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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Reader Mail #84

This post on Techdirt was amusing. Pharmaceutical corporations are researching local medical techniques. They then are patenting the process. They outlaw local use as "infringing".



This post on Techdirt was interesting. All the quantitative analysts who priced subprime mortgages were using the exact same pricing model. They had defective assumptions in their model.

The most notable defect is "Mortgage defaults are uncorrelated!" Due to the Compound Interest Paradox, mortgage defaults are correlated.



This article on Wired, via Hacker News, was an excellent piece of pro-State trolling. It was talking about Communist Tom Friedman. He wrote an article in the NY Times saying "To stimulate the economy, the Federal government should give $20B to top venture capitalists."

Wired correctly said "What a stupid idea!" They fell short of the correct conclusion, which is "What gives the President and Congress the right to steal/print money and give the proceeds to a handful of insiders?"



This article, via Hacker News, about the "chained elephant" was interesting.

At a circus, they keep the elephant with a chain tied to a tiny stake in the ground. Obviously the elephant has the strength to free himself. He doesn't try, because he's been chained his whole life.

The same is true with humans. They are kept in mental chains their whole life. They become accustomed to them. They get offended by people who say "Why are you wearing those chains, idiot?!"



This article, via Hacker News, was interesting. The "Plenty of Fish" website was essentially a one man operation. By writing good software and automating nearly everything, he made a website he could run with no other staff.

He also said "I don't implement ideas just because someone asks for them. I only implement good ideas."



This article, via Bureaucrash, made an interesting point. One merit of "democracy" is that the ruling class gets some feedback about how annoyed the population is. By looking at election returns, they may calibrate the appropriate rate for eroding personal freedom.



This article on Bureaucrash links to a YouTube video of a CNBC reporter critical of the bailout.



This article on jwz's blog was interesting. He was one of the first programmers at Netscape, cashed out, and started a nightclub.

The State has been harassing him, trying to shut down his nightclub. Citing frivolous violations, State enforcers are attempting to revoke his liquor license. He has paid $100k+ in legal fees.

Even if he wins, he loses. If the State enforcers win, then his nightclub closes. If he wins, he still doesn't recover his legal expenses.

State enforcers can easily fight a war of attrition with any business they don't like. The bad guys' salaries are paid via taxes/theft. The small business owner is spending his own money keeping his business afloat.

The citations are pretty flimsy. A nightclub owner is responsible for what his customers do. This gives the State the power to shut down virtually any business. The bad guys bribe someone to go into a nightclub and do forbidden activity X. Then, the nightclub owner is harassed, because his customers did X.

"A business is responsible for the actions of its customers!" is a very corrupt legal principle. The misbehaving customer should be blamed, and not the business owner.

For example, it's illegal to operate a gold and silver warehouse receipt bank because your customers might be drug dealers. (and selling drugs isn't a real crime)

He also had an interesting bit. "If my liquor license is revoked, my business is totally SOL. I can't even sell it to someone else."



This post on Distributed Republic was missing the point. A policeman in NYC assaulted a cyclist, and was caught on videotape. That policeman was fired (but wasn't charged with assualt or another crime).

The evil fnord is "One policeman did something bad and was caught. Therefore, the rest of the police are not evil."

If there's one incident caught on videotape, then probably 100+ incidents go unpunished.



This post on Check Your Premises, linking to this article, was disturbing.

In protest of the "War on Marijuana", Andrew Carroll said he was going to be blatantly possessing marijuana in public, daring police to arrest him at any time.

Ian Freeman has a radio show. On his show, he said "Andrew Carroll is a hero. The ban on possession of marijuana is stupid. Andrew Carroll is doing a good thing by flagrantly violating stupid laws."

Ian Freeman lives in Keene, NH. Allegedly, New Hampshire is pro-libertarian, compared to other states. Ian Freeman was arrested and charged with a crime, by local police (not the Federal government).

The charges were "criminal liability for the conduct of another". In other words, if someone breaks a law, and you encourage them, then you are a criminal. Such a law is obviously stupid.

This is a bad precedent. If I become a public advocate for blatant-in-public agorism, I would be guilty of "criminal liability for the conduct of another", by encouraging other people to practice agorism.

The best defense may be a good offense. Ian Freeman has a pretty substantial audience. That limits the ability of State enforcers to unfairly harass him.

Corrupt State law is designed to frustrate freedom seekers at every turn.



This post on Division by Zero was interesting, but missing the true point. Are marketers and PR agents evil, because they manipulate the truth?

The problem is pro-State brainwashing. If you've been brainwashed as a pro-State troll, then mass mind control tricks work on you. Once you can see the fnords, those mind control tricks seem obviously pathetic.



This article, via Hacker News, was interesting. Gmail went down recently. No data was lost.

The biggest risk of using gmail is "If some hacks/phishes my password, I am SOL."



This post by George Donnelly was interesting. He claims he's been converted to the philosophy of anarchism and real free markets.

He experimented with the Libertarian party and realized they were a bunch of idiots. He concluded "Who needs a government anyway?"



Zed Shaw was complaining that it's practically impossible to sell music online if you're an independent.

He missed the point. Give away your music for free, and then ask your fans for direct donations. If you're an amateur/independent/semipro artist, your biggest risk is "Nobody knows who you are!" and not "People will copy your stuff without paying!" Besides, who wants to pay a cut of 30%+ to a middleman? (Some labels charge more than that.) If you can get a $1M+ deal with a big label, then good for you. Otherwise, go completely independent.

Some mainstream artists are self-publishing now. They prefer the creative control. They don't like the huge cuts that the middlemen take for doing almost nothing.

Zed Shaw overhauled his blog. He finally put up an RSS feed. (It turns out that he had an RSS feed, but didn't put a link to it anywhere.) He deleted all his old content (mistake! I'm planning to import from Blogger, and leave this site up.)

He's also an ***hole who only gives partial RSS feeds. That's my #1 blog pet peeve.

I also noticed that he has no "leave comments" option. That made me realize "If there's no option for people to leave comments, then it isn't a blog."

He wrote his own blogging engine (Another mistake!). Why not just use WordPress? It appears that his mind was contaminated by working on Rails. "Rails lets me write my own blogging engine in a day or two!" Of course, a custom engine won't have the maturity of something like WordPress.

I'm writing my own forum engine, but I'm planning to do something pretty original. I may "borrow" code from other open source projects, or at least look at them when writing my bits.



This post on no third solution about defaulting on the national debt was missing the point.

If you want to default on the national debt, you should boycott the Federal Reserve and use gold and silver as money.

If you want to boycott the Federal Reserve, you also have to boycott the income tax. The IRS only accepts Federal Reserve Points as valid for payment of taxes. Part of the income tax proceeds are used for interest payments on the national debt (i.e., subsidies to the banksters).

The IRS enforcers demand that people pay income tax in exchange for permission to conduct economic activity. The dollar is intrinsically worthless, and continuously loses value to inflation. The value of the dollar is nonzero in the present, because State violence demands people pay tribute in exchange for permission to work. This tribute must be paid in Federal Reserve Points, which can only be issued by a bank.



This article, via Hacker News, was interesting. The less experienced/skilled an entrepreneur is, the more likely he is to demand a non-disclosure agreement.

