The post I meant to write about Ferguson

This post started out life very differently than it’s appearing here now.  It was all about the false choice we are being presented with (support the police/damn the rioters or support the protestors/damn the cops) and the lack of critical thinking being displayed on both sides in Ferguson.  It was a pretty long post, one of my longest in fact, at almost 2,000 words.  I had a browser window that I had thrown every interesting story into for almost a week – and has used most of them as sources.  I wrote down everything I was thinking and I thought getting it out, going through the writing process to refine my thoughts, would make me feel better.  It didn’t – it made me feel worse.  After writing it down, I was not only bothered by what was going on in Ferguson, I was bothered that I was bothered by it.

For a long time now I’ve tried to be very conscious of where things fall: my circle of influence or my circle of concern.  I originally learned about this idea reading The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People when I first got out of college.  Recently I learned that, like most wisdom, the concept is much older, tracing itself back to the Stoics of Rome.  The basic principle is that you classify everything into one of two buckets: influence, which are things you can do something about and concern, which you can’t.  Focus on the things you can actually do something about and you’ll waste less time worrying about things that you can’t fix anyway.  I guess if I had been listening to the message of the so called serenity prayer (the real one, not the watered down/edited one), I would have learned this a lot earlier.

The reason the original version of this post was bothering me was that it was all about things in my circle of concern: the fraying of society, police militarization and the use of divide and conquer tactics by the string pullers.  So I deleted it .  And I wrote this to get back into my circle of influence.  Here’s some things I can do, that I hope I actually do:

  • Starting closest to home, I am going to pick up working with my kids again to develop their critical thinking skills.  I think so much of what is going on in Ferguson stems from lack of critical thinking and what takes its place when its absent: emotion or fear based response.  I am thinking specifically about what has happened after Wilson shot Brown and and specifically NOT trying to make any comment on the incident that started it all.  There is just too little I know and the story is changing so rapidly around the shooting to say anything about the starting point, but I think there is plenty that can be known about what has happened since.  If a few more people on both sides were able to understand what was really going on, think about what they wanted to achieve, communicated with compassion and acted with humility,  I think things would have taken a radically different course.  Maybe my kids can help keep something like this from happening the future by being one of those “few more”.
  • Moving out into the neighborhood, I am going to let the folks I am close to know that they don’t have to choose between supporting the police and supporting the protestors.  That there is a third option, even though it isn’t presented by anyone.  You can choose to support peace.  You can choose to support the peaceful protestors who are seeking justice and the peaceful police (and individuals) who are protecting property.  At the same time you can condemn the rioters and looters who are violating property rights and the cops that are violating human rights.  I think the conversation should shift from what group we support and condemn to what actions we support and condemn, regardless of who does them.  That conversation would actually start to solve the issues instead of make things worse.

Viktor Frankl said:

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.

Choosing your response is critical thinking and and alongside growth and freedom, in that same space, lies peace as well.

Shall we play a game?

Yesterday, my son and I and a friend of his spent a few hours at GenCon.  It was a bit of a lark, since I hadn’t even heard of GenCon a week ago – a priest at my church mentioned that she was taking her sons for “all games, all weekend” and my interest was piqued.  A few google searches and emails later, I was purchasing a discounted ticket for the three of us to get official badges for Sunday only.

We spent about 5 hours in an around GenCon, but I have to say it left a bigger impression that I guessed it would.  Some thoughts 24 hours after getting back home:

