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Creation of a Cybernation 198

Thanks to martin for pointing us over to a recent story about Cyber Yuga. It's essentially the formation of an online "nation", which some requirements for citizenship, including reading the Constitution and voting on changes to it, as well as some civic responsibility in running the "country". In any case, a very cool idea-will this be the future? What do you folks think?
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Creation of a Cybernation

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  • * The US Gov't has an odd tendency to support it's citizens visiting overseas, through its consulates, the State Dept., et cetera.

    * If you're over here in the States, they're less likely to suddenly revoke any of your benefits in a sudden wave of anti-immigrant fervor: it could happen, but it's less likely.

    * You might be able to get away w/ lower income taxes than certain other nations (the more progressive Scandinavian nations come to mind, for instance). Then again, if that's *really* a concern, perhaps you should be considering somewhere in the Caribbean. &ltshrug&gt.
  • Take a look at Article 8 of their "Constitution []":
    It is an honor, priviledge and right of every citizen familiar with HTML, Java, JavaScript, VBScript, COM objects, IIS filters and ASP applications, as well as music, video and photo digitalization process, to participate in building of Cyber Yugoslavia.
    Thanks, but no thanks...


  • Then again, it's hard to take seriously any organization whose constitution contains the words "Secretary of Coca-Cola"...

    One of the requirements for Prince Edward Island to join Canada as a Province in 1949 was that the Canadian Constitution be amended to decree the colour of margerine in Prince Edward Island.

    Given that kind of lunacy (I can say disparaging things like that, having lost my Canadian residency, but retaining Citizenship), Secretary of Coca-Cola doesn't strike me as all that silly.

  • I was interested in this place... the politics and all that actually interest me, not repulse me...

    But I decided I don't trust a constitution that hasn't heard of the word "quorum".

    From Article 2:

    Two thirds of population has to vote FOR or AGAINST the change suggested by any citizen, including the Constitution changes. Fifty percent of this electorial body, plus one vote has to accept the suggestion in order for it to be applied.

    Sudden thought: ...imagine if that sort of quorum (67%) was imposed on the US -- we wouldn't probably have had a single president in this century.


  • The problem with this theory and the reason why we will always have governments based on physical location (unless we get a unified government for all humans, but then we still wouldn't get the element of competition you're looking for) is that power comes from one place: the barrel of a gun. No Cyber-Policeman can help you if I shoot you dead in real life. Internet governments can only deal with internet problems, but it is physical problems that are the most fundamental to our existence. With all of our technological advancement, we are still physical creatures that need physical government for physical protection.

  • Canada is definitely not a pawn of the United States.

    and isn't the last sylable really the only difference between the UN and the US?

  • It appears that what is *reallY* going to happen, in theory, is that all these people, citizens, ministers, secretaries, whatever you call them, are going to manage one big-assed website/server farm. Once a certain number of people are invovled, a plea will be made to the UN to have the server room recognized as it's own country with it's own laws. Afterwards, it could easily become a 'data haven'..

    Won't fly.. but I see what they are trying to do.
  • I think I meant to say :1,$ s/emacs/vi/g
    You know what I mean. :)
  • No, you can't get out of taxes.. Foreign nationals in the US have to pay US taxes of some sort...sorry, thanks for playing, and now, these nice INS folks would like to talk to you
  • the same way that Discordianism is a "religion"?

    dear, goddess! Repent! my sun, Repent! you wouldnt what to become a... o' :) never mind...

    #include "standard_disclaimer.h"
  • twenty sqare miles for servers? What are they running, NT?
  • The constitution makes it quite clear these guys only use M$ software & OSes.

    I wouldn't sign up for that. Microsoft will be controlling these guys arses if they ever do anything useful. Until they change to apache/linux/perl/opensource that is. That's what the constitutions says too though: we can change stuff if we want to.

    I still think it's a great idea, but it's all empty theorising until they get a good user base.
  • You (at least in the US) revoke your US citizenship (you can't have dual citizenship in the US past the age of 18)
    Completely untrue. If it were true, the U.S. would be one of the only countries in the world to have such a ridiculous policy. For a pragmatic look at US law on dual citizenship, heck out, for instance, this site [].
  • Cybernation.... That makes me laugh.... And who am i in all this? A Decepticon?
  • Australian-born and Paris-loving artist Liz Sterling created [] a while back. She officially blew it up on July 12 during a happening on the Seine river's bridge Pont des Arts. The experiment got a fair amount of feedback in major french newspapers.

    Get ready for [] !

  • Why build down, when you can just as easily build up?

    if you have 20x20 meters of land, it would be just as difficult to excavate 20 meters deep as it would be to build a 20 meter high building.
  • Where's the Ministry for Silly Walks? :)
  • Actually, if you read that site, you'll find that in MOST cases you can NOT have dual citizenship. In certain individual cases the US Government will allow the recognition of dual-citizenship, but in the majority they do not.

    The point of that site is saying as long as you're careful about it, it doesn't really matter. But its generally not a good idea to pass off a Canadian passport upon entry to the US if you're a US citizen, and vice versa. If you had true dual citizenship, you could use either citizenship at any time.

    The point being that a lot of these "fake" countries -- and I'm not saying this one is this way -- are used as ways to "get back" at the US government, either in claiming to be able to live in the US but not live by its laws (like paying taxes) or other things. In that regard many are like cults, in that their primary intent is to thumb their collective noses at the countries that people are truely citizens of. If you were born in the US to canadian parents, yeah, maybe the US will let you keep dual citizenship (but I know a bunch of people who have been forced to choose), but in a B.S. case like this, if you tried using that citizenship in any way, I'd guess the weight of the US Government would come crashing down upon you.
  • ...and we have our own religion, linuxism :^)

    #include "standard_disclaimer.h"
  • Trust me on this...technical abilities and social development are two phrases that DON'T belong in the same sentence! :)
  • by tgd ( 2822 ) on Thursday August 05, 1999 @06:11AM (#1763892)
    This is nothing new, there's at least a half dozen other "global citizen" type scams that have been going on for years on the Internet. Usually they have you pay a stragely large amount of money for a passport and citizenship documents that wouldn't be recognized as legal proof of age at a movie theater, much less at any customs or immagration point in the world.

