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Monday, April 13, 2009

Reader Mail #95

This article, via Hacker News, was interesting, offensive, and scary.

The author is a graphic design artist. Someone copied his art, and re-sold it to a clip art website. The clip art website then hired a lawyer to demand tribute from the artist. The artist refused, because the art was originally his.

The lawyer demanded $18k in tribute. The artist refused.

Then, the lawyer went around threatening all of that artist's clients! They told them that the author was guilty of copyright infringement. If they continued to use that graphic artist, then they would also be the victim of a copyright infringement lawsuit.

Fearing the wrath of the State, the clients fired the graphic artist.

Intellectual property is not a valid form of property.

The comments were stupid. Someone said "Hire a lawyer!" The terrorist only demanded $18k in tribute. If he hires his own lawyer, the bill will be $18k or more! Even if he's victorious in his lawsuit, he doesn't recover his legal expenses.

It isn't illegal for a lawyer to go around threatening people.

For example, another site could republish the content from my blog, and then sue me for copyright violation. It'd be my word against theirs.

This post, via Hacker News, was an example of amazing stupidity. Zecco is an online brokerage. As an April Fool's Day prank, they posted false balances in people's accounts. People made trades based on the phony balance, and Zecco executed the order.

For example, suppose you had $10k in your account. You were given a phony balance of $1M. You then execute a $100k trade. Later, Zecco was forced to sell your shares. If you sold for a loss, you paid for it out of the $10k you already had in your account.

Later, someone said it was a bug and not an April Fool's Day prank.

This post, via Hacker News, was interesting. A lot of your DNA is junk that actually isn't used. Does it serve a purpose? The answer is "yes". The "junk DNA" allows mutations to occur. If you had zero junk DNA, then every mutation would probably be fatal.

This post, via Hacker News, was interesting. Copies of the soon-to-be-released "Wolverine" X-Men movie are already circulating on the Internet. A columnist reviewed the movie before release, basing his review on the Internet copy. (I don't use the word "pirated", because that presumes that intellectual property is a valid form of property.)

Allegedly, the News corporation then fired that columnist. They may have since backtracked.

My conclusions are clear. Intellectual property is not a valid form of property. The mainstream media naturally spends a lot of effort/propaganda on that issue. If I had a contract with a mainstream media outlet, I would probably not have freedom to express my viewpoint.

Someone who released a copy of a movie to the Internet before release is doing something wrong. They have a contract with their employer who developed the movie. A business has the right to make its employees agree "I won't disclose the movie's contents before release." Similarly, a movie theater could have precautions so a staff member or audience member doesn't steal a copy of the movie.

This story, via no third solution (and many other sources) is very disturbing.

A father, mother, and son were killed in a fire. The police arrived before the fire department. Neighbors wanted to go into the building to try to save the dying family. Police prevented them from entering. The police insisted that no action be taken until the State-licensed firemen arrived.

This was in the UK, but it could have happened anywhere.

The police don't have a positive obligation to protect you. The fire department didn't arrive in time to save the dying family. That's just too bad.

It's possible that it really was too risky to enter the burning building to try and save the victims. I cannot judge from the information available. It is offensive the the police just stood there and forcibly prevented neighbors from helping. It's embarrassing that the non-police were braver than the police, when it came to risking your life to save someone.

This article was disturbing, although I already knew about this issue. Pharmaceutical company sales reps give a lot of perks to doctors. Sales reps spend a lot of time lobbying doctors to prescribe their drugs.

This article was specifically about antipsychotic drugs, but it applies to all prescription drugs. The abuse is particularly flagrant by psychiatrists.

Do you remember how in elementary school, if you sold so many bars of chocolate you got a bicycle? Similarly, doctors who prescribe a certain amount of drugs get kickbacks from sales reps. It can be trips or whatever.

This is obvious flagrant corruption.

Not emphasized in the article, is that sales reps encourage a doctor to prescribe a drug "off-label". Suppose the FDA approves a drug for X. The sales rep encourages the doctor to prescribe it for Y. Once a drug is on the market, the doctor can prescribe it for whatever he chooses.

Drug company executives consider doctors to be their true customers. The interests of the patients/victims who take the drugs are irrelevant.

The comments were interesting. Apparently, a lot of people have had negative experiences with anti-psychotic drugs. There was a surprising lack of pro-State trolling. Almost nobody defended the pharmaceutical industry.

This article was very disturbing. Allegedly, Congress is about to pass a new law mandating mental health screening for all new mothers. It's a multiple choice test. If the mother fails the test, then she isn't allowed to take her child home from the hospital.

That's disturbing. The State can take your child away from you if you flunk a multiple choice test.

I liked the name of the law, "The Mother's Act". It's clever the way evil laws have innocent sounding names. What Congressman would vote against "The Mother's Act"? Most will be advised by their handlers to sign it without reading it.

The law is State welfare for the psychiatry/pharmaceutical/death industry. The new mothers who flunk the test will be forced to take anti-psychotic or anti-depressant drugs, if they want their child.