At some of the startups I've interviewed at, they demanded I sign a non-disclosure agreement beforehand. My reaction is "Thanks for letting me know that you're an idiot!", but I sign them anyway. Amusingly, Google demands you sign a non-disclosure agreement before interviewing.

I've repeatedly described here how I'm going to write my own forum engine. As far as I can tell, nobody has stolen my idea (or even bothered attempting to implement it). I actually was hoping someone would steal it, so I didn't have to waste time implementing it myself.

One thing I've learned is "Ideas are cheap. Actual implementation is valuable." Similarly, it's one thing for me to write about agorism. It's another thing for me to actually implement agorism.

If I thought "Agorism is a cool idea! I should keep it a secret!", that would be totally missing the point.



This article, via Hacker News, was missing the point. Voting is intrinsically defective. There's no way to patch a fundamentally corrupt system. Voting is predicated on the principle "The majority has the right to impose its will on the minority." Voting merely provides people with the illusion that they control the government.

The point of the article was the defect of primaries. You can only vote in one primary, and then the two primary winners face off in the general election. Assuming voter preferences are a linear scale, this leads to obvious injustices. A candidate has to lean one way to win the primary, and then the other way to win the general election.

It's also wrong to assume that voter preferences follow a linear scale. "Who needs a government anyway?" doesn't fit in the liberal/conservative scale.



This post on no third solution had some interesting bits about the immorality of the "War on (certain) Drugs".

Because (certain) drugs are illegal, the dealers earn huge profits. State licensing requirements for doctors drive up doctors' salaries. The ban on certain drugs leads to huge profits for black market drug salesmen.

Drug dealers are shut out of State dispute resolution processes, so they must resolve their disputes violently.

The illegal drug industry is nearly completely unregulated. A poor person won't try starting his own clothing business or cooking business. Those industries are so heavily regulated that competition is illegal.

There are no State-imposed "barriers to entry" for the drug dealer market; i.e., you don't need a permit. If you have marijuana seeds and an indoor garden/lamp, then you can start a marijuana farming business.

Most "low ranking" drug dealers earn less than the minimum wage. They're shut out of the on-the-books wage market, so they go to the black market.

I'd certainly like to see more focus on agorism and productive activity, instead of drugs. The State ban on (certain) drugs is illegitimate, but those drugs really are bad for you.



This article on MSN was interesting. Attorney General Eric Holder said that the DEA will no longer crack down on medical marijuana stores. He said that each individual state has the right to decide if medical marijuana is legal.

Of course, another President can merely reverse this decision later.



This post was interesting, in reference to this YouTube video of a Fox News interview with Ron Paul.

I liked the quote by Soros. "The collapse of the US financial system resembles the collapse of the Soviet Union."

Sometimes, Ron Paul is frustrating, because he doesn't explicitly say "The US financial industry is one big scam! Government is one big scam!"

As long as people don't start boycotting the Federal Reserve and fiat money, then insiders always have a "Get out of bankruptcy free!" card. They can merely print more money to finance any bailout.

I saw discussions of Obama's budget plans elsewhere, which made me say "WTF?" Obama says he needs immediate deficit spending of $1T+ to "stimulate the economy". Obama also made a pledge to cut the budget deficit in half over the next few years. How come no mainstream media critic is pointing out the obvious contradiction?



This article on TechDirt was amusing. When you buy genetically engineered crops, one of the conditions is that you agree to not conduct research with those crops. This is frustrating scientists at universities, who are unable to experiment with those crops.



This article on TechDirt was amusing. The New York Times sued a "content aggregator" website. They used a "T" to indicate links to their stories, and then the NY Times sued for trademark infringement.

If I ran a popular aggregator site and got such a request/demand/extortion, I would say "Articles from the NY Times are now banned from my site!"



This article on TechDirt was amusing. A French town named "Eu" is considering changing its name. They are blaming Google. If you do a web search for "Eu", then you won't find that town. They're considering changing to a longer name, so that they'll get better search traffic.



This article, via Hacker News, was interesting. The iPhone is not popular in Japan. It is more expensive and not as good as its competitors.

Japan seems to be ahead of the USA in the "consumer electronics" area.

Other people have said that story is a hoax. The iPhone is pretty popular in Japan.



This article, via Hacker News, was interesting. Google ****ed over developers who bought a trial version of the Android phone.

There's a hidden "apps" directory on the phone. Applications you purchase are downloaded to this directory. On the developer phones, you have read/write access to this directory. This means that you could buy an application and then copy it.

Google's response was to lock all these developers out of the application store.

I don't understand why the Android phone has a hidden "apps" directory. I thought the whole point of Android was that it's a 100% unlocked phone where the user controls everything?



This article, via Hacker News, was amusing. In English, if you hear an incomprehensible language, you say "It sounds like Greek." If you're Greek, you say "It's sounds like Chinese." Where does this directed graph end?



This article on Check Your Premises was amusing. He's mad at people who call themselves anarchists, but are really pro-State trolls. As an example, he mentions "anarchists" who advocate for State-paid national healthcare.

There's no State licensing requirement for calling yourself an "anarchist". A lot of stupid people call themselves "anarchists", which discredits real anarchists. I consider "market anarchism" or "agorism" to be the One True Version of anarchy.

I prefer to debate ideas rather than labels. Anybody who advocates for nationalized health care is an idiot. The real problem is State licensing requirements for doctors and extensive State regulation of the health care industry.



I liked this article on mises.org. It's about how the attempt to fix the price of gold at $35/ounce fell apart.

From 1933 to the mid 1960s, the "official" price of gold was $35/ounce. However, in almost every country it was illegal for non-insiders to own gold in bullion form.

From 1933 to the mid 1960s, central banks had the power to keep gold at $35/ounce by selling their surplus gold reserves.

In the present, central banks still sell off gold to suppress the price. They don't keep it pegged at $35/ounce, but they can still keep the price down. Whenever there's a spike in the price of gold, some central bank will announce a large sale of gold reserves.



I briefly experimented with posting on mises.org again. I rapidly remembered why I got frustrated with mises.org.

Should I shop around for forums to promote my blog? At this point, I'm probably better off focusing on writing good content, than promoting my blog. I'm just noticing interesting discussions via Google Analytics, and then maybe participating.

There was one interesting discussion. Someone was asking about alternate monetary systems.

This has already been tried and failed. Competing currencies are essentially illegal.

The Liberty Dollar was raided by the FBI/IRS.

The founders of E-Gold went to jail for "facilitating money laundering".

Anybody who has tried to start a gold or silver based alternate monetary system winds up in trouble with the FBI or IRS.

If you're serious about starting an alternate monetary system based on gold and silver, it *HAS* to be 100% off the books.

Also, the Federal Reserve credit monopoly makes it stupid to borrow at a gold-denominated or silver-denominated loan. The price of gold has been increasing at a rate of 20%-30% per year. If you make a gold-denominated loan, you're borrowing at an extortionate implied interest rate of 20%-30% or more. You'd be better off maxing out your credit cards, than borrowing in a gold-denominated loan.

I definitely understand this isn't a currently feasible system. And it maybe to abstract to really make sense. I'm not even confident in my wording. But say the US government failed and banks could no longer rely on a fractional reserve system. And also say that micro-lending was a truly viable option for personal investing. How could a system be created that would allow for electronic transfer of funds when the accepted currency was gold. Any ideas? Am I being ridiculous?

