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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Reader Mail #107

One of's moderators has started deleting my comments. The moderator said "It's a violation of site rules to link to or promote your own blog." That is silly.

  1. If I've already written a detailed article on my blog, there's no reason to repeat it there. It makes more sense to leave a link and let people who are interested read it.
  2. If I can't promote my own blog, then what do I gain by contributing to the forum?
  3. I only do it when it's on-topic.
  4. That rule sounds like it was invented by someone with a censorship agenda.
If the moderators are going to behave like jerks, then I'm exercising my "right to leave" and not contributing to anymore.

You might say "So what? doesn't need FSK!" If the best commenters on a forum get disgusted and leave, then that dramatically lowers the value of the forum.

In another comment, someone criticized the fact that I stopped contributing to! I guess some people noticed! was a decent traffic source, but if the moderators are jerks I'm wasting my time there. I'm not wasting time on idiots and censorship.

I should write my own troll-resistant forum engine.

I'll probably go back to again eventually, but I'm taking a vacation for now. I still have some drafts queued based on topics that were discussed there.

This thread on silverseek was interesting. They were discussing "The Hunt Brothers Silver Corner", one of my most-popular and most-linked-to posts.

When predicting future precious metal prices, it is invalid to look at historic prices. When a fiat monetary system collapses in hyperinflation, you don't have gradually increasing inflation. During hyperinflation, the inflation rate can go from 30% to 50% to 100% to 1000% to 10^10%.

When you consider "The final collapse of the US dollar is coming!", that invalidates any analysis based on historic prices.

I was watching Bill Clinton as a guest on The Daily Show. He gave me an uncomfortable emotional feeling. I never noticed that before. It had something to do with his body language and the way he talked.

Do politicians subconsiously trigger people's pro-State brainwashing when they speak? It works because most people are brainwashed zombies. Now that I have greater awareness, my reaction is "Who does that scumbag think he's fooling?"

This story is amusing. An anti-filesharing advocate copied part of an article from Techdirt, without citations.

Intellectual property is not a valid form of property.

There's a lot of political campaign posters for the upcoming election. I considered buying some printer labels, printing some "Taxation is theft!" stickers, and sticking them on every campaign poster I see.

I'm not doing it this time, but I might do it later. Imagine getting arrested for vandalism for doing that? Allegedly, the guy who made the "Obama the Joker" posters was arrested for vandalism.

Pro-State propaganda is acceptable. Anti-State messages are vandalism.

fritz has left a new comment on your post "Where Did $81 Billion Go?":

that is true fsk.the money was stolen from us. At least the notes we have were devalued by that much. But the total population in America is 300M, thats $270 for every person in the country. I saw some where that the number of tax payers is 127M.

I prefer to look at "total Americans" rather than "total taxpayers". Retired people don't count as taxpayers, but their savings are still eroded by inflation. People earning minimum wage still pay Social Security and Medicare taxes. Their paycheck and any savings are still stolen via inflation.

Inflation steals from every American, not just those who file a Federal income tax return.

Theft via inflation makes it hard to save money and use the capital to start a business.

Suppose I had back all the money that was stolen me via inflation and a declining stock market. I could use that to self-fund a startup business. Instead, my savings were stolen via the banksters and squandered.

Here is a question. (not to justify stealing)But where do the profits the insiders and banksters receive go? I would assume it goes right back into the economy. Or maybe to some foreign place.

That argument makes the "broken window" fallacy. Suppose a CEO gets a $1M bonus and he buys a $1M yacht. This "stimulates" the yacht-making industry. However, I can't afford a new TV or new computer, because my savings were stolen by inflation.

The stolen money is spent back into the economy. Parasites use this stolen money to purchase real goods and services. This leads to higher prices for everyone else.

It's a negative-sum game. Parasites steal, destroying wealth in the process.

Consider another example. I'm considering starting my own business. My savings are eroded by inflation. Because my savings are stolen by inflation, that makes it hard for me to accumulate enough capital to start my own business. If I want to take a couple years off from my wage slave job to try and start a business, that's harder because my savings were stolen by inflation in the meantime.

This post on about agorist doctors was missing the point. He pointed out that most of the things a State doctor does could really be done by an iPhone app. The doctor just reads from a list of questions and then prescribes a drug.

That's setting the bar too low. An agorist doctor should aim for a *HIGHER* quality of care than a State-licensed doctor. For example, an agorist doctor can easily afford to make house calls, because he doesn't need to recoup the cost of a State license. As another example, an agorist mental health care worker can offer drug-free treatment.

This quote was very interesting. Karl Marx said "Refusal to pay taxes is the primary duty of the citizen!"

Sometimes, I wonder if Karl Marx really was one of the top free market thinkers of all time. When I was in my State brainwashing center, I remember learning "Marx and Communism are evil!" However, we didn't spend any time reading things he actually wrote.

I was watching the Communism Channel and saw an amusing joke. They said "Hooray! The stock market went up 1% today!" On the same day, the FRN-denominated price of gold went up 2%. Doesn't that mean that the stock market really declined 1%? (1% nominal gain minus 2% inflation)

I was thinking a bit more about my parasitic boss at my most recent job. Are parasites consciously aware of what they're doing?

Are the parasites so clueless that they mistook my competence for incompetence? Or, was it a deliberate character assassination? They lied and said "FSK is doing a lousy job!", so they could justify firing me.

It's too well-coordinated to be an accident. However, it's impossible to be sure. I certainly sensed hostility from them. I assumed that I would eventually convince them that I'm a decent guy. However, the more honestly and competently I act, the more parasites feel threatened.

Here's another tipoff. They didn't give me any explicit negative feedback or warnings before firing me. If they had done so, I would have known to complain to their bosses that I was being unfairly evaluated. The owners didn't say goodbye to me on the way out. That's scummy. They didn't even have the balls to fire me in person.

As a practical matter, it's irrelevant. It makes no difference whether someone injures me due to their own gross incompetence or on purpose. Either way, I'm injured.

Robin Smith has left a new comment on your post "Where's the Sugar?":

This is EXACTLY correct.

Henry George discussed it, in "Protection or Free Trade" 120 years ago as being very very very stupid.

All taxation is theft. All government regulations are damaging. All attempts to "regulate the economy" do economic damage.

Import/export tariffs are evil, just like all other taxes.

Your President is an economic menace. So is our Prime Minister. He told us there would be no more boom or bust about 5 years ago!
All politicians and State employees are parasites. Some State employees have good intentions, but their efforts are frustrated by a fundamentally corrupt system. State workers should be handled like an insane crazy person on the subway.

I assume that you already read about the Compound Interest Paradox? Technically, the Compound Interest Paradox isn't part of Austrian economics, because Mises and Rothbard never wrote about it. Summarizing, boom/bust cycles are a defect in fiat debt-based money. It's a statistical defect built into the rules of the monetary system! Parasites put that defect there on purpose, to facilitate their looting and pillaging.

During an inflationary boom, parasites steal by printing and spending new money. During a deflationary bust, the banksters foreclose and take possession of real assets. Individuals lose their homes, their jobs, and their savings, but insiders qualify for their bailouts. Insane state judges say "Debts must be collected! Rule of law must be respected!" while ordering foreclosures; at the same time, the banksters get a bailout.

A debt contract with a bank is not a valid contract. The bank performed no real work when lending you money. The bank literally prints brand new money and lends it to you.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Employer-Paid Lunches":

Yes, that is nice.

Pinch penny employers that don't give any gifts like this are mean.

But wouldn't you much prefer a nice walk outside for your lunch. Get a bit of exercise, sunlight and a break from sitting down?
Yes. When they pick a restaurant I don't like, I go order my own lunch. That was the compromise.

If you have a creative job then maybe your mind could be thinking of how to solve a difficult problem while walking down the street. A little change of scenery might help you.

I was once a wage slave software developer. For one job I never left work until daylight had long since ended. I got home at nighttime not in the evening. One day I saw sunlight. It was a shock.
I'm looking to get out of the wage slave track, but it's my best alternative right now. I'm only making a couple dollars per month blogging. I'm looking to expand to other things.

Another annoying bit is the expectation to put in 50+ hours/week of facetime. After a certain number of hours, there's diminishing returns. I'd gladly work fewer hours per week, if I could do it for the same hourly rate.

If I had my own business, if I were twice as productive then I'd get paid twice as much! If I double my blog readership, then my AdBrite income doubles! If I have a wage slave job, and I'm twice as productive, then the benefits all accrue to my employer. If I am too productive, then I might be fired when my bosses feel threatened by me!

I should experiment with writing code while I'm unemployed. My programming motivation has returned somewhat! The hard part is that I'm living with my parents, who take up a lot of my time.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Employer-Paid Lunches":

Do you get a choice of menus and options?

They picked one restaurant per day.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Employer-Paid Lunches":

Three days a week seems like it would give the best of both worlds anon1
That's what I wound up doing. Once or twice a week, they picked a restaurant I didn't like, and I got my own lunch. There was a salad place and a vegetarian place that I couldn't stand.