I'm reading more blogs by standup comedians. I'm noticing a "wage slave" mentality. The attitude seems to be "I need to convince some comedy club to book me as a guest. The only way this can happen is if they bump a comic in their current rotation or if someone dies. Therefore, it's very hard to advance your career." Allegedly, some of the top amateur comics are better than the pros. That wouldn't surprise you. Once you have a nightclub booking you regularly as a guest, then they normally won't drop you.

If I attempted standup comedy, it'd be a way to also promote my blog and agorist businesses. I'd consider a performance successful if I gained a new regular reader for my blog. Also, I'd directly self-publish stuff on the Internet, rather than be a loser waiting for some comedy club owner to book me as a guest.

It's a different attitude between "Find some comedy club willing to book me as a guest." vs. "Start my own business." The former is a wage slave attitude. The latter is thinking like a small business owner. I probably could find a bottom-tier comedy club willing to rent me space on an off-night (Tuesday or Wednesday) for cheap/free. Taping the performance and putting it on the Internet seems like a good approach.

I agree with the people who say "For a starting standup comedian, stage time is all that matters." For this reason, renting space from a club and performing, if only for an audience of 5-10, seems desirable. If I'm really successful, buying my own theater or nightclub seems like a good idea. The only problem is the hassle of State licensing requirements. I wonder if "agorist nightclub" is a viable business?

I read that "open mike" nights can be somewhat lame, because all the audience members are also there just for their 5 minute bit. For the ideas I'm presenting, a 5 minute time limit seems like just barely enough time to say "Taxation is theft! The State is evil!"

It also seems that it take 5+ years to get enough reputation before standup comedy is viable as a job. If that's true, there's no harm for me to wait another couple of months before starting.

The key seems to be "Have other sources of income besides standup comedy, until it's doable as a full-time job."

I'm noticing another weird pattern when attempting to meet women. Some women have an initial subconscious reaction of "OMFG!! FSK is interesting!! He isn't a brainwashed idiot like everyone else!!" Then, they realize "Men I'm attracted to usually hurt me. Therefore, FSK is evil."

This comes from the parasite/productive problem. If you have the productive personality type, then the people you're normally attracted to have the parasitic personality type.

I'm also noticing weird reactions from certain children. They seem to be thinking "OMFG!! That's an adult that isn't a totally brainwashed idiot!"

I noticed that multiracial women tend to have the "abused productive" personality type. That makes sense. Parasites naturally discriminate against them because they look different.

I realized another key argument against polygmay. If I'm married to someone, we can exchange property without it being a taxable transaction. If a group of 20-50 people had a polygamous marriage, then all economic transactions among them wouldn't be taxable.

Is that the reason the bad guys crack down so hard on people who choose communal living? The bad guys leech less of your labor if you live in a commune, where most of your labor is untaxed?

This comment thread on Hacker News had an interesting bit I hadn't heard before.

Yes, his entire family was rich and his parents were well connected (when most people tell the story they leave out "Bill Gates got the call from IBM because his mother was on their board")

I hadn't heard that one before. Bill Gates' mother was on IBM's board when he got the lucrative contract with IBM!

This post, via Hacker News, illustrates why the State is evil. The FBI raided a datacenter. The FBI seized every server at the datacenter, and not merely those related to the crime.

Some honest businesses had their service interrupted.

The FBI has no obligation to reimburse those businesses for the time and money lost. The FBI doesn't have an obligation to give the customers access to their stolen data.

This article, via Hacker News, was interesting. Recently, there was a mainstream media scare over "OMFG!! Our electricity computers are insecure!! Terrorists could hack in!!"

That article claims that the hype is a PR campaign. Congress is about to pass a law increasing the amount of regulation of the electricity industry.

I liked this article, via Hacker News. Is Google's CEO Eric Schmidt a brilliant leader? Or, did he merely happen to be in the right place at the right time?

This article, via Hacker News, was interesting. If you're a "good student", then you're also a "good wage slave". This skill is uncorrelated with that of a business founder.

Via AdBrite, I noticed this TechCrunch story as a CPC ad. It was surprisingly relevant. AdBrite is non-contextual.

In Apple's iPhone store, there was a recent TOS change. Suppose an app is sold for $10. Apple gets $3 and the app developer gets $7. Suppose the customer asks for a refund. The developer gets dinged for $10. Apple keeps its $3 cut. Really, the developer should be charged only $7 and Apple should give up its $3 commission.

A developer loses money whenever someone buys an application and later returns it. This is exploitable. Someone could buy an app, and then demand a refund, just to **** over the developer.

This thread on was interesting. Someone took a long-term employment contract with the State, and then discovered that the State is evil. Someone else realized that the State is evil while signed up as a soldier in Iraq.

Under such circumstances, you should do the best you can, while trying to pursue alternatives.

If you're a soldier serving in Baghdad, here's a good strategy for getting out. Go around to the other soldiers explaining that government is a massive criminal conspiracy. Explain to them that taxation is really the same thing as stealing. Explain to them how war is just a way for insiders to loot and pillage the American people. For example, Blackwater executives are making a fortune off the war, while front-line soldiers are risking their lives for practically nothing.