    Its just stupid moneymaking schemes, or cult-like practices in some cases.

    Lets see what do you get for your money (depending on how you push the issue with the government):

    1) Useless passport and citizenship paperwork that won't be recognized by anyone.


    2) You (at least in the US) revoke your US citizenship (you can't have dual citizenship in the US past the age of 18) and you learn REAL fast what a plus it really is in the world to be a US citizen.
  • Well, this is a neat idea, of course, this article doesn't tell us that much about it. My big question, I guess, is how this is going to change our concepts of socalization. I mean, governments have traditionally been based on geography, presuming comon interestes on that basis. If "cyber nations" get going, then you have governments based on comon interest, presumably. Can you really have a government with widely, geographically seperated individuals. Even some of the larger nations now are having problems.

    As a side note, I think a requirement for becoming a UN member is already having land. They can't be granted land by the UN, since the UN doesn't actually have any land to grant.

    Still, this is an interesting idea...
  • Though... the US does do a damn fine job of protecting its citizens who do trash talk other governments, who might not be so permissable as the US.
  • just look here []...
    #include "standard_disclaimer.h"
  • if this is the future, then count me out.

    "online communities" have existed in varying degrees since "online" existed: ARPANet as a whole was an "online community" at one point. then there were BBSes, some of which made it onto the Internet. there are the 'homesteading' sites like GeoCities, in which "online community" translated to "free web space".

    this proposes an online semblance of a community, but with more of the political crap that drives geeks into cyberspace in the first place. if the future is going to be comprised of democratically-minced constitutions and algorithmically-selected patriotic music without the consolation prize of human contact, then i think it's time for me to find a nice cave somewhere in the Ozark Mountains.

    you won't notice this scaring me, though.

  • In the grand Yugoslavian tradition, I have joined Cyber Yuga, and am calling on my fellow NT user brothers to take back our birthright that is

    Four Bazillion-odd years ago, this domain was a part of the Greater NT World, and it is our right to evict all the Linux, MacOS, and all other lesser OS users off of our homeland.

    Saddle up boys! Tonight we ride, with the gallant and noble purpose of restoring the true order to the server. Kill 'em all!

  • by Aggrazel ( 13616 ) <> on Thursday August 05, 1999 @06:17AM (#1763898) Journal
    Slashdot forms it's own country and declares war on, and . (the Axis) After a huge bloody war in which the casualty numbers have to be written in scientific notation (the war is held in Quake 3 arena). It is decided that Hemos is to be Earth Czar. Anyone calling themselves MEEPT is hunted down and clubbed with salami.
  • Anyone who's serious (or semi-serious) about this should check out How to start your own country. I wish it was a bit more optimistic, but it's quite fascinating and very funny. I recommend it heartily.

    Incidentally, based on the web page, I think this effort is a way of salvaging a really horrible situation through humour more than a serious effort. I think they have serious intentions of connecting people together, but not of starting a real country. And they seem to be pretty upfront about this, so I wouldn't judge them as a scam.


  • Check out the NSK state [] of Laibach (the musicians, remember?) fame. Ahead of their time, maybe?
  • because an On-Line Labor Comission for an On-Line nation cannot differentiate between one place and another place, the purpose of a seperate government is to stop the treatment of people of different nationalities differently. Any citizen of the the on-Line nation would have to be treated equally and fairly. therefore an On-Line labor comission would have to argue for equal treatment, pay, working conditions, or suffer a mass citizen protest ..

  • Reminds me of the scheme I red about a few months ago, where by sending in $20 or so, you could get your very own plot of land on the Moon! Just saying you're a country doesn't mean you are. Besides If I'm going to participate in a "virtual country" as a demonstration of nerd power or whatever, I want more power than picking the friggin' national anthem.
  • URL: 6/o/qid=933888089/sr=8-1/002-8997047-16604 64

    For some reason the submission script stripped out the URL :-(


  • this brings back memories of when my friend Nat (Friedman) called the UN attempting to start a country called Linux. his defense to the "already having land" tenet was that because of its purely abstract state (pun intended), Linux would be impossible to invade by conventional means.

    kept the guy on the phone for about two hours, too.
  • Governments do compete, but they call it war. "Hot", physical wars like Vietnam, or "cold", economic wars of the Reagan era. They are monopolistic within a given geographic region, but social and economic pressures from other countries have a tremendous impact even in peace.

    The United States is the Microsoft of the political arena. The U.S. uses its sheer economic force to coerce other political entities into following its ideologies and ignores pleas for change from even large consortiums of other countries.

    Governments are like infrastructure, and citizens rarely have much more say in choosing their government than they do in choosing which highways go past their house. Even in democracies, most decisions are made by unelected bureaucrats and elected officials that represent so many people that the concept of representation is meaningless.

    It would be kind of nice to be able to choose one's government like one chooses an ISP. People who wanted security could subscribe to a police state, whereas people who wanted more freedom and privacy could join a government that lets them take more risks. The possibility of this happening, in an on-line sense, is very real. When I go to make an on-line transaction with another entity (say, a person or business), we would agree first to an arbitrating agency that would enforce the rules of the transaction and collect a fee (tax) for enforcing those rules.

    These choices are already here in the real world, as evidenced by people choosing to live in covenant-controlled communities with stricter rules than those supplied by the local government. Unfortunately, opportunities for people who wish less security and more personal control are rare.

    An electronic nation seems silly, but it could work as a collective bargaining unit for its members. It could start out by lobbying for policy changes in the various governments of its members. Get, say, 100 million people from around the world signed on, and I guarantee that you will be able to get pretty much any conventional government to sit down at the table to talk.

