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Comment Re:Assange condemns greed? (Score 1) 944

So all those European countries with socialized public services and high tax rates to pay for them, you know, the ones that rate highest on the happiness index and life satisfaction studies, the ones with thriving standards of living, just don't exist? Norway? Sweden? The Netherlands? Finland? No guns, no violence, no pogroms, none of that at all.

Tyrants and despots CLAIM to be following certain philosophies all the time, and then warp the language of them to their own ends. Communism and socialism don't include anything about mass murder, repression, and starvation, any more than democracy and capitalism do (but we're doing our best). It's happening right now here in America. When people in other countries argue for capitalism and democracy, they make this same argument, BTW...that people shouldn't judge capitalism or democracy from how the US goes about it.

On top of this, both Smith and Marx were laboring under a false idea of what humans are like. People need to stop acting like these theories are religions, or anything more than a set of philosophical ideas these people developed...they are no more handed down by the Powers That Be than any other philosophical system. Economics is only a science the way playing chess is a science...because we are playing a game by a set of rules that we decided upon and certain possibilities are inherent to that game. But those games are seriously flawed. We don't make choices for rational, economic reasons, workers don't have the luxury of refusing to work when the "price" offered by the bosses is too low because life, and the lives of one's family, are more important to just about anyone than making the right min/max calculation.

So long as this is true, so long as workers are not able to refuse en masse to "sell" their labor at a given price, thus driving the price up, the promised equilibrium of capitalism will never, ever occur. Similarly, Marx's vision of a state that dissolves itself after the transition to his "communist utopia" is complete, doesn't account for the irrational desire to hoard wealth and power *despite* the fact that this hoarding ends up hamstringing the entire system one is "wealthy" within. Neither utopia will ever come, neither set of equilibriums will ever obtain, because the systems were designed for a different sort of animal than us.

What we need is a new theory of economics that takes into account the irrational creatures we are. It needs to take into account our tendencies for cognitive biases and fallacies, it needs to take into account short-sighted and irrational greed, it needs to make sure that at no point one side of the exchange of wealth, labor or capital, holds all the power and choice, thus destroying the possibility of equitable exchanges of wealth throughout the system.

It's just a game. We broke this one. We can make a new one. A better one.

Comment Re:I know that's what they're doing... (Score 1) 240

Right...because if you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about. That's totally how it works.

There is no "whitelist". There is the "not yet on the blacklist". And since they don't have to tell you their interpretation of the laws, don't have to tell you why you're on whatever list, took away the privilege of facing your accuser and knowing the accusation (they aren't rights, no matter what people call them, if they can be taken away; that's what "alienable" means), and made it illegal to even tell anyone any of this ever happened, all that will happen is you will just disappear. No one will ever even hear your evidence that you weren't doing anything illegal.

But I hope your "But I'm innocent!" theory works out for you. Are you a billionaire? Maybe then it will work out.

Comment Re:Paying our enemies (Score 1) 319

Humans also have a biologically induced need to cooperate and be social creatures. Hence all the collective accomplishments of civilization...all of which required collective, cooperative effort. The modern picture of competition is not biologically induced, it is politically and socially induced.

We could just as easily focus on cooperative efforts and minimize competitive efforts, but that wouldn't be as convenient for the sociopaths among us.

Comment Re:Publishing isn't cheap (Score 1) 101

That's primarily because everyone who is a part of the process feels they should still be making the same inflated amounts for each part of the process. Everyone has to get their cut, and they are used to getting a certain cut and feel entitled to it.

You know what doesn't cost much? Getting a domain, some hosting, and publishing it yourself online. Groups of researchers could easily form peer-reviewing groups, which is the only meaningful benefit the journals grant (I didn't say helpful to your career...I said meaningful, as in adding to the knowledge in the world). Sidestep their process enough and they will come up with a new process.

