Monday, July 30, 2012

The Kitchen Test of Science

My default reaction to scientific papers is, "Sure, pull the other one." It's because things like this keep happening. (Via.)
"[The authors] find that consumers are overconfident in their ability to learn to use skill-based products before trying them out. As soon as they gain experience with the product, however, they flip to the opposite extreme and become under-confident in their ability to use the new product with the consequence that they often quit using it."
For me? The opposite.

Just spent a day and a bit learning NetLogo. Before I started, I thought it would be longer. Now I've spent several hours asking questions of a simple evolutionary model, and haven't yet run into anything I wanted to tell it to do but didn't know how to do. (Syntax not included, as it takes seconds to look up.) My opinion of the effort required has gone down monotonically.

Two possibilities. One, their study is just broken. Two, it doesn't apply to me. Perhaps I'm not a consumer. I can at least be sure that the opposite of their conclusions are true in my kitchen.

Their epistemology is broken. Since they use the same epistemology to measure the effect of e.g. salt, I can be sure they're fooling themselves there, too. Maybe salt is bad for the general populace. Or not. I can't re-run the experiment in general, only on myself, so I can't check how good are studies in general. But their study is simply not evidence one way or the other about whether it's bad for me.

I like them as sources of things to check. How much does the average study cost in grants and wages? Does anyone know? In any case, it is an impressively inefficient hypothesis-generation engine.

As for anyone who doesn't have the necessary time or discipline to check? Worthless at best.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Immigration Data Audit

I thought more about immigrants and I worked out that the studies showing immigrants make the country richer cannot possibly be correct.

Tribal affiliation warning: I still maintain immigration is none of your business until an immigrant imposes externalities on your property, and then you should have the right to sue. It is the immigrant's sponsor's responsibility to make sure they impose no externalities, or to pay in advance for indulgences.

This is instead a screed against the economist and academic tribes, because their tribal norms enrich them at everyone else's expense. In this case, some random asshole from the internet notices a hole larger than any factor the supposed experts actually accounted for.

In an efficient market immigrants would be good, because labour isn't like other goods. Each immigrant would work hard enough to make their own stuff and then some - society would gain from the excess. However, we know that most immigrants are not high-value workers; they have a small surplus at the best of times.

The government taxes. The government provides benefits. Is there any chance that the government doesn't cost society more per immigrant than the immigrant provides in surplus?

Of course, each immigrant provides votes, and even illegals provide sales tax. In other words, the government - those who by definition have the power to determine immigration - gains money and power cost-free for every immigrant.

Don't forget that sovereign accounting is weird. They essentially don't have to pay for benefits, because it is funded by inflation. However, more taxes means that the individuals involved in government have more to influence and more to skim from.

To check my conclusion, the first search hit seemed sufficient.
"On average, immigrants appear to have a minor positive net fi…scal effect for host countries. Of course, these benefits are not uniformly distributed across the native population and sectors of the economy."
My reading: immigrants cost society benefits, but it's okay because they pay slightly more in taxes.

So, the government taxes or inflates, then provides services with these dollars. Taxes have deadweight costs, and public provision costs 10-100 times as much as a comparable private provision, especially accounted in terms of stuff.

Then, it turns around and taxes immigrants. With more deadweight costs. On the margin, it uses these taxes to hinder pre-existing wealth-creation activities.

These effects are not accounted for in the official studies.

But, I'll in turn check my reading...
"Borjas and Trejo (1991) calculated that the average immigrant family costs $13.5k for the welfare system over the course of their US stay, compared to the $7.9k cost of a native family.

Baker and Benjamin (1995) found the Canadian experience to be somewhat different. Immigrants, apart from refugees, consumed less unemployment benefits, social security, and housing support than natives."
Did you notice the reverse broken window fallacy? They included things easy to calculate, but assumed nothing was spent on the more difficult factors. Even setting aside the natural wealth-destroying properties of government action, they haven't included the cost of public education, wear on public roads, (both the immigrants and the trucks supplying their stuff) subsidized water mains, government provision of electricity...

