Re:The Red Pill
« Reply #106 on: 2016-01-24 14:55:18 »
Worlds Apart or Worlds in Collision ? The current rhetoric about China/ financial gloom and doom belies the what is really going on as a stable middle class emerges and the Western Bankers have sour grapes because they don't own the game and pull the levelers for person gain, but they meet delusional in the idea they still run the world as their personal sandbox hat they can soil at will.
Davos 2016: It's now all about technology, but what actually happened?
Sketch It used to be that the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in the Swiss ski resort of Davos was all about finance and politics.
But since it turned out that the bankers were almost exactly as corrupt and incompetent as the small cadre of protestors that stood in the snow every year insisted they were, finance has taken a back seat to tech.
So much so in fact that the "official theme" of this year's meeting was the "Fourth Industrial Revolution" – a term that WEF chair Klaus Schwab is desperate to promote and associate himself with.
What does it mean? Well, according to Schwab it is about the mass unemployment that will brought about by our future robot masters.
If that's not enough stimulus for the tech egos in this tiny, over-priced town, what could be?
Maybe noted financier/politician/technologist Leonardo di Caprio, who appeared on stage and pledged $15m for environment grants while complaining about oil companies. "Enough is enough," he told members of the mega-rich assembly, who were too busy asking each other: "Have you seen Revenant yet?"
Another movie star, Kevin Spacey, was also there, trying to find someone rich enough to bail out Relativity Studios (of which he has just become chairman) in an effort to prevent his House of Cards series from disappearing into financial dust.
His pitch was all Hollywood but aimed at Northern California: "In the next few years Silicon Valley is going to much more involved in content. I would not be surprised if a big tech company would buy a studio," he told reporters. Hint, hint, nudge, nudge. More of the same
Not that Microsoft's Satya Nadella nor Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg were listening. They were too busy being feted on a main panel for regurgitating the same things that every tech CEO has said since the dawn of time.
Don't be afraid of the robots, they both said to a cowering Schwab, hiding behind his pile of autographed books on the subject, we're optimistic about the possibilities that technology brings.
"While we have major issues that we need to address in terms of jobs, we also have the possibility of job creation that is even larger," said either Sandberg or Nadella.
As an example of this empathetic, beautiful Brave New World, Sandberg then used the example of a three-year-old refugee who drowned on a Turkish beach.
"It would be nice if we could all have all those human connections in person, but most people will not be able to connect with a Syrian refugee in person and so the ability to do that with video and pictures is what is going to create that empathy," she enthused, while failing to note that despite all the millions of "Likes" on pictures of a dead kid with heart-rendering messages typed on top, he was still dead.
Sheryl was on a roll, though. Next up she decided to show the world exactly how its done, and started talking about how Facebook was going to help fight in the war against Islamic extremism, just days after White House officials turned up on her doorstep asking Facebook to help in the fight against Islamic extremism.
And in case you were wondering why Davos even exists, it is precisely in that exchange. Davos is for the people that run the world's companies, financial institutions and political establishments to say the same thing they've been saying to bored audiences all year, but this time to people they've seen on the telly. Old and new
In that sense, Silicon Valley execs turned up to push their case on encryption. Namely, that they want it without a big government-sized hole in the middle.
The fact is that governments have been placing increasing pressure on tech companies to give them the information they have – just take a look at the ever-increasing number of requests that Google, Facebook, Apple et al put out in their "transparency reports."
On this point, there was an interesting split between the long-term attendees of Davos and the new kids of the block.
The epitome of old power, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, doesn't think tech should even express an opinion. "I don’t think it is Silicon Valley’s decision to make about whether encryption is the right thing to do," he said, missing the somewhat obvious point that the data – the tsunami of web traffic – his company has access to is far, far more personal than the other firms that he encourages to shut up.
As for the new kids, the chief scientist of Silent Circle Javier Aguera made the encryption counterargument: "You can do what you want from a policy perspective, but you can’t stop mathematics." Give him another decade of Davos meetings, he'll soon his tune.
And of course sat right in the middle was Microsoft: an old timer but desperate to be hip with the new kids. Its top-lawyer-turned-president Brad Smith literally talked about being stuck in the middle. "You could be placed in a situation where you have to decide what law to break," he told yet another panel. "It isn’t a comfortable place to be." Kool-aid
Also on the old-timers side was Cisco, and its newly installed CEO Chuck Robbins. He stuck with the tried-and-tested routine of talking about what great technology was coming and how everything was going to be great.
Big data means no more refugees and no more death, he pitched. All this wonderful technology we have at our fingertips, things have never been better. It was classic Davos: utterly devoid of awareness outside its rarefied world.
There was a small sliver of space for the finance industry to enter into however: their use – or non-use – of new technology in the form of digital currencies. Bitcoin and the like.