Why would you accept electronic gold when you can accept physical gold or silver?

Suppose I'm buying goods from you, and we agree on a price of 1 ounce of gold. Why can't I just pay you with an ounce of actual physical gold? Why make things unnecessarily complicated?

For smaller transactions, use silver or copper.

One problem with electronic gold is that the gold has to be physically stored somewhere. Then, all the bad guys have to do is raid the warehouse, and that's the end of the electronic monetary system.

Given the choice "1 ounce of electronic gold" or "1 ounce of physical gold", I'd *ALWAYS* prefer physical metal.

Right, this is the dilemma I'm struggling with, you've helped me vocalize it. You would be a fool to choose electronic gold stored somewhere as opposed to the physical gold itself. But how do you develop an international market without electronic exchange. It would not be efficient if one had to be physically present with their goods at every transaction, thus the need for electronic transfer of gold. This becomes an issue with a limited, non-renewable resource. Not only that but it's impossible to believe that competition would easily thrive in the "banking market" in this situation. If both parties subscribed to the same bank the transaction is easy, and potentially physical (one vault to another) but in the event that there were banks popping up all the time to provide services etc. can we come up with a functional model for this?

Gold is merely a benchmark for determining price. You can have an economy larger than the supply of physical gold.

Suppose A sells grain valued at 10 ounces of gold to B. Then, B sells clothes valued at 10 ounces of gold to A. Then, A ships his grain to B and then B ships his clothes to A. No gold changes hands.

Suppose A sells grain valued at 10 ounces of gold to B. Then, B sells clothes valued at 5 ounces of gold to A. Then, A ships his grain to B and then B ships his clothes to A along with 5 ounces of gold.

At some point, you have to trade physical goods. At the same time you trade physical goods, you trade physical gold. There's no need to have paper credits.

If necessary, a hawala-style system can be used to ship gold and silver large distances. Due to the risk of harassment by State enforcers, it would have to be 100% off-the-books and decentralized.

For example, suppose I live in NYC and I owe 10 ounces of gold to someone in California. If I know someone who's making at trip from NYC to California, I can ask them to carry 10 ounces of gold for me.

If you look at the way the banking system cleared checks before the Federal Reserve, it functions similar to the system you suggest. However, the Banking Act passed in the Civil War mandated a specific clearinghouse, which meant banks could be SOL in the event of a default.

"The free market would take care of everything" is the correct answer. In a free market, banks would be eager to provide convenient service to their customers, and protect themselves from loss. It would work. The only reason the gold standard failed in the first place was extensive State regulation of the banking industry.

For example, a check from bank X is deposited at bank Y. There is a time delay while the check clears. If Y gets physical gold from X, then the check clears. If X defaults, then the check bounces. It would work. In the present, you don't get immediate access to your money when you deposit a check. The same occurs in a free market system. The clearing delay exists to protect the bank from counter-party risk, the risk that the other bank will default.

There is considerable risk with electronic gold already mentioned. I don't see it happening in any meaningful way any time soon. I've always wanted an electronic paypal.

eBay used to conduct auctions in E-Gold. Under pressure from the IRS/FBI, eBay stopped accepting E-Gold based auctions.

The primary risk of electronic gold is "government enforcers could raid the E-Gold vendor's warehouse, citing frivolous violations of stupid laws". There's also the risk of fraud by the E-Gold vendor. For example, the E-Gold vendor could be secretly practicing fractional reserve banking. "Risk of State raid" probably exceeds "risk of dishonesty by site operator".

In a true free market, electronic gold is a workable system.

In the present, why use electronic gold when you can use physical metal?

I figured that I'd give mises.org another chance. I remembered why I got frustrated and left. The troll-to-content ratio was too high. Any discussion forum will have this defect. Therefore, I should write my own engine!



A couple of months ago, Warren Buffet famously said "The US economy is sound! Buy stocks!" Now, Warren Buffet is widely quoted as saying "The US economy sucks, and is likely to suck for quite some time."

It's amusing that he flip-flopped on this issue.

Watching the Communism Channel, they give nearly contradictory advice all the time. Are they intentionally broadcasting nonsense to confuse people, or do they sincerely believe their own lies?



I noticed that there was another rash of bank bailouts recently, notably AIG and Citigroup and Bank of America. I thought of making a dedicated article on the subject. I realized "Is there anything new to write about that I haven't already covered?"



Jay has left a new comment on your post "StackOverflow Sucks!":

All internet social sites and forums have been overrun with douchbags.

Is that an inherent part of human nature? Or, is it defective site design. It's the "Community does not scale!" problem.

Consider a democracy with 100 voters. Everyone knows everyone else. This limits abuse by the leaders. On a scale of 100 people, democracy doesn't suck that much. When you scale up democracy to 100M+ voters, it's a disaster. With only 100 people, almost any system works.

A new online community has maybe 50-100 hardcore users. They make a good site. The site becomes popular. The quality then deteriorates.

The key is to design your engine so "Site quality doesn't decrease as new users are added."

On sites like Digg and Reddit, there's competition to make the homepage. This leads to cliques that mutually upvote each others' submissions. When each article has a unique global score, this naturally leads to abuse.

From slashdot to random obscure topics, its the stupidest of the stupid who rule the roost and generally have powers over others.

I claim that is defective engine design, and not an inherent defect in human nature.

Forums tend to have an inner circle which bans or drives out anyone who doesn't engage in group think.

These are the vanguard of the socialist utopia!

There's a self-selecting bias. I read that a lot of hardcore Wikipedia users have gotten disgusted and left. Wikipedia is ripe for a fork. They key is to make a new engine, and not merely do a copy of a standard Wiki engine.

Here, I'm actively trying to drive away the stupidest people. I'm trying to do the reverse of what happens elsewhere.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "StackOverflow Sucks!":

TO underscore your point; here is an excellent example; http://stackoverflow.com/questions/575812/what-if-i-need-a-programmer-immediately

That article was since opened by the site owner. If you browse StackOverflow, you'll see many reasonable questions forcibly closed.

My response to StackOverflow is "**** you! I'm leaving!"

barry b. has left a new comment on your post "StackOverflow Sucks!":

Hey FSK,

When you move over to your domain. Just wanted to say that one thing that made a big difference in ad revenue for me was putting the small square or rectangle right at the top of your post.

I thought about that. I'm not sure that's easily done on Blogger.

I'm considering putting a "leaderboard" style unit at the top of the page, and another rectangle at the bottom of the post. On my homepage and archive pages, I'll have one after the 1st and 2nd post.

I'm getting somewhat frustrated with AdSense. My traffic is increasing, but my page eCPM is decreasing. "Experiment with other ad networks" is on my list of things to do. "Sell ads directly" is preferable. The important thing is that my traffic is increasing.

Josh has left a new comment on your post "StackOverflow Sucks!":
MUST you say Nazi to make a point?
I'm thinking of the "Soup Nazi" from Seinfeld. "No content for you!"

Yahoo Answers is much more fun.

That didn't seem so great either.

Good luck on writing your own engine though, I love new stuff. Make sure to show it off at KillerStartups.com

It's on my "list of things to do", but it may not be available on day 1 of my new site. If you keep following, you'll see it.

