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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Reader Mail #98

In this thread on Bureaucrash, someone was asking "What's the correct anarchist attitude towards gay marriage?"

The correct anarchist answer is "Marriage contracts are none of the government's business."

In the present, married people get certain legal perks. For example, you can inherit your partner's property without taxes. You can make decisions for your partner if they're incapacitated. Under certain circumstances, married people pay less in taxes than if they were unmarried.

Without government, people could make any type of marriage contract they want. As another example, polygamous marriage contracts are not presently allowed by the State.



In this thread on Bureaucrash, someone was trying to sell canned goods at a farmers' market without a State license.

What you should do is sell them in private to trusted partners. Selling to the general public at a farmers' market is too risky. There are several risks at a farmers' market.
  1. A policeman could stop by and harass you.
  2. One of your competitors, who does have a State license, could complain to the police. I've noticed that the biggest risk of "practicing industry X without a license" is that someone with a license will complain.
  3. A disgruntled customer could complain to the police.
Eventually, there'll be "agorist markets", held in private, where all of the people have been screened as trustworthy agorists. That's still a few years away.



This thread on Bureaucrash was interesting (site registration required). Allegedly, Mike Gogulski was banned from Bureaucrash, and all his posts were deleted. He was later reinstated. Some people were complaining that the Bureaucrash site owners are a bunch of pro-State trolls. (They weren't using my phrase, but that's what they meant.)

Once a user-generated content website adopts a censorship policy, this inevitably leads to debates about "What content is appropriate?"

I should write my own forum engine. I'm still recovering my energy.

One nice thing about the Internet is that it's easy to say "**** you! I'm leaving!" and start a competing website. If you believe that your corporate employer is being unreasonable, it's very hard to say "**** you! I'm starting my own competing business!", due to State restrictions of the market. If you believe that a State enforcer is unfairly treating you, it's illegal to say "**** you! I'm starting my own competing government!"

On Blogger, I run the risk that Google will decide to censor me and delete my blog. On my own domain, I'd have less risk. From time to time, a State enforcer will seize ownership of a domain name, so there's still some risk. For example, I remember that a judge ordered Wikileaks' domain registration revoked.

My blog is valuable from the knowledge gained, and not just the content. Even if I had to start over again from zero regular readers and lost my SEO/SERP, I've still gained a lot from blogging.



David_Z has left a new comment on your post "Attention Deficit Order Explained":

I was always a B+ student, with occasional As in classes that I found interesting. Thing is, I put forth pretty much ZERO effort in school: from kindergarten through college.

I also got high grades with low effort. In history and social studies, which was essentially a memorization contest, I had to spend some time and effort memorizing.

My teachers used to say things like, "David is not living up to his potential". Presumably they knew as well as I did that I was capable of all A's, but the marginal effort required to get those
grades wasn't worth it.

I didn't learn that "School is a waste!" until much later. I took it seriously at the time. I always believed that "If you get good grades and become a skilled worker (abused productive worker), then everything will work out for you." In retrospect, that turned out to be a lie. Of course, you could argue that I did benefit from learning, because I was able to discover the scam.

Most of the advice I read about "being a good employee/citizen" is really "be a good slave".

People are conditioned to think, "David could've gotten all A's and gone to a great school to get a great job." What they miss is that the "better" college you attend, the more likely it is that you graduate as a complete Tool with zero ability to think for yourself.

It depends on what subject you study. If you study Mathematics or Computer Science or certain areas of science and engineering, you learn skills that are actually useful. If you get a degree in law/MBA/economics/politics, you're learning to be a more brainwashed pro-State troll, rather than learning useful things. If you get a degree as a doctor, you learn some useful things, but a lot of it is artifical State overhead designed to decrease the supply of doctors and increase the cost of a State doctor license.

For a student entering college now, my advice is "Learn things that are actually useful." Of course, distinguishing between subjects that are lies and subjects that are useful is tricky! When I was in college, I intuitively knew that economics was flaky, but I didn't realize the massive scam of the current economic system. At the time, I figured "If I learn a lot of Mathematics, then I can always learn economics later!" When I seriously studied economics working as a financial software engineer, I realized that a lot of it doesn't make sense. My Mathematics training had helped me learn to think clearly. When I read economics books, it was obvious to me "These are the assumptions." and "These are the conclusions." The problem is that the assumptions are wrong.

LibertyTiger has left a new comment on your post "Attention Deficit Order Explained":

I was diagnosed ADHD as a kid. I found most people and task uninteresting to me. I still do.

I hope you weren't forced to take ritalin or other harmful drugs.

I was skilled enough at being a "good" student that I didn't have that problem. Now, I have very little patience for fools. That is a problem, since nearly everyone is a brainwashed pro-State troll.

School's aren't just a waste of time, they're actually dangerous. If your child goes to school knowing it's a scam they'll likely be the target of manipulation and abuse by "educators" attempting to control and conform them to their arbitrary, statist standards.