Your superiors will probably be more eager to discharge you, rather than having you go around spreading the truth. This strategy is risky. If you're clever about it, it should work.

Also, if a military psychiatrist ever prescribes you anti-psychotic or anti-depressant drugs, refuse to take them.

I read that, if you train a dog and then subject it to extreme stress, then it forgets its training. Similarly, soldiers are exposed to extreme stress. This sets them on the path to cracking their pro-State brainwashing. However, they are usually prescribed anti-psychotic or anti-depressant drugs that prevent them from achieving enlightenment.

By E-Mail, someone said that he was working at a call center. His managers were idiots. There was recently a merger.

There are a couple of points to make.

In a wage slave corporate environment, most middle managers are looking to protect their turf and their job. They really aren't interested in improvements. If a middle manager takes a risk, and is wrong, then he loses his job. If he takes a risk and is right, there's negligible reward. This is the Agent-Principal problem.

A middle manager is not the same as an owner. You're thinking like an owner would, which is wrong, because you're just cattle.

In a call center, your job is to follow the script. If you deviate, you're just not doing your job correctly (according to your bosses). This sucks if the customer's problem isn't handled by the script.

Call centers evaluate their employees based solely on "time per call" or other stupid metrics. Whether you actually solve the customer's problem is irrelevant. These stupid metrics lead to lousy customer service.

If there's a merger, you should be wary, even if your employer is the acquirer. You job may be outsourced to another country. If call center employees are merely slaves, then why not outsource it to the cheapest possible labor?

Most employers don't say "We're looking for a mindless drone who unquestioningly obeys stupid orders." In practice, that's what occurs.

Also be aware that people with the parasitic personality type are more likely to get promoted to middle manager. The presumption is that a productive worker must always be managed by a parasite.

In a true free market, an employer would value an employee who thinks independently. The truth is that you're a wage slave. It's unfortunate.

The correct attitude is "find another job" instead of hoping those losers will improve. Given the current state of the economy, that is difficult.

You should focus on learning other things. I'm finding that hard. So far, I'm only making $0.50 per day from blogging via AdBrite. I'm looking to move on to other things eventually. It takes time.

Greg has left a new comment on your post "Another Parasite Control Trick":

I've said this before and I'll say it again. I think you are looking at making money from blogging the wrong way.

Why do people keep giving me a hard time about this issue?

My #1 blogging goal is not "profit". My primary goals from blogging are:
  1. Writing down my ideas is beneficial, even if I have no readers. I benefit from my blog because it helps me clarify my thoughts.
  2. Getting feedback from readers is useful. I get some sincere and helpful comments. Some comments are hostile/stupid/pro-State trolling.
  3. Identifying stupid ideas as stupid is a useful skill. This point keeps resurfacing. It isn't immoral for me to say "Your idea is stupid!" if it actually is stupid. I disagree with that "Truth is relative!" nonsense. Pro-State trolls say "All ideas should be respected, including stupid ones." This attitude means that people cannot distinguish between good ideas and stupid ideas.
  4. I'm promoting agorism, true free markets, and proper thinking. The quality of writing elsewhere is increasing. It's hard to determine how much of that is due to my efforts.
  5. I'm planning to expand from blogging to other things. Just because I haven't done so yet, doesn't mean I never will. It takes time to get things started.
  6. If I have a decent pool of regular readers, then that's potential seed customers for my other business ideas.
I noticed that I could make $0.50-$1 per day via ads. My blogging income goal now is "Earn $20/month, so I can get off Blogger and purchase a Linode." I'm not on pace for that so far in April.

For the most part blogs that make the most money do not make money from "regular readers."

I am a statistical outlier, in terms of ability. I should do what I think is best, and not follow "conventional wisdom". According to Google Analytics, "regular returning readers" has grown at approximately the same rate as "total traffic".

Social traffic and regular readers are worthless from a financial standpoint. They make it from natural search traffic- people who are looking for the product or information you offer and are looking to click on an ad or buy an affiliate product from your link,etc. The exception is someone with a following who regularly pimps crap to their readership or "list." Like "make Money Online" bloggers who try to sell "make money tools" to their readers. People who really make money don't make money from talking about making money ( except for the few "guru" scammer types). They make money by marketing actual services or products people look for.

I'm not following your approach, which is "Make a bunch of sites each targeting one search keyword/phrase." I'm interested in building one quality site, rather than a bunch of mediocre ones.

I'm not using violence to prevent you from following your approach. I'm just saying it isn't what I want to do.

Most people who make money online do not do it through blogging. I don't know why people are obsessed with making money from blogs.

I would be blogging anyway for free. If I can get $0.50 per day from it, that's a bonus. I'm unemployed and the wage slave job market is horrible. I have nothing better to do.

I'm planning to also write some code and put it on my site, when I get my own domain. I plan to expand into other stuff. Until I start actual agorism, most of my ventures will be ad-supported.

