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NoMoreLies



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PostSubject: Roll Call   28.12.08 16:09

Is anyone still there?
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Locksley



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PostSubject: Re: Roll Call   28.12.08 21:05

I'm sure the Christmas season has been busy for everyone, and the pre-New Year's limbo is always hectic. Happy Holidays to everyone, by the way. Very Happy

I bet we'll pick up activity by the end of this week.
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Mike
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PostSubject: Re: Roll Call   29.12.08 18:33

I'm here, and always watching Wink. Remember, site promotion is mostly up to you guys at this early stage. So don't be afraid to talk about the project with your friends, lecturers, etc. I'll be going back to uni next year and will aim to start a 'workshop' of sorts as a side project. Plus I hope to work on some sort of tailored wiki software to facilitate the project as well.

Wish you all a happy and productive new year!

- Mike

P.S. If you have any connections with people / groups that may be able to help with the above, please do share!
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NoMoreLies



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PostSubject: Re: Roll Call   30.12.08 7:33

The Wiki software will be useful.

I know of at least one person wo would be interested in this project, but he's a self-proclaimed Fascist...
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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Re: Roll Call   01.01.09 17:56

Here

Smile
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NoMoreLies



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PostSubject: Re: Roll Call   01.04.09 10:41

Roll Call again.
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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Re: Roll Call   01.04.09 21:29

here

At the moment it's pretty much me, you, and mike. The problem is that we need more members if we want to keep the forum alive continuously.
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Locksley



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PostSubject: Re: Roll Call   01.04.09 23:24

Still here, pondering whether or not I want add to the debate on what the role of government should be.
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NoMoreLies



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PostSubject: Re: Roll Call   02.06.09 3:53

Where are the other memebrs? Should I PM them (a lot of them still post on NewMars)?
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Mike
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PostSubject: Re: Roll Call   02.06.09 3:58

I'm here ;-).

Maybe we should put our heads together for some sort of recruitment drive. Any thoughts?
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Locksley



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PostSubject: Re: Roll Call   02.06.09 15:01

Recruitment sounds great. If this project is ever going to continue we need more contributors.
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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Re: Roll Call   03.06.09 20:40

Yeah, more members would be nice. Us four isn't much of a forum.
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NoMoreLies



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PostSubject: Re: Roll Call   23.07.09 5:29

Okay, welcome back Martian and Flash!

That's boosted the number somewhat.
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Mike
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PostSubject: Re: Roll Call   23.07.09 5:52

Yes, welcome!
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NoMoreLies



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PostSubject: Re: Roll Call   09.04.10 14:44

Hollers. "Anyone there!"
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Mike
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PostSubject: Re: Roll Call   10.04.10 3:31

I'm here.
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NoMoreLies



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PostSubject: Re: Roll Call   10.04.10 6:14

Okay, I'll PM the others, see if that gets a response.

I'll also try getting some more people to join.
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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Re: Roll Call   10.04.10 12:53

I'm here on occasion.

In general I have several problems with this forum. It's unfocused, and split and fractured (having such a small group) in such a way that two or three people form a supermajority that leave anyone else out. It is not very anchored in reality, but instead on complete supposition most of the time. The statement of a "CSCS" seems to encourage radicalism and polarization that would appear to be difficult to overcome. Furthermore, the idea of this city is based on Anthropogenic Climate Change and doing its part to avoid it, a premise that many on this board are staunchly opposed to.

Furthermore, the premise of the site is basically escapism, based on the premise that society itself is about to fall, a premise that I can't say I agree with.

The idea of a new city state is interesting and overall it seems like cities are more and more becoming the focus of society, as opposed to regions or states.

Yes, it's easy to criticize without suggesting any solutions. That's why I stopped posting.
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Mike
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PostSubject: Re: Roll Call   11.04.10 6:33

Redsand11j wrote:
I'm here on occasion.

