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November 22nd, 2005 - Open Knowledge

Nov. 22nd, 2005

01:21 pm - Velocity of ideology (and other musings)

* Velocity of ideology. Given reasonable assumptions about human information processing ability (rate of speech, reading rate of spoken word, etc.) and conversion/dropout rates ( the percentage of people exposed to an ideology who 'convert' to/dropout of that ideology) it should be possible to determine an upper bound on the rate at which an ideology can spread through a population. Surely someone has done this calculation before, but if so, I haven't seen it.
* How to create a business cult. Reference Apple, Krispy Kreme, Wegman's.

* What if Paris Hilton got the bomb? What would our world be like if a working atom bomb were as easy to construct as, say, a handgun? While Do-It-Yourself nuclear bomb's may not possible any time soon, biological weaponry of similar destructive power is likely to become feasible shortly.

* How could an ancap protection agency protect it's customers against the U.S. government? How might such an agency start? Reference Clayton Christianson's Innovator's Dilemma. Discuss legal mutual aid society. How else could a private state incubate and become powerful enough to challenge modern nation-states before the nation-states realized what was happening?

* Macro-parasites. Unions, governments, religions, corporations have both parasitic and symbiotic natures. Can we learn anything from how humans deal with biological micro-parasites and apply it to macro-parasites?

* How is the U.S. government different from a really big home owner's association? Do we already live in ancap world?

* Breaking the Social Contract. Statists often reference the mythical 'social contract', which supposedly obligates everyone to obey the government. Why not spell this contract out? If we did so, would anyone voluntarily sign it? Would it hold up in court?

* Profitable Revolutionaries. How can you make money by fighting the government? Discuss ocean liners, seasteading, medical tourism, social policy bonds, private security forces, private armies, arms manufacturing, mutual aid societies.

* Why do libertarians hate the government? Libertarians are often accused of being childly anti-authoritarian, rebelling against the state while at the same time enjoying the benefits that the state provides. Yet libertarians have no problem paying for the other acoutrements of adulthood -- insurance, dental care, house payments, etc. So why do people resent paying for government "services".

* Cryonics: The Ultimate Survival Strategy. How do you measure the efficacy of survivalist preparations? One way to measure it might be by 'expected man-years/dollar'. Survivalists often spend tens of thousands of dollars to prepare for events that are unlikely and rare. The expected man-years saved/dollar is quite low. Why not put some of that money to prepare for the one event that we know will happen: your own death.

* Security Ruler. Governments are often justified on the grounds that they "protect" us from foreign invasion. However, how do we measure how much they protect us? How do we know that they don't cause more harm than they prevent?

* The Chimera of the Soul. The implications of chimeras for the religious believers who think the soul enters the body at conception.

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