I liked this post on Azrael's Free Thoughts. Israel's political leaders announced they were continuing the military attack on Gaza, even if a majority of the population disapproves.
I like the way "Democracy is wonderful!", except when insiders want to do something different than the general population. For example, the banking industry bailouts were performed against the wishes of the vast majority of Americans. "The average American didn't want a financial industry bailout, but we think it's a political necessity." "The average American doesn't want war, but we think it's a political necessity."
Representative government is the worst of both worlds. Individuals have the illusion they control the State. When necessary, insiders can say "**** you!" to the voters and do as they please. If both parties support a bad law, then voters have no recourse.
I liked this article on War is a Racket. It doesn't contain any new information for me, but it's still an interesting read.
As early as World War I, many people knew that insiders profited immensely from war. At that time, there were some honest Congressmen who explicitly publicly stated that war is one big scam.
I liked this quote:
Looking back, Woodrow Wilson was re-elected president in 1916 on a platform that he had "kept us out of war" and on the implied promise that he would "keep us out of war." Yet, five months later he asked Congress to declare war on Germany.
Politician X gets elected to not do X. A few months later, he says "circumstances have changed" and does X anyway.
For example, President Roosevelt, when campaigning in 1932, promised to keep the gold standard. The first thing he did after getting elected was that he defaulted on the gold standard and confiscated the gold from US citizens. I don't think President Roosevelt could have gotten elected if he ran on a platform of "I plan to steal all your gold!"
However, that article was still pro-State trolling. The author said "The original US Constitution was a brilliant model of government!" instead of "No government has any legitimacy at all, because taxation is theft!"
I liked this post by Zed Shaw. (Why doesn't his blog have an RSS feed so I can follow it properly?)
I live in NYC, as does Zed Shaw. He stopped writing about the Free Hacker's Union. I was thinking of going to a meeting. I think that Zed Shaw would be interested in agorism, as he complains alot about being screwed over by corporate ***holes.
In other posts, Zed Shaw complains that current RSS readers suck. I'm thinking of writing my own RSS reader.
In that post, Zed Shaw complains about Reddit. He missed the key problem with sites like Reddit/Digg/Slashdot/Wikipedia. They have a defective engine. I'm also thinking of writing my own forum/wiki engine.
I find Hacker News interesting, but the quality deteriorates as the site becomes more popular. Most online communities can't handle a larger userbase, because they are using a defective engine. As the userbase of an online community grows larger, my personal interests are likely to differ from the average of other users' interests.
One defect in Hacker News' engine is, for example, I can't filter out all nytimes.com stories.
Zed Shaw has another post where he says "Libertarians are idiots!" He sees through the pro-State troll arguments that Libertarians make, but falls short of the correct conclusion, which is a *REAL* free market and "Who needs a government, anyway?"
Unless you understand the philosophy of real free markets, you can be fooled by the flaws in Libertarian reasoning. Then, you can be misled into believing "People who argue for small government are idiots. I guess we need a big government." The opposite of big government is not small government. The opposite of *ANY* monopolistic government is no monopolistic government. Once you give a handful of people a violence monopoly, no matter how good their original intentions, their power can only grow bigger and more evil over time.
I liked this article on Richard Feynman working on the Connection Machine, via KrazyDad's blog. (KrazyDad has a site with lots of free Soduku puzzles on it.)
A lot of the scientists who worked on the nuclear bomb later said "Doh!! We shouldn't have given the State such a powerful weapon!!" They later lobbied against nuclear weapons, but fell short of the correct answer, which is "Who needs a government anyway?"
The alien overseers say that humans must be denied Zero Point Energy technology, because it would lead to even more powerful weapons than nuclear energy. Eliminating the State is a prerequisite, before humans are allowed to possess Zero Point Energy technology.
I noticed a promising (!) trend. People on other sites are spending more time criticizing me now. You might say "Isn't that bad, FSK?" First, if the other site provides a link to my blog, it's beneficial. Second, criticism means that people are thinking about what I'm writing. I also noticed that some sites tend to repeat their bad criticism, while others people are moving forward with their thinking.
For example, David Gross at the Picket Line was criticizing me for underestimating the size of the agorist counter-economy. David Gross is confusing simple tax evasion/resistance with agorism. There are some people that are having increasing success with tax resistance, but it isn't at the level I would consider agorism. For example, I know no examples of people providing health care without a State license. I don't know any examples of people manufacturing clothing or appliances in their house, using optimized tools. It's one thing to make/repair clothing; it's another to have advanced clothing manufacturing equipment in your basement.
Further, most people working in the counter-economy are doing things like working as a waiter or manual labor. I am a highly skilled professional. My counter-economic efforts must yield at least as much income as my wage-slave job, for it to be worth my time. Declining standards of living help in that direction. Working as a wage slave software engineer seems like a total dead-end now, although I am still seeking a wage slave job. It's one thing to earn $10/hr off-the-books as a waiter. It's another thing to earn $50/hr off-the-books owning my own business. The first type of counter-economic activity occurs, but the only people who make $50/hr in the counter-economy are people involved with drugs, prostitution, or gambling.
I don't know of any examples of people using real money instead of slave points, except occasionally. I don't know of any advanced Gold/Silver/FRN barter networks. I don't know of any unlicensed warehouse receipt banks, where depositors rely on the trust of the banker instead of a State-enforced contract. For example, you might be reluctant to use a warehouse receipt banking service I offer, because you could rationally say "Why should I trust FSK?" I'd need an established reputation of protecting customer deposits despite State raids before it'd be rational for a customer to trust me.
There is (hopefully) an increasing amount of tax evasion/resistance, but it hasn't reached the level I consider to be agorism.
I also noticed Sunni saying "FSK sucks!" Sunni is confusing agorism with tax evasion/resistance.
It is a good sign that tax evasion/resistance is on the rise.
I noticed another foolish thing. Some people wrote "FSK's interpretation of agorism is not 100% the same as what Konkin wrote about." (Konkin first wrote about agorism and counter-economics in the 1970s.) If agorists are restricted to solely quoting Konkin, then they can never advance their thinking. This is exactly the "argument from authority fallacy".
Do I need to find a different name for my philosophy than agorism? No, I'm not going to. I'm not going to waste time arguing that. If I pick a new name, then people will start mindless quoting that.
Aren’t Craigslist, Freecycle, and similar hubs counter-economic?
State agents *DO* patrol Craigslist!
Freecycle appears to only be about buying/selling used items (like Ebay).
For example, if I were selling medicine or homeschooling services without a State license, I could not use Craigslist or Freecycle. The above communities have an element of counter-economics, but they don't qualify as full agorism by my standards. They are a good training ground for converting people to agorism and free markets, but they fall short of real agorism.
You don't need to barter to practice tax resistance/evasion or agorism. Technically, you may use barter, gold/silver (best), or even slave points. If you use slave points as money and then immediately trade them for tangible goods, you don't get ripped off by money supply inflation. Gold and silver evolved as money because they were the least-common-denominator for barter. Gold and silver are free market money. The main point is to avoid reporting your transaction to the State/IRS for taxation. According to the IRS, barter transactions *ARE* taxable!
You're quite right, of course, that the counter-economy is thriving all around us. FSK doesn't exhibit a very firm grasp of Agorist principles, as is evidenced by his preposterous claim that "the three main evils of the State . . . are income taxes, the Federal Reserve, and government regulation of almost all industries." Sam would have had a healthy horse laugh at that. He knew that the main evil of the State is murder and that the most important issue before us today is therefore war, not taxes, monetary policy, or regulation of business.
I should clarify this point. Attacking the State's violence monopoly directly is pointless. After all, the State specializes in violence!
To attack the State, you must attack the economic monopoly. That way, you have a chance of success. The key components of the State's economic monopoly are income taxes, the Federal Reserve, and government regulations.
Of course, if the State did not have a violence monopoly, people would just ignore its stupid rules. The economic monopoly must be backed by a violence monopoly. However, the violence monopoly is dependent on the economic monopoly, because the State must pay its policemen. The insiders who loot and pillage via the State must be paid.
I am only rarely the victim of direct State violence. I am a victim of the State's economic monopoly whenever I work or purchase something.
I also noticed a promising sign. If you're seen as a "high effort" target, then the State may choose to ignore you. If I practice blatant-in-public agorism, then State enforcers might be reluctant to harass me, knowing I'd present a tough sui juris defense in a trial.
Tactically, you can break the State's economic monopoly without the State's violence arm discovering your activity. That's the whole point of agorism. Once you break the State's economic monopoly, its policemen will walk off their jobs once it's obvious they aren't going to get paid.
This illustrates the problem with "Argument from authority!" You can't say "FSK's description of agorism is different than what I believe Konkin would have said. Therefore, FSK doesn't know anything about agorism." Konkin is dead, so we can't ask him. Even if Konkin were alive and disagreed with me, that doesn't mean I'm wrong.
Another comment showed cluelessness.
We're definitely thinking the same thing. As such I want you as my neighbor.
If you follow those links, she says "To prepare for the coming economic collapse, start a business out of your home. However, be careful you don't violate any State regulations!"
My response is "BZZZT!! WRONG!!" If you're making sure your business doesn't violate any State regulations, you aren't an agorist. A true agorist says "Make sure you don't violate any State regulations, only where the risk of getting caught outweighs the reward!" Keeping livestock in my backyard is too risky, but there are other types of economic activity I can do that are a lower profile.
There's one point I've learned of my previous disagreement with Joey from the Freedom Symposium about "interpersonal freedom vs. economic freedom". I've since added "mental freedom" to the list. The State is not just government itself. There's a mental State that allows government to exist in the first place. Fighting the State is just as much about fighting the evil mental State in others, as it is about fighting the bad guys directly. Remember that most State employees are not consciously aware that the State is evil!
BTW, the Freedom Symposium appears to be a dead blog. That's one thing I've noticed about blogging - persistence pays. The long term trend for my blog growth is favorable. Based on AdSense, I'm now thinking "only 100x more regular readers and I can do this as a business!" Before you say "That's silly, FSK!", I had 716 Absolute Unique Visitors in November 2007 and 6602 Absolute Unique Visitors in November 2008. It took Stefan Molyneux and Steve Pavlina many years to build their websites into a viable full-time business.
I estimate the size of the Remnant to be over 1M people in the USA, so I certainly haven't maximized my potential audience yet. At this point "Other people promoting FSK's blog!" appears to lead to more benefit than "FSK directly promotes his blog himself!" I'm focusing more on "write good content" than "actively promote my blog". Besides, I'm *WAY BEHIND* on answering reader comments. I've also been answering reader comments ahead of looking for interesting content on other sites, so I've had less "interesting bits from elsewhere" recently. Interestingly, putting up an AdSense widget has increased my blogging motivation.
Plus, when I move to my own domain and purchase hosting, I'm going to expand my services offered beyond blogging.
When answering people who say "FSK is a loser!", I've come to the conclusion that stupid and evil are practically the same. I'm not wasting my time on people who are completely hopeless.
I liked this article on the Onion, via Neutral Underground (site registration required), "$700 Billion Bailout Celebrated With Lavish $800 Billion Executive Party".
Approximately 10% of the bailout money was spent on bonuses at large banks. A lot of the bailout money was used by large banks to buyout smaller banks.
The $700B bailout was entirely corporate welfare. Approximately $3T-$6T was spent on corporate welfare in the last year, either directly by the Federal government or indirectly via Federal Reserve money supply inflation. If you divide $3T by 300M Americans, that's $10k per person. The State could have "stimulated the economy" just as much by writing each American a check for $10k.
The purpose of the State is for insiders to loot and pillage.
I liked this article on Bloomberg, via Neutral Underground.
The Federal Reserve refused a request by Bloomberg News to disclose the recipients of more than $2 trillion of emergency loans from U.S. taxpayers and the assets the central bank is accepting as collateral.
Bloomberg filed suit Nov. 7 under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act requesting details about the terms of 11 Fed lending programs, most created during the deepest financial crisis since the Great Depression.
The Federal Reserve is not part of the Federal government. The Freedom of Information Act does not apply to the Federal Reserve. There's an exemption in the Freedom of Information Act that specifically mentions the Federal Reserve!
The Federal Reserve may provide subsidies/loans to whatever banks it chooses, without disclosing who received how much money. If you don't like it, you should boycott the Federal Reserve.
BTW, the posters on Neutral Underground are not specifically talking about agorism, although they have decent freedom-oriented material. They might be convertible. I found some interesting stuff on the site, but it really isn't the type of free market material that I'm really looking for.
I liked this YouTube video, via Irish Liberty Forum.
It's a 1933 proganda film saying "Inflation is wonderful!"
Notice how 1933 propaganda is much less subtle than current propaganda. Compare that 1933 propaganda film to watching the Communism Channel (CNBC) or watching the Comedy Channel (CNN)!
I liked this comment:
It's always encouraging to see other people intelligently writing about "The Federal Reserve is immoral!"What this propaganda film doesnt say of course, is that the private central bank, the Federal Reserve, contracted the money supply; it did not just happen by itself, and never does. They caused the problems, and continue to do so till this very day.
I liked this article on Irish Liberty Forum. People say "Somalia has no central government. Therefore, anarchy is not a viable form of government."
Somalia is not a true free market. I haven't studied Somalia carefully. In Somalia, there appears to be several mini-governments, each exercising monopoly control over a smaller area. These mini-governments are competing violently. Plus, individuals are expected to pledge loyalty to a single mini-government. In a true free market, I could hire multiple police agencies simultaneously.
In a true free market, competing police forces would not normally interact violently.
I liked this post on Freedomain Radio. He spoke with a politician's son, Tom, who then decided to break off contact with his abusive parents. Then, mainstream media sources are blaming Stefan Molyneux for the son's decision to cut off his parents. This mainstream media article was cited, where Stefan Molyneux is scapegoated as a crazy cult leader.
Stefan Molyneux has a valid point. If your parents are abusive, you should stop seeing them (or see them less often). If you agree to see someone unconditionally, whether they treat you fairly or not, then what incentive do they have to be reasonable?
I've actually managed to retrain my parents somewhat to be less abusive, using "Dog Whisperer" tactics. Paradoxically, being close to my parents may have been beneficial, because I can now see better how they pro-State brainwashed me, without being consciously aware of it themselves. I'd prefer to get my own apartment, but I'm willing to wait another year or two.
I advise people to see abusive relatives less often, rather than completely cut them off like Stefan Molyneux advises. Spending time with abusive relatives is painful, but it actually provides useful insight into pro-State brainwashing.
Stefan Molyneux is being scapegoated by the mainstream media. Instead of saying "Maybe Tom's parents were being abusive or unreasonable.", they say "Stefan Molyneux gave bad advice."
One fnord is "A prominent politician cannot possibly be a bad parent. The son and Stefan Molyneux are to blame."
Stefan Molyneux also has a problem with the mainstream media quoting him out of context. By quoting only fragments of an article or interview, it is very easy to manipulate things so that someone looks like a fool. He gave an interview with a mainstream media source, on condition that the full interview would be posted on the newspaper's website. That promise was broken, and Stefan Molyneux was quoted out of context so that he would look bad.
I don't see why Stefan Molyneux objects to the media coverage. I'd much rather have a mainstream media source say "FSK is a loser!" rather than no coverage at all. Many people know that the mainstream media is full of ****, and just by mentioning Stefan Molyneux, people may decide to go visit his website to read his side of the story.
This incident actually is very illustrating. I'm mostly sure that Stefan Molyneux' version of the story is closest to the truth. It's a good way to see how the mainstream media spins stories. The Internet allows individuals to post their own viewpoint, without mainstream media censorship.
Stefan Molyneux only has a valid complaint if State violence is used to censor him. For example, Tom's parents could sue Stefan Molyneux for giving Tom bad advice. That has not happened (yet). Even if such a frivolous lawsuit were filed, it probably would be free advertising for Stefan Molyneux. Stefan Molyneux is a pretty good speaker. He should defend himself sui juris, if he is the victim of a lawsuit.
Another interesting point that Stefan Molyneux made is that he did not charge Tom for his advice. That is irrelevant. Whether Stefan Molyneux gave free advice or for-pay advice is irrelevant. Under a corrupt legal system, if Stefan Molyneux gave for-pay advice without a State license, he would be committing a crime.
I could easily be such a victim like Stefan Molyneux. The "chemical imbalance" theory of mental illness is nonsense. If you are taking anti-psychotic or anti-depressant drugs, you should quit taking them cold-turkey, ignore the advice of your psychiatrist/murderer, and manage the withdrawal as best you can. If someone reads my blog, follows my advice, and then does something stupid while suffering withdrawal, I could/will be blamed. I would be guilty of the crime of "Practicing psychiatry without a license!", even though I'm 100% telling the truth. The risk of State violence could cause me to self-censor, causing me to be afraid to say that the mental health industry is one big fraud.
I didn't read the full details of Stefan Molyneux' arguments for "The mainstream media manipulated things so I look bad!" My response is "Duh! Tell me something I didn't know." For someone looking to understand how the State propaganda engine distorts the truth, that story is worth reading.
I can't wait for the mainstream media to start writing articles about that crazy agorist cult, composed of people who believe that "Taxation is theft!" and all forms of government are immoral. From the point of view of a pro-State troll, I'm a cultist. From my point of view, pro-State trolls are the ones with crazy cult beliefs.
I didn't like Freedomain's suggestion that professional therapists might agree with his analysis. My therapists were really bad pro-State trolls (although I did have one good therapist). Really, you need a therapist that has the productive worker personality type, instead of one with the parasite personality type. Presumably, most therapists have the parasite personality type, although I've only looked at 3 data points for therapists (2 evil, 1 good) and 10 data points for psychiatrists (all 10 were evil).
Freedomain Radio had a math/statistics error on this page. He complains that liberatingminds.forumotion.com is full of pro-State trolls. He cites Google Analytics statistics over the past year, where the site gave him 16k referrals, but only 2% (320) of them were new visitors to his site. He then cites an example "See! It's all the same people!"
Freedomain Radio is confused about the way Google Analytics works. Suppose that one person had visited his site 15680 times from liberatingminds.forumotion.com, and 320 new people came. Google Analytics will say "16k referrals, 2% new", whereas one user who used the link a lot caused a discrepancy.
Google Analytics needs to do better filtering, based on "Absolute Unique Visitors" instead of "Visitors". For example, I can find out how many Visitors I had in Australia. If it says "10 visitors, 0 new", is that one person 10 times or 5 returning people visiting twice or 10 returning people visiting once?
When I move to my own domain, I'm going to write my own Analytics engine based on my Apache server logs (or edit the one that comes with WordPress; I haven't researched WordPress yet). I'll still include the Google Analytics tracking code, because it has a nice UI and only Google Analytics has integrated AdSense tracking.
In this thread, Freedomain linked to this article on the book "Blink". In "Blink", the author says that people's initial snap judgement is much better than they suspect. Due to pro-State brainwashing, people ignore their initial judgement and instead rely on their brainwashing/logic. People talk themselves out of following their initial judgement.
I've noticed that recently. If my initial reaction is "This person is an ***hole!", that usually tends to be true. The Idiot New Manager at the Rails Advocate job gave me an immediate "This person is an ***hole!" reaction. The Rails Advocate also gave me a "This guy might be a problem!" attitude, but the other boss seemed reasonable. My initial reaction to my now-ex-therapist was "She's a jerk!"
The human brain is a massively parallel computer. You can make accurate initial judgements based on subtle cues. I've even noticed "This woman is worth approaching!" cues, which are unrelated to raw physical appearance. For example, most people would interpret a woman showing cleavage as saying "I'm looking to attract a guy!", but such women can frequently have body language that makes them seem unapproachable. Also, I'm now screening for women who have "high functioning autism" (i.e. "normal"). It's about 0.1%-1% of the population. I'm not screening on raw physical appearance, but rather attitude and body language.
This article on MSN.com was hilarious. Subject to tight budgets, many states are forced to release prison inmates!
I wonder if that's what will happen as the State collapses? Unable to afford prisons, criminals will be released? They'll probably release the violent criminals first, and keep the people busted for possession/sale of drugs and tax evasion for the end.
The USA has the largest % of its population in prison of all industrialized countries. For a "free" society, the USA has a rather large prison population! A lot of the productive value of society is wasted on prisons. There's the loss of productive work by the prisoners. There's the cost of prison guards. It costs more to keep a person in jail for a year, than it does to send someone to college!
