Monday, August 17, 2015

Re: Re: Steel Anarchism

"It may be a good idea to lock your door when you go out, but if you don’t, Rothbardianism will not excuse the man who stole your television set."
Security has to be provided by some person, who will decide what is and is not secured. I imagine a firm because it's more coherent in the wave-interference sense, but the analysis holds for individuals if you keep the feedbacks in mind.
Meta-Rothbardianism: whether it will excuse the thief or not depends on what the security-provider has decided to define as theft. What is excusable or not is defined by prior contract, which is in turn defined by what is prudent to so define.

 "How do you make sure that your defense organization doesn’t loot your property?"
You don't, to first order approximation. That's what primary property owner means.
Consider the feedback: if it were not likely they would do so, it will rapidly become known and you won't sign up with them in the first place.

Further, it would be wise to insist on a clause where the security firm secures propaganda supporting the norm of being a good agent.

"The danger with both of these options is that they can be turned against you."
Nirvana fallacy. It doesn't have to be a good idea, it just has to be better than kratism. 

"If Jim can defend himself or can switch providers, you might well find yourself in a pickle."
He will successfully stiff you on one bill. Henceforth, he will have no security agency, having forfeited his contract, and will only be able to trade with other outlaws. Okay, if he really thinks stiffing you on that one bill is worth it...

"If the criterion for ownership of a resource is the ability to defend it, why would anyone submit to arbitration?"
As a secondary property owner, what counts as a reasonable level of defence will be defined in the security contract. Arbitration is then used for edge cases. For example perhaps there's a revolver deductable, where you're not necessarily expected to walk around armed, but you are if you need to travel into Harlem. As a neighbourhood gentrifies, an arbitrator might find that it was reasonable to wander around unarmed, and thus deserve legal remedies if victimized.

"in which Alrenous’s rule that it’s yours if and only if you can defend it holds sway; we’ve already got one: the real world. The one with states all over it.

 How did we get states where we should have gotten anarchy?"
If they ever claim to hold something by right of being able to hold it, they will stop being able to hold it. This is one of the facets of the core reason states keep killing themselves and everyone nearby.

Moral legitimacy is a very important force for security and stability. States as they are now cannot be stable as their moral arguments are self-refuting, as can be seen during the frequent contradictions between what they claim to secure on behalf of their subjects and what they in fact secure on behalf of themselves.

All political formulae but one are lies, and thus at constant war with reality. The one left is Exit.

Dark Lockean aside: Exit is the only coherent political formula. Exit is unsustainable and hardly even possible. You're all just fucked.

"Indeed, the Melians found to their sorrow that in the real world “the strong do what they can, and the weak suffer what they must.”"
Weapon technology and communication technology. As weapon technology improves it becomes cheaper and cheaper to inflict more damage on an attacker than they can possibly gain. As communication technology improves, it becomes harder to hide the irrationality of such losses, or for independent foolishness to arise.

If, to kill a phalanx, you need a phalanx of equal size or bigger, then yes this kind of dynamic ensues. If instead you can lob a few bombs at Athens from the comfort of your living room, destroying more than your lifetime earnings with each one, the proposition is far less feasible.
Further, as per Sun Tzu, it was never a good idea to attack in this way, because 1984 has never obtained. Whenever you weaken yourself against one opponent, your rivals gain by comparison, of which there's always been more than two. A war between A and B should always go to bystander, C. This didn't happen basically because this foolishness was repeated so often that eventually one of them got lucky, though the Byzantines spent 800 years or so profiting from exactly this foolishness, without engaging in it themselves.

Nowadays everyone knows instantly whenever one country or another makes a mistake. The feedback makes for great learning.

Also modern weapons make it much harder for someone to declare war and live to brag about it. Or live to run away, even. Puts a damper on enthusiasms for using other people's money to kill strangers.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Game Theorist Fail - Prisoner Dilemma Incomplete

In my experience, you will critically underrate how profound this point is. Unfortunately, as an author I have no idea how to rectify this impression, because as a reader I've never experienced such a rectification.

Game theorists are remarkably bad at game theory. This isn't merely small world fallacies, this is thinking they're done and just not being done.

So, regarding the prisoner's dilemma, (page 47 on my pdf reader)
"The "paradox" is now the following: as soon as the number of rounds N becomes known, the above reasoning completely collapses!  For clearly, neither player can have anything to lose by defecting in the very last round, when the other player no longer has any chance to retaliate. So if both players are rational, then that is exactly what they will do. But if both players know that both of them will defect in round N, then neither one has anything to lose by defecting in round N - 1 either."
"In 1985, Neyman [99] proposed an ingenious resolution of this paradox. Specifically, he showedthat if the two players have sufficiently small memories"
No. Well, yes, that is true, and humans clearly have finite memories.

The defection strategy is irrational even if the players have infinite memory and are perfectly rational.