Haha, oops. They found the conclusion they wanted, then stopped. If they hadn't found it, they would have kept looking, or, Robert Putnam style, not published.

In turn, if there's anything I've missed, kindly let me know. However, the case seems to me overwhelming even in estimate.

Also, real economies aren't very efficient. They're especially slow at redistributing labour. (This is mainly the government's fault too.)
"On the other hand, some more recent studies have found larger effects, and many studies note that the negative effects are concentrated on certain parts of the native population. The parts of the population most typically affected are the less-educated natives"
Fancy that.

"Immigration levels and ‡flows for some Northern European countries have a relative strength on par with traditional destination countries like the US. These …significant economic magnitudes, combined with Europe's ageing population, make immigration a …first-order policy question and research concern. Empirical lessons are drawn from several literature strands."
The effects can be safely assumed to be big.

I don't think academics are stupid. I think they are indeed experts, but not at academics. They're experts at fellating their patron, the state. Even if every fact they propound is true - and I rarely have reason to doubt that - they are liars, because the expertise their authority is supposed to be derived from is a lie. These supposed economists are neither trained nor equipped to understand economics, which is why some random asshole can be better at it than they are.

Their lies are truly exquisite, though. As a representative,
"They also found that immigrants assimilated towards higher benefit incidence with duration of stay, a result that Crossley et al. (2001) later disputed."
Academic dispute, between pro-immigration and anti-immigration! Without any conscious planning by anyone. Except, you can be sure it will come down on the pro side, because this is the only sentence where the disputant is mentioned immediately - the Kerrs is so uncomfortable with stating the con case that it cannot go unanswered. Note also the framing of the pro side as the single instances proves much of anything. But.

Just as the Republicants exist only to give Demobrat voters something to fear, the dispute exists to be refuted.

I would like to see a social graph of the authors cited in this survey, because it beggars my imagination to assume they gained entry solely on merit. (Long, try page 6, number 47. Step 93 on page 10 is also key. Via.) Starting with whether the authors are married. Similarly, it would likely be informative to discover how the con-side dissenters' views changed over time, and whether that was correlated with career.

We will see none of this highly relevant information in any article, academic or jounalistic.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Trust of Authority Corrupts Authority

I figured out why I don't like authority, and for once it's rational instead of psychological.

I should make a distinction between authority as coordinator of obedience and moral authority.

Those who trust and value authority per se fight against the questioning of the authority. Their authorities have no incentive to remain authoritative, and sooner or later will lose whatever virtue they first used to claim authority. In particular, trusting moral authority destroys the moral part, leaving only the shell of obedience.

Valuing authority inherently destroys authority.

Whenever someone says authority has moral value, I only hear the distant stomping of jackboots. The truth is the opposite - moral value has authority. The speaker of truth borrows the authority of truth, the words do not gain authority from their speaker.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Think Space is Cool? Scrap NASA

Even not taking into account the disproportionately wealth-destroying effects of tax-style funding, even not taking into account regulation friction, even not taking into account the broken window fallacy and assuming the best probable rocket was the existing Titan rocket...

NASA destroyed nine space missions for every shuttle mission they flew. They could have literally saved money by buying ten Titan rockets and simply exploding nine of them on the launchpad, and then launching the tenth instead of the shuttle. (No development costs, for example.) Saved even more money by simply setting it on fire. (No transport costs.)

Not to mention all the other things I can put after 'even not taking into account.'

Just in case you thought NASA was ever about space, not political egos and horse-trading.

In every case I've examined, it is a strict improvement to set money on fire instead of giving it to a government program. Space exploration missions probably cost less than 1% of what NASA has to spend, because no doubt a similar analysis could be carried out on the Titan rocket itself, if only we could pierce the broken-window veil.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Free Will vs. God of the Gaps

My initial experiment was watching defences of determinism submitted to New Scientist's letters section, which I noticed had to keep retreating.

My ultimate conclusion is that in practical terms, these supposed opposites are indistinguishable. The question has been pushed out of physics entirely. Things like the Newcomb's Box situation, which depend on one or the other, are not only prohibitively expensive, but actually forbidden. In turn it means that things like responsibility and punishment should function indistinguishably under the two possibilities; which I have previously worked out to be true. More generally, you can believe you're deterministic or not at your pleasure.