In general I have several problems with this forum. It's unfocused, and split and fractured (having such a small group) in such a way that two or three people form a supermajority that leave anyone else out. It is not very anchored in reality, but instead on complete supposition most of the time. The statement of a "CSCS" seems to encourage radicalism and polarization that would appear to be difficult to overcome. Furthermore, the idea of this city is based on Anthropogenic Climate Change and doing its part to avoid it, a premise that many on this board are staunchly opposed to.

Furthermore, the premise of the site is basically escapism, based on the premise that society itself is about to fall, a premise that I can't say I agree with.

The idea of a new city state is interesting and overall it seems like cities are more and more becoming the focus of society, as opposed to regions or states.

Yes, it's easy to criticize without suggesting any solutions. That's why I stopped posting.

Its funny Redsand, I can't help but think "Yes! Yes!" when I read some of your posts. I have had at times a lot of the same thoughts.

The forum is unfocused and fractured. That is my fault; I am only half-motivated most of the time to participate in the excercise, and haven't been leading the group in any capacity, as I perhaps should. I have a lot of other interests and it is shameful that I neglect this one, as I do think it is by far the most interesting and, heck, amazing earth-changing idea that I've ever come across (if I do say so myself, aye Wink ).

I also share your thoughts about the idea that people are prone to some form of extremeism; either one side or the other. I think that is a problem that we humans have had for millenia. People tend to see things in simple terms (i.e. if your not with us your against us, us versus them, etc.) which don't adequately consider the great complexity of trade-offs and unintended consequences etc. prevalent in actual real-world situations.

I don't intend for the actual proposed city-state to practise some form of extreme government / social / economic structure. I don't think that would be prudent. It can't be a big experiment; it is not suited as such and would most likely fail if treated as such.

What it is, however, is an opportunity for decision making that bypasses the tradition power of those with vested-interests.

Thats the critical part. Read the above sentence again and again until you understand it. In my opinion, this is what it is all about. Think about it: The single greatest opportunity presented by being able to work from a clean-slate is that you don't have to appease those with vested interests in the current systems.

By current systems I mean a lot of things. Owners of infrastructure, businesses, politicians. Being able to work freely without having to appease established stakeholders would truly open up the potential of the CSCS. Don't underestimate the effect of that.

And on top of that, of course, you have the fact that you can make all new stuff without having to work with old stuff. You don't have to adapt new stuff to meet old standards; you make new standards! You don't have to work with existing infrastructure. You can make all-new infrastructure. All of it efficient and completely unburdened by the need to fit with the old.

I'm also slowly reconsidering my position on climate change. No, I don't mean to say that I am denying it is man-made. Heck no! I think it is quite clearly man-made and, despite the recent controversy, you would have to be a fool to suggest that the billions of tonnes worth of additional CO2 being released into the atmosphere is not related somehow to the slight warming of the planet that we are witnessing (though how much is open to opinion I guess).

Rather, what I mean to say is that I am reconsidering the potential for the modern world to do anything about it. Short of extreme forms of geo-engineering (i.e. spreading sulphur around the atmosphere etc.) I don't think that we can actually mitigate the effects of global warming, let alone some form of climate-change.

So, in my opinion, what we need to do, and what the rest of the world needs to do also, is prepare themselves as best they can for its inevitable effects. That, in fact, has always been one of the biggest opportunities and potential advantages of the CSCS: That you can build something that by design, is insulated and invulnerable to the effects of a rapidly changing world around it.

I have more to say of course but I need to go to sleep now.

Thanks for momentarily reinvigorating my enthusiasm, NoMoreLies and Redsand.

EDIT: Okay, I can't sleep without sharing a few more of my thoughts: The other thing that I wanted to mention is that I don't see the potential of the CSCS as a means of escapism. Perhaps a few years ago when I started this site I had a few "doomsayer"-esque misconceptions. But lately I have read a few books on the power of economics and that has got me firmly back in the "she'll be right" box.

I don't see the CSCS as an island of escapism; to avoid catastrophe (and I'm not sure if I really ever did).

