fire the government and start a new one.



By E-Mail, someone gave me another link regarding E-Gold pleading guilty. It didn't contain any new information compared to the articles I already quoted.

By E-Mail, a lawyer sent me a copy of E-Gold's plea bargain agreement. He incorrectly said the founders didn't agree to jail time. However, that document was only E-Gold corporation's plea agreement. There was a second plea agreement for the founders.

I found a better link detailing the case summary. There was both a criminal complaint against E-Gold the corporation and each individual founder.

Sometimes I wonder if I'd be a better lawyer than most people currently employed as lawyers. I'm not interesting in spending several years and $100k+ to get a State law license.



I liked this article on why Knol sucked. That author made some points I missed. Knol doesn't conveniently support intralinks. Knol search only searches article titles and not bodies.

If I were an executive at Google, I'd be embarrassed. Google laid a huge egg with Knol.

It's as if nobody at Google who worked on Knol had ever used the Internet before! Anybody who'd ever used a blog or wiki would have spotted the flaws with Knol in a few minutes. Didn't Google do any QA?

The "it's beta" excuse doesn't fly. It'd be practically a total rewrite to get something that doesn't suck.

According to Jimbo Wales, an online community needs only 5 active participants to succeed. Why didn't a handful of Google employees spend a few months seeding it with good content? Why didn't any of Google's employees say "Hey! Knol is missing some pretty basic features!"

Has Google turned into another giant boring tech company like Microsoft?

Anyway, doing an exhaustive analysis of the flaws in Knol is pointless. It's like looking through the Federal code of laws looking for flaws. There's so many flaws that there's no real starting point!

I'd write my own Wikipedia/Digg killer engine, but it's take me a few months.



My reaction towards Knol is one big "WTF?" I tried searching for my article on "Compound Interest Paradox" before logging in, and got zero results. After I logged in, I was able to find my article via search. WTF?

Some people say that your articles are only visible via search when you're logged in.

Why would anyone waste their time contributing to Knol?



The new housing law contains a weird provision. City and state government are receiving $4B to buy foreclosed homes. This is purely a bailout for banks.

Suppose someone concluded that housing was overpriced and waited until now to buy. They should be allowed to buy a house at a discount right now.

For each house the government buys, that prevents someone else from buying a house voluntarily at a slightly cheaper price.

Notice that all the bailouts apply *AFTER* someone has been kicked out of their home for not paying their mortgage. There is no provision for protecting individuals. Only insiders are entitled to State protection.



I saw another really wrong quote. "Bond yields are low. Therefore, inflation is not a problem." Bond yields are low because the Federal Reserve is printing money to keep interest rates low. Banks borrow from the Federal Reserve and buy bonds, keeping yields low. The profit from this trade is paid by everyone else as inflation.

Buying bonds is a great deal if you own a bank, due to leverage. An unleveraged bond investment is a lousy deal for individuals, because the yield doesn't keep pace with inflation.

Mainstream investment advice falsely touts bonds as a "safe" investment. Your principal is probably safe. However, you're practically guaranteed to get ripped off by inflation.

Bond yields are completely uncorrelated with inflation.



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Gold Lease Rate is Negative!":

The quoted lease rate is simply the difference between LIBOR, the rate that banks purportedly charge each other, and GOFO or gold forward offered rate, the cost of carry of a forward contract in gold. A negative number does not mean bullion banks will actually pay someone to borrow their gold. It does probably mean that the LIBOR rates are being held artificially low, or are being misreported. It also means the demand for borrowed gold for shorting is low.

Really? Can you quote a source for that? I tried googling and could not find it.

I'll verify that I understand what you're saying. Assume LIBOR is 2% and the actual lease rate is 2.25%. Then, the quoted gold lease rate is 0.25%, right?

Even if this is true, a negative gold lease rate means that a bullion bank can make a guaranteed riskless profit. Suppose the gold lease rate is -0.25%. Then, the bullion bank borrows gold, sells it on the spot market, buys a future, and invests the proceeds in bonds yielding LIBOR. In that case, the bullion bank earns a guaranteed riskless profit of 0.25% minus transaction costs.

The reason this trade makes sense is that the central bank lender does not require collateral for the loans.

In fact, the bullion bank does not need to invest in AAA bonds. They could invest in junk bonds or stocks, making a higher return, but accepting risk. The incentive is for the bullion bank to take risk, because they can declare bankruptcy and default on the lease. (This has happened a couple of times, according to what I read.) The bullion bank has a free put option to declare bankruptcy and stick the gold lender with the loss.

