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joined 2022 September 04 19:49:03 UTC

Anarcho Capitalist on moral grounds

Libertarian Minarchist on economic grounds

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User ID: 124



8 followers   follows 1 user   joined 2022 September 04 19:49:03 UTC


Anarcho Capitalist on moral grounds

Libertarian Minarchist on economic grounds


User ID: 124

Verified Email

You get at the heart of why I ask about being willing to carry out violence. Someone is going to take on that psychological burden. Its easy to forget that when its not you. My level of experience with violence is pretty similar to yours, except I do have some decent marksmanship. I think I'd be able to pull the trigger and execute people, but I am also decently certain that it would eventually break me as a functioning member of society. Its a big mind-shift to see people as fleshy bodies that can easily be blown apart with a few rounds, and that is what I think I'd come to see other people as. And I have a cold temper that never manifests as screaming in people's faces, but certainly does manifest as logically thinking of ways I can maximally hurt someone. Having the 'murder' option readily available in my mental toolbox would be very bad for me.

Basically I wouldn't be happy to have myself as a neighbor that carries out executions. It is similar reasons that make me a libertarian. I'm pretty certain I would abuse power if I were in a powerful position, so I tend to not trust others in those positions.

Your interaction with a bum is something I'd like in a neighbor. I might have found your particular approach too risky for my taste. Unless I had a few other neighbors standing there with me.

Japan and Singapore mostly don't execute that many people. Maybe a dozen a year. I'm not worried about the spillover effects of that level of capital punishment. Certain cities of Texas might have a higher per capita execution rate.

There are currently about a half million homeless people in the US. I don't think you'd need to kill all of them. But conservatively maybe 10% of them are hopeless about getting out of their situation and would end up on the chopping block. Fifty Thousand executions. That is an unprecedented number in not just the Western world, but the entire world.

I went and looked it up and Iran apparently executed the most people in 2023, about 850 people. I think their society is already far more violent than I'd ever like to experience. Its not just the people carrying out the executions, its a support structure, and a society willing to say "yeah thats fine, go murder those people".

However, I’ve come to believe, through observation, that actually reducing violence requires the carefully targeted and process-based application of non-arbitrary violence against the most anti-social elements of society in order to maintain sustainable peace.

This is basically my belief as well. As I said above, getting rid of violence often requires violence. But executing about 50k people would not be trying to minimize violence. It would be a society wide escalation. There are only about 20k murders a year in the US. This just doesn't seem like "carefully targeted" violence at all.

Often times after reading one of Scott's greatest hits I would just sit staring at a comment box. How do I tell them that this is amazing? Everything I write just tastes like ash compared to what I just read.

I'll be plain and up front about it. This was an amazing piece. Super well researched. On a topic I greatly cared about. And a great ending that had me whoop out loud.

I've tried writing about David before, but it often just ended in frustration. I knew about him before the Scott thing blew up because he had posted descriptions of my modding decisions that seemed completely wrong. He would write up the descriptions on rational wiki (I'm still quoted on there). I quickly learned that was basically his own personal fiefdom. I've ended up taking the approach suggested by your parting words. David seems to be living in a personal hell of his own making. I will let him continue to live there, and I will try not to let him drag me down into it with him.

The fact that he was not stripped of admin powers after the Scott incident has eroded all of my trust in wikipedia. It is just another battleground in the culture war. A battleground that was mostly won because one side didn't even realize a battle was taking place.

I've never seen the cost of the mean solution as monetary. I think other people in the thread have pointed out the problems of being mean to homeless people. To sum up some of the points:

  1. People with the ability to carry out violence against others don't always just politely drop that ability when you want them to.
  2. Our court system is predicated on a basic belief in the dignity of human life and human rights. Losing those predications might easily end up badly for you in other situations.
  3. Distinguishing between the various types of homeless is still a difficult problem.

