Common Ground with @jreighly

I would venture that we agree on more than we disagree on.

  1. Both want fair markets and with level playing fields where people almost always get what they bargained for. This means markets that foster trust and safety, financial or otherwise. If there had to be a bias one would prefer an end user bias or buyer bias and the other is probably more comfortable with supplier bias.

  2. Neither of us feels states can be trusted and further that this is born out by the history of states and also that the state mechanism should be replaced as soon as possible- especially if an obviously better and testable mechanism comes along. Also, that states should simply be moved out of the way if that is what it would take to test such a mechanism and give it a fair shot.

  3. Both of us fiercely believe that privacy is crucial to a livable future. Both of us prioritize privacy even over core state functions like taxation and probably over any foundation claim that would attempt to justify the existence of a state. And contend that even stateless people have a right to privacy, period.

  4. Both of us are completely against theft in any form, even theft from the rich.

  5. Both of us abhor forcing people to do things against their will and think a less coercive world is the only sane way forward. If either would admit the idea of karma, not withstanding forgiveness etc., that less coercion is the safer bet.

  6. Both mistrust parties, and ideologies recognizing that neither parties nor ideologies truly reflect reality or provide sufficient flexibility. Both see legal means or laws as highly flawed limited means to achieve change, often doing more harm than good.

  7. Both passionately want to get rid of state meddling and foresee privacy as means to that end, but one stresses organizational transparency as a corollary of personal privacy and also wants a re-empowerment of grass roots ground up action against large organizations generally and is angling (hoping) for more power for the average individual then they have ever had.

  8. Both are pro red light zone within reason. If people want to buy consensual sex or drugs, at least a red light zone can reduce risks and costs relative to a traditional black market? If people want to do it tax free, that’s also to a large degree " a reasonable trade off" if a state wants to tax it they can figure out how to legalize it but even that wouldn’t get rid of red light zones or their advantages perceived or otherwise. But both would draw the line on activities that are coercive or hurt innocents.

  9. When it comes to financial markets both mistrust the Fed. One might want more of a financial red light zone atmosphere where the other would want a Tobin tax etc and Glass Steigel back until a better level playing field replacement can be produced. Neither trusts Wall St. both see it as broken and not fulfilling its potential role in fostering innovation and spreading wealth or even socializing cost and risk in a way that pays off for society.

Where we differ is on terms and the means to just ends. But a lot of that could probably be resolved empirically to the satisfaction of either, with both being ultimately quite willing to sacrifice ideology for cherished results where there are clear ethical means supported by data.

The way I see it #3 and #8 are incompatible. Tools to provide transparency impede privacy.
For example for a transparent government one must disclose their donations – But disclosing donations is a violation of personal privacy. This empowers both the 3 letter agencies like the IRS to persecute dissidents, as well as non-governmental 3 letter groups like the KKK… Political dissidents can be punished even today. Sometimes retroactively (See the Mozilla CEO for an example.) You cannot kill tyranny by giving the tyrants more tools. In non-western nations mutliply that times infinity.

By and large, I think you distrust government, but the ways you want to fix it gives them way too many tools to be trusted with. And usually your position 4 is not expressed at all – Usually the opposite. Because folks abuse rights, you want to take rights away from them - but there is no way to take rights away from “just those guys” If you take them away from one you take them away from all.

You seem to see MaidSAFE as a transparency platform I see it as a privacy platform. I am 95 percent right, and you are 5 percent right. It is designed to hold secrets. A few of those secrets might be “I am going to spill somebody else’s secrets” but that isn’t the main point, and ought not be the selling point, as those are criminal activities, and mostly only a pipe dream.

MaidSAFE will be used to do everything you hate. It is not going to be a utopian socialist paradise. It will be a freer market than we have seen before. It will be TOR on steroids. It is still a darn good idea, because the current client - server model is fatally flawed, and turning the IT security model inside out needs to happen…

Your sales pitch is a turn off and it is going to annoy most of the liberty loving people away from this forum. That is why I try to call you out on it.


Gotta love that quote…or to put it another way, you are 19 times more right than Warren…lol.
Just to butt in, it appears that the 5% Warren uses, would be enabled by using blockchain type tech on top of Safe, whereas the 95% is inherent within the system.
There is a need for the 5% though, to enable the public bodies to be accountable to the public, without invading anybody’s privacy. Just my opinion.
I’m just thinking about the example you gave regarding charity donations to political parties. I’m not sure how it works in US, but in the UK it is only donations over £500, that need to be linked to an identity/organisation and reported to the Electoral Commission: I think this is correct, so that the public can be made aware of any large special interest donations – it facilitates transparency, which is a good thing. Your objection, therefore, is restricted to individuals (not organisations) wishing to donate more than £500 to a political party anonymously….is it not? I would probably argue that if you want to change the political/social landscape by way of giving substantial financial support to a particular party, then you forfeit your right to anonymity in this regard, ( anonymity, rather than privacy I think……maybe……just thinking as I write). I think this provides an essential safeguard and that the public has a right to know these things, as it could affect their lives – I think this out-weighs the argument for privacy in this one respect…. though I’m open to be persuaded otherwise.
PS - You can get into all the “money equals speech” thing here, which I’m just reading about now after coincidentally hearing “Josiah Bartlet” mention it whilst on a “West Wing” binge last night:

Edit 2:
Interestingly, from the 1st page of Wikipedia, here is something relevant to the 5% Warren uses:

“The Court also narrowed, and then upheld, the Act’s disclosure provisions, and struck down (on separation of powers grounds) the make-up of the Federal Election Commission, which as written allowed Congress to directly appoint members of the Commission, an executive agency.”