For this reason, the GLD ETF is risky in a SHTF scenario, or even a scenario with high inflation. The GLD ETF lends out its physical gold for short sales. In a financial crunch, there will be defaults.

I don't understand why anyone would lend out their gold for such a low rate, unless they were intentionally manipulating the gold price.



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Wesley Snipes and Tax Resistance":

Er, yeah. Why would you want a lawyer?

Forget about the fact that Jack Kevorkian won several cases when he had a lawyer, due to jury nullification. Then he decided to defend himself and ended up in prison.

A good criminal defense lawyer knows how to argue for jury nullification, and get away with it. Most pro-se defendants can't even get basic evidence admitted.

But go ahead, defend yourself pro se. Then blame someone else when you end up in prison.

Or hire a lawyer, and at least have a fighting chance.

Are you a lawyer?

There's a lot of propaganda saying "People who choose to represent themselves pro se are stupid." Is that accurate? My reaction is "If there's a lot of propaganda advising against something, then it must be a good idea (or seriously worth considering)!"

In the late 18th century, pro se legal representation was common. Anybody could work as a lawyer. Lawyers lobbied for State licensing requirements for lawyers. They made sure the law was so complicated that it was inaccessible for the average person. Things went downhill from there.

The publicly hyped cases of pro se defendants are cases where the defendant was just plain nuts, there was overwhelming evidence, and he was getting convicted anyway.

I researched the case of Jack Kevorkian a little. All his previous trials had ended in mistrials. After a mistrial, the State gets a mulligan and may retry you. Also, the law was changed to more clearly define what Jack Kevorkian was doing as illegal. Perhaps his lawyers refused to present a jury nullification defense? He must have had a good reason for firing his lawyers. I couldn't find a source where he explained why.

I found an article in favor of pro se defense.

Mossman also found that pro se defendants had some advantages in court. They had a greater opportunity, for instance, to develop a rapport with the jury, or they had access to details that helped them in cross-examinations.

This is the best argument in favor of pro se defense, *IF* you're a good public speaker. If you make a personal connection with the jury members, you'll get a more favorable result.

Suppose I was the victim in a tax resistance trial. What would my lawyer advise me to do? My lawyer would probably advise me to not testify. My lawyer would do all the speaking. I would have no opportunity to make a personal connection with the jury.

The impression I got was that lawyers who attempt to present a jury nullification defense are silenced by a judge. I don't have any firsthand experience, but I read some stories, especially in cases involving victimless crimes (tax resistance and possession of marijuana).

One argument against pro se defense is that the judge will be biased against a pro se defendant. If a lawyer makes a technical error, the judge will usually let him correct it. If a pro se defendant makes a technical error, then the judge won't let him correct it.

I can describe the principle of jury nullification better than a lawyer. I can describe the injustice of the US taxation system and monetary system better than a lawyer. If I were the victim in a taxation trial, I want to present these arguments to the jury myself.

There's also the extortion problem. Suppose I am the victim in a taxation trial. Hiring a lawyer would cost me $100k+. I don't recover that expense if I am acquitted.

However, if offered a public defender, I might use the public defender for part of the trial and represent myself for parts.

If you're the victim in a trial, your audience is the jury, and not the judge. If you speak directly to the jury, you may gain their sympathy, if you're good at it.

You should avoid being the victim in a trial in the first place. By the time you're in front of a judge, you've already lost. The rules and procedures in a criminal trial are heavily biased against the defendant, whether you're using a lawyer or not.

Even if you're acquitted, you don't recover the lost time. You don't get compensated for the stress of a trial. A trial is designed to last for months, extracting a toll from the defendant.

The current economic and political system is unfair. What is the optimal strategy an agorist should follow, once they find themselves the victim of State violence and the victim in a trial?

Even if I hire a lawyer, how do I know if I'm getting someone good? The few lawyers I've personally dealt with seemed like ***holes.

I'm a good public speaker. I could represent myself better than a lawyer. Will I ever be tested? I hope not.

I'm really undecided what approach I should take for agorism, once I make the transition to practical agorism. Should I attempt stealth-agorism or blatant-in-public agorism? If I attempt stealth-agorism, my reach is limited. If I attempt blatant-in-public agorism, I'll attract more customers, but I will also attract the attention of the bad guys.