Insiders profit immensely from the money spent on prisons. There's the lucrative salaries for the prison bureaucrats, jobs constructing prisons, and all the lucrative contracts providing food, clothing, etc. for the prisoners. Many "difficult" prisoners are labeled with a mental illness and given anti-psychotic drugs.
This post on BradSpangler.com expressed excitement about the posthumous publication of Konkin's book "An Agorist Primer".
I'm more interested in moving forward with the transition from theoretical agorism to practical agorism, rather than getting overly excited about the writings of a dead person who never actually attempted practical agorism.
At this point, writing on agorism won't improve much more until people make the transition from "theoretical agorism" to "practical agorism". As I mentioned before, there's a big leap from isolated pockets of tax resistance/evasion to a sophisticated counter-economy.
This post on BradSpangler.com was amusing. It appears that the Libertarian Party candidate for Vice President filed a lawsuit challenging "Obama is unqualified to be President, because he's not a natural-born US citizen." The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case (probably because there's been a lot of speculation about this issue on certain pro-State troll conspiracy sites). I would be completely shocked the the Supreme Court didn't say "Obama is qualified to be President!" If they ruled otherwise, there would be a severe crisis (and probable revolt by people who voted for Obama).
All actions of government are illegitimate, so this issue is pointless in comparison. Even if Obama were not a genuine natural-born US citizen, he is going to follow the script provided to him by politically connected insiders.
I liked this post on BradSpangler.com, in reference to this YouTube video. (It had only 14k views, but I thought it was really good. Watch it!) It's a song "I Want My Bailout Money".
It's nice to see "alternative" songwriters addressing the evil of the economic and political system.
This is the first video embedded in my blog! (Warning to would-be Blogger YouTube video embeddors. If you put the html code, it shows up in preview mode but not in compose mode. This is an experiment to see if the YouTube embedding works.)
I went to the artist's homepage, and he had a copy of the song lyrics.
I want my bailout moneyHowever, the artist still falls short of the correct answer. All taxation is theft. All monopolistic government is evil. A true free market is the only solution.
Keep the bills coming
Sweet green cash just drippin like honey
I'm a new kind of thug with a Washington buzz 'cause
Dealing debt pays better than dealing drugs
What do you think will happen when they double the money supply?
The falling dollar makes it harder for you to survive
They take those billions and trillions and give it to their own kind
Hope you don't mind bein robbed blind
How do you think we got runaway credit?
Ain't nothin goin down unless the crooks in Washington let it
Now they regret it but they still don't get it
Cause the economy is crashin so bad it needs a paramedic
I want my bailout money
Sweet green cash just dripping with honey
Gotta keep this economy running
I need another hit of my bailout money
Look at the stash, it's like a mad dash for the cash
They got the taxpayer takin it in the ass
the CEOs they are havin a blast
While the workin poor trying to make the paycheck last
The bailout money is created with new debt
While they rollin in their limos and private jets
All the workers on the street drippin sweat
While collar hustlers are takin everything they can get
They put the nation on a hyperinflation track
No Presidential administration can take it back
And now the taxpayers pickin up the slack
Like they put a high dollar Big Brother monkey on your back
I want my bailout money
Sweet green cash just dripping with honey
Gotta keep this economy running
I need another hit of my bailout money
The prisons are filled with brothers caught on a fifty-dollar jack
But when Whitey takin trillions, the cops they turn their back
The incompetent bankers, they get their jobs back
Cause those crankers smoking money like it was crack
They take your car, your home, everything that you own
And when you're jobless and broke, you still gotta pay the loan
If you're thinkin of stealin some food, please don't
Just go to Washington and you can steal everything you want
How we gonna solve this, dissolve the big scam
We resolve we won't let 'em steal from a fellow man
Gotta raise our hands and ask "What is this?"
Then we put the Federal Reserve out of business!
You take a look at a dollar bill, you see that eye above the pyramid lookin back at you
That eye is laughin at you suckers!
I want my bailout money
Keep the con running
Sweet green cash just dripping with honey
Gotta keep this economy running
I need another hit of my bailout money
Aren't you tired of payin for that? Tired of breakin your back for that?
Bein oppressed and suppressed while you keep payin your tax for that?
We gotta get out of this financial trap
And it's never gonna stop until you take your country back
The politicians are useless, don't you know that they used us
And the bankers refused us while the media schooled us
The authorities knew this was happening to us
Cause they make more money every time that they screw us
You didn't think they're printing all that funny money just for you, did ya?
Drownin' in debt but the Fed isn't done yet
What are we gonna get?
Gonna print funny money
Budget's in the red, economy nearly dead
Politician's said that we
Gonna print funny money
Hangin' by a thread, the people are bein' bled
But get it through your head that we
Gonna print funny money
The bankers gotta stay ahead, gotta make more bread
That's when they said, "Print more money!"
Song and Lyrics © 2009 by Michael Adams, All Rights Reserved
I liked this post, via David Z's shared items (and other sources).
Someone in Alaska built a giant snowman in their yard. It appears to be an annual tradition.
Local State enforcers say that it is a nuisance, and are ordering it destroyed.
(BTW, I just noticed that David Z has AdSense on his blog. I'd never noticed that before. He doesn't have AdSense in his RSS feed, though.)
I attempted to trade my options trading system for 2 years, 2006-2007. I didn't buy any options in 2008 and I suffered a 100% loss after having doubled my money at one point. I concluded my options trading system isn't worth anything. I've concluded that gold and silver are the best possible investment for non-insiders, where you should earn a 0% inflation-adjusted return.
The problem is that I got totally wiped out when the stock market declined. I might still buy some GLD LEAP options, betting on inflation. The problem with out-of-the-money GLD LEAP options is that insiders will try to push down the price of gold if it rises too rapidly, limiting my potential gain. I'm going to gradually move my savings to GLD and SLV and physical metal. In my IRAs, GLD and SLV are the best option; physical metal is best for my taxable accounts.
I've concluded that only insiders may exploit a defective monetary system for their own benefit. For non-insiders, physical gold and silver are the best possible investments, provided you can find a safe place to keep them.
I liked this post on nostate.com, although the YouTube video it linked to was kind of lame. The title was "Hey! Get back to work!"
In a wage slave job, if you spend any time at work on things other than working, your employer assumes by default that you are stealing from them. The problem is that employees are evaluated typically based on "time spent working" instead of "actual work done". In the context of a corporate monopoly/oligopoly, it's practically impossible to determine the true efficiency of each worker. If you can do $200k of work in 4 hours a day, it's hard to justify getting paid more than someone who does negative work in 10 hours a day.
That's a big advantage of a free market system, where you have many small businesses instead of huge corporations. With many small businesses, it becomes easier to judge efficiency. Price signals are a valid measure of efficiency. In a large corporation, internal processes can't be priced efficiently.
That's one nice thing about AdSense. I'm mostly paid for pageviews, rather than the amount of time I actually spend on my blog. My blog is practically the same effort, whether I get 100 readers/day or 10,000 readers/day. However, with more readers, I'd spend more time answering comments. If it gets bad, I'll stop answering stupid comments.
I liked this article, via Strike the Root. Zimbabwe recently introduced a $50B note. This is *AFTER* Zimbabwe devalued its currency revalued its currency by a factor of 10^10. I.e., $10B old Zimbabwe dollars were exchanged for $1 new Zimbabwe dollars.
Zimbabwe's government has given some businesses a "special permit" to use foreign currency for transactions. Otherwise, hyperinflation would force them to close.
Zimbabwe-style hyperinflation is coming to the USA! Maybe they can put current President Bush's picture on the $1M Federal Reserve Note and Obama's picture on the $10M Federal Reserve Note!
I also liked this post on "Atlas Shrugged is nonfiction". Agorism is the best way to achieve a "strike" by productive workers, as envisioned by Ayn Rand. You don't need to move to a remote area to achieve freedom. You can practice agorism wherever you live right now.
This article on BradSpangler.com refers to someone publishing an agorist magazine.
I looked at the magazine (pdf).
It had a bunch of "The State sucks!" articles, which is reviewing things I already know.
It had an article on "Electronic Gold is Awesome!", but failed to note that the State has cracked down on electronic gold vendors. Electronic gold is overhyped. Agorists can just use physical metal. The biggest problem with electronic gold is that State enforcers will raid the warehouse where the metal is stored.
Stefan Molyneux had a nice bit. He said that "All that happens normally during revolts is that the State reorganizes and retrenches. Revolts do not normally lead to the permanent elimination of the State." However, Stefan Molyneux does not normally advocate for agorism. Has he improved his thinking? Stefan Molyneux normally says "It is possible to have a stable society without a monopolistic government?", but he fails to answer "How do we get there from the present?"
Stefan Molyneux also says that the legal system primarily exists to protect insiders. "In this writer's experience, taking a dispute with a stockbroker to the legal system costs $0.25M and takes several years." I investigated suing my psychiatrist for malpractice, but I was unable to find an attorney willing to represent me on contingency (he would only get paid if I win). I didn't want to waste what would probably be several years and most of my savings. Psychiatrists are protected by sovereign immunity. My murderers fabricated the medical records, making their assault appear legitimate. Even if you sue a miscreant in a monopolistic State court, there's no guarantee you'll win, even if the truth is on your side.
In the instance of relying on a stockbroker's advice, I would argue "You should know that the financial system is a scam. Shame on you for trusting this shill."
I like Stefan Molyneux's answer to "What if a private police agency seizes absolutely power. Wouldn't that be a disaster?" The retort is that a rogue private police agency has already seized absolute power. We call that rogue private police agency the government. If "There's a rogue private police force terrorizing everyone!" is a problem, then the current State is doing exactly that. Once you have multiple competing police forces and there's no presumption of a legitimate monopoly, it would be practically impossible for someone to achieve a new violence monopoly.
I also liked Stefan Molyneux's answer to "The State is needed to stop pollution!" When pollution first became a problem, individuals tried filing lawsuits against polluters. The State ruled in favor of the polluters over individuals. The State protects polluters, via sovereign immunity.
He had another interesting observation about "Government causes pollution!" States have no incentive to crack down on polluting businesses on their borders, where the pollution winds up in another State. For example, on the east coast of New Jersey, there are many oil refineries. The pollution winds up in New York, and not New Jersey.
There was another interesting article that had a bit about how laws restricting immigration discriminate against workers. Immigration laws prevent workers from arbitraging wage discrepancies by moving. Insiders then exploit this market inefficiency.
Overally, the pdf was mostly articles on "The State sucks!", which I already know. They said that in future issues, they would be writing more about practical agorism.
I'm eager to move beyond "The State sucks!" I'm much more interested in "What are you going to do about it?"
I liked this article on Sunni's blog. The mainstream media has started spreading the evil fnord "Things you read about on the Internet are wrong if they contradict what the mainstream media says. Things you read on the Internet aren't vetted for accuracy like the mainstream media."
There's an evil fnord spreading that "Information on the Internet tends to be inaccurate." For example, try saying "I read on the Internet that taxes and stealing are the same thing." The retort is "Stuff you read on the Internet is very inaccurate and wrong."
I noticed my parents saying "FSK's use of the Internet may be a contributing factor to his 'mental illness'. Perhaps we should stop him from using the Internet." They also say "Things FSK reads about on the Internet are tainting FSK's thinking. He has all these crazy ideas about the immorality of government now." They know they wouldn't get away with banning me from using the Internet, so they haven't tried. I'm using the Internet for legitimate things like looking for a new wage slave job, and my blog is a source of income now.
Sunni also had an interesting comment:
If only human society could evolve along the lines of Moore's Law. Ah yes. Y'all have a great day.
The problem is State restriction of the market. Computers, software, and electronics are nearly completely unregulated by the State. Therefore, there is exponential increase in quality. Contrast that with the spread of broadband Internet access. That is heavily State regulated, and you don't see exponential growth.
The more heavily regulated an industry is, the slower the rate of progress. Medicine is one of the most heavily regulated industries. Can you name a promising new treatment for a big disease that was developed in the past 20-30 years, not counting drugs that mask the symptoms of the underlying illness?
If there were no State restriction of the market, *ALL* areas of the economy would have exponential growth, just like currently occurs in computers and electronics. The State leeches *THAT MUCH*. If you flush 95%+ of the productive value of the society down the toilet every year (directly via taxes, and indirectly via the cost of regulations and State restriction of the economy), that's a severe drag on progress.
I noticed this article via a Google Analytics referral. It's a markup of Edward Flaherty's false debunking of the Debt Virus, which is another name for the Compound Interest Paradox.
I couldn't tell if the author of that page was saying "Edward Flaherty is right" or "Edward Flaherty is trolling". I consider the Compound Interest Paradox to be proven. The reason the US economy doesn't immediately collapse due to the Compound Interest Paradox is that new loans are continually issued to keep the scam going.
I liked this story on mises.org. (I don't normally read mises.org anymore, unless someone else refers me. I accidentally clicked on the homepage and found an interesting article.)
The article talks about fallacies of pro-State troll Keynesian economics, when it comes to dealing with recessions/depressions. The current economic crunch is classified as a recession instead of a depression because the CPI is used as the deflator for GDP instead of the price of gold, and CPI is much less than true inflation.
The article discussed a fallacy of pro-State troll economics I hadn't noticed before. In a severe recession/depression, there are many unemployed workers. Therefore, the State should inflate the money supply via deficit spending, hire the idle workers, and put them to work. The workers were idle anyway, so the State isn't harming the economy by printing extra money and hiring them.
The fallacy is that the State is stealing from productive workers via inflation, and giving the proceeds to the workers the State directly hired. By definition, all work performed by the State costs more than the fair free market price. Even though the workers hired by the State may produce something tangible, it still is damaging to society as a whole. Suppose that due to inflation, productive workers can't afford to buy as many cars/houses/clothes/computers/whatever. You'll see the State building its projects, but you won't see the things that productive workers would have purchased/built instead.
The article did have an error. It repeated the pro-State troll fallacy that "Idle workers are natural in a free market." I disagree. In a true free market, any worker willing to work for the fair free market wage would have a job. In a true free market, any employer willing to pay the fair free market wage has workers. The State imposes artificial friction costs on the job market, making it hard for the buyers and sellers of labor to match.
State bureaucrats "manage the economy", keeping the unemployment rate artificially high. This guarantees that workers won't have market negotiating leverage with employers. Do you remember how in the late 1990s during the boom, workers were negotiating "work/life balance perks". The Federal Reserve jacked up interest rates, caused a recession/depression, and now workers are desperate for any job at all. Now, "market forces" dictate that workers should accept any job they can get, on whatever lousy terms are offered.
Pro-State troll economists say that unemployment rates are an indicator for recessions. However, the Federal Reserve chooses its interest rate policy based on whatever the unemployment rate is. Cause, effect, and correlation get confused. Further, the unemployment rate does not include underemployment. If I accept a lousy grunt wage slave software engineering job doing maintenance of old code, I count as "employed" when I'm really underemployed. Workers who accept lousy jobs just to earn a living have their labor underused. As another example, suppose I'm working as a financial systems software engineer. Technically, I'm employed, but I'm not producing any goods of tangible economic value.
Mike Gogulski has left a new comment on your post "Is Participating in the State Economy Immoral?":
Bah, no trackbacks. I replied at length to the bits about my own praxis: Educating for anarchism #4 — a reply to FSK.
I have Blogger trackbacks enabled, but it appears to be defective. I'm looking forward to moving to WordPress. "Move to my own domain" is on my agenda now, but there's no need to rush.
I never said "Mike Gogulski is a pro-State troll for refusing to work directly for the State." I really meant "Your resistance may make you feel good, but it doesn't accomplish much."
The nature of the work also matters. If you're translating court documents, you're more directly contributing to State violence. If you're translating for road signs, you're not contributing as much to State violence.
Similarly, I could work as a programmer writing a system that collects traffic tickets. That's directly contributing to State violence. I could write software that helps the State transit monopoly calculate schedules more efficiently. That's actually producing something tangible. I could write financial software that indirectly exploits State violence. I could put AdSense on my blog, where some/most of the profits go to the State, but I help raise awareness.
Ideally, I want to work 100% in off-the-books labor, get paid in cash, and make the same rate after-taxes as I currently do as a slave software engineer. That isn't viable yet.
There also is the benefit that you raise awareness for "The State is evil!" when you refuse State jobs. I didn't give Mike Gogulski credit for that.
If you really want to drain resources from the State, you have to work off-the-books and use sound money (or immediately redeem your paper for tangible goods). Obviously, if you work off-the-books, you can't work directly for the State. (Unless you're a military contractor in Iraq, where a lot of cash allegedly disappeared.)
Let's get even more specific.
If you refuse to work directly for the State, then someone almost as qualified will gladly take your place.
Arguably true, given today’s circumstances. However, in my particular case, there are only a very small number of professional translators who both speak English as their native language and who have a high level of competency in translating the Slovak language. Let’s imagine, for the sake of argument, that I have a real niche market, and that there are only ten other people in the world, including me, who can deliver the same Slovak-to-English translation job at the same level of quality as I can. My refusal takes me out of the pool of available labor, and thus the state has only 90% of the potential labor force available to it. At any given time, this tends to make getting the state’s work in translating Slovak to English more difficult, as there are fewer resources which can be applied to the task. It might also have the side effect of driving up prices among those other nine translators who are willing to work for the state. At some point, when prices are driven up high enough, the customer stops buying.
As usual, a concrete example helps. Assume Mike Gogulski has unique skills and exactly one other person (X) can perform the same job as him. X does not believe that it is immoral to work directly for the State. Assume they are almost identically qualified, except that Mike Gogulski is 2x more efficient than his competitor. The quality of output is the same; it just takes Mike Gogulski half the time.
Suppose that Competitor X works 40 hours/week for corporation A, earning $30/hour. Suppose Mike Gogulski has two freelance jobs at corporation B and C for 20 hours/week, earning $60/hour (because he's twice as efficient as X).
Suppose the State now has a task that would take Mike Gogulski 20 hours/week or his competitor X 40 hours/week. The State offers to hire Mike Gogulski for $70/hour for 20 hours. Mike refuses. The State offers X $35/hour for 40 hours, and X accepts. X quits his job for corporation A and works directly for the State instead.
Now, Mike Gogulski has 3 freelance job offers for $60/hour for 20 hours/week. Mike can do all three of them. Or, he can reject one and raise his price. Corporations A says "Sorry, this work isn't worth more than $60/hour. If prices go above that, we can't make our profit." Corporations B and C say "This work isn't worth more than $70/hour. If prices go above that, we can't make our profit." So, Mike can accept two jobs paying $70/hour or three jobs paying $60/hour.
In the meantime, half of what Mike Gogulski earns goes to the State in taxes so X can be paid. Whether Mike Gogulski works directly for the State or X does instead, makes no difference.
What Mike Gogulski misses is the "seen vs. unseen" fallacy. If the State desires work, it will pay whatever price is required. After all, the State has a virtually unlimited budget! The State merely hires X, and the consequence is that some private-sector job goes unperformed instead.
Suppose Mike Gogulski takes a $30/hour off-the-books job. In that case, when the State tries to hire X, it has less resources available and must cut something else from its budget or further raise taxes.
Only working off-the-books really prevents the State from leeching off your labor.
In the comments:
Anyway, while you’re doing that, I’m gonna figure ways to minimize risk while riding the state transport system for free. Wanna help me make a website, with cams and SMS alerts and ticket-collector profiles?
I'm not interested in that. I believe that it's immoral to use public transportation without paying for it, even though there is a State monopoly. IMHO, agorism would lead to more profit for time spent than figuring out a way to steal free train rides.
In the USA, people have hacked into the turnstyle programs, reverse-engineering the system and exposing security flaws.
My criticism of figuring out a way to steal free train rides is:
- It's immoral.
- Other forms of resistance are better return on time invested.
For example, organizing a gypsy taxi service business or unlicensed bus business is the correct agorist way to resist the State public transportation monopoly.
Mike Gogulski says:
Stealing from Wal-Mart is immoral, but stealing public transportation is acceptable. Wal-Mart is not directly a part of the State.
Francois Tremblay says:
Wal-Mart is part of the State as much as public transportation. Stealing public transportation is acceptable, and stealing from Wal-Mart is acceptable.
Mike Gogulski's attitude is logically inconsistent, but Francois Treblay's is logically consistent, regarding the morality of stealing public transportation and stealing from Wal-Mart.
If you believe "It's morally acceptable to steal from Wal-Mart", then do you also believe "It's morally acceptable to steal from a small business owner sole-proprietorship?" Any on-the-books business is as much a branch of the State as Wal-Mart. The small business owner doesn't really own his business, because he pays taxes and tribute to the State in exchange for permission to operate his business.