You are thinking the right way in general- moving from wage slave to self-employment using the internet. But if you really want to make money there are a lot of easier ways to do it. I wouldn't say "easy" but someone with your level of intelligence should be able to figure it out If you can't perhaps you should partner with people who "get it" and need help with programming.

If someone wants to hire me as a software engineer and pay me the same after-tax rate as a wage slave job, I'd do it. It'd be hard for me to accept an agorist job while living with my parents.

In the meantime, I'll stick with my blogging approach. In the short-term, seeking a wage slave job is my best option for recovering my interpersonal freedom. My economic plan is:
  1. Get a wage slave job.
  2. Get my own apartment. My options are limited while living with my parents, because they are hostile to the idea of agorism. My parents say "FSK should not express his free market ideas in public! If you say these ideas publicly, jerks will conclude you are sick and involuntarily hospitalize you."
  3. Start agorist businesses on the side. Work on getting more Blogging/web-based income. Attempt other experiences.
  4. Get out of the wage slave track, either via agorism or via an on-the-books business.
I'm working on my blog in parallel with the above plan.

I understand you want to make money with agorism, but you can do that by actually DOING agorism, not necessarily " make money from agorism by talking about agorism."

I want to do actual agorism. Raising awareness is a prerequisite to starting an actual agorist business.

You probably want to make a living from doing something in line with that or at least something related that really interests you. I'm not saying you should become a porn affiliate or something ( though I make money with that type of stuff as well as more "mainstream" stuff), but there are many many ways to make money online and few have anything to do with building up a readership of a personal blog.

I'm planning to expand from blogging to other things. These things take time.

Also, I've made a lot more progress on cracking my pro-State brainwashing recently. It's one thing to realize "Taxation is theft!" It's another thing to start noticing how most/all people are really badly intellectually and emotionally crippled. Previously, when I started noticing that, I had another panic/manic attack. Now, my reaction is "Oh, that again! I guess that is real and I wasn't just imagining it!" I'm feeling increased awareness and energy, but no panicking.

When I say "Everyone is really badly crippled, emotionally and intellectually!", I mean it in a severe sense. It's astonishing how bad it is, now that I can see it. Most people learn to filter that out, because otherwise it'd be too disturbing.

I really have no skills. I went to college on and off for like 12 years and never had a job that paid more than single digits per hour with no benefits. I can't work a wage slave job because of my "mental illness". I don't actually have a choice. But I know how to think and how to do simple things that make money. It frustrates me when I see people who have skills ( especially programming since that's what I thought I would do)and seem completely clueless or at least don't listen to reason or have the curiosity to challenge their positions.

Remember that the "chemical imbalance" theory of mental illness is nonsense.

I'm having trouble with wage slave jobs. I don't get along well with the parasitic personality type. In most/all businesses, at least one of the people have the parasitic personality type.

I'm working on challenging myself more. Blogging is pretty good intellectual exercise. I agree that I'm being a bit of a bum regarding writing my own code to put on my future website.

To me it's like you decided one day " I want to make money from an agorist blog" without really considering how you would make money and whether a blog is the way to do it, but you are stuck in your ways. When there are many people who have rejected wage-slavery and manage to make money out of the system and the methods/opportunities are WIDE OPEN.

I never said that I'd ruled out other business opportunities besides blogging. Blogging is my current idea. It isn't my last one. I'm spending disproportionately too much time on blogging right now. That will change eventually.

Most small businesses take time. It's much more realistic to get 5%-10% monthly customer growth, than expect to be an immediate smash success.

It's going to take a couple of years for my other ideas to get into practice. In the meantime, I'm still seeking a regular wage slave job. It only takes one potential employer with a clue for me to find a job. Right now, the economy is so bad that I'm not even getting any interviews. When I was looking in October, I was getting 3+ interviews per week.

My attitude is "I'm blogging anyway, so why not also earn some money?!" rather than "Blog specifically for money!" If I do have ads, I should optimize them. Just like I track my Google Analytics stats, now I track my ad earnings statistics.

Why do people get so hostile when I do something other than they suggest? It's one thing to offer advice. It's another thing to be overly insistent when I make a choice other than your recommendation. I explained my reasons, and I don't see any flaws in my argument.

I'm focusing on making one high-quality site, rather than a bunch of mediocre ones. You're free to do as you please. I'm not using violence to prevent you from doing what you want.

In order to expand outside of blogging to practical agorism, I need some in-person friends who aren't pro-State trolls. I'm working on that.

J. Nick Puglia has left a new comment on your post "Rioting Fnord":

Well, it's a lot more fun than voting and it has led to positive change in the past.

I agree that it is not the best way, though.

I disagree with "Meaningful change can come from rioting and protesting."

It only matters for superficial issues of no real importance. Rioting and protesting makes people feel better, but accomplishes nothing.