"Hire a lawyer" might be good advice for an average person. I'm not sure if it's good advice for me, in the specific case of a tax evasion trial or a trial for agorist activity.

I found another article about a successful pro se defendant.

The jury has natural sympathy for someone representing himself. If you try to cut him off with objections, the jury thinks you're oppressive. If you let him go, he gets in all kinds of evidence that wouldn't usually be allowed.

That's exactly my point. Suppose I explain to the jury about jury nullification, the immorality of the income tax, the immorality of the Federal Reserve, or the immorality of government regulations. If the judge or prosecutor attempt to interrupt me, that creates sympathy for me. That's exactly what I'm looking for. A lawyer would be reprimanded for presenting those arguments. If a lawyer makes that argument and is interrupted, the jury will assume it's OK. If I make that argument and am interrupted, then the jury will think the judge is biased against me.

If I find myself the victim of frivolous criminal charges, I'll probably represent myself pro se. Everyone has to make that decision for themselves. If you're the victim of frivolous criminal charges, you can't hire me to represent you, because I don't have a State license to work as a lawyer!



I saw some video footage of McCain on The Daily Show. McCain's body language is the same as someone on Big Brother who knows they're about to be voted off.

It really looks like Obama is being set up to win. Obama is the fake change that most Americans deserve. McCain's body language looks like that of someone without confidence. McCain totally looks like a reality show contestant who knows he's about to be voted out.



July is on pace for another record month for my blog traffic, with a 15%-20% increase over June.



The Iraq war is an interesting example of what happens when people don't recognize a government as legitimate. A lot of people in Iraq don't recognize the US-backed government as legitimate. This makes it practically impossible to have a stable government.



Zargon has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #60":

I'm also a regular reader as a software engineer. I was somewhat surprised at first that many (most?) of your readers are software engineers, but having thought about it some more, it makes sense. Understanding the vast majority of the information presented in your blog really requires nothing more than the skill of thinking logically, and a willingness to mercilessly apply that logic to everything they see, and everyone they meet. Software engineers have the first of those skills, almost by definition, and finding alternate paths and elegant solutions is what the good ones do, which is a small step away from the second skill.

Being a good software engineer also requires being in touch with proper logical thinking skills. You can't lie to a computer!

You can order a human to write an essay describing the 2nd amendment, and get an answer that says "Congress may restrict gun ownership." If you don't think logically when dealing with a computer, then your program won't work.

My Mathematics background plays an important part. Reading and understanding the truth is easier than discovering it the hard way. Hopefully, I'm explaining things clearly. I was exposed to the truth the hard way, starting with my involuntary hospitalization and murder/drugging.

I don't really think it's possible to expand your blog to a "mainstream audience" because a huge percentage of the population has had consistent logic completely brainwashed out of them, in which case they simply cannot understand. Of the ones that do still possess the capability to understand, if they don't have the mental fortitude to consider and think about the depressing conclusions, or have been brainwashed into believing that "extreme" positions are always bad, they will leave, rather than take the time required to understand. (Which I suspect eliminates most of the remainder)

That's an interesting question. How much of an audience do I need to reach, for an agorist revolution to have a chance of success? I only need a handful of trading partners to get started. If only 1%-5% of the population starts trading agorist-style, that might be enough to completely wreck the bad guys' monopoly.

If someone doesn't have the ability to think logically, then do they really count as human? If someone can't think logically, then they're irrelevant.

Most young adults have been exposed to computers for most of their life. Interacting with computers and video games helps train your logical thinking skills. Over time, this should work in favor of the truth. Some online communities have a sense of fairness that most physical communities lack.

My goal really is "How can I spread the truth and earn a decent living at the same time?" That's much more likely than getting a mainstream media source to broadcast my message. I would do it, if I could earn at least as much as working as a slave software engineer.

There are two ways I can think of to reach a wider audience. One is to expand to vlogging. The other is to try standup comedy. Is it possible to create a comedy routine based on my blog? In a year or two, I'll conduct an experiment with that. Telling the actual truth would be so outrageous that it might come across as funny. "Alternative comedy" is relatively popular. I'm considering performing as the Supreme Leader of Humanity.

The Daily Show and the Colbert Report get an audience of less than 1%. Via the Internet, you can have a profitable business with an audience of 1%, 0.1%, or even 0.01%. (An audience of 0.01% would be 30,000. If I can make $5 off each of them per year, then that's a decent income.) If I attempted standup comedy, most of my income would probably come from live performances, using the Internet to promote myself.

