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The other NSA story not yet in the press

Discussion in 'Think Tank' started by The Internet, Nov 21, 2013.

  1. Anonymous Member

    DO you drink beer, especially the microbrewery type beers? If you don't, do you know someone who does?
    Also, do you fly places for fun?
  2. The Internet Member

    Please don't fag up my thread with your mania for privatizing everything.
  3. Anonymous Member

    Then don't fag up your own thread by saying stupid things
  4. The Internet Member

    I don't even know how beer and planes relates to understanding our intelligence services. I just assume, based on context and the familiar question mark, that this is the crazy anti-government guy. They guy who doesn't understand that every social structure forms some type of government once it gets large enough. These governments are trouble but they're better than getting butt fucked by the boss man.
  5. JohnnyRUClear Member

    We humans have always formed governments, yes. Does that mean that we always have to? Why can't we "graduate" into total freedom? Anarchy works where we use it, which is in almost every activity of our everyday lives. As for being butt fucked by the boss man, that is a perfect reason why not to form governments, as they are the ultimate form of such: an unchallengeable monopoly corporation with guns, producing nothing but suppression and coercion. You keep hoping that those are anomalous features which can somehow be pruned away, leaving a "good" (or at least "not too bad") state, and you get frustrated with me for saying they can't, but they can't.

    I believe the key trick is in separating government from the state. Being against governments is not the same as being against government, but that's a distinction which a lot of people (maybe almost all people) never make. Every person's behavior is governed by many things; we imagine that the state has to be one of them, but why do we imagine that? Have we actually explored the alternatives? I never did until very recently, and was surprised at how rational they can be.

    Dropping the state from society would leave a hole, but nature abhors a vacuum. What fills that vacuum depends on what the people in that society want, as well as (I'm assuming here, since there aren't a lot of historical examples yet AFAIK) the process of elimination of the state. I expect that if a state collapses overnight, there will be a great deal of drastic changes which occur very quickly. If it goes away more gradually, those changes will also occur more gradually. (I'm more of a gradualist, myself, if only because it seems more pragmatic to me.) Either way, there will be something which fills in the hole, or perhaps multiple somethings. A statist will assume that whatever that is, it must be similar to the state: a monopoly on coercion, or perhaps multiple monopolies. "That's how we've always done it." Anarchists don't assume that, and desire the changes to turn to voluntary institutions instead. In the famous example of Somalia, they exchanged a central coercion monopoly for multiple smaller ones. Not all that exciting. I expect better results when and where the people have better ideas, but that isn't guaranteed. It's a goal to work toward, like learning to ride a bicycle.

    (FWIW, I haven't posted anon ITT, so you've got some other crazy anti-government guy loose in here too.)
  6. The Internet Member

    Anarchy works in science. But for that anarchy to exist, a lot of rules and rule enforcement needs to be in place --e.g., a university system needs to be there with layers and layers of quality control.

    Scientific anarchy is wonderful, an art of communication that effectively advances human understanding. But it doesn't happen in Somalia. It doesn't happen in most places, actually. Too much bullshit.

    An analogy might be alt.religion.scientology. Started out as a very interesting place for sharing information about Scientology. But then the people who didn't like that conversation spammed the fuck out of the place and it basically died. Whyweprotest has done a little better, thanks to some rules and moderation. We get our delightful chaos within some boundaries. Without those boundaries, the chaos would not be delightful.

    BTW, you are nicer than the other anti-gov guy who goes "hmmmmm???" I have no problems with you.
  7. Anonymous Member

    AGG here.
    The point is that anarchy has rules. Honest. NAP, and common law, which would develop naturally. The basic principle is called emergent order, which we see in action all the time here at WWP.

    The other point is that people have to agree to a certain basic framework for anarchy to have a chance.
    Deirdre McCloskey in The Bourgeois Dignity:
    These are the principles that we are losing, and it shows in our society.

    And if I come across as rude, well, I apologize. I'll try to be nicer.

    And you really should take a look at Somalia with fresh eyes. It has come a long way. For years now I've been hearing I should "Move to Somalia." I didn't, but I have learned something about it out of necessity. It looks to be an example of that emergent order I mentioned earlier.
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  8. The Internet Member

    So what happens to the Scientologists in Anarchy Land?
  9. Anonymous Member

    Do you mean, what happens to their fraud in anarchy? Or what happens to the people?