However, it is the determinist who must alter their beliefs about the world, because the libertarian was correct about the universe being unpredictable. Even though the libertarian case is pending a good definition, the determinist-physicalist position has been pushed off the table entirely.
"Although compatibilism, the view that determinism and free will are not logically incompatible, is the most popular position on free will amongst professional philosophers"
Epistemology is not democracy. There's no reason for libertarians to look for a way to make their views compatible with something that has been proven wrong, especially when the views, properly understood, have no known actionable conclusions that their beliefs could misguide them into.

At the bottom, I investigate the epistemic implications.

At first, supposedly if we knew everything about neurons, human behaviour was supposed to be precisely predictable. This turned out not to be sufficient, so it became cells, which became particles. Particles has since fallen, (via) which incidentally has implications for many-worlds interpretations.

Indeed there appear to be multiple ways to reach this conclusion.
"The point is: predicting the system's behavior requires us to compute the future state more quickly than nature does. For that, we need to build a computer that outpaces nature. If we would attempt building a computer capable of doing so, we would soon discover that this computer collapses and forms a black hole long before it reaches the required size."
Let me put it a third way. Let's say to predict the outcome of your brain requires ten information. However, crossing the boundary of your skull is only six information. To find out the other four would mean investigating the circumstances of your brain's creation, which means gathering, what, like 100? 1000? (No, way more than that.) By which time I need an entirely new ten information, because your brain has moved on. But it is even worse than this, because;
"Key factor in the above argument is that the system needs to be 'sufficiently complex'. In practice this means that he system needs to have a strong tendency of amplifying tiny causes into large effects. A human brain - with eyes and ears connected to it - certainly has that tendency."
I need not just the ten information about your neurons, but all the information in your environment that those neurons may be fed with. To do that, I need the information about the environment's environment, so I can predict the environment, and to do that...well, you see where the black hole comes from.

That said, there must be some shortcuts, because some predictions can be made. The fact that you aren't daily surprised by your confederates disproves this;
"The thing is: given the fundamental laws of physics, for a system of sufficient complexity you can not predict its future. For that to happen you need a shortcut to describe the deterministic evolution of our universe. However, such a shortcut does not exist."
You don't need the universe as a whole because effects diminish with distance. Just as 99% of an electron's probability can be found within a few angstroms, 99% of the contributions to human action can be found on Earth or its immediate surroundings.

There's no physical difference between an unpredictable system and an indeterminate system. Simply put, the prediction computers are part of physics, made of physics; if physics wants to know what it'll do, it's out of luck too. For me to be sure of what you'll do I have to wait for you to do it, and for physics to know what physics will do, it has to go and do it. As an example, imagine two electrons, one of which is unpredictable, the other, random. From any point except the electron in question, can you think of an experiment to tell the difference?

(Hmm, I think I just figured out how to precisely define free will.)

Even if physics is ultimately deterministic in some sense, it is not possible to notice. That said, there may still be a philosophical line of inquiry.

Though these lines of evidence seem independent, since they all point to the exact same conclusion, they must be related. They are likely different facets of some underlying truth.


Given that we now know the two are indistinguishable, was there an easier way we could have found that out?

For free will to exist, it must be causally linked to physics. Let's use the example of going for a walk to buy milk, or not, as the case may be. From the perspective of physics, which is implementing the transaction, is there any way to tell the difference between a chosen cause of a milk run and an unchosen cause? There isn't; there can't be. The thing, whatever it is, must plug the same way into the same socket.

(Just a tad shorter than doing it the hard way.)

That the two were indistinguishable was a conclusion available to Socrates and Aristotle. Charitably, I'm going to say they were busy and that's why they didn't get around to figuring it out. Though modern understandings of physics are certainly a big help; that just means Hume could have figured it out and didn't, and he wasn't as busy as Aristotle. Spent too much time arguing with people and not with reality.