It's irrelevant now, because I no longer work there!

Amusingly, I'm still on the lunch list and get the daily notice. The receptionist never removed me from the list! I wonder if they even told other people that I was fired, or I just mysteriously disappeared?

I considered ordering a lunch, because I'm still on the list. On the other hand, if I keep getting the lunch order notices, I'll get a reminder when they go broke. To my complete astonishment, they just closed another couple million dollars of VC funding, which should last them another year.

I don't see how their business can ever possibly make money. It's lousy execution of a stupid idea. The "greater fool" aspect comes into play. "We convinced a VC to finance our business. If only we can convince another VC to invest even more money at a greater valuation! If we're really lucky, we can find some large corporation dumb enough to buy us out!"

The owners were amusing. Every time a tech company got bought at a stupidly high valuation, they sent out an E-Mail. Their line of reasoning was "This piece of **** business got bought out for a high valuation! Our crappy business has a chance!" If you can generate hype, you can raise more VC money or get a bailout, even if your actual website sucks.

This story was interesting. Many innocent-seeming activities are now crimes. If State agents decide to harass you, you can spend many years and lots of money defending yourself, even if acquitted. It's very easy for State prosecutors to get a conviction and send someone to jail.

If State prosecutors pursue frivolous criminal charges and you are acquitted, then you don't get reimbursed for the time and expense and stress of a trial.

furniture Toronto has left a new comment on your post "Obama Continues Iraq War":

Whenever I see a blogger ID like "furniture Toronto", my gut reaction is "Spammer!"

Hi. I absolutely agree with you. Obama probably forgot what he promised. The war costs are tremendous and as you said there are other more necessary areas that would effectively used the war money.

The comment was sufficiently on-topic to justify me posting it.

War is the health of the State! War enables insiders to loot and pillage, while everyone else suffers the consequences. War is an excuse to give State bureaucrats more power. War is an excuse to raise taxes. War is an excuse for deficit spending, raising the inflation tax.

I'm surprised that there isn't more outrage over the mess in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Pro-State trolls say "US troops can't just leave Iraq and Afghanistan!" What's the problem? They just get on their planes and leave. If the Taliban attacks the US again, then go back again. Was Iraq a threat in the first place?

At some point you have to say "This is a waste of money and lives!" State bureaucrats have no incentive to make rational decisions, because it isn't their money being wasted. State bureaucrats have an incentive to prolong the war and cause war, because "War is the health of the State!"

This article on had a really interesting bit. It was "The income tax: Root of All Evil" by Frank Chodorov.

Every war is fought with current wealth. There is no way of shooting off cannons that have not yet been made, no way of feeding soldiers with the produce of the next generation. The argument that a future generation can be made to pay the costs of a present war is both specious and deceptive; it cannot be done. All the labor and all the materials expended in the struggle are current, not future, labor and materials. We pay as we fight.
As I mentioned before, the national debt is an accounting fiction.

Saying "We borrowed $X from our grandchildren to fight the Iraq war!" is stupid and misleading. War costs real tangible goods. These goods must be produced now, and not in the future.

Any State deficit spending is immediately stolen from other productive sectors of the economy.

For example, my savings were stolen by inflation. The stock market declined, and adjusting for inflation correctly, I really got ripped off. The banksters got a bailout. However, I lost a huge chunk of my savings.

If I want to save up money to start my own business, this is hard. My savings are continually eroded by inflation.

This post on no third solution was interesting. It's about Elaine Brown's life sentence for income tax evasion. Actually, a bunch of additional years were tacked on to her jail sentence for "resisting arrest".

State parasites tax something to discourage people from doing it. A tax on alcohol discourages alcohol drinking. A tax on gasoline reduces gasoline use. A tax on cigarettes penalizes people for smoking. Similarly, a tax on labor discourages working.

Labor is one of the most heavily-taxed activities. You cannot survive without working. You can "avoid" the income tax by living in poverty, but that's not realistic.

Direct income taxes are 50%. The taxation rate is even higher if you include indirect hidden taxes. That's a very high burden, for the "privilege" of working!

Working is a natural right. It's immoral to tax natural rights.

Criminal penalties for income tax evasion are a complete perversion of the legal system. "You go to jail for income tax evasion!" is logically equivalent to "You go to jail for working without a permit from the government!" The criminal act is not "failure to pay taxes". Literally, the criminal act is working. If you don't work and don't pay taxes, that's acceptable. If you work and don't pay taxes, then you're a criminal.

Some people say "The income tax only applies to corporations. It doesn't apply to individuals, small business owners, and individual wages." David Z correctly points out that the legal argument is irrelevant. Corrupt State courts have repeated ruled that the income tax, as currently implemented, is 100% legal. Whenever someone like Robert Kahre finds a loophole, State parasites act to close that loophole.

In a taxation trial, the judge is obviously biased. The judge works for the State and political insiders. Of course, the judge will make the decision that increases the power of the State. That maximizes the power and influence of the judge and his friends who selected him as a judge. You don't get to be judge in a State court unless you're a completely brainwashed pro-State troll.

The important argument against the income tax is the moral argument. If you make the legal argument, you're fighting the bad guys on their turf.

If arrested/kidnapped/tortured for income tax evasion, I'd make a "jury nullification" defense sui juris. However, an insane State judge may get angry at me and jail me for "contempt of court" for doing that.

I noticed another interesting point about being unfairly fired. I don't have the "right to confront my accuser". If I had the opportunity to defend myself in front of the other owners, I'd point out that my boss was unfairly giving me negative feedback, because he felt threatened by my competence. Based on my body language, and the body language of my parasitic bosses, then the other owners might believe me.

On the other hand, it's the other owners' fault as well. If my boss said "FSK was doing a bad job!", they should have at least spoken with me first before firing me. That's disrespectful. They deserve the coming failure of their startup business.

I noticed this problem in almost all the places I worked. I'm doing a good job, but my boss lies and says I'm doing a bad job. It's my word against my boss' regarding my performance. Given the confrontation, it's a "Fire FSK, or fire the dishonest boss!" situation. Unfortunately, the employer always supports the boss when there's a disagreement with a subordinate.

I liked this post on Blog Maverick, in reference to this stupid new law.

The FTC ruled that bloggers must provide full disclosure about who gives them advertising money or free product, or be subject to huge fines. This law enables State enforcers to crack down on any blogger.

For example, suppose that business X places an AdBrite ad on my blog. Later, I write a post on X. If I don't remember that they put an ad on my blog, then I can be sued by the FTC.

I noticed that Toyota put some AdBrite ads on my blog. Does this mean I'm now barred from writing articles on Toyota?

According to this new law, bloggers are held to a stricter standard than the mainstream media. For example, drug corporation executives spend billions of dollars purchasing advertising. Then, they have a press release hyping a new blockbuster drug. The "news" presents the press release as a news story. The fact that billions of dollars are spent advertising, means that new drugs are not subject to serious scrutiny.

Blog programs like "Pay Per Post" are obviously stupid. If a blogger accepts advertising money and compromises their content, then they will lose their readers. There's no need to impose additional regulation. An blogger who compromises their content will lose their readers.

This is another example of insane statutory law used to crack down on personal freedom. The new regulation is so vague that practically anyone who puts ads on their blog could be found in violation.

George Donnelly is trying to make a for-profit website promoting freedom. He's soliciting articles.

You may republish articles from my blog, if you want. I probably wouldn't write articles specifically for you unless you also let me publish them on my own blog. It'd probably be worth it for a link back to my blog, if you have sufficient audience.

"How to make money off it" seems hard. I'm lucky to make $6/month from ads, and I have 200+ regular readers. Without a mainstream media program promoting your site, you're going to have a hard time attracting an audience.

In order to really profit, you'd have to expand to actual agorist businesses, rather than just writing about freedom. George Donnelly already expressed hostility to this idea, but writing "AgoristBay" software might be helpful to working agorists.

I thought that the C4SS website was doing it wrong, because it's funded by donations. You're only going to make $0.50-$1 eCPM with ads. You're going to have to do other things if you want a really good site.

I've been considering "Promote agorism via standup comedy!" It's a real problem, how to "Promote agorism and show a profit at the same time!" Unless you get a mainstream media corporation to carry your message, it's hard to reach an audience. You can use "organic growth" to build an audience by the Internet, but it's a really slow process.

theftthroughinflation has left a new comment on your post "Is China More Free than the USA?":

Back in fall 2008/winter 2009 when people were freaking out I took several calls from Americans who found our Canadian investing firm on the internet. Alot of them were very interested in buying gold up here. Some of them even wanted to get safety deposit boxes to leave it in Toronto! It is fairly easy to get gold here, alot of the banks sell it but there is still tax applied to the transaction. Canadian Maple leaf coin seemeed to be the most popular option rather than bars.
Be careful with a safety deposit box! When President Roosevelt confiscated the gold in 1933, that also included gold coins stored in bank safe deposit boxes. Also, I've heard stories of safety box contents mysteriously disappearing. Then, it's your word against the people who work at the bank.