    The scientologists are free to shout their love of Hubbard from the treetops for all of me. But once they start promising and not delivering, then you are in the land of frauds and torts and the rule of law applies.

    Would they have the chance to peddle their fraud? Sure. Would they get away with it? Well, they wouldn't have a gov backing them up by saying "We've investigated this group and found them to be a proper charitable group."

    As I said earlier, there would still be contracts, and courts and common law to guide the process. It is not lawlessness, it is law that is bottom up, not top down.
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  10. The Internet Member

    I was thinking of the difference between wwp.net which has a government and alt.religion.scientology which didn't have a government and so filled up with spam.

    As you know, enturbulation and wwp admins and mods have had their corruptions and dramas. But even so the place is better than ars. Our government lets the Scientologists post if they follow the rules but drops the banhammer on anyone too disruptive.

    I guess you have a government in anarchy land because there are lawyers and courts and laws and presumably schools for lawyers and rules about who can advertise as a lawyer. Also, police probably.
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  11. Anonymous Member

    You have a delightful way of putting things clearly, The Internet.
  12. Anonymous Member

    ah, sarcasm. Got it.

    Look up how Abe Lincoln got his law degree. Maybe you know, or maybe you don't.

    As for 'rules about who can advertise as a lawyer', Mr. Internet, sir, at least learn to state the opposition position accurately. Your statement is laughable (or just sarcasm, in which case, have some respect for the idea, YOu and I are nothing, but the ideas are crucial.)
  13. JohnnyRUClear Member

    Or maybe The Internet just isn't aware yet of the idea of free market courts. I wasn't, until within the past year.
  14. Cryptun Member


    Your ability to provide keen observations on faults of those who might not necessarily be as informed as you is shameful. We should encourage, not discourage.
  15. The Internet Member

    I have no idea what you guys are talking about with your hinting and "go read stuff." But the gist I get is, anyone can call themselves a lawyer in anarchy land. How about judges? Same deal? How about police?
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  16. Anonymous Member

    Yep, anyone can call themselves a lawyer. That's free speech. But that doesn't mean you'd have to believe them. I'd certainly want to know about their training, about their track record, and about their reputation in general before hiring them.

    I had to hire a lawyer a few years ago. He'd been in practice a long time. I found him to be rather poor at his job. I had problems with an oral surgeon last year. He'd also been practicing for years. So licensing is no assurance of competence.

    In my view, government certification and licensing gives us a false sense of security, since that one standard will be the target that all aim for, rather than the competition to improve the standards that would otherwise occur.

    Abe Lincoln did not attend law school. In fact, he only had about 2 years of formal schooling as a child. He read law, and about everything else under the sun, on his own, and was certified by the state court as a lawyer.

    There are private courts that operate parallel to the public courts. Many in business have become fed up with the time public courts take to reach decisions, and are writing contracts that call for private courts to arbitrate disputes. I think that's what Johnny was talking about.

    Police, by definition, are a function of government. A free society would have investigators who would not have a monopoly on the use of force. They would be charged with violations of rights if they did things police routinely do here. For instance, the Pepper Spray cop would have been held in violation of many counts of felony assault. Something like that would be considered a horrid violation of a person's rights, and would be punished. The man would not have been awarded $38K for his crimes, that's for damn sure and if his employer had supported him, they would suffer loss of reputation and good will, an important factor in business. Most likely, they'd lose business.

    So, yes, there would be courts and people who fulfill the role that police do today. What there wouldn't be is one sole arbiter of right and wrong. AS I said upthread, a free society has bottom up (common) law, while a government is top down (legislative) law. I trust the wisdom of the ages far more than I trust the wisdom of partisan politicians.

    agg
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  17. The Internet Member

    I like having generally trustworthy labels on things. Huge time saver. And where those labels are misleading, I think we should talk about that and try to fix that.

    So in anarchy land, Narconon is fine because there is no standard it fails to meet. What is true for you is true for you, eh?
  18. Anonymous Member

    You trust government to label accurately. You ignore things such as regulatory capture. See discussion below for details.

    tl;dr incentives matter
    I also like have accurate labels on things. And yet...