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert sometimes say things that other people can't say. Is comedy the best venue for spreading the truth? There's no other public speaking venue available.

On the other hand, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have a State-endorsed monopoly to run their show. Even if I could make a better show than them, I lack the ability to reach an audience. I probably should self-publish on the Internet in my spare time, keeping my costs low.

The Supreme Leader of Humanity would be a cool comedy character. I have no contacts in the entertainment industry, so the only option is to perform it myself. For a truly original act from an unknown source, who would consider performing it? Besides, I don't know if anyone else could pull off the character as well as I could! Someone who really understands the philosophy of freedom would do better than someone merely reading off a teleprompter.

I've got nothing but my intuition to back it up, but I suspect these two skills are like pointer arithmetic - either you get it, or you don't. Maybe a more apt saying for this situation would be "either you get it, or the malicious state-sponsored brainwashing worked".

Would people be able to crack their brainwashing, if presented with the truth? Many polls indicate that approval ratings for Congress are very low. Would people be able to consider an alternative, once they see it?

This gets back to the Asche conformity test. If you're the first dissenter, you're providing a valuable service to the rest of society. However, being the first dissenter places yourself at personal risk. What's the true risk of being a mainstream public advocate for agorism and true free markets? What's the true risk of actually working as an agorist? If you're a public advocate for agorism, then you have to actually work as an agorist, to not be a hypocrite.

Right now, raising awareness is more important than actually working as an agorist. I'm going to try making the switch to practical agorism in the next few years.



propertarian has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #60":

GDP is still a fallacious statistic. If the borders are opened, then per capita GDP would be lower (even though the middle class did not lose anything). If protectionism is enforced, then the GDP would be higher (because of increased and inefficient domestic production instead of imports subtracted).

"According to my estimates, the State leeches 40%-50% of the economy directly via income taxes."

If you count the tax loopholes and tax evasion, then it would be less than 40%-50%.

I don't utilize any tax loopholes or evasion right now. I only have regular slave W-2 income. My personal tax marginal tax rate actually is 50%! If other people are avoiding taxes, then good for them!

You're taking the wrong attitude towards my post on real GDP. I'm not presenting it as the definitive final word on the US economy. My conclusions were "If you look at the numbers differently, then you draw different conclusions than what the mainstream media says."

If you believe that "parasitism as a % of GDP" is constant over time, then that post should be accurate. However, "parasitism %" is probably increasing, which means my article was overly optimistic!



Mike has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #60":

Is your daughter voluntarily taking dextroamphetamine?

At 8 years old, is anything really voluntary? Anyway, she has lived with my ex-wife since birth, so it's rather out of my hands. It makes me wonder just wtf is going on, though, to have a daughter taking stimulant meds, and also a young nephew being slowly slotted into the "autism spectrum" as well.

How would I know how old your daughter is? I'd advise your ex-wife to make your daughter stop taking the drugs. There isn't anything you can do about it if your ex-wife chooses to murder your daughter. Be careful, because the withdrawal symptoms are nasty!

The psychiatry/death industry exists primarily to murder people who have a natural resistance to State brainwashing. That's the whole point of ADD, autism, and other mental illness labels.

For example, one symptom of schizophrenia is that you start seeing secret messages in TV shows. However, the hidden messages are actually really there. Now that I'm used to seeing them, it's not as big of a shock. Schizophrenia is the "disease" of being able to see what's actually there! It's very traumatic to start cracking your brainwashing program and realize what's happening. Such people are labeled with a mental illness and drugged into submission.

Regrettably, any mainstream media source who criticizes the psychiatry/death industry is then the victim of a huge propaganda smear, as happened with Michael Savage.



Earl has left a new comment on your post "Easily Import Excel and CSV Files Into Blogger!":

Sounds like a good program. There is also a way to have CR/LF in blogger tables and you may want to consider that in your program. I found it here.

It's a pretty straightforward program. If you have a basic level of competence in writing software, then it's a trivial program to write.

I use it to import tables when it's relevant for a post, such as Real GDP is decreasing.

That article was another way to do what my program does. That post suggested adding a CSS style option that disabled Blogger's auto-insert LF feature. My program gets the same result, except I generate one long line of HTML with no carriage returns.

The problem was that Blogger automatically inserts a BR tag every time you have a carriage return. Even in raw HTML editing mode, carriage returns still lead to an included BR tag, messing up the table. I solved that problem by making one long line of HTML. That article solved the problem by adding a style sheet option to disable that feature.