I'd get generic rounds. I'd get State-issued coins if it wasn't a big premium to generic rounds. Usually, State-issued coins have a 5%-10% premium compared to generic rounds/bars.

George Donnelly has left a new comment on your post "Is China More Free than the USA?":

Krugs are apparently the cheapest gold oz rounds now. See, $40 over spot and delivered for flat $25 (buy in bulk). has also been rec'd to me but I can't vouch for them.
My first physical gold/silver purchase will probably be from APMEX. I've mentioned them before. APMEX seems to be most commonly cited on gold discussion forums. Kitco is also good.

The problem with buying from a State-licensed dealer is that your transaction is reported to the State/IRS. For now, I'm a net gold/silver buyer. However, you can't sell to a State-licensed dealer without paying capital gains taxes, because the transaction is reported to the State/IRS.

You may be exaggerating the difficulty. I've found it to be pretty easy!

I'm reluctant to buy on the Internet. I'd rather buy in person Anonymously and pay cash. That isn't an option among the places I asked in NYC. They make you show ID or you have to pay sales taxes. If you know the seller, then you may get a better deal, but I don't know any of them.

I'll probably start with buying on the Internet. "Start a gold/silver/FRN barter network!" is one of my agorist business ideas. The advantage of a barter network compared to a State-licensed dealer is freedom from capital gains taxes and State reporting requirements. If I have $10k of agorist income, paid in slave points, then I can't just buy gold with it from a State-licensed dealer.

This article was interesting. President Obama hired a team of bloggers to look on the Internet and leave comments on anti-Obama articles. If spreading disinformation is your full-time job, then that's a huge advantage over everyone else. If you create multiple identities, then one person can seem like 10+ people.

Similarly, disinformation agents for the pharmaceutical industry can spread disinformation anywhere that the psychiatry/death industry is criticized.

Winston Smith has left a new comment on your post "The Grand Conspiracy Experiment":

see what you make of this analysis on a flawed psychological experiment regarding conspiracy theory/thinking.

I found it fascinating.
What's your point?

Here's an updated version of that post. Try explaining "Taxation is theft!" to the typical person. They will probably react with extreme emotional hostility, rather than a careful analysis of your points. That is evidence of a massive conspiracy.

This article was interesting. Birth control pills have a psychological affect on the woman taking them. Even something innocent-seeming like a birth control pill has harmful side-effects.

There was another amusing bit. If you work as a stripper, you make more money during the fertile part of your menstrual cycle. If you're a stripper, then you shouldn't take birth control pills!

theftthroughinflation has left a new comment on your post "California's Proposition 13":
There are tons of schemes that can be used to rob more tax money from citizens.
There is a physical limit. Taxation rates cannot rise above 100%! If you include theft of savings as a tax, then taxation rates can be over 100%!

In Montreal in 2001 the city became envious of possible revenue they could steal from the surrounding suburbs . Long story short (the situation was also aggravated by french-english issues) a few years later there was a vote and many of the suburbs de-merged back into seperate municipalities. Most stayed part of the megacity and those that broke-off still have to pay for various services directly with the mega-city like they did under the origional merger. Lesson learned: even when the state looses it still wins!
This problem also occurs in the USA. Local governments can incorporate and charge new taxes.

Living in NYC, I pay more taxes than a typical NY State resident.

All taxation is theft! This discussion is interesting, but distracts from the real issue.

I noticed another interesting side-effect of the healthcare reform proposal. Everyone will be required to own health insurance. The IRS will be responsible for making sure that everyone owns health insurance, and taxing those not in compliance.

Does this mean that everyone needs to fill out a tax return, even if you have no taxable income? If you only have off-the-books income, you still have to buy health insurance. You'd have to file an income tax return with no income, and enroll in the State welfare plan, even if you have other agorist health insurance arrangements.

Is it immoral for an agorist to file an income tax return claiming zero income and enrolling in the State welfare health insurance plan? Of course not. However, an insane State judge might think otherwise.

I read the Wikipedia entry for "The Invention of Lying". It's about a man who discovers how to lie in a world where everyone else always tells the truth.

I wonder if that explains the origin of the State? The first conquerors didn't just physically enslave people. They also invented lies to justify their position of authority. The parasites are the ones in positions of authority, so everyone assumes that what the parasties say is true.

I noticed another fnord. It's the exact opposite of the present. Suppose you're in a world where everyone is a liar, and you learn how to tell the truth?

Actually, the only liar in a world where everyone tells the truth wouldn't last long. The honest people would rapidly figure out there's something wrong with you. The only honest person in a world full of liars is taking a huge personal risk.

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man gets his eye poked out!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Real GDP is Decreasing, 1990-2008":
While I'm sure I'd completely disagree with you 99% of the time, you've put an -er- dangerously obsessive amount of effort into this and I appreciate it.
If you completely disagree with me 99% of the time, then why do you waste time reading my blog? Are you one of those pro-State anarchists?

Actually, the post wasn't that much work to do after the first time. I did the calculation the first time wondering "I wonder what would happen if GDP were calculated this way?" Now, I have an Excel spreadsheet and it doesn't take long to update the post for the next year.

Via a different angle, it basically backs up what I've been saying for well over a decade, that the American economy is (as you unfortunately understate it through self censorship) completely " ****ed ".
Yes, the economy is in really bad shape. It's gotten worse in the past 10 years.

Wait until I do the version with 2009 data! The FRN-denominated price of gold is on pace to go up 30% in 2009. GDP with no inflation adjustment is practically flat. The "official" inflation rate is the CPI, which is very close to 0%.

You know what I meant when I wrote "****ed", so what's the problem? That's an interesting question: "Should I swear on my blog?" There are two thoughts on the subject:
  1. Swearing distracts from the real issues.
  2. Swearing enhances the meaning.
If I write "The Federal Reserve is a bunch of parasites!", that gets the point across without swearing. If I write "The Federal Reserve is a bunch of mother****ers!", that's the same idea, but the emphasis is in the wrong place.

If I attempt "Promote agorism via standup comedy!", I'll probably try some performances with and without swearing, to see which gets a better reaction. Some comedy clubs don't like it when the performer swears.
However, I'm willing to bet the numbers will make an even stronger case if you take them back just another 10 or 20 years.
The problem is that it was illegal to own gold until 1975. In the 80s and 90s, central banks were dumping gold to keep the price down. I can't use M3, because the Federal Reserve doesn't publish M3 anymore. I shouldn't use M2, because the rate of increase in M2 is less than true inflation. Not all newly-created money is included in M2.

Also, the rate of looting and pillaging is increasing. The economy really is getting worse.
This train wreck has been decades in the making and there are millions of fingerprints on it. It may take the entire century to fix.
No, just about 15-20 years. The elimination of the State will coincide with fixing the problem.

That's the value of agorism. Agorism allows intelligent workers to be productive, rather than wasting a lot of time and effort supporting evil.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Interesting Healthcare Reform Bill Provisions":

In the United Kingdom, two policewoman gave birth at about the same time. The two new mothers decided to look after each others' children.

Due to new law, the mothers were told they were running an illegal baby sitting operation and told to stop on pain of prosecution. They were also told the government may spy on them to make sure they don't look after each others' babies.

This is due to a law that states nobody can gain a "reward" from babysitting. The "reward" here was free babysitting from the other mother in exchange.
That sounds like a ban on barter transactions.

If you hire a daycare center, that's a taxable transaction. If you exchange favors with a neighbor, that's not taxable.

The State bans barter because barter transactions aren't taxed.

It is a fair bet this absurd law got passed because the UK Members of Parliament didn't read the law before it was passed.

One of the policewoman only earns something like 800 - 900 pounds a month. Now she has to pay something like 300 pounds a month for a babysitter. The new mother plans to claim government benefit because she can't really afford a paid babysitter on her salary.

Basically the taxpayer will have to pay for this absurdity.
The child care industry corporations lobbied for laws regulating the child care industry. This introduces overhead and forces small suppliers out of business. You can't operate a child care business unless you comply with all the regulations. That makes it hard to earn a little extra money watching your neighbor's kids.

Child care is an industry where trusting the seller is important. That's why the small operators have to be harshly regulated, to allow large corporations to dominate the market.

State enforcers say "The law must be applied equally!" It's illegal to operate a small child care business out of your home. By the same regulation, it's illegal to watch your neighbor's kid. It's the "How many men?" argument applied falsely. It's illegal to watch 10 children; therefore, it's illegal to watch one child. It's the reverse of "It's illegal for one person to steal, but it's legal for State parasites to steal." If you're allowed to watch one neighbor's kid, then why shouldn't you be allowed to watch five neighbor's children; then, you're operating an "unlicensed child care business".