The things on my "list of projects" are:
  1. RSS reader
  2. forum/wiki/digg/reddit engine
  3. a FAQ section (that's more blog related)
  4. maybe some games
  5. AgoristBay


paul has left a new comment on your post "Agorist Philosophy Overview":

I agree with the anarchy statement. It seems like the agorist philosophy describes the type of government that we have seen for the last eight years and not the one that our new leader is finally on a path towards.

What? Agorism and government are opposite ideas.

Money, credit, gold . . . none of these things are really worth anything except that we trust our trading partners to place the same value to them as we do. This is the main point that is missed by this philosophy because the only way that an economy can thrive is if there is a strong underlying trust among all trading partners. How can we place a value on gold once the smartest and most powerful have siphoned it all to the top? It would begin to hold less and less value as the minority of individuals holding gold monopolize the supply!

In a true free market, there's no value to monopolizing gold. Seeing someone attempt to monopolize gold, people would just choose another monetary unit. Monopolizing gold only makes sense if there is a law requiring people to use gold as money.

The Chinese have struggled with a lack of trust for decades but are now the strongest growing economy in the world because they have begun adopting the strong American form of checks and balances combined with a growing freedom in the marketplace for individual decisions. If they did not have such a Bush like government now they would be more like our Clinton economy and really be kicking our asses!
China's leaders are attempting a weird experiment. They are trying to have a Western-style economy, without giving the people Western-style illusion of political freedom. I don't see how that works.

The reason a US-style economy outproduces other slave economies is that, in the USA, the cattle are given a greater illusion of freedom. Who cares what the cattle do, when they must pay 50%-95%+ of their labor to the State in the form of tribute/taxes?

You seem to be confused about agorism. Agorism is "People should boycott all the stupid State laws that restrict their productivity. This includes the income tax. This includes the inflation tax, which means people should boycott the Federal Reserve. This includes the implicit tax of compliance with State regulations. There should be free market alternatives to *ALL* goods and services that are currently provided by a monopolistic State, including defense/police and justice."



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Is My Ex-Therapist Stalking Me?":

Sounds like a therapist/patient relationship and the therapist does not want to lose control over the patient. Sounds like you are redefining your role as someone other than the "patient" and its now a perp/victim situation.

That's an accurate summary. My relationship with the "mental health"/death industry resembles a perp/victim relationship more than a doctor/patient relationship.

I was willing to continue seeing my therapist and work on cracking her pro-State brainwashing. I may have started getting to her. Therefore, she started insisting "FSK must take drugs!"

The "death squad" hasn't visited me again. Hopefully, that's the end of that. Hopefully, I can avoid relapsing and being involuntarily hospitalized again. One really good thing is that I had two panic attacks *WITHOUT* being hospitalized. A "panic attack" is part of your body's natural healing process. The anti-psychotic drugs interrupt that healing process.

Tell them not to contact you once, any kind of contact after your request simply to be left alone is harassment.

I did that. They haven't been back since. There's no guarantee that they won't return (or that my parents won't call 911 when I disagree with them).

Call the police and press harassment charges anytime you are contacted after you request no further contact by the therapist, any agency referred by the therapist, or anyone having anything to do with the therapist, its a simple criminal misdemeanor, regardless of the therapists professional opinion, after you say leave you alone.

Are you a State prosecutor or lawyer? My therapist filed a complaint with the State. Regrettably, what she did was perfectly legal.

It would be nice if there was someplace I could register "FSK does not want to take anti-psychotic drugs. FSK does not want to go to the mental ward." Unfortunately, that isn't an option. The bad guys won't respect such a declaration.

Lastly, you can not be forcibly placed in psychiatric care unless you are deemed a threat to yourself or others.

Who defines "Threat to myself!"? A psychiatrist is the one making that determination. Do you see the problem?

If you are forced into psychiatric care, SUE, and be sure to bring all your documented harassment to court with you.

Regrettably, the psychiatrists forge the paperwork, making their mistreatment seem reasonable. They are following "Generally accepted psychiatric principles." They are protected by sovereign immunity.

These people are solely about making money, has nothing to do with your health, so make it a money thing. First, press criminal charges, then sue for every criminal act in both criminal and civil court. Good luck.

A corrupt State court would not recognize such a civil or criminal lawsuit as valid.

I investigated suing my psychiatrists for malpractice. I could not find a lawyer willing to represent me on contingency. I didn't want to waste $20k-$50k+ of my own money, when the trial would last years and there's no guarantee I would win.

You're missing the point. The laws regarding "mental health" *ARE WRITTEN BY PSYCHIATRISTS*. I can't sue the bad guys and win on their turf.

My psychiatrists could always argue "FSK relapsed 4 times. That proves FSK was sick and he needed to be forcibly drugged." In order for me to win in court, the burden of proof would be on me to prove that the psychiatry industry was inappropriate. Besides, the psychiatrists would subpoena my parents, who probably would testify against me.



Kyle has left a new comment on your post "Why Don't Psychiatrists Troll My Blog?":

Why do people troll at all? Because they have a life.

I don't get your point. "Psychiatrists are emotionally well-adjusted. Therefore, they feel no need to comment here."

Whenever I spoke with a psychiatrist, when I say "These drugs made me feel bad!", they always got deeply offended. The psychiatrists I've dealt with have seemed emotionally crippled, rather than having huge emotional awareness.



ravi has left a new comment on your post "Web Hosting Search Summary":

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I almost rejected this comment as spam. Perhaps I should have.



robert30062 has left a new comment on your post "Why Don't Psychiatrists Troll My Blog?":

I was watching a program on C-SPAN2 today on their Booktv series and the author and book featured were very informative. The author's name is Norah Vincent and her book is called "Voluntary Madness: my year lost and found in the loony bin". This lady volunteered to go into a psychiatric ward by impersonating, or embellishing in some way, perceptible mental illness for the psychiatrists. She provided so much insight into how the environment and the treatments, both chemical and therapeutic, were abusive and madness-inducing.

I read another experiment where a researcher planted his students as patients in the mental ward. He told them to fake certain symptoms to get admitted, and then behave normally afterwards. Some of them took several weeks to get released! He was emphasizing the nonscientific nature of psychiatry.

The withdrawal from those drugs are *NASTY*. I estimate that "FSK relapsed his mental illness" is partially due to withdrawal symptoms. Also, a "panic attack" is part of your body's natural healing process, correcting your pro-State brainwashing. The drugs interrupt this healing process.

She talked about the costs involved in the drugs given and the treatments involved and said that, for the same amount of money, one could be put up in the Ritz-Carlton with access to a private masseuse and end up much healthier than staying in the psych ward.
My insurance company was billed a couple thousand dollars per day. All the mental ward did was forcibly drug me, gave me lousy food, and a lousy bed.

As another example, sending someone to college for a year is cheaper than sending someone to prison for a year. In prison, a lot of the money spend winds up in the hands of prison guards, prison corporations, and other people who profit from the prison industry.

I find this interesting and also to be a part of the discussion in this post by theorizing evidence that you are in fact correct about the intentions of the mental health industry.

From my point of view, it is scientifically proven that the "chemical imbalance" theory of mental illness is a mistake/fraud.