Blogger doesn't render all raw HTML tags properly. Sometimes, I think I should change to a self-hosted blog, but it isn't worth the hassle right now.



Thomas Blair has left a new comment on your post "Knol is a Disappointment":

I also posted the compound interest paradox to Knol. We'll see how long it takes for the index of articles to update and allow for search functionality.

In addition to your criticisms, it just looks BLAND.

My brief posting effort on Knol didn't lead to much blog traffic. Knol looks like a waste of time.

Google really laid an egg on this one. It could have been super-awesome, but it actually was super-lame.

Thomas Blair has left a new comment on your post "Knol is a Disappointment":

Ok, it's up now.

I couldn't find your article. Some people were complaining that you have to actually be logged in to Knol for your article to be visible on Knol search. Further, Knol search only covers article titles and not bodies.

Did you copy my article or make your own?

Knol search is lousy. I Knol searched for "Federal Reserve", which returned no results. That search should find my article on the Compound Interest Paradox, because it contains that search phrase.

Knol looks like a waste of time to me.

I've been contemplating writing my own Wikipedia/Digg killer engine. Seeing Knol flop makes me more interested in trying. If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself! On the other hand, blogging seems like a more efficient use of my time right now.



Ineffabelle has left a new comment on your post "FRE and FNM True Bailout Cost":

"Whenever one person receives a dollar without working for it, someone else did a dollar's worth of work and was not paid."
Bill Haywood (quasi-anarchist labor advocate) came to that same conclusion in the 19th century.

I thought that was Bastiat? I remember ideas and not the original source. Academics are over-obsessed with citations, and not keeping track of ideas.

You'll never hear a mainstream media source point that one out, at least as not as explicitly as that.



By E-Mail, someone wrote:

Just something I thought you might find interesting. Later in his life Nikola Tesla was considered insane and all his theories were discredited and after he died all his papers were seized by the government. Another thing, he claimed to have talked to aliens perhaps that is where he got his ideas? Just a few things I was thinking about.

If Tesla's research was so useless, then why did they seize his papers? That makes no sense to me.

A sufficiently creative person should be able to reproduce Tesla's research and zero point energy technology. It would require ignoring all of 20th century physics research. Some people say that quantum mechanics and relativity contain serious errors. They are hyped as true as a distraction so people don't rediscover Tesla's research. It probably would be 20+ years of work.

State funding of scientific research distorts the market for scientific research. There are practically no private sources of funding for research, giving the State censorship power over science.

However, if you did successfully reproduce fragments of Tesla's research, you should be careful who you tell. Otherwise, you may find yourself assassinated. People who accidentally rediscover bits of the truth tend to die a mysterious death. It's pointless to work towards reproducing Tesla's research unless there's also a free market where you can sell your discovery.

Some of Tesla's assistants tried pushing his discoveries after Tesla's death. They were persistent, and died mysteriously.

If aliens do exist, they're 1M+ years more advanced than humans. They're probably constrained by something like Star Trek's "Prime Directive" to the extent they may directly interfere. However, they may be able to communicate with a creative person by giving them suggestions. Maybe it really is like that episode of "South Park", where life on earth is an alien reality TV show.



gilliganscorner has left a new comment on your post "E-Gold Founders Plead Guilty to Money Laundering":

They probably plead guilty as they were offered a cushy position in the CFR sanctioned Peter G. Peterson Foundation to promote the I.O.U.S.A movie that is coming out in August. They already snagged David Walker, former GAO chief.

The CFR is looking to hijack the solution to the imminent US bankruptcy by moving into position as the State sponsored think tank for people to look to for the solutions.

You can bet the solution won't be to eliminate the taxation/inflation system (i.e. State) and return to sound money. Sometimes I think that the Ron Paul campaign woke too many people up to think about the Federal Reserve and IRS and pretty much recommended abolishing government.

Some people say that Ron Paul created a lot of "vulgar libertarians" and very few true libertarians (or left-libertarians/anarchists/agorists). Ron Paul is saying "The US government can be reformed." rather than "It's time to scrap it and move on to something else."

Not many people voted for Ron Paul, according to official vote tallies. Therefore, most Americans don't want freedom.

However, Ron Paul did get 5%-10% in the polls. That means that the potential audience for my blog is at least 5%-10%, if I go for a mainstream audience.

This PGP foundation will look to suppress the correct solution nad hijack the solution which will of course, expand the State.

