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Author Topic: Gilgamesh and The Script: A Debate  (Read 4305 times)
Anonymous
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July 20, 2011, 02:58:58 PM
 #1

Atlas, we had a bit of a dialogue going on in your "Is Bitcoin Political" thread before it was shut down. I see some potential for a very interesting argument from the other side of the aisle here, so I thought I would see if you would be willing to have a discussion as opposed to a thread in which you defend straw men. I would like to discuss with you something we brought up in the previous thread: The role of government.

You have made it clear that you are at least some fashion of anarcho-capitalist. I won't claim to know all of your beliefs, nor will I claim to be able to summarize you in a single hyphenated phrase. What I would like to do though, is lay down some ground rules if you're willing to discuss this with me. First, I would like to see no hyperbole from either of us. This means the word "parasite" cannot be used unless you're referring to a literal parasite, such as a tapeworm. Secondly I would like to see you make an effort not to as if you are trying to create as many quotes as you can. It's annoying to read and you end up obfuscating your points behind attempted sound bites, which just means I need to spend more time asking for clarification.

Finally, I would like both of us to decide before hand if we are going to discuss the theoretical or the practical side of political theory. If we are discussing theoretical, then we can discuss societal contracts (or individual actions) in a state of nature, assuming rational actors, and with an established goal of society. If we want to discuss the practical implementation, which is frankly more relevant to this community, then we must assume that people are people, and are not rational. Any system of your choosing would have to be shown to be workable in the real world without gaping flaws that would be easily filled by any other existing system.

In the nature of a Socratic discussion -and seeing as you are usually the most vocal person with your beliefs on here- I would like to ask questions to which you respond. I will try and ask nothing with flowery wording or to which there is serious ambiguity.

Sound fair? You start enough threads about your ideology I doubt you'll mind putting your impute into another one. And this could benefit the entire community as any reasonable debate can. Everyone stands something to learn from all sides in any discussion.
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TheGer
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July 20, 2011, 09:07:51 PM
 #2

Someone's got a MANCRUSH lol
Anonymous
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July 20, 2011, 09:13:42 PM
 #3

I don't even see how that comment applies.
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July 21, 2011, 11:44:34 PM
 #4

No hyperbole?  But that's my favorite!

 Cheesy

All the beliefs of our beloved defenders of 'freedom' like Atlas have to hide in the realm of sound bites and rhetoric.  It is in the realm of practical social construction that all these romantic ideas lose their luster.  Freedom only goes a little ways before imposing on someone else's freedom.  Force exists, bad people exist; how do we want to protect ourselves from them?  Other nations exist that may bully us if we have no means of defending external threats, yet the standing army that we employ is a danger unto itself.  But all these questions require a great background in historical, political, social, moral, economic and other academic understanding - none of this interests the fly-by-night anarcho-capitalist.  They want something, they think they know how to get it, and become so wrapped up in their own rhetoric that they begin to believe it on faith.

In addition, Atlas now as so much vested interest in being this persona he's created that he could probably never back down from it publicly on this forum.  Those that can, of which Atlas may be if unable to 'prove you wrong' are those with true courage as they are willing to choose reality over their pride.



I'll keep my politics out of your economics if you keep your economics out of my politics.

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July 22, 2011, 04:29:32 PM
 #5

Nations don't need standing Armies.  In a free society Patriots will rise up to defend their freedoms with more tenaciousness than any Army can muster.

Now don't you dare Mancrush on me!
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July 22, 2011, 05:42:23 PM
 #6

He who defines the rules of the debate and the meaning of terms wins.

"We will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.

Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks, but pure P2P networks are holding their own."
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July 22, 2011, 06:00:57 PM
 #7

Charlie Sheen ofcourse.
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July 22, 2011, 07:33:01 PM
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Nations don't need standing Armies.  In a free society Patriots will rise up to defend their freedoms with more tenaciousness than any Army can muster.

that might've worked when rifling a musket barrel was a new idea, but when i can have a cruise missile shove a tonne of high explosive up your ass from the comfort of my base on a different continent, it becomes decidedly less effective.
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July 22, 2011, 07:37:16 PM
 #9

And who's to say each of said Patriots don't have their own cruise missile in the barn waiting to go?  You're conceptual pigeonholing of my statement is disconcerting.
Anonymous
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July 22, 2011, 10:06:51 PM
 #10

He who defines the rules of the debate and the meaning of terms wins.