    Pie-in-the-sky stuff, though.
  • Reminds me of the scheme I read about a few months ago, where by sending in $20 or so, you could get your very own plot of land on the Moon! Just saying you're a country doesn't mean you are. Besides If I'm going to participate in a "virtual country" as a demonstration of nerd power or whatever, I want more power than picking the friggin' national anthem.
  • Historically, nearly every new government has been based on something, whether it be common interests due to physical location, common heritage, ideals (as in the case of the USA), or whatnot. I read the constitution, and it seemed like there was no real basis, idealistic or otherwise, for this anarchistic nation or citizenship within it. Essentially, they're doing it because they can. This is a pointless effort, and one which accomplishes nothing.

    Now, if they were to try to form a Snow Crash-style phyle (also see Diamond Age; Snow Crash may have used a different term), then that would be susbstantially more interesting, since it would be based on something. This is really just a souped-up version of a bunch of third-grade boys forming a club.

    Then again, even the third-graders are a little more sophisticated, since a lot of them have at least some kind of qualification for entry ("No Girls Allowed!") :)
  • Yeh,

    I sure hope that we can pay taxes for joning this virtual society. Or should we call them "dues towards the common good"... sounds a lot better than "taxes" i guess!
  • Hmm.. all the land is company property, the products of the employees' labor is company property, and all services are provided by the company. And I thought we won the cold war.

    Be worried when it becomes illegal to quit your job.
  • Advantages of being a US citizen:

    #1: Bragging Rights

  • I know, we could start an anti-Microsoft (liberal) party! To what extent we allow Microsoft to influence the technology would be a key issue in a cyber government.

    But seriously, I don't think they have given much thought to the idea of how government works. Is this serious or is it a government in the same way that Discordianism is a "religion"? How does it go again? : ...among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. To secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Declaration of Independence []
    This thing won't do that. Nor will it: form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity []
  • soon as someone comes up with a plan for a nation that actually has some significance in the Real World (tm). My physical body has to live somewhere, and unless the new nation establishes itself on an asteroid, a floating island, Antarctica, or some other unoccupied territory, my body will have to live within a territory that is occupied by some traditional nation. This means that my body will be subject to the various tyrannical actions of this nation. If Cybertopia (or whatever) says that I am free to do as I please as long as I don't harm others, will this nation help me protect this essential liberty when stormtroopers representing the United States (or whatever government) bash down my door, sieze my property, and send me to a prison camp because I happen to be smoking a joint? Doubtful.

    What we (i.e. geeks or some other group) need to do is either leave our various occupied lands for greener pastures, or else have a revolution.

  • Slashdot should start an "online" country. We got our own newspaper (slashdot) and our own communication network (slashnet) as well as thousands of dedicated "slashdotters". I say we do it! how about it rob? =)

  • Sounds like sleeping for a time.
    Sorry, I've been off the net for a while. I was cybernating.
  • From this site: []
    If I am a dual US/other citizen, is there any way I can lose my US citizenship?

    Although current US law forbids the government from taking your citizenship from you against your will, it does permit you to give it up voluntarily. This has placed the US State Department in the complex position of determining whether someone who claims to be a US citizen has, in fact, given up that citizenship by his voluntary statements or actions.

    In the early days of court-mandated acceptance of dual citizenship, State Department officials (hostile as most of them were to the whole idea of dual citizenship) tended to play hardball with people who claimed dual status, looking for almost any excuse to revoke US citizenship, and frequently ruling that a person had voluntarily forsaken his US ties despite steadfast protestations or even convincing evidence to the contrary.

    On 16 April 1990, though, the State Department adopted a new set of guidelines for handling dual citizenship cases which are much more streamlined and liberal than before.

    The State Department now says that it will assume that a US citizen intends to retain (not give up) his US citizenship if he:

    is naturalized in a foreign country;

    takes a routine oath of allegiance to a foreign country; or

    accepts foreign government employment that is of a "non-policy-level" nature.

    Apparently, a "routine oath of allegiance" to another country is no longer taken as firm evidence of intent to give up US citizenship, even if said oath includes a renunciation of US citizenship. This represents a dramatic reversal of previous US policy; it used to be that any such statement was taken rigidly at face value (as in the Supreme Court's 1980 Terrazas decision).

    This presumption that someone intends to keep US citizenship does not apply to a person who:

    takes a "policy-level" position in a foreign country;

    is convicted of treason against the US; or

    engages in "conduct which is so inconsistent with retention of U.S. citizenship that it compels a conclusion that [he] intended to relinquish U.S. citizenship."

    The State Department says that cases of these kinds will be examined carefully to determine the person's intent. They also say that cases falling under the last criterion mentioned above (conduct wholly inconsistent with intent to keep US citizenship) are presumed to be "very rare."

    Since this new country makes you have a policy role as part of the constitution you are subject to the loss of U.S. citizenship.
  • There's a pretty substantial portion of Antarctica which has never become a territory of any nation. They can have it. In fact, let's deport _any_ undesirable there, to improve the gene pool locally.
  • Uhm... really? I'll look for the Microsoft "VirtuaNation" software any minute now. Six weeks thereafter I will begin looking for the knockoff "@Nation" and "CyberState" virtual country starter kits. FOQNE anybody?

  • Andrés Pastrana you suck, your whole administration sucks, and your momma sucks also.

  • I thought the "cyber-nation" (apologies to Mr. Gibson) idea that CY was pretty cool until I read this! These people are obviously not aware of the institutional strictness they are imposing on their "citizens" by depending on Microsoft on the "nation's" most crucial and fundamental level! In the spirit of freedom and revoloutionary ideas, the operating platform for this project should be

    *BSD! (Thought I was gonna say "Linux"?) Let's say there was a SlashNation....

  • Can't we start one of these ourselves? The OpenSource nation with Linus Torvalds as our leader. Go world dominiation!

    It seems like we already have a culture or a religion at least. emacs worshipers, distro evanglists and whatever else you'd like to add.

  • It has some rather hairy citizenship requirements, though - which is why my brother & I didn't join up.
    Once a member is inducted, the association denies each member his own freedom of choice regarding his religious persuasion and political and aesthetic affiliation.