This is analogous to the movie "An Inconvenient Truth" where this movie hijacked the solution to the environment by expanding more State department and levying new environment taxes...

Anyway, I have post about that queued up.

I wonder if the "global warming crisis" is genuine or completely fabricated? Even if "Carbon dioxide pollution causes global warming" is true, then the solution is wrong. I read that the bad guys realized that, with global government, there weren't going to be any wars. War is the health of the State! The "War on Terrorism" and "War on Global Warming" were fabricated to justify an increase in State power.

Perhaps the E-Gold founders plea bargained to save their business. Instead of being completely shut down, E-Gold is now subject to a bunch of regulations, which shield E-Gold from competition. With all these State reporting requirements, E-Gold now becomes practically useless. Practically zero on-the-books vendors accept E-Gold as payment. Redemptions from E-Gold are very difficult now.



barry b. has left a new comment on your post "E-Gold Founders Plead Guilty to Money Laundering":

FSK,

I wanted to share this with you. Today a reader at my blog left the following comments to my article "Dave Ramsey, Peter Schiff and Decline of U.S. Economy" and I left a response. Thanks for this post...

From Ian Macfarlane:

"As my old neighbor is want to say “very interesting” I don’t know but am aware of both the players on this stage. From my own experience I must concur with them both, more so with Mr, Schiff at this point in time than Mr.Ramsey. As a family we have retired all of our debt and invested in physical metals. I cannot express optimism in our nation’s financial structure as it does not exist on any real foundation. Wal-Mart, Costco and Target do not provide the underpinnings of a financial pier from which goods will be shipped to quell the demand of other nations. It is all well and good that the USA has a great deal of wealth but the uneven distribution of the wealth is what will eventually bury our and any future culture which does not accept social homogenization as a survival tool. Socialism? Perhaps it is the only way we can reasonably deal with a planet of 6.5 Billion people. All but the mentality of the Wild West has been dead for a long time and it is time we stopped worshiping political cowboys. If not the OK corral will look tame in retrospect, if anyone is around to remember."

Uneven distribution of wealth is a symptom, but not the true problem. Some people can lobby the State for favors. It's really "uneven distribution of the ability to lobby politicians for favors".

In a true free market, there will be some uneven distribution of wealth, due to variations of individual ability. However, it would not be as severe as in the present.

Debt Prison response:

"Hey Ian,

Socialism? I say that word everyday with a curse under my breath and dream of a life where folks understand that a private individual has the natural rights to life, liberty, and property. And the collective force of government should never have the ability (not rights) to infringe on these rights as individuals - for if the government conspires to overrule our rights as individuals it is futile and useless. The world these globalists desire is a fabricated dream put forth by the rich elitist corporatists (think wal street). I can tell you are well read so I’ll speak up not down…

Today I read that E-gold plead guilty to money laundering. Does this surprise anyone? Here’s how I basically see the world before me: We have created a society that is not only unnatural - but immoral and irresponsible. We have all decided to accept this as reality because we cannot see how we, as individuals, can fight against so powerful an enemy. This is the war of humans, it is the never ending battle of natural rights versus the power of tyranny.

I don't see it as a war of humans anymore. I now see the conflict as one of "humans vs. aliens". The parasite class is a hostile alien invading force that has enslaved everyone else. The parasite class is biologically human, but sufficiently different than me to be considered a separate species.

If you believe "Zero Point Energy is a suppressed technology", then who would actually do such a thing? If I discovered zero point energy, I would want to make it widely available. Someone who would keep such an invention for themselves does not qualify as human.

There are some people who won't be able to resist their pro-State brainwashing. Are there some people who just won't be able to survive without leeching the productivity of others? Will the bad guys resist and fight as their monopoly is lost? Anybody who actively resists counts as less than human, according to my standards. The pro-State trolls are subhuman and not important.

The praise of limited government is always quickly over ruled by the whims and authority of those who possess the ability to buy off government officials.

Read the Declaration of Independence for a reminder of the passion of others who dared to stand up against the authority standard. They also adequately explained the natural rights that all humans desire.

Ron Paul says "Return to the US Constitution". It's time to return to the Declaration of Independence. People should stop supporting illegitimate leaders.

I am not concerned about globalization or socialism. The schemes of rich and powerful men are always short lived. What makes you think today is any different. Just because we have television and internet does not mean that history will not repeat itself. Free men and women will stand up again against globalization, tyranny, and immorality - it’s only a question of when.