It is simply an opportunity to do better.

There again is another critical statement (although this one you probably don't need to read twice; but okay why not: read it again then Wink). It is simply an opportunity to do better. To create better, more-efficient systems and a better social environment for everybody. Just a better place to live really.

I think Redsand has alluded to something really critical here again too. And here is another critical statement coming right up:

The CSCS can be done right, because, unlike other times in history, we aren't revolting from an established system that is all-crazy. We are already living in comparatively good times. Although you might ask what the use of the CSCS is if what we have now is already pretty good then? (And I think what we have now is actually pretty good; though some may disagree strongly with that.) But there is actually huge potential here because, if we're not revolting from some form of extremeism already, then we're much less vulnerable to accidentally designing a system with the opposite extreme (which, as history shows, often does not end up much better than the previous system, in fact it is often worse due to the law of unintended-consequences).

So we may be free from that curse. By starting with something already pretty good, and also well-studied, and with the knowledge and comparative pacifism that we enjoy today in western society, then we are much less vulnerable to accidentally birth some form of radical extremeism that, despite the best intentions, ends up completely screwing everyone over.

Okay maybe thats a little less poetic than the other two critical points, but you get my drift, right?

Goodnight!

- Mike
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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Re: Roll Call   11.04.10 9:52

Very good post Mike, I agree. I've taken an interest in the Sumerians recently, and it is amazing how much progress has been make.

I'll give an example. Although I can guarantee that any god of economics would strike me down for giving it, I'll give it anyway.

A contract here says that one Sumerian laborer sold one year's worth of work (And I would bet that it is grueling, dawn-to-dusk, near slave labor type work), for 2.5 Shekels of silver. That is the equivalent of about .9 ounces of silver. In today's silver market that is worth $18. Silver really has nothing to do with inflation, but even as an order of magnitude figure that is pitiful.

That was 4200 years ago. We are in a better place now, but not a perfect one. At anything less than infinite good we need to do better.

About your 3 critical points:

Quote :
What it is, however, is an opportunity for decision making that bypasses the tradition power of those with vested-interests.

If this is to really take effect, then we need to be completely aware of the all-pervading effect of vested interests in our society. They distort even the arguments. When a politician argues for this or that, are they really arguing the truth or have they convinced themselves that they are because someone promised them money in a legal or illegal manner (Psychologically this is fairly easy for an undecided person)? Historically, these biases have been pervasive, and were often commonly understood as opposed to being hidden like they are today.

The problem is that everyone is a vested interest. Take for example social security in the US. Face it: It's in big trouble. Huge trouble (Actually it seems a lot like a pyramid scheme to me). The money is about to run out. But nobody can touch it. The seniors (Many of who hypocritically opposed Health Care reform on the grounds that they didn't want anyone socializing their socialized health care-I'll get back to the topic) want their Social Security and will vote anyone out of office who tries to cut it or tries to fix it. Everyone's a vested interest- unless they have nothing, and everyone at least has theirself.

Even here we have vested interests, if we consider the CSCS to be a real place that we're going to go to some day. Vested interests are very difficult to overcome, but it is absolutely necessary that we do so. This basically addresses point 2, but I would have to add that we have yet to define what "better" is.


This brings me to Critical Statement 3:

Quote :
The CSCS can be done right, because, unlike other times in history, we aren't revolting from an established system that is all-crazy.

On the other hand, we're not revolting very far. IMO, the CSCS is saying that we go back 6000 years, and teach the pre-Sumerians everything that we've learned since that time, and then tell them to get it right. Trust me, they would do things differently.

That brings me to another point. The CSCS will be full of people from the first world, but since there will probably not be enough money to build a second New York City, it will probably be more like a city in the Second or Third World. Significant protectionism will have to be practiced in order to build up an industrial infrastructure.

