Re: Justice and Punishment

Warrl kyree Tale'sedrin (
Fri, 3 Apr 1998 16:55:19 +0000

> From: John K Clark <>
> High pay won't stop corruption, regardless of how much money you have it's
> never enough. In my world you don't need to tack on anti corruption measures,
> it's intrinsic to the system. The better job a PPA does, the more it can
> charge. If 10$ more is stolen from me if I stay with PPA #1 rather than
> switch to PPA #2 then I will stay with #1 ONLY if they charge 10$ less.
> Each dollar stolen from me is equivalent to a dollar stolen directly from the
> PPA. For this reason it is in the financial interest of the heads of the PPA
> to keep bribery of employees as low as possible. Contrast that to the
> situation today, it doesn't cost the police a dime, regardless of how much is
> stolen from me, and they may even make money off my misfortune by receiving
> payoff money from the thief.

Not to mention "We can't do our job! We need more tax funding!"

Ever notice that a government agency that is doing a good job at its
alleged purpose sits there and gets ignored, while a government
agency that is doing a lousy job at its alleged purpose gets lots of
attention and an increase in staff and funding? And, quite often, an
increase in its power and authority as well, along with the coercive
measures available to it?

And some people wonder why some of us don't trust government to do a
good job...

> >Good surveillance brings out the saint in anyone
> I'd rather be a sinner.
> >and all judicial candidates are subject to intensive psychological
> >profiling, not just one but continously.
> 1) Psychological profiling is crap.
> 2) Who profiles the psychological profiler?
> >The free market is no magic bullet, not by far. Many a good product
> >has failed for trivial and/or incomprehensible reasons.
> The reasons they failed are often comprehensible and never trivial. For
> example, consider the computer you're probably using right now, the one
> you're unhappy with. It's true that if you were starting from scratch lots of
> people could make a more consistent, more elegant, system than Wintel, but
> Microsoft and Intel didn't have that luxury. Everything they made had to be
> compatible with everything they made before, this imposes a severe burden,
> but a burden the most popular operating system in the world MUST bear.
> If the Many Worlds Interpretation is correct, I predict that on nearly all
> those worlds people are complaining that the most popular operating system is
> an ugly mess, a inelegant hodgepodge of kludges. Such is the fate of things
> that are not designed all at once but evolve and grow, things like English
> with it's weird spelling, or biological organisms for that matter.
> It's in the nature of things that standards are resistant to change, but
> that's OK because that is exactly the way a standards should be. The lack of
> popularity of the Apple or Next or Bee or whatever operating system is not an
> example of market failure because in the context of the real world they are
> in fact inferior system. If everything else was equal they would be better
> than Wintel but everything else is not equal. These systems have some small
> technical advantages but that is countered by enormous practical
> disadvantages, they will not operate on the type of computer most people have
> and it will not run billions of dollars worth of popular software that took
> millions of man years to write. It's perfectly valid to take such things into
> account when deciding what system is really superior. When a standard is set
> it's just not worth going to a new one unless you get an astronomical
> improvement. The market has decided that the Apple or Next or Bee is not a
> huge advance of that type. Maybe the market is wrong but I know it has a
> better understanding of such things than a bunch of hack politicians.
> >The free market is basically commercial democracy: you let the
> >people vote for products.
> No, there is a fundamental difference. Elections are dumb, an idiotic way of
> communicating your wishes, there are much better ways. Every day I send
> hundreds of exquisitely precise messages to the Free Market telling it what I
> want it to do. I also get to compare brands, I can't do that In a democracy
> because I'm not voting for goods or services or even policies, I just get to
> choose between two grab bags of promises every 4 years, and democracy is the
> best form of government, the best of a bad lot.
> When I "vote" in the economy by making a purchase I am sure to get it, I
> always win. When I vote for the grab bag I may or may not get it. At any rate,
> the chances that my vote will influence things is so small that it's not
> worth my time to study the issues very deeply, the result is that the
> politician with the best hairdo gets to make the decisions.
> >First of all, how do you want to achieve a state of anarchy? After
> >all, the nation states aren't going to roll over and die just like
> >that.
> I don't need to achieve it, like it or not I see no way to stop it. I think
> we'll soon find out if my optimistic assessment of a world without government
> is correct, because I don't see how the traditional nation state can continue
> much longer, they will go the way of the city state.
> Nations will die not with a bang but with a whimper because modern worldwide
> communication, cryptography and untraceable digital cash and signatures will
> make it increasingly difficult to collect taxes, the balance is tipping away
> from the tax collector and in favor of the tax evader.
> Governments will undoubtedly draft many new laws to try to protect themselves
> in this brave new world, but making rules is easy, enforcing them is not.
> Short of dismantling the Internet and confiscating all home computers it's
> impossible to dictate what form of encryption or digital cash you must use
> in your home. Regardless of the rules, you can't collect the tax if you can't
> find the money. Even the traditional standby of "tax by inflation" would
> not work as people would just switch to a competing currency (untraceable of
> course) that suited their needs better. The tribute that could still be
> extracted, like property taxes and building permits, would have to be
> increased to astronomic levels and collected with a heavy hand, I think a
> tax revolt would follow. Without money government will grind to a halt.
> >>Me:
> >>When companies sign complicated contracts they sometimes also agree
> >>on who will arbitrate it if differences in interpretation happen.
> >>Nobody wants to get caught up in the slow, expensive court system
> >>run by governments.
> >Yet the only reason these contracts have any value is because there
> >is a big government to keep an eye on things, to provide a civilized
> >context.
> Except in binding arbitration, when 2 companies go to an arbiter it's like
> going to a marriage councilor, they are not legally required to do what the
> arbiter says, yet companies almost always do. If it does not then nobody
> would be willing to engage in arbitration with it in the future and that
> would put the company in a severe disadvantage.
> >Centralized governments don't *have* to be bureaucratic.
> I think they do, certainly they always have been. If you're a bureaucrat it's
> to your interest to increase the bureaucracy, the same is true of your boss.
> >"Anarchy" in any form is unstable (it's simply a power vacuum),
> Anarchy means no government, your statement would be true only if government
> was the only form of power, fortunately it's not.
> >As far as I know, no serious democracy has ever decided to kill of
> >half (or any substantial portion) of its own people.
> I have a hunch that tell you nothing about the virtuous nature of democracy
> because the sample size is too small. Democracy is a very rare form of
> government.
> >Since there's only your PPA to deal with instead of a huge government
> >that's all over I might try to take you out either myself or I may
> >hire as many destitute souls as my budged allows to do it for me.
> I would not have dreamed of slandering you, or even set foot outside of my
> house if I didn't think my PPA was strong enough to deter you or anybody else
> from killing me. A member being murdered is bad business for a PPA, the
> murderer remaining unpunished is VERY bad business for a PPA. If I though
> that my PPA wasn't pulling out all the stops in its investigation of a
> murdered member I'd change my PPA so fast it'd make your head spin.
> Incidentally, my PPA forbids torture but not the death penalty.
> >>Me:
> >>I don't understand. Does everybody get 3 trials, even those found
> >>guilty the first time?
> >You:
> >No. Unless new hard evidence comes up (before the execution in
> >capital cases).
> So I must go to trial 3 times and receive 3 innocent verdicts before I can go
> home but if I receive only one guilty verdict I'm dead meat. Doesn't seem
> quite right.
> >>Me:
> >>Which decision of the 3 trials do we accept?
> >You:
> >The one that is best argued and supported by the most/hardest facts.
> That immediately brings to mind an obvious question, a question I have asked
> of you before but received no answer, a question so obvious I won't repeat it.
> John K Clark
> Version: 2.6.i
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