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About LenP

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    Super Anarchist
  • Birthday 09/22/1968

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  1. I would agree that information has historically been power. That however is related to it's scarcity which leads to asymmetrical distribution, which then leads to one side having power over the other. If your boss knows everything about you and you know nothing about your boss, that is an asymmetrical knowledge distribution which leads to disproportionate distribution of power. If however you both know everything about each other, then there is no asymmetry and there is no disproportionate power. You both hold equal positions. Think about as electric and air, if electric were to become as ubiquitous as air, then the power companies would be powerless. When all information is available to all people all the time, then there would be no value to those who hold it, only to those who can create something of value with it. It loses it's destructive power.
  2. privacy != freedom The risk is when there is an expectation of privacy, that privacy is violated, and the data is selectively used to compromise someone either through extortion or prosecution, or the threat of same. If we had no such expectations, and all data was public all the time, those threats are substantially mitigated if not eliminated. You can do whatever you want, it is just that everyone will know about it. There would be no hiding anything. A case could be made that such a world would stifle creativity and independence, but a case could also be made that it would be liberating, that it would be more like turning the light on and finding there is no monster under the bed or in the closet.
  3. LenP

    Black in America

    Sorry, but "listen" is not an answer once you agree on the problem. Listening is useful to get you to a point of common understanding of the problem to be solved, once you get there, then simply listening to further explanations of the problem does not serve progress. I think this is what Jeff is trying to point out, and on that I would agree with him. The problem is that some folks mistake reading a twitter feed for listening, and mistake reading a twitter feed as being of some value. It is neither. I believe a significant cause of much of our social ills of late is the emergence of social media and it's reward system for narcissism in the form of likes and retweets. You don't get those rewards for having rational and moderate conversations, as you would in the past in a typical human to human interaction. Instead, you get likes and retweets for bragging and complaining. New car or expensive vacation? Lots of likes and retweets. Victim of racism, sexism, or bad luck? lots of likes (or sad face emoticons) and retweets. I am sure that lots of the stories of misfortune and victimization are real, however it distorts our perceptions of the world we live in when all that is visible and rewarded are the extremes of life, everything is great or everything is awful, and when the only people who get attention and thus are perceived as valuable in the world of social media, are those who spend most of their time posting in one or both of those extremes. It makes having a normal life seem unworthy, and encourages folks to find extremes in their own life to post about. I don't have an answer, there may not be one. We may just be fucked as a society. Or, it may be that as emerging technologies start to undermine the stranglehold that Google, Twitter, and Facebook have on our collective attention, that the algorithms which both enrich them and enrage us, will cease driving us into the abyss. Only time will tell. I will offer one small personal observation. All my children are hispanic with one parent who was a recent hispanic immigrant. My youngest has autism as well. If you think the unemployment rate is bad for blacks, take a look at what it is for someone with autism. Likewise, discrimination against someone with autism is widespread and accepted. Still, what I have taught and continue to teach my children, is that they are not the ones at a disadvantage, but instead that those who live without the truth are the ones at a disadvantage. To be certain, those who live in ignorance can place obstacles in our paths, but we can overcome obstacles and it is far worse to live in ignorance and not understanding the truth than it is to overcome hardships. Overcoming hardships can add to our character, while living in ignorance adds no value to anything or anyone. It is an illusion to think that there are racists, or those who discriminate against uniquely challenged individuals, who live better than us. It is an oxymoron, you can't be living better if you live in ignorance no matter what amount of material wealth you pile up. Of course adopting this as a belief system also requires abandoning any claims on victimhood.
  4. LenP

    Black in America

    Two white guys who don't live in the US dominating a thread about the nature of being Black in America is just a little bit amusing. Using Twitter feeds as proof points after the co-opting of social media platforms for massive disinformation campaigns in the past few years even more so.
  5. LenP

    Just Another Restaurant Mass Murder By Gun

    "The very first step in nonviolence is that we cultivate in our daily life, as between ourselves, truthfulness, humility, tolerance, loving kindness."
  6. LenP

    Just Another Restaurant Mass Murder By Gun

    That is an easy one. No. Force or threat of force is used by bad actors (<5% of the population) to take advantage of others, and by the rest of the population in order to dissuade the bad actors from same. In no way is it the foundation of human relationships, it is an unfortunate artifact of the existence of bad actors and the limitations of alternate tools available to society. One side of that equation is beginning to change, and so we are likely to see the devaluing of violence or force and the threats of it. As it is devalued, we will see less of it, even from bad actors.
  7. LenP

    Just Another Restaurant Mass Murder By Gun

    I am not sure you can reliably translate ammo to hours. In my past life (18 months ago), I could go through 200 rounds of ammo target shooting with a pistol in a single hour, but when hunting could spend 40 hours without firing a single shot. Tough to put together an accurate model, and since nobody is paying me for it.....
  8. LenP

    Just Another Restaurant Mass Murder By Gun

    My WAG on the second question for PA would be somewhere between 6-10 million to one. No idea where to get enough data to form even a WAG on the first one, but it would certainly be much higher, although I guess that would depend on how one defines "use". I suppose one could make an argument that a gun kept in the home for self defense is technically in use 24x365, I did not make that argument. I only figured in hunters and target shooters actively engaged in their hobby. In both cases, cars and guns, the use of the item in a homicide would be a teensy tiny sliver compared to the legal uses.
  9. LenP

    What is a Libertarian?

