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In real world, your neighbor is the local warlord, and you cannot possibly summon enough amount of army to counter his army. The only guy who can stop him is the guy with bigger army somewhere in capital city, and he couldn't care less about you. Welcome to feudalism. History is rife with the system you are proposing, and it did not went well for humanity.

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snitko 142 days ago | link

Can you summon enough amount of army to battle the global warlord which is the government?

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galadriel 142 days ago | link

Yes, if I can convince other, I can summon army of 100 million voters who can change the system overnight (well, once every 2 years) and make whoever they want their global warlord to be. The global warlord works for them, and not the other way round.

The fact is, people are happy enough with the system as it is, and they do vote out the "mafia thug" if he acts particularly bad. This global warlord requires money to maintain its strength and most people are more than happy to pay their share of taxes.

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snitko 142 days ago | link

So wouldn't it be much easier to convince 100 people to act against your local warlord than 1 million people to act against the global warlord?

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galadriel 142 days ago | link

It is easier to control one entity that has monopoly over force and can be ruled by reason, than to control gazzillion small forces which are accountable to no-one. We also have these local warlords that you speak of. They are called the police and the mayor.

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snitko 142 days ago | link

How can it be easier to control an entity that has a monopoly over force and that requires you to convince 1 million people instead of 100 for any changes to happen?

Also, ruled by reason, really? Same reason that helped it decide to spy on all people and kill millions in bloody wars all over the globe? I mean, it's not just the US. If you look at history, no criminal organization, even the most bloodiest and craziest one, can compete with an average government in how many people it killed, tortured or imprisoned.

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galadriel 142 days ago | link

The Mongols killed more people as fraction of living population that any government. The Mongols were also more close to your ideals of anarchy. May I suggest you to brush up your history?

Yes, ruled by reason. The same reason that forces them to withdraw from wars, same reason that checks military spending to less than 3% of human efforts, the same reason that maintains property rights for people to function, the same reason that can channel together forces to plant 200 million plants to stop the dust bowl .... and I can parrot on and on. Is the government perfect? Hardly, but it is in every way superior to lack of government, where my ability to maintain my rights depend on how big armies I can summon on my side.

Your tiny force of hundred cannot lead to change of any reasonable measure because there would be a person with an army of million. Always has been, always will be. I am not making stuff up just to argue with you. Feudalism is exactly the result of model you propose. When local security forces run by private party are supposed to enforce whatever any one pays them, it is just in their own benefit to merge together to form bigger force ... which goes on till the ultimate biggest force is run by a King at the center, and small forces run by local security guy. Now unlike trust busting which the government (ruled by citizens) can undertake, there is no one in your utopia who can stop security agencies from forming cartel. Again, brush up your English history (Or Russian history for that matter). When rules depends on who has more money in his pocket, ECON 101 rationale follows, forming ever larger security force accountable to no-one but itself ... enforcing not the rule of law, but whatever whims it wants to.

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snitko 141 days ago | link

Mongols were a proto-state. The fact they didn't have a permanent territory means nothing. They had an hierarchical structure. The only thing that was different was that other "states" realized it would actually be much profitable and safer to sit in one place and tax the shit out of their own people (and possibly those they conquered) instead of running around the globe and robbing everyone indefinitely.

I think the mistake you are making is thinking that it's either a modern state which gives you certain benefits or some sort of medieval anarchy situation with warlords and lots of random violence. How about when you have 3 or 4 major protection agencies. You may think of them as governments, but instead they work within one country and everyone is free to switch to one or the other at any time. Those agencies sell laws to their customers want, resolve conflicts and enforce property rights. Why do you think such a competition would be worse than having a monopolist who doesn't even live by its own laws (Example: senator did cocaine? made a mistake. A regular person did cocaine: jail). Try to understand that the word Anarchy doesn't mean what you've been told it means. Anarchy simply means no state, but it doesn't mean no rules.

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You can go right now to Liberia, hire enough mercenaries, and start killing bunch of people for fun if you want to. The entire society of Liberia wouldn't able to stop you from doing so. Let's see how willing they are in putting people behind jail. It is the ultimate paradise of weak government, one that cannot/will not protect its own people. On the plus side, you can avoid paying any tax.

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snitko 142 days ago | link

So would the same thing happen in the US if people woke up tomorrow and realized there is no government and they don't need one? Because, you see, a weak/strong government says nothing about the well being of the people. You can have very strong governments, yet people would be suffering a lot more under those regimes.