Riots and protests are recognized by the State, because they don't accomplish anything. Agorism is never mentioned in the mainstream media, because it would be effective.

fritz has left a new comment on your post "Rioting Fnord":

Your right, a riot salves nothing and only identifies the people who want to cause trouble.

But imagine this, first the bad guys plant spies to provoke the riot to become hostile. Than the police come to apply violence towards the riot.

But the organizers of the riot know this and have placed counter forces in position to resist police violence. Once the bad guys begin their work of violence they are crushed by the counter forces.

It would be like custard and the little big horn all over again. The protesters could make the police "Eat grass"..

But we all know what happened to the American Indian in the end

Your anecdote is silly. Suppose you had enough trained and armed troops to defeat a para-military riot squad.

First, the bad guys would notice as you collected weapons and trained your troops.

Second, a lot of the nonviolent bystanders would get caught in the crossfire, if there were a conflict between police and armed/prepared protesters.

I don't waste time on riots and protests. It's like a slave petitioning his master to be less cruel.

Vinyl Banners has left a new comment on your post "Rioting Fnord":

I totally agree...there are other ways to voice out opinions which could lessen the possibility of violence.
Nice post!

This comment looked like spam, because "Vinyl Banners" is a spam site. I published it anyway. At least the spammers are getting smarter at targeting their content.

For example, my blog is a form of nonviolent resistance that's more effective than a protest or riot.

When I was in graduate school, I joined the grad students' union and participated in one of their rallies. I asked someone "Does this really accomplish anything?" The response was "No, but it makes us feel better." I prefer to do things that are effective, rather than something that merely "makes me feel better". Doing something obviously pointless actually makes me feel bad.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #94":

I didn't say you needed a partner, and if you'll look at it again, you quoted me saying not to get one if it would be a disaster. I didn't say anything about the ownership split.

I did say that having a partner is good for bouncing ideas off of, and getting feedback.

I've decided that I'm going to keep 100% ownership of any businesses I start. For an agorist business, nothing stops my employees from leaving and starting their own competing business, which makes ownership not worth as much as a State-licensed monopoly/oligopoly.

My parents can't support me in my agorist businesses, because they're totally brainwashed pro-State trolls. I definitely need some people to assist. The best approach is probably to get a serious girlfriend and help her crack her pro-State brainwashing. I feel that I've recovered enough to do this. Hopefully, it'll be easier to explain it to someone else, rather than figure it out by yourself the hard way. It's like saying "How do you factor a 1M digit number?" vs. "Verify that this is the correct factorization." Sharing my mental state with someone is like sharing the solution to an NP-hard problem, when I've already done the hard work.

Some good partners that might work are people with a different background or skillset who are friends. Call them an advisory board if you need to stroke their egos, but they don't need to be paid. I've had good success with this.

Free advice is useful when getting started, but should always be taken with a grain of salt. I won't have employees until my business is large enough to justify paying them.

I've started several businesses. I'm a software developer. All of my businesses have been %100 owned by me, except for the last one. This last one was much better because I do have a partner. (My partner is an agorist as well.) Its nice to have someone to collaborate with and keep us focused on the right things... but in the past I've used friends who I met with periodically as an advisory board, and the advantage of having a business partner over and advisory board is that that the advisors you can see maybe once a week but a partner is always there.

A bad partner is worse than no partner, though, of course.

That's a big problem. If I have a parasitic partner, I'll be doing 100% of the work and he'll be taking all the credit. Even if I have a productive person as a partner, I could wind up doing 75% of the work for 50% ownership. Once I make the other person legally half-owner, then I have to pay him a cut of the profits for as long as the business lasts.

You're very wrong when you say that expertise in C++/Windows is irrelevant because some employer might want something else.

There's a fnord in software hiring that you have to have experience with some particular technology in order to be able to do a job-- I once was told by a recruiter that because my Java software talked to an Oracle database that was version 8 of oracle that I wasn't qualified for a job writing Java software that talked to version 9 of Oracle. She actually said "They're looking for Oracle 9 experience."

You're missing the point. Maybe I didn't explain it well.

The real value of my experience, in any software environment, is very high. I could become expert-level in any software technology very rapidly. I also have the skill of understanding business requirements and looking through other people's lousy code.

The market value of my experience is practically zero. If a job requirement says "5 years Java", then I won't make it past the keyword filter. It's irrelevant that I could do the job better than most applicants.

What a parasite does is that he makes a separate resume for each job. If a job requirement says "5 years Java", then you make a separate version of your resume where you have 5 years of Java experience. Then, you make it past the keyword filter. I'm not playing that stupid game.

This is the equivilent of telling a truck driver that he can't be hired to drive a delivery pickup-truck because his previous job had him driving a toyota and the new job would have him driving a ford.

These people are clueless, and this is typical of HR.

In most businesses, the parasites are pulling the strings. Good software engineers don't normally make hiring decisions. There was a temporary anomaly in the .com boom.

DON'T let them infect your thinking.

I'm pretty good at defending my thinking from the manipulations of parasites.