I think that the economy of the CSCS should be treated as a self-replicating machine. That would be a totally different economics from that which is currently practiced. An emphasis would obviously be placed on capability to produce for consumption, but OTOH there would be no planned obsolescence (widely practiced today), because that would be a waste of resources.
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NoMoreLies



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PostSubject: Re: Roll Call   11.04.10 12:33

However, the are an infinite number of other potential combinations. How do you intend to know which one is best? Instead, I would counter that the CSCS should be a place to experiment, trying out different ideologies and political means. However, we don't want to violate peoples rights in the process.

This is why I'm a supporter of a Federal Nightwatchman system.
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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Re: Roll Call   11.04.10 14:01

However, that provides no way to act as one and guarantees that almost all of the regions in you CSCS will be operating in an incredibly suboptimal manner.

This is why I'm a supporter of a Make Up Your Mind system.
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NoMoreLies



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PostSubject: Re: Roll Call   11.04.10 14:22

What do you mean, 'Make Up Your Mind'? Try one system, wait for it to inevitably fail, then try another?

Centralisation isn't always better. Take, for example, the United States - 50 sovereign states linked by a common a) defence, b) set of basic rights, c) language, and d) currency. Each state is intended to operate as a separate nation; indeed, there is nothing preventing one from trying socialism and another from attempting minarchism. This is the basic model we should aim to emulate, although with city-states, since states are too big to try new systems.

I'm with Saxifrage on this one.
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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Re: Roll Call   11.04.10 20:01

I'll tell you as a resident of the US: The states have a very minimal amount of power, and what power they do have is horribly misused. My state of New Jersey has a 10 billion dollar budget deficit this year- and the state's budget is 29 billion dollars. The states are corrupt and entirely beholden to the commercial interests that can lobby the hell out of them (To give an example I'm familiar with- it costs almost 500 dollars to get a driving permit here if you include the cost of a mandated 6 hours with a driving instructor. These 6 hours are utterly unnecessary, and are merely contrived to make money for driving instructor companies. A lot of money.) State governors and other major figures are forced to resign on a regular basis over corruption and ethics issues. The neighboring state of New York (This being an entirely separate entity from the fairly well-run New York City, obviously- in fact NYC isn't even the capital of the state of NY.) is in the process of failing to pass any state budget due to pettiness and unsolved political tension. I have seen reports that up to 40 of the 50 states may go bankrupt in the coming year.

States are ineffective because they are small enough that they are utterly beholden to the corporate interests that are as large or larger than they are, but big enough that they are separate from the people. If you read closely, cities on KSR's Mars are actually fairly small, IIRC Burroughs was 200,000 people. This is much more like a town council and that kind of thing which you undoubtedly have some familiarity with in the UK than states.

By Make Up Your Mind, I mean work at it, pick a government style that to the best of your ability, will actually work, and work well. If you think that any system will inevitably fail, then I suggest that you give up now. The point is to have the best possible chance of success, not to throw your hands up and say I give up.
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NoMoreLies



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PostSubject: Re: Roll Call   12.04.10 5:21

I'm talking about the power that is given to the states by the Constitution - specifically, the 10th amendment. They're supposed to have a lot more power than they actually get, since the Fed has grown a lot more powerful than is Constitutionally allowed.

If you'll actually read my posts, you'll realise that I'm advocating a Federation of CSCS's, so that instead of picking one political philosophy and running with it, and then having it fail, there's a multitude going at one time on a scale humans can understand (towns).

The fact is, there isn't one perfect political ideology, since people are different. WOrking this into the CSCS isn't saying 'I give up', it's saying 'let's try various different ways'.
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Mike
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PostSubject: Re: Roll Call   12.04.10 5:45

I reckon, and I think I have said this before, that it may be possible to integrate the advantages of both systems:

A huge deal of freedom by each municipality (i.e. city/state, as advocated by NoMoreLies), but with the established blueprint of a great governmental system (as advocated by Redsand) that will no doubt be voluntarily adopted and implemented across most city states, simply because it is so darned good but also because of the incentives created when working with the majority streamlined system. (Okay that is word-salad but I hope you understand the idea that I am attempting to communicate.)

