Where is Bill Gates when you need him ?

Discuss life, the universe, and everything with other members of this site. Get to know your fellow polywell enthusiasts.

Moderators: tonybarry, MSimon

MSimon
Posts: 14331
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: Rockford, Illinois
Contact:

Post by MSimon »

The smarter in our current set up have an unfair advantage over the less smart.

And jb the way unfairness is always handled is by theft. Always. Unless murder is more convenient. Because there is no conceivable set of laws that can overcome natural variation of talent. Goedel is worth a bit of study here.
Concentration of wealth is a natural result of concentration of ability, and recurs in history. The rate of concentration varies (other factors being equal) with the economic freedom permitted by morals and the law... democracy, allowing the most liberty, accelerates it. -- Will and Ariel Durant
The only way to limit concentration is to limit freedom - theft or murder. If the price of freedom is that some people get very rich - I'm willing to pay it.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

jabowery
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:52 am

Re: Something not mentioned...

Post by jabowery »

ravingdave wrote:
jabowery wrote:The same could be said of the practice of medicine up until the development of scientific methodology (experimental controls) and ethics (informed consent). Isn't it much better to have actual progress within an environment of educated and consenting adults? .
Well sure, as long as everyone keeps in mind that they may be playing "Cutthroat", and they should take steps to mitigate the effects of cheating. Humans can be cooperative if in a condition of detente.
The point of experimental control isn't to protect against deception, its to protect against confusion.

The fact that one can get ethical experiments in human ecology by the simple expedient of allowing assortative migration of peoples with like minds to separate territories is simply a way to achieve substantive human rights objectives at the same time one reduces the confusion inherent in liberal democracy aka tyranny of the majority limited by a vague laundry list of selectively enforced "human rights".

The fact that some deceptive people who benefit from confusion oppose such assortative migration is no more determinative a part of "human nature" than is theocracy.

MSimon
Posts: 14331
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: Rockford, Illinois
Contact:

Post by MSimon »

The point of experimental control isn't to protect against deception, its to protect against confusion.


The world is big. The brain is small. Confusion is inevitable. It can only be prevented by faith.

And then there is the problem: the world is big. Faith is small. The destruction of faith is inevitable.

The only way out is doubt. And those who live in doubt are always to some extent confused. The advantage they have is that they do not delude themselves about their confusion. Which is a rather big advantage.

BTW I have always had complaints from my friends about my comfort with chaos. I take it as a compliment.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

ravingdave
Posts: 650
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 2:41 am

Post by ravingdave »

MSimon wrote:
Bill Gates made Microsoft's fortune through weasely legal contracts as opposed to talent.
And you think that is not a talent? Maybe not one you would pay for, but it is a talent.

Of course the Japanese don't have our lawyer problems. They strictly limit the number of lawyers. You got a commercial dispute? You hire the Yakuza to break your competitor's legs or worse.

There is some merit to our system.
It is a talent that benefits no one but the person who posseses it. I think Johnathan Swift said it best.
" that whoever could make two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together. "
Were we not so civilized, we would beat Bill Gates for his weaselyness and he would deserve it.


David

ravingdave
Posts: 650
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 2:41 am

Post by ravingdave »

MSimon wrote:The smarter in our current set up have an unfair advantage over the less smart.

And jb the way unfairness is always handled is by theft. Always. Unless murder is more convenient. Because there is no conceivable set of laws that can overcome natural variation of talent. Goedel is worth a bit of study here.
Concentration of wealth is a natural result of concentration of ability, and recurs in history. The rate of concentration varies (other factors being equal) with the economic freedom permitted by morals and the law... democracy, allowing the most liberty, accelerates it. -- Will and Ariel Durant
The only way to limit concentration is to limit freedom - theft or murder. If the price of freedom is that some people get very rich - I'm willing to pay it.
Well let's say they are so rich that they own you? My thinking is that in such an eventuality, we need a new system !

No doubt people benefit from the characteristics of their genes, with some people being talented or strong, or handsome etc... This is inevitable, and is for the most part correct and proper. People admire the 'Beautiful People" but not to the point where the bonds begin to chafe.

In any case, there ARE and OUGHT to be limits to freedom. Daming the river because it flows across your land is an example.



David

MSimon
Posts: 14331
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: Rockford, Illinois
Contact:

Post by MSimon »

I don't know Dave. Bill fixed the multiple operating system problem when chaos reigned in the market. A whole lot of things got standardized - like disk formats.