The International Monetary Fund scoffed at its size – just $7 billion in digital currency compared to $1.4 trillion in proper money. But, it warned, it may be time to start learning about this digital stuff.
Nonsense, said Citi’s chief economist Willem Buiter in between sips of Dom Perignon: "We know that Bitcoin itself is a complete failure and shows the number one law of programming and software: that anything that can be programmed can be hacked. So nothing is completely secure."
The same came from Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank. "I wouldn’t be so worried," said John Cryan, co-CEO of Deutsche Bank finishing his cigar. "Blockchain technology is interesting. Bitcoin, I don’t think is." Coming down
Which of course leads to the question: what are these people on? OK, maybe nothing more than the sweet smell of success, but we do know that the people hired to protect them from the real world outside were.
Twelve Swiss soldiers were sent home for being high on cannabis or cocaine, an army spokesman admitted. You can hardly blame them, it can't be easy standing at the intersection of two wildly different worlds. ®
Re:The Red Pill
« Reply #107 on: 2016-01-25 23:58:24 »
To Quote [BL] "my tail gets all bushy" when the 'Banksters' are going to deliver to us a new world order by 2030. Meshing that with their new found interest in AI it say 'MATRIX 2030'
Cheers 'Blue Pill in Hand'
The similarity is just to ironic for me: Davros is a genius who has mastered many areas of science but also a megalomaniac who believes that through his creations he can become the supreme being and ruler of the Universe. Lord of the Dalek robot race..
Quotation of the day is from page 180 of Daniel Boorstin’s 1958 volume, The Americans: The Colonial Experience:
Where every sect lacked the power to coerce, they all wisely “chose” to persuade.
Yes. And such persuasion forms essential paving stones for civil society.
I propose a corollary to Boorstin’s observation: where some people have the power to coerce, not only do they never choose the option of persuasion, but also their coercion soon comes to be regarded by both the coercers and the coerced as the only possible means of achieving whatever desirable outcomes the coercion is believed to be used to achieve. Using coercion to achieve X crowds out not only the actual use of peaceful, persuasive means of achieving X, it also destroys any realization that X can be achieved non-coercively.
Quote of the day is from page 22 of the late Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom‘s important 1990 volume, Governing the Commons:
"An assertion that central regulation is necessary tells us nothing about the way a central agency should be constituted, what authority it should have, how the limits on its authority should be maintained, how it will obtain information, or how its agents should be selected, motivated to do their work, and have their performances monitored and rewarded or sanctioned."
Yes. Calls to empower and entrust government to undertake this or that task are typically done with shocking recklessness. The presumption behind these calls is that the power that is being called upon is a god-like entity – a miracle-worker – who by assumption and by assumption only not only puts “our” interest ahead of its own, but is also sufficiently informed and wise, and who operates with such an ideal mix of prudence and creativity, that we can be sure that it will improve our lives.
This wholly unscientific – this largely faith-based – manner of regarding the state is not confined to rubes, children, and people who are bewitched by the likes of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. It is, I am chagrined to say, the manner of regarding the state that is typical among most economists. Very common today is the economist who swears his or her allegiance to Objective Science (although, I note in passing, most of these oaths are to the false god of scientism and not to actual science as it is appropriate for the study of society) – who boasts of being “data driven” as a means of trumpeting his or her Scientific creds – who sincerely believes that he or she is an immune-to-bias evaluator of “the facts” as these relate to different policy options. But regardless of the actual scientific merit of such work as it applies to the study of the private economy, far too much of it merely assumes, with a faith that would humble St. Paul, that government can be trusted to exercise power wisely and successfully for the good of all humankind.
Re:The Red Pill
« Reply #111 on: 2016-02-10 08:49:07 »
“Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.”
-- Frédéric Bastiat, The Law
« Last Edit: 2016-02-10 08:49:22 by David Lucifer »
Re:The Red Pill
« Reply #112 on: 2016-02-21 21:05:45 »
"What is obvious may be relative to one's time. If a thinker of the stature of Aristotle could not see that slavery was unjust, we must question how objectively obvious it was. And on the other hand, future generations will likely find obvious some things that we have difficulty seeing today. 'Is there a special group of people with the right to use threats to force everyone else to obey their commands, even when their commands are wrong?' Future generations may view the answer to that as too obvious to merit discussion."
~Michael Huemer. The Problem of Political Authority
Re:The Red Pill
« Reply #116 on: 2016-03-12 10:07:05 »
The "Anarchists" here are the so-called left anarchists, aka collectivists, communists, AnSocs, etc. They insist that Capitalism is inconsistent with anarchy (it is not, maybe corporatism but not capitalism), and distance themselves from the historical communist governments of Stalin and Mao, but fail to see their own hypocrisy when it comes to interfering in what other people are allowed to do voluntarily.