  • Especially when you have a floating country []! But then you don't need to be virtual at all... You'd just have a lot of expatriates.
  • Is that even legal? I was under the impression that the Moon was considered public property of all Mankind, and that would imply that private companies/individuals have no right to sell it (without the consent of, say, half of Mankind). Sounds like (probably mail) fraud.
  • In his new book (a good old fashioned future?) The first story is about groups of people who operate through a gift and favor economy, doing each other favors and the like, In this way they avoid even dealing with governments, they are of course treated as gangsters and persecuted. The whole system is run by their personal computers, they get instructions like buy a jar of pickles and leave it on this corner at 10pm. And somehow it all works out. The whole point of this is that while the concept of online countries feels lame, a vast international affinity group of like minded people conducting their lives outside of traditional national alliegence through the internet is cool (to me)
  • I have a few friends that graduated from my University in EE who can't get a job because they aren't a US citizen. They would have to get a company to apply for their visa or citizenship or whatever (I don't know the laws), and then they can work. No company wants to take that kind of risk. I think he is still looking for someone to hire him. As a graduate he is looking for internships just so he can get his foot in the door.

    But, as US citizens, all of his friends and peers received job offers 6-8 months ago.

    Personally, I work in the Space industry and I know that if you aren't a US citizen it is really hard to even get on site of, say, Johnson Space Center let alone trying to get a job there. I know it took us months just to get an intern a pass to get on site for meetings. Whereas, as a citizen, I can go just about anywhere I please and can just walk in and get a pass in about 5 minutes.

    I was also part of a program NASA runs where they give University students a chance to fly experiments on the Vomit Comet (the best experience of my life, you can't imagine how cool it is to be weightless for 23 seconds at a time). They were informing some international students at US Univs of the hassles of getting them on site. The ones that did get in had to go through a lot of trouble just to get on site to watch a movie.

  • Actually, if you read that site, you'll find that in MOST cases you can NOT have dual citizenship. In certain individual cases the US Government will allow the recognition of dual-citizenship, but in the majority they do not.

    The point of that site is saying as long as you're careful about it, it doesn't really matter. But its generally not a good idea to pass off a Canadian passport upon entry to the US if you're a US citizen, and vice versa. If you had true dual citizenship, you could use either citizenship at any time.

    These paragraphs are nonsense.

    `Dual Citizenship' is not some special status, nor is it something which countries generally have to `officially recognize'. It is the state of having citizenships in two countries. The US can't disallow you from having a citizenship in another country; all it could do is threaten to take your US citizenship away, and it can almost never do that except in cases of out-and out treason, because of extensive case law, US and international.

    Yes, whenever a (for example) Canada-US dual citizen deals with US authorities, they'd have to show US papers, and Canadian papers to Canadians. But that's because all US citizens have to show US papers to US authorities, and all Canadians likewise. Being a `dual citizen' doesn't change that; why should it?

    Pretending like one wasn't a citizen when one had responsibilities as a citizen -- i.e., paying duties, or taxes, or registering for selective service, or showing papers -- will always be illegal. Why do you believe it should be different for `true dual citizenship?'

    maybe the US will let you keep dual citizenship (but I know a bunch of people who have been forced to choose
    If this is true, which I doubt, these people were misinformed by state department blustering, not actual legalities. (The state department hates multiple citizenships as it complicates their life -- but even they've lightened up, see here [] what you have to do to loose your US citizenship -- and notice that you have to do them with the intention to relinquish U.S. citizenship . So unless you're being nationalized in India, for example, where multiple citizenships are fobidden, being nationalized to another country -- much less accepting the already-existing fact of citizenship by birth -- explicitly does not qualify. Check out the case law section of that page.)

    You *don't have to choose*, unless you're dealing with a nation like India which explicitly forbids multiple citizenships.

  • Because, it serves only those who believe in open-source, and freely-distributed software. And because you do not exist on the Internet, you exist in teh real world, and as such must abide by the laws of nature, and the laws of the land. You will never be able to eat jpegs to satiate hunger, unless you print it out and eat the paper.. I mean. you have to live somewhere, and if you have a policy-level position in another "recognized" nation, you'd have your U.S citizenship revoked.

    Speaking as an illegal immigrant in the U.S. trust me, you don't want my life.

  • Most muslim countries forbid alcohol.

  • Neat concept? Perhaps, but the ideology behind this is rather frightening.

    The whole concept of the former authoritarian state of Yugoslavia was to strip people of their culture & heritage, freedom of association & religion, and independent thought.

    The evolution of the internet as a true forum of individualism and free expression is threatened any time someone sets up an organization such as this. It will most CERTAINLY not be a democratic "state", as I doubt any ideas about Croatian, Bosnian, or Albanian independence would not be tolerated.

    Suppose 400 serbs, 300 Croats, 150 moslems, and 150 Slovenes join this "cyber-nation". What happens when, as is the rule in Balkan Yugoslavia, the Croats, Slovenes, and Moslems decide unanimously they want nothing to do with Cyber-Serbs. Do they get to take a portion of the server, RAM, domain name, etc. with them? I suppose we can expect the cyber-serbs running the site to start E-cleansing?

    Let's be real.
  • Stuff similar to this has been around for a long time: micronations.

    Some vary in seriousness and complexity. Some are goofy, and undeveloped. Some are farily fleshed out and regard themeselves as a political simulation and some actually "claim" land and seriously claim independence from a real national power.

    A fairly exhaustive list of links to micronations or related stuff relating is here:
  • Membership into the U.N. is completely arbitrary. Explain to me why a democratic nation of 21 million people is consistently being denied entrance into the U.N.
  • > Data is flowing again and the users in the real > world are actually getting work done now instead
    > of waiting and waiting and waiting...

    This is obviously false. Everyone knows that gnumacs has a better way of controlling rogue TV stations than vi...

    M-x auto-television-control-mode RETURN

  • I think I meant to say :1,$ s/emacs/vi/g

    I believe you meant to say :%s/emacs/vi/g
  • According to the Bureau of Consular Affairs web page ( []), if you become a citizen of another country, you can probably keep your US citizenship.

