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Author Topic: US kills Osama bin Laden at cost of > $400 billion  (Read 6220 times)
FatherMcGruder
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May 03, 2011, 05:14:28 PM
 #21

How does the hit-man accept the award without implicating himself or tipping off the target?

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BitterTea
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May 03, 2011, 05:17:25 PM
 #22

How does the hit-man accept the award without implicating himself or tipping off the target?

Everybody that places a bet includes a payment address. The winning bet has the pool amount sent to the associated address.

The hit-man could place a bet last minute, or in advance. Presumably he knows best the time at which the target will die.
FatherMcGruder
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May 03, 2011, 05:36:41 PM
 #23

So the site would have to only show the pool size and not the actual bets. Very interesting, conceptually, of course, and also because I'm in the middle of a game of assassin with a few friends.

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The Script
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May 03, 2011, 08:36:15 PM
 #24

So the site would have to only show the pool size and not the actual bets. Very interesting, conceptually, of course, and also because I'm in the middle of a game of assassin with a few friends.

Some friends.  Wink
Diegor
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May 04, 2011, 07:21:02 PM
 #25

It's not really as scary as it sounds.

It was originally thought of as a way to protect citizens against corrupt government officials.
This is an insightful model. Thinking about how USA is the country with the biggest jailbird population in the world, and e.g. Russia as the country where whole legitimate power structure is intrinsically corrupt and thus violent.

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May 04, 2011, 07:37:19 PM
 #26

It also sounds like a great way for an ex-wife to get revenge.  Or anyone who doesn't like you, for that matter.

People will kill for very little if they are good at it and there are no consequences.  I would hate to live in such a society - I would always be living in fear.

Your example of government officials sounds all dandy, but it could just as easily be used against you.  Someone gives a bloke on the street $50 to cap you in the head, and you'd probably never even see it coming.

All of what you say are concerns regardless of an assassination market. It could just as easily happen that your ex-wife or guy that doesn't like you gives a crack head $50 to kill you...

An assassination market is really only useful as tool for a bunch of people to contribute a little bit toward the untimely demise of a widely dislike figure.

BitterTea makes some good points here.  And keep in mind that there are still would be courts, security providers, and insurance providers to protect against asassinations for meager bounties.  And yes, even today and throught history, stupid people have been killing people for stupid reasons all the time.  Hypothetically, an assasination market (or better yet an arrest market) could be set up against random blokes on the street who assasinate people for unjust reasons.  So it works both ways.  Again, assasination markets are a tool, just like nuclear energy or explosives.  It can bw used for good of bad.  But don't blame the tool...but rather blame the criminals.

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SgtSpike
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May 04, 2011, 08:38:14 PM
 #27

It also sounds like a great way for an ex-wife to get revenge.  Or anyone who doesn't like you, for that matter.

People will kill for very little if they are good at it and there are no consequences.  I would hate to live in such a society - I would always be living in fear.

Your example of government officials sounds all dandy, but it could just as easily be used against you.  Someone gives a bloke on the street $50 to cap you in the head, and you'd probably never even see it coming.

All of what you say are concerns regardless of an assassination market. It could just as easily happen that your ex-wife or guy that doesn't like you gives a crack head $50 to kill you...

An assassination market is really only useful as tool for a bunch of people to contribute a little bit toward the untimely demise of a widely dislike figure.

BitterTea makes some good points here.  And keep in mind that there are still would be courts, security providers, and insurance providers to protect against asassinations for meager bounties.  And yes, even today and throught history, stupid people have been killing people for stupid reasons all the time.  Hypothetically, an assasination market (or better yet an arrest market) could be set up against random blokes on the street who assasinate people for unjust reasons.  So it works both ways.  Again, assasination markets are a tool, just like nuclear energy or explosives.  It can bw used for good of bad.  But don't blame the tool...but rather blame the criminals.
I'm just saying, there would be a LOT more of it happening, and it would be a LOT more common-place, if people weren't threatened with going to jail for doing it.
BitterTea
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May 04, 2011, 08:46:04 PM
 #28

I'm just saying, there would be a LOT more of it happening, and it would be a LOT more common-place, if people weren't threatened with going to jail for doing it.

