I'm beginning to think that we live under rule of corruption
Mankind is sinful. The optimal thing to minimize the sin is to term limit everything. Absolute power corrupts absolutely; limited power just takes longer, to tweak Acton.
we can spank the crap out of the idiots so that this kind of noise is minimized. Same goes for rape/hate crime hoaxes.
Well, I suppose as a long-term goal, minimizing U.S. over-reach is worthwhile. The path to get there is fraught with peril. As far as I can tell, Obama's foreign policy is a blend of Paul's non-interventionism and sheer drano-snorting incompetence (Egypt, Libya, Syria, &c).
Way to bring the intellectual honesty, boss.
Brilliant point about corporate and government secrecy and power. I've thought for a while (inspired by the book "Honest Business" by a founder of MasterCard) that an innovation in corporate law would be to insist corporations have no right to privacy or internal secrecy. Makes me think of the "Culture" series where AIs can keep their thoughts private, but all databanks and communications are public (although when an AI "Mind" runs a world-sized ship as a de-facto government, perhaps there are some issues there...)
You might like some related ideas which touch on cybernetic dynamics by Langdon Winner in his book "Autonomous Technology: Technics-out-of-control as a theme in political thought". He makes a similar point about people being replaceable components in organizations, and if they don't perform to standards, they will be replaced. This limits how humane or long-term-oriented a CEO in a typical US corporation can be, for example. Still, Winner suggests that there are moralities implicit in the things we choose to design -- so he suggests that for large systems, it is not so much that they can be used for good or evil as in that there are implications present in the idea about distribution of power and social implications...
And I'd add, there is the risk that the design will emphasize the "irony" in my sig, about great potential for abundance used in ignorance and fear of scarcity.
"Still, we must accept that there is nothing wrong with wanting some security. The issue is how we go about it in a non-ironic way that works for everyone."
Might well be true, from your homepage: "We are all the same Universe, each experiencing the one self from different perspectives..." If so, it can still be hard to work out the implications in a universe apparently built around Yin/Yang dualities like fire/ice, meshwork/hierarchy, competition/cooperation, etc. I mention that in my "rant" link included here:
Mentioning both A-LIfe simulation and corporations, you might find of interest this post I madein 2000 (it mentions simulation earlier):
"[unrev-II] Singularity in twenty to forty years?"
"Obviously, corporations are not all powerful. The world still has some
individuals who have wealth to equal major corporations. There are
several governments that are as powerful or more so than major
corporations. Individuals in corporations can make persuasive pitches
about their future directions, and individuals with controlling shares
may be able to influence what a corporation does (as far as the market
allows). In the long run, many corporations are trying to coexist with
people to the extent they need to. But it is not clear what corporations
(especially large ones) will do as we approach this singularity -- where
AIs and robots are cheaper to employ than people. Today's corporation,
like any intelligent machine, is more than the sum of its parts
(equipment, goodwill, IP, cash, credit, and people). It's "plug" is not
easy to pull, and it can't be easily controlled against its short term
What sort of laws and rules will be needed then? If the threat of
corporate charter revocation is still possible by governments and
collaborations of individuals, in what new directions will corporations
have to be prodded? What should a "smart" corporation do if it sees
this coming? (Hopefully adapt to be nicer more quickly.
individuals and governments do to ensure corporations "help meet
society's unmet needs"?
Evolution can be made to work in positive ways, by selective breeding,
the same way we got so many breeds of dogs and cats. How can we
intentionally breed "nice" corporations that are symbiotic with the
humans that inhabit them? To what extent is this happening already as
talented individuals leave various dysfunctional, misguided, or rouge
corporations (or act as "whistle blowers")? I don't say here the
individual directs the corporation against its short term interest. I
say that individuals affect the selective survival rates of
corporations with various goals (and thus corporate evolution) by where
they choose to work, what they do there, and how they interact with
groups that monitor corporations. To that extent, individuals have some
limited control over corporations even when they are not shareholders.
Someday, thousands of years from now, corporations may finally have been
bred to take the long term view and play an "infinite game". "
Still, as wealth becomes more widespread, and 3D printing and personal robotics and free information become common, maybe the value of limited-liability-corporations-as-we-know-them to produce goods, services, and information may diminish to the point where there is little value in having them around?