And you know - middle men have always been hated because people think they add no value. Thus the universal hatred of Jews. Or the West Asian Chinese. Yet take them out of a market and it stagnates. Or at the very least operates less efficiently.

Two blades of grass for one: very good. However, it does no general good until some one makes a deal.

Bill could make deals. Something I was never too good at. Thus he is rich and I blog commando for pennies. And you know what? He earned every nickel.

But I'm kind of strange for a human. Envy doesn't interest me. At all.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

MSimon
Posts: 14331
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: Rockford, Illinois
Contact:

Post by MSimon »

The rich can't own me. Why? Because my needs are few and my wants are nearly non-existent. I am rich because I am happy. What makes people unhappy is when they get it the other way around. As most do.

One other thing that prevents my being owned. I am ready to die. Any place any time. So killed I can be. Owned - not at all.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

MSimon
Posts: 14331
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: Rockford, Illinois
Contact:

Post by MSimon »

But it IS an affront to discover that other people are automatically better than you because they are born into the life of Privilage.
Envy is alway the precursor to the end of property. Checking envy is a requirement of civilization.

======

If you consider that the historical basis of all property is murder or theft then you are left with the world of Hobbs. At some point you have to declare the past past if you want civilization.

======

When I see such attitudes in what I consider thoughtful people I have to conclude that civilization can't last too much longer. It was nice while it lasted.

The man with a gun is about to reign supreme. And he will own what he can hold.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

jabowery
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:52 am

Post by jabowery »

MSimon wrote:And jb the way unfairness is always handled is by theft. Always. Unless murder is more convenient. Because there is no conceivable set of laws that can overcome natural variation of talent. Goedel is worth a bit of study here.
I don't think I used the word "fair" or "unfair" anywhere.

If you read what I said more carefully there are just 3 basic propositions:

1) That those who establish a land trust for the benefit of their posterity (aka a "nation") have a right set up the internal rules of the land trust in whatever manner they believe will be most beneficial. (They can freely choose the terms of their social contract.)

2) That concentrations of wealth may be beneficial.

3) That charging a use fee for those property rights makes sense but only a) when the property rights enjoyed by a household exceeds the level of property a head of household would self-defend in "the state of nature", b) the in place liquidation value is used, and c) only if the rate is equal to the risk free interest rate. NOTE: I do not include defense against "gangs" let alone governments in "the state of nature" since those group entities imply a social contract.

If you're going to differ with me, please do so on the above bases.

PS: I just saw your comment that I take to mean you see yourself as "wealthy". The transition to this new system from the old would need to credit historic tax payments as though they were invested in some kind of annuity since for most of the upwardly mobile they have already over-paid. Are you "old money" or something? If not, and if you're not wealthy because of shenanigans (I include Gates in this category), you would probably end up with credit.

TDPerk
Posts: 976
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2007 12:55 pm
Location: Northern Shen. Valley, VA
Contact:

Post by TDPerk »

1) That those who establish a land trust for the benefit of their posterity (aka a "nation") have a right set up the internal rules of the land trust in whatever manner they believe will be most beneficial. (They can freely choose the terms of their social contract.)
Funny you call it a land trust. It suffices to call it a government, and until recently, "rights" beyond what might could secure is all the legitimacy it was based on.
2) That concentrations of wealth may be beneficial.
Unquestionably beneficial, all other existence is the hand-to-mouth of the bushmen.
3) That charging a use fee for those property rights makes sense but only a) when the property rights enjoyed by a household exceeds the level of property a head of household would self-defend in "the state of nature", b) the in place liquidation value is used, and c) only if the rate is equal to the risk free interest rate. NOTE: I do not include defense against "gangs" let alone governments in "the state of nature" since those group entities imply a social contract.
a) It makes sense to charge a "use fee" for the Property rights you seem to be claiming government is creating no matter what degree of property is involved--no one dollar is worth more or less than another dollar, or stuff in kind. The only argument I can see for any sort of progressivism in taxation I can see is avoiding inefficient circular flows of money. Also, there is no state of nature but what we are all in. In fact I'm quite confident "human nature" is the norm for all tool users, universe wide.
b) I think if property taxes are to be collected, then they should voluntarily based, let the owner name the value they will pay tax on, and the taxing authority feels it is low, then they can take it at that price--should make Keloes, et al, a thing of the past.
c) "only if the rate is equal to the risk free interest rate." Why should it be that?