    From []:

    Q: If I become a dual citizen will it affect my U.S.citizenship?
    A: The automatic acquisition or retention of a foreign nationality does not affect U.S. citizenship; however, under limited circumstances, the acquisition of a foreign nationality by application and certain other acts may cause loss of U.S. citizenship under Section 349 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. In order for loss of nationality to occur under Section 349(a)(1), for example, it must be established that the naturalization was obtained voluntarily by a person eighteen years of age or older with the intention of relinquishing U.S. citizenship. Such an intention may be shown by the person's statements or conduct but in most cases it is assumed that Americans who are naturalized in other countries intend to keep their U.S. citizenship. As a result, they have both nationalities. While recognizing the existence of dual nationality and the fact that some Americans to have other nationalities, the U.S. Government does not endorse dual nationality. Claims of other countries upon dual-national U.S. citizens can place them in situations where their obligations to one country are in conflict with the laws of the other. In addition, their dual nationality may hamper U.S. efforts to provide diplomatic and consular protection to its citizens when they are abroad, especially in the country of their other nationality. For further advice, call the Office of Overseas Citizens Services at 202-647-5226.
  • They found a small rock a few square metres large in an oil field outside Britain. So they put a tent with a few people on it and said: This is Greenpeace country and don't you *dare* drill for oil in our territorial waters. :-)
  • The secretaries have no actual power, it is merely to show equality among all citizens, whether they are webmaster or lurker.
  • I remember a game in which players, in turn, propose "laws", that is, new rules to the game, which the other members vote on. The goal is to get the most tokens or something. The trick is fooling the other players into voting on laws which seem good to them at the time, but in the long run, get them to give you their tokens or something. You can also have fun with "I propose that from now on, the meaning of "yes" and "no" shall be reversed from their meanings prior to this moment" etc.

    The way you change the Social System Algorithm it seems, is via the Social System Algorithm. This is at the same time kind of neat and possibly flawed.

  • so do they will have a whole nation domain for them? it could be fun :o)
  • It's an very interesting concept for a number of reasons... and most important of all, it is promising in its applications.

    The world's current configuration as a mostly uni-polar system (with the United States being the sole super-power) is due to the concentration of military power in one location (obviously). But increasingly, this configuration can be challenged by opposing poles that represent concentrations of technical and financial power!

    Imagine a CyberSystem that had a defense force, capable of attacking electronically the infrastructure of nations that threatened the rights/existence of the system. Such a threat is no less dangerous (and possibly even more so) than thousands of tons of TNT.

    Imagine a CyberSystem that had a viable economic system, where citizens are taxed in some fair manner to support common infrastructure development... i.e. more cryptographic support, stronger political presence... Such a system could use many of the economic tools of today's "modern" nations to find a place for existence. It's clear that the United States is already dependent on the technocrats. Let's formalize that relationship such that the US militarily/politically defend the rights of this CyberNation in exchange for beneficial economic terms.

    You can think of this as an extension of Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon. Most citizens in the first world no longer have to fear for their personal safety, but we DO need a political/financial safe haven. If we band together successfully, such a scheme really might have promise.

    This CyberWorld could also be considered an experimental platform for alternate political systems. Presumably, its citizens would include some of the most talented, best educated, and financially well-off people on the planet. Instead of being stuck in the traditional cycles of autocracy and representative 'democracy', maybe it's time to test the system of the future.

    Only problem with this is that it is intended as a virtual "Yugoslavia". The political connotations/attachment to the previous incarnations of Yugoslavia is probably not needed.

    Opinions? Anyone think such a virtual utopia is really possible? Isn't it time to leverage our technical abilities to achieve new levels of political and social development?
  • Hmm. Perhaps the Internet is the one place where communism will actually work. Yes ... yes it's perfect. If OpenSource and GNU (which is essentially communist thinking) works on the Net, so will my communist government.

    I shall form my own communist government. I will entertain the ideas of all those guys who got their assess kicked in real life, like Nazis and the Soviets.

    And one day we too will register ourselves in the United Nations. And we'll capture 40 square miles of washington DC and declare it as our own.

    Then we'll have a war against CY .. our only online competator in the cybernetic nation business. We'll kick their asses.

    And then the UN will call for first ever hacker peace talks! And I, the king of my communist country, will make history on live TV by throwing pies at all the UN officials and making fun of everyone.

    ... welcome to the future of politics (future? this what goes on at UN today!)
  • A while back, I encountered a similar thing, although I can't remember what it was called. It claimed to be a sovereign state, and it was somewhere in Wisconsin or something. Anyway, I think it's pretty cool, just as long as I don't have to pay taxes.
  • The idea that a virtual country could be formed from the populace of the internet is not a new one, but until now it's been done in the wrong ways: A group tries to get people to join, bringing accusations of clubs, cults, or money-making scams.

    The right way is more simple, and requires work *outside* the net, rather than inside. The right way is to declare the internet its own sovereign territory.

    Every government on earth is tripping over themselves trying to regulate, control, or spy on the internet. And because of the net's basic concept and infrastructure, they'll never succeed. What we need is an advocacy group who will tell the governments of the world to Get Out. We have our own laws, and they should have no jurisdiction here. Every visitor to the internet should only have to worry about the laws of the medium. It's only information, after all...and governments should be taught that free speech includes free information.

    But that would require both a volunteer law enforcement squadron for the net and a powerful multi-national lobby outside of it, so I doubt we'll see the internet declared sovereign territory anytime soon. Even if the powermongers in the real world could be persuaded to keep away from the net, we are not ready to govern ourselves.

    Just my humble, seditious opinions... :)
  • I personally don't see the purpose of this, but in any case, I saw this book on Amazon a few months ago and it seemed to be somewhat related to this discussion.

    "How to Start Your Own Country" 6/o/qid=933877823/sr=8-1/002-4488801-02334 58
  • I see several complaints here:

    1. This has been done before

    2. So? There are several operating systems (even Unix-like operating systems), too--choice is good. You don't have to be original to have an impact. Also note that this doesn't appear to be a (money-making) scam: At no point do you have to give any money to anyone.