If the parents take an active role, the the educators are less likely to push an abusive agenda.

I have three young kids. There's no way in hell I'd put them in a government school, I don't care what sacrifices I have to make to homeschool them. We're going to unschool, that's homeschooling without a curriculum and based on the child's interests.

I heard that Montessori schools are good, but I haven't researched it myself.

"Start a homeschooling business" is one of my agorist business ideas. That one will wait until/if I have children. If you put your material on the Internet, then it's easy to share the work of others.

For example, if I were homeschooling, it'd be very hard to find sources for history that aren't pro-State trolling. For example, stuff like "History of Central Banking in the USA" is stuff that's completely missing from State history/brainwashing education.

There also were things like "Spend 6 months full-time on a computer programming project!" that wouldn't be feasible in State schools. I probably would have been better off spending 1-2+ years full-time working on writing my own software projects, than going to a State school. (I should start working on some personal projects while I'm unemployed.)

Homeschooling is only practical if one parent has a job where they can work from home, or if one parent earns enough so that the other doesn't have to work. In that sense, "Women in the workforce!" was a massive scam that moved resources away from raising children, increasing the dependence of parents on State bureaucrats.

Schools also play a "babysit children" function, in addition to the pro-State brainwashing. Someone has to watch the children while the parents work in their wage slave jobs.

In a State school, your child will receive very little individual attention. If you homeschool, and give your child 5 minutes of individual attention per hour, that's more individual attention than they would get in a State school. It's hard to get a job where you can work from home, or make enough so that one parent doesn't have to work.

There also is the "socialize with other children" factor. Of course, the socialization that you learn in school is more brainwashing than genuine learning. Hanging out with other children can be accomplished other ways. This is easier if several homeschooling parents pool their resources.

I've considered offering Math and Computer Science classes for homeschoolers. It's probably illegal to teach out of your home without a State license. Of course, if you do it properly agorist-style, then nobody would ever find out!

I'd like to try homeschooling, but it's hard to arrange "one parent works from home" or "one parent doesn't need to work". If you think about it, and add all the taxes and hidden costs, it's silly for both parents to work in a full-time on-the-books slave job.

Angry_Magician has left a new comment on your post "Attention Deficit Order Explained":

The recent upswing in ADD/ADHD diagnoses means that the Matrix and the State are becoming more obvious! At the very least, the psychiatrists are seeing more symptoms of kids who aren't completely taken in.

That's a natural effect. Over time, the Matrix gets stronger. At the same time, people start evolving greater existence.

Unfortunately, State-licensed psychiatrists are so stupid that they'll label millions of kids as "defective" rather than acknowledging the existence of the Matrix. In my experience, psychiatrists actually have a pretty low level of emotional awareness.

I've made the following argument to each of my psychiatrists, and none of them got it:
  1. FSK is only sick at most a few days per year.
  2. FSK was fine living without drugs for many years, until his first panic attack.
  3. The drugs have damaging side effects, which prevent FSK from doing all the things he normally likes to do. (Actually, "The drugs make FSK unable to think clearly." is the intended effect of the drugs.)
  4. Therefore, FSK prefers to not take the drugs, be fine 99%+ of the time, and risk relapse.
  5. Over time, FSK's natural healing process will lead to his recovery without drugs.
The psychiatrists can't overcome their brainwashing. They've been brainwashed to believe:
  1. The drugs have no significant negative side effects.
  2. Once someone has been labeled with a mental illness, they must keep taking the drugs for the rest of their life, or they will relapse.
  3. The only way to treat someone with a mental illness is with drugs.
I'm probably the only person who has ever had several panic attacks, refused to take the harmful drugs, and then mostly/fully crack their pro-State brainwashing.

There are some slackers who are basically unaware of the State, but the ones I know who fit this personality type are often parasites and blatant pro-State trolls.

The more intelligent you are, the more the Matrix hurts you. The most intelligent people are the ones who suffer the most. Therefore, people learn that being stupid and parasitic is desirable. People intentionally don't use all of their brains and thinking ability, because the truth is very depressing. As a baby, you learn to ignore the truth, because it's very depressing. By the time you're an adult, you believe that being insane is "normal".

The Matrix exists primarily to benefit the parasites. The USA is an economic and political system "of the parasites, by the parasites, and for the parasites." Most of the rules of the economic and political system facilitate the looting of the productive workers by the parasites. Since nearly 50% of the population are parasites (or more), and most people aspire to the parasite role, reform cannot occur via voting.

If you're really stupid, or play the parasite role well (which actually requires some intelligence), then you don't suffer so much under the Matrix.

I was at the extreme end of the "abused productive" personality type, so I suffered the most under the Matrix. Playing the parasite role is obviously stupid, but "abused productive" people have their limitations. I was caught in a no-win situation. I wasn't willing to use parasite tactics. If you're playing the "abused productive" role too well, then parasites start feeling threatened by you. I knew enough to not accept abuse by other people, but I also wasn't willing to be an abuser.