Some of the people on this forum seem a bit blase about executing homeless. I'm not sure if they'd all maintain that attitude if they were the specific ones delegated the task of carrying out the executions. For those that do maintain the blase attitude, I certainly wouldn't want to be neighbors with them. I'm not saying this entirely to admonish them. I had some homeless encampments near my neighborhood, and I have two young girls. I only found out about the encampments because one of my other neighbors had politely packed up their tents and left them a handwritten note of "dont camp here". He is an Afghanistan war veteran and has shot at people and been shot at. I had a lot of admiration for my neighbor in that moment, mainly for his restraint. I would have been tempted to at least trash the person's stuff.

I understand the tendency and desire to be tough and mean to the homeless. I feel it all the time. I just have a very premonition about acting on those feelings.

I'm having trouble phrasing my last point. To get at the heart of it though, violence is a slippery slope and a spreadable disease all in one. I see human society as a multi-generational project to try and use less violence and more trading to get what we want. Its a really difficult problem, because often the only way to stop violence is to use violence in response. If you have ever known some military or police families ... they can be a bit violent. The parents think corporal punishment is normal and fine. The kids think bullying is normal and correct as long as they have more physical power. Certainly not all of them ... but I can't be the only one with that observation?

Violence often looks like a small time monetary expense, but I think normalizing it creates a massive long term expense in the form of interpersonal misery.

Its the difference between solicited and unsolicited advice. Sure, go ahead and ask for solicited advice, we have whole weekly threads for that. Giving that advice unsolicited ... seems pretty rude and like you just want to pick a fight.

@anti_dan and @MotteInTheEye bring up a similar point.

I think my main point still stands, because there still is a selection effect as long as local policies differ, and as long as you can convince / trick / force the homeless to take a bus ride.

Lets say there are the two cities again. city A and city B. City A is maximally nice and "solves" the homelessness problem. City B is maximally mean and "solves" the homelessness problem. Both cities have to deal with side effects of their solution. Maybe city A has severe budgetary problems. Maybe city B is a totalitarian state where the presumption of innocence is gone and lots of people get thrown in prison or executed on flimsy grounds.

Now lets say there are two other cities. One city kinda likes the policies of city A, but doesn't have the budget resources to do it. One city kinda likes the policies of city B, but has too strong of a legal system and constitutional protections to carry it out. But they both have the budget / legal allowance to export the homeless. The solution for both of these new cities is straightforward, just send the homeless on to their preferred "solution" city.

Whether you think the solution is to be nice or mean to the homeless, the same problem exists with localities trying to implement it. The problem is certainly worse if places are trying to be nice, but its still there if you want meanness.

I think it is becoming pretty obvious that homelessness is a national problem that can no longer be addressed at a local level.

If any one municipality gets the solution to homelessness "correct" their reward for doing so is to be flooded by homeless people from other areas. This doesn't require maliciousness on anyone's part. Imagine city A has the correct solution, and city B just lets them die in the streets. If you are a doctor in city B with a homeless patient, your best advice to them might be to tell them to get a bus ticket to city A. And that doctor would be right to continue sending patients from city B to city A until the conditions in both cities was equal. Or if you are just a semi-aware homeless person, you'd do the move yourself.

If you are just a random person in one of these cities, and all you care about is just not having homelessness. Then being closer to city B is the best option. Its cheaper and will cause the homeless to flee or be taken away by people in the system that care. Any additional amount of draconian rules or cruelty towards homelessness will move your city closer to B. If your job has you living in city A and taking care of homeless people, then you are probably correct to be a little pissed off at the people in city B advocating cruelty or draconian rules in their city. They are just foisting their problem off onto you.

Once you realize its a national problem the approaches that make sense change quite a bit.

There are lots of ways to address it. The government can build the ghettos. That has been done many times in the past. The federal government could offer subsidies to state and local entities that provide beds to homelessness. I think that would at least fit with our existing federal system of governance. The government can build prisons / mental institutions / etc.

Addressing the problem at the national level will not look pretty. It will almost certainly look ugly. Because homeless people have lives that are objectively shitty right now. Even if you are improve their lives significantly you aren't likely to get out of "objectively bad life to live" and into "objectively good life to live". So you'll have the government running a program where a bunch of people seemingly live terrible lives on the government dime, and it will definitely look like the government is causing them to live these terrible lives.