I started asking myself why, for the same amount of money, other treatments aren't used or at least attempted such as staying in a peaceful spa or having access to social clubs where one can discuss their thoughts and feelings with peers as opposed to a "professional" who nods, ignores, then writes a perscription. Then it occured to me that wellness is perhaps not the goal at all, that the so-called "journey to wellness" including anti-psychotic drugs and therapy, is in itself the intended destination of the industry, which is madness and detachment for the patient.

The current model is very profitable for everyone.

The pharmaceutical industry makes huge profits. The pill costs pennies to make each, and a one month prescription costs $100+. When the patent expires, a "new" drug is then marketed as better, when it's really just a slight chemical variation. The drugs are very addictive. When the patient/victim stops taking the drugs, they have the symptoms of a new mental illness. Withdrawal is mislabeled as a mental illness.

The psychiatrists make huge profits. All they're doing is providing prescription refills. This means the psychiatrist can see many patients in a short period of time, billing $100-$200+ per patient. The patient/victim is forced to keep seeing the psychiatrist for the prescription refill.

That's the problem with the State. Whenever a bunch of people are profiting from a corrupt practice, reform is practically impossible. The people profiting via State violence can always profitably lobby to block reform.
Anyway, here is a link to a website that features the author, this book, and some excerpts:

http://www.smithmag.net/memoirville/2008/12/22/excerpt-voluntary-madness-by-norah-vincent/

I liked this quote:

Did I need medication? Or did I need someone to talk to? Someone, that is, who would do more than charge the going rate for nodding and whip out a prescription pad before the first fifty minutes were up. Was I physiologically depressed? At an innate biochemical disadvantage? Or was reaching for the pad just the way things were done because the doc had been well patronized by the drug reps and had plenty of samples in her file cabinet? I don’t know, and I never will know. I took my first Prozac and took flight.

That's certainly how I felt. When I was first involuntarily hospitalized, I expected I would just meet with someone who would speak with me and calm me down. I didn't realize how horrible the treatment would actually be.

That author didn't intentionally go to the mental ward the first time. She had a breakdown due to another project, where she pretended to be a man.

This quote was interesting.
In fact, my brain was never quite the same after I zapped it with that first course of SSRIs. Those initial months on Prozac when I was thin and wildly productive and fascinated by everything and feeling every minute like I’d just been fucked—they didn’t last and they never came again.

I wonder if my brain chemistry was permanently damaged by taking anti-psychotic drugs briefly. It's probably other factors. The people in Guantanamo Bay learned a *LOT* during their incarceration; some were probably converted to radical Islamic terrorists by the incarceration itself. Similarly, I learned a lot by being kidnapped and tortured.

For example, taking drugs that block dopamine may have caused my brain to start producing extra dopamine. That effect may continue for years after I stop taking the drugs.

I feel mostly normal now. Hopefully, I wasn't permanently damaged by the drugs. I'll never be sure.

There also was a bit criticizing the DSM. The DSM is the manual for the psychiatry/death industry. It is completely nonscientific. A new mental illness makes it into the DSM if a majority of psychiatrists vote for it at their convention.

As an example, homosexuality used to be classified as a mental illness. It was removed, due to political pressure. (That makes me wonder. Is homosexuality an aspect of pro-State brainwashing, or is it natural human behavior?)

BTW, the DSM is copyrighted. If you publish an excerpt of the DSM on your website to critique it, you'll get a DMCA takedown notice. For a "scientific" document, the death industry is eager to enforce its copyright.

That article also cited the experiment I mentioned above.

In 1972, psychologist David Rosenhan and a group of his colleagues and graduate students conducted an experiment in which eight participants, or ‘pseudopatients,’ none of whom had histories of mental illness or institutionalization, set out to see how difficult it would be to get themselves committed.
I hope the author of that book stopped taking the harmful drugs and successfully managed the withdrawal.

By the way, I still think that C-SPAN is the least-biased coverage on television, only because they don't have commentators who spoon-feed a particular conclusion about the events they portray, they just show the events.

I never was particularly interested in C-SPAN. Watching a Congressional hearing is like watching a bunch of terrorists masturbating.



eagledove9 has left a new comment on your post "StackOverflow Sucks!":

How long has your hard drive been making strange noises? A really long time (like, since the beginning when you bought it) or somewhat more recently, like over a period of weeks?

As long as I can remember.

I leave it off most of the time.

I use the external HD for backup, and not as my primary storage. "Get a new external HD" is on my "list of things to do", but not urgent. Anything important is already on my PC HD.

When I get my own site (in a few months), all important documents are going to be backed up there as well.

I realized something weird. I could buy a new external HD, and then charge it as an expense to my blogging business!

I'm sorry to scare you, but I wanted to warn you that funny noises coming from a hard drive is what I would describe as a life-or-death emergency, and you should salvage everything from the drive immediately onto some kind of backup. I'm extremely paranoid about that, because my hard drive started clicking and then it died, and I'm in the process of getting someone to help me try to salvage what's on it right now. I think that funny noises on a hard drive are an urgent problem. Yours might die soon! :( Sorry for freaking out about it, I just don't want you to lose your data.

It's my backup external HD, and not my primary PC HD. Replacing it isn't urgent.



eagledove9 has left a new comment on your post "Why Don't Psychiatrists Troll My Blog?":

I think I know a good answer to that 'why?'

Direct Experience Versus Abstract Ideas.

Direct Experience = Taking Pills, suffering horrible side effects, never taking pills again

Abstract Ideas = discussions about politics, money, interest rates, etc.
Is a psychiatrist dealing in "direct experience" or "abstract ideas"?

A psychiatrist should be involved with "direct experience", because he's a doctor. The psychiatrists I've dealt with seemed determined to ignore feedback from patients. If I complain "This drug has negative side effect X", the psychiatrist is brainwashed to respond "X is a symptom of your mental illness. X is not a drug side effect. We will correct side effect X with more drugs."

They say there are certain topics that you shouldn't talk about at parties - religion and politics. Those are both things that are like abstractions, something huge and complicated that you as an individual have no control over. You can't just go test something by yourself using direct experience, to find out the answers to questions like 'What's the best kind of economic system?' or 'Does God exist?'

I plan to actually conduct an agorist experiment. In that sense, my economic theories will be tested in practice. My prediction is "Agorism will be spectacularly successful and productive, once you get started."

So, when people talk about those subjects, they can argue for an eternity without being sure of the answer. Nobody can say, "Let's you and me step outside and test that theory right now!"

But you can definitely go out and take pills and find out that yes, prescription drugs are evil incarnate. And you can easily find other people who have done that.

Direct experience versus large abstract ideas that nobody can control, test, or observe very easily.

That's not the main point of that post.

When I write about the Compound Interest Paradox, a bunch of pro-State trolls say "You're wrong, FSK!", and give incoherent gibberish justifying their false beliefs. When I write "The 'chemical imbalance' theory of mental illness is a fraud!", nobody responds with trolling "You're wrong, FSK!" Some commenters have said "I also had bad experiences with the psychiatry/death industry." Nobody has given me a hard time about my criticism of the psychiatry/death industry. That's a weird statistical anomaly.

For every *OTHER* non-mainstream idea I discuss, I receive hostile criticism. There hasn't been any hostile response to my criticism of the psychiatry/death industry.



fritz has left a new comment on your post "More Flagrant State Corruption":

I believe what you say FSK,,I think the legal system in a money making scam....But in my most recent involvement with my local courts I am most happy.