When it came to meeting women, I couldn't date a parasite, because I wouldn't let other people abuse me. I couldn't date an "abused productive" woman, because the parasites around us would always interrupt, or the brainwashing imposed by parasites would prevent progress. Two "abused productive" people can't normally overcome their pro-State brainwashing. Even if two "abused productive" people start dating, one of them must play the parasite role.

Now, I should be able to successfully hang out with an "abused productive" woman, but then convert her to "sane" (or the same mental state as me). I've only recently achieved higher awareness, so it'll take some time for me to implement this. Just because I haven't succeeded yet, doesn't mean my ideas are wrong!

Watching one of my friends with ADHD was depressing; it suppressed his appetite, so during lunch he stayed in the classroom during homework and was strenuously boring and detached while on the medication he was prescribed. I don't happen to know what it was.

You mean that the drugs he was prescribed hurt him. ADHD itself is a made-up disease. Instead of saying "You have ADHD.", you could just as easily say "You are able to sense the Matrix."

All the drugs that alter your brain chemistry are incredibly damaging.

Myself, I match David_Z's school record; B-pluses in subjects I didn't find interesting, and C's in the ones I detested (mainly history), A's in the subjects I liked. I agree that I would have liked to learn math and science several times faster than it was actually taught in school. Especially in public school, (and doubly so in the elementary grades!) that part of the curriculum is tripe, poorly explained and pushed too slowly and complicatedly.

I did better in Math, because it was objective. In English, saying "This essay deserves an A!" is entirely subjective. In retrospect, the writing tactics I learned in school are slave thinking tactics. For example, in a school essay, if you write "People who disagree with me (and give stupid arguments) are idiots!", then you'll get an F. When blogging, that's an important attitude to have, because otherwise I'd waste a lot of time on pro-State trolls. Also in a school essay, you'll get an F if you disagree with State propaganda. For example, if I presented my economics ideas in a paper in an economics class, I'd probably get an F. If I were an economics PhD student and tried making a thesis based on my blog's economic ideas, I probably would not get a degree.

In retrospect, I could have learned important things a lot faster if I were educated properly. I'm referring mostly to Mathematics, Computer Science, and Science. It also would have been nice to learn some non-pro-State trolling history, politics, and economics. I also should have learned how to build and repair things. The "shop" classes I took in school were a joke. A State shop class seems like an evil fnord that says "Actually building things is boring and lame!"

Sending children to a slave school is a bad idea. It doesn't matter if it's a private school; most are either religious (hah!) or are preparatory (crush students by drilling them hard with work). I think you'd be hard pressed to find a government-chartered private school that won't try to inflict pro-State brainwashing on children.

I heard that Montessori schools are decent, but I haven't tried them.

When the time comes, I'll try to homeschool. Either I'd need a "work at home" business, or earn enough that my wife wouldn't have to work.



This YouTube video was interesting. It's a combination of a pool trick shot and dominoes.



Thompson has left a new comment on your post "The Liberty Dollar Scam Continues!":

The Liberty Dollar serves as a good transition, though. Once FRNs are more or less obsolete because of the success of agorism, then it'll make sense to bargain in terms of weights and measures; until then, I think it makes sense enough to keep upping the FRN "face value" as FRNs depreciate.

My point is that you're better off using silver rounds than using Liberty Dollars.

When you buy Liberty Dollars, you're paying a markup to the spot price of silver. For example, suppose the spot price of silver is $16/ounce and the Liberty Dollar has "$50" printed on it. The difference of $34 is seignorage profit for the people who mint Liberty Dollars.

Instead of Liberty Dollars, you should use use generic silver rounds. Trade them based on the spot price of silver, rather than having a fixed exchange rate between slave points and silver.

If your "alternate currency" is based on slave points, that's loss-oriented thinking. An alternate currency should be completely independent of Federal Reserve points. It's much healthier to think "This costs an ounce of silver." instead of "This costs $16." (assuming a spot price of $16/ounce) If you know the spot price of silver, it's easy to translate between prices in slave points, and prices quoted in real money.

For example, the price of a gallon of gasoline, divided by the price of an ounce of silver, has remained pretty steady over time. If you quote the price of gasoline in real money, then the price increase is slow/negligible. This calculation shows that most of the increase in energy prices is merely compensation for inflation.



Thompson has left a new comment on your post "Key Arguments":

For the past couple of days I've been reading your blog (I've read maybe 20 or 30 posts, mostly longer ones, and mostly from your all-time top hits list) and I can't find any contradictions. Keep it up. The remnant is very much poised and ready, and its numbers are growing to top it off.

