Time Heals All Wounds.. And Then Kills the Patient
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Mon Nov 17 21:59:07 2003
Bees in the Wind

Some more chewing on capitalism as being an ocean in which smaller systems float... the inner bubbles are not themselves capitalistic -- so long as the means is present to eject people who don't play by the rules from them, they can use alternative means. The problem that other systems have is dealing with noncooperators, and where in capitalism they are not treated well, their noncooperation becomes their shame and/or starvation, a penalty we've come to accept. Other systems which don't have that kind of reflection, and our particular notion of liberty, use different means to deal with the problem, means that generally look grotesque to us. There are two general classes of tactics that are used on the problem (any government would, of course, use more than one tactic, quite possibly from both of these tactics) -- the preventative and the post-fact. As preventative means tend to need to be involved during upbringing, traditional notions of family, and as such people's strongest tendencies towards lassiez-faire tend to be brought out, which might explain the difficulties in this kind of tactic. Some socialist implementations take this head-on, attempting to abolish the 'soverignty' of the family, while others are content to control the schooling system. As any society relies on schools to do some inculturation, this is an easier means for this kind of work, although savvy noncooperators attempt to 'opt-out' of public schooling, for religious or other reasons. As an avenue for social change, it makes sense for people devoted to great societal change to block the normal socialization of their children and replace it with their own programme, or at least to supplement it (Compare Yeshiva, Catholic, and other schools to home schooling). It's easy to dismiss this as cultish, but it's just another point on a spectrum in activism with social struggles. Apart from the preventative measures involved in upbringing, other mechanisms are available that can dissuade noncooperators, which may be discussed elsewhere. Post-fact mechanisms are less effective and more costly, and include well-known programmes such as unemployment benefits, shelters, and job training centres. It is noteworthy that many of these measures are just 'life support' for true noncooperators -- without the desire to participate in the system, one cannot be shoehorned into it. It's also true that the applicability of these measures is more primarily intended for unfortunate cooperators who fall on hard times, as recent limits on use of these systems show. The presence of such systems may act as a buffer against social change, as it may mask underlying instabilities of the economic system as people come to rely on the social 'safety net'. Note that the term non-cooperators is not meant as a perjorative in this context.

So, that's the first thing I've been chewing on.. The second is a story, or a play, or something, but it's not quite ready to grab its spear and jump out of my head. Later, perhaps. The third was meant to be a more polished version of my thoughts on American Indians, and the treaties that govern the relation of the American government to them, but I'm not sure if I have much new to say. The most recent thing I've been thinking is that treaties should only be between governments and people or governments outside of it, and I'd like to reiterate that people must either join the union, and become legally equal to other citizens, or remain outside it, with no participation in it. Allowing participation with special privileges preserved is too abusive, and easily becomes a mechanism by which groups might seal special status. In most cases, the rights preserved are innocuous, and should actually be granted to everyone in the United States, such as the use of recreational drugs. In other cases, such as the use of tribal courts, this choice should be required. Imagine if the Mormons or evangelicals got clever, and arranged special pacts between the U.S. government and their groups.. *shudder*

There's another song from Outland that, amazingly, I can't find online, even though I remember a lot of the lyrics. I guess the internet isn't omniscient after all. Because the lyrics are quite offensive, I'll refrain from posting them here :) Well, just so I remember, I'll post them privately..


I find myself in a really good mood today, which is rather surprising for a monday. I think last weekend, with it's two parties and a lot of mental relaxation did me a lot of good. I'm also well caught-up on sleep and making good progress with stuff at work. Yay!

And now, the obligatory news recap.. Dear China, do you really want to buy your Linux from a company that has repeated, over and over again, that it doesn't think Linux makes sense in the business world? I guess you're too busy paying attention to what's going on in Taiwan to really worry about stuff like that. On that note, for your reference, Taiwan is effectively another country. It has a separate government, is recognized by several other countries as a country, and doesn't rely on you in any way. If you would realize this, and give up your claims over it, it would make the world a safer place, and cost you nothing. *shrug*

On the topic of Israel, this is kind of interesting, although the Al Jazeera slant is pretty visible. Israel certainly is a racist state that needs a lot of work to become civilized. However, stopping suicide bombers against civilians really is a good thing. The Palestinians should concentrate their force against the settlers, those who demolish their villages, and people like Zeevi, and do so in an organized fashion, stopping the abuses. Killing random people in Israel proper is just stupid and unacceptable. It's, of course, disappointing to see the reaction to the peace efforts in Geneva. Sadly, the racist ideal of ethnic purity seems to have captured the hearts of many an Israeli. Of course, sometimes you see something that just makes you laugh. Did anyone actually think that the catholic pope would have much influence in Israel? Heh.

It looks like Microsoft is doing the right thing, mostly. They've released XML DTDs for Office documents, making interoperability possible without reverse-engineering, at least in theory.

Utah's going down an interesting route with internet access -- they're providing, through the government, internet access as a public utility. I think this is a wonderful idea, and I'm disappointed that they're going to do it by allowing ISPs to lease it and resell it to people. But yeah, it's pretty cool, and because of the economies of scale involved, I'd love to see the experiment replicated nationwide, ideally with wireless APs enough to blanket each city.

An interesting science article for you.. Found: an interesting possible influence in the development of autism.. It's mercury poisoning, and this claims to be able to explain why autism is diagnosed so much more often than it used to be, although the alternative, that the disorder is being better defined, is also a strong explanation.

Ahh, Coffee Tree's about to close, so I'd best wrap up. Note that that's just a random link -- coffee tree isn't about to close for good (thank goodness -- Starbucks makes terrible tea, and the 61C.. well, I stopped by tonight, and left before I ordered -- the place just sucks).