The legal system's rules and procedures were written by lawyers. Naturally, they chose to set up the system to maximize their own income.

The State is one big scam.

It's nice to see that you didn't get ****ed over.

I had a public defender. Which I actually had to pay the state for. I mailed my check to a state office in the states capital. I figured I was screwed cuz not only would I have to pay a fine when I lost, but I also had to pay for my public defender. my entire fire arms collection was taken by the state. 5 hand guns,3 assault rifles,2 12 gauge shot guns,a high powered 308 rifle,and a few 22's..also around 5,000 rounds were taken.

My case was dropped,and about 10 days ago after receiving a court order.I went to the police station and retrieved everything they had taken. The detective there actually assisted me in loading my goods into my truck..needless to say I am all smiles..It was a bunch of bullcrap though.
I'm surprised you recovered your property. Usually, asset forfeiture laws do not favor the victim.

In the end the state frightens me,I would really not want to mess with them. But also I am happy to see that at least in my small town of 20,000. The total system isnt completely corrupt.

That is defective reasoning. "The State is evil. Therefore, I should not resist."

Now I'm just wondering if I am on some list somewhere. Like the overly armed citizens list.And when they round us all up to go to the FEMA camps. If they will come to my door first..hopefully I can see it coming and already be on the road..

I'm going to stand my ground and fight where I live, rather than continually moving to avoid detection/capture.



heuristic has left a new comment on your post "HP 4315 Printer Review":

Get a color laser and a flatbed scanner.

I don't print enough pages for that to be justified. My printer is good enough for now.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "HP 4315 Printer Review":

I don't like the printer software that come with HP printers. The software takes too long to install, and the HP printer installation software I used gave me download speeds. I haven't figured out how the speed measurement (kbps/s) is to be of any use to me, other than to tell me how long I must suffer during an HP printer software installtion.

I only install once, so I didn't notice.

Also, the HP "automatic update driver" software was defective. I did a manual update and it's fine now.

Sometimes, when Vista's "automatic Windows Update" feature runs, my old drivers stop working. I have to go download the new driver and manually install it.



fritz has left a new comment on your post "Death Note and Code Geass Fnords":

Just remember that the people of japan are like no other. They are the only people ever to be nuked. And survive of course. But I have this felling that this would do something deep in a persons subconscious,or national subconscious. Does anyone have an example of pre ww2 Anima?? I think not(but maybe)..Anyway,I just think its profound that the only people ever nuked have an underlying sense of the corruption of power.And show it in the Animations they create...

I'm not sure if that's the correct cause, but it's impossible to prove.

robert30062 has left a new comment on your post "Death Note and Code Geass Fnords":

That is a fascinating observation Fritz! Truly. I don't really watch anime but I love Star Trek. My favorites are the next generation and the original series, the rest are ok I guess but no where close to as good.

"The Next Generation" was pretty good. It was going really well for the last 2-3 seasons, just when they quit to do movies.

I lost interest in Star Trek during Voyager. I watched a few minutes of "Enterprise" and realized it sucked.

Someone told me that they discovered a cure for "Star Trek" addiction. It's called "lousy episodes".

I heard that a new "Star Trek" movie is being released this summer. It's the "original series" characters but with new actors.

"Star Trek" should do a "reset"/"reboot" like other series. They should just start over, at the same time as the original series. For example, allowing time travel was a bad idea.

I often get the feeling while watching Star Trek that the protagonists such as Kirk(My favorite) or Picard are always working toward a common goal, the best of what we can be as humans. Never a quest for perfection, but the honest and dilligent pursuit of the idea that we can be better, that mankind can achieve the kind of living and practicing enlightenment that leads to the end of selfish violence, the ignorance that causes it, and the kind of life that exists in more thermodynamic and universal harmony.

There are some good fnords in Star Trek.

Maybe there are aliens, maybe a supreme leader of humanity, or maybe it's really the insipration in our souls begotten by a loving God who does in fact have a divine plan. I don't know the answers to these questions, I'm not that smart, but if it's a lesson from a book, a movie, or perhaps just a kind word from a friend, if it leads us to the same divine destination then what's the difference? We're doing good work here for the cause of agorism, the cause of a free human society.

Right now, I'm only discussing theoretical agorism. I plan to attempt practical agorism sometime in the next few years.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Death Note and Code Geass Fnords":

OMG, i just watched the first 8 episodes of geass. It's amazing, and doesn't suffer from the same cultural oddities that plague other animes. I'm actually rooting for the main charachter because he's totall BA

The main character (Lelouch) gets more evil as the series progresses. In the first few episodes, he clearly uses his power for good. Later, he's indirectly/directly responsible for the death/murder of many innocents.

"Attack the right flank. b1, b2, set up an ambush and switch your iff on my mark. What a call from the student council room? I thought the meeting was tomorrow?"

It's interesting to see Lelouch be corrupted by his Geass power. Light in "Death Note" has the same problem.

That's another interesting bit about Japanese anime. In some series, the main character is evil.

Also, Japanese anime is usually a story with a beginning and an end. An important character is sometimes killed. For example, in a US series, a main character doesn't die unless the actor leaves the show. Lex Luthor and the Joker never die. The only US series I can think of that killed off a popular character was when Babylon 5 killed Kosh.

In Japanese anime, important characters sometimes die as an important plot point.



fritz has left a new comment on your post "Obama Promises to Continue Iraq War":

Yea, not only are we going to remain in Iraq. but We even get to take another giant step toward socialism. Looks like our government is right on track with their agenda.

The USA is already a nearly perfect implementation of Communism. I should do an updated version of that post.

robert30062 has left a new comment on your post "Obama Promises to Continue Iraq War":

I've posted many times on this subject.

You have your own blog now? (I see below.) You should just make your own posts, rather than making big comments here.

The Middle East/Central Asian invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan are most likely proceeding as originally planned in terms of the timeframe since their respective beginnings.

The plan is to loot and pillage. There are no other goals. The publicly stated goals of war are irrelevant, as long as insiders get their share of the loot.

As I've said, the main reason for a decline in violence in Iraq is that most people have simply fled the country for Iran or Syria. Syria has extended its refugee migration limits every year since 2005 with President Assad himself saying in 2007 that "Syria cannot turn a blind eye" to the severity and enormity of the humanitarian crisis. For their trouble they tolerate illegal US military activity inside their own borders on a regular basis including a missile strike in September 2008 which left dozens dead and at least that many injured including innocent civilians. This operation was conducted under the auspices of "the pursuit of terrorists", the usual end-all excuse for US military operations anywhere. Now that violence is within an "acceptable level", the phase of long-term presence will be held in place into the indefinite future through the SOA (Status of Forces Agreement) which of course includes the legal contracts for virtually exclusive US rights to oil reserves with the roughly 50,000 "non-combat" troops left in place for "security training" and "force protection". It’s important to note that included in the language of the SOA, which I would encourage anyone to read, is the right to escalate the level of troops and operations at anytime within the country if the “needs” or “security concerns” arise.