Governments may be a different story though... For a humorous takes on the limits of "open government", see:
Around 2002, I had an interest in making related simulations (based on Charodic ideas by Dee Hock, a founder of Visa), but life intervened (having a kid etc.):
"This mailing list is to discuss the project of developing simulations of chaordic organizations,
processes, and systems under the GPL license, with "chaordic" used as
defined by Dee Hock at http://www.chaordic.org/ and in his book "Birth of the
Chaordic Age". "
Good luck carrying on the flame of abundance and enlightenment in a world still full of darkness of want and ignorance!
'They are Man's,' said the Spirit, looking down upon
them. 'And they cling to me, appealing from their fathers.
This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both,
and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy,
for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the
writing be erased. Deny it.' cried the Spirit, stretching out
its hand towards the city. 'Slander those who tell it ye.
Admit it for your factious purposes, and make it worse.
And abide the end.'
'Have they no refuge or resource.' cried Scrooge.
'Are there no prisons.' said the Spirit, turning on him
for the last time with his own words. 'Are there no workhouses.'"
One of the most insightful things I've read on Slashdot:
Ahh, predicting the future... (Score:4, Insightful)
by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 09, 2013 @05:16PM (#45379181)
What we envisioned: Man overseeing the construction robots doing their elaborate dance.
What we got: robotic sensors collect every bit of observable data, so that the man can be put into good use with highest efficiency.
Thanks for the link. By the way, eight of the authors there are from China, including the first author. Four are from Australia, one from the USA.
BTW, to be fair to lawyers, it's true that some US lawyers do good things for the general benefit -- civil rights, environmental defense, open access journal articles, open government, FOSS licensing, etc.. Examples:
I guess it comes down to who has the most money to pay the lawyers, and whether some lawyers are willing to make significantly less money to work in the public interest. I guess engineers can also face the same problem -- like working on some destruction-emphasizing defense projects or monopolistic systems like DRM vs. more productive ends or more sharing-oriented approaches.
Another aspect of that:
"Our One-Party Democracy"
"Watching both the health care and climate/energy debates in Congress, it is hard not to draw the following conclusion: There is only one thing worse than one-party autocracy, and that is one-party democracy, which is what we have in America today.
One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century. It is not an accident that China is committed to overtaking us in electric cars, solar power, energy efficiency, batteries, nuclear power and wind power. China's leaders understand that in a world of exploding populations and rising emerging-market middle classes, demand for clean power and energy efficiency is going to soar. Beijing wants to make sure that it owns that industry and is ordering the policies to do that, including boosting gasoline prices, from the top down.
Our one-party democracy is worse. The fact is, on both the energy/climate legislation and health care legislation, only the Democrats are really playing. With a few notable exceptions, the Republican Party is standing, arms folded and saying "no." Many of them just want President Obama to fail. Such a waste. Mr. Obama is not a socialist; he's a centrist. [Actually, more of a corporatist?] But if he's forced to depend entirely on his own party to pass legislation, he will be whipsawed by its different factions.
The fact is, many public benefit things like FOSS or basic R&D should be funded collectively, and government should be spending money or redistributing it to account for positive and negative externalities. For example, renewables have been cheaper than fossil fuels or nuclear since the 1970s if you account for pollution, defense, and risks. But instead of paying more for gas at the pump, we pay a lot of taxes (or incur public debt) for "defense" spending in the middle east, and we have higher medical bills, and people live in fear of Fukushima-style meltdowns, etc..
Still, while I think the climate is changing, but it's not clear the best approach to that is CO2 limits. If I had to choose between CO2 limits versus a global basic income along with free mobility between nations (lawyer-y things), I'd take the latter, given that it is too late to stop lots of climate change and wealth and mobility is a way most people globally could at least deal with it.
And the US Republicans themselves are getting conflicted about things too:
Space settlement is another example of a future public good that an enlightened far-sighted government should be investing in. The USA has mostly turned it back on that. China and India seem to be forging ahead, as was the USSR earlier.
Still, a basic income would at least make it possible for the average citizen to contribute towards these public-minded projects (including better space navigation via pulsars) by having the free time to do so if so inclined.