Would you call any of my terms biased or unreasonable?
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July 22, 2011, 11:26:23 PM
 #11

Nations don't need standing Armies.  In a free society Patriots will rise up to defend their freedoms with more tenaciousness than any Army can muster.

Now don't you dare Mancrush on me!

Even in an era with Nukes, Aircraft Carriers, satellites, unmanned drones and other high tech weaponry?

I'll keep my politics out of your economics if you keep your economics out of my politics.

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July 22, 2011, 11:28:07 PM
 #12

He who defines the rules of the debate and the meaning of terms wins.

Would you call any of my terms biased or unreasonable?

Don't bother.

Apparently for the libertarian dreamer even having definable terms is an admission of defeat.

I'll keep my politics out of your economics if you keep your economics out of my politics.

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em3rgentOrdr
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July 23, 2011, 07:46:18 AM
 #13

He who defines the rules of the debate and the meaning of terms wins.

Would you call any of my terms biased or unreasonable?

Not bother.

Apparently for the libertarian dreamer even having definable terms is an admission of defeat.

You can try to get the two sides of the debate to agree on terminology.  They won't.  But you will discover that terminology itself is the actual debate... 

the word "parasite" cannot be used unless you're referring to a literal parasite, such as a tapeworm.

"Parasite" is an entirely legitimate term for the debate.  Each side may level the charge against the other side provided that they are drawing an analogy to biological parasitism to enhance their argument:

Wikipedia: Parasitism (Social Offense)
Quote from: Wikipedia
Social parasitism is a charge that is leveled against a group or class in society which is considered to be detrimental to the whole by analogy with biologic parasitism.

In various countries at various times, especially during periods of social unrest, such as the French Revolution or Russian Revolution, whole social classes, such as the aristocracy, bourgeoisie and particularly rentiers were accused of living off unearned income, and hence declared parasitic, as opposed to the working class. Jews have long been accused of parasitism, especially in both Nazi Germany and the USSR.

In her screenplay The Fountainhead, philosophical writer Ayn Rand contrasts the creators and parasites of a society through the protagonist Howard Roark:

   "The creator stands on his own judgment. The parasite follows the opinions of others. The creator thinks, the parasite copies. The creator produces, the parasite loots. The creator's concern is the conquest of nature. The parasite's concern is the conquest of Man. The creator requires independence - he neither serves nor rules. He deals with men by free exchange and voluntary choice. The parasite seeks power. He wants to bind all men together in common action and common slavery."

The text of The Internationale, the famous socialist song, later adotpted as the hymn of the Soviet Union (from 1917 to 1941), in a number of languages contains lines that refer to parasites. For example, the Russian text reads:

   "Only we, the workers of the all-world
Great army of labor,
Have the right to own the land,
But parasites — never!"


While the political Left sees various kinds of elites who derive wealth through unearned means, such as the capital ownership class, as parasitic, the theories of various libertarian philosophers and free market economists from the political Right, such as Milton Friedman, have accused certain categories of non-working poor ("free riders" or "freeloaders") of being social parasites; likewise, since the creation of welfare states in the mid 20th century, some free market advocates have accused welfare recipients of being parasites.

"We will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.

Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks, but pure P2P networks are holding their own."
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July 23, 2011, 08:53:42 AM
 #14

Parasitism in the use of a debate would be corrosive to the dialog and tends to have an absolutist moral connotation.  When debating particular circumstances "Free Rider" would probably be a more appropriate term to use in debate.  If you want to cage fight by all means use parasite...   I hope you train!

Not quite. "Free Rider" is different from "Parasite""Free Rider" more closely corresponds to the biological relationship known as "Commensalism":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commensalism
Quote from: Wikipedia
In ecology, commensalism is a class of relationship between two organisms where one organism benefits but the other is neutral (there is no harm or benefit). There are two other types of association: mutualism (where both organisms benefit) and parasitism (one organism benefits and the other one is harmed).

"We will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.

Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks, but pure P2P networks are holding their own."
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July 23, 2011, 09:40:48 AM
 #15


Not quite. "Free Rider" is different from "Parasite".  "Free Rider" more closely corresponds to the biological relationship known as "Commensalism":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commensalism
Quote from: Wikipedia
In ecology, commensalism is a class of relationship between two organisms where one organism benefits but the other is neutral (there is no harm or benefit). There are two other types of association: mutualism (where both organisms benefit) and parasitism (one organism benefits and the other one is harmed).

I disagree.