State licensing requirements for all professions are damaging. Child care is a business someone can operate with zero overhead. For this reason, it is heavily regulated. The State denies people the right to organize voluntarily and solve their own problems.

This problem is not just in the UK. It also is applied in the USA.

One of my agorist business ideas is "Start a homeschooling business!" It's illegal for me to watch my neighbor's children, which makes it also illegal for me to start a homeschooling business if my neighbor's children are visiting me in my home. However, if I'm careful about it, how will State enforcers ever know?

That comment didn't have anything to do with healthcare reform.

In this thread on Joel on Software, someone was asking for advice on figuring their taxes. They had started a small software business. I decided to add the obligatory "Taxation is theft!" comment.

Taxation is theft!

You started a business. Hooray for you. Now, you have an obligation to tell the government everything you're doing so you can pay tax on it. If you get it wrong, then they can fine you or throw you in jail.

If you hire an accountant, it'll cost you $1k or more, which is a huge chunk of your revenue. If the accountant makes a mistake, you're still legally responsible.

You don't just pay the cost of the tax itself. You also pay the cost of making sure you pay the correct amount of tax and making sure you're in compliance with all the paperwork.

Why does everyone who starts a business live in terror of being raided by the State taxation authority? Why does it have to be that way?

That's actually a common topic on Joel on Software. Someone is continually saying "OMFG!! I have to get my taxes correct!!" Why must all small business owners live in terror of a State raid?

This article via David Z's shared items is another piece of evidence for "Global warming is a hoax!" Whenever there's evidence that favors "Carbon dioxide causes global warming!", the mainstream media publishes it and says "OMFG!! Give the State more power!" Whenever there's evidence against "Carbon dioxide causes global warming!", it is not mentioned or discussed.

This article on Yahoo finance regarding gold investing was pretty funny. At every opportunity, the banksters' comedians denigrate gold investors.

If gold goes down, they say "HAHAHA!! Gold investors are idiots! If you invested in gold, you lost money today!"

If gold goes up, they say "Gold already went up. There isn't much more room for gold's price to rise. Buy something else."

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Transistor, UFO, and WMD Conspiracy Theory":

Yes, but...You musted be intrigued by the possibility that what we are witnessing are inter-dimensional travelers? or perhaps time travelers?

The vast distance argument becomes irrelevant. Admittedly, the earth would have the be at the correct space and time.... But Hey! Never Know
If there really were advanced alien visitors, they wouldn't pick something where they could be observed.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Unemployed Again":
Did you ask them why they fired you?
Yes, but they have no legal obligation to give a reason. In fact, giving a reason can be a bad idea, because they could be sued.

When I asked for deatils, the reason was "FSK can't handle large projects.", which was silly because I'd just finished a large project that they're actually using on their site. It was an XML to JSON converter for an AJAX page, collecting XML data from multiple vendors and converting it to an internal formal.

My boss said "FSK can't handle large projects.", but he said it like he really didn't mean it. It was just the excuse they made to the other owners to justify my firing. If you repeat a lie enough times, that makes it true! I wonder if he believed his own lie?

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Unemployed Again":
I've worked as a software developer for some time and I now run my own small business. I've done reasonably well. I've not made a fortune, but a large number of well known companies use my software.
I'm looking into starting my own business, but it's not as easy as it sounds.

I don't have any corporate contacts, which rules out targeting a corporate audience. I'd target individual customers, rather than corporate customers.

Bootstrapping a business is hard, due to State restriction of the market, especially capital markets.

I lost more than 50% of my savings due to a declining stock market combined with inflation. If I had that money instead of it being stolen from me, it'd be much easier for me to self-fund a new business.

The hardest part of starting a software business is "How do I pay for my food and rent while working on my business?" Right now, I'm living with my parents. That's free rent, but the conditions are otherwise unsuitable for me to start a business.

When my blogging AdBrite income reaches $20/month, I may move off Blogger and get my own site.
Software jobs are not really stable. In the past, I suspect I've been fired to make way for friends of managers. In one job I wrote 50% of the code for a project that at the time brought in the most money, but was fired when a manager wanted to hire a friend.
I suspect that's what happened in this case, "fired to make room for a friend", but I can't prove it. In a small startup, that's a really unproductive strategy. There was a guy they interviewed that was totally unqualified, but my bosses seemed to have already decided that they wanted to hire him. I had an opportunity to interview him, and he seemed like a parasitic unqualified loser. I voted "no hire", but my bosses interpreted it as "FSK does lousy interviews!"

The ability to rapidly tell if someone is parasitic or not should be *REALLY* useful, if I'm in a hiring situation. Obviously, I'd never hire a parasite, if it were my choice. If I had a team of all non-parasites, we'd probably run circles around anyone else.

You would think that in 10-30 person startups, the managers would be focused on "Hire the best person!" rather than protecting their turf and empire-building. Unfortunately, that's not what I observed.

My bosses usually think "OMFG!! FSK is too skilled!! Get rid of him before someone decides to fire me and replace me with FSK!!" instead of "Wow! I can't believe someone as skilled as FSK is working for me! That makes it easy to write good software!"

That is the trouble with software. Once a project is reasonably stable, you can be fired and they can't get a friend in to do the less difficult type work.
Their software was *NOT* stable. It worked, barely. They wrote their own code for *EVERYTHING* instead of using Microsoft's tools or the open source equivalent.

Companies are different nowadays. There is no loyalty.
You'd expect a startup to be risky. However "Fired by an ***hole!" is a bigger risk than "The company fails!" The owners had good VC connections, which is probably why they were able to raise money even though their business plan was stupid.

All of the startups I worked at failed, although not immediately after my firing.
And managers don't like people they suspect are cleverer them they are.
I never understood that bit. Wouldn't you want to hire the best person you can? Unfortunately, parasites don't think that way. If you're the middle manager in a corporation, even a small startup, you probably have the parasitic personality type.

People give lip service to "We want to hire the best!", but the reality is that they want someone mediocre and barely competent.
Lots of software developers seem to switch jobs every 1 - 2.5 years. It shouldn't be this way, but it is.
I certainly would like to have a stable job. Unfortunately, the parasites are pulling the strings and not people who know what they're doing. In my last few jobs, my boss always had the parasitic personality type.

Even if you aren't parasitic, being a middle manager in a corporation forces you to behave like a parasite.

With millions of dollar in VC money and the business doomed to failure, then you might as well hire your friends! It isn't your money being wasted!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Unemployed Again":
>like using class variables instead >of function local variables,
Did anyone do timings? I mean did anyone compare two programs doing a real-world task?
I didn't do a comparison. I thought it was stupid, asking me to switch to class variables from function local variables. However, that was a criticism he had that I couldn't prove was stupid.

Local variables are on the stack. Anyway just how many local variables does a function contain on average?

Functions shouldn't be too long and so I guess on average they might contain about 5.

That isn't a lot.

Isn't it more likely most of the time is spent getting data from the database, reading/writing to the local filespace, inter-process communication....
Yes, most of the time in this web application was a database call and waiting for the vendor's server to respond to my request.

It was a negligible performance change. My boss was just being a jerk, looking for superficial reasons for "FSK is doing a lousy job!"

If someone has already decided "I want to fire FSK!", then it's very easy for them to observe you under a microscope and criticize everything you do.
I will say it again, has anyone done timings to back up saying that in reality a few more class variables will much a program faster in reality?

What are you doing?

A 3d graphics engine? Maybe such optimisations will be good for this.

If it is a business program then the manager could be an idiot.
The manager was an idiot. It was a web application.

There are a lot of "management fad" articles and books. My idiot boss probably had read one of them and was mindlessly following it. He probably was following software engineering tactics he learned at Microsoft, mindlessly applying them without thinking about it.

Whenever I had a technical disagreement with my boss, he was the sort of person who valued being right over doing it technically correctly. It ultimately boiled down to "I'm your boss and do as I say!" For some bigger issues, I managed to convince him.

I've concluded that writing software for Microsoft is like writing software for NASA. Microsoft's bureaucracy isn't the type of thing you should be doing at a small startup. My bosses were focusing on bureaucracy, more than "Write software that works!" I played along with what they were doing.

The weirdest conclusion after working with ex-Microsoft employees is "Why does Windows boot at all?" My bosses claimed they were among the smartest people working at Microsoft, but the reality is that Microsoft's executives may have been glad to be rid of them. If they're typical of Microsoft software engineers, that's very bad for Microsoft.

I do know some competent people who went to work at Microsoft. I haven't really spoken with them since. They may have had a lobotomy since they started working there.

I went to a specialized Math/Science high school. The average intelligence of the people around me in high school is greater than it was at any of my wage slave jobs. There occasionally were one or two really smart people at my jobs, but not recently and never more than one or two.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Unemployed Again":
I thought there was a school of thought that you should define variables with the narrowest possible scope i.e. local variables rather than member variables.
I can't believe this degenerated into a discussion of "Are class variables better than local variables?" That wasn't the point.