  • Who knew that so many people are so into gaming?  I’ve been to lots of conventions before, but this one was packed – it was almost hard to see things in the vendor area.  I’m sure some of that had to do with it being Sunday and the tickets being cheaper, but still…
  • Who knew that so many people are so into a specific kinds of gaming?  When I heard “gaming convention”, I thought this might be games of all sorts – board games, card games, video games, portable games, arcade games, etc.  While there were a few spots where you could play video games, the vast majority of the space and the people were there for card,strategy, or role-playing games.  There were more games in these few categories at the show than I would have guess existed overall.
  • GenCon is proof positive that the market is everywhere.  A few examples:
    • Magic the Gathering cards – I don’t know much about this game, but it was one of the few I had actually heard of before I walked into GenCon (I think I’ll be learning a bit more since my son came home with a box of 500 cards – yes…I already learned that they are all “old” ones and not very useful for tournaments).  One thing I learned on the show floor is that there is a planned scarcity of some cards (Magic seems to be entirely card based) and that (albeit artificial) scarcity drives prices.  I saw some cards that were going for as much as three and four hundred dollars.  There is supposedly a card that has sold for over a thousand.
    • Games funded by Kickstarter – this shouldn’t have been a surprise given how much Kickstarter (and Indiegogo) seems to get used for everything else, but it seems to be making a big difference in the gaming world, letting fans fund the games they want to see made, disaggregating the power of the established game publishers.  Very cool.
    • The ecosystem that springs up around specific games: there were miniature makers, costume designers and artists all selling their wares based on the characters and themes from the most popular games.  Prices ranged from a couple of bucks to thousands.  There was even a bespoke furniture maker there that could custom craft a mahogany gaming table for D&D sessions with the global elite ;-)
  • Some people really get into this gaming thing.  I suppose its all just a function of math – given that there are lots of people into gaming, that there would per a certain percentage that would really get into it.  Really into it as in dress like their favorite characters, which could be anything from Anime FemBots to Gargantuan Barbians.  As adults.  In public.  With other people around.  Honestly, it was cool to see people expressing themselves so freely – just not something I would do (unless it was a really cool steampunk outfit…)

Most of all, going to GenCon reminded me of what its like to be new at something.  It’s not that I don’t try new things, I do all the time.  Rather, I usually know what I am geting myself into – I know what to expect, I know something about the terms, I know a little about the people.  The internet makes all that basic research possible, but I learned that it also kills a little bit of the joy of first person discovery.  Only having heard about GenCon a few days before I was buying tickets and going took away any opportunity to do any prep work.  To be honest, I think I’m going to go into a few more things “cold”.

If none of this has persuaded you to go to next year’s GenCon (my son and I will be there), then perhaps this will:

The human mind can be a powerful tool for good, but only if you know how to use it.

This quote from “The Trivium” has been rattling around in my head lately:

Only human beings have the power of intellectual abstraction; therefore, only human beings can form a general or universal concept. Irrational animals have the external and internal senses, which are sometimes keener than those of humans. But because they lack the rational powers (intellect, intellectual memory, and free will), they are incapable of progress or of culture. Despite their remarkable instinct , their product ions, intricate though they may be, remain the same through the centuries, for example: beaver dams, bird nests, ant hills, beehives.

It occurs to me that this ability of abstraction is both a blessing and a curse.  As Sr. Joseph rightly points out in the quote above, the ability of the human mind to observe the world around them and then to create general concepts/ideas about the way things work is the basis of all culture and progress – language, science, the arts, etc.  That’s the blessing part.

The curse comes not from the ability to form these concepts, but rather how we use them; specifically how we deal with the inevitable conflicts or inconsistencies between the models we have developed based on prior observations and an observation we make after the models have been created that doesn’t fit the model.  In other words, we think the world should work a specific way, but then we see it actually working another.  The question is what wins: how the world is actually working or our concept of how it “should” work? If the answer is the real world and that we need to adjust our concepts, then all is good.  If the answer is our concepts, then we quickly end up in all sorts of bad places: stereotypes, racism, collectivism – all of which stem from us forcing our ideas onto how the people in the world should behave instead of observing what is really happening.

The human mind can be a powerful tool for good, but only if you know how to use it.

The rhythm of history

I finished a few books in the last week  (Economics in One Lesson, Liberalism in the Classic Tradition and A Renegade History of the United States) so that clears up some space to start a few more.  In addition to a deep interest in history (especially the revisionist sort) I am also getting more interested in philosophy.  I’ve read a few of the “foundational” works but have been wanting to get more of an overview of the different schools of thought, so I went to a book store (the hell you say?!?!) and found a copy of Betrand Russell’s “History of Western Philosophy” to see if it would scratch that itch.  This is from the introduction:

Every community is exposed to two opposite dangers: ossification through too much discipline and reverence for tradition, on the one hand; on the other hand, dissolution, or subjection to foreign conquest, through the growth of an individualism and personal independence that makes co-operation impossible. In general, important civilizations start with a rigid and superstitious system, gradually relaxed, and leading, at a certain stage, to a period of brilliant genius, while the good of the old tradition remains and the evil inherent in its dissolution has not yet developed. But as the evil unfolds, it leads to anarchy, thence, inevitably, to a new tyranny, producing a new synthesis secured by a new system of dogma. The doctrine of liberalism is an attempt to escape from this endless oscillation. The essence of liberalism is an attempt to secure a social order not based on irrational dogma, and insuring stability without involving more restraints than are necessary for the preservation of the community. Whether this attempt can succeed only the future can determine.