If Player One defects on the last step, there is indeed no reason not to defect on every step. Defecting on only the last step isn't an option. The available options are: defect on every step, cooperate on every step. Player One would prefer to cooperate on every step. Ergo, Player One concludes they can't defect on the last step. The only question is whether Player Two is going to conclude they need to defect on every step or cooperate on every step. By definition Player Two would prefer to cooperate. By definition, Player Two knows that Player One knows that Player Two knows the only other stable strategy is defecting on every step.

Player Two will cooperate in every step. Somebody please tell me I'm wrong, that some obscure game theorist has figured this out, not just me. 

"But in real life...!" Yes, perfectly rational perfect information agents don't exist in real life, I know. However, when adding/superposing the imperfections of real life, it is critical to perturb the real ideal, rather than a misunderstanding of the ideal.

Admittedly the feedbacks are a bit mind-bending. Perfect rationality lets you eliminate the feedbacks, though.

Playing a twenty step-game, One and Two get to step 19, having cooperated all the way. The past, now immutable, shouldn't affect their next choice - one can defect.

Zeroth problem, (Yudkowsky is correct here) to get it out of the way: if Player One  concludes they can defect, they know, as Player Two is just as good at game theory as One is, that Player Two will also defect. Again, deviation isn't a real option, only MAD, so they cooperate.

First problem: in the past, Player One knew that, if they cooperated for 19 steps, they will want to defect on the last one. Thus Player One knows that Player Two knows that if they cooperate for 19 steps, Player One will want to defect on the last one. If Player Two knows Player One will defect on step 20, Player Two will defect on every step, thus making it impossible to cooperate for the first 19 steps.

In short, Player Two knows everything Player One is thinking, and vice-versa. In all cases, betrayal is not an option. Thus, they will always choose to cooperate.

Real life relevance: higher IQ people commit less crime (objective) and generally deviate less (less objective, but the same dynamic). This is at least partly because higher IQ people more closely approximate perfectly rational agents. They, as Player One, know (or think, because they assume the other guy has the same IQ) that Player Two will realize it if they plan to deviate.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Non-Ancap Fails to Pretend to be Ancap

Which is a good thing, really. The adult can successfully pretend to be a child but the child can't pretend to be an adult. If anyone succeeded at pretending, it would reveal the immaturity of Ancap thought.

repeatedly asserts that ancaps believe things which no competent ancap believes. 

But then people start rebuilding the old state institutions: the people living in Auburn form a corporation called “the City of Auburn,”
Yes, probably.
and it is located within territory controlled by another corporation—“the state of Alabama”
No, not likely.
So why did we bother abolishing the state?
But the point of ancap is we don't know. The point is to ask Gnon what he thinks about Alabama. Would Alabama reform, were it necessary to convince Alabamans to join it? Is Alabama in fact a net gain, or a net cost, to the residents of Alabama?
If Alabama costs the residents without giving them much in return, what's the point? Who is being served by Alabama's existence?
Let’s suppose that the preppers didn’t swear an oath, or at least didn’t make their kids do it when they grew up.
"Let's suppose Ancapistan isn't Ancapistan. What follows?" It follows that I don't care? "Let's imagine Catholicism with no Pope."  Okay, but like half the point is to have a Pope.
Does reliance on tacit consent transform the Free Town of Ancapistan into the People’s Republic of Prepperville?
We can suppose Catholics would believe exactly what they believe right now if they had no Pope. It's certainly a possible outcome. It's unlikely.
We don't know how a town would evolve if, to impose its norms on someone, they had to first agree to allow those norms to be imposed. This is one reason no good Ancap advocates freeing an entire nation at once. We believe it would be better, but we also believe there are an endless variety of kinks to be worked out.

Is the divide between state and non-state merely that in one you raise your right hand and say some words when you turn 18?
Yes. And why is that? It is because not everyone will say the words.
the choice of swearing the same oath as the founders or being exiled from the community.
this may be the consequence, or not. The market is smarter than me, it may come up with a better solution. I consider it overwhelmingly likely that someone will think of a better way of doing this. The Amish have to since their culture is so different, even tiny amount of outside contact with former insiders is likely to significantly change them for the worse. With less drastic differences, full ostracism may not be necessary.

Consider foreign university students. Their tuition isn't subsidized and thus they have to pay the government's share too. This makes it 3-4 times as expensive, but it does not prevent them from coming.

In Ancapistan, an outlaw is responsible for their own security and contract enforcement. This is expensive, but not impossible. Certainly many may refuse to deal with them, as the risks outweigh the costs. This doesn't mean they have to be forcibly booted from the town, though that is within the town baron's rights.

The upside of allowing outlaws to stay is it's much easier to convert them. Further, it allows close contact with Gnon's discipline. A bad town will accumulate many outlaws, creating pressure to reform, or, in the worst case, a competing co-geographical municipality.

Ancapistan and Nozickville each control a certain territory by dint of original appropriation, but this isn’t all the land they use.
"What if Ancapistan and Nozickville are bad at anarchy?" Well, then they learn better or suffer Gnon's wrath.