There was an article in the Washington Post this weekend which led with the headline: "'Dark era' over in Iraq as Bars Reopen". This story included a mention of young Iraqi women who "Appeared to be prostitutes in tight pink outfits dancing around to pop music". The story went on to hubristically boast the triumph of democracy found in the scene of US soldiers in uniform, rifles strapped around their shoulders, sipping beers and cavorting about with the young Iraqi woman and the male bar owners. The quote of the "dark era" being over was placed in the headline as though it was the commentary of the UN Secretary General himself when in reality those words were taken from an interview of an international pop singer who performs at the club featured in the article. To the victors go the spoils of war I guess, but when realizing the true weight of losses that the Iraqi people have endured since the first gulf war, the immoral 10-year sanctions which starved and killed hundreds of thousands including mainly infants and children, the latest invasion and occupation which is coming up on its 6th anniversary, it's clear to see that the state of existence in this ravaged country has reached the bottom of the barrel in terms of hardship and hopelessness.

It might be worth observing that even Genghis Khan employed a military code of non-fraternization with women of conquered lands and enforced it as strictly as he could as part of a policy, similar to that of Alexander the Great, which preferred vassal partnerships as opposed to direct and marshal rule. Even a barbarian from 13th century Mongolia had a better understanding of regional stability and human relations than our own experts at the Pentagon and on the Defense Policy Board. If you take away a man’s house, his livelihood and ability to attain it, then deny and/or greatly impede his ability to have children, he will become desperate and solely driven to resistance and non-cooperation. The simple translation is that, given the current assertions of policy by the great hero of “Hope” and “Change” and his administration, we will have never-ending violence and deaths for the Iraqi people and US military personnel. If the ‘Dark Era’ has ended, then we have now entered an historic black hole of civilization.
One nice thing about the collapse of the US economy is that it makes it easier to convert people to agorism. Many people say "Why should I risk my middle-class lifestyle to pursue agorism?" As the economy collapses, there no longer is a "safe middle-class lifestyle".

Destroying the middle class is an important prerequisite for destroying the economic and political system.

I'm not so much interested in discussing "The State is evil!" anymore. That's in the "Boring! Proven!" category. I'm much more interested in "What are you going to do about it?"

Kyle has left a new comment on your post "Obama Promises to Continue Iraq War":

YAY, Democrats are up for disappointment.

You should fix your site. If you want actual readers, you should get a better page than just a bunch of keywords.

Hopefully, people will become disillusioned with Obama and become converts to agorism, instead of voting the Republicans back into Congress and the White House in 2012.

robert30062 has left a new comment on your post "Obama Promises to Continue Iraq War":

Hey FSK, Fritz, I have a few posts up on my blog now and would love it if you guys could become followers or post some things on it. Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated!

http://imperialrealities.blogspot.com/

I have an "FSK Regular Commenters" folder in my Google Reader. There wasn't anything interesting in the bits you had so far.



DixieFlatline has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #83":

Government subsidies for current capital owners is evil.

As are government subsidies for the unproductive non-capital owners, the welfare beneficiaries of re-distributed wealth.

I don't follow your reasoning. I said "There should not be State subsidies for current capital holders." That is not the same as "The State should seize property from productive workers and redistribute it."

In the present, many capital holders do not have legitimate title to their property. It is technically unowned. For example, if you borrow $1B from a bank, at a State-subsidied rate, and buy some farmland, then is your claim to that farmland legitimate?
The class lines are not capital/without-capital (which is an anti-capitalist view). They are looter/non-looter. Plenty of looters through the state on both Wall Street and the ghetto.

That is the point I made. However, most capitalists tend to have looter characteristics rather than productive worker characteristics.

Most of the welfare receipients would be better off in a true free market system. Welfare comes with strings attached. Being on welfare isn't really a luxurious lifestyle. Welfare recipients are given just enough to prevent rioting.

This is false. AdSense's ad server has to crawl a page ahead of time, to determine suitable content. If I generate the page on-the-fly, then there will not be appropriate AdSense ads. If I generate a customized page for each individual user, AdSense won't work.

The spider doesn't hit every page. If you have logs, look at the bot activity and they will prove that the Adsense spiders do not hit every page. They collect their relevancy data primarily through their javascript code. And this means the bots serve another purpose by visiting your site. :)

On the fly pages get contextual ads served, this is the genius of Adsense. There are billions of dynamic pages, many created once and then destroyed automagically through scripting, and they get relevant ads served. But whatever. It doesn't matter if we agree on this or not.

Maybe I'm confused about how AdSense works. I thought that AdSense only works well for static pages.

I'll conduct an experiment. Besides, I was thinking about experimenting with competing ad networks. I might have AdSense on my main blog, and another network on the forum or RSS reader or other bits.

You're contradicting yourself. "FSK will never get a page eCPM greater than $2.50 with AdSense." and "FSK has a badly optimized ad layout."

It's neat that you rephrased what I wrote, but I did not post "never" or "badly optimized". In fact, I did not say you had optimized at all.

I haven't optimized my AdSense. I'm focusing my energy on "attract readers" more than "optimize ad layout". I can always optimize later.

For now, AdSense has met my basic goal, which is "earn enough to pay for hosting". As my regular readership increases, my revenue should also increase.

My page eCPM actually is around $2.50, so my layout can't be that lousy, now can it?

$2~$2.50 is the settling point. Google takes all non-premium, untargeted customers down to this level because they own the game, and you just collect what they throw at you. The only shot you have of beating this, because they own the game, is to optimize and reach for higher eCPMs through your content and display. Optimizing is all a site like this, which is for all intents and purposes non-commercial, can do.

$2.50 is not a good eCPM. If you get under $2, there is a good chance they will terminate your account for not offering a solid ROI to their Adwords clients.
Google has 100% automated AdSense via scripts. Even if I'm only making $0.10 per day, it's still profitable for Google, because it's 100% automated. Google only charges its clients if someone clicks on an ad, so it's irrelevant if 1% of my readers click on ads or only 0.01% of my readers click on ads.

Google might kick me out for click fraud. I doubt they'd kick me out for "not earning enough".

I doubt I'll do substantially better than AdSense unless I directly sell ads myself. That probably won't be practical until I get 100x or more traffic.

Steve Pavlina banished AdSense from his site, because he was getting better offers selling ads directly.

Also, some non-AdSense advertisers don't like their ads being displayed alongside AdSense ads. I'd take down the AdSense ads in favor of higher-paying alternatives.

It's my money and I'll spend it as I please.
Indeed. Except you keep asking people what they think about things. If you intend to spend your money as you please, then it seems contradictory to ask for feedback or ideas, and then protest when you receive them.

It's one thing to ask for feedback and get feedback. It's another thing to be overly insistent when I make a choice other than the one you recommended.

I already said "AdSense is a 'good enough' advertising option for now."

Why are you so hostile here?

I wasn't aware that answering a request for an opinion was hostile. No hard feelings, I won't comment anymore. Good luck.

Your tone seemed hostile. It's hard to tell via the Internet, instead of in-person.

Anyway, you're free to just lurk, or comment less often, or comment Anonymously. (Fritz and Robert seem to be commenting slightly too often.) I already am spending about 1 hour per day answering comments, so I don't mind fewer. My comment volume has increased as my blog traffic increased.

If you're concerned I will ridicule you, you're free to comment Anonymously.