Sold.  At 1,000 pages I this one will take me a while to get through (and to be honest I may not read it all but may skim it and then use it as a reference) but the intro convinced me to read more.

 

Finishing Last

This past weekend I had the chance to compete in a 3 gun match outside of Lexington at Blue Grass Sportsman’s League.  It was my first 3 gun match since November of 2012 and it showed.  Despite being a pretty competitive in pistol only competitions over the last few years, I was anything but competitive on Saturday.  I was so un-competitive that I came in last out of 64 competitors (there were 2 that got DQ’d that I supposed I technically came in ahead of).  Last by a reasonably wide margin.

I was under no illusion that I was going to win, but I did feel like I might have come in somewhere in the top part of the lower half.  Nope.  Last.  I’m a competitive person so this really is bothering me – I actually woke up a few times through the night last night reliving mistakes in stages and thinking of things I could have done better.

I’m still going through the scores and watching the video, but there are a few things I need to work on before I head to the next match (which could be as soon as September if I get in and have the time):

  • First off, I actually need to work on things before I head to the next match.  I can’t just show up and expect to magically do better.
  • I need to pick a rifle and ammunition and stick with it – learning what it will do everything from 5 to 200 yards.  I decided to use my Tavor for this match since I hadn’t put it to any hard use and wanted to see how well it would run.  It ran fine and did everything I asked it to – but I wasn’t familiar enough how it performed at close range so as a result I way underestimated the mechanical offset of the M21 red dot on some close range shots, missing low as a result.
  • I need to work on my shotgun – both shooting and reloading.  I had to take multiple shots on some plates and missed two of my slug shots.  I was also very inefficient and inconsistent with my reloads, which is probably the most time consuming part of shotgun stages.  I need to build some more muscle memory here and the only way that’s going to come is with practice.  Its not so much a gear issue, but I am going to look into getting a new choke to tighten things up at range a bit and I may also eventually invest in a TWiNs loading (or even a Quad Loading) system.
  • The actual shooting is important of course, but perhaps the biggest improvement will come from better stage planning: what order to engage targets, where to start when there is an option, what guns to use when there is an option, when to reload and how much, etc.  Some of this will come with just being more comfortable with 3 gun stages.  I’m also going to rework my cart to have more space for my gear and add some space for a cooler – staying hydrated is a key part of being able to think straight.  Lastly, I’m going to ask for more help – since everyone on a squad is likely better than me, I can learn a lot by asking them how they plan to approach a stage and/or watching them in action.

In my best attempt to turn lemons into lemonade, I am going to use my last place finish as a motivation to get better in a competition that I enjoy.  I might still come in last again, but with work I know I can improve.

 

Thoughts on Liberalism

I checked one more book off my reading list on Monday: Liberalism by Ludwig von Mises.  It’s a relatively short read, albeit a little difficult since it was originally written in German and then translated and also because its written in the more complex grammatical structure of the earlier half of the 20th century (side note: I am continually amazed when reading “standard” texts from the late 19th and early 20th century how much we’ve lost in terms of language and reading – I’m no dummy and this stuff can be hard to comprehend).

First off let’s be clear on the title: Liberalism.  In a realworld example of Orwellian newspeak , the term liberal has been co-opted by a group that has fundamentally different philosophies and objectives than those (like von Mises) that originally labeled themselves that way.  This is not a book about global warming, gun control or health care.  Rather, it describes what would be called today a fundamentally libertarian world view.  The label libertarian (after this book was written) seems to have been invented precisely because the term liberal was co-opted.  This same thing is happening now with the term ‘conservative’ to the point that we now have neo-cons (really Trotskyism) and paleo-cons (the ‘real’ conservatives).  Von Mises addresses this war of language and labels directly in an appendix written decades after the original publication but before Libertarian was a widely accepted label, where he argues that the term Liberal shouldn’t be given up so easily.  I think that battle has since been lost.