I doubt it makes any difference for what the program was actually doing. I was going to go back and replace all the local variables with class variables to comply with his crazy demand, but was fired before I did it.
Only use a class member variable if the variable truly needs to persist between method calls. Otherwise your class definition will not make semantic sense.
Yes, that's the way I would have done it. That wasn't what my boss wanted.

I suspect that he was concerned that stack variables can lead to memory leaks, but that's not the way the stack works.

Some people say compilers will more likely put narrow scope, local variables into registers, where their access is faster. So this idiot is recommending you potentially slow you code down!

However compilers get more advanced all the time and you can't really say such things unless you are up on compiler technology for the particular compiler you use. And this does sound like a waste of time unless you are doing something very time critical.

So basically you can be criticized for not using the narrowest scope, local variables AND you can be criticized for not using class member variables.

Basically your ex-manager sounds like a "language lawyer", over-optimizing, non-thinking, brainless idiot that can't think for himself.

This guy probably made up this rule on the spot or was told it by someone else and doesn't have the brainpower to work out what is and isn't appropriate for the circumstances.
He learned these rules elsewhere, probably while working at Microsoft. He certainly was applying the rules without thinking. He was my boss, and I had to obey his stupid orders while working there. I tried pointing out that it was a waste of time and his criticisms were silly, but he didn't want to talk about it.

I suspect he did an overly-nitpicky code review because he was looking for an excuse to say "FSK should be fired!" He had a long list of things I did wrong with my program, but they really were stupid criticisms. If he was presenting the list to someone non-technical, he could make me seem like an unqualified loser.

I suspect that the overly-nitpicky code review was CYA documentation for the decision to unfairly fire me.

theftthroughinflation has left a new comment on your post "Unemployed Again":

Sorry to hear the news; slaves are often disposable these days! I have seen people be fired at the bank who were the best brokers we had but they were singled out and fired. There are plenty of brokers and staff who are utterly incompetent and make errors all the time. The people who were fired were generally independant thinkers and those who are stupid are good slaves...go figure. On the other hand my attitude is very openly critical but I havint been targeted...yet.
Good luck on finding new work!
You're lucky that you haven't been unfairly fired yet. As a wage slave, it can happen at any time.

If I were a broker at a bank giving investment advice, I'd say "Buy gold! The stock market and financial markets are a scam!" Of course, any broker who gave such advice would be fired. The bank makes commissions and fees on all the products they sell.

I definitely need to get out of the wage slave track. The path probably will be as an on-the-books small business owner first, and a later transition to agorism.

I'm making some money from my blog, but it's nowhere near the level where I could consider doing this as a full-time job. Plus, my blogging income is all on-the-books income. However, I can deduct various computer-related expenses against my blogging income.

fritz has left a new comment on your post "Unemployed Again":

Why dont you just master mind and net work and begin your own business from home and on the side. After watching your progress I think you should consider this option.
I certainly am a skilled software engineer. Who would my customers be?

Maybe your qualities are better suited as a project director instead or trigger puller. Put a lot of irons in the fire and see what comes out.

I'm overqualified for these grunt coder jobs. I don't have the experience or "track record" to qualify for anything more. I don't have the connections to get a consulting contract with a large corporation.
Best of luck to you. I want to see you at the comedy stop!!
I'm going to try that, but probably not for another 6-24 months. I'll probably have to go to "open mike" shows for several years before I can get a paying gig, so there's no need to rush. It's on my list of things to do.

George Donnelly has left a new comment on your post "Unemployed Again":

You know how it works. The producers can not be tolerated by the parasites or it will become too obvious that the parasites are parasites! I ran into this a lot when I was younger and could not figured it out. In response, I redoubled my efforts and freaked out the parasites even more!
That's the virtuous positive feedback cycle that leads to enlightenment.

In jobs and other activities, I always tried and failed. Parasites told me "FSK, your problem is that you aren't smart enough." The parasites really meant "FSK, your problem is that you need to give better ****jobs." I thought the parasites were referring to genuine intelligence, but the parasites were referring to evil intelligence. I worked on raising my real intelligence. I didn't realize that the parasites were evil. I assumed they were genuinely giving me honest feedback, rather than lying to cover up their own evil.

Then, I finally understood what was happening. The shock caused me to have a panic attack. I realized that not everyone had good intentions like me. Some people are just plain evil. Lying to cover up your own incompetence isn't exactly the same as murdering millions of people, but many acts of little evil add up to large-scale evil.

When a parasite rejects you, he says "FSK, your problem is X." The real reason is "I'm a parasite!", but the parasite never mentions that. Feedback X is random reasons unrelated to the true cause. It was very frustrating. I kept looking for the pattern and finally found it. It wasn't the answer I expected! I was getting random negative feedback, but I managed to figure out the real pattern!

The parasites gave me random negative feedback whenever they rejected me. Random negative feedback was a really effective brainwashing technique. This lead to me being really uneasy and unsure of myself. I kept adding exceptions to my "list of social interaction rules". I didn't realize that the real rule is "Some people are evil!" An intelligent person will accept you if you are competent. An evil person will reject you no matter what you do. The more honestly and competently you behave, the more evil people will hate you.

Parasites don't qualify as intelligent life. Are the parasites consciously aware of what they're doing? Or, are they so stupid and incompetent that they're unaware of what they're doing? Did my evil bosses really misinterpret my competence as incompetence? Or, did they deliberately lie to get rid of me? I strongly suspect a deliberate lie, but I can't prove it. Either way, it's irrelevant. If someone injures you on purpose or due to their own gross negligence makes no difference; either way, I'm injured.

If someone is merely incompetent but has good intentions, I can hope to educate them. Most parasites are intentionally evil. One defining characteristic of evil is that evil doesn't learn. Parasites are usually able to emotionally manipulate everyone. They can't fool me, but they can fool the people around me and come up with an excuse for getting rid of me. If you're accustomed to emotionally manipulating people to get what you want, then why would you learn to behave honestly? Due to pro-State brainwashing, "abused productive" people are trained to be easy victims.

That's why I don't waste time on idiots. If you're a parasite, you're probably doing it on purpose. Parasites won't voluntarily give up their scam. The only way to end the scam is to educate the victims and teach them how to resist and fight back.
In the end, producers end up working for themselves or at least in a position where they have lots of independence.

Start a business, even something small. It takes a few years in my experience (and others) to get a business administered in such a way as to maximize profit, so start now.

Good luck.
It isn't as easy as it sounds. I'm making a few dollars a month via blogging. I'm going to try other things, but it'll take awhile to bootstrap a business.

At least my blog is owned by me. However, someone could hack into my gmail account and steal my blog! Google could say "TOS violations!" and seize my blog. I'm hoping to move off Google once I get $20/month in ad revenue.

Robin Smith has left a new comment on your post "Unemployed Again":

I reckon the reason they fired you was:

"The wanted to take the credit for your, and the previous fireees work"
I had some decent suggestions for improving their site. It was nothing major, just some minor bugfixes.

The two people who wrote most of their software were fired about a month before I started working there. I assume they were fired instead of quitting voluntarily. Who works for a year on a startup and then quits just before the website goes live?

The conversation with my bosses typically went "I want to fix bug X. The users complained about it and it'd only take me a few hours. Here's how I'd do it." The response was "FSK, we don't want you working on that now." It's possible that they went ahead and did all those things after they fired me.

After a few iterations of "I want to fix X." and a response of "We forbid you from fixing X!", that uses up your motivation.

Plus pieces of the other 2 points. The people that present the most truth are the ones to go first.

This happens to others too. When people ask them why they sued their company for unfair dismissal, they usualy say

"because I was trying to make the company more profit"

Which is true. Thier boss hated them for it. Their colleagues also hated them for not supporting their incompetence and sycophancy to the boss. We can see how winning "friends" keeps one in wage slavery.

You would do far better as an independent employee. It is the only free pathway
Suing for unfair dismissal is a waste of time. First, I'm an "at will" employee. Second, the corporation is headed for bankruptcy. If they're broke in two years, and it takes 5 years to sue and win, then I'm not going to win anything. Third, they gave me two weeks' severance pay in exchange for agreeing to not sue them. I wasn't planning on suing them, so it's better than nothing. A lawsuit would take a lot of time and money and I probably wouldn't win, even though I was unfairly fired. They made a lot of fabricated CYA documentation to justify my firing. In a State court with an insane State judge, it'd be my word against theirs regarding the details of what happened.

Actually, my peers usually like me. When they have a problem, I fix it for them, and they appreciate it. In a software environment, my peers are somewhat dependent on my competence, so they appreciate me. It's my bosses that hate me. I'm usually more qualified than them, both as a software engineer and as a manager, even though I technically have no management experience. I've seen enough idiot managers that I could hardly do worse.

The other owners probably would have been better off firing my bosses for lying about my incompetence and keeping me. There's no way they would do that, because my unqualified bosses were "key and valuable employees".