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galadriel 142 days ago | link

How? Where are these mythical people suffering under good governments? These people who are enslaved by theft of taxes? As a rule of thumb, people living in countries with strong social democracies, with strong rule of law (enforced by strong government) are the healthiest, the happiest, the most well fed, innovators of science who have launched humanity beyond earth and touched the stars.

On the other hand, we have places with weak rule of law, where the governments are corrupts, or cult of personality places men above law. These are the places where people suffer, have little hope or freedom to progress and have constant boot of power pressed on their face.

If strong government is what is stopping the utopia, why is there no such utopia in Somalia? I am finding it very hard to match reality with your claims.

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snitko 142 days ago | link

So why is there no utopia in North Korea and Cuba and Iran? Very strong governments there.

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galadriel 142 days ago | link

Because they are following a wrong way of forming a government, one where the rule of men trumps the rule of law. Even then, you can see degree of their progress. NK, with almost mythical god like rule form single person is way worse off than Cuba, where the politburo rules, followed by Iran, where the power is shared by large amount of clergy and secular government.

A good government is quite different than absence of any government, which the anarchist claim would lead to utopia. History and current situation are littered with examples of weak rule of law with practically no government. Why doesn't this fabled anarchist utopia rises there? Why does every time there is a power vacuum, some local warlord arises to fill in the gap? Why don't these mythical "good humans" just learn to live without ruling other and being ruled .... just as proposed by anarchist/libertarians?

I have given you examples of good working government, and pointed out what I don't consider to be the proper idea of government. Provide me with evidence of your utopias.

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It is a serious question. Until of now, no project of the scale of public works has been taken by any private cooperation anywhere in world. Although the incentive are clear (permanent cut on profit from all transportation), none of them have either the capital, the risk appetite or the power of taking land if so required.

Extraordinary claims require proof from the party making the claim. How do libertarian and/or anarchist propose that intercontinental freeways be built and maintained at the same cost as they are done by the US government?

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baddox 142 days ago | link

> Until of now, no project of the scale of public works has been taken by any private cooperation anywhere in world.

I suspect one reason for that is that their primary competitor is government, which often has major advantages, like the legal authority to seize property right right of ways and virtually endless funds through taxation and debt.

I don't think that any proposals would claim that all things created by government would exist in a stateless society. Remember, it's possible to not have things like intercontinental freeways but to instead have more economically efficient solutions. The road system in the US, for example, isn't some example of "pure economic good." Freeways require people in cities to subsidize people in rural areas. They also are a massive subsidy to the automobile industry, and a disaster for the rail industry. It's conceivable that a much different (and more efficient) organization of society could emerge without the government creating what it judges to be the "best" public works.

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galadriel 142 days ago | link

The primary competitor, the government, has been set up by people explicitly to take benefit of the ultimate economy of scales, one where it is backed by the will and money of every single individual who believes in the Constitution which establishes and defines the role of the said government. These endless funds and the monopoly of force is given to it for explicit purposes of stepping in when the private group of individual are unable to get stuff done.

The interstate do not arise in vacuum, nor are they product of mere transportation concerns. They are product of very reasonable concern of quickly transporting war equipment and connecting parts of countries to one another, so as to facilitate quick movement of goods and people, adding their value to GDP. The rail industry is thriving well, doing its job as low cost goods carrier.

"It's conceivable" -- except no one has given good argument that thing which is so obvious has escaped human imagination for close to 10,000 years now, and all the places which are good approximation of said ideologies have people in utterly poor state.

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baddox 142 days ago | link

> The primary competitor, the government, has been set up by people explicitly to take benefit of the ultimate economy of scales, one where it is backed by the will and money of every single individual who believes in the Constitution which establishes and defines the role of the said government.

Pardon the snarkiness, but did you learn that in public school? I ask, because I had those ideas unabashedly hammered into my brain my entire childhood in government schools. The problem is that whether someone consents to the actions of government empirically does not matter. Even the founding fathers either deliberately perpetuated this clever lie or managed to deceive themselves like a lot of Enlightenment philosophers. "The consent of the governed" and so on.

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galadriel 142 days ago | link

If only my country had functioning public schools, may be I would have learned that. And in any case, in what ways do you see consent of governed not mattering? Are you part of any local democratic organisation? Have you bitched about anything to your local alderman (assuming you live in a city)? How is that if my consent does not matter, the garbage picking became better when I bitched about it?

For sake of simplicity, lets talk about UK. If the consent of governed does not matter, why hasn't David Cameron taken all the land for himself, a la William the conquer? Was the history of past 1000 year just sham? Something people told themselves to drink the cool-aid? Did all the workers who rioted and all the people who fought and died on side of Parliament against the King stupid? Why exactly are these people living under lie? And how does that country, based on lies and shams, has a well functioning society where you can go from being born in poverty to governing the country in one life time?