My observation was "market value in a slave economy" and "real value" are different things. If I had 10+ years of Java, PHP, .NET, iPhone or whatever, I 'd have a much easier time finding a job. Most of the keywords on my resume are obsolete, and clueless HR/headhunters don't get it.

Programming is programming. I've been doing it for nearly 30 years, and what I learned in Basic and Fortran back in the day is relevant in C++ today.

Language is irrelevant to a programmer. Platform is irrelevant to a programmer. Even industry is irrelevant to a programmer. (I've worked in the financial industry, I've worked in games, they both require different math but its not relevant.)

I agree. That is not the way 99%+ of all job ads are written. Have you ever looked at them?

Web applications are not the only software that has market value. There' are packaged programs (Sucks on windows, though I have a friend who wrote a single piece of window software and makes a decent living on it)... on the Mac there are a lot of solo people who are making a decent living with an application or two. Where the real action is, though, is the iPhone. Apple provides the distribution under reasonable terms and the market is going like crazy. There's a bit of a gold rush mentality right now, but I expect after that shakes out it will be the best place to put software.

Web software is a good thing for me to approach. There's relatively low barriers to entry. For example, $20/month buys a Linode.

There appears to be a bubble in iPhone development. I love the ads on Craigslist that say "We want someone with 1 year iPhone experience. You must already have profitable apps in the Apple store." If that were true, then why would I want to work for you?

This is what me and my partner are doing.

Find the area where you can offer the best value. That is going to be programming. (its not going to be standup comedy-- you can't package and sell a standup routine, really.)

With standup, you're selling the tickets to performances. That's an experiment I'm probably going to perform. I'll invest a couple hours a month in it and see how it goes. The only way to be sure is to conduct an experiment. My performance certainly will be original! People with the productive personality type will probably love my performance. People with the parasitic personality type probably won't be able to stand it.

A software platform for homeschoolers to use is a great idea. Develop some privacy software for libertarian nuts like us, though that one is a difficult one from a business model perspective.

That's two things on my list of agorist projects. Start a homeschooling association; that'll probably wait until I have children. Start AgoristBay; that'll probably wait 1-2+ years.

Whatever, find what's unique about you, find a market that could really use a software solution that you can provide them, and make it.

I wasn't saying you should stop blogging, but that this blog is not likely to be a viable business. I wouldn't recommend duplicating the plentyoffish effort, or otherwise making a web based application, unless you do something like 37signals-- provide something people value and will pay for. Generally its harder to sell access to a web app than it is to sell packaged software.

It's on my list of things to try. I'm feeling more energetic lately, and am going to put more effort into personal projects.

Blogging is worth doing, even if the income is zero. Writing down my ideas and getting feedback is valuable, even if there's no immediate economic benefit.

The software business is the best one ever discovered-- because it costs you nothing for each individual sale... and really there isn't a lot of competition-- most programmers are worker bees who want a stable job and have little initiative.

That's one good thing about starting your own software business, even an on-the-books business. There's so many ways that a skilled worker can run rings around a wage slave.

I'm seriously considering on-the-books software businesses until I get my agorist businesses started.

The more I realize "The Matrix is a corrupt and evil mental State, and not just government!", the less priority I'm putting on actual agorism. Helping other people see the truth is a lot more important right now.

This means that even if there is competition in the area you want to go into, it is probably pretty poor. (and if its good, then look to see if there's a mac equivalent-- if there isn't you can make more money with a Mac app in a given market than with a windows app, for a variety of reasons, its a better platform for an indie developer.... and your users will love you because you're the only game in town.)

On the windows side of the isle, these kinds of one man shops are called "micro-ISVs" there's a lot of resources out there, and a so-so book on the subject.

You really can be a software company by yourself.

I'm going to try that. I'm going to try web-based and ad-supported initially. I'm going to use blogging revenue to reinvest in other things. I'm unemployed right now and have nothing better to do.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Is Autism an Illness?":

That came out a bit oversimplified, but I can see what you're trying to say and I agree.


I was planning to do a more detailed post on this. I've been falling behind on my blogging, especially "Reader Mail". I have more queued good drafts than posts, lately.

The key point is that an intelligent person notices that the people around him are giving contradictory emotional feedback. With "high functioning autism", you notice that everyone else is giving contradictory emotional feedback, and you learn to ignore emotional feedback. To compensate, you develop the "abused skilled productive worker" personality type.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Another Parasite Story":

Chain drug stores are pink market with a heavy red tinge and those who 'own' and run them are parasites at a level many orders of magnitude greater than the scamstress in your story. Without the Rockefeller/govt medical cartel/prescription drug scam and debt money (without which few chain stores would even exist -- the rule would be mom and pop), that monstrosity wouldn't be there. Your parasite is a remora on a very large shark. And shame on you for feeding the beast.

I disagree with "It's immoral for FSK to shop at an on-the-books corporate chain." Until the agorist economy is more sophisticated, it's the best option. Even a small drugstore supports its larger corporate competitors, via taxes and corporate welfare.

Sovereign has left a new comment on your post "Another Parasite Story":

I wont goes as far as to "shame on you," but I agree with anonymous.