The only logically consistent positions are "Stealing directly from the State, Wal-Mart, or a small on-the-books business is acceptable or unacceptable." If you can justify stealing from the State, you can justify stealing from the other two. Any on-the-books business is a branch of the State.
Look at it this way. The State is a for-profit business set up for the benefit of a handful of insiders! Government makes a lot more sense when you think of it that way. The correct solution to an abusive monopoly is to form a competing business, rather than directly stealing from the abusive monopoly.
Tactically, I prefer to focus on creating wealth instead of stealing. A true anarchist should be focused on positive things (create wealth that the State can't steal/leech/restrict) instead of negative things (steal from the State; destroy State property).
Regarding the dispute over the morality of taxes, any sensible person who's heard "Taxation is theft!" agrees. Mike Gogulski and Francois Tremblay and FSK agree on "Taxation is theft!" The question is what resistance tactics are appropriate. Francois Tremblay was saying "The odds of being assaulted by the IRS are much less than people think. Therefore, if you don't resist income taxes, you're a wimp." The mainstream media and pro-State brainwashing create the illusion that the State is omniscient/omnipotent.
Tactically, agorism is the best strategy I've read about for tax evasion. I don't bother resisting taxes on income that is automatically reported to the State/IRS. I agree that "Taxation is theft!", but I don't put my freedom where my mouth is yet. I'm looking to build a free market economy in my spare time, while still working at my wage slave job. The collapse of the State is a historic inevitability. I need to support myself while working towards freedom at the same time.
It seems that the dispute is over "tactics of tax resistance" rather than "Taxation is not theft!" I voluntarily pay income tax on my wage slave job, because there's no practical free market alternative yet. It's very hard to make morally correct decisions in the context of a completely corrupt system.
If the odds of getting caught for tax evasion really are that low, then "tax resister insurance" is a viable agorist business. If Francois Tremblay really believes that tax resistance is that safe, then he should start a "tax resister insurance" business. That's on my list of agorist business ideas.
Mike Gogulski says:
Any on-the-books business is a branch of the State.
Hogwash. Poppycock. Balderdash.
By such logic, the business owner who pays even one cent in tax to his masters in the government house should face unlimited expropriation where the expropriators would face no penalty enforced against them by right-thinking people.
You wanna live in that world? Fine. Count me out, please. Now, where’s my gun…
That isn't what I wrote. I said that stealing from the State, Wal-Mart, or an on-the-books small business owner are all morally equivalent. I say that stealing from all three is wrong.
The correct agorist solution to the State is to develop free market alternatives to the State, rather than directly stealing from the State or damaging State property.
The on-the-books small business owner can't claim the moral high ground over the Wal-Mart CEO or a direct State employee, because he's supporting the State as much as the others.
I read somewhere that in certain historic periods, *ANYBODY* who paid taxes was treated as an outlaw, and tax collectors were routinely met with violent resistance by all. A known tax collector could not go into any store and purchase food or lodging.
I'd certainly like to live in a society where anyone who violates the non-Aggression principle against free market workers is unable to purchase anything in the free market (unless restitution is paid).
I liked this post, via out of step. The bad guys use fear to control the population. For example, "I won't practice agorism, because the risk of a State raid is too high." People are conditioned to fear the worst-case outcome instead of the average-case outcome.
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
This is how "Problem! Reaction! Solution!" works. The "War on Terror" and "War on Climate Change (global warming)" are the two latest scary enemies that cannot be defeating. The proposed solution is an increase in State power, which can only exacerbate the problem.
As we clamor to be led to safety, TPTB are forging new chains. To this point in our history, they have been economic chains — confiscatory taxation, debts, rules and regulations — and it seems a matter of time before they become literal chains, but those won't be necessary if we let them succeed.
The poster is wrong here. Literal chains become too obvious and people resist them. That's the trick of modern capitalism. Give the cattle an illusion of freedom, and they will provide more tasty meat! By giving workers and illusion of freedom, they produce more goods that insiders may then steal for themselves.
Economic chains well-forged make literal chains unnecessary.
That's the whole point of agorism. You fight the economic chains of the State, which indirectly reduces the State's power to impose physical chains.
I liked this article, via the Picket Line, on the Whiskey Rebellion.
There was widespread resistance to the Whiskey tax. Only in Pennsylvania was violence used to put down the tax revolt.
Some people say that Alexander Hamilton was an agent of the bankers. He was the one most strongly advocating to use violence to force people to pay the Whiskey excise tax. Insiders feared "If the Whiskey Rebellion is allowed to continue, then the Federal government won't be able to collect internal taxes."
As Hamilton put it, "Government can never be said to be established until some signal display has manifested its power of military coercion."
In other words, the main feature of a government is "Violence is used to impose its will on people." If government does not exercise its violence monopoly, then people will merely ignore it.
According to that post, most of the Whiskey tax resisters evaded capture. The incident was later retconned as a massive victory for the Federal government, forcing people to obey its orders.
The evidence is clear: the heroes of the American revolution and the Founding Fathers opposed the Stamp Act when they were out of power, but supported the whiskey tax when they were in power
The founders of the USA were not motivated by "Great Britain's taxation power is illegitimate". Rather, they were motivated by *JEALOUSY* of Great Britain's taxation power. They wanted American citizens to pay tribute to them, instead of a foreign government!
There also was this article saying how "Public transportation is cheaper than driving". In NYC, taking the subway to Manhattan during rush hour is *FASTER* than driving.
It isn't immoral to use public transportation and pay for it. Public transportation is subsidized by other taxes. You're paying a negative taxation rate when you use public transportation.
This article on Check Your Premises says that anyone who voluntarily pays taxes is a war criminal. He also cites a statistic saying "The IRS is very bad at collecting taxes owed, even when it's unpaid tax on income that's automatically reported to the State." That is a promising sign for agorists.
Right now, I involuntarily pay income taxes on my labor, while I look for ways to build a free market income. It's immoral to support the State, but I have to keep myself alive until the State collapses! I like my tactics for my blog. I can promote "The State is evil!" and "Agorism is the proper resistance strategy!" while showing a profit at the same time. Eventually, I want to start actual agorism, but I'm willing to wait another few years.
There were some interesting bits in the comments.
Mike Gogulski says:
I call bullshit. Even if you evaded every tax you possibly could, you would still end up paying via sales tax/VAT, excises, customs duties on imported products, licensing and regulation of those you purchase from, property tax paid by your landlord on your rental but funded by you, and on and on and on.
Actually, an agorist evades most of those (except property taxes). Property taxes can be partially resisted by not buying the most expensive residence you can afford. Of course, when you buy food, part of the cost is property tax paid on the land.
There's a limit to how high property tax rates can get, because high property tax rates drive down property values.
I advise focusing on the three biggest evils. These are the income tax, the inflation tax (Federal Reserve), and the cost of government regulations and State licensing requirements. If people start dodging these, then the State's ability to leech/collect the remaining will be severely crippled.
There was one point people seemed to be confused about. "Payroll tax" refers to the 15% Social Security and Medicare tax, half of which is paid by your employer. This is separate from income taxes. The average American doesn't realize how bad the payroll tax is, because he doesn't see the employer-paid portion and when you file an income tax return, payroll taxes are already deducted (unless you're self-employed).
I also liked Francois Tremblay's point "Very few people who dodge taxes ultimately become the victim of State violence. Therefore, you are a fool if you voluntarily pay income taxes." On wage slave income, I have no choice but to pay the income tax. I'm looking to alternatives to wage slave labor, but that will take some time.
If Francois Tremblay believes that income tax resistance is so easy, then he should put his freedom where his mouth is and start a "tax resister insurance" business. That's on my list of things to do.
Francois Tremblay said:
Okay, how do I do that? Tell me how, because I have no capital, I don’t know any tax resisters in real life, and I don’t know how insurance works. But yea, I would definitely be interested in being involved.
I already wrote a post on tax resister insurance. (I should go back and update all my "classic" posts. I'm a better writer now, and I've learned more.)
I quote prices in gold instead of USD, because I use real money. Suppose that you believe a tax resister has a 1% chance of getting caught in a year. Suppose the tax resister profits by 50 ounces of gold per year from his resistance. Suppose the cost of getting busted by the State is 500 ounces of gold (this includes lost income while spent in jail, cost of trial, etc.).
Suppose you had a lot of capital. You could sell 500 ounces of tax resister insurance for 20 ounces of gold. This is a net profit, because your expected loss is only 5 ounces of gold. It pays for the insurance buyer, because he's profiting from his tax resistance and reducing his risk. Further, to qualify for your insurance, your customer must follow tax resistance best practices as taught by you. If your customer doesn't follow "Francois Tremblay's tax resister guide", then he forfeits his coverage (appealing to a suitable impartial arbiter specified in the contract).
Suppose you have limited capital. You could sell 5 ounces of tax resister insurance for 0.2 ounces of gold. If other people also want to sell tax resister insurance, you can pool the risk and write larger policies. Effectively, you'd now be operating a free market time deposit bank, to raise capital to sell insurance. You can offer an interest rate of 5%-10% on a gold-denominated deposit, because writing this insurance policy is *SO LUCRATIVE*.
It's straight arithmetic and probability. State-issued insurance is much more complicated, due to all the accounting laws and actuarial laws that must be followed.
A lack of free market trading partners is precisely the problem I'm facing right now. In order to get a free market economy started, I can't do it alone. For this reason, I'm focusing on "raise awareness of anarchism/agorism" more than "actual practical agorism" right now. I hope to make the transition in the next few years, and "tax resister insurance" is one of my agorist business ideas.
(This bit deserves its own separate post.)
I liked this post on BradSpangler.com. He says that a band with agorist-themed songs is doing a tour.
That's a promising sign. It'd be nice to see more bands with an anti-State and pro free market message. The Internet format for spreading "alternative music" can also be used to spread the truth.
Even though such a band probably won't get mainstream media promotion, they probably would be able to attract a good audience via the Internet. Some people estimate that you only need 1000-10,000 "True Fans" to have a successful independent artist business on the Internet. Based on my AdSense statistics so far, I need approximately 10k regular site visitors for blogging to be competitive with a wage slave job.
I liked this article (via Wikipedia) about bra sizes. It had one very interesting quote. Victoria's Secret promotes itself as the pinnacle in female underwear, but they only carry a very narrow range of sizes. If you have anything outside that range, they'll make you feel inadequate.
I have a problem finding suitable clothing, because I weigh more than average and am short. This seems like an opportunity for an agorist clothing manufacturer. When you take into account cost of manufacturing and cost of carrying inventory, it doesn't pay for most stores to carry low-frequency sizes.
I liked this post on the Picket Line. Obama's Treasury Secretary nominee, Timothy Geithner, failed to pay $34k of self-employment tax. Due to scrutiny regarding the nomination, the discrepancy was discovered. (This lends credibility to Francois Tremblay's argument that the IRS sucks at collecting taxes owed, making tax resistance less risky.)
The IRS waived the penalties, and declined to pursue criminal charges for tax evasion. David Gross pointed out that the average person would not be so lucky. Timothy Geithner was merely allowed to pay the back taxes owed, with no further questions.
David Gross is still bragging about his decision to refuse to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on his on-the-books self-employment income. I still think he should focus more on off-the-books income (unless he's actually doing it, but reluctant to publicly say so).
I liked this article, via juryexperiences.org, summarizing how a jury convicted someone of drug trafficking. The defendant ran a California medical marijuana store, legal under California state law.
The prosecution did not remind the jury of their jury nullification right. For this reason, I advise knowledgeable agorists to defend themselves sui juris, if frivolously charged of a crime. If the judge and prosecutor interrupt you when you explain jury nullification to the jury, then that will show the jury that the judge is biased against you.
I was very offended by this article on msnbc. A couple in New Jersey have named one of their children "Adolf Hitler". They attempted to purchase a birthday cake with the name "Adolf Hitler" on it, and the baker refused. (I recognize the baker's right to refuse to make such a cake, although I'd probably do it.) There was a mainstream media outcry over the incident.
Three New Jersey siblings whose names have Nazi connotations have been placed in the custody of the state, police said Wednesday.
The State seized custody of children based solely on the parent's choice of name?
Does this mean that if I teach my future children "Taxation is theft!", then the State may steal my children from me, claiming I'm teaching them bad things?
Are "state child protection services" legitimate, or are they merely making sure that parents appropriately pro-State brainwash their children? If I refuse to pro-State brainwash my children, does that make me an "unqualified" parent?
I can't believe the article wasn't more outraged. "WTF?? The State stole children from their parents, based solely on the parents' personal beliefs or choice of name?"
White supremacists are directing their anti-State hatred in the wrong direction. Still, I have have to allow other parents to teach their children white supremacist beliefs if I claim the right to teach my children proper free market anti-State thinking. The correct answer to "white supremacists are stupid" is to spread free market truth, rather than violently interfering with the white supremacists.
Also notice that, without the State, a white supremacist really accomplishes nothing. If a white supremacist goes around assaulting people, then any rational police agency will handle the case. In the present, the State frequently sanctions assault. I do recognize the right of a group of people to buy an area of land and exclude others based on stupid criteria (provided their ownership claim to that land is legitimate).
I liked this post on no third solution. An estimated $200B is squandered on compliance with the tax code.
A pro-State troll says "But what about all those accountants who would lose their jobs?"
The correct answer is "Good! Instead of being a drain on society, they would be doing something useful instead." It isn't immoral for people who produce nothing tangible to be forced to do something else instead.
If you found out that one of your employees had been drawing an annual salary to shovel $100 bills into the furnace, what would you do?
That's exactly the problem with the State. I am *FORCED* to hire a bunch of State employees to destroy money and wealth, with some of that wealth sticking to their fingers in the process. If you had a job burning $100 bills, wouldn't you secretly keep some of them for yourself?
If everybody leeching off the State stopped at the exact same time, then everyone would be better off. All the people currently wasting their lives would get to do something productive instead.
Similarly, I say that the "chemical imbalance" theory of nonsense. You might retort "But what of all the psychiatrists/murderers who spent years learning their career?" My answer is "Too bad. If they're too dumb to notice they're murdering their patients/victims, then they deserve to lose their career." I would much rather have the millions of psychiatry industry victims freed to do productive work, along with forcing the psychiatrists to learn something useful instead.
In school, I focused on learning things that will always be useful (Mathematics, Computer Science, clear thinking). If you spent many years learning how to leech via State violence (lawyer, MBA, psychiatrist, accountant), then you deserve to lose your gravy train when the State collapses.
Based on my Math background, I could learn how to make tangible goods, if necessary. Software is still incredibly useful, but I'm thinking of moving to other things.
That is important advice to anyone entering college today. The collapse of the State is coming soon! Make sure you learn things that are actually really useful, rather than learning a career where you need State violence to earn a profit. It would suck to spend 10 years getting a State lawyer license, only for the State to collapse 5 years later.
This post on no third solution was silly. David Z is complaining about pro-State troll economists on Reddit. My retort is "Why are you wasting time hanging out on Reddit?"
I've concluded that debating pro-State trolls in online forums is a waste of time. It's a lot of effort spent for very little return. Sometimes, that's a good tactic for promoting your blog, but I have enough readers that "just write good posts" is enough.
My motivation for debating idiots on other forums increases and decreases. Right now, my attitude is "I'm not wasting time on that." Most forum engines encourage "grouping" by idiots. If I post something intelligent and 5 other people say "FSK is wrong", then a superficial analysis indicates that I'm a minority and therefore wrong. Most discussion forum engines can't handle controversial subjects well.
This post on no third solution was amusing. Michigan passed a law saying "Out of state vendors may not mail alcohol to people living in Michigan." The legal system struck down the law, because it discriminated against out-of-state alcohol manufacturers.
Michigan's lawmakers/parasites found a clever "solution". Nobody in Michigan may accept delivery of alcohol by mail, whether manufactured in Michigan or outside. The problem was solved. This law is not discriminatory, and therefore acceptable.
Stupid laws like this make me think "An agorist delivery/courier system is desperately needed." For example, suppose you want to make a donation of 1 ounce of silver to me, by mailing me an ounce of physical silver. I believe that's illegal. (but in practice, you might not get caught) I looked up the fine print on the Post Office's website and googled, but I could not find a ban on mailing someone physical silver.
This post on the Picket Line was amusing. It's a reading of the Bible, from the point of view of an agnostic.
This bit was interesting:
That to submit a thorny question to an opponent is wickedness, is evidently a matter of opinion, concerning which we are not able to agree with our author’s view.
Sometimes, I can tell just by the tone of a comment, that the poster is pro-State trolling. If they recite a false pro-State troll argument that's been addressed many times before, I'm not interested in wasting time repeating myself.
There are no finite list of rules that can tell people the proper way to live. That is the problem with most religions, Constitutions, and the State. Either your rules are contradictory, or your rules don't cover everything. It's the Incompleteness Theorem.
This article on Bank of America's bailout illustrates the evil of the State.
The largest bank in the US received a whopping $25 billion in bailout funds from our government, but has invested $7 billion in an overseas bank and dropped another $10 million on DC lobbyists.
That's a pretty sweet deal. You receive $25B in direct State subsidies, and then you spend $10M of that money back on lobbyists. That's not including all the other State subsidies that the financial industry already receives.
That's how the State works. The State steals $1B via taxes. State agents then give $1B to their buddies. Those buddies then spend $10M in kickbacks. It's a profitable arrangement for everyone!
On the Communism Channel, the comedians were wondering "Why don't people just form new banks and let the current ones fail?" If you're not "too big to fail" and politically connected, there's no point in operating a bank. By providing State subsidies to banks, there's no point in owning a bank that doesn't qualify for a subsidy. State intervention in the market encourages consolidation of industry.
I saw Niall Ferguson on the Colbert Report a few weeks ago. He is a State-licensed economist (i.e. complete fraud). He was promoting his book and PBS series "The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World". I was hoping for something insightful, but he was entirely pro-State trolling. He was saying "Debt is money! What a wonderful invention!" He implied "Inflation is wonderful!", but didn't explicitly say that in the interview. He didn't say "Gold and silver used to be money, until the State made it illegal for people to use gold and silver is money."
How can someone do an interview on the subject of "history of money" *WITHOUT* mentioning gold or silver? (Answer: The interviewee is a pro-State troll.)
It's like he sort of almost knew the truth when he said "Debt is money!" but couldn't go the full distance and say "What a load of ****!" I was offended. Do insiders know the truth, but are covering it up, or are they really that stupid?
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Evil State-Government and the Evil Mental Stat...":
Isn't it true that mental freedom leads to all the other kinds of freedoms? Isn't it also true that if a large fraction of the population were mentally free that true political-economic freedom wouldn't be very far behind?
That's true. If the vast majority were mentally free, it's all over for the State.
And isn't it also true that practicing agorism interferes with activism that would help others become mentally free, by virtue of the fact that it requires doing things in secret?
The way I see an agorist economy becoming established is that some people will attempt blatant-in-public agorism to raise awareness, and higher value services would only be available to people who were proven trustworthy. It's too risky to provide blatant-in-public health care without a State license.
Also, suppose I own an agorist business, doubling my productivity. That would leave surplus time/wealth for me to spend promoting agorism.
It's a positive feedback cycle. The more actual practical agorism there is, the easier it becomes to promote agorism. The more mental freedom people have, the easier it is to start and improve agorist trading groups.
It's not either-or. Some people may choose 100% stealth agorism. Others may choose 100% blatant-in-public agorism. I'm leaning towards a mixture of both.
As in, there is a strong individual motivation to hide what you are doing so you don't get caught, vs. openly declaring how things should be and helping people see it.
The reason you need secrecy for certain services is the threat of the State. I can't say "I know a guy who gives excellent health care without a State license!", without compromising his safety.
Given the fundamental importance of mental freedom, and that agorism conflicts with pursuing it in others to the hilt, then isn't agorism itself a fnord?
No. If I have a profitable agorist business, that leads to more spare wealth/resources to promote agorism. The less wealth the bad guys have, the more resources the good guys have.
You're assuming a negative sum game, where effort spent promoting free thinking detracts from actual freedom, and where effort on actual freedom detracts from promoting free thinking. The opposite is true. The more economic freedom you have, the easier it is to advance your mental and interpersonal freedom. The more mental freedom you have, the easier it is to advance your economic and interpersonal freedom. The more interpersonal freedom you have, the easier it is to advance your economic and mental freedom. I currently have very high mental freedom, but essentially zero interpersonal freedom and economic freedom.