Gates did not, persecutions successful and not notwithstanding, do one criminal thing in acquiring his wealth, or one immoral thing. Witness ravingdave being unable to mention one concept MS copied from Apple which Apple itself originated.

And no, governments, even popularly elected ones, cannot make rightly whatever rules they wish. If a sufficiently large population fraction is opposed by a sufficiently uninterested or small population fraction, they can enforce what they want--that's a different thing.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp

PS. I believe you were using the term rent seeking in the sense of "securing an advantage", is that correct?
molon labe
montani semper liberi
para fides paternae patria

MSimon
Posts: 14331
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: Rockford, Illinois
Contact:

Post by MSimon »

a household exceeds the level of property a head of household would self-defend in "the state of nature"
I'm the king. I can hire retainers. You are my serfs. You will obey.

That my friend is how much can be defended in the state of nature.

As to the minimum that can be defended in the state of nature: none.

===

Have you ever read DeSoto?
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

kurt9
Posts: 564
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:14 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

Post by kurt9 »

jabowery wrote:Understand that philanthropy is about little more than social status and social status is pretty much limited to that which appeals to young women as morally superior.
This is certainly truewith Bill Gates.

Gates has always been a geek his entire life. Becoming the wealthiest man in the world has done little to change him of this self-image. So, he created his foundation to do "un-geek" like things in an attempt to convince himself that he is no longer a geek. This is the reason why his foundation does only the unimaginative "soft-left" conventional approaches to solving any kind of problem he seeks to solve. If he were to apply truly "out of the box" thinking to solve social problems, Gate's self-perception would be that he is still a geek.

Hence, I do not expect anything innovative to ever come out of his foundation.

kurt9
Posts: 564
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:14 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

Post by kurt9 »

Consent of the governed is only realistic when people can vote with their feet. That's the primary reason I'm interested in frontiers like the ocean and space.
This is absolutely correct. Like being able to walk away from an asshole employer, true freedom only exists when you have the capability to go someplace new and do your own thing independent of the influences of those who do not share your dreams and goals. This is the most fundamental freedom one can have.

Additionally, frontiers place a premium on character values such as self-reliance, innovation, and outward orientation. These character values are corroded in a non-frontier society.

It is this second reason why space development is imperative in the next 50 year or so and, even more crucially, it must only be privately financed. A government bureaucracy is fundamentally incapable of opening the new frontier in the manner necessary to realize the above mentioned benefits.

Successful development of IEC polywell fusion will be one technology that will help open the space frontier. Advanced automation, both for materials processing as well as structural fabrication, is another. A third one will be the synthetic biology sufficient to create the artificial biospheres necessary for effective and low cost space colonization. Space colonization will take place only when it is cheap enough that relatively small groups of private individuals can finance it themselves, not before.

jabowery
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:52 am

Post by jabowery »

MSimon wrote:
a household exceeds the level of property a head of household would self-defend in "the state of nature"
I'm the king. I can hire retainers. You are my serfs. You will obey.
Henry VII levied a tax on the retainers of his baronage and produced the national wealth that carried his wasteful progeny for generations. He also earned the hatred of the baronage as much as the loyalty of his growing yeoman class. His primary failure was inadequate rearing of his son, Henry.
That my friend is how much can be defended in the state of nature.
That's not a state of nature. Its monarchy and it does involve a social contract at least between sovereigns and their nobles.

alexjrgreen
Posts: 814
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 4:03 pm
Location: UK

Post by alexjrgreen »

jabowery wrote:Henry VII levied a tax on the retainers of his baronage and produced the national wealth that carried his wasteful progeny for generations. He also earned the hatred of the baronage as much as the loyalty of his growing yeoman class. His primary failure was inadequate rearing of his son, Henry.
Henry VIII had the best education available. He was a skilled musician and an author.
"Defender of the Faith" has been one of the subsidiary titles of the English and later British and Commonwealth monarchs since it was granted on October 17, 1521, by Pope Leo X to King Henry VIII of England. The title was conferred in recognition of Henry's book, Assertio Septem Sacramentorum (Defence of the Seven Sacraments), which defended the sacramental nature of marriage and the supremacy of the Pope.
Ars artis est celare artem.

Post Reply