    3. USians can't have dual citizenship.

    4. Wrong. Go check your facts. The State Department doesn't LIKE dual citizenships, but they do not have the power to revoke your citizenship unless you are a baddie (treason, etc)

    5. I don't like how they are running things

    6. Then don't join. Or, if you like the basic idea but not the details, join and then put your pet peeve up to a Public Vote (everything, including the constitution is malleable by Public Vote). I don't like that they are using MS software for an "open" society so I'm joining and hoping to change all that.

    Put Hemos through English 101!
    "An armed society is a polite society" -- Robert Heinlein
  • The constitution states that the anthem is selected on a weekly basis through a random generator fed with a list of candidates. I can see that this process might be a way of curbing nationalism through a non-identification with a specific national anthem, but why not do away with an anthem altogether? What is the point if it is randomly selected each week? More than likely it will degenerate into "This Week's #1 Hit Single at JUGA" and serve to degrade the whole idea of a virtual nation.

    And then there's the flag and weapon, which are static. Juga resists an identifiable anthem but chooses to maintain a single flag and weapon? Again, if the absence of a single anthem is meant to avoid a nationalistic furor then why choose a flag *and* a weapon? I can see the point of a flag and/or a logo but what about this weapon? What would a virtual community have need for a weapon?

    Several items in the constitution smell of silliness, like choosing C/C++, Pascal and Visual Basic as some of the official languages. If Juga wants to be recognised as a valid nation, giving programming languages an official status is not the way to do it.

    And there are other items, such as obligating the citizenry to visit the web site at least fifty times a year, reading the constitution at least once a month, and forcing them to participate in a government position. There is participational democracy and then there is *PARTICIPATIONAL* democracy. Clause five of the constitution even states that if citizens do not adhere to forced participation (ie. the "obligations" stated afterwards), then they will have their citizenship removed. It seems to me that Juga wants to be a nation of geeks who have the time to provide their input, and not a nation of everymen who might intervene once in a while.

    And, yes, this has been done before. I recall a few years back Scott Thompson of the Kids in the Hall set up a site called ScottLand [] that had the same idea.

  • It's more likely that in the future national borders and distinctions as we view them now will matter less but it's less likely that start up communities of self proclaimed nation-states will matter at all. After all what will better insure your continued existance? Independence or interdependence. Tribalism or cooperation. A wall around a small isolated group of folks is an interesting anthropological investigation . A wall around a huge group of folks is a target .
  • I definately think it's cool. I'm most amused by how 'nomic-like' it seems. While Nomic is generally considered to be a 'game', the precepts behind it are very similar, and most starting rulesets of Nomics are very similar to the consitution of Cyber Yugoslavia. Definately check it out and (if you think it'd be cool) check out some of the various Nomics in existance as well.
  • hmm...

    Ever read Red Mars, Blue Mars and Green Mars? Or watched The Babylon Project: Crusade? I think that this theme has been around and explored for a bit, and unfortunately too likely to become true for my taste....
  • First off, if there was to be an on-line community that was on par with the governments of the world and had enough political clout. It would ahve to be a lot more organised, not openly challenge the government, and be created by the people. Not one person, or a group of people, but all people. There would have to be a working heirarchy of order, a series of balance of checks, and a Constitution. The constitution of Cyber Yugo is Laughable. You cannot have a state of 5 million secretaries.

    Sure, you might want to be the Secretary of nagging, or the Secretary of Procrastination, but it just doesn't work in a real world environment. the lack of structure of the constitution. The lack of groundwork upon which to build leaves much to be desired. Not to mention multiple citizenships. The method of procurement of citizenship also makes me wonder. What exactly is stopping a person from having multiple identities on Cyber Yugo??

    Obviously, it's just a joke community which will never be taken seriously. For a serious community to be created. We need more than just good will. We need serious thought, and consideration. and incredible foresight to make sure that the system we generate will stand up to the test of time. It has to be extensible and yet secure. You must not be able to break the system, but still it must allow for the freedom of the people.

    There are also other extraenous reasons why most countries refuse to recognize on-line countries. The most obvious being, that it hurts their interests where each country is treated as having the same way, and level of living. People in the states are facing a constantly increasing economic boom, with no inflation whatso-ever, people in Pakistan, adn India are faced with constantly increasing Inflation, and two governments that are at war with each other constantly. A weapons race is ensuing in the entire middle east, and asian area to top it off. Just another way in which the level of life in one country differentiates from another place.

    An On-Line country ignores these differences. An On-Line labor commission for that country would demand equal pay and working conditions regardless of area. You should be able to see the problem. I am an idealist, and a realist. I know what the world should be like, but it isn't. don't lose sight of what the world is like, don't stop seeing what can and cannot be done, by the laws of the land. Ideally, an On-Line country with a strong infrastructure sounds like a great idea. Unfortunately, it's just not feasible. If people in Bangladesh were paid the same wages as the people in the U.S, the U.S would face serious setbacks in their economy.

  • by nickm ( 1468 )
    8. It is an honor, priviledge and right of every citizen familiar with HTML, Java, JavaScript, VBScript, COM objects, IIS filters and ASP applications, as well as music, video and photo digitalization process, to participate in building of Cyber Yugoslavia.

    Oh well, there goes my chance to help! I was all ready to go (and the Constitution looks cool, except for the reliance on legacy proprietary software).
    I noticed

  • I just finished reading Stephenson's nano-epic 'The Diamon Age' and this (as well as the other) nations of the mind, as opposed to nations of land, remind me greatly of the tribes and philes from that book. For those who haven't read the book, it's set in the future where people of common interest and belief form their own countries. Since the information network allows people to disregard national land boundries, these philes come to be the defining boundries between peoples of the world. A very interesting concept to be sure, and one that I think will come to have more and more significance in the years to come.
  • Still those are just rules that other countries set. Say I have a "cyber-nation".. I could just say I don't participate in those agreements and so I can claim whatever I want.
  • Amen. At least someone here isn't antiamerican. Thank god. Our country is gunna go to hell if half the population doesn't want to be a US citizen...
  • Except me!! I'm 16 and I love being an American! I've been to Canada for many summers to visit relatives and if the US tried to be like Canada that would suck becuase they would have to expel everyone who is not white, cut down the military budget and allow China to trample all of North America into the dust.