As I said it’s a short read, but if you only have time / interest to read a bit of it, the big payoff for me was Chapter 4, titled Liberalism and Political Parties.  In 33 pages, von Mises lays waste to the idea that “parties of special interest” (i.e. political parties that seek to get benefits for special groups – at the expense of other groups) can ever result in a workable system.  Von Mises doesn’t make a moral argument, but rather a very practical, almost utilitarian view of why it just won’t work – or at least won’t accomplish the stated objectives of providing an organizational system for a peaceful, productive society.  The whole chapter is full of gold, but here’s one nugget:

This is one of the two fundamental weaknesses of all parties aiming at privileges on behalf of special interests. On the one hand, they are obliged to rely on only a small group, because privileges cease to be privileges when they are granted to the majority; but, on the other hand, it is only in their guise as the champions and representatives of the majority that they have any prospect of realizing their demands. The fact that many parties in different countries have sometimes succeeded in overcoming this difficulty in carrying on their propaganda and have managed to imbue each social stratum or group with the conviction that its members may expect special advantages from the triumph of the party speaks only for the diplomatic and tactical skill of the leadership and for the want of judgment and the political immaturity of the voting masses. It by no means proves that a real solution of the problem is, in fact, possible. Of course, one can simultaneously promise city-dwellers cheaper bread and farmers higher prices for grain, but one cannot keep both promises at the same time. It is easy enough to promise one group that one will support an increase in certain government expenditures without a corresponding reduction in other government expenditures, and at the same time hold out to another group the prospect of lower taxes; but one cannot keep both these promises at the same time either. The technique of these parties is based on the division of society into producers and consumers. They are also wont to make use of the usual hypostasis of the state in questions of fiscal policy that enables them to advocate new expenditures to be paid out of the public treasury without any particular concern on their part over how such expenses are to be defrayed, and at the same time to complain about the heavy burden of taxes.

In all honesty after reading and contemplating this material, its amazing that the current system – which is comprised entirely of special interests – has been able to keep things together for so long.  The swelling interests in the ideas of liberalism libertarian-ism may be an indication that a real change for the better may be underway.

Happy accidents

Image

I’ve made a rather unconcious, but very positive change over the last 24 months. It all started when in a fit of budget streamlining I cancelled my cable subscription, much to the dismay of my kids. It was a small decision, driven mostly by the idea that I could save $50 a month for something I wasn’t really using, more so than any grand ideas about spending less time in front of the boob tube. The kids adapted (watching more YouTube, Netflix and iTunes) and I didn’t miss it (except for during college football season…but even then I did like the “extra” time in my Saturdays).

About a year later, I discovered the Von Mises Institute literature library. I was just starting the journey I am still on to more deeply explore philosophy, economics and politics, and it has been a treasure. A few months after that I discovered the torrent bundle which let me have the whole bundle of more than 1,000 great works on the philosophy of liberty on my desktop (and in my personal cloud thanks to the OwnCloud setup on an old desktop I had sitting around).

Last fall, I started transferring a few PDFs from the docs from the torrent bundle to GoodReader on my ipad. I read Rothbard’s For a New Liberty that way. I also grabbed a few fiction ebooks, most notably Makers by Cory Doctorow (great read, BTW).

Canceling cable freed up the time to read more, the iPad gave me a somewhat book like platform (portable with pages)…and the fact that the content was free removed a financial barrier, albeit a small one (books don’t cost that much). The most recent tweak was the snap decision to purchase a refurbished Amazon kindle paper white. While it may seem like yet another device to carry (and keep charged) it actually has made a big difference, primarily reducing the amount of time it takes me to get through a book. The display is a little easier on the eyes, so I can read longer with less fatigue on the kindle than on the iPad, but I think the biggest difference is the fact that there aren’t any distractions on the kindle: no Facebook, no twitter, no email, no messages, no blogs. When I have the kindle in my hand, all I can do is read, so that’s all I do.