Well, I would have to know what context the term free rider is being used.  For example, if we are talking about someone who happens to be born in, grew up, and is currently living within the boundaries of some geographic region being defended by some security force but is passively not funding that security force, then that could be considered a commensalist relationship, since one entity (the non-payer) may be receiving some benefit while the other entity (the security force) is not necessarily being harmed or benefited.  Supporters of the state might call that person to be a "Free Rider" and for him to be a "Problem".

Now, the literal term "Free Rider" actually comes from a situation where someone actively uses a transportation system that allows anyone to ride without paying any fare.  What happens is the buses/roads/subways become crowded and overburdened.  Then the managers of the transportation system can't bring in enough revenue to offset the costs of operation.  In that case (and assuming no other interactions for arguments sake), one entity is benefiting while another entity is incurring additional costs, so this "free rider" might be called a "parasite".  (But note that in this case, it is hard to equate this particular "free rider" with a "parasite" since the transportation system managers agreed and voluntarily permitted him to ride without paying.)

Anyway, this all goes back to my original point about the importance of defining terms and how it seems that these debates may essentially be fundamentally about the definition of crucial terms.

"We will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.

Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks, but pure P2P networks are holding their own."
Anonymous
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July 24, 2011, 10:37:36 AM
 #16

Actually what you're doing is called arguing semantics and I can't begin to fathom why morally absolutist terms that are corrosive to a discussion would be a good thing to allow in a debate when the neutral and technically correct term is always more preferrable. "Parasite" is, like it or not, hyperbole.
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July 24, 2011, 01:27:08 PM
 #17

Actually what you're doing is called arguing semantics and I can't begin to fathom why morally absolutist terms that are corrosive to a discussion would be a good thing to allow in a debate when the neutral and technically correct term is always more preferrable. "Parasite" is, like it or not, hyperbole.

If parasite a forbidden, then please provide a technically equivalent term.  Free rider, as has been discussed before, doesn't quite cut it.

"We will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.

Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks, but pure P2P networks are holding their own."
Anonymous
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July 24, 2011, 11:23:37 PM
 #18

Free Rider actually works just fine. Just because you can take the term and put it in a literal context unrelated to the political science use and say "There, see! Now we must use Parasite." doesn't actually make your previous point valid.
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July 25, 2011, 05:24:35 PM
 #19

He who defines the rules of the debate and the meaning of terms wins.

Would you call any of my terms biased or unreasonable?

Not bother.

Apparently for the libertarian dreamer even having definable terms is an admission of defeat.

You can try to get the two sides of the debate to agree on terminology.  They won't.  But you will discover that terminology itself is the actual debate...  



Hmm,

It's true that both sides are going to want to capitalize on a lot of good-sounding terms: freedom, liberty, opportunity, choice, equity, equality, etc.  They believe that their philosophy furthers these better than all others and therefore they are going to try and have their ideology 'own' those terms.  "My philosophy promotes FREEDOM, your's doesn't, etc."  I think that this happens when they only see the interests of the certain parties that gain their sympathy and fail to see the opposing viewpoints justification in using those same terms.  Or they fail to see that these ideas are really means to an end, more so than actually ends in and of themselves, and therefore focus on the maximization of some of them at the complete dereliction of others in a fashion that actually lowers the overall 'net good' for the individual and the group.

It's a ideological or juvenile level of debate, in my opinion.  Total freedom for all equal social chaos and anarchy.  Total equality for all means a economic system with no incentive and a impossibility of a political structure as it is built on hierarchy.  But the real challenge is in trying to maximize all of these things for as many people as possible, and this will require 'trade-offs', let there be no doubt, but this is doorway into the chamber of moral philosophy and so far the 'debates' are still outside trying to 'own' and define terms.

I'll keep my politics out of your economics if you keep your economics out of my politics.

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Anonymous
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July 25, 2011, 06:31:52 PM
 #20

Exactly, niemivh. Which is why like any good debater I defined the rules to use technically correct terms and not loaded ones. It's also why I argued asked Atlas in the other thread (which kicked off this one) to define the terms he was using as part of his rhetoric. Everyone has definitions of "freedom", and using sweeping rhetorical terms in a debate is childish at best.

The entire purpose of this thread was to ask one of the most vocal political posters on this forum to defend his political philosophy from some very basic questions without resorting to sweeping assumptions or generalizations. Not to say he is wrong, but to clarify and discuss. Instead I'm called out for trying to define the terms in my favor because I don't believe that "parasite" is an appropriate term in a debate.
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