Which “Minarchy”?

I understand the appeal of minarchy. After all, it’s where I came from; what I used to advocate. Even though I knew I was an anarchist personally, I used to imagine minarchy as the most practical way to be as liberated as possible.

But minarchy– keeping a little bit of cancer around and under control to prevent a different cancer from getting a foothold– is an unsustainable Utopian fantasy. Much more so than anarchy could ever be.

And, it’s confused.

As a minarchist, which “minimal government” would you pick? Only things such as government fire protection, government policing, military, government-controlled roads, and government courts? Other minarchists might have other preferences. Some would include “securing the borders” or other Big Government welfare programs. Any version includes the “taxation” to pay for it all, along with the bureaucracy to collect and distribute the money and find and punish the opt-outs.

Does every minarchist get to impose the particular flavor of “minimal government” they want? If so, it is no longer “minimal”.

Do you use v*ting to decide which bits of government you get to impose on me? Then it’s mob rule– “might (through superior numbers) makes right”.

Through v*ting and “taxation” you’ve cut the brake line on anything holding back government growth.

As I say, I understand, but a “little bit of statism” is still evil.

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Lies of Omission

There is a disturbing trend in government schools and other youth indoctrination institutions to teach kids how to survive an unwelcome encounter with a cop. (And notice that comments are disabled on the video example– truth offends these monsters. And the number of downvotes is also hidden from view.)

This “information” is, unfortunately, helpful. But it stops short.

You don’t teach kids how to survive encounters with fast food counterpersons. Or even with other government employees like theft-funded librarians. Only cops.

Teaching kids how to survive encounters with cops is incomplete without the information that the cops are bad guys committing acts of enforcement– krimes.

I know that since government indoctrination camps, kinderprisons, are on the same team as the badged vermin that’s not going to happen. But by excluding that bit of reality, kids are being lied to. They are being trained that if they don’t survive a roadside molestation it’s their own fault for making the bad guy feel unsafe. The problem is giving the power of life and death to unaccountable paid cowards, not how compliant and nonthreatening you make yourself appear to those parasites. Never a hint that the bad guy is a bad guy.

Lies of omission are still lies.

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Evolution by Learning

Nobody asked but …

Remember, if you are making decisions about the education of the next generation, you are not just making choices for yourself, nor are you only selecting the outlooks of youth.  You are taking part in the evolution of your species.  You are putting in place binary options (two roads diverged in a yellow wood) that will lead to survival or non-survival of an element in the flow of this species’ evolution.

It is well that we understand the process, the risks, and the stakes.

Any person has two sources of stimuli by which she gains knowledge, the experiential and the referential.  And in both sources, there are granules of true or false information — code versus noise.  Real education is built from the success rate in separating true from false by each individual learner.  Real advancement in an evolutionary sense is built by the same dynamic.  It is clear that these are compatible with the two foremost natural instincts with which we are endowed — self preservation and preservation of species.

Self preservation drives the search for knowledge from the moment of birth (and perhaps before that moment, we are each given DNA which contains vast amounts of information).  Then over the next 5 years, we are each naturally tasked with making the most of experiential learning.  We are also bound to first-remove, referential learning, from parents, siblings, and close associates of our family unit.  If any of the players in this vivid drama are spreading falsity, then the amount of damage or advance in the trains of knowledge is dictated by the importance of the relationship between the learner and the player.  Unfortunately, today, players that have too much influence are the television and the media.  Isaac Newton pointed out, “if I have seen further it is by standing on the sholders [sic] of Giants.”  Newton gives himself too little credit for separating the true giants from the pretenders, and he gives too little recognition of the randomness by which he was given the opportunity to select the shoulders.

As a society, humans honor random acts of kindness, but these acts are intentional — not random.  The acts of kindness we should value are all of those where we make a choice that reflects in our own education, in the education of our network, and in the education of future players.  Real acts of kindness consist of not littering the paths forward with falsities.