Perhaps that would create problems with states that are sufficiently different to the majority system that it creates problems and tension. But perhaps that can be sufficiently managed by the federal state system, or perhaps by simply relying on the incentives of sticking with the 'model' system and just hoping for the best.

I mean, just because the states will have a great deal of freedom and autonomy doesn't mean that they will all revolt and practise some extreme form of fanatical system.

Or maybe the risks are too high to allow it?

The question is, can some sort of framework be created whereby you could potentially have the benefits of both the "NightWatchmen" system and the "MakeUpYourMind" system?
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NoMoreLies



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PostSubject: Re: Roll Call   12.04.10 6:56

Well, my idea is simply to have a series of Cleanslate City-states, with a common language, currency, and basic rights, so that people can try out different political ideologies. There'd be land inbetween which would be regulated directly by the federal government, so only federal law applies there. If someone claims a piece of land and no-one has a valid claim to it, they can have it to build their own CSCS.
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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Re: Roll Call   12.04.10 14:20

In legal terms, the current Federal Government is absolutely constitutionally allowed. The United States Supreme Court (and nobody else) decides what is constitutional.

The powers of the federal government are certainly more than what the average delegate at the writing of the constitution would probably say, however you may or may not know this depending on how closely you've actually looked into the writing of the US constitution: The US constitution resulted from a series of compromises more than anything else. In their 1787 ex-peripheral colony in a gigantic empire way, the delegates to the US Constitutional Convention were rather like the First Hundred of KSR's Mars Trilogy.

Power structures almost always become entrenched. If the only power system that we put into play after careful consideration is a federal government that is intentionally stunted in its influence, then all of the rest will presumably be much like what has come before- doomed to be nothing special.

Furthermore, if you want something like the structure of the early US, has it occurred to you that that has existed already, and became something that you don't seem to approve of, or at least don't approve of to the same degree?

If as Mike suggests we should try to encourage conformism among state governments, or let such conformism establish itself, doesn't that trump the original intention of your proposed system?
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NoMoreLies



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PostSubject: Re: Roll Call   12.04.10 15:05

What? It depends on how you encourage conformity. If you merely suggest a system, then I'm fine with that. If, however, you try to legislate conformity... no.

Nothing would force the individual city-states to follow such a proposed system. I imagine most would hold back, and wait to see what happens to the ones that adopt it.

How do you propose, besides, to work out what the suggested system would be? My system would allow people to try out different ideas. If a perfect system is discovered in the process, there'd be nothing preventing everyone from adopting it.
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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Re: Roll Call   12.04.10 20:20

I'm not suggesting encouraging conformity, merely pointing out problems with trying to in the name of efficiency.

In terms of finding the best system- that's what we're up to here. That's called the CSCS.

And even if a perfect system were found, the entrenched interests of the power structure in your substates would prevent it from being adopted.
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NoMoreLies



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PostSubject: Re: Roll Call   13.04.10 8:04

*facepalms*

We can't find the perect system if we only try one idea, because once that idea has tried we're stuck with it. Do you really think the entrenched interests would let you try another one?

How would a centralised CSCS be any less susceptible to other interests? No matter how large or small you go, there's always going to be someone with the capability an inclination to bribe the government.

Redsand wrote:
And even if a perfect system were found, the entrenched interests of the power structure in your substates would prevent it from being adopted.
Why would everyone live in the city states which don't adopt the system, instead of moving? If they aren't willing to move to the 'perfect' place, I think it's self-evident they don't *want* that 'perfect' system.
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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Re: Roll Call   13.04.10 14:06

Quote :
*facepalms*

Facepalm all you want, doesn't change the facts.

Quote :
We can't find the perect system if we only try one idea, because once that idea has tried we're stuck with it. Do you really think the entrenched interests would let you try another one?