I don't have any good statistics for the number of people who are convinced "Monopolistic government is evil!" and "Agorism is the best strategy for resisting the evil State." My blog's readership is increasing, and I see more intelligent discussion of agorism elsewhere.

I'm also seeing people writing articles on "That FSK is such a loser!", which I guess is an indication of success.

Elsewhere you mentioned "gulching." That'll be a reference whose origin is Atlas Shrugged: the nickname the essentially agorist (though they haven't yet shaken off the last rags of libertarian optimism of legal violence - as I have only very recently done) remnant of creative industrialists give to the valley to which they withdraw to work in peace: "[John] Galt's Gulch."

I've read Atlas Shrugged, and know that "gluching" is a reference to Ayn Rand. Agorism is the best way to implement Ayn Rand's vision of a strike by productive workers. Instead of outright striking, you create wealth that the bad guys can't steal. You don't need to move to a remote area and set up a self-sufficient community to get greater freedom. I can stay where I am and achieve greater freedom by agorism. For example, there's nothing immoral with me using the State electricity/telephone monopoly until free market alternatives are developed.

If you haven't read it, I highly recommend you do so. It isn't quite perfect - it retains that nagging optimism of the state - but it does provide a good model of an agorist revolution and the subsequent demise of institutionalized force.
Based on my experience, if you see someone in an online discussion forum who names themselves after a character in an Ayn Rand novel, they're usually an idiot. The problem is that the "Objectivist" movement is now controlled by idiots. Ayn Rand's novels are interesting. I wouldn't bother hanging out with her followers/worshipers.

One more thing (sorry to address so much in the same comment on the same post): I too have had the same inkling as you that the SLH might actually want the intelligent ones to see the scam. Either he empathizes with us (he too knows it's all bullshit) and wishes us to withdraw while he maintains his control, as in Brave New World, or he really is ultimately going for the collapse of the State: and with it, the extinction of anti-life philosophies which attempt to exist in defiance of reality. Either way, it's pretty sweet.
This issue keeps coming up. There is evidence that whoever's really pulling the strings actually wants the current corrupt system to collapse. "Taxation is theft!" and "Government is terrorism!" are ideas that are 150+ years old. Has some secret group been working towards the elimination of government for decades/centuries?



Thompson has left a new comment on your post "My Brain is Sore!":

It's hard to describe, because it seems to be a "You have to experience it yourself!" thing.
Enlightenment is indeed.
I try to do the best I can.

You wouldn't happen to live near NYC, would you? I want to meet up with some more agorists, to do some serious short-term planning.
I live in NYC, specifically Brooklyn.

For now, I'm focusing on "promote agorism" more than actual agorism. Right now, raising awareness is probably more important than actual agorism.

It says on your profile page that you're an actor. I've been considering "Experiment with standup comedy" as a means of promoting agorism. I've been considering experimenting as an independent filmmaker, but that's probably going to wait 1-2 years. I'm considering vlogging and also maybe recording some agorist-themed sketch comedy.



Sovereign has left a new comment on your post "How is the CPI Calculated?":

Unfortunately, the price of gold is also manipulated.

Yes. However,
  1. The price of gold is usually manipulated downward. This means that the increase in the price of gold is less than or equal to true inflation.
  2. Central banks have nearly exhausted their gold reserves, which limits their ability to manipulate the gold price.
  3. You can buy gold and take physical delivery, which limits the extent of the manipulation. If the price of gold is kept artificially too low, then people will merely buy gold and take possession.
Over a 5-10+ year period, the price of gold is a more accurate measure of inflation than the CPI. It wasn't a valid comparison before 1975, because it was illegal to own gold. It wasn't a valid comparison in the 80s and early 90s, because central banks were dumping their gold reserves to keep the price of gold down. Over the past 10 years, gold has been a better measure of inflation than the CPI.

As further evidence that gold is an accurate measure of inflation, the rate of increase in the price of gold tracks M3 and reconstructed M3 pretty well.



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Obama Nominated Someone for the Supreme Court":

Amen,

In ron paul's book "the revolution" he mentions how congress has the power to decide when supreme court can't rule on certain types of cases.

I've heard of three ways that Congress can overrule the Supreme Court.
  1. Congress can clarify an ambiguous law. For example, the Supreme Court granted Major League Baseball an exemption from antitrust law, which they later regretted but didn't overturn due to the corrupt principle of stare decisis. Congress has the power to clarify antitrust law, saying that baseball is not exempt.
  2. Congress can amend the Constitution (with also ratification by individual state governments needed). For example, the Supreme Court struck down an income tax in the late 19th century, which was clarified by the 16th amendment. (Ignoring the "Was that ratification fraudulent?" and "Taxation is theft!" arguments.)
  3. Congress can increase the size of the Supreme Court. At first, the Supreme Court was hostile to Roosevelt's New Deal and the huge expansion of Federal government power. Roosevelt threatened to get Congress to pass a law increasing the size of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court capitulated and let the New Deal laws stand.
Once you realize "Taxation is theft!" and "Government is a massive criminal conspiracy!", then it's irrelevant what the Supreme Court does. The Supreme Court is an evil fnord providing the illusion of justice. Every single erosion of individual freedom was approved by the Supreme Court, and via "stare decisis", those erosions became permanent.



chronosaidit (http://chronosaidit.wordpress.com/) has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #97":

On your response to my 'blinking one eye...' comment, you wrote.
Dogs/cats are not a valid comparison...and, it's possible that birds...
You would be better off researching birds, etc.