Here's another parasite control trick that offends me. My parasitic boss was the only one who had full access to the production servers, both the logins/passwords and the configuration. I asked my boss "Hey! Why don't you show me how the production servers work so I can be a backup for you?!" He naturally refused. By denying other people access to the production servers, that's job security for my boss. I didn't have the login and password or documentation of the server configuration. That meant I couldn't take over for him if he were fired.

Ironically, they didn't ask me "Document everything you're doing!" before firing me. Some of the server maintenance was just me and a bunch of SQL queries. I was planning on putting a UI around it and letting someone else do it. It's not my problem now. They probably were able to figure it out, but it probably took awhile.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Unemployed Again":

>"The wanted to take the credit for
>your, and the previous fireees work"
Strange you should mention that because a friend of mine mentioned that exact same reason when he was thinking of reasons why some people got fired in the companies he worked for.

It is not enough to be the company owner and make money, but the company owner should be viewed as the clever one!

It is nasty stuff.
In my case, my bosses were minority owners. My direct boss probably had 0.5% or less of the corporation in options. My other boss probably had a couple percent. That provides an incentive for them to protect their turf, rather than do an honest job. Their options/equity are worth $0, because I can't imagine their business ever being profitable. They might as well milk it for as much salary as they can, while it lasts.

In a small startup, you should be seeking the best employees you can get. Surprisingly, that's not the way people actually act.

I never understood why people feel threatened by someone competent, rather than appreciating "Wow! I got someone who really knows their stuff working for me!" On the other hand, I don't think like an evil person. An evil person is threatened by someone competent, because that exposes their own evil.

Even from a purely selfish perspective, my bosses would have been better off keeping me around. I wasn't going to lobby for their firing. I never spoke technical stuff with anyone other than them. They were buddies with the other owners. Their jobs were not at risk.

If the other owners had said goodbye to me in person, I would have pointed out that my bosses were scumbag liars. They might have believed me, or kept it in mind for future developments. They didn't have the balls to say goodbye to me in person, so I don't care what happens to them. They deserve the failure they are about to receive. I was only there for a few months. The other owners wasted a lot of time and their own money on something that will be a complete failure!

Another ironic bit is that they made me sign a "non-disparagement clause". I'm not allowed to say anything negative about them. Someone who was really diligent could figure out who they are based on the information I disclosed.

Such a "non-disparagement clause" is legal boilerplate language that lawyers stick in. I'd seem like a jerk if I asked for it to be removed from my employment agreement. It's a typical "adhesion contract", where one side has unequal bargaining power. I'm not sure if it'd hold up in court, but I don't want to be victim in a frivolous lawsuit either. According to the contract, I'm permanently barred from ever saying anything negative about them, even many years later.

My blog has a pretty high PageRank. If I made an "X is a scumbag!" post, then it'd probably be near the #1 Google SERP for anyone who searches for their name. Of course, if I made such a post, then future employers might be reluctant to hire me! The "non-disparagement clause" has a chilling effect. If I'm barred from publicly criticizing them, then doesn't that give them license to cheat me without any negative repercussions at all? Why is it illegal for me to publish a list of all the people I worked for, and which ones were scum? If everyone did that, then the scum would be rapidly discovered.

Fortunately, I'm pretty good at discovering "X is a scumbag!" pretty rapidly based on body language. An evil fnord is "You can't judge a book by its cover!" Actually, your brain is a massively-parallel computer. I'm pretty good at estimating someone's parasitism percentage rapidly and after a brief conversation.

I immediately had parasitism concerns about one of my bosses. The other boss was a borderline case. The other owners had a favorable reaction to me, and so I was hired. I was slightly concerned, but I figured "Let's see how it goes!" I'd been unemployed for awhile, the terms were decent, so I decided to give it a try.

Unfortunately, even though I can identify parasites, parasites always *HATE* me. I don't see any way around it. The more competent I am and the more I am in tune with the truth, the more parasites will hate me. In nearly every business, a parasite is pulling the strings. There's no way around it, unless I start my own business.

I've had "code reviews" at more than one job now. They always were conducted by someone with the parasitic personality type. They always were demeaning and pointless. At my most recent job, the code review criticisms boiled down to "You didn't write the program the way I would have written it!" rather than any problems with its actual functioning. How can I be expected to match a coding style standard that isn't written down?

My ex-employer had a lot of defects with their software. They wrote their own code for *EVERYTHING*.
  1. They wrote their own web templating engine, rather than using ASP.NET or PHP.
  2. They wrote their own webserver, instead of using Microsoft's webserver or Apache.
  3. They wrote their own build tool, instead of using Visual Studio's build tool or Make.
  4. They wrote their own load balancing server, instead of using others that are available.
  5. They wrote their own string libraries, instead of using those that come with Visual Studio.
  6. They wrote their own version of MFC via Win32 API calls, rather than using MFC or C#/.NET to develop their UI for an internal application.
  7. For some programs, they wrote their own database instead of using MySQL or Microsoft SQL Server or PostgreSQL.
  8. They did have a PostgreSQL server. However, whoever set it up knew nothing about databases. They only had one user login that every user and application used. Everybody using the database was logged in as a DBA! The database schema had obvious errors.
  9. Their website was almost all static html. However, it was a huge PITA to re-deploy the site. If they wanted to fix an error on one page, they couldn't do that. They had to rebuild everything!
If you work at Microsoft on a team of 50+ people, then you can get away with rolling your own code for everything. Microsoft has a monopoly, and so any inefficiency can be passed on as higher prices.

On a startup with 4 software engineers, writing your own code for everything is a disaster. Superficially, you'd say "Good! It's super-optimized!" However, you aren't going to write your own webserver in 3-6 months that's more tuned than Microsoft's webserver or Apache. All of their code was inferior to Microsoft's product and the open source equivalent. With Microsoft or an big open source project, there's plenty of documentation. For their own code, I always had to RTFS to figure out how things worked. In many cases, key functions were missing. For example, their string library has no sprintf function.

However, their website did actually run, which is better than what the Rails Advocate did. There was tremendous waste and inefficiency, but at least it worked. Given that they already had something that mostly worked, it probably was better to patch what they had, rather than rewrite it non-stupidly.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "StackOverflow Sucks!":
FSK, you are a total cock.
That's the sort of brilliant insight that's typical of StackOverflow users.

Instead of carefully analyzing my criticisms of StackOverflow's engine, parasites have an emotional reaction.

If you think my criticism is wrong, so what? I'm not preventing you from using StackOverflow. I'm not wasting my time on a website filled with ***holes. It isn't immoral for me to write my own opinion on my own website.

It is cool that my blog is the #1 Google search result for "StackOverflow Sucks!" That's good for 1-2 visits per day! That might not seem like much, but when you add it up for a couple of search phrases, it's decent.

Regarding "Stefan Molyneux is a Murderer!", I noticed that someone on Twitter was saying "So FSK is a Scientologist now?" I have no affiliation with the Church of Scientology, but if they hired me to do an anti-psychiatry speech or video I'd do it.

This is a common problem for the anti-psychiatry movement. Nearly all the mainstream critics of the homicide industry are Scientologists. Therefore, anyone who criticizes the psychiatry industry is automatically assumed to be a Scientologist. Scientologists do other bad things sometimes. By the Strawman Fallacy, anyone who criticizes the psychiatry industry is a fruitcake Scientologist.

It's also interesting that Stefan Molyneux didn't respond to "Stefan Molyneux is a Murderer!", but he did respond the other times I specifically mentioned him. I'm disappointed that he gets some aspect of the freedom movement correct, but he totally fails in the area of the psychiatry/murder industry. Many people get certain aspects of freedom correctly, but fail miserably in other areas.

So far, nobody has provided any refutation for "The 'chemical imbalance' theory of mental illness is fraud!"

George Donnelly has left a new comment on your post "Stefan Molyneux is a Murderer!":

"Stefan Molyneux said "FSK has the burden of proof, that psychiatric drugs are harmful." This is exactly the same logical mistake that Stefan Molyneux accuses statists of making!"
Another one of my favorite bits was that Stefan Molyneux said "I'm only willing to consider government-licensed psychiatry research!"

"A government-licensed expert knows more than me!" is another bizarre statement for an anarchist to make.

I respect a plumber's ability, because he's worked with pipes a lot. The government license means nothing. I'd hire someone unlicensed if he was good, especially via a referral. State regulations force all plumbers to have a license, raising prices and costs. If I hired a plumber and he did a lousy job, then I'd hire someone else next time. If I hired several plumbers and they all did lousy jobs, then I'd look into doing it myself.

I don't respect a State-licensed psychiatrist, because all the ones I visited hurt me. My first psychiatrist didn't help. I fired him and hired another psychiatrist. He was no good either. I had several psychiatrists, and all were evil. Therefore, I did my own research and concluded that psychiatric drugs are harmful. I hired several State-licensed psychiatrists, all did a lousy job, and now I don't trust the State psychiatrist licensing cartel.