There are a few paths I can envision that lead to 'national government addresses homelessness':

  1. Some existing government org or agency decides to make it their responsibility. I don't see this as very likely. Maybe someone will get suckered into it, but no savvy politician would willingly choose for it to happen. Again, this will be an ugly program that wins you nothing but national condemnation.
  2. The treatment of homeless people gets much much worse. The number of homeless people continues to expand anyways. The calculus on helping these people will eventually shift. But I think it will get very bad before the calculus shifts. Think of every downtown city being worse than Kensington in Philly. And a few cities having violent riots where people hunt down and kill the homeless.
  3. The issue grows worse, but people and political organizations make a big push to have it addressed at the national level. Some well-meaning but ultimately stupid politicians spearhead the effort and put their names on it. Their names get dragged through the mud for the results, but it gets the ball rolling on a federal bureaucracy.

I thought the general goal with Vietnam was to prevent the spread of communism. They failed at that.

Vietnam seems like it's in a good place nowadays, my guess would that the Vietnam war made that happy ending take longer.

My first interactions with a trans person (or at least someone who I knew had transitioned) was as an audience member to a speech they were giving. I wasn't there to listen to a trans person speak, I was there to hear from Deirdre McCloskey a famous economist that transitioned in 1995. The fact that she had once been a man was an interesting side fact about her. It wasn't what defined her. The same could probably be said of Caitlyn Jenner. I also had a few colleagues that transitioned. It was generally not something we ever talked about. I tried not to make a big deal of it, and they didn't either. I have parts of me that are culturally conservative. But those parts of me mostly say to shut up about sexual topics and health issues, especially in professional settings. Something can be a huge cultural issue, political disagreement, and interpersonal dream/nightmare. But it need not impact the professional workplace at all.

I do agree with you about having a real worry about the opportunity costs of smart people. I see it with myself all the time. I wrote a semi-popular online web serial. I mostly stopped because I have kids and because I liked spending my time writing to argue politics on themotte more. I very selfishly chose a path that benefits far fewer people. I work a salaried non-profit job that has me working very low hours, but also pays about 40% under market price for my labor (or maybe I'm accurately priced given how much I work). Not everyone is in their optimal job, for whatever way you want to define "optimal". Personal happiness / pay / comparative advantage / benefit to the world / etc.

It does leave exploitable holes in the market. One of those holes is that a bunch of space and engineering nerds thought we should be doing more to establish a human space presence. Elon Musk gathered these people into space X and got cheap high quality engineering talent.

Also Bertcast kinda got me into comedy podcasts in the first place. He would get drunk and have five hour podcasts that were epic. It has significantly changed as a podcast. Some old episodes were pure gold though. And he would have interviews with people that would go onto become rockstar podcasters and comedians.

I'd heard of it but never got around to actually watching it. I felt like I was getting too much Mark Normand.

Im also sure I left off five or six podcasts I just forgot to add. The Regs is a recent one I've been listening to, very good group party dynamic. A sober less famous comedians version of protect our parks.

I also didn't list Two Bears one Cave, whiskey Ginger, something's burning, Whitney Cummings podcast, or Dan soders podcast. All of those have had good episodes I enjoyed.

There is a type of accusation along the lines of "you think this thing X, because you are a Y". These accusations are generally very annoying:

  1. Puts words and opinions in people's mouths that they might not hold.
  2. Turns discussions personal rather than idea oriented. It can become about whether someone is a Y rather than whether X is a good idea.
  3. Implies that the person can't change their mind and thus insures that no discussion can take place, only arguments and debate.

There are good ways to acknowledge someones biases without turning it immediately into shit flinging. "If I was a middle eastern man living in France I think I'd feel this way about things".

Yes, I experienced this with Skyrim. I think the optimal years to play Skyrim was between 2014-2017. If you go to try and play it now you get far fewer mod offerings that fit with the latest version of the game, all of its expansions, and each other. There also needs to be time for the mods to "bake". They need to get made by fans, which is slow. And then heavy cross play with the mods where the community is downloading and playing a bunch of the mods together to figure out compatibility.