I don't know of any research conducted on blinking patterns of wild animals. I'm looking, but haven't noticed anything yet. Most wild animals won't sit still and let you watch them closely. The fact that you're watching them can influence their behavior.

Likewise, you assume that because an animal is domesticated that it is 'pro-state brainwashed.' You might look into the history of animal domestication. The first dogs/cats were animals that fed off of the scraps of human consumption. It is not likely the state had anything to do with that. When you associate the state 'carte blanche' with everything, you use the same 'straw man fallacy' that you yourself frequently argue against.

Not initially. However, dogs are literally prisoners of their human owners. Most dogs are confined to a territory much less than is "natural", which makes them go crazy. Especially in NYC, dogs locked in an apartment all day tend to get overexcited when they go outside or see another dog.

When I see a dog behind a fence barking, it seems as if it's saying "Help! I'm trapped here!" The dog isn't barking with hostility. The dog is pleading for help and escape.

As another example, there was a panda raised in captivity by humans. It was then released into the wild. It was murdered by the other pandas. Apparently, the wild pandas thought that a human-raised panda was insane.

Again, the reason your 'blink one at a time' hypothesis makes little sense, is because you have made a statement without comparing it to anything in reality. I strongly encourage you to compare your 'hypothesized blinking pattern' with some other animal. Dog, cat, monkey, cow, whatever, I seriously doubt that the relationship between an animal and a human affects its instincts severely to the point of affecting its blinking habits. Do you see how ridiculous this is? It's like saying that pro-state brainwashing directly affects the volume of air that the lungs can hold. Now, wouldn't breathing and exercise make more sense? In the same way...

I've noticed, and these are definitely true:
  1. I blink a lot less often than other people.
  2. Other people almost always blink both eyes simultaneously.
  3. I'm blinking my eyes one at a time independently.
Is there a correlation between blinking patterns and pro-State brainwashing. I'm not sure. I'm saying "Yes, maybe. That's interesting." Why are you so hostile?

If you want to say that you are no longer afraid of looking people in the eye, because you are releasing yourself from habits and thoughts from your history, I understand that. That makes sense! Because you are comparing your past behavior to your current behavior, or because you compare your behavior to others, like you did when you mentioned people frequently blinking. You have a point on the blinking. I find that it is people's own awareness of either the fact that they are full of **** and are trying to take advantage of you, or they have prejudged you with a stereotype and are uncomfortable around you. There is absolutely nothing wrong with theorizing and I am not offended, however in its current state, your hypothesis on blinking has no correlation to reality.

The point is that I blink a lot less than the other people I see. I also notice that I blink my eyes independently rather than simultaneously. Is it irrelevant or important? It's hard to say unless I manage to help someone else crack their pro-State brainwashing as much as me.

The State isn't just government. It's about how most/all people are either crippled emotionally ("abused productive") or crippled logically ("parasitic").

I don't see why you're so hostile about this?



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Black-Scholes Formula is Wrong! - Part 6/12 - ...":

there is no contradiction. axiom one is not that the expected return equals the risk free rate but that the expected return UNDER RISK NEUTRAL probabilities equals the risk free rate. u should have thought about that for a second before blasting out that nonsense

You are wrong. Even if you choose to hedge, the error in "expected return" affects option prices. Professional options traders don't notice, because the error is in their favor.

If you have an infinitesimal error at each step in the calculation, then when you integrate, it adds up to real errors.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Black-Scholes Formula is Wrong! - Part 9/12 - ...":

this happens when people trade that dont know any math. why do you trade options if you dont have any idea about it? black scholes isn't wrong. it is right under the hypothesis made. your "contradiction" reposes upon your lack of understanding of the concept of risk neutral probabilities. i suggest you learn basic math and read a book about options before you trade again

This comment appears to be by the same idiot as the above.

Economics is a subject where people think they are experts, where they really know less than nothing. If you've been pro-State brainwashes as an economist, then you have less than zero knowledge.

Given the assumptions of the model, the Math of the Black-Scholes formula is correct. I claim that the assumptions are wrong. It is obvious, because stocks have outperformed the Fed Fund Rate in every significant time period. Stocks will outperform money market funds, but underperform true inflation, because real interest rates are negative.