This is also corroboration. The upward and downward conclusions are matching.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Higgs vs. Epistemology

Higgs boson helps me learn about learning. Also I find a connection to hypocrisy in the latter part of the second section, which is primarily about my experiment regarding intuition.

It's hard, so let's give up. (Via.)
"For the rest of us, I suspect, the Higgs belongs in the same category as various other parts of modern physics: It is yet more evidence that the human mind, to the extent that it was designed by natural selection to truly comprehend anything at all, was designed to comprehend the macroscopic world, not the microscopic world."
From earlier,
"Wait, what does that mean? You mean if the Higgs boson disappeared, then the other particles would exist but wouldn't have mass?"
You understand a thing when you can play 'what if' and win. A lay article can therefore be written by simply listing all the answers to the game. So what, was my brain not designed by evolution? I don't seem to suffer from the handicaps I'm supposed to suffer from.

Reading between the lines, it would seem that Wright was told that the Higgs is the reason for energy-mass equivalence. Checking this assumption, and having to do more inference, I found that the Higgs is the reason certain particles have rest mass. (So, falsified.)
"Using the Higgs mechanism they found that the carriers of the weak interaction, the W and Z bosons, have large masses, whereas the corresponding carriers of the electromagnetic force have no mass."
Remembering that Wright disavows that this is correct,
"Higgs is like "molasses" that, by resisting the movement of all those non-Higgs particles, gives them mass."
Backwards. The laws of physics are better understood as a list of things particles cannot do. It transfers to them rest mass, therefore they can't travel at light speed. Everything else can, so it does.

Turns out, further down Wikipedia does explicitly state the scientific conclusion.
"the Higgs field, the proposed origin of all rest mass"
At least this shows they're consistent; though Wright's point may hold for La Wik too.

Returning to my proposal about a game of what-if, I'll state a couple hypotheses. If the Higgs field did not exist, all particles would travel at light speed. As light speed particles ignore time or equivalently see a two-dimensional universe, it would be a boring universe.
More importantly, the electroweak field would have seen no symmetry breaking, which is an even more radical departure from fact, though I can't say what specifically. The W, Z, and photons would all be more similar, with far-reaching consequences.

I will further hypothesize that W and Z bosons are excitations of the weak field, which inevitably also excites the Higgs field at the same place.

Higgs as Experiment Fodder for Intuition

I have previously made predictions about the Higgs.
"You shouldn't need a particle to couple particles to space - it would mean the Higgs either was recursive or has no position."
In other words, one of Wright's points is correct, I wrongly attributed bad science journalism to bad science. That said, I still caught the bad reasoning.

Because I found the causal link, I believe that my beliefs about the Higgs were a result of my beliefs about gravitation and space curvature.

Which means I'm deriving new truths without conscious effort.

This is consistent with my observations of others. I have been able to predict actions based on professed ideology. I have larger implication or inferential distance than average, which means I can consciously appreciate the connection between ideas that many subject cannot - however, they still act consistently with those ideas at these out-of-logical-eyeshot distances.

Which is a problem when the ideas are false.

A note for anyone wanting to replicate the experiment: some beliefs are taken more seriously than others, and only serious beliefs activate the subconscious inferential system.

In other words, there are at least two classes of hypocrisy. There's the kind where it does affect their beliefs and they say it doesn't, and the kind where it doesn't affect their beliefs and they say it does.

For example, you can catch unwary Christians in contradictions of fact about evolution.
If I bring up the evolution without priming them on Christianity, then ask them about Christianity, they'll claim their beliefs about Christianity don't affect their beliefs about evolution. (If I or something else primes them on Christianity and then I ask them about evolution, they'll go all sophistic, following the lead of their favourite politicians and/or preachers, trying to dodge the facts.)

A Christian who is also a paid evolutionary biologist will say their beliefs about evolution are consistent with Christianity, but they'll be different from the unwary Christian above; instead they will have beliefs consistent with their less religious colleagues.

I can only predict actions based on the former hypocrisy. The first is epistemic hypocrisy; they claim to learn and conclude differently than they do. The second is ontological hypocrisy; they claim they believe things they essentially don't. The first says it is raining but that's not why they believe the ground is wet. The second says it is raining but they don't believe the ground is wet.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Juxtaposition IV: Historian Tone and Atmosphere

Real history doesn't tell a clean political narrative.

