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Bootstrapping Ancap, Inc.; Baddrivers.org - Open Knowledge — LiveJournal

Dec. 9th, 2005

02:19 am - Bootstrapping Ancap, Inc.; Baddrivers.org

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(I'm thinking outloud here -- don't expect a great deal of coherence.)


Use case for hypothetical website, baddrivers.org:

You're walking down the street, and some asshole honks their horn just as they pass. Or your'e riding a bike, and they drive you into the parking lane. You're pissed. But what are you gonna do?

If you get their license plate number, you could go to baddrivers.org, and for a nominal fee (say, $5.00), anonymously assign demerits to the bad driver. Inasurance companies might then use the data to assign insurance rates. Bad drivers could get their records expunged by paying penance. Penance fees would go to pay for driver's education courses, MSF courses, etc. Since you have to pay to assign demerits, you would not be able to post too many merely malicious demerits (unless you're rich).

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Ancap, Inc. -- Ancap defense agencies have to date, been largely theoretical. How would you start one? It seems to me that the biggest problem such an agency would face would be protecting its clients from the U.S. government. For example, what could a defense agency do to protect me against the U.S. government if I wanted to, say, smoke pot?

It seems to me, you don't want to compete directly at first - the U.S. government would squash you like a bug. You want to grow big and strong in areas that could be repurposed as part of defense agency, but would not be noticed by the U.S. government until it was too late.

Some fields that would have direct relevance:

* Cruise ships
* Arms manufacturing
* Commercial security guards
* Radio, TV stations
* Satellite communications
* Ship building
* Airlines
* Real estate
* Arbitration

What would be a low capital business to start? Perhaps pre-paid legal insurance? For a monthly fee, you get the right to a certain amount of legal representation. You'd agree that disagreements between other clients would be settled via arbitration.

Comments:

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From:hoodcity
Date:December 9th, 2005 08:03 am (UTC)
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Interesting ideas; some comments (also just thinking out loud):

badrivers.org might be looked at as lacking credibility (as a tool for social scorning, if that's one of the intents) if bad drivers could simply pay to be removed from the rolls. (Or if only those who could afford it could put them there). And no matter how nominal the fee, it’s still an inconvenience to have to pay –especially when this is exactly the sort of site that someone who feels strongly about the issue would probably set up and maintain for free. It would undoubtedly be popular if offered for free though –and you could still certainly make some money off of advertising. The hassle of having to input someone's license info would probably be disincentive enough to keep people from abusing it for very minor slights. Ins. co.'s would probably find themselves in bad trouble if they used the site to adjust rates.

Have you seen http://www.whosearat.com/ ("Largest Online Database of Informants and Agents")? Fucking awesome concept.
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[User Picture]
From:crasch
Date:December 9th, 2005 03:20 pm (UTC)
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Great website.

Yeah, remembering and entering a license plate number is a fairly high barrier to entry for reporting an actual slight. But it isn't that big if you just wanted to be malicious. You'd need to have some way to prevent people from creating zombie accounts just to malign their enemies.
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From:transguy_dan
Date:December 9th, 2005 10:56 am (UTC)
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i like your baddrivers idea ... but, it needs a provision to not let the same perosn report the same driver more than once ... otherwise, it could be used for revenge for somethng totally unrelated to driving ... and with the availability of public computers, i can see no way of enforcing the one person, one demerit rule ... so, because of the abuse potential, it seems unworkable
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[User Picture]
From:crasch
Date:December 9th, 2005 03:03 pm (UTC)
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Well, that's why it wiould cost money to assign demerits. As you pointed out, someone could assign demerits maliciously. If it costs money though, they wouldn't be able to post too many malicious posts without costing themselves a fair bit of money.
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From:transguy_dan
Date:December 9th, 2005 08:17 pm (UTC)
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well, it's a step in the right direction, definitely ... but if you really wanted to hurt somebody, $100 would be nothing - people pay way more to hire a hitman ... but, 20 demerits would if they came from separate sources would be a staggering indictment ... see what i'm thinking? ... there needs to be a way to evaluate how many sources the demerits represent
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From:hippierage
Date:December 9th, 2005 02:57 pm (UTC)
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I'm such a geek. I read baddrivers and thought about bad driver code for windows that makes it crash.
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From:twaj
Date:December 10th, 2005 06:47 am (UTC)
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Well you can buy kidnapping insurance in hotspots like Kurdistan, which is vaguely anarchic. What kind of user fees would have to be implemented, though, in order to generate a good return? Have you ever read about Sandlines and other private military operations that protect mines in places like Bougainville and Sierra Leone. In Africa, 'private' military operations are simply mercenary stunts, like when Bob Denard and a rogue band of operatives took the Seychelles. An interesting site dealing with this sort of stuff is Robert Young Pelton's comebackalive.com - If I were going to teach a class on anarcho-capitalism, I'd use his book and David Osterfeld's Freedom, Society and The State.
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From:crasch
Date:December 11th, 2005 08:08 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for the references-- I'll check them out.
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