    Narconon is having a good run in our world, 47 years and counting. At no time was Narconon NOT a fraud, so our system is obviously failing in its duty to protect us from the predations of a fraudulent group. But not only are they not shutting them down, they ignored years of faggotry until people, regular ordinary people, such as David, Colin and Bert and the rest of Chanology, starting talking about what a fraud it was so loudly and so boldly that they couldn't be ignored. It is indeed a perfect example of that bottom up approach I have mentioned. Waiting for government action got us nothings. Shining the light on illegitimate practices is doing the job where government regulations have failed spectacularly.

    So, I guess we could trust to the government to protect us from cons such as COS and Narconon. IRL, the gov gives them explicit cover for their cons through granting them tax exempt status.

    Bernie Madoff comes to mind. A private party, working for a competitor, tried to recreate the strategy Madoff was using. that's when the competitor figured out it was a fraud, He told the regulators, and they ignored him. Your tax dollars at work. So, please explain how your system works to protect us from obvious con games

    And I'm only being partly sarcastic. You want me to prove my system can do what yours fails at doing in the present time. My ideas may not be the answer, but it's obvious that the current system isn't doing the job we pay for and have every right to expect it to be done. Yet, it isn't, not until people scream loudly enough. I say there are good reasons why that happens, and those reasons include how the incentives are structured.
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  19. The Internet Member

    Organized medicine used to fight quacks all the time. Then came the health freedom movement. Now policing quackery is mean and removing free choice from the consumer.

    But by losing the ability to uphold standards, the quackery has become integrated with the real stuff. In some fields, like psychology, the loss of scientific standards is a huge problem. My psychologist friend recently took some Continuing ed classes filled with obvious bullshit.

    This is why I dont think anarchy works without a ban hammer. Fuckin spammers.

    Oh it was the government that stopped doctors from calling out quacks, in the 1990s, when laws were changed so practitioners just needed a school of thought backing their ideas rather than verifiable evidence or plausibility. So the gov did fuck up, as it does, due to humans. We can fix that if we want to. I think most people like their quacks though.
  20. Anonymous Member

    Did anyone work out what laws the anarchist lawyers study in the anarchist society, where they go to put submissions about the application of those laws, and have judgements enforced etc?
  21. Anonymous Member

    tee hee
  22. The Internet Member

    Thanks to health freedom, which is sort of like moving to anarchy land, what used to be a small part of our economy --supplements and alternative medicine-- is, last I checked a couple years ago, 60 billion a year. That means unproven claims are being accepted as if they were proven. Why bother with science, which is hard and expensive, when you can make bank with unproven snake oil?

    I might be able to re-rail my thread by thanking the NSA for giving us Health Freedom. Pic of General Bert Stubblebine goes here.

    So now we have layers of our economy devoted to nonsense. Now anyone who tries to call out the lies has to face an army of fellow Americans who will be angry about that and who will likely hurt that person. Because when you aren't fighting in a scientific arena, it's personal.
  23. Anonymous Member

    I'm not really sure what your point it.
    You say 'so the gov did fuck up, as it does, due to humans.'
    That IS the point and you understand that. If humans fuck up, then they will do so no matter who pays their salary. So again, incentives matter.

    The feedback mechanism for the private sector is a negative loop, that is, we say "No" and they have to change, since they get their money from our voluntarily agreeing to give it to them. When we say "NO" to the gov, they laugh and do what they wanted anyway, sine they don't need our agreement to get our money.


    My point was simple. We have government standards that obviously fail to do the job. Even when the fraud is presented to the regulators, as happened with Madoff, the regulators ignore the evidence.
    We can find better methods that rely on the proven method of competition to do a better job rooting out the frauds and fakes, who BTW, will always be with us.
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  24. The Internet Member

    "Proven method of competition" needs clarification. Competition helps improve efficiency in some situations but not in others.

    If the government is failing us, we can change that by convincing our fellow citizens that change is necessary. Then we write to our representatives en mass and figure out how to improve the situation.

    In anarchy land, seems things would work the same way. We'd have to discuss and argue and win people over to our way of thinking, just like we do now. But we wouldn't have to destroy our civic infrastructure and maybe set the country on a path toward ruin with the non-anarchy plan.
  25. Anonymous Member

    I will rephrase: Competition is a proven method for improving outcomes. In any discovery process, competition is the way to go.