I think this (via) is great, but it must be incomplete, because it tells a political tale. And frankly, I'm just bored of that kind of the tone.

This is different. Sadly not well compartmentalized - there's some horse shoeing, and some well-founded speculation on the industrial revolution, and to hear it I have to max my volume. But, looking at these next to each other, the difference is surprisingly stark.
I guess pure academics suck at presentation?

Note the main thrust of the first, that which he so strenuously strives to convince you of, is simply taken for granted by the second. Renaissance? The industrial revolution began in part 2000 years ago, when farriers first recognized themselves and plied their trade.

Democracy is the Opposite of Itself

Having written that you can find democracy, or freedom, but never both, I now look for indications I could be wrong.

Alan Macfarlane defines what he means by democracy. (Pathway.)
"Voting is a little bit of it, but it is the end product. [...]
In general it means a freedom to discuss, to talk about what you want to talk about. To act and to participate in running your own life. To form into organizations. And generally to take control of your life."
I must admit, by this definition, we live in a highly democratic society.

You may have noticed it is monotonically becoming less democratic, and has been since about 1830. Possibly since 1651, though I don't have good data about these periods. (Specifically I don't have enough to check for contradictions.) However, Macfarlane himself has furnished me with information showing that the democratic culture in England, as judged by this definition, goes back almost a thousand years. It seems he read Gregory Clark and was even able to extend the thesis.

Predictably, I blame voting. My proof holds - voting makes it legal to change discussion, self-direction, and association to be illegal, and every year more of these things indeed become illegal. Most recently, the freedom of American to associate with medical insurance companies has been outlawed, and they may no longer run this part of their life.

This may not seem to sit well with my belief that voting doesn't do anything. My habit of choosing words carefully saved me here - though I wish I'd remembered it in the article about voting. Voting does nothing for the voters, but it still makes changing the laws legal. Supposedly POTUS can change the healthcare laws because the administration was voted in.

Rest assured, the laws would have been changed anyway, though perhaps not exactly when they were. For example, when were the immigration laws changed? Where was the SCOTUS decision on that? There's a recent, mostly trivial case, decided apparently a couple weeks ago. Mass immigration started in what, the seventies, ramping up in the late nineties? Point is, decades ago.

Find the people who made that decision, and you've found the actual president of USG. They have a names and addresses, though I can all but guarantee no journalist knows them.

"Though only a part is voting for someone who acts as your representative." 
I'd much rather pay for a representative, because then I'd be able to fire them. Notice that I cannot dissolve the position in a democracy. Even though it has become obvious that presidents don't do anything, I cannot vote to not have a president. Who's really in charge here? Moreover, I don't even have a de-facto power to vote him out, because I don't own a voting bloc.

At least with a paid representative, I can withdraw my consent, as signalled by the withdrawal of the cash.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Platonic Calculations and the Business of Giving Assumptions

Given certain assumptions, there are certain logically inevitable conclusions that you can calculate. I realized I should ask myself, where do the axioms of Peano arithmetic come from in the first place? Who's business is it to dole them out?

Page 80. (Via.)
"I also emphasize that, when I insert the Platonic output of a computation as a latent node in a causal diagram, I am not making a philosophical claim about computations having Platonic existence. I am just trying to produce a good approximation of reality that is faithful in its predictions and useful in its advice."
Technically speaking to solve the problem you not only need the givens, but need to assume or be given the rules of logic themselves.

Isn't 678 * 987 equal to 669,186 regardless of how well the calculators are constructed, regardless of electronic glitches or damage in transit?

The normal thing to say is that it is equal to 669,186 regardless of any facts about the physical world. My answer is that logic and arithmetic are facts about the physical world. Arithmetic works because it ultimately describes physics, which means physics described it long before we did.