I think the mod community for starfield is dying out much faster than it did for Skyrim. Thus the sweet spot for playing is smaller and sooner.

That sentence also stuck out to me as very strange. I generally think of it the opposite way. The US has generally won every specific engagement its been in. They seem very good at winning battles. The rare times they do lose become rallying cries for the improvement and betterment of the armed forces.

The US achieving its foreign policy goals seems heavily related to just how realistic and specific those goals are. If the goal is something specific like "kill that guy, or destroy that small country's military" then they do well. If the goal is more nebulous like "spread democracy, or prevent the spread of communism" then they seem to consistently fail.

On the upside the reports are only going to the mods here. On reddit some reports would go to admin level people, and then we would end up with random posts removed or more rarely people banned/shadowbanned from reddit altogether.

Ugh motte ate my comment. Yes agreed Tim has gotten a little less insane with his takes. Had a specific example of him covering a shooting.

Thanks for the rec I'll check it out.

Too many.

Tim Dillon is great if you like someone making fun of US culture or government.

Still drinking with mark Normand and Sam Morrill is good for nuts and bolts of standup comedy, movie snobs, and funny complaining.

Matt and Shane's secret podcast is great. Only podcast I'm patreoned to.

Stavys world is good if you want a funny take on peoples interpersonal drama.

Your mom's house if you like gross and offensive internet videos and wish you had more people to share them with.

The episodes of protect our parks on joe Rogan for just a rollicking and little crazy drinking podcast.

Kill Tony for live comedy and roasting.

Chris distefano for wild silliness.

Bad friends for a great buddy podcast with Bobby Lee and Andrew Santino.

Also if you see one of these podcasters as a guest on one of the other podcasts it's usually a good episode.

I bought starfield. There is a sweet spot with Bethesda games where modders are still active, the price has come down, and the latest official expansions/patches are out.

It has been alright so far. Inventory management was a pain but I changed max carry weight in the difficulty settings to mostly fix that.

The criticisms that it has no soul seem mostly on point to me. But soulless games are sort of my bread and butter since I shamelessly play clicker games.

It's also been a great game for my podcasting habits. I like to listen to comedy podcasts while I play video games. And starfield is a great semi-mindless distraction.

The ship builder seems too difficult right now. Hoping I'll break into it at some point.

I hate ship combat anyways. Juggling power systems seems annoying. All the ships seem to fly in such a clunky way, yet they designed it like a WW1 dogfighting game. If you aren't gonna go for any realism please just give me the Assassin's creed black flag ship mechanics.

The gunplay is kinda fun. I wish it was easier to find it. I'm now looking at a journal full of quests that all seem to involve talking with people. Luckily most of the quests have devolved into shooting anyways. I don't like to talk things out in video games.

A security defense force that wants to halt piracy set me up for a crime and then kidnapped me. I turned down the offer to join them, because they fucking kidnapped me. The game for some reason interpreted that as me wanting to join the pirates, rather than me having a legitimate grievance against kidnapping (a moral grievance, but mainly a gameplay grievance, I was in the middle of a thing don't interrupt me). I have yet to follow through on the pirate request, but I look forward to shooting my way out of that meeting. I guess this is going to be a repeat of the Skyrim army vs army quest line where both sides are objectively dick heads.

The vibe of "computers stopped getting better in the 90's" is a pretty cool aesthetic for a space game. I feel like it neatly justifies all the reasons you might want to have humans still running around doing things. Some of the robots are still a little too smart and self sufficient. I might not have played enough, but they also missed the opportunity to have more super computing complexes. Which is a thing the government and military used to build more of when they needed more processing power for something.

As a libertarian I would happily settle for "courts find thing unconstitutional, government officials make minor or no changes continue doing it, they go to jail".

Right now it just seems like officials get to play a game where if they lose in court they get a stern warning, and they can seemingly keep getting stern warnings forever, the only escalation might be that some people suing them start getting settlements paid with taxpayer dollars. The official in question might get fired, but only if they aren't part of a public sector union (why do we allow those again?)

