i'd rather not pay for other people's benefits unless the benefit returns to me with reasonable probability and period of time. on one hand i'd like to see libraries turn profit (like 'lite' version of video rental model) or at least be self sufficient. on the other hand i want to enjoy reasonably educated population with easy access to methods for self improvement and economic mobility (both up and down) and a 'safety net' in case of uninsured unforeseen events. there's a balance between socialism and pure libertarian model but its so local and complicated and constantly evolving that i just resign myself toward the purest liberty and self responsibility and say fuck the libraries.
When I was <18, most of the books I read were from libraries. My parents aren't poor, by any measure, but they don't believe in paying for a lump of dead tree you only read once. Books can inspire. They help you improve your literacy.
Local libraries are pretty cheap. Programs to give books to poor children may not be as cost effective. Giving computers to poor children may simply result in them being sold, either by the kids or their parents.
Commercial libraries (proprietary libraries) have existed. They typically catered to the kind of people who paid a lot for membership - upper middle class professionals. If we relied on commercial public libraries today, they would be stacked with O'Reilly's books, Tolkien, popular economics, management books, and the like.
I wouldn't mind having a paid membership in a library that carries O'Reilly's books and like. I would also probably try to convince my company to have one (and that would mean much bigger budget there). Most of such books are needed only for a relatively short periods of time and then sit there gathering dust for years. The library would be ideal for such things.
I don't say this would necessarily work, there are many problems with this idea that would need to be resolved, but on the face of it I don't see why it couldn't work.
yes. i think the warm fuzzy feeling is how the body internally represents the vague and unspecific expectation of 'social' reward from doing something that benefits others
the sense of something being a 'good deed' comes from expecting harmony and general social cooperation (reciprocity) and since the cause effect is so disconnected and complex - it's too difficult to grasp with reason (for some people) and just has to be felt in this way. (?)
also the neurological 'mirroring' and empathy
.. anyways. people who want and use the library should pay for it. people who don't should not pay. isn't this fair?
neighbourhood watch and locally funded andor volunteer police, vigilanteesm & personal responsibility
fire insurance includes fire department service. you can go cheap and risk burning down but it's more likely that decent friendly neighbours will gladly cover yours if you can't. or you can move to more affordable housing within your means
health insurance with discounts for taking care of yourself
competition between doctors and between pharmaceuticals driving innovation, skills and real results forward while driving prices down.
would you rather get chemo for pennies while someone else can get immortality for millions or would you rather pay millions for chemo equally with everyone else
private or shared roads according to free will and common mutual interest
i don't want just anyone to come in to my house as they please. or my driveway, or if my driveway is very long = my road
i'm responsible for my property amd my own actions. i don't want to tell you what to do and i don't want your money. we can agree to exchange things for mutual benefit and i will do everything i can to keep to agreed terms - staking my word and reputation
there is nothing wrong with public libraries or charity regardless if selfish or for common good as long as it's funded with free will instead of threat of tax prison
crappy mismanaged unused library should go broke while the good library can pay for itself with fees and donations
i'm puzzled and somewhat amused with the downvotes because i'm aiming for maximum honesty and truth. the market organises to elevate the best and raise standards for all others - it's like a force of nature, whereas government seems to systematically mismanage libraries into mediocre grey soulless underused smelly wastelands.
Here's essentially the thought process behind the downvotes:
You: "the market organises to elevate the best and raise standards for all others"
Everybody else: "And I'm the Queen of England."
"The market" is not some intelligent, charitable entity. It's an abstraction employed to talk about how participating entities allocate their resources. It categorically does not help everyone. In fact, in many cases it can hurt everyone (the most famous example is the tragedy of the commons, but that's hardly the only way markets can go bad). Read the OP: What is the market going to do for that guy with no money?
From your comments so far, it seems like you believe he should just curl up and die in the cold. And most people don't believe that's a good answer at all.
Ah, the old "criminals will rob you if you don't consent to have the government take your money to hand out to them" argument. Often peddled by those who also believe criminals are not responsible for their actions, they're just oppressed/had a bad childhood/whatever.
I'm fine with universal (modulo pacifists and those not capable of handling a gun) individual gun ownership. Combined with anything resembling rule of law, in that case armed robbery quickly drops off the list of "what it takes to survive", because it no longer results in long survival. The criminals will always be outnumbered.
But let's get back to the real topic. Fact is, I like libraries. I think they're very positive for everyone in many ways, in particular for being an intellectually-oriented gathering place.