"Bayesian reasoning"
Nice! I like that concept.
I thought I'd done a detailed post on that, but it turns out I hadn't. I'll put that draft in my queue.

In Bayesian Reasoning, you assign a truth value between zero and one to every statement, BUT NEVER A VALUE OF EXACTLY 1 OR 0. The problem is that a Statist assigns a truth value of exactly 1.0 to "Taxation is not theft!" There's no evidence that will convince them, because they're absolutely sure and many of their false beliefs are interlocked.

If you use Bayesian Reasoning, then you can add little bits of evidence at a time, until you realize "OMFG!! Taxation is theft!!" I write as if I'm absolutely sure, but my truth estimate for "Taxation is theft!" is greater than 0.999999. It's awkward to say "I'm 99.9999%+ sure 'Taxation is theft!'", so I just write "Taxation is theft!"

Stefan Molyneux is absolutely sure "The 'chemical imbalance' theory of mental illness is not a fraud!", so he's stuck in an inescapable logic trap. He didn't consider any of the points I made.
Have you considered moving to New Hampshire? You may find a saner environment up there.
I wouldn't consider it right now. For now, I'm stuck living with my parents! I have to get my own apartment in NYC first, before I can consider moving. Also, I feel morally obligated to help my parents.

There probably wouldn't be many software engineer jobs in New Hampshire. If I attempt "Promote agorism via standup comedy!", then NYC is a good place to be. I'm staying in NYC for now.

After I get an agorist trading network, I might have some people in New Hampshire ready to let me live with them in a SHTF scenario. I've considered buying some farmland and hiring people to work it for me, so I'd have a place to escape in a SHTF scenario.

In order to get me to move to New Hampshire, you'd have to offer me:
  1. no income taxes, Federal or state
  2. no property taxes
  3. no taxes at all
  4. the ability to repel armed thugs who try to collect taxes
  5. no stupid laws
  6. a functioning mature agorist economy
By the time that becomes viable in New Hampshire, the State probably will have collapsed everywhere. New Hampshire isn't even close to the above yet, so I'm not ready to me.

Anthony has left a new comment on your post "Stefan Molyneux is a Murderer!":

This is why I like the liberty movement. It naturally and necessarily splinters. It's not a bad thing. It may seem counterproductive on the surface, but it is the way it should be.

A splintered movement is good, because that makes it harder for State enforcers to stop it.

I'm very offended by Stefan Molyneux. He gives bad mental health advice, which is murder. He doesn't emphasize counter-economics and agorism as the best strategy for fighting the evil State.

I consider "Psychiatric drugs are harmful!" to be a universal truth. If they hurt me, then they also hurt most if not all of the people who take them. It's unreasonable to believe my biochemistry is different from that of others.

If someone in the freedom movement went around saying "Taxation is not theft!", I'd view them with suspicion. Similarly, I'm very concerned that Stefan Molyneux supports the psychiatry/death industry.

Mike has left a new comment on your post "Stefan Molyneux is a Murderer!":

Sorry, I've read the thread and I'm siding with Stef.

You are basing your conclusion, as you yourself say, on a sample of 1. That's illogical and unscientific.

No, it's a sample size of one, plus all my observations and all the other points I made.

Present evidence they ar e harmful, evidence that can be duplicated by others, and you'll have a case.

No, you present evidence they are beneficial. I don't have the burden of proof "Psychiatric drugs are harmful!" The pro-psychiatry troll has the burden of proof that they are beneficial.

Even so, I consider my observations proof.

I've never had an issue with anti-depressants. I was on them for 5 years, with no issues or addictions and have been free of them for 8 years now.

Does my sample size of 1 now disprove yours? By your logic it does.

No. You didn't address all the other points I made.

You might be experiencing "Stockholm syndrome", where the victim identifies with the abuser. It's much easier for you to believe "Those drugs helped me!" rather than "My psychiatrist hurt me!"

Good for you that you aren't taking psychiatric drugs anymore. Why did you stop taking them? All the psychiatrists I visited said "FSK needs to take these drugs for the rest of his life!"

I only have direct experience with anti-psychotic drugs. I also conclude anti-depressant drugs are harmful.

Anti-psychotic drugs block your neurotransmitters and make you feel bad. Anti-depressant drugs stimulate your neurotransmitters and make you feel good. Anti-depressants make you feel good for the same reason that cocaine makes you feel good.

"Cocaine makes people feel good. Therefore, cocaine has a positive medical benefit." is obviously silly. Similarly, "Anti-depressants make people feel good. Therefore, anti-depressants have a positive medical benefit." is stupid. The mechanism of anti-depressants is very similar to that of cocaine.

You can't prove that you would have recovered better or worse without drugs. Maybe you would have only been sick for 3 months if you had received appropriate medical treatment, instead of 5 years?

You didn't disprove any of the points I made. You and Stefan Molyneux are free to advocate for the murder of other people via psychiatric drugs. The same principle that allows me to tell the truth, allows you and Stefan Molyneux to lie.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Stefan Molyneux is a Murderer!":
Stefan is a murderer because he doesn't think all psychiatrists are out to get people?
Whether you kill someone on purpose or due to your own negligence makes no difference.

It is wrong for Stefan Molyneux to advise people to see a State-licensed psychiatrist/murderer. It's like Stefan Molyneux was advising people to get a gun and shoot themselves.

If you're presenting yourself as an expert, you have an obligation to get the facts straight.

Stef's wife is a state licensed psychologist, and he's been in therapy before (I don't know if it was with drugs). I'm sure it will be tough to convince him that industry is all about killing people when I'm sure he sees his wife helping people on a daily basis.
Psychologist != psychiatrist. A psychiatrist uses drugs, but a psychologist does not. His wife does not appear in his videos, so I can't evaluate her.

Drugs aren't always (maybe even rarely) the answer, as they generally are used to mask underlying symptoms that need to be treated with some sort of talk therapy. But I know someone who would be regarded as clinically insane (paranoid/schizophrenia) who does not take meds, and she should be on meds, because she literally cannot process reality (and a single conversation with her would convince you of this). I hardly think using drug therapy to help her actually process reality correctly (so at least she isn't a harm to herself and others) is a step in the right direction, far from murder.
How do you know that? If I went around shouting "Taxation is theft! Wake up people!", then people would say "FSK has trouble processing reality!" I know that everyone is insane, so I keep quiet for my own safety.

How do you know that you aren't confusing "This girl is crazy!" with "I am crazy and this woman's partial sanity is disturbing!"?

And I'm sorry, but a your individual testimony regarding the industry isn't going to convince anyone that it's as terrible as you say it is. I can produce someone who's life is orders of magnitude better seeing a psychiatrist (and taking meds). It's like someone trying to convince me their personal deity exists because of some random experience they had. Great for them, but not convincing. How does your theory explain the people who are actually helped by the industry? (And saying 'they aren't actually helped!' isn't acceptable).

My individual testimony won't convince a fool. If I convince a few people to avoid psychiatric drugs, then I feel that I did a good job.

This isn't religion. This is the tangible effect of psychiatric drugs on people.

What do you mean "They aren't actually helped!" isn't acceptable? The drugs do make people calm and docile and superficially help them. You can't prove that their lives would have been better or worse without drugs.

That's like saying "The bailouts worked!" The economy hasn't completely fallen apart (yet). Therefore, the trillions of dollars stolen via bailouts were well-spent.

Why does the pro-psychiatry troll get to assume, by default, that psychiatric drugs are beneficial? Just because something is generally accepted practice, doesn't make it right.

"Most people pay taxes 'voluntarily'. Therefore, taxation is not theft!" makes as much sense as "Some people voluntarily take psychiatric drugs and believe they are helped. Therefore, the drugs are beneficial."

The people I spoke with in the hospital were almost all there involuntarily.
(And I'm not a pro state troll, nor am I a murderer.)
Unfortunately, anyone who says that the "chemical imbalance" theory of mental illness is not a fraud is a pro-State troll and a murderer. A corrupt mental health industry is a key component of the State and the Matrix.

I'm not violently forcing people to stop taking drugs. I'm just pointing out that it's a really bad idea.

All the people saying "FSK is wrong! Psychiatric drugs are beneficial!" have not addressed any of the specific points I made, in addition to my personal experiences.

One person is not a State-approved scientific experiment. State-licensed psychiatrists won't allow a careful experiment comparing psychiatric drugs to placebos over an extended period of time. I don't know of any such experiment properly conducted. If you can find evidence otherwise, show it to me and I'll read it.

My observations are scientific. I'm including my observations of others and my analysis of a few papers I read, in addition to my direct personal experience.

theftthroughinflation has left a new comment on your post "Stefan Molyneux is a Murderer!":

Great post FSK!
This gave me a good idea. You mentioned the idea of a free-market experiment. Its true you could not do it "for real" because of the tax implications. But you could do some sort of "laboratory" experiment similar to the famous prison experiment. You could take 2 groups of individuals and place them in identical enviroments and give them access to various resources/raw materials (uncut logs for fuel, non-potable water, raw foods, domestic animals etc...) and some sort of fake currency like monopoly money. I'd have to think about the initial division of the resources to have a starting point but the idea would be for the participants to survive via trade like they would normally.
One group would operate using free market principles without a government and the other with a taxation based economy with a government.
The groups could be measured in terms of general standard of living, quantity of goods produced etc...
Maybe mises university could sponsor the experiment! haha!