Why are people so eager to say "FSK's vision of agorism is stupid!"?
fritz has left a new comment on your post "The Evil State-Government and the Evil Mental Stat...":
That,s pretty deep.
I thought that the above Anonymous comment was trolling.
But I think fnords are in some ways like the strawman falllacy..just because they exist doesn't discredit the message.
The Strawman Fallacy is different from fnords. My analysis of the Strawman Fallacy means that you should evaluate each of a person's ideas independently. If I say "A" and "B", then if you disagree with "A", that doesn't discredit "B". If you think agorism is a stupid resistance strategy, that doesn't invalidate my arguments on "Taxation is theft!"
Fnords are the secret hidden messages hidden in all media. The interesting bit is that there are both good fnords and evil fnords. Good fnords are hints that help people figure out the truth. Evil fnords are the mind control PR tricks that are used to keep the masses stupid and complacent.
Their is also the 100th monkey syndrome of critical mass. when enough minds resonate the same ideas, others pick them up as if by osmosis.
That goes back to the "Giant Evil Computer that Rules the World" theory. Is there is a collective intelligence among all humans? Individual humans are like nodes in a bigger computer. That computer has itself attained self-awareness, even though each individual human is totally clueless.
That is the key,and should be our goal.to enlighten enough people that there is a way to live in freedom, be productive with the possibility the transition can unfold in a peace full manner.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Evil State-Government and the Evil Mental Stat...":
The quote below really struck a cord with me, the more I learn about the world the more distant I become from 'the herd' and the less I have in common with them.
At some point, you break through. My goal is to start my own "pack" of sane humans, just like the Dog Whisperer has a "pack" of sane dogs. If I can find a couple of other sane people to hang out with, it becomes a virtuous positive feedback cycle.
In most business contexts, the highly-skilled productive worker is alone. Most businesses only have one or two really skilled workers, who do most of the actual real work. Typically, these highly skilled workers aren't the owners. They don't have the self confidence to say "**** this!" and start there own business. State restriction of the market makes it hard for such individuals to start their own business.
Mental freedom starts with knowing that you are free and are only dependent on The One God. Not on creatures who are all impotent, including 'the self'.
Which One God are you talking about? Do you mean the God of Absolute Unopposable Evil? There are other Gods besides the God of Absolute Unopposable Evil.
(quoting from a post of mine)
"As I attain greater awareness, it paradoxically becomes harder for me to fit into a typical corporate wage slave job. I'm not able to get motivated or excited about a pointless wage slave programmer job anymore, but employers expect you to act like sucking their **** is the most fascinating thing you've ever done. It would be nice to have friends in person (besides those virtual friends on my blog) who recognize my problems are due to a corrupt system where nearly everyone is a brainwashed fool, and not that there's something inherently wrong with me.
If I say "I'm sane and nearly everyone else is crazy!", then most other people will assume the person saying that is insane. However, via Bayesian Reasoning, I'm seriously considering that as a possibility. If you assume that anyone who says "Everyone is else crazy!" is themselves crazy, then a world where everyone is crazy becomes a stable (unstable?) fixed point."
DixieFlatline has left a new comment on your post "Celebrating the New Year with Google AdSense":
And good job blowing off the complainers. People who are not into Adsense, should be offering to donate. That's how a free market works, you pay for the things you support and want to continue enjoying.
When I move to my own site, I'll offer an option for donators to disable AdSense and the Google Analytics tracking code in pages served to them. (Of course, I'll probably have to write a WordPress plugin for that!)
So far, it looks like "AdSense will raise enough money to pay for my own domain", which is all I really wanted. If I can get 100x more traffic, I might be able to do this as a job!
I looked a bit more around the AdSense help. AdSense doesn't work for pages with dynamically generated content. AdSense only works for static pages, because Google's server has to crawl your site in advance. If I roll-my-own forum engine, with dynamic pages generated for each user, I can't use AdSense.
Also, my most profitable page by a wide margin has been my homepage (as you predicted).
fritz has left a new comment on your post "Celebrating the New Year with Google AdSense":
I have been fallowing your progress for about a year now.
Are you a State agent spying on me?
I can see you growing in understanding and ability. And I look forward to see how you apply your talents in the future. You present your message in a unique way.
I still feel that it is your destiny to bring others into your vision!!
I feel that I'm getting to be a better writer and that I'm thinking more clearly. I'm looking for ways to promote my ideas besides blogging.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Celebrating the New Year with Google AdSense":
FSK, I will do something I rarely do. I will personally send you a cash gift of $60 to get you through the next 6 months without AdSense. It will give you a chance to reconsider your decision. I am serious. The gift needs not be reported unless you are receiving more than $10000 in gifts per year.
If I'd accepted your offer, I'd be *WORSE* off than what I actually did. I'm making more than $10/month via AdSense.
If you want, I'll write a script for you that grabs my blog without grabbing the AdSense code.
Seeing that FeedBurner has a post size limit (and FeedBurner is only a couple % of my AdSense revenue), I'm thinking of disabling FeedBurner and giving up AdSense vis RSS. When I move to my own domain, I'm seriously considering *NOT* using FeedBurner.
Perhaps you will reconsider using Google analytics as well and move to an off-google blog (I think there are a few free ones).
I am going to do that. I'm going to look at what analytics comes with WordPress before dropping Analytics. I could use wordpress.com (free), but I prefer my own domain (costs $10/month for basic level service). Google Analytics has some defects, so I'm looking to roll-my-own Analytics engine.
If you are interested, we can use an anonymous email service to make the arrangements.
I think there are others who feel the same way.
I will counter your argument that 'the state is stupid' and 'the state will have too much to do to bother with small potatoes' with these:
-the information collected will NEVER be erased. In the future the state may find one or more individual to cross-corellate information in a way that will hurt one or more people.
-the state has infinite resources, both money and people (for all practical purposes).
Actually, the State has finite resources! The US economy is shrinking! This limits the pool of wealth available to the State! Even though it's trivial to collect information electronically, the bad guys are *NOT* capable of intelligently using that data.
-it is risky to base future assumptions on a shallow understanding (no offense, who knows what they are really doing?) of what a large organization is capable of today.
Saying "The State is omniscient/omnipotent!" is itself pro-State trolling! If my enemy has infinite power, then why bother doing anything?
If you believe the "aliens exist" hypothesis and that advanced aliens are helping me, then my allies are the ones with nearly unlimited resources, subject to the restriction that they cannot violate the Prime Directive.
Mike Gogulski has left a new comment on your post "Celebrating the New Year with Google AdSense":
Bravo, now get on with it already :)
It has been done. I'm satisfied with my decision.
BTW, the Firefox extension is Adblock Plus, http://adblockplus.org/. I run it myself, and recommend it. I sometimes disable it for friends' sites in order to give them the occasional random-seeming clickthrough, though all my other ad- and mal-ware blocking tools usually prevent even that from working ;)
I don't use it. Don't bother clicking on ads just to give me a small income boost. I want to see if Google improves its ad targeting algorithm over time. Also, I want to see what my "natural" AdSense revenue rate will be.
When I get my own domain, I'll start looking for other ways to profit from my blog, directly and indirectly.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Celebrating the New Year with Google AdSense":
That's fine. I will boycott your blog when you add your adsense widget.
Don't let the door hit you on the way out! (Of course, you aren't reading this.)
My Google Analytics stats are up slightly since December. (Of course, you were using NoScript anyway, so I have no idea if I lost 1000 regular readers, all of whom were using NoScript.)
barry b. has left a new comment on your post "Celebrating the New Year with Google AdSense":
"Of course, I can never convince you that I'm not a spy planted by the State to compile a list of intelligent people to murder/harass."
LOL!! That was another good one!
I meant that seriously, although I see the humor factor. Assuming State agents have virtually unlimited power and unlimited evil conscious intentions, then they could just find a clever writer to make up a list of "naughty" people. Alternatively, they're leaving me alone, waiting to crack down on me until after I've identified all the intelligent people.
One reason the State survives is that most people are not consciously aware that the State is evil. A pro-State troll will read my blog and say "FSK is a fruitcake and therefore harmless." In this manner, the pro-State brainwashing of State agents works in my favor.
Josh has left a new comment on your post "Celebrating the New Year with Google AdSense":
Google owns enough people you don't need to worry about yourself.
I'm not "owned" by Google. I'm not going to let my content be changed by my decision to use AdSense.
If anything, I'm "owned" by my employer at a wage slave job.
fritz has left a new comment on your post "Celebrating the New Year with Google AdSense":
Fsk,,you might just want to take anonymous up on his/her offer..It would be at no risk,its a bird in the hand( a sure thing) that,s how the free market works. Your mission objective of a self supporting internet site is achieved for the next 6 months.And you haven't lost anything and you can still go back to your original plan in 6 months.Also you might be on to something.You could possibly receive more gifts( donations) than the income your adds would make. Consider this angle,,actually,,I am willing to donate also to further this cause and your site..I still have your address written down from when you posted it..
It turns out that I'm better off with AdSense than if I'd accepted donations in exchange for "no AdSense".
When I move to my own domain, I'll offer donators an option to disable AdSense and the Google Analytics tracking code. For donators, I'll anonymize their data in my tracking statistics (but you'll have to take my word for that). I'm not sure if I'd get enough donations for that to be worth my time.
There's no need to rush. I can always add stuff later.
DixieFlatline has left a new comment on your post "Celebrating the New Year with Google AdSense":
The point anonymous is missing, is that Google is tracking you regardless.
I don't think people understand how far and deep Google reaches.
I mean, does anonymous really think he is anonymous when he posts or visits Blogger? Your entry and exits are tracked. Across all google properties, across all private parties running analytics or adsense. I'd say 80% of your browsing is tracked already, if not 99%.
Even if you don't use Blogger/gmail/AdSense/etc., the State still has the ability to spy on all Internet traffic. Allegedly, the NSA has filters attached at all Internet backbone hubs. How do you know that my ISP isn't required to secretly keep track of every URL/site I visit?
So far, the Internet and Google have been beneficial for me. I'm not dropping them.
Where does trying to manipulate FSK end? He has a gmail account. Should he get rid of that?
That's a point not emphasized elsewhere. The Anonymous "FSK should not put up AdSense!" commenters are trying to manipulate me. Obviously, I've made my decision.
Anonymous, I know your type. You'll keep reading this blog. Just as you read other blogger blogs, and visit hundreds of sites with analytics installed, and you don't even know it.
Blogger is owned by Google! That's what makes the whole "AdSense provides data to Google" debate kind of silly.
DisappointedOne has left a new comment on your post "Celebrating the New Year with Google AdSense":
You people (some of you) just don't get it.
Do you think this site is what, an air for those who want to stay anonymous? You think we NEED this crappy blog?
Fine. Then why are you so upset by my decision to add AdSense? There are plenty of other sites on agorism or "left libertarianism". The State will collapse no matter what I personally do. In that sense, it doesn't matter.
You reason, that since FSK has done such a good work, attracting us here, by pretending to meddle with agorism, while being simply another taxable loser, we no have nowere to go?
You're free to leave.
Now, that FSK finally shuts the hatch closed, he can sit and enjoy his $10 a month (???wtf???), either by milking for donations or selling us to Google?
So far, it's been more than that in January! Even if I decide to solicit donations, I decided I'm not going to have a "premium content" section.
What's wrong with profit? For now, Google AdSense is the most convenient "profit from my blog" opportunity. I have other plans, but they aren't viable yet.
If that's the case, you really need to broaden your $10 horizons. I spend probably 10 times as much a month, that I can't even account for since it is nothing. You must have been really good, FSK, if that was the plan. I was under impression you're adult. Not some $10 seeking kid. Or, more likely this is what your boss told you to say. $10. Very smart. Make us think we deal with an imbecile kiddie?
The reality is, that while FSK may not need the readers of this blog, the readers certainly don't need FSK.
So why are you upset then?
Even for $100/month, this isn't anywhere near as profitable as a wage slave job. If I had the choice "earn a living via blogging" or "wage slave job", of course I'd choose blogging. Even better, I'd like to attempt practical agorism.
It was nice, while it lasted. The flirt with an idea that FSK is the guy who cares about the issue, and his blog is not a big deal, may-be a window to the world, may-be a way to hold a company of like-minded individuals.
There is no such "niche" as to sell web services to those without "shopping addictions". We "NEED" only the things we "NEED". You can't create a thing and train us into "NEEDing" it. If FSK is simply a businessman, who thinks agorists can be suckered just like socker moms, into some shopping experience, be it buying things they don't need or begging for some blog to remain open.... he is very much wrong.
There was already enough discussion of this matter, for me to realize that I am NOT in the company of like-minded, that there is no forum here.
If you think I'm so full of ****, then how pathetic does that make you for wasting time complaining here?
I am not saying that someone has to provide this "posting experience" for free. I don't need it. I do it for free with those I know locally. It is no different than I am being a friend to my friend. There is no charge. I thought this guy wants to make his circle a bit wider, cool!If I'm going to start my own off-the-books businesses, I do need to promote and sell my business! Do I have to make up a new word other than "agorist" to describe myself now?
After all that has been said here with regards to latest "$10" developments, I don't even feel like posting anymore WITH or WITHOUT Google.
I don't feel like FSK is real. He thinks and act like a troll or a salesman, not like an agorist. I can't trust him.
With or without AdSence, he could be simply a plant, a plant by some government body. Here he has us all cottoned and spitting out our every thought, and what do we know about FSK? He certainly does not think like an Agorist. He braggs a ton about being an agorist, but in reality, this slave will sell you all with all your secrets for $10 a month! He sure did post some agorist articles... But his line of thought today has nothing to do with what he started with.
I am thinking I should have passed this blog the very first day I saw it. I conclude that to all of us, it should be very clear by now, that there is nothing agoristic about FSK.
To a friend that offered a donation: I understand your feelings. I'd donate myself. I do from time to time, not much, twice or thrice of FSK expected monthly income only. But this isn't how it should be. This guy EXPECTS it, he is already thinking of holding you hostage. This ain't the place.
You are not a hostage. You are free to leave. If you say "FSK's blog is so interesting that I want to keep reading even though FSK put up an AdSense widget!", that's not the same as "FSK is using violence/trickery to force me to read his blog!"
You're sounding like those mainstream media critics saying "Freedomain is a religious cult!" I don't see how I can be a "cult leader" when I'm not using violence to force you to do anything. I'm not using any psychological manipulation tricks either. A pro-State troll says that someone telling the truth is using a psychological manipulation trick. Most parasites use nonverbal body language suggestions to cement their control. It's hard to do that in a written format.
For me it was a chance to have a group of people who think like I do. I'd let them know what I know, and they teach me something I have missed. To meet the guy who offered $60.You're confusing "sell someone something useful" with "milking them". Suppose I buy T-Shirt burning equipment and start selling "Taxation is theft!" T-Shirts. Am I exploiting the buyer, or is it a voluntary transaction?
What vision are you talking about, fritz? A vision of how to milk agorists? "You wouldn't have suspected, but agorists can be milked too!"?
And you Dixie? You're stupid fucking moron! This is how free market works? I didn't realize this was a market, ok? Go ahead and continue your reading-base building. I have nothing to do with you or likes of you. I didn't come here to get something. I am paying my way for everything I need. If I am not getting anything, then you getting nothing, and this is how free market works.
In a sense, the Internet is very nearly a free market for ideas.
In online communities (in contrast with the State economy/society), you're free to say "**** this!" and leave. You can start your own blog/site, if you want. If you think you can do better than me, go ahead!
You wanted to charge me for friendship? Guess what, you ain't WORTH it, as a friend.
I'm only indirectly charging, via the AdSense revenue. Google tries to make the AdSense ads so targeted that they seem like content.
For this reason, I say that I shouldn't get offended when someone say "**** you FSK! I'm leaving!" Whenever people start saying "**** you FSK! I'm leaving!", that's always correlated with a growth spike in my Google Analytics site traffic statistics. Besides, the people who say "**** you FSK! I'm leaving!" are always the people who had the least interesting things to contribute.
"Reverse evaporative cooling" is my explicit goal! I want stupid people to get disgusted and leave! If there's anything I can do to ensure that idiots no longer leave comments, let me know! I'm trying to take every comment seriously, which may be a mistake.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Celebrating the New Year with Google AdSense":
Ouch, dissapointedone needs a hug.
No big deal, really. Does he not read any blogs or sites that don't have ads? I am seriously confused by this, because that's how he's acting.
You should set up a PayPal donate though, it doesn't take much effort.
I thought about adding a PayPal donate icon. I'm not doing that (yet), because:
- PayPal income must be reported to the State/IRS, even donations. The IRS has taken the opinion that aggregate donations are taxable. You are allowed to give me a $10 gift, but if 10,000 people choose to give me a $10 gift, then the IRS says that's $100k of taxable income.
- I'd prefer in-person donations to PayPal donations, so I could avoid the State spying arm. I'd rather have someone mail me a 1 ounce silver coin/round, than have someone give me a $10 PayPal donation.
- My parents would freakout if I told them I wanted to set up a PayPal account. They are afraid of all things Internet. It isn't worth the hassle of arguing with them on this point right now. (I spend my confrontation points wisely. I'm glad I got my parents to agree "FSK may spend his AdSense revenue on his own domain and hosting!")
DixieFlatline has left a new comment on your post "Celebrating the New Year with Google AdSense":
LOL, we've got agorists who don't believe in a market or profit!
I'm wondering if I should choose a label other than "agorist" for myself now? Some pro-State trolls claim they know the definition of agorism better than me?
Too rich. I knew the left was soft in the head, but this really takes the cake.
Agorist free riders. HA!
Look out FSK, apparently the agorist left thinks they own you, your time and your blog.
BLOG SLAVE, AND MAKE IT GOOD! ON YOUR KNEES BLOG SLAVE, TELL ME ABOUT AGORISM!
I certainly don't get the concept that some of my readers think my blog is their property.
If you don't like it, you're free to leave. Also, you can easily write a script that fetches my blog without fetching the AdSense bits. (Below, citizen stefish pointed out that his antivirus software was blocking AdSense.)
citizen stefish has left a new comment on your post "Celebrating the New Year with Google AdSense":
haha the post by DisappointedOne is the funniest thing i have read in a while. he doesn't care one bit! that's why he posted that diatribe.
All the "FSK should not put AdSense on his blog" comments seemed silly to me. I'd already nearly decided I was going to do it before I mentioned it on my blog, but the discussion was amusing.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Celebrating the New Year with Google AdSense":
This is becoming a complete waste of time.
Then how pathetic does that make you for reading and commenting?
A person who believes in freedom and agorism would simply avoid statist informers. But here we have a person who wants to be a state informer!
My blog is already hosted on Blogger, which is owned by Google! Even if I owned my own domain, State agents could subpoena my hosting vendor's records, or they could intercept traffic as it crosses the Internet.
For fun, he sits and watches the google analytics statistics (to brag about unique users and such nonsense).
What's wrong with looking at my Google Analytics statistics (and now my AdSense statistics). If "Blogging is a game!", then those statistics are my score! Why shouldn't I keep track of how many readers I have? Via Blogger, Google Analytics is the only way to get such data! (Plus, Google Analytics has a good UI, although it also has its flaws.) Plus, it's interesting to notice which posts are popular.
He bashes anonymous users! That's a good one! He would prefer you register with Google!
I bash stupid comments, which predominantly tend to be posted Anonymously. Blogger has an option to outright ban Anonymous comments, which I haven't turned on.
He wants to make $10 a month on the books to become an agent and flames endlessly when reasonable arguments are presented.
Alternatively, some commenters have flamed endlessly in response to my arguments for "I should put an AdSense widget on my blog!"
$10? WTF! Really, that is our agorist leader!
Since when did I claim to be your leader? Anybody who claims to be the leader of a group of anarchists is definitely going in the wrong direction. I do try to be a "lead by example" leader (although I haven't tried practical agorism yet). I'm not a "violently impose my will on others" leader. For example, the CEO of a bank is not a leader in the natural law sense. A CEO has merely succeeded in exploiting a corrupt system for his personal benefit, and such skills are anti-correlated with true value creation.
Time to move on. So long, suckers!
Don't let the door hit you on the way out!
PS. The content has gone downhill the last few days. Santa, sports, crap....
That's another thing that I've noticed. Some people have started complaining that I owe them an interesting post every day! I try to be interesting, but "popular posts" tend to be loosely correlated with my expectations. Once in awhile, I have a really popular post, but it's uncorrelated with my previous expectations.
To DixieFlatline and citizen stefish, you guys sound like trolls, whether you actually intended to act maliciously or not.