If the calculator doesn't display 669,186 I can conclude it is broken. There's the calculation it is doing and then the calculation it is (platonically?) supposed to be doing, and they're different.
Imagine I dump 987 piles of sand into one sandbox, each exactly 678 grains. If my subsequent fully vetted count isn't nearly 670,000, then either I'm not creating an analogue of multiplication, or multiplication doesn't work the way I think it does. For the former, my experiment design is broken, because physics doesn't work the way I think it does. For the latter, multiplication doesn't work the way I think it does, which means my understanding of physics is broken. Either way, not the sand's fault.

Thing is, in such a world, would it have ever occurred to me that the answer might be nearly 670,000? I submit: no. Even if it occurs to you that your world might be fundamentally different, it is impossible to work out how.

Verification: try describe a world where A=A is false. A!=A. What does a thing look like when it doesn't look like itself? If that works, maybe you can tell me what multiplication might have looked like if it wasn't what we've got. Or, what an alternate world would have instead of multiplication. If you try to tell me these things are platonically impossible, then I'll ask you how it knows it is supposed to be impossible. What stops it?

Things like this are probably impossible to prove. It questions questioning itself; it tries to verify verification. You need some framework to hang arguments off of, and here I am wondering how to get a grasp of the framework. A hand, trying to grab itself.

Which itself interests me. If I'm trying to make a hand grasp itself, how do I get the answer 'no' at all? Shouldn't my brain just crash?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Juxtaposition III: Elites,. Identity and Values

Pax 1:
"It's immoral to sell things like sugary sodas and tabloid journalism to rubes who are too ignorant to know they shouldn't want it."

Pax 2:
"If you give people what they want, and what they want is frowned upon by elitists who know better, this happens."

"If you grew up on anti-depressants, can you ever know 'the real you'? "

Via Soto:
"Rousseau was also the unwitting founder of the psychology of the Real Me, that is to say of the inner core of each of us that remains immaculate and without sin, however the external person actually behaves."
If I were to write a post about how the 'real you' actually works, would it help? (Error for reference.) Summary: the real you is what you'd do absent having to appear respectable; alternately satisfying your real values. Social restrictions are singled out because they're arbitrary, unlike e.g. physical restrictions like having to eat.

The third includes narcissism.

"While I have normal jealousy, and issues with deception, raising someone else's kid isn't a big deal for me. They don't have my genes, so what? They'll have my ideas. I think this attitude is primarily genetic." There's some responses in the thread.

"No, dear. Liberals don’t come from liberals’ babies. They come from yours."
I freely admit I have a liberal neurology. It is at least helpful for figuring out the deep causes of liberal actions.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Child Morality by Counter-Example

Update: called it.

This post is for anyone who thinks they need to hit their kids to make them behave. Or, less extreme, that they need legal authority over them, or even that they need society to back them up in unilaterally imposing rules on them.

I was punished exactly once by my parents and exactly twice by my school. Both school instances were due to me throwing a snowball at a tree. (Unless you count a stern talking-to, I don't.)

As for the one time being sent to my room, my mother asked me to do something and then I didn't, deliberately provoking her in front of guests. I was hoping she'd punish me and then she did. Later, she conditionally apologized for even that, and I tried to communicate that I'd done it on purpose without actually admitting outright it was essentially a cold calculation. (This is not the only time 'authorities' apologized to me after reacting to my semi-conscious provocation.)

I care deeply about morality. I make a point of not only not lying, but not deceiving, except in self-defence. (Though admittedly this is partly because it's a challenge.) By all means, point out what I'm doing wrong or might be doing wrong, because if it is something I haven't noticed, I'd like to stop.

Verification: was my school lax, or was I considered a good kid? Not using my parents because the situation is complicated and I bet you don't care.

On a few occasions exploited my reputation as one of the good kids to get away with breaking the rules and being tattled on. I specifically chose things I'd seen others get punished for. While amusing, I sadly can't do that anymore due to my no-deception experiment.

Which conclusion do you prefer: I'm some moral genius who doesn't need moral instruction, or are you simply wrong about how children learn morality?

If moral authorities should be able to hit their lessers to make them behave, then apparently I should be able to hit you to make you behave.

I'm okay with either.
I'm tired of the bullshit justifications for having it both ways.