    Tell me where competition won't help.
    I find this a bit naive. My government has done unconscionable things all my life, and no amount of palaver ever changed that. When they stopped being overt in the 1970s, they became covert, and made it even worse.
    Back in 2008 the citizens were telling Congress not to bail out the banks. The opinion was running 10 to 1. We were ignored. There was no economic theory behind the decision. Congress wanted to do it, so they did, consequences be damned.

    I don't understand why you think having no government would destroy the civic infrastructure, The two structures are not the same, after all.

    Due to our economic and foreign policies, I think we are on a path toward rack and ruin. We will destroy our money and our foreign relations. I would write to my congress woman and let her know, but all I'd get back is a form letter thanking me for my support.
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  26. The Internet Member

    Ok imagine you are a muslim man with four wives. To get the most out of your wives you come up with some juicy reward. Which ever one pleases you the most over the next 6 months shall get the reward.

    I predict that your household will soon become an utterly miserable place to live under those circumstances.
  27. Anonymous Member

    Yes, but classic "reality television". Much like "The Bachelor".
  28. Anonymous Member

    I thought we were talking about markets and society, not family.

    Your point then, as I see it, is that there can be competition where it isn't appropriate. I quite agree.

    For families, cooperation is the ticket, one big happy communist family. But society is not one big family, so that's when competition comes into play.

    As for your example, I don't know that the result would be misery. It sounds like it would be linked to culture and expectation. Four American women and an American man, yeah, that'd be a disaster. Four Mormon women and one Mormon man, well, it's been going on for a long time. They seem to find utility in it.

    Frankly, I have no understanding at all of the dynamics of polygamous marriage. One spouse is plenty.
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  29. The Internet Member

    Yes, when people spend time together and build trust they need to cooperate or it gets ugly. Hell hath no fury, etc.

    The other place competition seems to be a problem: when one competitor wins. Seems to happen a fair amount.
  30. Anonymous Member

    tl;dr As a producer, competition is tough on people. As a consumer, we wouldn't want it any other way.
    Actually, that's a women scorned.

    When people spend time together on a project, they get to know each other and trust develops, or it doesn't. It can't be imposed, it develops. That suggests that it has to be voluntary, or trust will not be possible. I know if I were to be drafted into the project involuntarily, I would not be trusting of my unwanted bosses. And even if they proved to be worthy of respect during the project, I would still consider them to be morally repugnant for their willingness to use involuntary labor.

    lol, like every election there ever was? Do you agree that elections fit the situation you suggested?
    When the stakes are win lose and the people are not in the game voluntarily, then yeah, things get ugly.

    I see ball players on opposing teams who are great buddies off the field. They know that competing against the best only improves their game, or shows they no longer have what it takes. As I said, competition is tough on producers. They have to give their best game or risk being sidelined. It's hard for them, but makes for the best game for us, the consumers.

    I keep pointing out that politics has clear winners and corresponding losers, and the losers are literally everyone who didn't vote for the winning candidate. That's a lot of people losing versus a small number of winners.

    The market has only voluntary transactions, where both people come away richer from every transaction. As a producer, competition is tough on people. As a consumer, we wouldn't want it any other way.
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  31. The Internet Member

    So you don't like elections either?

    I am having a hard time figuring out Anarchy Land. I'm going to need an actual working model to get my head around it. So until you can point me to that place on Earth where anarchy works, would you mind terribly not always saying, "See, this bad government behavior is due to the government. Wouldn't happen in Anarchy Land."

    Here's an idea for you anti-gov guy: Start a thread called "anarchy" and put whatever the hell you want into it.
  32. Anonymous Member

    Anarchy is a perfect states of affairs.

    It so perfectly established the dominance of the strong over the weak, that people will gladly seek any other form of government.
  33. The Internet Member

    I'm still trying to understand anti-gov guy's point about elections. Maybe he is okay with elections. But the "lol" made me think he was not okay with them.