I suppose that you sound like a troll to DixieFlatline and citizen stefish. Obviously, I made my final decision on the "Should FSK put AdSense on his blog?" issue.
Both of your last posts contain emotional rants, without rational explanation. DixieFlatline emboldened and capitalized his last sentence, just to instigate responses.
I interpreted that as a joke/sarcasm. (Is DixieFlatline male or female? I always assumed that "Dixie" meant female?)
citizen stefish ridiculed another Anonymous user. While I may agree with both of your stances, I do not agree with your troll'ish attitude.
What's the definition of trolling? Since it's my site, I'm the final arbiter for the definition of who's a troll. By definition, nothing I write about here is trolling.
If both of you, DixieFlatline and citizen stefish, really want to look acknowledged and reliable, you guys should rationally elucidate your justifications, as opposed to extravagantly utter your emotions.
I thought that their arguments were reasonable, and your arguments were gibberish.
Does it actually worth all that fuss to earn only ten Federal Reserve Notes every month? While funding a third of the income, as taxes, to the State? Though I would support Adsense if you can make $1000, I do not see it worthwile to earn the extra ten dollars while compromising your appearance.
Actually, I've been earning at a rate much more than $10/month so far. If I double my site traffic, my AdSense revenue should double accordingly. Extrapolating trends, it'll be viable to blog as a job in 3-5 years. I'm nowhere near maximizing my potential audience.
Agorists make wealth form other trading partners. Agorists do not disclose nor pay their income earned from their agoric practices, to the State. This is an agorist blog! So this blog should not support the State, by paying taxes to the State from its Adsense income.
If I work in a wage slave job and use the profits for hosting, that supports the State as much as putting up an AdSense widget. I'd prefer to directly sell ads to other agorist businessmen, but that's not viable yet.
Plenty of other, more moral, methods to earn wealth exist. Sometimes way more than Adsense.
AdSense is more (equally?) morally acceptable than earning income in a wage slave job.
I hope you do the right thing.
I did the right thing, although not by your standards.
barry b. has left a new comment on your post "Celebrating the New Year with Google AdSense":
Who would have thought this would be such a touchy subject for some. Chances are you could count the number of people on one hand who will boycott your blog... if any.
I read the "ProBlogger" blog, and he said "Expect some hostility when you first put ads on your blog. Some people will complain vocally, but the vast majority of your readers will stay as long as your site's content is good."
It's extremely contradictory, for anyone on this blog, who is an adult that pays income taxes, to ridicule you for paying taxes on this blog. You have a slave wage job as you've stated (or had one). So it's OK for FSK the agorist seeker to have a slave wage job... but he can't make money on his blog. That's evil, which somehow supercedes having a job. That makes no sense.
There were two arguments against AdSense that I read and discarded.
- The AdSense widget allows Google to spy on my blog traffic. That is obviously ridiculous, because Blogger is owned by Google.
- AdSense revenue is part of the on-the-books economy, and the profits support the State. Whether I work in a wage slave job and use the profits for hosting, or put an AdSense widget and use the profits for hosting, the State benefits either way.
Another good of AdSense is "FSK is better off blogging for a living, than working in a wage slave job." That isn't viable yet, but it might be in 3-5 years. If I put other things on my own domain than just a blog, I might attract an even greater audience.
Either these people are kids, or they aren't worth worrying over.
My final response to the "FSK is evil for putting ads on his blog!" individual/crowd is "Don't let the door hit you on the way out!"
Besides the best way to achieve agorism is with people you actually know. We're not logging into this blog trying to find people to mow our yards so that we can pay them under the table.
This blog is a medium for you to share your thoughts with others. It is not a business model for agorism.
That's another interesting point. This is just my personal blog. It isn't the final definitive resource for counter-economics. I'd like to be a useful resource for actual practical agorists, but I'm not there yet. (and the rest of the counter-economy isn't there yet)
I'm not attempting actual practical agorism yet. When I attempt practical agorism, I may have some blatant-in-public parts and some private parts. If I want to attempt practical agorism, I need a way to locate customers.
The main benefit of blogging has been the opportunity to write down my ideas, which is beneficial by itself. Intelligent reader feedback has also been beneficial. Stupid feedback is also useful, because I'm getting better at identifying stupid comments.
Greg Cosmos has left a new comment on your post "Celebrating the New Year with Google AdSense":
I don't even know where to start with the Adsense complainers. No, earning money from The Google is not ideal, but it can be preferable to other things and a step in the right direction. While neither is ideal, earning money as an independent contractor from Google ads is better than working as an employee for a company that gets paid by Google and then pays your wages.
That's my point. Earning some extra money via AdSense is preferable to a wage slave job, but inferior to working as a full agorist. If I can blog full-time, that does more to accelerate the collapse of the State than by working in a wage slave job and blogging in my spare time.
Note that most software startups have "Get acquired by a large corporation like Google" as a key component of their business model. Most VC-funded startups have a hidden assumption "cash out by getting acquired by a larger corporation". This distorts the startup market.
"Small business owner" is *NOT THE SAME* as "startup founder".
I'm trying to start a business entirely off reinvested profits. I don't have the ability to go to a State bank and get a $2M State-subsidized loan to start a business. Right now, the only income stream is AdSense. I'm going to start adding others later, but getting my own site is a prerequisite.
Monetizing a blog or any website is a no-brainer. I think the mistake on FSK's part is even discussing it.
The discussion was amusing. It only would have been a mistake if I let the whiners affect my decision. So far, AdSense has exceeded my expectations. $0.01 per site Visitor per day is a decent rate.
While making money through website monetization can be a tool towards an agorist direction, most of your readers will not understand anything about this. If you want to talk about that stuff, write an SEO or "moneymaking" blog or just discuss these things with those of us who understand.I think that some/most regular readers understood "Adding AdSense is a step in the right direction, while inferior to full agorism." The complainers were a handful minority. This is a flaw that mainstream media outlets suffer. I shouldn't let a vocal minority affect what I do! For a mainstream media outlet, 1000 angry people saying "Fire X!" is typically enough to get X fired. Even if the vast majority of listeners approve or don't care, a small vocal minority is enough to get someone fired. This is part of the "manufacturing consent" process.
I don't want to have a blog specifically about SEO or profiting off your blog. I mention that stuff only in footnotes in "Reader Mail" posts or the occasional post on the subject. There are plenty of other SEO/ProBlogger websites.
Ironically, the most profitable blogs are the ones discussing "How can you profit from your blog?"!!!
I thought about starting separate blogs for separate topics, but I decided that I don't want to fragment my audience. The only exception I can think of is that I used to play Contract Bridge. If I started playing again, and started blogging on Contract Bridge, I'd make that a separate blog.
As far as taxes go, people are making a lot of assumptions. If you do make $10 a month, I doubt there will be any reporting involved. And if there is a reason that taxes must be filed, the blog would probably show a loss. If you are using Adsense to fund hosting fees, there is no profit to tax.
I'm not incorporating my blog as a business. I've decided that I'm not incorporating any of my businesses, at least for now. I'm not sure what the IRS rules are for operating an unincorporated business. I should read the IRS manuals. Presumably, I should be able to deduct hosting costs from AdSense revenues, but I'm not sure.
Even if I pay full tax on the AdSense revenue with no deductions, I'm still ahead with AdSense. Even with a 50% taxation rate and no deductions, I'm making enough via AdSense to pay for hosting.
(I just looked up IRS 1040 form, Schedule C. If you own an un-incorporated business, you may still deduct expenses. Suppose I get $200 in AdSense revenue and spend $100 on hosting. Then, I have $100 in taxable income, and I pay $50 in tax (including the double Social Security and Medicare tax). Notice that any computer-related expense is deductible, since it's used for blogging. I can buy an external HD for backup and then deduct the expense. For $100, the IRS probably won't disallow the deduction, and even if they do, I only owe interest and a small fine.)
Personally, I find that there are many ways to make a living without having a corporate job, and while they may involve dealing with corporations like Google, it is certainly a step in the right direction and it makes it easier to limit exposure to the State. People who fail to see that are blind and/or absolutists.
The goal of a true agorist is to 100% boycott the State economy. When you consider the cost of the State (taxes and regulations), it certainly should be viable. My list of preferences is:
- Work full-time as an agorist.
- Work at a self-employed on-the-books business.
- Work in a corporate wage slave job.
If I understand agorism correctly ANY transactions outside the State are agorist activities and a positive. Of course, the more the better. But it is a process. It's not an All or Nothing thing. If you can transition into agorism and use the State to accomplish your goals I don't really see the issue.
That is my goal. I will gradually do more and more agorist business, as I see opportunities.
For example, suppose someone wrote me and said "I am currently taking anti-psychotic drugs. I want to quit taking them. I want to hire FSK to help me manage the withdrawal symptoms." If they lived in NYC, I would do it.
One thing on my agenda that's easy to do is to set up a gold/silver/FRN barter network. I can easily write a PHP script that lets people enter bids and offers. I could even do that now, collecting bids and offers by hand.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Value of a Backlist":
Let's talk some more about how exciting it is to check your pagerank or whatever it is in your Google account. Agorist, my *ss.
So far, my PageRank has been consistently "4" every time I checked. PageRank is a log-scale. A "5" is 10x as hard to get as a "4".
Google Analytics has a bunch of interesting statistics. My favorites are "Absolute Unique Visitors", "Referring Sites", and "# of times each page was read". Now, I have a new statistic to track: AdSense revenue.
Why is it immoral for me to look at my Google Analytics stats and see how many readers I have? I only mention it occasionally in a Reader Mail post.
Maybe you're jealous that you can't write a blog as popular as mine?
Did your therapist ever mention narcissism in your diagnosis, in addition to whatever else you have?
My now-ex-therapist never really said anything interesting. I'm glad I fired her. Fortunately, I haven't had any pressure to get a new one.
Let's drink to your accomplishments, and to your Google experiment some more!
Overall, I'm satisfied with the results of my blog so far. The overall growth trend is favorable. You shouldn't expect to get 1M pageviews overnight, especially for a topic like this. Consistent 5%-10% monthly growth is more realistic.
You are right, you did have some good material in the past (as sophomoric as some of it may be, the discovery process was interesting). However you must have been medicated in the last month or so, as your work is really subpar and you seem to be obsessed with google (and technology in general).
I only took anti-psychotic drugs for 1-2 days, under pressure from my parents. I wouldn't have taken them at all, but my parents insisted.
I feel that I had less quality around the time of my panic attack. I feel that I'm doing better now, although I haven't had any really popular posts recently (according to Google Analytics). Once in awhile, one of my posts is widely discussed on other forums. My attempts to predict popular posts ahead of time have been unsuccessful. I keep writing as best I can, and I occasionally have something successful.
That's an interesting thing I read somewhere else. "Volume leads to quality." If I consistently write one post per day, then the quality will improve over time. If I only write when I think it's going to be super-awesome, my quantity decreases and also the quality. "Have only really popular posts" is an unrealistic goal. A more realistic goal is "a post a day", and then some will turn out to be popular.
I feel that I've achieved a higher level of awareness. Hopefully, I'm no longer at risk for having another panic attack. The only way to be sure is to wait and see.
Sorry, when it does hit the fan, writing web apps or collecting advertising revenue is not going to be a viable business. Learn to make something with your hands, farming techniques or something instead of regurgitating the same old 'I am an agorist who loves google and I am soo cool that I will make $10 a month by selling my subscriber base to google' argument.
I know that I need to learn other skills. I'm working on that. Wage slave software engineer definitely is a dead-end career.
Depending on how the collapse occurs, software may continue to be useful. If the collapse is orderly, there may not be an extended period of time of "OMFG!! There's no electricity!" The collapse is coming. It's just a question of how messy it will be.
You used to say something, but now you don't.
Then how much of a loser are you for wasting time reading and commenting? The quality of my writing and thinking appears to be improving. As I have less patience for idiots, they get disgusted.
fritz has left a new comment on your post "The Value of a Backlist":
Things wax and wain, thoughts, ideas, inspiration,. I have this great idea, As long as fsk doesn't make incredible posts. We should ride his ass, and talk down about him.
It's hard to predict ahead of time what will be popular. If I keep writing, I'll have some popular posts. "Things I expect to be popular" and "what is actually popular" tend to be loosely correlated. I'm surprised "The Amero Subterfuge" made it to #2 on the "Best of FSK" list.
just kidding bro. Either way I will read you once a day.
There's been several "FSK's content is not as good lately" comments lately. Maybe it's just people annoyed over the AdSense widget.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Value of a Backlist":
I agree. You haven't had many substantial posts lately.
I thought "Gold vs. the S&P 500" was very interesting.
Greg Cosmos has left a new comment on your post "The Value of a Backlist":
The real value is in keeping these comments to yourself. Make the Google money and use it for other ends, but don't talk about it.
I'll mention it occasionally as a footnote in "Reader Mail" posts, but I'm not going to highlight it anymore. I don't see the harm in saying "I made $X from my blog."
"People should keep their personal finance secret" is an aspect of pro-State brainwashing. In many corporations, salary and actual value of work are not very well correlated. The productive workers would get offended if they knew how much the parasites were making, and so the parasites created a culture of "People shouldn't talk about personal finance!"
In a true free market, there's no harm if workers know the profits of other workers. Actually, sharing such information openly should lead to a better allocation of resources.
Howard T. Snidbiscuits has left a new comment on your post "Ruby on Rails Sucks!":
I assume that "Howard T. Snidbiscuits" is a made-up name?
PHP/Apache will beat the heck out of Rails in performance, any day. 5 times over. Rails is a fricking dog, and speaking of dogs, people seriously think 'Mongrel' is going to outclass Apache?
Ruby is a great language, but the ah.. 'community'...
I never got that. I looked around at Ruby on Rails forums and websites, and found nothing special.
Most of the "cool" features of Ruby are making it into most modern languages like C#. Lisp-like "functions as data" is a common paradigm in many languages now. The most common functionality is "map", where a function is applied to each member of a data structure. Of course, you can even do "map" in C, via function pointers.
"It felt like the community was made up of Mac users getting off on cute Ruby-isms."That's awesome. It's truly the same sort of person, for the most part.
The Rails Advocate at my now-former job was a Mac user. I noticed a positive correlation between "likes Rails" and "owns a Mac". It's part of the ****-Microsoft culture, but PHP is also Open Source.
I'm not drawing the conclusion "All Mac users are ***holes", because I knew a decent guy who owned a Mac and liked it. That was in 2001, when the first "Mac based on Linux" OS was released. One of my criticisms of Mac when I used it in high school and college (1988-1996) was "What sort of **** uses an OS that doesn't have a command line?"
I agree, I tried to learn Rails and it really didn't go so well. The documentation is there, but is of the breathless 'try this amazing gadget, it solves everything! we're so cool!' variety for the most part.
If you compare Rails documentation to the php.net website, there's no comparison. I was able to learn PHP in a day or two of browsing the php.net site (considering that I'm already an expert programmer). I've always been able to get PHP questions answered via searching php.net or Google. I've had no such luck with Rails.
PHP development seems way more direct, and if you want an ORM you can just use Doctrine or Propel. Rails is just what it is... a system that worked great for the guy that wrote it, and it obtuse and unclear for me.
Unless you're DHH (the guy who wrote Rails) or one of his buddies, I see no benefit to using Rails. DHH did a great job of promoting Rails. It's a classic example of "hype over substance", which tends to dominate in a non-free market.
If you go to a VC saying "I'm using PHP" versus "I'm using Rails", then the VC must be more likely to fund the Rails project. Alternatively, the type of people who have VC connections are the type of people who have no clue about software and prefer Rails to a real language.
One attraction of Rails is it's one of those "software engineering without software engineers" fads. That is attractive to clueless people, but is ultimately a self-defeating strategy if your project is non-trivial. In almost every web/software startup, your product cannot be created from off-the-shelf software.
If you're a decent software engineer using PHP, you probably can develop your site by yourself without VC. That's what I'm planning on doing (although I'm still seeking a wage slave job, so I might not have the free time if I find a wage slave job).
I never understood the "You must have a restrictive programming framework!" philosophy. As a decent programmer, I prefer the flexibility. I can organize my classes and functions and source files so that it isn't one big cluster****.
DixieFlatline has left a new comment on your post "An Example of Pointless State Resistance":
The one key weakness of agorism is that it depends on others. A smaller weakness is that it requires subterfuge.
If you expect "guy living alone in the wildernees" freedom, that's unattanable. There are *NO* "attain freedom" strategies that involve "one person by themself".
Specialization of labor is a *GOOD THING*. There are benefits for dividing labor. Even if I'm a successful agorist, I don't need to learn how to use a gun and buy a gun. As long as there are people I can hire to provide security, I don't need to learn how to do everything myself.
Consider "Achieve reform via voting!" strategies. There, you are dependent on convincing 50%+ of the population, and even then you can lose. With agorism, you only need to convince 5-10 other people, to get started. Agorism is the resistance strategy that requires the fewest number of like-minded individuals to get the ball rollling.
Subterfuge is a tricky thing. I'm leaning more towards "blatant-in-public" agorism, as a means of raising awareness. The only way to determine the approprite degree of subterfuge required is to conduct an experiment. I don't know anybody else attempting blatant-in-public agorism, so there's no guideline. I'll start with low-risk things and then expand. For example, "Buy a T-Shirt burner, blank T-Shirts, and sell them off-the-books." is a low-risk activity. I'd like to see a State enforcer argue that selling T-Shirts is a crime.
And on Mike's decision not to work for the state? Ethics are not utilitarian.
I didn't say that he's a bad guy for refusing to work directly for the State. I'm just pointing out that *ANY* on-the-books supports the State.
Mike's resistance strategy makes him feel good, which he is free to do. As long as you accept on-the-books work, you're supporting the State.
There is one advantage of Mike's attitude. When other people say "WTF? Why are you turning down this job?", he might explain "The State is evil!" to them.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "An Example of Pointless State Resistance":
Hmm. I'll try this one more time, even though it is kind of pointless.
Yes, you didn't convince me.
Google, the owner of blogger.com, knows every IP address that hits it. With that limited information, it can sort of track you (or at least your household or business) by creating a record for the IP address.
By logging into google (FSK points out that you are no longer 'anonymous' and he encourages that),
I encourage people to not post stupid comments. There's one advantage of logging in, which is that I can identify the same repeat commenter. I'm observing the relationship between "intelligence of comment" and "Anonymous or not".
google can track YOU across sites, and compile a file containing all your web searches, your email, your map searches, your photographs, your blogging writing/reading activity, your traversal path across almost every web site you visit, your clicktrhough rate for advertising, and other information about YOU).
IIRC, AdSense does not work by putting a cookie on the client's PC. It's merely extra HTML code included in the page. The AdSense code "log clickthrough" script is called only when someone clicks on it. If you directly enter the advertiser URL in your browser, you can bypass AdSense.
With the cooperation of FSK and others like him, google can track YOU, the individual, across all sites that cooperate. Cooperation may include:
-putting Google Analytics scripts
-AdSense, AdWords, 24/7 ads
-links to gmail, google maps, or any google services, such as
Neotonic Software-for CRM
Applied Semantics-for search
Kaltix Corp-for context sensitve search
Genius Labs-for blogging
Ignite Logic-web templates for law firms
Picassa-digi photo management
Keyhole Group-digital mapping
Where 2 Technologies-digital mapping
ZipDash-maps and traffic for mobile devices
Dodgeball-mobile social networking
Reqwireless Inc.-Java browser
Current Communications Group-broadband internet
Android-software for mobile phone o/s
Transformic Inc-search engine for deep/invisible web
Skia-graphics software engineering
DMarc Broadcasting-digital radio broadcasting
Measure Map-analytics for blogs
Upstartle-Writely, document editor for the web
@Last Software-SketchUp 3D modeling
Orion-Referral search engine
Neven Vision-automatic information extraction from jpgs
Jotspot Ind-wiki platform for websites
YouTube-online video company
Xunlei-filesharing app for the web
Adscape Media-in-game advertising
Gapminder's Trendalyzer-presentation software
Doubleclick-ad platform for the web
Tonic Systems-document conversion technology
Marratech-video conferencing technology
Green Border Technologies-secure web browsing tech
Panoramio-photo site sharing for Google Earth
Feedbumer-RSS feed distribution analytics and management
GrandCentral-mobile voice management
Postini-communications security and compliance
In exchange for cooperation, FSK gets dubious sollipsistic data about how popular he is or some form a pittance for running scripts on YOUR machine.