Slavery existed for thousands of years, in all sorts of societies and all parts of the world. To imagine human social life without it required an extraordinary effort. Yet, from time to time, eccentrics emerged to oppose it, most of them arguing that slavery is a moral monstrosity and therefore people should get rid of it. Such advocates generally elicited reactions that ranged from gentle amusement to harsh scorn and violent assault.
When people bothered to give reasons for opposing the proposed abolition, they advanced many different ideas. In the first column of the accompanying table, I list ten such ideas that I have encountered in my reading. At one time, countless people found one or more of these reasons an adequate ground on which to oppose the abolition of slavery.
In retrospect, however, these reasons seem shabby—more rationalizations than reasons. They now appear to nearly everyone to be, if not utterly specious, then shaky or, at best, unpersuasive, notwithstanding an occasional grain of truth. No one now dredges up these ideas or their corollaries to support a proposal for reestablishing slavery. Although vestiges of slavery exist in northern Africa and a few other places, the idea that slavery is a defensible social institution is defunct. Reasons that once, not so long ago, seemed to provide compelling grounds for opposing the abolition of slavery now pack no intellectual punch.
Strange to say, however, the same ideas once trotted out to justify opposition to the abolition of slavery are now routinely trotted out to justify opposition to the abolition of government (as we know it). Libertarian anarchists bold enough to have publicly advanced their proposal for abolishing the state will have encountered many, if not all, of the arguments used for centuries to prop up slavery. Thus, we may make a parallel list, as shown in the table’s second column.
In the table, my repetition of the cumbersome expression “government (as we know it)” may seem odd, or even irritating, but I have chosen to tax the reader’s patience in this way for a reason. When the typical person encounters an advocate of anarchism, his immediate reaction is to identify a list of critical government functions—preservation of social order, maintenance of a legal system for resolving disputes and dealing with criminals, protection against foreign aggressors, enforcement of private property rights, support of the weak and defenseless, production and maintenance of economic infrastructure, and so forth. This reaction, however, shoots at the wrong target.
Libertarian anarchists do not deny that such social functions must be carried out if a society is to function successfully. They do deny, however, that we must have government (as we know it) to carry them out. Libertarian anarchists prefer that these functions be carried out by private providers with whom the beneficiaries have agreed to deal. When I write about government “as we know it,” I am referring to the monopolistic, individually nonconsensual form of government that now exists virtually everywhere on earth.
Readers may object that at least some existing governments do have the people’s consent, but where’s the evidence? Show me the properly signed and witnessed contracts. Unless all of the responsible adults subject to a government’s claimed authority have voluntarily and explicitly accepted its governance on specific terms, the presumption must be that the rulers have simply imposed their rule. Propaganda statements, civics texts, opinion surveys, barroom allegations, political elections, and so forth are beside the point in this regard. No one would think of proffering such forms of evidence to show that I have a valid contract with Virgin Mobile, which supplies me with telelphone service. When will the governments of the United States, the state of Louisiana, and St. Tammany Parish send me the contracts wherein I may agree (or not) to purchase their “services” on mutually acceptable terms?
The similarity of arguments against the abolition of slavery and arguments against the abolition of government (as we know it) should shake the faith of all Americans who still labor under the misconception that ours is a “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” From where I stand, it looks distressingly like an institutional complex that rests on the same shaky intellectual foundations as slavery.
Arguments Against the Abolition of Slavery and Arguments Against the Abolition of Government (as We Know It)
Slavery is natural.
Government (as we know it) is natural.
Slavery has always existed.
Government (as we know it) has always existed.
Every society on earth has slavery.
Every society on earth has government (as we know it)
The slaves are not capable of taking care of themselves.
The people are not capable of taking care of themselves
Without masters, the slaves will die off.
Without government (as we know it), the people will die off.
Where the common people are free, they are even worse off than slaves
Where the common people have no government (as we know it), they are much worse off (e.g., Somalia).
Getting rid of slavery would occasion great bloodshed and other evils.
Getting rid of government (as we know it) would occasion great bloodshed and other evils.
Without slavery, the former slaves would run amuck, stealing, raping, killing, and generally causing mayhem.
Without government (as we know it), the people would run amuck, stealing, raping, killing, and generally causing mayhem.
Trying to get rid of slavery is foolishly utopian and impractical; only a fuzzy-headed dreamer would advance such a cockamamie proposal.
Trying to get rid of government (as we know it) is foolishly utopian and impractical; only a fuzzy-headed dreamer would advance such a cockamamie proposal.
Forget abolition. A far better plan is to keep the slaves sufficiently well fed, clothed, housed, and occasionally entertained and to take their minds off their exploitation by encouraging them to focus on the better life that awaits them in the hereafter.
Forget anarchy. A far better plan is to keep the ordinary people sufficiently well fed, clothed, housed, and entertained and to take their minds off their exploitation by encouraging them to focus on the better life that awaits them in the hereafter.
« Last Edit: 2016-05-28 11:33:02 by David Lucifer »