At some level there is a "you're with us or you're against us" attitude I personally feel when it comes to businesses. If a business chooses the government subsidies, financial and/or land grants, etc from the government, or benefits from the fraudulent money creation process (commercial banks) I feel that people should resist them as much as they resist the state.

My opinion anyway.

It's reasonable to say "Supporting State businesses is evil!". It's irrelevant until there are viable agorist counter-economic alternatives. I'm going to utilize the State slave economy until alternatives are available.

I certainly have an "You're with me or against me!" attitude towards pro-State trolling!

Also, I was going to the store with my parents. I'm not going to be able to explain agorism to them. Once you're older than a certain age, it becomes very hard to unplug from the Matrix. I should focus on people my age or younger. Of course, anyone who finds my blog is free to read it.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Rioting Fnord":

"For this reason, a large peaceful protest is impossible. Violent spies planted among the protesters then discredit the underlying issue. There also are jerks who look for any excuse to misbehave, in addition to deliberately planted State spies."

Not always It depends on the issue and whether it dovetails with the elite agenda. No provocateurs at the Million Illegal Alien marches in 2006.

A peaceful protest is possible when it's an issue that's important to the State. There are lots of fake issues that distract attention from issues of real importance.

For an issue of real importance, a peaceful protest is pointless.

I'm not using violence to prevent people from attempting peaceful protests. I'm just pointing out that it's a waste of time. There are State police deliberately planted to escalate things. There also are parasites who would use any opportunity to disrupt a peaceful gathering.

There are people who would turn a peaceful protest violent because they're really that evil, even if they aren't explicitly on the government payroll.

Kevin Carson has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #94":

I did check out Adbrite on your recommendation, as a matter of fact. It's not making me much money, though.

My page eCPM rates have dropped off substantially so far in April, compared to March. My site traffic has also dropped.

AdBrite seems like a viable alternative to AdSense. I may spend more time researching competing ad networks later, but I'm not going to invest any more time on it right now. AdBrite is "good enough". I'm better off focusing on writing good posts.

Recall that my goal from AdBrite is "earn enough to get my own domain and buy hosting". I want to switch from Blogger to self-hosted WordPress. I also am considering putting other software on my site besides my blog.

One nice thing about having 100-200 regular blog readers is that'll be a good "seed userbase" for any online forum/wiki/Digg/reddit engine I write.

Db0 ( has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #94":

I consider it proven that "Private property is legitimate." If you believe "Property is theft!", then you're an idiot.

Whatever you consider proven is irrelevant. Calling others idiots because you can't argue your position sayd more about you than everyone else.

I've already covered "There's Nothing Wrong With Private Property".

Suppose that there's no private property. What incentive is there for me to build a house, if someone else can merely claim it? What incentive is there fore me to plant crops, if someone else can claim them?

Without private property, there's no incentive to work.

I'm not saying "Db0 is an idiot". I'm saying "Property is theft is a stupid idea." Your stubborn insistence is making me seriously consider "Db0 is an idiot."

I have not seen any convincing arguments to support "Property is theft!" In the present, most/all property ownership claims are not legitimate. Almost all property is stolen property. In the present, all land is technically owned by the State. That is not the same as saying that private property is inherently evil.

One of the main reasons that the USA is more successful economically than other countries is that the US government respects private property more than other countries.

"Property is theft" is an intellectual trap that many pro-State anarchists fall into. That argument confuses "In the present, most/all property is stolen!" with "Private property is intrinsically evil!"

As another example, my blog is my personal property. Do you have the right to demand I give you my login and Blogger account?

It is possible to enforce private property claims in a true free market. Defending property from invasion is cheaper than mounting an invasion.

Bollocks! Please explain how it would be less costly to defend your factory from takeover by its workers. How about if you have 10 factories.

Any sensible free market court would rule against workers who tried to violently seize the factory they worked in.

In a real free market, the correct answer for disgruntled workers is to build their own competing factory. In a real free market, there is easy access to capital and you don't have large corporate monopolies/oligopolies.

If someone tried to buy a monopoly of land, all they would really accomplish is driving up the price of land. It wouldn't be profitable.

Of course it would. Furthermore one does not need a monopoly of land in order to try and get it as rent is always profitable. Not to mention that most of the time land is sold because one is in a difficult situation, which makes the price drop.

A truly free market is not compatible with private property for the acculumation of it restricts the markets.

Monopolies don't occur in a free market. In the present, it pays to monopolize land via the Federal Reserve interest rate subsidy. Real interest rates are negative. This provides an incentive to borrow as much as you can and buy as much land as you can. The most favorable interest rates are only available to insiders.

You haven't convinced me "Property is theft!" You also haven't convinced me "Db0 is not an idiot.", although your blog has some interesting bits. If you don't like my assessment, you're free to stop reading or commenting.

It isn't immoral to call out stupid ideas as stupid. If nobody ever calls out stupid ideas, then stupid ideas propagate uninterrupted.

