Re: The Sovereign State and Its Competitors

Michael Lorrey (
Mon, 31 Mar 1997 18:32:12 -0500

Robin Hanson wrote:
> anonymous writes:
> >Remote outposts like Iceland were able to hold out for several
> >more centuries. I judge this to be due to the public goods nature
> >of defense technologies and strategies, favoring centralization more
> >on the Continent where there is greater exposure to invasion,
> >and more dependence on fixed agriculture.
> This implies that centralization in fact does do better at providing
> public goods such as defense. So future hope would have to be based
> on changing this somehow by inventing better decentralized
> institutions, or on less need for public goods in the future.
> >Our modern U.S. tax code stresses dependence on locale, especially
> >in the form of mortgage deductions. This serves to keep subjects
> >vulnerably fixed, dependent on geographical jurisdictions to solve
> >their defense problems. With our transportation and communications
> >technologies, our mode of production of itself no longer stands in
> >the way of returnining to non-state law; indeed in the case of the
> >Internet the application of geographical law is increasingly seen
> >as ludicrous. The fixed vulnerability of industrial plant and rail is
> >giving way to mobile capital, with political institutions adapting at
> >their typical excruciatingly slow pace.
> Huh? New high tech includes lots of relatively fixed capital. If
> silicon valley were invaded today, do you think all the workers there
> could carry away most of the local capital on their backs, and start
> up anew somewhere else together without suffering much harm?

Much of the value of high tech industries lies in the minds of its
employees and the software, data, and knowledge that they generate. (for
example, most stock analysts say that half the value of Microsoft stock
is representative of Bill Gates' brain's value) Seeing an invasion even
a few hours away would enable Silicon Valley businesses to dump their
mainframes onto systems at remote locations, and provided that their
employees for the most part make it out with their brains intact, can
rebuild their company with only minimal losses, possibly as little as a
30-50% loss in value. The defensive advantage of less likely insurable
intangible assets like brains and bytes is that they tend to be highly
portable, while tangible capital assets like lithographic chipmaking
devices and networks are highly insurable and thus easily replaceable as
opposed to being not very portable. High tech industries can operate
defensively in a scorched earth retreat strategy.

While one chipmaking plant can cost upwards of $1 billion, keep in mind
that the big three car makers each spend that every year on developing
one new car model. While Intel and Mocrosoft are the big boys of high
tech, keep in mind that they are no where near as valuable as GM or

			Michael Lorrey
------------------------------------------------------------		Inventor of the Lorrey Drive

Mikey's Animatronic Factory My Own Nuclear Espionage Agency (MONEA) MIKEYMAS(tm): The New Internet Holiday Transhumans of New Hampshire (>HNH) ------------------------------------------------------------ #!/usr/local/bin/perl-0777---export-a-crypto-system-sig-RC4-3-lines-PERL @k=unpack('C*',pack('H*',shift));for(@t=@s=0..255){$y=($k[$_%@k]+$s[$x=$_ ]+$y)%256;&S}$x=$y=0;for(unpack('C*',<>)){$x++;$y=($s[$x%=256]+$y)%256; &S;print pack(C,$_^=$s[($s[$x]+$s[$y])%256])}sub S{@s[$x,$y]=@s[$y,$x]}