I get the data via Google Analytics, which you can block via NoScript. The pittance has been about $2/day so far, which is enough to pay for hosting and for me to expand.
If you object, he claims that you are 'paranoid' (pot calling kettle black) or
'state troll' (really, now).
I say that you are overly paranoid. I'm actually mellowing out. I'm thinking I should attempt blatant-in-public agorism just to prove a point. When/if State enforcers crack down, it'll be free PR for me. I predict I can get an acquittal representing myself sui juris.
This is my final post.OK. Goodbye.
fritz has left a new comment on your post "An Example of Pointless State Resistance":
I'm just here to learn as much as I can. And watch FSK'S experiment unfold. Somehow I feel apart of this, but I realize I'm on the out side looking in.
At some point, I must put my freedom where my mouth is and attempt practical agorism. That will take a few years.
When the agorist counter-economy becomes more sophisticated, it will be easier to bring in more people. Unlike the State economy, where there's a fixed pool of jobs, it should be very easy to find work in the free market, provided you're willing to accept the fair free market price.
In the end I'm not really worried about big brother wrecking my life as I study Agorism.
The risk is that State agents will assault you if you attempt practical agorism. Writing about theoretical agorism is not technically illegal, because there's still a presumption of freedom of the press in the USA.
I'm not some revolutionary who needs to be subdued , just a citizen who now realizes the system is broken and cannot be fixed. A peace full citizen who understands that our current system needs to be replaced. And so far Agorism is the most logical, peace full option.
The current system is completely broken, beyond hope of repair. I'm looking to move beyond "The State sucks!" and more towards "So what are you going to do about it?"
The least risky course of action is for me to educate as many people as possible, reducing any potential gain for the bad guys from eliminating me. Also, the more people I educate, the more likely that some intelligent people will get on the jury. The "worst nightmare" for being busted by the State would be to have a jury filled with 12 pro-State trolls. I wonder if prosecutors are smart enough to pack the jury with pro-State trolls? I can nearly instantly identify members of the parasite class or productive worker class, which should be an advantage in the jury selection process.
Mike Gogulski has left a new comment on your post "An Example of Pointless State Resistance":
Ummm... I'm teh subject or something of a post... wait.. too much cheap brandy. tomorrow, i promise!!!
It was mostly about "Mike Gogulski's decision to refuse a direct State job accomplishes practically nothing, if all his alternatives are on-the-books wage slave jobs."
There also was a discussion on Mike's blog about "Is it immoral to steal free public transportation from the State." I say "no". If you believe it's acceptable to steal directly from the State, then it's also acceptable to steal from Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is a branch of the State as much as the transportation monopoly. If it's acceptable to steal from Wal-Mart, then it's acceptable to steal from an on-the-books small business owner sole proprietorship. Any on-the-books labor supports the State. A small business owner with a State license is a branch of the State as much as Wal-Mart. I say it is immoral to steal from the State, from Wal-Mart, and from a small business owner.
The correct answer to the abuses of the State is to create viable free market alternatives, rather than damaging/stealing State property. Otherwise, you're focused on wealth destruction instead of wealth creation. If you believe that the State transportation monopoly is immoral, then you should operate an unlicensed transportation business. You should operate an unlicensed taxi or bus business.
BTW, gypsy bus services used to accept payment in bus tokens, knowing they could re-sell them later. Now, with electronic farecards, gypsy bus services cannot accept your State electronic farecard as payment.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "An Example of Pointless State Resistance":
FSK, just to note, that we are not physically forcing you to choose your path. We are persuading you our opinions about adsense. Maybe we are wrong that adsense is immoral. But, like any circumstance, you are free to ignore our comments and add your adsense whatsoever.
Not every Anonymous commenter is a fool. I made my decision (obviously). It certainly seemed like someone (or a group of people) were trying to manipulate me into not putting up an AdSense widget. Most likely, all the "FSK should not put up AdSense" comments came from just one or two people, although I obviously can't be sure.
I'm looking forward to getting my own domain and expanding my offerings.
Richard Noble has left a new comment on your post "The Gold Lease Rate is Negative!":
You say: "I borrow 1000 ounces of gold and sell it on the spot market. I buy gold futures..." and then go on to say ...You are wrong. The reason is that the trader is short selling *ACTUAL PHYSICAL GOLD*. The trader is buying a paper future. The spot price of gold is decreased, because the supply of physical gold is increased. Further, the future price of gold is decreased, because the 1 year price of gold equals the spot price plus 1 year of interest (assuming a normal contango market).
"Due to the lease, gold is sold on the spot market, pushing down the price."
I disagree. In your example the trader buys and sells the same amount of Gold. Note that at delivery paper gold becomes physical assuming no delivery failures.
Perhaps you meant something else and I would be delighted to know what you mean.
As usual, let's make an concrete example. On the gold spot market, the bids are buy 500 ounces for $850, buy 1000 ounces for $800. Right now, the spot price is $850. Assume the 1 year interest rate is 2%. This means that the one year future price should be $867.
The gold borrower borrows 1000 ounces of gold. He sells them on the spot market. He sells 500 ounces for $850. He sells 500 ounces for $800. Now, the spot price is $800. This also drives down the future price. Now, the one year future price should be $816.
The flaw in your counter-argument is that the gold trader is selling actual phsyical gold, while buying a paper future. In a year, the central bank might roll over its lease or outright sell the gold. The paper future might be a gold miner hedging.
In theory, the person selling the gold future should buy physical gold, store it in a warehouse for a year, and then deliver on the future. If gold future short sellers were fully hedged, then there would be no net effect, because the sale on the spot market would be offset by someone buying to cover their short future. In practice, most gold future short sellers are naked/unhedged. Knowing that central banks will manipulate the gold price downward, naked short selling gold futures isn't that risky. The naked gold short seller might be long oil futures, so he has no net overall exposure to money supply inflation.
The actual physical gold goes to someone who follows my advice "Buy physical gold and take deilvery!" The paper future might be rolled over indefinitely.
Seth has left a new comment on your post "An Example of Pointless State Resistance":
This is a an important topic and I'm glad that you addressed it.
One overlooked aspect to the problem is this: Once a person becomes dependent on income that is made possible by state spending, that person is effectively subject to control by the state.
The entire on-the-books economy is subject to the whims of the Federal Reserve and other insiders. If you're working in *ANY* on-the-books job, you're subject to control by the State. At any time, the State could make a new law declaring your business illegal. For example, E-Gold's founders were prosecuted under laws passed *AFTER* they started operations.
If you're an agorist, and you quote prices in gold or silver, you're quoting in real money. You won't be raising and lowering your real prices as the Federal Reserve inflates/deflates.
Even though there was deflation recently in the housing market and stock market, retail prices continue to rise.
So sure, we can console ourselves by saying "It's A-OK to work directly or indirectly for the state so long as it's not the military or police". But by doing so you put yourself in a position to be "owned" and thereby controlled by it.
Not a good strategy from where I sit.
*ANY* on-the-books job makes you subject to control by the State. *ANY* on-the-books work supports the State and the bad guys.
I'm thinking a better path for would-be agorists is:
- wage slave
- on-the-books self-employed
One of the most abusive audits by the IRS is the "lifestyle audit". If you have a more expensive car or home than your reported income can justify, then the IRS automatically assumes you're guilty of tax evasion.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Common Pro-State Troll Criticisms of Agorism":
I'm no Christian apologist, but Paul clearly tells the Romans that man in not intrinsically evil but has a law of good in his mind and a law of sin and death in his body. Paul points out that neither good nor evil are even relevant terms, but that the vocabulary begins and ends with Christ. Doing good or evil is of no value.I have no way of knowing how Christianity was practiced 1000 years ago. I can only evaluate as it's practiced in the present by most people.
Buy it or don't, but the idea that Christianity preaches that people are evil is not a biblical idea; it's the pop-christian version of the story.
One reason Christianity become popular (and endorsed by the State) is that it teaches a culture of "being a good slave". "Accept abuse while alive and you'll be rewarded after you die" is entirely pro-State brainwashing. Many "be a good Christian" attitudes are "be a good slave" attitudes. By having a genuine mix of good advice "Stealing is wrong!" and bad advice "Obey Caesar!", Christianity is a very effective evil fnord.
The State is not just government itself. It's a collection of emotional attitudes that cause people to ignore their own rational self-interest. Someone conditioned to jealously guard their own interests would very rapidly conclude "Taxation is theft!"
Most people who get busted by the State for tax evasion are not consciously aware of "Taxation is theft!" They subconsciosly believe that they are committing a crime.
fritz has left a new comment on your post "Fake Change - Obama vs. Bush":
You know, when I was brain washed things felt a lot safer. Now that I know the truth I feel like I have been had. Robbed and taken advantage of.
The truth is very traumatic. After awhile, you get to move on the other side, and start finding more freedom-oriented friends.
Sometimes ignorance is bliss. And sometimes I long for the days gone by. When I felt like the state was taking care of and protecting me.
Of course, I choose the truth (red pill). I wasn't even aware there was a choice until it was too late. I was always looking to understand how things really worked. Once I realized the truth, it was very traumatic. I realized the truth subconsciously/emotionall before I realized it consciously/logically, which made it more traumatic.
Hopefully, it's easier to have someone else explain something to you instead of figuring it out on your own the hard way.
lets start by making some positive agorist Fnords.. Ideas anyone??
I'm working on other things. I've been thinking of vlogging or standup comedy. Those are my best ideas so far.
I prefer to blatantly and explicitly state the truth. For this reason, I wonder if any of the politically connected insiders are aware of the truth? The answer must be "no", because if they were (and had good intentions), they'd be publicly stating the truth as loudly as they can. If insiders were aware of the truth and have evil intentions, then they'd have assassinated me and the other good Internet free market writers by now. Therefore, there must be no insiders who are consciously aware of the truth.
DixieFlatline has left a new comment on your post "Fake Change - Obama vs. Bush":
What is fnord? Is that like a sneeze? Gezundheit!
You really aren't paying attention if you just noticed that "fnord" is a common topic. I already wrote an explanation.
Fnords are the secret hidden messages in all movies and newspapers. See the documentary "They Live!" for a better idea. I have the special power of those magic glasses.
Unlike in "They Live!", there are both good fnords and evil fnords. When a comedian on the Communism Channel says "People who buy physical gold are fools!", that's an example of an evil fnord. Good fnords are documentaries like "They Live!" and "The Matrix" and "Doctor Who" (certain episodes) and "Torchwood". Under the guise of fiction, bits of the truth may slip out.
fritz has left a new comment on your post "Gold Outperformed the S&P 500, 1997-2008":
copper,silver, and gold will be very valuable after the collapse. An interesting fact,all pennies made on or before 1982 are totally made of copper(except the zinc 1943 pennies). which are valued at 2 cents or more for the copper value in each penny. Right now the deluded copper penny costs .011 dollars to create. making it cost more than its present value.
According to coinflation.com, a pre-1982 penny was worth 100% of face based on melt value and a post-1982 penny was worth 32% of face amount. (Spot prices may have moved since I wrote this, and I'm not updating this bit.) It was higher last year. Metal prices have declined due to the deflationary recession/depression. 2009 should be a year of high inflation.
That is the melt value of the coin. Acutally melting the coin and recycling the metal has a further cost. Further, the State pays more than the melt value when it mints coins, because of the costs of manufacturing the coin.
I convinced my father to start hoarding nickels when metal prices were high last year. Now that there's deflation, he's merely spending the nickels. By hoarding nickels when face amount equals melt value, he had a free put option. If there was inflation, he could keep the coins and sell them later. If there was deflation, he could merely spend them.
For this reason, the bad guys do *NOT* want there to be circulating coins where "legal tender value" is close to the metal value. People will start hoarding the coins.
There were plans to eliminate the penny. That is hard, due to lobbying by zinc miners, who want the extra demand. Also, eliminating the penny is tantamount to a State admission that inflation exists. There also were plans to change the composition of the nickel to cheaper metals.
If you invest in State-issued metal coins, that's an inflation hedge. The coins will always keep their metal value.
In some countries with hyperinflation, coins get re-valued as inflation occurs. For example, in the USA, a penny could be declared to be worth $0.10, a nickel worth $0.50, etc. However, the bad guys don't like doing that, because it provides the average person with a way to protect themselves from inflation. The bad guys would rather have people start hoarding coins, and have the mainstream media decry those immoral coin hoarders.
All dimes and quarters created up to 1964 are totally silver. You wont find very many in circulation these days.
I actually got a pre-1964 dime in change recently in a store! It was like a free $1!
If you're serious about investing in silver, you're better off just buying 1 ounce silver rounds or bars, rather than "junk silver". (Precious metals dealers refer to pre-1964 Federal Government issued 90% silver coins as "junk silver".) Those coins are usually worn from circulation, which means that the coins have less metal than they did when minted. Taking into account wear from circulation, "junk silver" is not a bargain, because the coins are sold based on face amount and at-minting weight.
I decided that, when I buy silver and gold, I'm going to stick with rounds and coins. If someone offered to sell me junk silver at a decent price, I'd still take it. I've considered finding someone to mint small-denomination silver rounds (0.5, 0.25, and 0.1 ounces). One ounce of silver is too large for small transactions. I've also been looking for 1 ounce copper rounds, because copper has a much lower price per ounce than silver. The silver spot price is quoted in $/ounce (troy ounce), but the copper spot price is quoted in $/pound (regular pound). (I should look up the details.)
I think it would cost to much to melt pennies and sell the copper and show a profit. Copper has a high melting point.
It probably wouldn't be profitable to do that, unless there was a spike in the price of copper. If you're using the pennies as barter money, trading on the metal value, you can always just use them without melting them.
But just look through a bunch of pennies. There is still a whole crap load of true copper pennies left in circulation.I think its against the law to destroy government coins. I wonder how those novelty penny crushing machines.the ones that charge you 50 cents to crush a penny into an elongated token, that says the Boston science museum get away with it.
I think there could be a market in selling the copper in old pennies.
you would just have to work it right. you could get almost 100% return on your investment.
It isn't worth it fiddling with copper/zinc pennies. If you want an inflation hedge, just buy silver or gold rounds/bars. It's much simpler.
Yes, it's illegal to melt down State issued coins. In practice, how are the bad guys going to know if you own your own metalworks? Presumably, there are state regulations of who can own a forge, but if you're in a rural area you probably won't get caught. (Living in NYC, I probably can't operate a metalworks in my basement. I'd almost certainly get caught.)
Does anybody know how hard it is to melt down metal and mint your own rounds/bars? That would be a neat business. I'm not going to set up my own metalworks, but I'd someday be a customer of an agorist coin minter.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Is Participating in the State Economy Immoral?":
...ALREADY ON GOOGLE'S PLATFORM.
They are already data mining you. Your use of "Anonymous" is futile.
Denying the miners a more convenient natural key like your name, and making them use the IP address you post from raises their cost to find you in the data mining. Google is also pushing the Android phone platform, and I expect that to produce encrypted phone calls in a few months. Some you win, some you lose.
Google has a State-licensed monopoly/oligopoly like all large corporations. Overall, Google has been a net good for society as a whole (given the constraint of a corrupt State economy). Google's executives spend lots of money on lobbyists, just like management at other large corporations. Google has successfully lobbied against bad laws that might have crippled the Internet.
It is in the rational self-interest of Google's executives to promote an open mobile phone platform. That makes it easier for Google to write web-enabled phone applications. That enables other people to write web-enabled phone application, which would in turn create more demand for Google's core search product on phones. Most/all current mobile platforms are closed, making it hard to innovate.
Even though the State economy is evil, there still is a niche for companies like Google to do some good in the context of a corrupt system.
Overall, I'm going to use Google's products if I like them. Knol was a flop, and I haven't used it since. I like search, gmail, Analytics, AdSense, and Reader. I'm getting annoyed at Blogger, and I'm planning on switching to hosted WordPress.
For awhile, I stayed loyal to Yahoo search. I started getting annoyed with lousy search results. I switched to Google, and was impressed. I haven't even checked other search engines since.
Justin has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #72":
FSK, I used to eagerly look forward to your Reader Mail posts when you provided a commentary on a bunch of interesting content from the web. Unfortunately, your latest Reader Mail posts have become nothing more than responses to reader's comments. While that is certainly interesting to those who left the comments (and possibly for a limited number of others), I think you should mix in a bit more content from the web in order to liven things up. Just a suggestion.
I was behind on the reader comments and was trying to catch up. I've also fallen behind on browsing other websites. I started including more lately.
It's mostly a function of where my Internet and blogging time goes. I figured "answer reader comments" was taking priority over "look for interesting stuff on the Internet". I'm started to get annoyed with other anarchist sites, who don't say much more than "The State sucks!" I'm much more interested in "What are you going to do about it?"
It varies. It's mostly a function of what seems interesting.
Plus, I've been playing browser flash games lately. I'm particularly interested in good Tower Defense games. I should write my own!
EastAnon has left a new comment on your post "Scientology, Anonymous, and the Pharmaceutical Ind...":
I should have a "please read carefully before trolling" warning. I have no affiliation with Scientology or CCHR. After I was first abused by the psychiatry industry, I wrote CCHR asking if they would represent me on contingency, suing my psychiatrist for malpractice. They declined.
Maybe you need another frontgroup then? If you have Scientology or CCHR rooting for you, don't be surprised to catch some flak.
I considered suing my psychiatrist for malpractice, but I could not find an attorney willing to represent me on contingency. I wasn't willing to squander my own money and suffer a multi-year drawn-out trial, with no guarantee I would win. I probably would lose, because psychiatrists are protected by sovereign immunity and they falsified the medical records to make it look like their murder was acceptable. The State failed to protect me from being murdered. The State failed to do its job. Therefore, why should I have any more loyalty to the State?
Even though I'm no longer abused by the psychiatry industry, I am indirectly affected by the abuse of others. The people abused by the psychiatry industry are probably those most susceptible to being converted to free market concepts. I am critical of the psychiatry/death industry in a very literal "Let my people go!" sense.
You're exactly citing the Strawman Fallacy. Scientologists and CCHR say that the "chemical imbalance" theory of mental illness is nonsense, but Scientologists do other shady things. Therefore, everyone who advocates for anti-pscyhiatry is wrong. In order to get the anti-psychiatry movement to be taken seriously, silencing Scientology and CCHR should be an important goal.
My scientific conclusion "Psychiatrists are murderers!" is independent of anything Scientologists or CCHR do.
Even if what you said was true (which it isn't), having a group of Scientology lunatics shouting it doesn't help your cause.
Which part are you criticizing? "Scientologists and Anonymous are both backed by the pharmaceutical industry." I meant that as a semi-serious joke. Are you criticizing my anti-psychiatry scientific conclusions? I am convinced that the "chemical imbalance" theory of mental illness is a mistake/fraud.
Why should my anti-psychiatry analysis be discredited by things that Scientologists do?
citizen stefish has left a new comment on your post "Was Jett Travola Murdered?":
hey, that's it. depakote. that's what i was given after a 10 minute meeting with a death merchant / psychiatrist (you replied to my comment about it in the last reader mail). it made me go insane for a few days and then i stopped taking it after the third day and basically went back to normal. it took about 6 months or so before all of the nonsense (sluggishness, bad mood... "depression") lifted, but this was of course when i *stopped* taking the medication.
I feel that the withdrawal for me also was an extended period of time. Getting re-hospitalized and re-drugged a couple of times certainly didn't help. I had two panic attacks where I wasn't hospitalized. My parents gave me just 1-2 days of anti-psychotic drugs, and then the symptoms wore off.
Ironically, that incident partially convinced my father that my psychiatrists are full of ****. My psychiatrists told my parents "FSK has a severe mental illness. If he stops taking the drugs and relapses with a new manic break, he will be unable to come out of it without being hospitalized." I had two panic attacks and they wore off after a few days, without me being re-hospitalized. That helped convince my father "Maybe the psychiatrist is wrong." In many ways, my profile does not fit that of a "typical" person. Most people with a mental illness develop it as a teenager or in the early 20s. I didn't show symptoms until I was 30. (It took me that long to put the pieces of my observations together and crack my pro-State brainwashing.)
I finally feel that I've reached my pre-hospitalization level of competence. I have the added benefit of having broken my pro-State brainwashing. Ironically, that works against me in a wage slave job context. I'm doing much better at meeting people and sizing up their personality. The fact that the economy sucks right now really hurts the wage slave job market.