And any ways, you still haven't answered the question. Why aren't there incredible large scale projects popping up in north Mali, where Caterpillar industry can go tomorrow and built awesome infrastructure? Surely we in democratic world have to face the tyranny of government in every step ... why haven't the more enlightened countries with little government shown us the way? And if everyone can be lied and manipulated, how is this perfect utopia of anarchy supposed to work?

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No monopoly in 3G? How do companies refrain from transmitting at each other's frequencies? No monopoly in telecom? How do they lay all the wire without permits and regulation? Or in good old days, can I dig up anywhere in Russia and lay wires directly to my customers?

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snitko 142 days ago | link

You can't and it's precisely because government sets the rules where you can lay wires and which frequencies you can use. In Russia, this hasn't gone beyond that yet, that's why the prices are that low. In other countries, regulators are a lot less reluctant.

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galadriel 142 days ago | link

So Telecom was very "unregulated" because you agree with all the regulations. That's some interesting play of words.

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The fact that courts can declare laws to be unconstitutional is a hack out of Supremacy clause, as decided by the SCOTUS itself in one of the early cases. All other rules still apply, such as proving your standing for harm, which you cannot, if the executive keeps everything secret.

A proper constitutional court (as implemented by many other countries) is much more suited to these kinds of cases, which concern the spirit of Constitution, rather than specifics of harm and injuries to one specific entity.

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aclevernickname 294 days ago | link

the case the parent refers to is Marbury V. Madison, where SCOTUS assumes the ability to interpret matters of constitutionality.

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Well compare oranges to oranges then. Nexus 4 is $50 on contract on T-Mobile, and is definitely cheaper than iPhone 5 on any of the three networks.

Also, no law dictates that you have to sign a contract to get cell service in America. One can as well choose from few of the cheaper prepaid services.

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jmillikin 431 days ago | link

T-Mobile charges $200 for a Nexus 4; at least, they did the last time I was in one of their stores. And if there's one thing the Galaxy Nexus has taught me, it's that any Nexus purchased from a carrier will provide a much worse experience than one purchased on Play (due to carrier malware and delayed software updates).

  > Also, no law dictates that you have to sign a contract
  > to get cell service in America. One can as well choose
  > from few of the cheaper prepaid services.
Equivalent service from the same provider is typically charged at the same rate, regardless of whether the customer has a contract. That's my point -- since there's no difference in service price, it's silly to say the phone is more expensive under a contract plan.

If you're comparing different service providers, then of course there will be some who have lower monthly rates and higher initial purchase prices. The tradeoff is that these providers usually provide much lower-quality service.

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galadriel 431 days ago | link

No they do not. I personally use T-Mobile $30 monthly prepaid plan with 100 minutes/5 GB/unlimited text. The service is no way inferior to any regular service that T-mobile provides.

Whether you buy Nexus 4 from T-mobile for 50 bucks and pay more monthly bill with contract, or choose one of their prepaid plan and pay less TCO, the phone and software is exactly the same. I thought you would know this, you work at Google.

The cell companies do what you have effectively said before, they price differentiate based on who can pay what. Don't have money to buy phone upfront, well we will sell you for cheap and make the difference in contract rate. Have more money? Well then BYOD and get our cheaper prepaid services.

I will concede on one point, the big 4 (except T-mobile) make it incredibly hard for you to find and compare their prepaid services, for obvious reason that contract customer bring in more money over years.

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jmillikin 431 days ago | link

  > No they do not. I personally use T-Mobile $30 monthly
  > prepaid plan with 100 minutes/5 GB/unlimited text. The
  > service is no way inferior to any regular service that
  > T-mobile provides.
By using this plan, you're choosing to save money by having very little talk time. That is most certainly an inferior service compared to the post-paid plans, which typically offer unlimited talk time.

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fpgeek 431 days ago | link

  > Equivalent service from the same provider is typically
  > charged at the same rate, regardless of whether the
  > customer has a contract. That's my point -- since there's
  > no difference in service price, it's silly to say the
  > phone is more expensive under a contract plan.
First, you should educate yourself about T-Mobile's Classic vs. Value plans. For example, the individual "Unlimited Nationwide 4G" plan (also including unlimited talk and text) is $89.99/month for a Classic plan and $69.99/month for a Value plan. Why might that be, do you think? Do you think T-Mobile lets people save $20/month by saying the magic word "value"?