It comes down to this: Do you think that it is possible for an intelligent group of people, after long deliberation, to come up with a system significantly better than what exists now? Be it the UK, the US, Australia/NZ (I forget which one Mike is from), there is clear room for improvement. We are here to find a way to make that improvement a reality by examining the current system to find one that is more suitable to what a civilization with more power than was attributed to many gods deserves.

The point is to design a system in which the entrenched interests cannot take over. You portray a nightwatchmen state as necessary because we are incapable of designing a good system by ourselves.

Tesla build all of his experiments and devices in his mind first, and if they didn't work there fixed them in his mind until they did. We have to be the Teslas of Society, and create a social apparatus that can deal with all of the de facto and de jure aspects that may be inherent to liberal republic (not liberal democracy. The US is a republic, the states of Europe are republics. There is no true democracy in the world today.)

Are we going to engineer a great society or are we going to throw up our hands and hope it will engineer itself?
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Mike
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PostSubject: Re: Roll Call   14.04.10 0:13

I'm from NZ, btw. Okay, so maybe what we need to do is design enough flexibility in our chosen system so that we can change aspects of it quickly if they don't end up working as well as was planned (which, like any new system, would no doubt have a few unforseen problems associated with it).

Obviously, if we were to go with one blanket system, you would want to make sure that that system was as efficient and problem-free as possible before implementing it. The question then is: How do we ensure that?

That is why I like the idea of being quite conservative. Pick things from established systems that work. And tweak the things that don't.

There is also, I think, a great deal of potential to give a lot of power to local governments, or in this case, the individual citizen. Remember here the potential for e-democracy and the like (i'm suggesting here that the state may be much less relevant in an age of e-democracy anyway).

- Mike
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NoMoreLies



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PostSubject: Re: Roll Call   14.04.10 5:20

I'm merely pointing out that there is no one perfect system, because people are different. Communism works, but only if everyone is a communist. A theocracy is fine if everyone follows the same religion. What a Federal Nightwatchman system does is allow people to live in their perfect society.
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PostSubject: Re: Roll Call   14.04.10 6:32

I'm not sure how such a system would work in the real world, but there is atleast one huge advantage with such a system (one that concerns us more at this time than in the future): That is that you can use it to tap into the interests and motivations of existing ideological groups. If we can say to these communities; "Hey, if you support this idea maybe you might have a shot at creating your own little idyllic utopia!", then maybe we can really get some support for the whole CSCS idea, both as far as enthusiasm and potentially financial support as well.

- Mike
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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Re: Roll Call   14.04.10 15:19

Certainly there should be a good deal of flex incorporated in the system. Society changes and if this is for the better then government should change with it.

In this vein, should our goal maybe be to design a society that can survive to and past the singularity, when it comes?
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PostSubject: Re: Roll Call   15.04.10 3:54

How would you go about doing that? I don't know anything about it myself. I don't subscribe to the idea that we are close to it (or that it is even possible), although I admit I haven't read that much about the subject.

- Mike
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Redsand11j



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Registration date : 2007-12-18

PostSubject: Re: Roll Call   15.04.10 14:00

Well, in the sense of an infinite rate of change I don't agree with the signulatarians, but the computational revolution is in progress, and much like the Neolithic and Industrial revolutions before it it's going to change everything.

You would have to fully incorporate into the system rights for a wide variety of groups that may or may not even be considered sentient, such as uploaded beings, computers, animals, and a whole suite of things that I am unable to think of as yet because they probably don't exist. Although it was already a tenet, we need to focus on sustainable expansion and growth and incorporate a more responsible and probably collective use of resources through a structure that allows quick but effective decision making.
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Redsand11j



Number of posts : 450
Registration date : 2007-12-18

PostSubject: Re: Roll Call   19.04.10 13:56

I'm breaking my silence just to say this: Mike, your participation is certainly warranted since in the "What is the goal?" thread we are right now deciding on something pivotal to the CSCS. As a member of this project, you should absolutely be there.
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