Before, I had a problem when meeting women. I am the productive worker personality type. My pro-State brainwashed natural pairing is with a parasite personality type. I wouldn't get seriously involved with a strong parasite, because I don't want to be abused. Two productive workers can't normally start seriously dating each other, because both of them are emotionally weak from a lifetime of abuse by parasites. That prevents things from escalating. Now that I'm both logically strong and emotionally strong, I should be able to meet someone who's logically strong and emotionally weak (i.e. a productive worker), and someone else who's smart enough to realize "being abused by a parasite is stupid".
My theory hasn't been put into practice yet, but I'm noticing *MUCH* more favorable reactions.
and i didn't finish reading the post before i posted that other comment. yep, i tried every anti-depressant known at the time. or at least all of the major ones. every one of them had some kind of awful (or at least obnoxious) side affect. "ok so try this one!" who knows what mixing them was doing to me. but i stopped taking them in secret because i convinced my family to let me go on my own. i lied and said everything was working with the meds, went out on my own, took a risk and stopped taking them, and have been fine since. i have also saved a ton of money in the process. i still get "down" sometimes but i learned to deal with it on my own.
I was only forced to take anti-psychotic drugs. I didn't try anti-depressants, but presumably those are similar. I tried lying to my psychiatrist, but he noticed. Fortunately, I was able to convince my parents to let me stop taking them.
I've finally gone through the full withdrawal cycle, plus healing my mind after cracking my pro-State brainwashing. I feel stronger than before I was hospitalized, but I have several problems. I don't have a wage slave job or reliable source of income. I'm stuck living with my parents. I don't really have any good friends; I recognize now that all of my pre-illness friends and relatives and coworkers were pro-State trolls. I'm stronger, but I'm very restricted by my circumstances. Hopefully, I'll find a wage slave job again (or get my blog to the point where it generates full-time income), get my own apartment again, and meet some friends and help them crack their pro-State brainwashing. Then, I can make more progress towards practical agorism and more aggressively promote agorism.
The correct solution is for you to find some other free-minded individuals to hang out with. That is hard. You have to be very strong yourself first, so that you're skilled enough to help other productive workers. It's very unlikely for you to meet someone who already fully understands the philosophy of freedom. You have to find someone openminded and educate/heal them.
fritz has left a new comment on your post "The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict":
Cant we all just get along??First Israel takes the land from the Palestinians, places them in concentration camp like cities. And they wonder why they are pissed enough to launch rockets back at them.
Go figure...I have this idea..the U.N. should give them a few weeks to work it out. A lasting peace.And if they cant get it done. The whole place should be turned into glass.. I think they might just figure out a way to come to a peace full settlement.
The problem is that the insiders on both sides (Israel and Palestine) benefit from prolonging the conflict. Therefore, why should the conflict end? Why should the average person in Israel be the victim of a suicide attack because of the stupid actions of his self-appointed political leaders? Why should the average person in Gaza be the victim of an Israeli raid because of stupid actions by his self-appointed leaders?
The average person in the Middle East does not have the option of saying "I want out of this stupid conflict!" They are all the prisoners of their State.
That's like asking "Why doesn't Ben Bernanke just admit the the Federal Reserve is one big scam?"
gilliganscorner has left a new comment on your post "Bernard Madoff, a Typical Hedge Fund Manager":
Thought you might like this:
That was somewhat amusing. More accurately, the *ENTIRE* financial system is one big scam. Bernard Madoff just happened to operate a scam that's more blatantly obvious than the rest.
I'm using Feedburner now. Let me know if you have any problems with my RSS feed. The old feed should still work, and you can directly subscribe via Feedburner now.
My original feed is (and should still work)
Now, via FeedBurner,
If you want any advanced Feedburner features turned on, let me know. I'm just using a vanilla configuration, although I did turn on the option that tells me whenever someone clicks through my RSS feed and visits my blog.
I'm a bit put off by FeedBurner's maximum post size. I'm thinking of dropping FeedBurner, especially since RSS revenue is only a small % of my total AdSense revenue.
fritz has left a new comment on your post "Was Jett Travola Murdered?":
I cant imagine anyone going to a medical doctor would think they wouldn't be prescribed medicine. That's what they do. Anyone in the field who is approved to operate by the American medical association prescribes medicine.
Your reasoning is defective. A doctor/psychiatrist is pretending to be an expert. They give drugs that mask the symptoms without treating the underlying problem. The patient then becomes addicted to those drugs that mask the symptoms.
Doctors and psychiatrists are guilty of fraud, because they are pretending to heal people and they aren't. The average person shouldn't be forced to think "Is my psychiatrist a fraud?" In a free market, someone giving fraudulent health care can be sued for negligence. In the present, doctors and psychiatrists are protected by sovereign immunity. As long as they follow "generally accepted practices" (as chosen by pharmaceutical corporation executives), doctors and psychiatrists are immune from liability for their fraud.
State restriction of the market prevents genuine health care from competing with this fraudulent system.
It would be like calling a power tool specialist over to your house to cut down a tree, and wondering why they are using a chainsaw instead of an axe.
No. It's like calling over a power tool specialist to cut down a tree and wondering why he just destroyed your garage.
A.M.A psychiatrists and other doctors are legal drug sales men and woman. Its a known fact. That,s what they have been trained in and that's what they know. Of course they are going to offer you drugs...dahhh..or why else would you go there.
The problem is that they are fraudulently presenting their drugs as genuine medical treatment. Doctors and psychiatrists have lobbied the State, outlawing competing treatments.
Its like going into a milkshake shop and wondering why they are trying to sell you a milk shake. You shouldn't be there if you didn't want a shake.
No. When I first visited my psychiatrist, I expected him to be genuinely treating my illness, rather than murdering me. It's like going into a milkshake shop and wondering why he urinated in the milkshake, and when you ask him, he says "It improves the flavor!" Even worse, the milkshake store owners have lobbied the State to pass a law requiring every milkshake to contain 5% human urine.
Here is an idea. there are many natural paths out there. Plenty of alternative ways to treat mood disorders. Sure your insurance might not pay for them. But whats more important than your health?
That's another part of the scam. If I see a State-licensed murderer, it is covered my health insurance. If I see someone without a State license, I get better care and pay lower fees, but my "insurance" does not cover it.
Fortunately, the quality of State-licensed care is so lousy that there still is a market opportunity for agorist doctors. Hopefully, the free market health system will someday be so advanced that people would feel comfortable refusing to buy State-issued insurance.
"Treat myself" is good enough for now. I fired my therapist and psychiatrist, and fortunately my parents haven't been pressuring me to find a new one. In retrospect, firing my therapist was a good move. She was providing me with bad feedback. I was letting her judgement replace my own judgement. Why should I believe a State-licensed therapist is qualified to offer me useful advice?
But going to a medical doctor and wondering why you are being prescribed drugs is the most insane thing I have ever heard.
My relationship with my psychiatrist was involuntary. I didn't voluntarily take anti-psychotic drugs. When I was first hospitalized and realized I was screwed, I asked "I want to leave!" I was told that I was not allowed to leave. When I was first hospitalized, after a few days, I asked the nurse "Are these drugs good for me? I don't want to take them." The nurse said that I was her prisoner, and refusing the drugs was not an option.
By the time I was released from the hospital, I was taking the drugs for 2 weeks. At this point, I was addicted. When I stopped taking them, I suffered withdrawal. The withdrawal symptoms look like those of a new mental illness.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "An Example of Pointless State Resistance":
steamroller ponders -
Suppose I want to get somewhere far, but have no means of transport. I decide to hitchhike a free ride to get there. A girl stops and offers me a ride and asks where I am going, and we chat about the destination. After a few miles, she stops and says that I have to have sex with her or the free ride stops here. I told her I have a dilemma in that I refused to pay in any form for the "free ride", and I thanked her for the distance already travelled. She pleads and finally offers to pay me and then we can continue the journey. I agree because I figure that making progress toward my goal of arrival while being paid by a wage-slave is in my best interest because I have sold my dignity to a slave and made progress toward my destination without paying either cash or tribute to a pro-State slave who believes that anything is worth paying for. While I, seeing that I have made progress, allow the prostitution of my free will to the pragmatism of making progress as preferable to remaining without transport or the inability to do useful work and getting paid for it. Am I unqualified for Agorism through loss of virtue?
Your argument makes no sense. I put AdSense on my blog, and therefore I am unqualified to write about agorism or practice agorism?
I'll make a better story. Suppose I have a choice of two jobs. In job A, I will be beaten every day. In job B, the conditions are rather pleasant. The salary is equal. Which job should I choose?
Obviously, I choose job B. I'd even take a pay cut for job B over job A.
Now what if I told you that there's a mafia extortion racket that demands 75% of my salary, paid directly by my employer? Both job A and job B pay tribute to the mafia extortion racket. Every job everywhere pays tribute to the mafia extortion racket. Does that make it immoral for me to choose job B over job A?
I ask the employer at job B "Will you please not pay the mafia extortion racket?" My boss at job B replies "I've got a good business here. I'm not risking getting my legs broken. Besides, everyone else is paying the mafia, so I'm not at a competitive disadvantage if I pay them also."
I go around asking other people "Hey! Let's start our own businesses and stop paying the mafia! We'll ignore all their restrictions and we'll be incredibly efficient!" I can't convince anyone to go along with me. The other people give responses like:
- The mafia is too powerful. Resistance is futile.
- Resistance is too dangerous. I'm not taking the risk.
- I intentionally live in poverty. If I don't own anything, then there's nothing the mafia can steal from me.
- The mafia claims that they own my property and my labor. Therefore, all property and all labor are stealing. Property is theft!
- We need the mafia. I can't imagine life without them.
- Let's get a job joining the mafia. Then, we can "work within the system" to achieve reform. When I'm a mafia boss, I'm going to treat the people in my territory much nicer than the current boss!
- Let's write a polite letter to the mafia, asking them to please be less cruel. That'll show them!
- Let's move to a remote area and get some guns. If the mafia's 100,000 thugs try to assault us, our band of 50-100 will successfully resist!
- Some people already successfully resist the mafia on a small scale. Why should you try resisting them on a larger scale?
Suppose now that job B is a job at a newspaper, where I write articles saying "The mafia extortion racket is evil! We should stop paying them tribute and ignore their rules! If everyone starts ignoring the mafia, then they won't have any power anymore!" Surprisingly, the mafia doesn't shut down the newspaper. All they care about is that they get their tribute. They're so sure of their own power that they don't see this tiny newspaper as any danger at all.
Some people complain "It's immoral to work at this newspaper. How do you know that the mafia isn't just making a list of everyone reading the newspaper, planning to assualt/kidnap/murder them later?" I point out that the number of readers is increasing, and other people are also starting newspapers saying "The mafia extortion racket is evil!" If too many people understand how evil the mafia is, then it's impractical for the mafia to assault them all.
Other people complained "It's hypocritical for you to work for this newspaper, when the profits from the sales support the mafia!" I couldn't find people interested in directly resisting the mafia right now, so I'm doing the next best thing and helping to raise awarness. My newspaper's readers are scattered in various cities, making it hard to form a group of like-minded people living in the same city.
I want to buy my own domain, and I should justify that with blogging income. AdSense appears to be superior to donations, but when I get my own domain I'll consider an option that allows people to donate to disable the ads. If I can switch from a wage slave job to a self-employed on-the-books business, that makes it easier to switch to full agorism later.
Agorism is not an all-or-nothing deal. It's morally acceptable for me to utilize the State economy, while still working towards freedom. Blogger is very restrictive for what you can do. I prefer my own domain and the ability to write my own PHP scripts.
I'm looking to move towards practical agorism, but I'm looking for something better than the isolated pockets of tax resistance/evasion practiced by others.
gilliganscorner has left a new comment on your post "The Lost Congressional Apportionment Amendment":
I have heard about this. I believe the reason given in 1910 for fixing the number of Congress folks was due to "lack of available office space."
This, from a government that spares no expense to house people in prisons, create unimaginably huge welfare/warfare bureaucracies etc etc.
With an absolute monopoly, the State does not need to be logically consisent.
The custom of "1 Representative per 30,000 people" placed a check on State power. Small districts make it easier for non-insiders to get elected. With 500k+ people per district, you need serious backing to have a chance of getting elected.
There's the obvious conflict of interest when members of Congress are allowed to set the total size of Congress. There's a natural incentive for them to maximize their own power.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Lost Congressional Apportionment Amendment":
Was the fact that the House capacity was restricted to 435 a conspiracy or just a set of bad decisions made by different people with different sets of intentions?
You can't prove it either way. Someone probably figured out that restricting the size of the House would maximize the power of each individual Congressman. The people voting on the law were themselves Congressmen, so there was no incentive for someone to stop and say "Is this a good idea?"
I haven't seen any conspiracy theorists/historians discuss the debate surrounding the decision to limit the size of the House in 1910.
It's irrelevant whether the current corrupt system is a deliberate conspiracy or just a series of bad decisions. Once you realize "Taxation is theft!", you can't support *ANY* government that claims a monopoly of violence and taxation power.
barry b. has left a new comment on your post "Phones vs. E-Mail":
I've kept my landline. I'm on DSL and cable hasn't came down my road yet. I still don't know that I'll drop it. Every once in a while I need to use a fax and it's nice being able to utilize one. There may be a way to send and receive faxes via email but I haven't looked into it. Also, there's the possibility of cell phone failure - as well as the 911 option available on landline. I'm basically keeping the line as a back up means for communication..
Most cell phones offer a 911 option now.
My parents can't imagine life without a landline, so I'm sticking with that for now.
The annoying bit about a phone is that, when there's a call, the phone ringing *DEMANDS AN IMMEDIATE RESPONSE*, even if the call is spam.
DixieFlatline has left a new comment on your post "Phones vs. E-Mail":
You can't turn off your cellphone when you don't want to receive calls.
I turn off my cellphone, both to avoid getting interrupted and to save the battery.
All cell phones can now be remotely activated if the right firmware is uploaded.
If you keep your phone in a Faraday cage when not in use, you frustrate this. Some people have even developed Faraday cage phone holders. I don't believe my actual cellphone can be remotely activated, unless it happens without visibly showing a signal.
I would recommend giving everyone who calls you a passphrase, and if they don't use it, you immediately hang up. Like in Terminator the TV series, they give each other the numerical date like 1-14-2008.
That's overly paranoid. There's caller ID. You can ask people to call you at a specific time.
Of course, all calls are logged, I am not aware of a PGP for phone calls.
Some people say that Google's android will allow encrypted phone calls. There probably will be some regulation banning that.
I've accepted that it's impossible to prevent the bad guys from spying on what I'm doing.
One more thing i have started doing, is I leave Alex Jones' infowars stream running on my other PC and when people call, I leave the phone next to the speaker. 10 minutes later I will hang up.
I found that's an ineffictive technique for dealing with junk phone calls. They'll just call you back.
Politely saying "please don't call back" doesn't work either.
Sure it is not energy efficient but it gives me great satisfaction.
And besides, Obama is going to fix all of the energy problems. Right? ;)
I decided to do a more detailed analysis of Obama's "stimulus" plan.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Phones vs. E-Mail":
With phones people can leave you voicemail, which I find highly irritating listening to these disjointed and sometimes very long messages once you have accessed them using the right menus etc. I too prefer email, but many think email communications are inferior to phones including my manager.
When looking for a job, I noticed "People who contact me by E-Mail" tend to be preferable to "People who contact me by phone". Headhunters *ALWAYS* use the phone. A software engineer direct hiring manager will usually use E-Mail. It's almost so bad that, if my first contact with someone is via a phone call (with no corresponding E-Mail), my attitude is "Why am I wasting time interviewing for a software engineering job with someone who's computer illiterate?"
wraft has left a new comment on your post "Agorist Philosophy Overview":
Trade for doorknobs (dk)
Whenever people say "We have a clever alternate monetary system!", my response is "Gold and silver! Duh!"
When developing an alternate decentralized monetary system, gold and silver are the free market choices. Gold and silver made excellent money for thousands of years, before everyone was pro-State brainwashed to believe "Paper is money!"
For an alternate monetary system, you don't need to get more complicated than physical gold and silver. A network of people willing to trade off-the-books is the valuable part.
As an agorist, I'd accept payment in slave points, money, or barter (if it was something I wanted or was marketable). The important part is making the transaction off-the-books and not reporting it to the State/IRS. I'd charge more for slave points than for money, due to the transaction cost of converting paper to money. (I.e., if the spot price of silver is $11/ounce, but I can buy silver for $12/ounce, then the price I'd quote is "one ounce of silver, or 12 slave points".)
redpillguy has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #72":
"I thought Austrian Economists say that the State should regulate banking towards what would exist in a free market, which would be practically equivalent to no State regulation of banking."
Austrian School Economists are very anti-government regulation. And, they are pro gold standard only insofar as the gold standard has historically been the one most often chosen by the market (independent of government). The more fundamental position of Austrians is that free markets (i.e. the people) choose whatever currency they want - i.e. no Legal Tender laws; if the people choose to use a currency different than the "official" government currency (for collecting taxes), so be it. That would be like a vote of no confidence on the "official" currency. They also teach that the government should NOT set exchange rates between any two forms of currency (e.g. gold to silver ratios). Anything towards that effect is coercion and distortion of the free market.
In a true free market some people may choose to use gold, some perhaps some "hours" based currency, some silver, some, "ebay credits", whatever. The free market would also produce the currency exchange businesses. Whichever people find to be the most useful to them will probably become the dominant currency.
That is the correct answer for money. There should be no State regulation of money, and people should be free to use whatever they want as money. That is a special case of the correct answer for all State regulations, which is "Who needs a government anyway?"
In a true free market, I predict people would gravitate towards gold and silver and other metals. If there's a shortage of gold and silver in an area, other metals may be substituted. In certain colonial time periods/areas, tobacco and furs were used as money.
Pro-State trolls say "The free market discredited gold and silver as money." That is nonsense. There were legal tender laws forcing people to accept paper at parity with gold. When the Federal Reserve Note was first introduced, it was redeemable for gold, so there was no reason for people to refuse it. The State printed more paper than it had physical gold, guaranteeing an eventual default. Ownership of gold was declared illegal, lest people use gold instead of paper. When gold ownership was re-legalized, taxes and regulations were implemented making it practial and illegal to use gold or silver as money.
Austrian Economists are closer to the truth than pro-State troll Keynesian economists (or neo-Keynesians, as they're called now). However, most Austrian economists I've read fall short of the correct answer, which is "Who needs a monopolistic government anyway?"
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict":
Israel did not steal the land from the Palestinians. The land was stolen from the Palestinians by the Ottoman landlords who allowed the Palestinians to work the land. Israelis then bought the land from the Ottoman landlords and took ownership of the land. So, it's not really the Israelis who took it from the Palestinians in 1947.
It's very hard to figure out the legitimate owner of property, especially in the Middle East.
I thought that what happened was that Jewish people bought *SOME* of the land in the region and started moving there. When the Israeli government was formed, the remaining Palestinians were forced off their land. If the Palestinians were not forcibly evicted, it would not have been so bad.
If you listen to some Hamas leader speaches on YouTube.com, you can be the judge... they are not peaceful people and they want conflict.
The Hamas leader does not speak for the average Palestinian.
A typical Arab person could draw the opposite conclusion listenting to speeches by Israeli leaders and American leaders. "Now-ex President Bush is a ****. Therefore, all Americans are ****s."
Hamas is supported by Iran who benefits from higher oil prices. The more conflict is in the region the higher the oil prices. And, so I agree with the author that the innocent are being killed while the leaders stuff their pockets with more money. Each time, you see a war taking place, ask yourself: Who profits from the war? It's expensive to wage a war. The poor Palestinians cannot buy a rocket launching equipment and put it in their backyard, but Iran gives the equipment to Hamas and Hamas will persuade the poor Palestinian that it's in the name of a "religion". When we'll learn from history?
My point is that the average person on both sides of *EVERY* war is getting a lousy deal. Insiders on both sides are making a fortune.
Both sides have an either-or attitude to the land. Each group claims monopoly control of the land, and the right to kick out other groups. That is the inherent problem with government.
If Palestinians were allowed to purchase land in Israel's borders, there would not be as much fuss.
Josh has left a new comment on your post "An Example of how the State Controls the Mainstrea...":
From an anarchist point of view, it's nobody's fault that the newspaper needs State funds, so the newspaper shouldn't even exist. The fact the State can even threaten to do such a thing means they outright OWN them.
If you think of mainstream media outlets as a branch of the government, then the content presented makes much more sense.