    Those dark patches are where the value prop is highest. Look at where the highest proportion of unbanked are: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-worlds-unbanked-population-in-6-charts-2017-8 Those folks in the dark patches would only need a cell phone to gain access to banking and legal systems which they have no access to now.
  10. LenP

    What is a Libertarian?

    75% is a lot, and I wonder if they are not excluding some folks with Internet access via mobile device in that number. Still, even if the 75% is accurate our literacy rate is only 90% , and I suspect that if mobile devices are included the number would be very close to the literacy rate.
  11. LenP

    Drug Prohibition: Still Stupid

    A few more years of Trump, and we just might see the ranks of those who are skeptical of granting authority to the govt swell to record levels. In all seriousness, I think that Libertarian policy will become more mainstream due to the devaluation of the historic roles of govt and the devaluation of violence in general. We are trending towards national govt as incubator, with laws and monetary policy being run by code, and with people opting in to the legal and monetary frameworks they approve of. You can see the beginnings of it with Malta, Estonia, and recently Puerto Rico. Libertarianism may be one of those ideas that has been around for a long time, but only now becomes viable due to the tectonic shifts in technology we are seeing. Just as people are becoming less attached to owning stuff, and trending towards platforms like Uber and AirBnB, I think we will see citizenship, money, and legal systems digitized. When that happens, no nation will be competing on having the most bureaucracy, the most restrictive laws on personal choices, the most capital expended on foreign adventurism, or the most intrusive govt policing. Think about it as liquidity in citizenship, the implications are enormous.
  12. LenP

    Just Another Restaurant Mass Murder By Gun

    As to the bolded, in most cases, some combination of video games, relatively light recoil, relatively cheap ammo, relatively inexpensive, semi auto, easily customized as there are endless aftermarket parts. On the mental health thing, the ones who are reported into the system are generally prohibited without the need for finger prints, although I personally would not have a problem adding that to the process. The problem is that many times it is not reported, sometimes because states don't report, sometimes because the authorities allow people to do a voluntary check in and avoid the hassle of the involuntary. It is only an involuntary commitment which would get reported as prohibiting them. Our nics system only works when the system actually reports people who meet the criteria for being reported. When the police let a criminal off the hook because they turn informant, that leaves a known criminal with their rights intact. When the authorities allow someone to do a voluntary rather than involuntary commitment, that leaves someone who would be prohibited due to mental health reasons with their rights intact. When DAs plea bargain down crimes to anything with less than a max 2 year sentence, that leaves criminals who should be prohibited with their rights intact. All of these things happen far too frequently. If we stopped doing this, throw in expanded background checks for private transfers with an exception for some loans in very specific types of low risk scenarios, and it would at least give us a fair chance to see how effective the instant background system could be. Might not get us to the same level as other countries, but it would at least be more effective in reducing the total number of homicides than limiting the magazine capacity to 10 rounds or banning Tom's .22. Get rid of the WoD too and we just might get to the same level as other countries.
  13. LenP

    Just Another Restaurant Mass Murder By Gun

    You don't have to tell me how fucked our understanding of mental health is, nobody tells a parent they could have prevented their kid's cancer by being more strict, or less strict, etc etc. I point out the WoD because it is an area where we spend a ton of money and get absolutely no benefits, so this is not a matter of blowing out the deficit or raising taxes, it is a matter of looking at where we are spending money now that we shouldn't be spending it on, and then moving those funds to where they would be more useful. The WoD is part of that, and I believe the military is part of that too, although I think we need to scale back our expectations of how engaged the military is with policing the world before scaling back funding. I am not a fan of starve the beast when it means putting lives on the line.
  14. LenP

    The Keurig Killers Are Back

    You know they are only doing this as clickbait to drive youtube views, and you are posting the videos which is actually helping to prove it was a good idea. Sacrificing a $20 tumbler or $300 cooler for a pile of followers or views is not a big deal. Advertising is big money.
  15. LenP

    Just Another Restaurant Mass Murder By Gun

    The gun owners I know all think Alex Jones is a nutjob. Of course, CNN won't put them or me on TV to disavow him, but I would if I could.