That's not what we're talking about. This system only makes it difficult or impossible to trace, financially, the funding for the assassination. It assumes nothing about the current legal system. There's still physical evidence of the murder itself for law enforcement to collect and courts to judge.
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May 04, 2011, 08:48:02 PM
 #29

I'm just saying, there would be a LOT more of it happening, and it would be a LOT more common-place, if people weren't threatened with going to jail for doing it.

That's not what we're talking about. This system only makes it difficult or impossible to trace, financially, the funding for the assassination. It assumes nothing about the current legal system. It could work in everything from North Korea to Somalia to hypothetical anarchist utopia.
Ok, I guess we're talking about two different things then.

I was talking about an open & legal assassination market that would inevitable present itself in an anarchist society.  It would be a horrible thing, for many reasons.
BitterTea
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May 04, 2011, 09:01:57 PM
 #30

Ok, I guess we're talking about two different things then.

I was talking about an open & legal assassination market that would inevitable present itself in an anarchist society.  It would be a horrible thing, for many reasons.

Why? How would an assassination market contribute to the murder of non-deserving individuals? If you're concerned about people with lots of money, they can hire assassins already. If you're concerned about individual disputes turning into murder contracts, it doesn't work unless lots of other people contribute to it as well.
SgtSpike
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May 04, 2011, 09:23:57 PM
 #31

Ok, I guess we're talking about two different things then.

I was talking about an open & legal assassination market that would inevitable present itself in an anarchist society.  It would be a horrible thing, for many reasons.

Why? How would an assassination market contribute to the murder of non-deserving individuals? If you're concerned about people with lots of money, they can hire assassins already. If you're concerned about individual disputes turning into murder contracts, it doesn't work unless lots of other people contribute to it as well.
I'm concerned about individual disputes turning into murder contracts.  Why WOULDN'T it work with just one person contributing?  That must be the part I'm missing...
BitterTea
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May 04, 2011, 09:28:45 PM
 #32

If you have sufficient resources to contract a murder, you can contract a murder - with or without an assassination market. On the other hand, if a bunch of people all want the same person killed, but nobody has sufficient resources on their own, an assassination market provides a useful tool. Think of it like crowd-sourced assassinations.
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May 04, 2011, 09:43:21 PM
 #33

If you have sufficient resources to contract a murder, you can contract a murder - with or without an assassination market. On the other hand, if a bunch of people all want the same person killed, but nobody has sufficient resources on their own, an assassination market provides a useful tool. Think of it like crowd-sourced assassinations.
Problem is, people will kill for a much lower price than I think you are anticipating.  I would be shocked if the price for a head was over $50 in a free, lawless, anarchist society.

The reason it costs so much in today's society is because volume is low (no efficiencies of scale), and the risk of getting caught.  If you had high volume, and much lower risks (i.e., the only risk is to the assassin if they are incompetent), then it would drive the price down to an extremely low level.

Basically, EVERYONE would have the resources to contract a murder.
BitterTea
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May 04, 2011, 09:56:41 PM
 #34

Problem is, people will kill for a much lower price than I think you are anticipating.  I would be shocked if the price for a head was over $50 in a free, lawless, anarchist society.

The reason it costs so much in today's society is because volume is low (no efficiencies of scale), and the risk of getting caught.  If you had high volume, and much lower risks (i.e., the only risk is to the assassin if they are incompetent), then it would drive the price down to an extremely low level.

Basically, EVERYONE would have the resources to contract a murder.

Anarchism isn't what you think it is. There can be rules without rulers and laws without government. Bitcoin is proof of that, as are various legal systems throughout history such as Xeer and merchant law. Further, most schools of anarchistic thought have something like the non-aggression principle, which states that initiating the use of force (aggression) is never justified, but responding to aggression with a proportional amount of force is justified.