This would be an example of a centralised authority, which could be re-placed by a de-centralised one using blockchain tech or Ant tech or anything that solves the Byzantine general problem- (from my limited understanding), we just need consensus. Anyway, I’m droning on, so will leave it now….lol
You could retain privacy this way, (where applicable), but I don’t think anonymity is applicable in regard to large party donations.

Edit 3: Here are the pertinent court rulings/arguments - I’d say I’m 95% right, having read this…lol

Reporting & Disclosure Requirements[edit]

The Court recognized that reporting and disclosure requirements infringe on First Amendment rights. "[W]e have repeatedly found that compelled disclosure, in itself, can seriously infringe on privacy of association and belief guaranteed by the First Amendment."
However, the Court held that the government had a vital interest in “provid[ing] the electorate with information ‘as to where political campaign money comes from and how it is spent by the candidate’ in order to aid the voters in evaluating those who seek federal office,” in allowing “voters to place each candidate in the political spectrum more precisely than is often possible solely on the basis of party labels and campaign speeches,” and because “the sources of a candidate’s financial support also alert the voter to the interests to which a candidate is most likely to be responsive and thus facilitate predictions of future performance in office.” Further, “disclosure requirements deter actual corruption and avoid the appearance of corruption by exposing large contributions and expenditures to the light of publicity.” Finally, “recordkeeping, reporting, and disclosure requirements are an essential means of gathering the data necessary to detect violations of the contribution limitations described above.”

As you have now found common ground with Warren and now in total agreement with all of warren’s posts (lol…) I felt the need to chip in as a dissenting voice.

I don’t deny the need – I do deny that that is something fixable by any realistic means… Warren is sure that it is going to happen and is willing to go to any lengths to make it happen, including what seems to me to sound a lot like authoritarian tyranny. I on the other hand assume that governments cannot be trusted to reform themselves, and that they need to be driven to be less relevant, and less worth buying…

If we have a choice between government that is corrupt laying out how things ought to be, and software that is transparent laying out how things ought to be, we ought to steer as much of the discussion making towards the software side as possible.

Hard to buy the 1976 case as being terrible relevant since Citizen United pretty much turned everything upside down.

By and large MaidSAFE as I see it is a privacy platform. It isn’t a transparency platform. It is going to help corporations individuals and government keep their secrets. As such, I see most of this “Transparency” talk to be 95% off topic and a false sales pitch. There are plenty of leaks without MaidSAFE, and the fact that folks like Snowden put their neck on the line is the only reason there is much credibility at all.

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But @jreighly we want to get away from a government that takes bribes (political donations,) so where is the
incompatibility? Along the way to not having a state I think we both agree its better not to have a government that can be bought.

@Al_Kafir LOL!

I would contend that there is no such thing as a government that doesn’t take and give bribes.

You want to “make it so” via limiting the activities of the citizens… But the citizen’s freedom to spend their money as the please, support the causes they support, and to publish and say what they want is not the government’s chips to play.

It is the government that is corrupt… and preventing the next corruption just protects the interests of the folks who where put into place by the last corruption. Nobody ought to be trusted to limit citizens rights in trade for the greater cause because if the greater cause can garner the votes it is always because of the ulterior motive. Limiting the power of the unions, or limiting the power of the churches, or special interests etc etc etc… All of which deserve as much political clout as they can garner. You don’t get a valid marketplace of ideas through censorship. Limiting the amount that people can spend to speak their mind is censorship.

But remember as corruption progresses only a few have any money to spend. And neither of us think trade in involuntarily harvested organs etc., is something to be encouraged or accepted and neither would characterize it as an expression of speech. Same for human trafficking etc.

Just to disagree with you both…lol - it is better to not have a system in place whereby it is possible to buy governments.

I deal in realities, not wishful thinking.

It is better to have as little government as possible so that there is little need to buy them.

People buy them because they are very dangerous. If they where not a threat people would spend their money on more productive things…

Warren always proposes new “bans” and new powers, making them (Governments) even more dangerous – which is why folks want to buy them in the first place.

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Not sure I’m following you, do you mean people financially support friendlier parties over dangerous parties to stop the dangerous party getting into power? Hmmmm…I suppose that depends on your political allegiances/perspective as to what are good/bad policies; I think it is a moot point really and issues only arise with large donations. All the pertinent arguments (yours and mine) are covered in my above post (3) - the rest is just difference of opinion…I agree with the Court ruling/argument.

Governments can regulate nearly anyone out of business in an instant. Lobbyists work to maintain the regulatory safety of their customers, more often than not… Owning governments for the sake of owning governments isn’t really useful aside from that. There are case of “Bribes” But more often than not you have the public worked up over nothing by a media trying to sell papers, causing the government threatening to ban something that may or may not need banned – Like Bitcoin for example. Lots of jobs and livelyhoods are at stake and folks need to spend money to educate the congress…

You agree with Citizen United? or the 1976 one you cited that was gutted by it?

I have a different take on things than you, I think.

I agree with the quoted bits of the judgement I found and posted (3) and I’m not familiar with other US cases. Maybe you could summarize - as I said I’m open to persuasion?

Apropos to Buckly v and Santa Clara etc. the court in a Roe follow up case on abortion clinics said we will bar blocking an abortion clinic entrance because its not speech or verbal expression but an action. It should be the same with money spent to amplify speech or cram channels or drown out opposing views or in effect bribe or extract campaign promises. In the free speech doctrine (if I have the title right) the court clearly prioritized all speech above commercial speech and if I remember in Oldham (might have that wrong) a court from the early part of the last century recognized that bill boards etc.could be limited and removed because commercial speech was a threat to much more important and vital political speech.

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Thnks for that Warren, that’s clear and with interesting arguments

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Thank you