Of note because in the past people always choose exactly the wrong moment to listen to me: once you start hitting your kids, it's hard to stop because the process is self-reinforcing. As I was only ever hit by other kids, I'm not sure exactly why, perhaps they acclimatize to the level of punishment. Though it seems to me that kids are so naturally obedient that if you send the message, "You won't behave unless I hit you; it's for your own good," and then you stop hitting them, they'll obediently stop behaving in support of that notion.

"Once these sacred relations become a society’s moral constitution, as in our “One Nation Under God,” they cannot be undone without risking collapse of the public order that secures personal welfare."
I read this as saying not-God morality isn't impossible, however God morality crowds out other kinds, which means once you have God morality, even if a better alternative is developed, swapping it out isn't a decision to be made lightly. Similarly, swapping out hitting morality isn't to be done lightly. However, if you have a clean slate....

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Another Anarchist Psychology

I'd really like to find a philosophy or group I can get behind without reservation. Can't. They're all hypocritical, which means self-condemning. That and I just think they're evil. Even standard anarchy needs substantial repair. Were I monarch of America with America's megalomania, I'd end up declaring war on everyone, including every other internal faction.

Priority one is the the search for something I can support, but a very close priority two is figuring out how to live cheek-by-jowl with so much that I think the world would be better off without. Quite aside from the moral aspects, even America's monarch-equivalent doesn't have the power to rid the world of the things they wish to rid it of, and anyway I don't want to find or design a philosophy that only works for the top 0.1% of 0.1% of the powerful. (Not because it might be evil, I just find it lacks aesthetically.)

The key is that all these hypocritical groups most likely think the world would be better off without me. Priority one and two merge. The philosophy I can support is one that suggests I should be left alone, and travelling back through the mirror, that means that I leave everyone else alone, unless they won't let me.

Take this alone and you're already hip-deep in a thick mixture of anarchy, property, and freedom. Making me not an anarchist means showing me how the above plausible alternatives aren't giving back less than their opportunity costs. And aren't just kinda evil.

There's also hearty chunks of physical violence. If there were no other considerations, this would justify unlimited retaliation against anyone who doesn't let me leave them alone.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

On the Resistance Against Imposed Taxes, and

I found one of my psychological foundations for being an anarchist, as in, not simply anti-schooling. It hit me when I read this, (via, emphasis mine):
"Thus, because in the Reign of Charles the First, resistance to Taxes imposed by the authority of the King alone was justifiable, and the contrary doctrine of having taken the names Passive Obedience and Non–Resistance, those terms became odious; therefore in the Reign of George the Third, resistance to Taxes imposed, by the King, Lords and Commons, upon America while not represented in Parliament, is justifiable also;"
Rulers impose taxes. That is, Hutchinson straight up admits that the subjects are physically forced to obey, entirely at the discretion of [insert ruler]. According to Hutchinson and fellow adherents to his philosophy, the King has his right because his stick is bigger than yours.

What has always bothered me is that Hutchinson thinks the 'Rebellion' is Wrong when it argues back using the same terms the King argues, force of arms.

The Rebellion and similar groups simply wish to put to the test the King's claim to right; does he have the bigger stick? What in fact happens if the Rebellion doesn't simply roll over when he voices his demands? Certainly I can see why King wishes not to have it tested, and thus why the King forwards a moral argument against it, but having put this King's reaction in the same plain terms Hutchinson puts the Rebellion's actions, it becomes plain that neither have the high ground. Sadly, it bothering me is a good indication it bothers basically nobody else.

Moldbug's summary of the period says England should have utterly crushed the colonies, just as America utterly crushed Iraq. However, just as the army was subsequently sabotaged in Iraq, Whig forces in England sabotaged the fight against the colonies.

The King in fact had a bigger stick, but could not impose taxes regardless.

Extrapolating the trend line, soon such a war could be fought and won without killing anyone at all. However, there's still a question of the exact mechanics of Whig sabotage. Just as prewar Hitler could get away with vigilante violence, perhaps Whig sabotage only works if the army is half on their side to begin with, and has no chance against determined opposition.