There's no way that the State would allow a real anarcho-capitalist experiment to occur.

If you want to experiment with really free markets, just do it. Find trading partners and start working off-the-books.

I'm pretty sure that agorism is the path to freedom. I don't need an experiment. Just do it!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Stefan Molyneux is a Murderer!":

Maybe drugs for mental illness are wrong some of the time and right for some people.
I disagree. If Abilify hurt me, then it's very reasonable that Abilify hurts most/all other people that take it. My biochemistry isn't different from that of everyone else.

I suspect in FSK's case they were wrong. As he said he was well for many years before. So what changed? Unless a doctor can say what changed, he/she can't say if drugs are appropriate?
I did have a panic attack. I did relapse a few times. However, they never tried to see if my panic attack would just wear off after a few days without drugs.

My parents said that the explanations of the doctors when I was hospitalized made no sense at all.

I did hear that long-term medicines don't actually make you healthier i.e. they will just make you more susceptible for a different form of illness.

For psychiatric drugs, your body learns to partially compensate over time. If you take a neurotransmitter-blocker, then your body compensates by producing more neurotransmitters. If you take a neurotransmitter-stimulator, then your body compensates by producing fewer neurotransmitters. Then, your symptoms get worse when you stop taking the drug. This creates the illusion that the drug is needed and beneficial.

Good food and exercise is what people need.
That is a good idea. However, you do have a panic attack or depressive attack when you start cracking your pro-State brainwashing. It may be easier for my readers. When I explain something, it's easier for you to understand than if you figured it out on your own the hard way.

A friend of mine once said that he had to work out when to leave certain jobs - it was a balance of getting money in versus the loss of his mental health due to idiot bosses, bad work situations etc. If he got the balance wrong he would get upset for days afterwards.

I usually get fired rather than quitting. Once I realize it's hopeless, I stop trying. Plus, my parents would freakout if I quit.

In my most recent wage slave job, I tried my best until the end. I noticed some hostility from my bosses, but I figured they would learn to appreciate me. Unfortunately, one of the defining characteristics of evil is that evil doesn't learn.

memenode has left a new comment on your post "Stefan Molyneux is a Murderer!":

I wouldn't entirely agree with you about generalizing all psychiatrists for much of the same reasons already pointed out by other commentators, albeit I do think people shouldn't be so quick to trust their psychiatrists and therapists for many of the reasons you pointed out (like biases).

All the psychiatrists I've seen wanted to forcibly drug me. They didn't respect my wishes when I said "These drugs hurt me!" They viewed my complaints as symptoms of my illness.

You might get a good psychiatrist. Based on my observations, the odds are very stacked against it.

With therapists, there's more variation. I was never able to discuss issues like "Taxation is theft!" with my therapists. That makes them pretty useless.

But I would say that I was always vary of a "see a therapist" advice given by Stef for similar reasons as you. I don't expect them to understand my ideas regarding the state, family and coercion in general. Instead I fear that much of their advice will come from a context and perspective that I would reject. I simply don't trust them enough to open myself up to them.

I found that my therapists wanted to re-pro-State brainwash me, rather than help me understand the real truth. They had good intentions. They were unknowing participants in the scam of the State. My therapists would rather believe "There's something wrong with FSK!" than "There's something wrong with society as a whole."

In fact, I'd rather completely voluntarily and with full awareness, have a talk with Molyneux about some issue than with a typical therapist. I know he's not a "professional" therapist and I would take his advice with a grain of salt (that is think it through myself), but when it comes to personal issues it's really ideas, methods and perspectives I'm after and that can be given by almost any experienced free thinker, including Stef.

I would classify such a talk closer to a helpful discussion with a friend than a therapy session with some therapist whose authority I'm supposed to just assume based on his certificates..

That's the main point. As an anarchist, you shouldn't trust someone just because they have a State license. You should evaluate what they're actually saying.

I'm disappointed that Stefan Molyneux always defers to State-licensed therapists, rather than noticing that a State license doesn't always mean you know something useful.

Of course, Stefan Molyneux could himself be assaulted by State thugs if he pointed out that the "chemical imbalance" theory of mental illness is a fraud. Stefan Molyneux could be charged with "Practicing medicine without a license!" and be involuntarily hospitalized.

There are other areas where I wouldn't trust a State expert. If I were frivolously accused of criminal charges for practicing agorism, I'd probably represent myself sui juris rather than hire a State-licensed lawyer. I probably could do a better job.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Unemployed Again":

Just a thought, but could they have fired you because they found out about your blog and didn't like your views or didn't want the risk of having your views associated with their company?

Could they have sniffed network packets? Did you write to your blog at work?

An acquaintance of mine took his own computer to work so he could communicate privately without any risk of interception. Obviously he had his own office.
No, that isn't it. I didn't write on my blog at work. I mentioned that I had a blog, but they never expressed interest in reading it.

Their website has 10x as many readers as my blog, but they paid a couple million dollars for it! I found that amusing.

If I really wanted to embarrass them, I could explicitly name them here on my blog. It'd probably be the #1 search result in Google for them, based on the PageRank for my blog. My employment contract had a "non-disparagement clause", which bars me from publicly criticizing them. It's not clear if that's enforceable, but I don't want to be the victim of a frivolous lawsuit either.

If someone's going to fire me based on my personal views, then I don't want to work for them anyway. I don't blog under my real name, because I am concerned that a wage slave employer could discriminate against me based on my blog. It's silly to live in fear of "Someone will fire me based on my personal beliefs!"

The simplest explanation is the correct one. My bosses were threatened by my competence, and fired me. They rushed to fire me, because they didn't want other people realizing that I was more qualified than them.

The two main issues discussed here, "FSK was unfairly fired!" and "The 'chemical imbalance' theory of mental illness is a fraud!" are actually related.

Were my bosses so clueless that they mistook my competence for incompetence? Did they deliberately fire me, so that they would look favorable in comparison? If the people working for you are unqualified losers, then you look like a genius. If the people working for you are more skilled than you, then other people start wondering if you're worth your salary.

Was it deliberate evil, or mere incompetence? I suspect evil, but I can't prove it. It's a pattern that's bothered me for all my jobs. The more I get in tune with the truth, the more parasites are eager to eliminate me as competition. It's too well-coordinated to be mere incompetence.

Are psychiatrists merely stupid? Or, is it deliberate sabotage? Some psychiatric drugs were originally developed by the military, which is suspicious. Is it an intentional mass mind control program, or is it mere incompetence?

Consider my parasitic bosses - intentional evil or gross negligence? My bosses claimed to be software experts, but they actually knew less than nothing.

Consider the psychiatry industry - intentional evil or gross negligence? My psychiatrists claimed to be mental health experts, but they actually knew less than nothing.

It makes no difference if someone injures you on purpose, or due to their incompetence. Either way, you are injured. My parasitic bosses can't say "But we had good intentions!" They totally ignored my feedback. My evil psychiatrists can't say "But we had good intentions!" They totally ignored my feedback.

Sometimes, a stupid person with good intentions is more evil than someone deliberately trying to be evil. In their own eyes, my parasitic bosses are the heroes. They got rid of FSK, who was a troublemaker and not a team player. The reality is that they got rid of someone really skilled that they were lucky to have in the first place. My firing isn't the sole reason for the coming failure of their startup business. The cumulative effect of many stupid decisions leads to the waste of millions of dollars in VC money.

The Rails Advocate by himself ruined a $20M-$500M+ business opportunity. My idiot bosses at my recent job have squandered millions of dollars in VC money. For all the accusations my ex-bosses made against me, I never wasted millions of dollars of money.

Now that I'm unemployed, I have more blogging time. I'm going to try catching up on reader comments. I still have some to respond to, but this is a good stopping point.

1 comment:

CorkyAgain said...

One of the commenters you quoted said something interesting:

"I would classify such a talk closer to a helpful discussion with a friend than a therapy session with some therapist whose authority I'm supposed to just assume based on his certificates.."

Nowadays, people have to pay someone to do things that friends used to do for free.

For example, watching each other's children.

Or sitting down with you to talk about your problems and help you figure out a way to cope.

Acts of friendship don't afford the State any opportunity to "wet their beak", or to boss people around, so it wants to make them illegal.

Soon it will be illegal for me to feed my sons a free dinner when they come to visit.

Instead I'll have to charge them the going rate (as established by the local restaurants) and send the government the appropriate tax on that amount!

And if I don't have the proper permits they'll say I'm not a licensed cook and arrest me for illegal operation of a kitchen...

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