Just because I couldn't profit from my knowledge of the defect, doesn't mean my ideas are wrong. I underestimated the size and severity of the recession/depression. Since periodic severe recessions are guaranteed, and can last for several years, I can't profit from this defect by buying calls.

Only people who control businesses that are "too big to fail" can profitably exploit defects in the monetary system.

I claim that this Anonymous commenter is the one with zero knowledge of Mathematics. You can't tell the difference between axioms and conclusions. If your axioms are wrong, then your conclusions will almost always be wrong, no matter how much fancy calculations you perform.

The Black-Sholes formula predicts actual market prices, because professional traders will borrow/lend at the Fed Funds Rate, performing the arbitrage indicated by the put/call parity formula. I don't have the perk of borrowing at the Fed Funds Rate. I thought that by purchasing call options, I could indirectly borrow at the Fed Funds Rate. That idea failed, because the recession/depression was more severe than I thought it would be. In mid-2008, I actually was way ahead, but then the market crashed and the value of my options went to zero.

As a non-insider, I can't profitably exploit the defects in the monetary system. I thought that was a way to indirectly benefit, but it was too much risk for too little return.

That's like saying "FSK attempted practical agorism. He then was assaulted by State police. Therefore, practicing agorism is stupid." Just because I might someday attempt agorism and fail due to State violence, doesn't mean it's a bad idea.



Colin D has left a new comment on your post "The Fallacy of Suing the Government":

The way I see it:

If John Doe sues the city for $2M and wins, the taxpayers should be pressuring the city to prevent these lawsuits. If there's no pressure, there's no incentive for the city to curb the lawsuits, as the city will simply continue to pass the costs on.

How exactly would I pressure the city to prevent frivolous lawsuits and abuse? Voting and other State-licensed protest methods are pointless. Each lawsuit only costs me personally $1 or less. It isn't worth my time to try and fight for each individual $1. I'm better off completely boycotting the government and not paying taxes.

The same is true of companies. When someone sues a company and wins, the company usually must raise its prices some or even perhaps microscopically in order to offset the cost of the lawsuit. If there is no pressure from the other customers, then the company has little incentive to prevent the behavior again, other than perhaps media attention or cause organizations (PETA, EFF, PTC, etc.).

The company should not have pressure from customers. The company should have pressure from competitors, who don't have to charge extra due to lawsuits. Most large corporations have a State-licensed monopoly/oligopoly. If I believe a large corporation is doing something inefficient, it's impractical/illegal for me to start a competing business, due to State restriction of the market. The large corporation can just pass the cost of lawsuits on as higher prices.

The people who are affected by the tax or price increases must apply pressure or the taxes and prices will just keep going up!

The only way to apply pressure to the bad guys is to say "**** this! Taxation is theft! I'm not paying anymore!" Any other resistance tactic is merely acting like a slave.



chronosaidit (http://chronosaidit.wordpress.com/) has left a new comment on your post "Is it Stupid to own an IRA or 401(k) Retirement Ac...":

FSK says: It's too risky to store gold and silver metal.

It's risky, but I'm not sure what the risk is. Ideally, I'd like to have a gold/silver warehouse receipt bank to store my metal, but such a business is illegal.

Physical gold and silver probably are the best investments out there, but they're not zero risk.

Would it be worth it to a thief to steal gold from you? How would he even know you had it? Are you more likely to lose 30% of your savings in a market dip than you are to lose it in a burglary, assuming you take the proper precautions in both scenarios?

For me, storing physical gold would be a distributed banking type business. Suppose I had 100 ounces of gold. I might store 10 ounces at each of 8 friends (maybe paying a fee), and then keep 20 ounces in my home. Storing all 100 ounces in one place is risky.

In the present, whenever I buy gold from an on-the-books business, that transaction must be reported to the State. That's how they'll know I have gold and silver. The risk isn't just theft from common criminals. The risk also is theft from criminals wearing shiny badges and uniforms!

How does a thief profit from stealing a car? How does he profit from stealing a flat screen television? How does he profit from stealing 160oz (10 lbs) of gold bars/coins? Does he walk into a bank (a simple burglar, remember) and exchange them for cash?

I'm sure even the stupidest criminal can find a way to fence stolen gold and silver. There are people skilled enough to melt down gold and silver and re-forge it, although I don't have the equipment and skill for that.

Can he even open the safe? What if he ends up getting everything you own except your safe, and your dirty laundry?

I've heard of instances where the safe was stolen outright! Alternatively, you can be robbed by the people you hired to install the safe for you! I heard that, if you want a safe in your house for storing gold and silver, you have to install it yourself.

What if I'm living in an apartment, and don't have the right to renovate and install a safe?

Do you have insurance? Do you have an alarm? Do you leave your windows open and your doors unlocked? What kind of neighborhood do you live in? How likely is it for you to be burglarized, whether you have gold at home, or not?