Parasites have conditioned people to believe that it's immoral to call out stupid ideas. That prevents people from saying "Hey! That guy is a parasite!"


Anonymous said...

Suppose that there's no private property. What incentive is there for me to build a house, if someone else can merely claim it? What incentive is there fore me to plant crops, if someone else can claim them?
You are confusing Private Property and Possesion again. I explained before that I'm not talking about things that you will use yourself. I'm talking about thing you don't use but still lay a claim to.

So obviously in your example, the incentive in building a house is that you will own it.
Without private property, there's no incentive to workSimply untrue. Greed and the desire to accumulate wealth is but one incentive among many.

That is not the same as saying that private property is inherently evil.And this is not why I'm saying that private property is bad.

That argument confuses "In the present, most/all property is stolen!" with "Private property is intrinsically evil!"Actually no. That's just a strawman. There's a lot of arguments on why private property is bad. Here's the original oneAs another example, my blog is my personal property. Do you have the right to demand I give you my login and Blogger account?That's a funny example you selected as your blogger account by most account belongs to Google who can disable it without notice or even have to give you an excuse. That you consider that you consider Google more tolerable than a State is amusing.

But in any case, your blog is your possesion, not your private property.

Any sensible free market court would rule against workers who tried to violently seize the factory they worked in.And then the problem arises when another free market court sides with the workers, and since you don't have a higher arbiter to decide, it's up to guns.

As I said, the law of the jungle. He who has the most guns will win.

In any case, this example still goes against your claim that it will take less to defend than to invade, as in the factory example, it costs less for the workers to take over the factory than for the owner to keep them under control.

In a real free market, the correct answer for disgruntled workers is to build their own competing factory. In a real free market, there is easy access to capital and you don't have large corporate monopolies/oligopolies.Where will they build their factory when they don't have land? Where will they raise their capital when all their surplus value is stolen from them by the factory owner?

No, your free market "solution" is a farce.
If you don't like my assessment, you're free to stop reading or commenting.I could also say that since you don't like dialogue, you should start writing in private.
It isn't immoral to call out stupid ideas as stupid. If nobody ever calls out stupid ideas, then stupid ideas propagate uninterrupted.I don't have a problem with people calling ideas stupid, I do it all the time with stuff as religion, Capitalism etc. But if you're going to do it, at least criticize the actual claim, not your "pro-state troll" strawmen

eagledove9 said...

Reading about 'The Mother's Act' - it's unbelievable. It pushed my 'outrage' button. If any law on earth could be written against me personally, THIS IS IT. I plan to raise my children and teach them anti-government ideas, and about taboo subjects like mind control, from the very beginning. So apparently, that's going to be viewed as being mentally incompetent to raise a child, and they will take your children away from you merely for teaching them unorthodox belief systems. I see that law as a direct threat. No one can teach their children the truth about what's going on in the world. No one can teach kids about taboo subjects. In other words, you have to hide your kids from the police, and teach them to smile at strangers and act like they believe everything that the mainstream world believes. I'm not sure how I will work around that... but it is an outrage.

Tristan said...

Seems Db0 and FSK are talking at cross purposes to me.

Whilst Proudhon wrote 'Property is theft' he also wrote 'Property is liberty'.
Db0 means the former, FSK means a form of the latter.

A major point of contention is what constitutes abandonment and whether you can possess property which you personally do not use, but which you pay others to use on your behalf.

In reality I think these questions would be deferred to the community and custom.
Personally I'd go for slightly sticky property rights (going on holiday does not constitute abandonment, but moving out would) and the ability to own more than you possess if you can find people who will act as a proxy (that is a big if on a free market however when other forms of communal possession are available on equal terms)

Ashu said...

That argument confuses "In the present, most/all property is stolen!" with "Private property is intrinsically evil!"Actually no. That's just a strawman. There's a lot of arguments on why private property is bad. Here's the original oneAs another example, my blog is my personal property. Do you have the right to demand I give you my login and Blogger account?That's a funny example you selected as your blogger account by most account belongs to Google who can disable it without notice or even have to give you an excuse. That you consider that you consider Google more tolerable than a State is amusing.

Anonymous said...

The post about a graphic designer that was sued because someone sold his artwork without his permission is indeed scary.

In general lawyers are allowed to go around threatening people, even with scant evidence. If they don't have evidence they will make up something flimsy that doesn't stand up to the light of day. Then if sued for extortion they will try to play stupid. "We didn't know. We are not technical. We trusted our client." they will say.

Basically the lawyer should have first got signed testimony from the person that sold the graphics that he/she was the direct author of the work.

Civil cases are generally about harassment and wresting money from a victim. One lawyer acting for a famous actor's wife wrote a letter admitting civil cases are often about harassment and the letter was leaked.

Government really ought to crack down on lawyers that go around threatening people without good evidence and without grounds.

But lawyers are often found in government!

A policeman once told me that lawyers know the loopholes and so legally can go around extorting money from people.

It is bent. It is wrong. But nobody will do anything.

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