Comment Re:5th Amendment (Score 1) 885

So if individuals are capable of declaring war, then the Geneva Convention and other laws of war should apply to them, correct? The argument used in the past was that such laws were not applicable to terrorists exactly because individuals doing whatever is not considered making war. You can't have it both ways.

Comment Re:What classified information? (Score 1) 172

Do you not see the difference between demanding transparency of the government and demanding it of an individual? We just take it for granted that there "have to be secrets". Why? Because governments have always kept secrets from their people? Really bad reason. Because we wish to safeguard our ability to make war, and keeping secrets aids that goal? The nature of the world has changed and there is nobody both willing and able to successfully make war among first world nations. It always just leads to mutually-assured destruction and we are back at the Cold War. There is no real need to keep secrets other than certain things governments do would not be acceptable, to either the other nations they share the world with and are supposed to have treaties and agreements with, or to their own people. No one should be breaking their treaties, but they all do, and then pretend the problem is security leaks rather than their own behaviors. If something would be unacceptable to the world community and/or the people of a given nation, their government should not do it.

The reason my bank data should be secret is because thieves could steal my money with it. I have no problem with the IRS keeping their passwords secret. What I have a problem with is my government keeping what they are doing with my money (and yours) a secret and then, after everything they have done and continue to do, saying I should just trust them to be doing the right things. They haven't, they don't, and we should absolutely have the inalienable right to know exactly what our leaders are doing with our money and the moral authority we grant them to act for us. Until we can actively see, talk about, and, if necessary, bring censure and criminal charges raining down upon our leaders should they act in bad faith, we do not have a democracy or any other form of "free" government "by the people".

It amazes me how people expect, accept, and even argue for their own subjugation.

Comment Re:Pay to call, not to recieve. (Score 1) 619

Except it does create a financial interaction when you call someone...you can be billed for it. Both of them, in order to have the interaction in the first place, have the equivalent of your analogical billing arrangements for shit-removal. By putting the onus on the person shit upon, as opposed to the person shitting, it creates the possibility that everyone could go shit on his lawn, never have to pay for it, and never suffer any consequences at all. The possibility for abuse requires some sort of rules for the lawn-shitting system, in the same ways we must protect the economic systems from abuse by monopolies and cartels.

Even if we ignore the human suffering issues caused by, say, one company controlling everyone's access to water, without any rules, the water monopoly (or shit-removal monopoly) has no reason to reach an equilibrium...there is no margin. Everyone needs water to live, thus they will pay anything, thus the water monopoly has no reason to stop raising prices...until people literally can't pay anymore and drop dead, thus removing the need for water and putting the water monopoly out of business. This is really just remedial micro-economics...cartels and monopolies break equilibriums, thus the (admittedly mythical...we never seem to get there) promised equilibriums of QS == QD and D == S, resulting in P == V.

So in the same way, if the person who's lawn is getting shitted on has to pay for removal, regardless of whether they wanted that shit there, more and more people are going to shit there (this is assuming some goal or value in that...again, the analogy breaks down a bit at some points) until the person who owns the lawn is going to stop paying you, and take matters into his own hands...say, suing them, or shooting them, or whatever. In any case, the market for shit-removal will eventually fall apart if everyone is acting rationally and according to their own interests (again...not likely, but capitalism and communism both rely on everyone being good little min/maxing robots, so there we are).

The shitter-pays model makes the person who has an interest in shitting (the marketer, political campaign, whatever) have to pay to shit, rather than the person who has no interest in being shit upon. Since they are the ones who want to shit, and since both sides have to have a billing-agreement for shit-removal in order to do any shitting at all (admittedly the analogy breaks down here), and since there is the possibility of initiating un-asked for shits by those who would benefit from them, then it is only right that the initiator of the shitting should pay.

Gods, thank you, Hatta...that was the most fun I have had with rhetoric/logic since I proved the "How Many Hos Can Slobber My Knob Theorem" in sophomore year.

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