    Just wait.. by 2012 the US economy will be in a decline.. people who say they hate the US haven't lived in another country and are ignorant white-rich-pompous-bastards!

    End Rant
  • Actually I was speaking of meat-world lawyers to protect the rights of the online community/users against the various laws created/existing of their indigenous nation/state.

  • It was Diamond Age that had phyles. In Snow Crash it was FOQNEs. aka Franchise-Organized QuasiNational Entities.
  • So if their servers crash, does their nation disappear? Makes the whole MS Windows 47 day limit kindof scary :)
  • Well duh! Open your mind a little. Stop thinking about what you can gain from such an experiment and think more about the questions such an experiment asks. This idea challenges ingrained concepts of nationality - don'cha think?

    I've often been intrigued by the concept of an anarchist society where a top-down rule structure is not required, as people choose to take responsibility for the society around them. However, the biggest block I can see to such a system is human beings. Yup, people like you who cannot see past the "What's in it for me" attítude and who will never realise that quite simply, life would be better in a society where people aren't just taking all the time.

    I guess overall, CY is a single step towards a virtual country. You don't think that's a goal worth trying to move towards? As others have pointed out here, there have been other attempts at this idea - more power to them all say I. we'll keep on pushing the idea and one day the mixture will be right and suddenly a lot of us will be citizens of the world.

    Sorry - it's early and I haven't had my coffee yet!

  • Okay so they fucked up the idea of a phyle. I'm so proud of them. On the flip side I do think quasi-nations or phyles or virtual countries or whatever are the future. I don't think they will replace countries though. I think countries will eventually set up quasi-states as the next step in the democratic evolution. There is always the pull for a centralized government and then for a decentralized government back and forth. Probably the next big swing we get away from centralization they will begin to form in the U.S. or in a similar country. It'd reduce the amount of control the Federal government had and drop the governments expenses hugely. The basic idea phyles within this country. The government still maintains it's own borders against other countries but stays out of the affairs of the average Joe Blow. Anyone that has read Neal Stephenson knows the basics of how a phyle works and that you can be a member of more than one. Like copyrights (yes, now outdated) and other things that were steps of democracy evolving eventually other countries adopt the same idea with little or no modification. Once this happens the government wouldn't need to worry about controling movement of citizens between borders as long as they belonged to a registered phyle within it. This would be great IMO. Finally people from different countries could move between physical places without the need for immigration papers and the like. It'd be more like the Internet. In the U.S. states are a first attempt at such a system though of course they couldn't imagine the Internet or travel by jetplane when they designed that system. Each state is sort of a francise organization set up under the Federal gov't to handle some of the burden and to allow more freedom to the people. Each is basiclly the same but w/ it's own laws and subtle differences. Quasi-states is just the next conceptual leap forward because you are removing their bounding to a physical location. Many large apartment complexes are already similar to quasi-states. It is easier to move between complexes ran by the same group, you hang out w/ people from the same complex, by from the complex store, etc. Some phyles may have physical locations in each city, some may be individual people just scattered, and some may be web sites. It's all still a quasi-state. :)
  • tgd sez:

    2) You (at least in the US) revoke your US citizenship (you can't have dual citizenship in the US past the age of 18) and you learn REAL fast what a plus it really is in the world to be a US citizen.

    A wee bit of correction on two fronts:

    1) It is and has been legal to have dual citizenship in the United States, as long as you were born a citizen of the US, since 1967 (when the Supreme Court ruled the law stating you couldn't be a dual citizen was unconstitutional); it has been expressly permitted by law since 1978. (Mind, the Department of State doesn't encourage it, but they CANNOT legally keep you from doing it now, and anymore unless the US is at war with the other nation you want to be a citizen of it is next to impossible to just lose your citizenship.) There's quite an informative FAQ [] that provides more info on dual citizenship for US citizens; the author himself is a dual US/Canadian citizen.

    There are advantages to being a US citizen, but there are also some distinct disadvantages (as compared to, say, Canada)...for starters, it's next to impossible for private citizens to work on strong encryption if they want to export it outside the US (there are cases where people have literally had to renounce their US citizenship so they could continue to work on encryption-related stuff). Terrorists are considerably more likely to target US citizens than, say, Canadians (to the point the State Department has to issue advisories warning Americans not to go to certain countries; I somehow doubt Canadians have to worry so much). Countries are probably going to be less likely to respect consular agreements regarding prisoners, considering the US has flagrantly violated international law on repeated occasions regarding non-US-citizen prisoners such as required consular access and notification (more info is at Amnesty International's [] web pages; the only other countries that routinely violate consular access requirements are third-world countries with severe records of human rights abuses...positively shameful if you think about it, and I don't blame other countries for being pissed off at the US for it). US citizens have to be REALLY careful when shopping overseas, because most of the world trades with Cuba while US citizens are actually prohibited from buying anything (even clothes) that are MADE in Cuba on pain of imprisonment (yes, people HAVE been locked up for importing Cuban cigars bought in Canada). There are several countries (including Cuba) that US citizens are NOT allowed to visit without literally filing a request with both the State Department and the Treasury Department--in some cases, requiring a list of family members and the last time you were in the country--on pain of imprisonment, and on the off chance you DO get approved (which is almost never) you can only spend $100/day for ALL needs--food, lodging, etc.--and you cannot bring ANY souveneirs back. Some countries will actually give you a worse time if you are American (as opposed to, say, Canadians). It is hellaciously harder to get citizenship in many countries if you are American than Canadian (most folks in Commonwealth countries can get citizenship in other Commonwealth countries fairly easily; if you aren't from one, you have to take a points test to see if you can even get a visa). Last I heard, embassies of most other "First World" nations with the exception of Israel do not have to be periodically closed down due to threats of terrorism and yahoos attempting to occasionally blow up embassies (and occasionally succeeding at it).