Would my insurance cover stolen gold and silver? Then, I have to report my ownership to the State, which is what I wanted to avoid in the first place. Even if you live in a good neighborhood, State police can still raid you.

Seriously...
So you have a math degree...well, what are your thoughts on the following:

What are the different probabilities? Are they all the same?
1) Robbed/burglarized under all circumstances
2) Robbed w/ gold inside
3) Robbed w/ gold inside a locked safe
4) Robbed w/ regular expensive consumer goods (jewelry, electronics, cash, whatever burglars steal)

What are 1-4 given:
1) 50-100k of insurance (how much is this?)
2) A security system
3) Intelligent habits - lock your doors, don't have strange people in your home, etc
4) Private security patrols
5) Local police (how good is your neighborhood)
The organizers of the Liberty Dollar took very sensible precautions, and FBI agents stole their gold and silver. If I'm running a gold/silver barter network or gold/silver warehouse receipt banking business, then I'll probably be similarly assaulted.

I'm sorry, but when I consider the 'math' I think if one investment will net you all these benefits, and all you have to do is buy it, hold it, store it, and insure it, I do not see what the big problem is.

But I could be wrong. I have not called an insurance company and asked them how much it would cost to insure $50k worth of gold bars (isn't that insane, that this is only 55 oz of gold, at $900/oz). Do you realize how small that is? That's not even 4 lbs of gold. It could fit in a shoebox sized safe. It could also fit in a shoebox.

If I have $100k of gold, I could just get a COMEX warehouse receipt. I'd just buy a gold future and take delivery. The storage fee on that is something like $100-$150 per year. Of course, that still has the "IRS finds out about my transaction." problem along with "I may not be able to get to my gold in a SHTF scenario."

I've definitely thought of clever ways to hide gold and silver and platinum in my home or apartment. I will try it, but not yet.

And you really believe you could not protect that from a burglary?

If a policeman (or ordinary criminal) points a gun at me and says "Tell me where you've hidden your gold!", would I really be able to resist? What if I'm held prisoner and tortured?

You could buy that much gold and your parents would never know. You'd walk in with a shoebox and they'd think you went shoe shopping. And that's $50k in gold. A number of people cannot afford that.

Everytime you say "my parents are paranoid..." I think of when you respond to commenters with "you're assuming the state is omnipotent." You're doing the same. You're assuming the factors 'against you' have a probability of 1 of occuring.

I'm living with my parents, who spy on everything I do. I don't live with police. However, my parents act as police.

The reality is that my options are severely limited while stuck living with my parents. I should acquire my physical freedom first, before attempting agorism. However, that's going to take another year or two.



I'm still way behind on answering reader comments, but I'll publish what I have so far. I've used up most of the drafts in my queue, but I've mostly recovered my blogging energy.

5 comments:

Liberty Tiger said...

I wasn't forced to take meds for ADHD as a child, fortunately. I was constantly disciplined for my impulsive, "rebellious" behavior. As an adult I voluntary tried various medications to increase my focus and attention. All of the medications I tried had very negative side effects. Strattera has sexual side effects which were detrimental to my relationship with my wife. Wellbutrin made me just not care about anything. Ritalin and Concerta are speed and caused me to lose sleep and appetite, made me nervous and anxious, and caused weight loss. I've since found natural remedies for focus and concentration without the harmful side effects of pharmaceuticals. I would never administer these drugs to a child. The child simply could not understand the negative side-effects or how to communicate the negative thoughts and emotions that these drugs generate. Drugging a child to control his mind is abuse.

F. E. Huginn said...

I found a book on parasitic personality types, their tricks, and counter techniques:

http://katzforums.com/showthread.php?t=437673

Furthermore, are you sure stocks outperform gov. bonds, given the current situation in the economic climate? They were having a good time in the last 80 years, agreed on that, but I think it will be offset in near future.

cyberTrebuchet said...

I have the same reservation as you about the Liberty Dollar, but I still think it's a very decent transition. I'll buy a whole bunch of their silver one-ounce coins with the arbitrary $20 on the front and offer it to local businesses in exchange, say, for a pizza. Right now, according to LD's online store, I'll pay just barely under $20 for each coin, even though the spot price is only 15 or 16 slave points. The spot price'll keep going up in terms of SPs, which of course I'll tell anyone to whom I offer the silver; I'll also tell them about the reminting-with-greater-face-value-as-spot-increases policy.

Yeah, it's flawed, and I share your reservation, but I still think this is the best step for now. During this transition awareness will be raised of the idea you keep mentioning of eventually quoting prices in terms of an objective amount of a commodity. And then ultimately we won't bother stamping a face value, because enough people will have realized the FR/Income Tax scam.

Onward.

Thompson

chronosaidit said...

Below is my last comment regarding your "blinking" post. Could you explain to me how I am 'hostile' according to your comments above (in Reader Mail #98)? I have not only explained myself fully, I have also agreed with you on some level. So I fail to understand what it is that you are saying, and would appreciate your feedback as to specifically what, again in the post below, is hostile! Thank you!