The vast majority of my readers (98%+) lurk. That's an interesting observation. I shouldn't let the people who are very vocal cause me to distort my blog. The lurkers are also voting in favor of my blog, because my regular traffic is increasing.

It's interesting that the vast majority of my readers lurk without commenting.



gilliganscorner has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #83":

I noticed this thread on the Ron Paul Forum. Gilliganscorner was promoting my blog.

I got bored/frustrated with the Ron Paul Forum. People were busy arguing "It's possible to reform the State! All we have to do is elect Ron Paul!" They didn't seem receptive to "Who needs a government anyway?"

That thread seemed to degenerate into a flamewar.

It did. I thought there might be an agorist remnant floating around in there, but it is a waste of time now. I am trying to promote agorism where I can, but although I can sometimes manage to convince people the State is simply an outpost in their minds, the lack of will / lack of enthusiasm is astounding.
I've given up on the Ron Paul forum. Of course, you're free to do as you please. Every little bit helps.

I've noticed that "Other people promote FSK's blog!" tends to be more useful than "FSK directly promotes his blog!" I haven't had explosive growth, but I am getting consistent 5%-10% monthly growth. I certainly haven't maximized my potential audience yet.

Participating in flamewar threads seems to be a waste of time. I get more "bang for my buck" in a thread where there's only a few replies. Of course, some threads degenerate into flamewars *AFTER* I participate!

I might go back to mises.org again. I'm shopping around for "good forums to promote my blog". Really, I should write my own forum engine.

It's interesting to notice via Google Analytics the effects of other people siting my blog. I'm more interested in citations that lead to 5+ visits. On the Ron Paul forum, you only directed 1-2 visitors to my blog.



Josh has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #83":

Yep, it's your money. When I was talking about Scottsdale Silver, if you bothered taking one look, all they do sell is bullion, nothing numismatic (not even rounds).

I didn't know you expected me to look into them.

I checked Scottsdale Silver out. Apmex had cheaper prices, a better-designed website, and more choices.

Apmex also had other decent offerings, such as 0.5 ounce silver rounds (not currently in stock) or "junk silver" (pre-1960s silver dimes/quarters/half-dollars). If an agorist uses silver as money, you need some sub-1-ounce coins for making change. I've also been looking for copper bullion coins, but haven't found any. Copper costs about 1/100 as much as silver per ounce, so it'd be suitable for change for small transactions.

First you say my hosting vending isn't serious enough, now you're complaining I'm persistent, whatever works for you dude. As you can see, this is how often I'm online and available to provide my support, but I guess that's still not 24/7 100% of time. As for who's money and who's problem? I'd be lying if I said I wasn't trying to make money off you.

It's OK for you to aggressively seek a profit. It's OK for me to say "I'm buying elsewhere". I made my own analysis, and I conclude that Linode is more suitable for my needs.

Don't get hostile just because I chose another vendor.

I'm not the one who lost my job a few months back either.

That's invalid reasoning. "FSK lost his wage slave job. Therefore, FSK is not qualified to choose a hosting vendor."?

The primary reason I haven't found a new job is that the economy is **LOUSY!!** In October, I was getting 3+ interviews per week, and there were twice as many job ads posted. Now, I'm getting fewer than one interview per week.



Josh has left a new comment on your post "February AdSense Summary":

I don't think it's a good idea to disclose your AdSense income, I heard it can be a sign you're asking for more clicks, be careful.

I've seen other people post AdSense statistics on their blog.

My advice has always been "Only click on an ad if you're interested in it." If you click on scammy ads, you're just encouraging AdSense to publish scammy ads on my blog.

My biggest complaint with AdSense is "I only get paid if someone clicks on an ad", which naturally leads to abuse. It'd be better to get paid based on pageviews, rather than ad clickthroughs.

Theoretically, if someone went around reading my blog and clicking on every single ad, then I could get kicked out of AdSense for abuse. Hopefully, Google is able to filter out this sort of thing intelligently.

If you get kicked out of AdSense, you're basically SOL. There's no appeal process.

I also read that you can wrap some javascript around AdSense (not an option on Blogger). Then, you know who clicked on which ads. Allegedly, that's an AdSense TOS violation. One complaint I have about AdSense is that I don't find out which ads were clicked. I'm curious to see what my readers find interesting! Plus, I'd start blocking the scammy ones if non-scammy ads are being clicked.

As for blogging as a job, we all start somewhere. Once you get your own wordpress or movabletype,whatever, you can put in a theme, adjust some fonts, some simple ways to increase readership (aesthetics).

Blogger has really limited customization options. The more I read about WordPress, the more I realize how much Blogger sucks.

If I can get consistent traffic growth, it'll be a viable job eventually. The key for "profit from blogging" is:
  1. consistent readership growth
  2. It's better if you have other businesses you're promoting, rather than straight blogging.

You have lots of good stuff to blog about, so it's just a matter of when that your readers increase and you make hundreds a month, OK, that's still not a full time job, but sure helps to have extra money.
I need to make $1000 a week for it to replace a wage slave job. That's 100x more than I've been making so far via AdSense. Assuming that "traffic" and "ad revenue" are 1:1 correlated, I need 100x more traffic for that to be viable. Assuming I double my traffic every 6 months, that would take 3 to 3.5 years. If I put up other stuff on my site, like a good RSS reader or forum engine, I may grow my traffic even faster.

I'm looking to expand from blogging to other things. I'm looking into:
  1. RSS/forum engine
  2. promote agorism via standup comedy
  3. get T-Shirt burning equipment, make and sell agorist-themed T-Shirts
  4. start practial agorism; write AgoristBay

2 comments:

Josh said...

No, I wasn't saying because you lost your job you're not entitled to pick and choose (ridiculous). I was saying if you lost your job (and now your AdSense account), I hope you're careful how you spend (none of my concern). Wasn't trying to be hostile, sorry for the confusion.

As for copper, you don't need to "buy" it. Copper costs less than $1.70 per pound. You can just go to a bank and take out pennies, about 10% is pure copper pre-1982, the rest will be zinc. See Coinflation.com, which will tell you nickels are the best metal value/face value for coins you don't need to "buy".

And finally, for t-shirt equipment, I don't know how much you've looked into it. But I'd strongly advise against buying equipment unless you know what you're doing and you know your market. For somebody who's sold over 600 t-shirts the past year, I can tell you I saved myself lots of space, time and money once I found a good deal.

I live in California so I won't be introducing you to who I print my t-shirts with. But sit down and do the math, do you know how many t-shirts you need to sell @ $10 or @$20 to make back your equipment costs (forget the time and labor)?

Oops, I forgot again, not my money, and you never said you were doing it for money either.

eagledove9 said...

You mentioned that gmail went down, which I didn't know happened, and that the biggest risk is if someone steals your password. I thought of another risk on another website that I just learned recently: On MySpace, you can have a million emails from somebody saved in your inbox, but if that person shuts down their profile, it also automatically destroys all the emails they ever sent you. My ex-boyfriend usually used MySpace to send me emails, and then, years later, he shut down and deleted his MySpace account. I just went in there to look at my emails and every email from him had this default error message from MySpace saying "This user has deleted their account, blah blah blah" instead of the original email message! The messages weren't life-or-death important, but nevertheless, I had intended to save them someday. So don't save important messages in your inbox at MySpace if there's any chance that the sender could delete their own account without warning you first.

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