Meeting the libertarian

Let me tell you about my first exposure to Libertarians and my bewildered response to the hate he received:

We had an all candidates debate at my school when I was 18, it was my first opportunity to vote and I was EAGER to get in on that. I loved politics and was an avowed liberal (not a hippy)

So each of the candidates came up and said their piece and debated some of the issues of the day; the Libertarian candidate was a nebbish, bookish fellow who extolled the value of simply being in charge of your own life and the role of the government as a means to enforce contracts and keep society safe and thats about it.

I was wowed; I think I identified with him (being bookish myself) but when it came time for questions people sort of forgot who else was there and took the opportunity to tear this man a new hole to crap from. He left bruised and I left confused. Why had so many people just attacked him?

This predates the Internet and it might shock some; but in some schools they didn’t push Ayn Rand on you. So my exposure to his ideas was well, non-existent up until that point. I was a devoted liberal and pretty much a hard core socialist; but the idea of “owning myself” was interesting.

So I had decided to vote Libertarian if only because I felt bad for that guy who I identified with more than anything else.

It wasn’t until later when I read more of his written stances that I came to understand him better. First and foremost he believed that Abortion should be illegal (which I suspect is why he got in the door of my school in the first place, but I digress) and that women were as much a part of a mans property as his farm equipment and so on.

Now. I understood why he was disliked; he was some kind of kook. Fair enough.

In the 21 years since I haven’t actually come across a Libertarian who wasn’t also the same kind of kook; mostly they were “rugged individuals” who had some sort of hobby horse grudge against society (be it taxes, drug laws, tort law, regulation, abortion, race, fees, the cost of tickets online, what have you) and so they decide that the best way to approach this complaint is to secede from society in some way. To realize their own vision of freedom, away from “the thing that makes society terrible”

It’s dressed up as “freedom from coercion” sure. In ways it is. There is a belief that the tyranny of the greater group will trample those of the individual or the minority; this of course excepts that in the Western world at least, minority protections exist. If someone is a genuine minority through no fault of their own, they are protected. What is misunderstood is that Minority Opinions are protected; but not necessarily supported or applied. And for some people. this is unacceptable. So they become a “Libertarian” but since (by definition) to be a Libertarian is to be a Dilettante and an “Individual” there is no one single definition of a Libertarian that fits.

There are Libertarian Hippies

Libertarian Gun Nut Survivalists

Libertarian Republicans

Libertarian Democrats

and it all boils down to one thing

“I can do it on my own, leave me alone”

Trying to understand the Garbage Path – a metaphor for you

Imagine for a moment a white plastic spoon in the middle of your living room floor, now imagine for every square meter of your home there is one plastic spoon. Now, alone, not so many spoons, one per meter, no big deal. Now imagine that for every spoon you see there is a dust pile made up of that same plastic, just under the carpet or in a corner.

So your house, with it’s spoons and its plastic dust is constantly accepting new spoons and plastic dust at a rate of 1 spoon a day and one pile of dust per day. You can’t stop that , it keeps happening because the people outside of the home only see the one spoon in the middle of the floor or the one little pile of dust in the corner, but they don’t see the one int he landing or the one under your bed, etc

It’s dispersed, it accrues in the animals and on the coasts, there is a VAST dispersed web of plastic and it hangs down into the largest area of our world that spreads over 70% of the surface.

But if it helps, imagine constantly finding dirty plastic spoons in your living room; and you can’t stop them from appearing.

America is the source of its own troubles

It’s far past time that North America looked at itself and said “why have there been more civilian shootings here than in Europe”

If we believe the news out of Europe it’s crawling with insane Jihadists with bombs, knives and guns who are killing with impunity.  The UK is a desolate wasteland full of bullet-holes and France was burned to give glory to Allah.

That’s what we’re being told.  So North Americas gun issues are like nothing compared to the savage times in the Old World.

But that’s not true, is it?

The Guns come from the ‘States and spread out, like a pandemic.  They are everywhere, and always nearby.  Like Spiders or Rats, infesting the Western World, a social disease that gives only the infected any pleasure and makes the rest of the world walk on eggshells, less they get shot by an open carrier of the condition.

Europe is less than 2000 miles from war-zones, but doesn’t find itself dealing with nigh weekly mass shootings.  What excuse does North America have?

Teleporting Underpants killed the Toilet Paper Industry

I found this on Linkedin

This list annoyed me, mostly because it takes a conceit, then makes a list then makes the conceit fit.  The Conceit being people value customer service over other things (or at least it appears to, I’ll not try to determine if that was where things started, but it appears to be the case)

  1. Amazon didn’t win because of customer service.  Amazon is difficult to use if you aren’t already familiar with how the Internet works.  There are no sales people and no experts to tell you which is better when comparing things.  You have to seek that out.  Amazon is CHEAPER.  That’s where Amazon won.  It was cheaper than the store for pricey items and it’s fun to get things in the mail.
  2.  Netflix did kill Blockbuster; because it was more convenient to get DVDs in the mail and watch things online than it was to go to the store.  Notice that online game rental services aren’t really tearing up the charts though?  Yeah. but STEAM?  BUCKETS OF MONEY.  People like convenience, the late fees didn’t enter into it.  If Blockbuster wanted to win, they would have opened mini stores in theaters and sold downloads of the movies that people had just watched and upsold Physical copies with special features.- Also DOWNLOADING killed Blockbuster, free and convenient?  YES!
  3. Uber makes money by not having to pay for licensing and maintenance.  There.  That’s not success, that’s piracy.
  4. Apple didn’t invent singles, they negotiated the ability to sell them in a way that was convenient to people.  Again, being able to buy things without leaving the spot where you are is always going to be better than having to go to a store.  Had HMV made the same deal or better then Apple might still be the also ran they are.
  5. Air BnB is Uber for houses.  They sell you and make money from your property and you get some too.  Yay!

All of these things have the same thing in common, someone is able to achieve their goal without having to leave the spot they are sitting in.  When someone invents a viable teleporter you can wear as underwear people will buy it so they don’t have to leave the couch to drop a deuce.  You get me?

It’s not customer service that killed the toilet paper industry, it was teleporting underpants.

Wilson’s Diary / Cold Future

Premise for and outline for a season of a Police Procedural that uses the “Bootstrap Paradox” to make things works.

Premise:  A new detective is assigned to a cold case squad and is able to (with minimal prompting) make connections that could not have been made before.  They are handed the case information, they go through the motions and are able to solve the cases.  They are offered a chance to move into major crimes, etc.  They demure and stick with cold cases.

Their partner discovers that this prodigy keeps careful diaries of their work; but thinks nothing of it.  The detective has a friendly rivalry with another rising star in the Special Victims Unit; who takes down sex criminals and has been getting more and more exposure in the media.

The Hook:  The lead character “Wilson” is from the future, approximately 100 years or so.  Far enough that society has moved on but they have partial amnesia.  The good news is they have a series of detailed diaries given to them when they were in their mid teens.  Yes; those same diaries.  The Diaries are written in a code that prevents someone who isn’t from the future from reading them and understanding them.  To the casual observer they are just normal diaries.

The Twist: The other rising star is a criminal from the future who also suffers from partial amnesia.  Mid-Season the criminal comes to his senses and he uses his knowledge of the future to enrich himself and becomes a politician.  By end of season the “Future Criminal” has become an influential politician with real power.

Ugh, this is Time Cop, isn’t it?