On your response to my 'blinking one eye...' comment, you wrote.
Dogs/cats are not a valid comparison...and, it's possible that birds...
You would be better off researching birds, etc. Likewise, you assume that because an animal is domesticated that it is 'pro-state brainwashed.' You might look into the history of animal domestication. The first dogs/cats were animals that fed off of the scraps of human consumption. It is not likely the state had anything to do with that. When you associate the state 'carte blanche' with everything, you use the same 'straw man fallacy' that you yourself frequently argue against.

Again, the reason your 'blink one at a time' hypothesis makes little sense, is because you have made a statement without comparing it to anything in reality. I strongly encourage you to compare your 'hypothesized blinking pattern' with some other animal. Dog, cat, monkey, cow, whatever, I seriously doubt that the relationship between an animal and a human affects its instincts severely to the point of affecting its blinking habits. Do you see how ridiculous this is? It's like saying that pro-state brainwashing directly affects the volume of air that the lungs can hold. Now, wouldn't breathing and exercise make more sense? In the same way...

If you want to say that you are no longer afraid of looking people in the eye, because you are releasing yourself from habits and thoughts from your history, I understand that. That makes sense! Because you are comparing your past behavior to your current behavior, or because you compare your behavior to others, like you did when you mentioned people frequently blinking. You have a point on the blinking. I find that it is people's own awareness of either the fact that they are full of **** and are trying to take advantage of you, or they have prejudged you with a stereotype and are uncomfortable around you. There is absolutely nothing wrong with theorizing and I am not offended, however in its current state, your hypothesis on blinking has no correlation to reality.

chronosaidit said...

Again, this is the main question:

Are you more likely to lose 30% of your savings in a market dip than you are to lose it in a burglary, assuming you take the proper precautions in both scenarios?

That is the basic question I asked re: gold and silver. Basically you pointed out a few things:

1) Cops could steal your gold/silver.
2) Criminals can sell your gold/silver if they steal it.
3) It's risky to run a gold/silver warehouse.
4) Your parents spy on everything you do.
5) Torture
6) TSHTF scenario

I will answer the above in order.

First, the boys in blue...I asked you about portfolio losses and investment options, why are you talking about police raids? It's not like you are going to have access to your Schwab account if you are behind bars. You have to do something stupid to have your gold seized by the police...(like selling liberty dollars-that is a stupid business endeavor, it is no different from on-the-books tax resistance...challenging the bad guys, on their turf). If the police raid your house, you did not take the proper precautions. The chance that someone is the victim of a random, unprovoked police raid is extremely small, and should not be in a normal person's investment decision.

Second, criminals. If you are clever, someone can break into your house, and steal 'everything' and not find 'everything' that is valuable to you. You simply ought to have the good sense to protect your gold/silver at a level that reflects the value of money you have invested in it. If you cannot do this, you probably deserve to have it stolen from you.

Third, a gold/silver warehouse. Here we are again, with the liberty dollar scam. Seriously, if you are running a gold/silver warehouse, you are talking about a completely different topic, that is far in left field, compared to investing a portion of your retirement assets in physical gold. So I won't even comment further, that portion of your response was a tangent.

Fourth, your parents, this is about the only valid response, and I covered it already. Again...
At $900/ounce, 30k in gold, is about two pounds in weight. Two pounds of gold could fit in a shoe box. As I said, it should be pretty easy to sneak a shoe box past your parents, especially if they thought you bought a pair of shoes! It may be too risky for you, but for most of your readership, this is a valid idea.

Five. Torture. I am not sure why you continue to use extremely low probability scenarios to 'talk yourself out of' reasonable considerations. Again, what kind of idiot buys gold, stores it in his home, and allows outsiders to find out that he has it? I can think of several, several ways to make a purchase and make sure no one knows what you bought, own, etc. So being tortured "Where is your gold?" is again, one of those low-probability 'this-only-occurs-if-you're-careless' scenarios. It's only possible if the person attacking you knows that you have gold. If this happens, it is your fault, and you can prevent this from happening, since its under your control.

Six...TSHTF. When TSHTF, either the state collapses, or financial panic ensues, and how far off do you think we are from a collapse of the state? If you really believe it will take 10-20 years, you should invest in gold now, and sell (or not sell, maybe just leave the country, who knows) before the financial panic begins. When TSHTF, there will be plenty of warning. Since this is true, I believe the argument that "when TSHTF, 20 years from now, anything could happen, so I better not invest in gold today" is not a valid argument. Again, it assumes the risks are so great there is nothing you can to to avoid, prepare for, or defend against them, including selling off your gold before the risks become reality.

If you are not taking care to make sure you do not lose your investments, you deserve to lose them, anyway. This goes for whether they are in the markets, a private bank, or your own home.

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