    (Yes, I do know what I am talkin' on here, btw. I read travel advisories for kicks. :) I also had a friend of my love's, who is from Belfast, come over...he couldn't believe some of the stuff US citizens routinely put up with, especially with travel restrictions and censorship [he was quite amazed that we cannot legally say "fuck" on the air, and this is why a popular British comedy which involves several priests and naughty language (which is also apparently wildly popular in most of Europe and the rest of the free world) will probably never see the light of day in the US, not even on late-night PBS :P]. And he's from a part of the world we normally associate with a bunch of gits on both sides trying very hard to blow each other up on account of a long-standing religious pissing match. And he says WE'RE fucked up. :P)

  • Two clarifications:
    1. I'm not sure that India was the example country that I was looking for about forbidding multiple citizenships; please someone correct me if I'm wrong on that point.
    2. My previous post was overly rude. I oughtn't have nastilly dismissed those paragraphs as nonsense; they're widely held beliefs, they just happen to be incorrect. I'm just in a snarky mood today, and apologize for it.
  • What if there were taxes?, what do you think they could be used for?

    Lawyers for defense of online rights?
    Retirement accounts (subidised internet access/ web pages/servers?)

    Admittedly this virtual government thing may not be necessary for such an organization, but who would you trust? (i probably wouldn't trust a virtual nation startup without legally binding membership documents for where each resident lives...)

  • by ocie ( 6659 )

    Can someone explain to me the point of having a citizenship in a "country" like this? What will it get you?

    If you become a citizen and pay your taxes, you can get an inside deal on the country's IPO :) Seriously though, some companies have quite a bit of power (money, capital, etc) although they don't own any land and may even lease the office space that they have

  • MUDs, MUCKs, MUSHes, MOOs, and all the other pretend worlds that already exist on the Internet. How about Everquest and Ultima Online?

    I don't care how you slice it this is just another kind of online RPG. If people want to take it seriously, fine, but I'm not going to be interested unless it has monsters.

  • Only truly valuable people would have to 'defect' to other companies.. :)

    And effort/productivity would be rewarded financially, or at least materially. Still the Capitalist model of economics, but your basic needs would be a benefit of employment.

    This wasn't only done in Eastern Europe. Company housing and 'The Company Store' are very American in nature. But back then we had single purpose (more or less) companies.

    Being a citizen of a corporation would not be much different than being the citizen of a country. You can still borrow stuff, and get into debt, and have to work it off... Ultimatelly be exiled into contractor land, and have a lien placed on your future income until you're debt free.

    We'd need rules of engagement, and humance employee treatment treaties among the mega-corps.. Something like the Geneva Convention. Maybe the Wal-Mart Treaty or something.
  • I have several problems with it though.

    1) Although I can understand the sentimental value the founders place on their name, I do not think a "virtual nation" should be based on any physical one, not even in name.

    2) If we're going to do the "virtual nation" bit, it should be limited to one, namely a governing body which concerns the entire Internet, independent of any nation.

    3) No bill of rights. Then again, this wouldn't be practical unless a virtual nation concerning the whole Net was founded. This one's particularly important, because there needs to be a free speech amendment (FUN FACT: For all the dumb laws the US has, it's also the only nation with a free speech amendment). Come to think of it, what other amendments could one put into the constitution of a virtual nation; very few apply. I suppose protection against illegal search and seizure would be good (since it implies the right to use strong encryption). Anyone else got any others?

    Those are the three main problems I see with this one. Then again, it wouldn't be particularly easy to create a single governing body for the Net, considering that physical governments would likely brand us as separatists and/or terrorists and have us all killed.
  • by finder ( 69621 )
    Can someone explain to me the point of having a citizenship in a "country" like this? What will it get you?

    Absolutely nothing. I can't see how having this kind of citizenship and living in any country in the world would have any benefits other than making life more difficult for you.

    Would you pay taxes to the online country? What about my rights? Can I live in a country where free speech doesn't exists, yet I have free speech because I'm a citizen of OnlineCountryX?

    Can I get out of paying my US Taxes by gaining citizenship?

    Give me a break. What a load of trash! Without land, a country really doesn't have any power. And I doubt that any online country will be recognized without some kind of land.

    But this is all my opinion, of course. :)

  • Readers have been quick to point out the "been there, done that" aspect - and I definitely concur; from either a conceptual or a technological viewpoint, there's nothing new here, check out Nomic [], MUDs such as Shattered World [], and countless others.

    However... I'm dismayed at the knee-jerk "this is a scam" reflex. The reference to "former Yugoslav citizens" is particularly interesting in the context of recent events in that region; I can well understand the desire to create "from scratch" a nation based on hopefully saner principles.

    For the skeptical and/or cynical, Greg Egan's novel Distress has an interesting digression at one point about how an 'artifical' nation, in the novel the island Stateless, is more likely to succeed in ensuring that democratic ideals flourish than an 'accidental' nation formed by the tortuous contingencies of history and geography; the people who move there want it to succeed.

    Granted, the "Algorithm of the Social System" bit sounds silly and gimmicky, but hey, to succeed on the Internet you need a minimum of that. Meanwhile, I urge readers to judge the experiment on its own merits; its proclaimed intentions are, IMHO, beyond reproach.
  • Me bad. 'Twas Newfoundland that joined Canada in '49, methinks, not PEI. Working too hard.
  • A self regulating nation of 2000 citizens, in which every citizen heads a department? 100% of the population works for the government? ha!

    The boundaries of nations are being re-drawn alright, but not by grass-roots opportunists such as these. They're being redrawn by the mega-corps. What did Gibson call them? Zaibatsu?

    Think of it, through a series of mergers and acquisitions, a corporation becomes self-sustaining.. It's own transportation system, communication network, food supply, health-care, manufacturing system... An ATT/TWA/Fleet/Purina/Blue Cross/Exxon/GM buys up trackts of land all over the world and declares independence. All it's employees become citizens and have their needs take care of by the parent company - driving a company-made car, wearing company-made clothes, shopping in company stores stocked with company food... Vacationing on remote corporate properties.

    Distributed nations. See Gibson - Count Zero and Sterling - Islands in the Net.
  • I can see it now: Slashdotters join this cyber-nation and immediately start complaining that their rights are being violated!

    Peasant:"help help! Im being repressed!"
    King:"Bloody peasant!"

The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable. -- John Kenneth Galbraith