Property is obtained through securing it. If they use resources they have not secured, then they need to be prepared for it to be secured by someone else and thus lose the use of it.
Fortunately, the Ancapistanis and Nozickvillers reach an agreement on hunting rights, stipulating that the forest will be reserved for hunting, that hunters from both towns will be permitted to hunt there, and that the number of deer each town may hunt will be limited in order to maintain the deer population.
Directly contrary to Ancap principles. Collective ownership don't real. This is like two neighbours, instead of agreeing on a single property line, decide to set up a neutral zone they can both use to a limited degree. I dunno about you, but I'm seeing more conflict arise, not less. Why even bother with the complexity? Half the forest is Nozick's, half is Capistan's.

Tragedy of the commons: it is in each town's benefit to hunt as much of the limit as possible before the other town can.
This sounds like a fine exemplum
As above, it isn't.
Now an anarcho-capitalist would here claim that the two parties would not go to war but instead seek arbitration by a third party.
Secure your property. Don't whine if someone uses unsecured resources you wanted. If someone assaults your security, it is an act of war and you're entitled to defend yourself.
Arbitration might be cheaper, but war is more certain.
Peace is not kind of cheaper, like a different brand of soap. Peace is hundreds of times cheaper.  At 100:1, arbitration can be 99% certain to end unfavourably and you still break even.
Further, because of free Exit, if you try going to war over something stupid like that, your soldiers are likely to Exit rather than actually fight for you. Arbitration is looking hardly more certain.

As we're no longer in a democracy, human relationships might actually exist. It isn't just dollar and cents - the mayor/baron is going to personally know some of his soldiers. "Do I want to risk Frank's life over some trees?" Indeed the mayor/baron is going to have to know some of them personally, or he won't be able to get any loyalty - they won't fight for him even for good reasons.

If you can't get slaves to fight for you, fighting happens way less and nobody even contemplates total war.

On the other side, Rothbardia is going to be thinking the same thing. Judges and courts first arose in England from this exact process. The judges had no power, except Gnon's power to mete out punishments to anyone stupid enough to put the issue to the test of arms. Courts thrived, as we can see.
The only other defense by the anarcho-capitalist would be to say that Rothbardia is in the right—property rights cannot be established merely by convention but only by original appropriation
You know, I don't even know what 'original appropriation' means exactly.
While we can hope Ancap ideas about aggression could hold moral authority and thus skew the field of arms, we cannot rely on it. History shows only hard-nosed rationality is stable. You secure your property not because it gives you some moral authority to use it (though it does) but because 'securing' means 'make it unreasonably expensive to take it from you.'
Convention-based property rights are extremely useful for managing resources that are consumed when they are appropriated.
You own the deer that you kill through original appropriation, but you only own the wild herd through convention.
Fuck convention, get security.
That said, certain conventions indeed make it more expensive, and thus count as a weak kind of security. As household neighbours we build fences because they work better than convention. It only becomes more important at town-scale.
Fetishizing consent is a distraction.

You obtain fifty dollars from me.
I consented: it was a trade or gift.
I did not consent: it was theft, and I'll be asking for that back, using a glock.

Consent is critical. Consent is one of the foundational pillars of civilization. To ignore consent is to ignore property, which is to undermine order. Without order there will be nothing worth considering the consent status of.

Ancap is perhaps simply the realizing that if consent matters in petty issues between individuals, it only matters more and more as the conflicts get bigger and more significant.
either it must accept that its own system can produce conflicts in which both parties have justification or it must deny the validity of convention-based property rights.
If convention counts as security, then no. If not, then of course one rightly ignores convention.
The state is not the only social evil, nor is it always and invariably the worst social evil.
Gnon knows that many social evils are indirectly caused by the state. Perhaps half? I would like to ask him which ones, exactly.

One of the major ones is religious coercion. When the state supports a religion, it corrupts both. Every religion supported by a state has died or is dying. Every state that forced a religion to support it has become a progressive-style theocracy.

The thirty year's war taught people like Dawkins to say 'religion causes war.' Dawkins is an idiot outside biology.
Because children adopt whatever religion is put to them, when the state controls religion, opposing religions face annihilation and will fight commensurately. It is accepting the false legitimacy of religious coercion that causes such total wars.
Though, as always, secure your religion. Don't expect moral legitimacy to do all the work.
 An anarcho-capitalist believes that if the proper forms are filled out and filed correctly, all solvable social problems will solve themselves.
Other way around. The proper forms, in the sense of formalities, are defined by the state of society in which all solvable social problems are solved.
The road from anarcho-capitalism to neoreaction is paved with the realization that the Cathedral and Leftist entryism are even graver threats than the state.
Without a coercive state there is nothing for the Cathedral to seize, nothing for the Leftist to enter. This is one of those problems that Ancapistan doesn't even need to solve, the transition makes it go away on its own.

You may notice that entryist'ed organizations tend to die on the vine. Most recently reddit almost died from such a takeover attempt. It is only with a state, which can force the customers to stay, that entryism is viable.