In short, I don't think the introduction of the assassination market would have a significant impact on the number of murders of innocents, but would provide a very powerful tool for otherwise powerless people to stand up against tyranny.
gigabytecoin
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May 04, 2011, 10:09:56 PM
 #35

http://costofwar.com/

Wouldn't it have been cheaper with a decentralized assasination market?

i don't believe so.

as i recall, the last bounty on osama's head was either 20 or 40 (i think it was doubled in there somewhere) million dollars.  didn't work, did it?

in any case, good riddance.

Somehow I think that if they offered up 200 billion dollars as a reward (half of their costs), I think he would have showed up on the whitehouse doorstep the next day.
em3rgentOrdr
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May 05, 2011, 02:55:57 AM
 #36

http://costofwar.com/

Wouldn't it have been cheaper with a decentralized assasination market?

i don't believe so.

as i recall, the last bounty on osama's head was either 20 or 40 (i think it was doubled in there somewhere) million dollars.  didn't work, did it?

in any case, good riddance.

Somehow I think that if they offered up 200 billion dollars as a reward (half of their costs), I think he would have showed up on the whitehouse doorstep the next day.

Yes...and without the tremendous loss of life.  Just think of how many of the president's botched raids have ended up killing innocent women, children, and non-militant-jihadists...

"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."
em3rgentOrdr
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May 05, 2011, 03:02:44 AM
 #37

Problem is, people will kill for a much lower price than I think you are anticipating.  I would be shocked if the price for a head was over $50 in a free, lawless, anarchist society.

The reason it costs so much in today's society is because volume is low (no efficiencies of scale), and the risk of getting caught.  If you had high volume, and much lower risks (i.e., the only risk is to the assassin if they are incompetent), then it would drive the price down to an extremely low level.

Basically, EVERYONE would have the resources to contract a murder.

Anarchism isn't what you think it is. There can be rules without rulers and laws without government. Bitcoin is proof of that, as are various legal systems throughout history such as Xeer and merchant law. Further, most schools of anarchistic thought have something like the non-aggression principle, which states that initiating the use of force (aggression) is never justified, but responding to aggression with a proportional amount of force is justified.

In short, I don't think the introduction of the assassination market would have a significant impact on the number of murders of innocents, but would provide a very powerful tool for otherwise powerless people to stand up against tyranny.

BitterTea makes great points all through this thread.  Basically, assassination markets don't need to be legal for them to exist.  But they are inevitable.  So what is to protect innocent people against widespread assassinations?  Simple: a competent legal system that protects innocent lives and a general held view in society that assassination is not the preferred method to handle petty disputes.

"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."
bitbutter
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April 15, 2012, 10:13:21 AM
 #38

re. Assassination market. How are would-be assassins assured that previous 'winning' assassins actually received the pay-out? (if there is no such assurance, they presumably wouldn't take the risk).
benjamindees
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April 15, 2012, 10:28:41 AM
 #39

re. Assassination market. How are would-be assassins assured that previous 'winning' assassins actually received the pay-out? (if there is no such assurance, they presumably wouldn't take the risk).

One way assassination markets work is via prediction markets.  So, instead of being paid directly, an assassin would make a bet that "such and such political figure is assassinated prior to such and such date".  Theoretically this would pay out because of the number of regular market participants demanding adherence to the contract.  In fact John Poindexter tried to setup such a market as the DARPA head before he was shot down (pun intended) by Congress:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_Awareness_Office

Civil Liberty Through Complex Mathematics
bitbutter
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April 15, 2012, 11:24:39 AM
 #40

Theoretically this would pay out because of the number of regular market participants demanding adherence to the contract.

But if the assassin remains anonymous after collecting the prize--which would be necessary for the system to work--how can the next assassin (or anyone else for that matter) be confident that the prize was really disbursed? It sounds like there'd be no penalty disincentivising the host organisation from simply keeping the prize money.
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