Even if I had millions of dollars to waste, and I tried to buy a Super Bowl ad promoting "The Federal Reserve is immoral!" or "Taxation is theft!", my advertisement would probably be rejected. If you read the fine print of advertising deals, the media outlet maintains veto power over content presented.
One thing I thought was hilarous was that the CEO of GM or some other large corporation took out an advertisement in the NY Times saying "We need a bailout!" That's an excellent way to spend bailout money.
That's one nice thing about the Internet. Knowing the mainstream media is a massive propaganda engine, I can boycott it and get my information elsewhere. State violence does not directly force me to read newspapers or watch TV.
Josh has left a new comment on your post "Phones vs. E-Mail":
And I'm surprised people still have landlines. But if you insist, get VoIP might save you some money (they all include caller ID).
Caller ID is an inefficient solution. With caller ID, I still am interrupted by the ringing phone if it's spam.
Otherwise, I'm definitely for dropping landline altogether.
I'm probably going to go cellphone-only when I get my own apartment. However, Internet service usually comes bundled with phone service (either phone/DSL or cable+VoIP).
fritz has left a new comment on your post "Insiders Exploit Cheap Oil Prices":
I have thought about this at work. I could get a bunch of people to invest in an old oil tanker, fill it, hold it and sell it than split the profits with everyone invested. Sure we can't barrow at 0%, But we could consolidate our investments and purchase oil as a shared investment.
We would just have to work together.
That is silly. You don't have the ability to borrow at 0%.
The reason the bank profits by borrowing oil because they use leverage. Suppose inflation is 20%/year. The bank uses 10x leverage. The bank puts up $1B and borrows $9B and buys $10B of oil. In a year, that oil is worth $12B. The bank's profit is $2B. Via leverage, the bank profits by 200% instead of 20%.
If you made the same unleveraged investment in oil, your return would be merely 20%.
For this reason, the economic system is biased against individuals and in favor of those who may borrow cheaply and print new money. Borrowing cheaply combined with leverage leads to huge unearned profits. Those profits are paid by productive workers as inflation.
As a practical matter, you'd be better off buying some gold and silver individually.
Actually, At work we came up with a plan to buy the rights of an old used up oil well.It should be near the coast and close to a port that could off load an oil tanker. Than buy a bunch of sweet crude oil at the current low cost. Fill the dry well with our oil. Than sell it when we thought the price was right.
I think its doable, but we were just having fun with the idea. Actually It was my idea, and I couldn't find any potential investors, and I don't have any money to invest anyway.
That idea is silly, because you don't have the ability to borrow cheaply and use leverage. Banks and hedge funds are borrowing money, buying up old oil tankers, filling them with oil, and storing them until the price rises.
If I did I would buy silver or gold or both!!
You should just invest your own money in silver or gold. If I were planning to invest in silver or gold, why wouldn't I just buy directly myself instead of trusting it with you. A gold and silver warehouse receipt bank is a legitimate business, but that isn't what you were proposing.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Agorist Philosophy Overview":
Unless the whole transaction is done anonymously through e-gold or a similar method, physical identity could always be compromised.
If you're trading physical goods with someone, why not also use physical gold or silver?
The state can perform sting operations by their own moles or turning existing members through coercion. Anonymous transactions do away with that risk, but reduce the scope of agorist economy only to work which doesn't involve physical property transfer.
It's actually less risky to have non-Anonymous agorist transactions. This way, the buyer and seller can be trusted.
Would you purchase health care if the seller insisted on being Anonymous?
In a free market, trust is very important. I believe it's possible to set up an agoirst economy in a way that's resistant to infiltration by State agents. By the time the bad guys say "Infiltrate agorist free market is a priority!", it's too late.
By its very nature, an agorism free market is decentralized. Even if you catch a handful of people, that doesn't compromise everyone, due to the decentralized nature. If someone gets caught by the State, then everyone else can improve their methods.
That could be works which can be digitalized or, say, assasinations.
I'm not interested in black market activities, like assassinations. At some point, you have to deal in the actual physical economy and not a virtual one.
Even if the transaction is done anonymously, the state can use compare individuals' wealth to their declared taxes and build a tax evasion case on that, despite the lack of less circumstantial evidence. That's an existing practice in USA, for instance.
That is one of the most corrupt IRS practices. You audit someone based on their lifestyle, and not their actual income. If you have a $60k car and $30k of reported income, then the IRS agent automatically assumes you're guilty of tax fraud.
Fortunately, I'm not interested in living a conspicuously wealthy lifestyle. I'm more interested in reinvesting my profits in the counter-economy. As long as I can cover my basic expenses, that's good enough for me.
As for the cryptography part, transactions could be performed using Diffie-Hellman key exchange. Compromising the secret key would only allow the statist reactionary forces to impersonate an individual, but not access his transactions, given that they wouldn't be able to wiretap him or backdoor his OS.
"There's a magic bullet piece of software that defeats the State" seems silly to me. If you have a trustworthy network of trading partners and screen new participants carefully, the risk is minimized. That is a problem for me right now, when I'm stuck alone.
DixieFlatline has left a new comment on your post "Blogger Has Buggy Trackbacks":
Blogger sucks for Trackbacks. IMO, that is one area where Wordpress is far superior.
I go out of my way to link to Wordpress blogs, because I know I will get track and pingbacks. I never get Blogger ping or trackbacks.
When it comes time to move to WordPress, I'll look into the details more.
I think this hurts Blogger blogs from an interlinking perspective.
You will likely lose your PR when you move. The problem with not having your own domain name, is that you are always building PR for someone else. You might be able to redirect your traffic to this URL, but without a proper 301 redirect, I don't think you can pass link juice.
Blogger (for obvious reasons) won't let me set up a full site redirect.
I have about 100-200 regular readers, which I should keep when I move. The vast majority of my traffic is random searches. I'll be giving that up when I move, but I should recover after awhile.
It's a necessary cost of moving, but it's the right decision to move to my own domain.
PR is irrelevant anyway. You can recover your search position with time. Making sure you keep your traffic and increasing your backlinks (with WP self hosted, good :) ) then you will be fine.
I get some traffic via search. The highest quality traffic comes from other people discussing/referring my blog.
I've already decided "WP self hosted" is what I'm going to do. There's no need for me to write my own blogging engine, but I probably will write some of my own widgets/extensions.
I got really annoyed at Blogger when it ate my drafts a few times.
One flaw of Google Analytics is that it doesn't tell me "original source" of regular returning traffic. Google Analytics tells me "% new", but for regular readers it doesn't say how they first found my blog. I'm looking forward to using WP Analytics or roll-my-own.
PS. A single bad backlink (trackback) will not affect your SERP placement. If that was the case, people would build bad backlinks to their competitors so they could rise in the SERPs.
I have no idea why my blog got banished for a month or two to "Supplementary Results". I'll probably have the same problem when I move to my own site. The spam site copying my content was the only explanation I could think of. Paradoxically, it's one of the few times Blogger created a valid backlink.
PPS. If you have been emailing me, I haven't checked mail in about 2 weeks, so I haven't been ignoring you. I have too many domains and addresses and need to merge them into one central account somehow.
I usually don't bother with E-Mail, except to respond to someone.
Greg has left a new comment on your post "Blogger Has Buggy Trackbacks":
You have built PR for this blogspot address. PR is overrated in a way. I mean the PR number is meaningless. SERPS are important and the links are important. But the links and anchor text is the important aspect, not the PR itself.
I value "regular returning readers" more than PageRank. However, the vast majority of my blog traffic is from random search queries. Some of those people probably later become regular readers.
If I were you I would keep this blogger blog open and also start a self hosted blog on a domain. You can then use this blog to pass on some juice to the new project(s).
I already figured out that I should leave this blog and put a link to my new location. After all, I'm not paying for this site!
I decided that I'm going to put all my web-based stuff on the same domain. There's no reason to fragment my efforts. I'll put up a WP blog. I'll probably roll-my-own forum engine. I might do some other stuff.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Blogger Has Buggy Trackbacks":
Sorry, but this doesn't count as a daily post. If you want to rant about blogger/wordpress/adsense fine, but don't do it at the expense of actual content.
I really don't get this comment. You think I owe you a post every day? That's actually a healthy attitude for people to have.
I thought about "doubling up", but I figured there was enough to make that unnecessary.
If you check my archives, I don't consistently post every day, although I have been recently. I figured that I'd be better off having fewer holes in my queue, instead of doubling up.
I wonder if I should post at 1pm instead of noon one day, and see if that makes people panic?
On other blogs, they would make these "Reader Mail" items a separate post each. I thought about doing that, but I find blogs with many small posts annoying.
Because FeedBurner has a post size limit, I'm going to try smaller and more frequent "Reader Mail" posts.
Josh has left a new comment on your post "The Lost Congressional Apportionment Amendment":
1 voice in 500 is hardly a voice.
Better than none? Yeah, that's about it.
No. It's 1 in 600,000 instead of 1 in 30,000. With 30,000 people per district, you could call your Representative and expect an answer. With 600,000 people per district, you call your Representative and the response is "Why should I care about your problems?" Of course, your Congressman won't actually say that directly.
Democracy only works on a really small scale (100-200 voters). When everyone knows everyone else, that limits the abuse of the leaders. Just like most online communities don't scale to many users, democracy does not scale to many users. The only system that handles many people fairly is a free market system.
The current system is the functional equivalent of no representation at all. Some conspiracy theorists say that democracy was invented because it provides the cattle with the illusion of freedom, but no genuine freedom. The insiders control the mainstream media, and can thus control which candidates have a chance of getting elected.
Sometimes, when I hear about a politician being a victim of a scandal, I wonder "Did he accidentally do something honest?"
Asking for help on Google's AdSense forum is useless. Most responses are "**** you!" or useless. Most of the enhancements I'm looking for are obvious to anybody with half a clue about software, and should be trivial to implement.
Since FeedBurner has a post size limit, I guess I should break these Reader Mail posts down into smaller bits. I'll experiment and start making more frequent and shorter Reader Mail posts.
I'm getting very disillusioned with Google as a corporation. It appears that they're just another boring big tech company now. I'm looking to move away from Blogger. I'm going to still use AdSense while looking for other revenue opportunities, especially agorist opportunities.
I've noticed the following bugs in Google products that haven't been fixed in a long time. It's annoying:
- FeedBurner has a post/feed size limit. According to their help page, this is a "known issue" for a long time.
- Blogger occasionally eats my drafts, especially for Reader Mail posts.
- Trackbacks in Blogger don't appear to work correctly.
- Google Analytics and AdSense have obvious reporting flaws.
- Google Reader automatically expires posts after 30 days. A lot of people have asked to get this fixed or changed as an option.
fritz has left a new comment on your post "Lawrence Lessig Fnord":
But what if I come up with a 0 point energy device. I spend my whole life working on it,lots of my money, and a bunch of investors money. A patent doesn't give you rights forever, just a while. shouldn't I have some chance to capitalize on my hard work.
The problem is that it's unfair to someone else doing the same research at the same time. If you file for a patent 3 months ahead of someone else, you're costing them the investment made in their product.
Suppose I invest in building a business, only to later find out you invented it independently and filed for a patent? What if I never heard about your patent? Further, you won't bother filing a patent lawsuit against me until I've build a profitable business.
In the present, most patents are owned by large corporations and not individuals. "Patents protect individual small investors!" is pure pro-State trolling. Filing for a patent costs something like $25k-$50k and a patent lawsuit takes years and $5M+. If you want to own and enforce a patent, you have to raise VC, which makes you a slave of the bankers anyway.
The primary benificiaries of current patent law are lawyers and executives at large corporations, where patents and their army of lawyers shield them from competition.
Or have I just given a gift to man kind. Something for someone to copy,produce and sell. Cut me out of the loop??
I see your point,But I wonder what will promote research in an Agorist economy? If your whole lifes work can be copied and sold from under you. I wouldn't be motivated to expend such energy in a project.
Most inventors would invent just because they like it.
Most inventions are not the product of a single stroke of genius. They are the cumulative effort of research by many different people.
In the present, inventors are underpaid. Most of the profits of their inventions go to executives at the corporations they work for.
State restriction of the market, especially access to capital, makes it very hard for an individual inventor to market and sell a new product. Computers and software are an exception. Even with computers, most of the "successful" businesses you read about were not first-to-market but rather first-to-VC.
DixieFlatline has left a new comment on your post "Lawrence Lessig Fnord":
Wow Fritz, are you being serious?
Fritz was pro-State trolling, when he writes "Patents are a valid and necessary form of property!"
There is no way to enforce patents without a monopolistic State. Therefore, patents are not a valid form of property. In a free market, the fact that you sold an invention before me does not mean I am barred from manufacturing the same thing. If I have no contractural relationship with you, how can your invention impose a restriction on me?
What if you spend your whole life inventing the television? What if you invest everything into it, all kinds of investor money.
And when you go to market, you find out someone in Egypt invented it 2 months earlier than you.
More accurately, what if you find out someone patented it before you? It's the legal paperwork that matters, and not the underlying research.
"Intellectual property is not property" is obvious. There's no way to enforce intellectual property without a monopolistic State. Copyright, patents, and trademarks are not property in a free market.
IP is not a valid form of property. You shouldn't have the sole right, for moral, rational and pragmatic reasons, to be the sole producer (or not) of a good. What if you can't bring it to market? What if you bring it to market without competition and it is too expensive? What if you bring it to market, and exposes a core defect, and you go broke because you weren't rigorous enough testing your own product?
I could go on and on.
Check out Mises.org and anything by Stephan Kinsella on IP. There is an article by Jeff Tucker on the front page right now.
Some things you see trademarked are ridiculous. For example, the New England Patriots trademarked "19-0", and now any other NFL team with a similar accomplishment would have to pay New England a royalty to publish "19-0" on their official jerseys.
Similarly, many people think "threepeat" is common English now, but it's actually trademarked.
citizen stefish has left a new comment on your post "AdSense One Week Anniversary":
i don't see the ads. i see where they're supposed to be, but all of them say that they are blocked by trend-micro pc-cillin, my virus software. i have no idea if that is a good virus blocker, but it came with the computer and does the job (i haven't had a virus problem during the entire two years). i am not sure how to change this to where i can see the ads, though. i actually want to see them.
Your antivirus program probably has the option to whitelist certain sites and override the behavior. If you add an exception for "googlesyndication.com", then you'll see the ads.
"Google improves your site's ad targeting over time" appears to be true. If both Google and I get paid per ad clickthrough, and Google pays me a fixed % of revenue, then the algorithm that maximizes Google's profit also maximizes my profit. Of course, I don't know the details of Google's ad algorithm.
Google's AdSense terms are non-exclusive (so I can put other ads). When/if I get bigger, and if selling ads directly is more profitable, I'll drop AdSense. I believe AdSense has an option that allows advertisers to specifically target my blog or specific pages on my blog.
thanks man, that worked! i found where to do it. i shut the browser down, reloaded, and they're appearing.fritz has left a new comment on your post "AdSense One Week Anniversary":
Fsk,,Find out which adds on your blog pay you when someone clicks on.Tell us, and I will make sure I click them. Anything to help the cause.!!!!
The amount Google credits me varies from $0.25 to $3 per clickthrough. That seems high. I wonder if my users are worth more than a typical Internet user, from an advertiser's perspective? Google Analytics tells me what page but not which ad. The ads are geographically targeted, so the ads you see may not be the same as the ones I see.
Actually, I'd prefer if you didn't distort the AdSense statistics. Only click on an ad if you're interested in it. I want to see if Google's AdSense algorithm increases in quality over time, and if you click on ads randomly that distorts that. I feel like I'm "gaming" the system if people just click on ads to give me a few cents.
Also, I want to see my ad revenue statistics honestly, without people intentionally distorting them. This gives me an idea of expected revenue when I move to my own site. For example, if I get 5x as many readers I should get 5x as much revenue, but that is distorted if one person clicks on a whole bunch of ads.
Also, Google has an "automated abuse detection" algorithm. If you blindly click on every single ad, Google will suspect me of intentionally clicking on my own ads, and kick me out of AdSense for abusing it. Google has "click fraud detection" algorithms, and there are unscrupulous people who hire other people to generate false click data and inflate your statistics. For example, Google AdSense's TOS explicitly forbids you from sharing AdSense revenue with readers. I can't do this via Blogger, but if I had my own domain, I could install a script that told me whenever one of my readers clicked on an ad.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "AdSense One Week Anniversary":
This is the anon saying stop writing about adsense and post content. This is a good post because it is actually about something and has actuals stats. I wouldn't mind one of these a month.
You're the guy who complained about "Blogger has Buggy Trackbacks"?
This illustrates the fallacy of saying "FSK shouldn't write about X!" Some people's content is other people's noise. It's easy enough to "mark read" in your RSS reader if I occasionally post something you find uninteresting.
I'll just mention my readership/AdSense data as footnotes in a "Reader Mail" post. It appears that "$0.01 per site Visitor" and "$2 per day" are my averages. Assuming that people aren't thinking "I'll click on ads to support FSK!", my ad revenue should double as my site traffic doubles.
At a rate of $2/day, I'll reach $100 by the end of February and get my first AdSense check sometime in April. I already got my parents to agree "FSK may spend his AdSense revenue on buying his own domain." (I know that I'm technically an adult, but my parents keep track of my finances. I'm able to do it on my own, but they want to control me. My parents are retired, so they're *SUPER-PARANOID* about spending any money at all. The money they have now must last them for the rest of their life. If they're cheap and save $10, that's like earning $10.)
Ironically, if I'm a successful agorist, one of the uses of my profits should be "welfare" payments to my parents. When you consider that they got ripped off by inflation, stealing their savings, that isn't immoral. If I have surplus cash, it's easier to "launder" it by giving it to my parents, instead of trying to spend/invest it myself.
NY State charged me a penalty for under-withholding on my 2006 tax return. They said "The effective penalty interest rate in 2006 varied from 8% to 9% in 2006. The effective annual rate was 5.92%. I don't see how you average 8% and 9% to get 5.92%. Perhaps they were counting from the mandatory "estimated tax payment" due dates.
They charged me a flat 5.92% on the amount they said I underwithheld. However, they didn't send me the bill until January 2009. Over 2-3 years, this is only an effective penalty interest rate of 2%-3%. Assuming I would have made at least that much on my investments, it was profitable for me to underwithhold. (I should have bought gold! My actual investments lost money in that time period.)
Since I did file a 2006 tax return on time, the "underpayment clock" probably stopped ticking from the time I filed my return. I'm surprised they didn't calculate the interest penatly correctly. They should have charged me interest from April 2007 to the present also.
I'm focusing my tax resistance efforts on agorism. I just paid it, because it's more hassle to disagree with them than pay the tiny amount they claim I owe. I'm only going to resist taxes on free market income, and not wage slave income.
fritz has left a new comment on your post "Obama's Stimulus/Looting Plan":
The Obama stimulus plan is akin to a starving man. seeking to save himself and unable to find a food source. begins to consume his own flesh in an attempt to ward off starvation. What utter nonsense this is.
It will not be long before they find our sun bleached bones, picked clean by the buzzards. Lying face down in the sand.
Wait,,Did I just make my first attempt at a positive agorist fnord?? Almost!!
That's more of an analogy than a fnord. A fnord would be you writing a story with free market sub-meanings and getting a mainstream media outlet to publish/carry it.
The State is dependent on the productive sector of society to leech. By increasing the rate of theft, the State reduces the size of the productive sector. Seeing their booty decrease, the State responds by increasing the leeching percentage. This is the virtuous positive feedback cycle of complete economic collapse.
You really should get your own blog instead of commenting here all the time.
I advise Blogger over WordPress for first-time bloggers, because Blogger allows you to include an AdSense widget and free WordPress hosting does not. It's been nice being able to "bootstrap" my blog as a for-profit business. I've invested no money in my blog. I've only invested my time.
On the January 19 episode of the Daily Show (the day before Obama's inauguration), there was an interesting fnord. At the end, they had press secretary Dana Perino say "It's been 8 years. It's finally over." and give a "Men in Black" mind-blanking flash.
"Obama is a new President! The State isn't evil anymore!" is one big "Men in Black" flashy thing. People are supposed to forget all the past abuses of the State. The evil fnord is "Changing the public face of the leader means that the corrupt system is no longer corrupt." Changing the mostly-powerless leader of a corrupt system accomplishes nothing.
Obama is fake change and not genuine change. He isn't eliminating the Federal Reserve, the income tax, and extensive State regulation of most/all industries.
I'm finally fully caught up answering Reader Comments! Let's see if FeedBurner drops this post. I guess I have to publish "Reader Mail" post more often and not make them as long.