    When I said that competition can sometimes be a problem, that was in the context of AGG's comment that competition improves efficiency (better stuff at lower prices). I was thinking of a successful company that puts competitors out of business, thus ending the competition. So my point was not, "competition is bad." But maybe that's what AGG thought I was saying. So maybe he brought up elections as a way to say, "elections have winners and you don't object so why do you object to companies that win?"

    I'm actually not objecting to companies that win, just pointing out that we don't enjoy the efficiency benefits of competition when there's a clear winner.

    Is this point confusing somehow?
  34. Anonymous Member

    Well, I have mentioned a dozen times or so that elections are useless. They are a negative externality.

    It seems odd that you know that society without government will lead to death and destruction, yet you can't explain how things would operate in this society. You admit you don't understand how the legal system would work, but you know it couldn't even though you admit you don't understand it...sorry, but I can't help but think you are a wee bit confused. I would be happy to explain it...but you continue to mock it, yet you admit you don't understand it...round and round we go, where it ends...

    Would you have told the founding fathers to show you a country that used this new scheme before you voted on the Constitution?
    No idea ever existed in reality before it was thought of.

    You demand my agreement, or at least my money, to pay for your schemes. As long as you are talking about how to spend my money, then I will be interested.

    now, back to the NSA. Since you want me to fund this organization...
    What exactly, do you think it can do to make our lives better?
    How do we keep it under control if it is inherently a secretive activity that can't really be exposed if it is to work properly?
    How can we trust the representatives not to be a captive of the secret agency because they've done bad things and are being blackmailed?
    How do we know our representatives aren't using it for their own nefarious purposes if they are the ones we trust to maintain oversight?
    How can we know if NSA is blackmailing an elected official?
    Are the data we receive of sufficient value to make up for the loss of confidence worldwide in the USG?
    US foreign policy has been incredibly forceful over the years. Does that breed resentment that makes the NSA necessary?
    If we changed foreign policy would that obviate the need for the NSA, or would we still need it for other reasons?

    agg
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  35. Anonymous Member

    There are scholarly books that explain the problems with voting. I can point you to several if you are interested, The simplest statement is that voting is a negative externality (I think I said that one post up. Sorry about repeating myself)

    If there are only two competitors in the field then your assessment would be correct, but as long as there are no barriers to entry then new people can come in to take advantage of highly profitable areas.

    Actually, I hate to say it, since i sound like a broken record, but it is not good economics.

    In a market economy, when there is a clear winner then there is a good reason for it. Standard Oil, for instance, is one clear(ish) example. We hear how terrible Rockefeller was, but to the consumer, he was a marvel, dropping the price of kerosene from a dollar to a dime in 20 years time. We would love to see the price of energy drop by 90% now. It would help fuel (pun intended) an economic boom.

    Now, as long as there are no barriers to entry, then if Rockfeller had tried to raise the price, then other people would have flooded into the market and taken advantage of that 'rent seeking profit' as the econ guys call that.

    What actually happened to Rockefeller was people realized he was buying up other oil companies, and started creating shell companies that they sold to Rockefeller. It took Rock a while to catch on, forcing him to pay for his overreach.

    The market can police itself.
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  36. Anonymous Member

    Every nation gathers or otherwise uses intelligence. Are they all irrational? Not at all.

    Many countries would love to trick the US into not using secret intelligence, if the US were so insane. What would happen then?

    But that is not going to happen unless utter ideological derpmeisters start running the USa.

    Resentment is an emotion felt against someone by others. If avoiding resentment dictates a nation's actions, then that's is the end of that nation's survival, let alone progress.
  37. The Internet Member

    I personally do not demand your agreement or your money. And I don't have any big schemes. I'm just a guy here.

    JohnnyRUClear shares some of your views but I like chatting with him because he doesn't put a Mr. Evil hat on my head and then go ranting at me. If I wanted that experience, I could just go downtown and get into an argument with some hobo.
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  38. The Internet Member

    The Founding Fathers could say, "This new republic is like parliament, but without the Lords n Ladies hereditary bullshit." That's not a big stretch.

    But it's a big stretch for me to imagine a world where anyone can claim to be a medical doctor. Although I see us heading in that direction, thanks to the anti-government people who think more quacks means more choices and choices are always good.
  39. Anonymous Member

    The lack of empirical evidence, real world data or any specified referent to reality is a feature not a bug.
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  40. laughingsock Member

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