Second, even putting aside T-Mobile for a moment, there are plenty of other cost-of-ownership differences between a contract iPhone and a non-contract iPhone. For instance, absent additional coverage (e.g. extended warranty or equipment insurance), suppose you break it. How much will it cost to replace? If you haven't signed a contract, you have the option of signing one to subsidize the cost of a replacement, but if you have a contract, then what? Or suppose you take a trip overseas. Will you be able keep using your iPhone without exorbitant roaming charges by getting a local SIM? It depends. And so on.

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The way Google apps behave now is way different than they were when ICS came out initially, especially things like swiping to show menu on the side. While Holo has been there for about a year, the details were never filled in by Google with a flagship first party app. Holo provided the polish, the usability in Google apps come from the way they attach functionality to gesture.

So I guess it is news-worthy for other people unfamiliar with how Google iterated their apps on Android to know that finally Google has nailed down pretty much all what it wanted to achieve.

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Android is quite more attractive now than iOS, if you are willing to forgive consistency and quality of third party application. Most of Google's own app are absolutely fantastic in quality, and often are better or equal to iOS offering. Where Android actually shines is in how things get integrated to each other. There is no concept of preferred apps as such, and you can make any app default for any function. Share functionality is also awesome, and leads to interesting applications (Like sharing from a Reddit app to Read-it-later app, etc).

I would say if you are not too locked into iOS (having bought tons of iOS apps or something), you should try Android on a Nexus for sometime. Your only downside would be finding good, niche apps. In iOS store, even the smallest developers pay attention to be consistent with Apple's guideline and look good. It also helps that iOS design language has remained mostly the same throughout 5 years. Android finally got a design language last year, but not all developers have been keen to adopt it.

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eddieroger 491 days ago | link

I came to iOS from Android since Android was on Sprint first (and let's leave the Sprint hate behind - my plan is awesome, and service is improving). First a Hero, then the Evo 4G, then a Nexus S 4G, ranging from Cupcake to Jelly Bean. I liked the idea of swapping out functional apps at an OS level, and actually ended up having to use ChompSMS because HTC's SMS app had a nasty memory leak that bricked the Hero if left active too long.

My issue was that I was never happy. I rooted and ran custom ROMs (Fresh, Cyanogen, MIUI very briefly) and even tried rolling my own, but I found that I was spent too much time trying to make it something else. Analysis paralysis, in a way. In a way, I think I prefer having iOS locked down, because it doesn't leave me with a persistent feeling of wanderlust. That, and having been on Macs for over a decade, I'm kind of entrenched.

I agree that Android is getting better, though. I revisit the SDK every once in a while (and am spending a lot of time in it right now for a work project), but even with the advancements in Jelly Bean, writing code requires supporting so many versions with significant gaps in functionality. The compatibility library helps, but it doesn't solve the issue. Having to pass Android from Google to the OEMs to the carriers makes a lot of hoops to jump through. I hate the term fragmentation, but it's really a problem. That, and the layout structure - one per orientation per screen DPI. That's a lot to manage for a solo developer.

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> As for those who say that there will be an increase in wealth inequality, you only need to look at the technological progress of the last 200 years to know that the reverse is most likely true.

While I agree with your post in general, in details, the technological advancement of past 200 years have produced great wealth disparity in world. By using their early gain in technologies, the West effectively exploited resources from other parts of world to gain huge income and lifestyle disparity over rest of the world. While in beginning of 1600s, Asia+N. Africa was as wealthy as Europe (which is to say quite poor), by end of 1970, huge part of Asia+Africa lived in utter poverty, while life in West couldn't be better.

All though, I finally think that technology (IT, shipment, containers, etc etc) has advanced far enough that it can overcome human nature and lead to betterment of all people in world rather a small number of them.

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How did you get the 15% number? Assuming IQ of 70 is taken as margin of borderline intellectual functioning, and 15 points being the standard deviation, only people below two standard deviation lie below 70 IQ, or about 2.5% of population. (The other 2.5% being above 130 IQ)

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Daniel_Newby 492 days ago | link

70 is generally taken as the threshold for mild mental retardation. I was using 85 as the threshold for borderline and assuming a non-normal distribution.

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galadriel 491 days ago | link

You have got your thresholds wrong. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mental_retardation#IQ_below_70

Also, the distribution is by definition normal, and I have hard time believing 15% of population is retarded. That would mean about 1 in every 6 person I met is retarded, a number too big to believe. Now 3 genius/3 dumb out of 100 is more like what my experience has been.

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