New to these particular arguments, so your first sentence was perspective adding. Should have realized though that the strong libertarian bent to HN would make a lot of arguments old.
That said: In my defence, I'm neither for nor against the topic, and wasn't making the arguments you suggested I was. I was alluding to large groups of criminals overwhelming or out-gunning paid protection at some point of the scale.
As you said, lets get back to the real topic - libraries are great. Although it did seem like computer education and literacy was one of the major draws - perhaps people here could help by helping an NGO which provided volunteers to help people fill forms up or give them computer education?
Your outline of the thought process behind Mikey7 downvotes is a lucid, intelligent argument with his belief about "the market." And you're saying this is the reason you vote to have him silenced?
I kind of think maybe a better reason might be because a commenter engages in trolling or some other behavior that's out of bounds, which might very well be the case here with Mikey7. But I appreciate having this thought process behind downvotes as they are actually used ("I disagree with what you say ... Downvote for you!") so clearly stated.
If you think "You are making wild and horrible claims without any substantiating evidence" is the same thing as "I disagree with you," I don't know what to say but that you're wrong. My objection is that he appears to be mindlessly spouting dogma, and a dangerous one at that. If he made a cogent argument that disagreed with my beliefs, that would be one thing, but his comments are the libertarian equivalent of "God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve."
Firstly, the downvotes are a recent manifestation of creeping groupthink. They're disheartening, but they're actually a good example in this particular instance as an illustration that people as a whole, even in places where you'd expect them to be, aren't so smart. It's much easier to have a gut reaction to a position and grunt a downvote out than actually engage in reasoned discussion and THINK about it.
Even speaking as an agorist, your faith in the market is a little extreme. It certainly has some useful and beneficial efficiencies to be sure, but believing that it will simply elevate the best and create a rising tide that will raise all standards is a little naive I think with regards to what we see in the world where markets reign.
Assuming humans are perfectly rational agents with equal information it works, but that's not how humans really are. Humans are dumb, panicky, emotional animals, and the difference between the most incompetent of them and say cows are not as wide as our politically correct institutions would like to force us to believe.
You would do well, even in an ancap society, to voluntarily donate to charities that pursued socially beneficial objectives so that you reaped the benefits of their actions. This is pretty much the ancap response to tragedy of the commons. Vaccination and libraries are not a bad example of where this makes sense imho. There's nothing strictly contrary to ancap doctrine to point out that choosing not to clean your proverbial home will result in you living in a mess, so you might want to do that occasionally.
It is not enough to point out that simply because states provably fail, markets are perfectly efficient.
That really is not true. I appreciated the post because it gave me a perspective on what life is like for people who aren't like me; it has nothing to do with politics unless you want to start arguing about politics.
I think it's more that his arguments didn't seem to have considered the situation he was addressing at all. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof, but he provided no evidence or reasoning at all. His comments were not particularly more substantial than "I like pizza," though their implications were a lot more harmful. I understand that you don't like to see unpopular opinions downvoted, but at the same time, vapid comments should not be protected just because they express an unpopular opinion.
It's not just this instance, I've noticed in an increasingly broad variety of topics that when something goes against the accepted groupthink it is prone to silent downvoting. Even in the absence of ad homs, whining in general, etc.
Also you'd be pretty hard pressed to say that this question isn't expressly relevant to the original article being discussed, and isn't overtly political in the sense that noone is agitating for votes or any such thing.
I was muzzled for arguing that Craigslist middlemen are bad. Then again I did say some things so out-of-bounds they should not be heard:
"Do buyers and sellers go to this man the way people go to real estate agents for their services? What would Craigslist buyers and sellers think of what he does if they knew about it? Respectfully, I think they would strongly prefer he weren't interfering."
That's exactly what I'm talking about, and the main comment I made that was at +4 when I went to bed last night is now at just +1 so I take it as fairly obvious that this people trying to muzzle well presented / supported positions that they happen to disagree with is really going on. http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3596880 also was in a tug of war between 0 and +5 for a few days but has settled now on +4.
Two in just the past hour with a quick look at recent comments + one 40 days ago where I noticed it first started happening;
This doesn't deserve downvotes. Mickey7 has described (albeit without capital letters) a common viewpoint, one that deserves to be considered when discussing this issue.
The upvote/downvote system is not intended to be a popularity contest, it's intended to indicate whether the post contributes to the conversation. Even if you find Mickey7's viewpoint abhorrent, you ought to be giving him a +1 to recognize that it's a relevant perspective -- even if that's just so that you can reply and show why this perspective is flawed.