Thank you so much for your comments - they are my favorite of the bunch!!!

Best regards,

Barry Broome
The fire of liberty flows through my veins….."

I predict that the Internet is the reason things will be different this time. The Internet is allowing people to share information in ways that were previously impossible.

I found the post you cited.

Sometimes, I wonder if Irwin Schiff is really a pro-State troll. He's focusing on the legal arguments against the income tax, and not the moral arguments against the income tax. The Supreme Court has ruled all the legal arguments against the income tax invalid. Making a legal argument against the income tax is fighting the bad guys on their turf. The moral argument is the important one.

It’s amazing how even Hannity, Mr. Liberty and limited government himself, berates Irwin for not paying his fair share.

"Paying your fair share" is literally communism.

The mainstream media always portrays tax protestors and tax resisters as the bad guys. That's a huge burden to overcome.

If I resist paying income taxes, I'm the bad guy. Why aren't the people stealing my labor the bad guys?

Sometimes, weak critics of the income tax like Irwin Schiff actually work in favor of the bad guys. By presenting a weak criticism of the income tax, they play into the hands of the bad guys, via the Strawman Fallacy. Irwin Schiff's criticism of the income tax is wrong. Therefore, all criticisms of the income tax are wrong.

These talk show hosts are not the GREAT AMERICANS they claim to be. Great Americans are the ones who stand up for truth, even when it puts their lives and wealth in harms way.

How much risk am I taking by writing my blog? So far, I have not been the victim of State violence based on my blog. Should I attempt to become a mainstream blatant-in-public advocate for agorism, placing myself in greater risk?



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "E-Gold Founders Plead Guilty to Money Laundering":

The lesson to be learned here is that large-scale agorism will not be tolerated. Anyone providing solutions that make agorism widely practicable will be punished. The State has the guns, and they *will* use them, nothing is more important to them than a continuous stream of revenue.

E-Gold is not an example of agorism. It was a fully legal on-the-books business. After E-Gold started operating, the law was changed to define their business as criminal.

If you hear an example of State violence against a private gold/silver/FRN barter network, that would be an example of the State cracking down on agorism. I heard rumors of people operating such a barter network, but they have not been the victim of State violence.

I predict that the State will use violence to crack down on agorists. However, I also predict they will lose the arms race, once an agorist movement gets started. If the bad guys crack down, then the agorists will merely become more stealthy. It's like trying to crack down on P2P filesharing of copyrighted content. The only result of a crackdown is that the filesharers start using better and better tactics. Napster was a centralized filesharing library. Now, the filesharing networks are practically completely decentralized.

E-Gold's founders were attempting to create an on-the-books business that they controlled. That is like placing a huge bullseye on themselves. Agorists are creating a decentralized business that no single individual controls.

E-Gold's founders were capitalists and rent-seekers. An agorist is creating a true free market.

There still is a benefit to creating a true free market instead of rent-seeking. Your income will be greater. However, you won't have a business that's shielded from competition. For example, if I start an agorist business, I may be able to earn an income of $100k+ after taxes, and it'll be immediately profitable. If I try to start an on-the-books business, I'll probably be losing money initially, and I'm hoping to sell it for a few million dollars in profit. As an on-the-books business, I'm under pressure to grow and sell, due to the cost of my overhead expenses.

Done properly, agorism has a high probability of a decent gain. Forming a software startup has a low probability of a huge gain. I won't get a multi-million dollar payday working as an agorist, but I could get a decent steady income that's fair pay for my labor.



Liberty Student has left a new comment on your post "Michael Savage, Autism, and Paid Disinformation Ag...":

What is that saying, "write about the stuff you know"?

Applies here. This might be your best post ever.

Is that some sort of backhanded compliment?

I like the economic posts the bests. The abuses of the psychiatry/death industry are based 100% on direct personal experience.

I realized that appealing to the State for correction of these abuses is pointless. The only way to end them is to eliminate the State.

Michael Savage is still under pressure by the psychiatry/death industry. The "astroturf" (fake grassroots) activists are pressuring his advertisers to drop him. A handful of dedicated people are able to censor. Are these people genuinely concerned? Or, are they professional protestors, paid by the death industry? If it's your full-time job, a handful of dedicated people can seem to be thousands of angry people.

Michael Savage has been really misquoted. Several sources have been saying "Michael Savage hates autistic children". That is not what he said. He said that parents need to take more individual responsibility. He said that doctors are too quick to pin an "autistic" label on a child who is different and drug them. Based on his personal experience (like mine), his autistic brother was horribly abused and murdered.