For this specific case, I'm not really a fan of going after publicly elected officials. And you don't really have to in order to maintain rule of law. If Biden orders a seal team six hit on a rival and you can guarantee that everyone except Biden in that chain of command will be sent to jail or executed for carrying out the order then you can make sure the order is never carried out. My vague and bad understanding of military orders is that is mostly how things already work.

I do like to go back and check my old writing on occasion. Usually I nod along and think "dang I really agree with this guy". Jan 6th is no exception. I didn't write much on the themotte, but I did have a very upvoted comment on theschism (a sister subreddit):


[Jan 6th happened]

The strong reactions have confused me yet again. I have to wonder if my mind is broken, or if I am just so solidly gray tribe that I can't be bothered to care about these things.

To republicans and democrats I wish I could effectively communicate one thing: This is what protests look like from the other side.

It is scary to see lots of your political opponents gathered in one place and very angry about something you think isn't true. You can feel threatened just by the very existence of such mobs. They aren't accountable in the moment, anything could go wrong and they could hurt some innocent person.

And while they are at it protesting something that isn't real, they are also going to violate some things you hold sacred. Interrupt the national anthem, burn some flags, disrupt a legislative session, harass someone at their home, etc.

If I was stupidly optimistic I would have hoped that this event brought about a lot of mutual understanding. A big collective "ooohhh, that is what you were upset about this summer". Instead it has just deepened the divide.

2021 is off to a great start. Guess its gonna be more of the same.

Looking back three and a half years ago I feel that Jan 6th has not gone away. But the dispersed summer riots that resulted in lots of property damage and a few dozen lost lives have been mostly memory holed.

Perhaps the singular date helped, perhaps it was the national politicians being threatened, perhaps it was the ongoing court cases, perhaps it was the involvement of Trump. Those things all probably helped it stay in the public zeitgeist. But mostly its driven me towards a more conspiratorial mindset about the media landscape. They have kept it in the public mind. They could have chosen to cover all the riots for years on end, they chose not to.

I think the body is just resistant to change. There are some major things that seem to alter the body:

  1. Caloric restriction (including intermittent fasting).
  2. Exercise.
  3. Non-caloric dietary choices (keto, sugar intake, vegetarianism, etc).
  4. Sickness / poisons (your body trying to save itself and expending lots of energy, also poisoning from taking too many drugs legal and illegal).
  5. Age.

Even making drastic changes in one area you'll be held back by the other things. But get drastic enough, and you'll still break through the effects of the other things. This can be seen in the extremes. Take in zero calories and you will lose muscle mass no matter how much you exercise. A severe alcoholic is on the path to liver failure and death no matter how good their diet and exercise are. Be Michael Phelps and swim miles every day and you can eat 5000 calories of sugar for breakfast and still look like a chiselled Greek statue. Be old enough and no amount of dieting, exercise, or healthy living will save your body.

The original advice is probably helpful in the sense of telling people to avoid trying to do a thing that is very difficult. I think outrunning a diet specifically is very hard, because as you've experienced injuries are not uncommon. I think people can hit a death spiral with running. Where they need to run a dangerous amount to burn off their excess calories and fat, that amount of running leads to injuries. While they are injured they still have the bad dieting habits so things get even worse before they can get back to running. Rinse and repeat until they learn that swimming is a superior sport for exercise.

This is the first I've ever heard of party down. The trailer makes it look lame: https://youtube.com/watch?v=FT2DOz2McW8 is there a better intro to the show out there?

oddly-sexually-aggressive wildlife if it was Zeus

Yes great show! I recommended it. They got renewed for a second season before the series was even released.

My only complaint was the short length of the series. I wish there was more already.

So you just recently learned that you share a country with people who hate you and everything you stand for? Really?

What part of my post implies I didn't know these people existed?

Elsewhere in the thread I discuss it, but having direct evidence of a thing can change your estimate of how likely a viewpoint is. But my belief was never that 0 of these people existed.

Has anyone ever tried heavy amount of programming with ChatGPT (or any other AI)? I keep thinking I want to program a game. But I know from prior programming experience that there is lots of bullshit programming that I don't want to have to do. I'm wondering how far along I might get with AI assistance.