— Kilgore Forelle

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Use Better Tech (Not Laws) To Reduce Texting and Driving Deaths

In the past year or so I’ve started to notice a new feature on my phone: with simple artificial intelligence the text messaging app is able to auto-generate simple, relevant replies to text.

So if someone says “hi”, you can say “hi” right on back. But it’s actually more sophisticated than it sounds. It can detect, for instance, if someone is asking you to do something. All I have to do is click on the response I want to send and it flies out to my recipient.

Besides being a nifty feature, this sort of small innovation could save lives.

We all know (to varying degrees) the danger of typing on a phone while driving. Most of us assume that texting and driving might only be ended by an all-out ban. But it’s still inconclusive whether these laws really prevent people from texting. These laws also wrongly impose punishments for “offenses” that don’t have victims (texting – while risky – has no victims; a proportional punishment is only in order for hurting people).

Texting and driving is a serious problem, but what if laws aren’t the answers? Assuming people want to text while on the road, how could we prevent texting and driving deaths through other means? We could 1) replace texting with something better, 2) make texting safer on the road, or 3) make texting unnecessary.

All three are valuable ways to think, but the solution on my Android phone (likely without designed intent) uses technology to take the second approach. By automatically generating most replies, it makes replying to messages far easier. Now to be clear, I’m not saying you should text and drive. But if you were dead set on doing it, this pre-generated, one-tap message would be the one to use.

Every second the messaging app saves you is a second you can keep your eyes on the road and watching out for cars and pedestrians. That’s real incremental progress toward safer roads and drivers – and safer messaging on the road.

This small feature illustrates again how user experience (UX) product designers – like the ones at Google who made this texting update – understand human behavior far better than politicians . Politicians mandate a certain way of doing things and force that mold onto others. Product/UX designers pay attention to what people want and design paths to channel those wants better.

We live in a great race between user experience design thinking and top-down central planning. In our world, both are popular ways to solve problems. I hope that the UX guys win – not just for the sake of human freedom, but also for the sake of real improvements in human safety.

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Turtles All The Way Down

If the people in power decide to rob you and abuse you and violate their own bogus rules, then you can petition a judge to please do something about it. But the judge is appointed by the robbers. And also paid by the robbers. With money they stole from you. Oh, and the state will use lawyers also paid for by what they stole from you (and millions of your neighbors). Every level of appeal and review is appointed and controlled by the robbers, paid with money they stole from you. Plus, you have to pay for the privilege of having their corrupt crooks hear your case. And since you probably aren’t familiar with their legalese voodoo yourself, you also probably have to pay (a lot) to someone “licensed” and approved by the robbers, to be your “advocate.”

It’s like playing in a football game. Except you have to pay for the stadium. And all the players on the other team. And for the referee. Who works for the other team. And you pay for your own “quarterback” … who can only play in the game if the other team approves of him. Oh, and the other team makes the rules. And changes them whenever they want. And they don’t follow their own rules. And they get away with it. Constantly. But they kidnap and cage you if you don’t follow their rules. Or even if you do follow them, but they pretend you didn’t. Then they put you in a cage. A cage that you paid for.

And most people don’t see a problem with this arrangement. Because “muh roads.”

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Upsetting Thieves with Truth

Years ago, long before I had a blog, I had a retail shop. I hated robbing my customers in the name of “sales tax”, but if I didn’t, armed goons would have come and murdered me. Insanity, I know!

But every time I wrote the check to the town’s “tax” collector, on the memo line I wrote something like “sales ‘tax’ extortion for August“. The “tax” collector called to question me about that– or to whine– a few different times. It drove her mad.

I wasn’t rude to her, I simply said I didn’t appreciate being recruited to rob my customers on her behalf– that if she wanted to rob them she should go do it herself.

She would object, “but it isn’t robbery, it’s a tax!” Same thing, I’d tell her.

She would sputter, “but don’t you want police and paved roads?” No, I really don’t. There’s nothing the stolen money buys that I want that bad. Can I stop robbing my customers now?

She actually showed up in person once, just to get me to stop writing that on the checks. Why did it even matter to her? I paid the extortion, but I never stopped editorializing on the memo line.

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