I was researching the psychiatry industry on the Internet. The only websites that had the truth were "conspiracy theory" websites. They also had a whole bunch of information on the evils of the income tax and Federal Reserve. I figured "These guys are right about the psychiatry industry. I should also investigate this." I concluded that the income tax and Federal Reserve are incredibly evil. This led me to agorism. These websites also tend to have information on Zero Point Energy. I concluded that Zero Point Energy probably actually is a suppressed technology. I don't have a specification for a Zero Point Energy engine, but it's definitely worth investigating. It'd probably take 10-20 years of research to reproduce Tesla's work.

Appealing to the State to resolve a State caused problem is pointless. I suspect that a handful of insiders know that these drugs are harmful and complete bull****. Otherwise, why would there be such a well-coordinated propaganda campaign and coverup? Of course, I cannot prove it.

Since the State has totally failed me regarding treatment of my "mental illness", I conclude that I no longer can morally support the State. If my psychiatrists had their way, I would have been taking anti-psychotic drugs for the rest of my life. The State has already murdered me! I only recovered because I ignored my psychiatrist/murderer's advice.

This illustrates the problem with telling the truth on a mainstream media source. Advertisers have censorship power, because they will pull their advertisements if they don't like your message. Both advertisers and TV stations have a monopoly/oligopoly, which is the cause of the problem. For someone with non-mainstream ideas, self-publishing on the Internet is the only way to reach an audience.

Pharmaceutical corporations spend billions of dollars in advertising. If I'm publicly critical of the pharmaceutical industry, then they will say "We refuse to advertise on your network if you broadcast FSK's content." This gives large corporations censorship power. It's a "free market" process, so it's presumed to be fair. The problem is that the USA has a fake free market and not a true free market.

I can't conclude "The medical industry is ****ed up. I'll start my own doctor/drug business." I can't do that, because I need a State license to operate. Acquiring a license requires years of schooling/brainwashing and a huge capital commitment.



Monkt has left a new comment on your post "Common Pro-State Troll Criticisms of Agorism":

Oh here is a good one.

"I, or my tribe, is better equipped and we come knocking at your door. The private police franchise finds it more profitable to look the other way. Then what?"

If anyone is able to act that way and get away with it, they're effectively the State. Let's translate that into the present.

"A group of armed thugs (policemen) kidnapped (arrested) me for failing to pay tribute (taxes). Now what do I do?"

Once a true free market is established, it should be impossible to establish a new State. If someone got close to forming a monopoly of violence, they would find themselves faced with competition. Forming a monopoly of violence is only practical when you can force people to pay the cost via taxes *AND* most of your victims assume your power is legitimate.

This is a frequent criticism of free markets. "What happens if a rogue private police agency goes around harassing people and demanding tribute?" This has already happened. We call that rogue police agency the government. In the present, this rogue business has convinced its victims/customers that its function is legitimate.

I updated that post with this addition.



Tristan has left a new comment on your post "Common Pro-State Troll Criticisms of Agorism":

"Also remember that the opposite of evil is not good. The opposite of evil is fair. If "paying taxes is good", then I can't accept being good. In many ways, good and evil are very similar, practically equal. My goal is not to be "good". My goal is to be fair. Good was invented by evil. That's pretty tricky, but what did you expect from evil!"

Excellent insight. Keep it up.

I had some drafts written about alien religion. I was having crazy ideas about that during one of my panic attacks. Perhaps I should bring out those drafts and finish them?

What most people think of as "good" is actually "fake good" or "evil". There is "real good", which is treating other people fairly. Evil was so clever that it invented fake good so that people are distracted!

According to the alien overseers, the God of Christianity is actually the God of Absolute Unopposable Evil. When you think about it that way, it makes sense. People who worship Christianity are really worshipping the God of Absolute Unopposable Evil. Examples of "good" Gods are the God of Computers or the God of Mathematics. Whenever you make a prayer, always make sure you're praying to the right god!



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Remnant":

Islam is for regulation of individuals' private lives, elevation of an elite above the commoners, and for the creation of a system of stratification of society imposed by religious "law."

That's why it's Yet Another False Prophet.

I have the most direct personal experience with Christianity, so I'm the most critical of that. Islam is based on Christianity and has the same fundamental defect.

Most mainstream religions are variations of "I worship the God of Absolute Unopposable Evil".

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