The addition of the kindle has also opened up some additional content sources as well: there a number of free kindle books available to anyone (I.e. you don’t have to have a branded kindle device to get them – you can get them for free on the iPad or android app or the cloud reader). I was able to read Cicero, Hobbes, and Locke this way. In addition, I am an Amazon Prime member, so I can get one free book from the “lending library” as well. I just finished up a book on Tesla that I got for “free” there (admittedly I do pay for Prime, but I would anyway based on the number of items I get shipped from them every year, so it’s not free but rather zero incremental cost).

One last bit I discovered just a few weeks ago is Calibre Library, a great free application (donations appreciated) that allows you easily easily convert PDFs and ePub formatted docs to mobi that the kindle can easily consume and display. I’m still playing around with it, but so far it’s allowed me to convert and read a PDF of John Taylor Gatto’s “The Underground History of American Education” and a ePub of Von Mises “Liberalism”.

Through a series of small decisions and happy accidents I have changed how I spend my leisure free time (contrasting with my working free time – gardening, riding horses, reloading, shooting, practicing Krav Maga, etc): reading instead of watching. Learning instead of vegging. Exercising my intellect rather than getting dumbed down. I wish I could say that it was a deliberate, planned change, but I guess this is a case where I would rather be lucky than good.

GoPro Video from my IDPA match yesterday

My lovely and talented wife got me a GoPro for my birthday this year and I’ve been using it to record my IDPA matches – they are fun (for me) to watch and there are few things I see where I can improve.

I’ve been shooting IDPA for more than 5 years now.  I actually am the match director for a monthly match that I started at the range a few miles from my house – the good thing about that is that it makes me shoot at least once a month.  IDPA is a great sport for anyone looking to get more proficient with their handgun in simulated real world defensive situations.  If you are near by, come check out our match or if not, check out IDPA.com’s club finder to find a match close to you.  You can come and watch a match, but if you have the gear to compete, I suggest you bring it – once you see it, you’ll want in!

10 things you can do to declare your own independence

Tomorrow is one of the few bank holidays that we get in these United States.  We may have gained our independence (note, I said may…) from King George, but we definitely lost a lot of holidays in the process.  The holiday is know by various names:

  • Independence day by the patriotic
  • Fourth of July by the secular
  • Revolution day by the British
  • Just any other day by the rest of the world

The original idea of the holiday was to celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress in 1776, popularly considered to be the birthday of these United States (whether that view is correct or not is an interesting side story).  Over the past 200+ years, the meaning behind the holiday have changed.  What was once a remembrance of  a declaration in support of rule by natural law rather than rule by man has slowly become a tribute to the state that exists solely to rule men.

So, to honor the intents and brave actions of the original signers of the DoI, I am going to spend some time tomorrow celebrating and furthering my own personal independence.  If you want to do the same, here are a few ideas in no particular order:

  1. Free your mind.  Read a history, science, mathematics or philosophy book.  Fiction is great, but there is something freeing about understanding a little more about how the world you live in works.
  2. Free your actions. Far too many of us spend too much time reliving the past and/or worrying/hoping about the future.  Knowing history has its place, and having an idea of where you want to get to is a good idea as well, but the reality os the only decision making power we have is right now.  Look into stoicism, mindful living or any of the other approaches to stop obsessing on the past or worrying about the future.  You can only act in the now.
  3. Free your labor. Start your own business.  It doesn’t have to be a complete replacement for your job “working for the man” – it can be something small that you can do in a few hours a week or even a month.  If it never turns into anything bigger, it will help you in your “real” job and if it does, then you are on to bigger and better things.
  4. Free your body .  Eat better food.  Plant some seeds. Cook something.  Go for a walk.  Your body is your temple – do some preventive maintenance.
  5. Free your wallet. Convert some of your cash into Bitcoin or precious metals – and then spend it!  Actually do a transaction with bitcoin – face to face if you can.  Go somewhere and ask them if they will take silver (make sure to ask before the service or product is rendered).  If that’s just too far out then pay off a debt.
  6. Free your security.  Learn how to shoot.  Take a martial arts class.  Learn how to take care of yourself.  When seconds count, the police are minutes away.
  7. Free your prejudices. Think of a group you hate – or if you’re not one to hate, one that you strongly dislike or mistrust.  Muslims or Christians.  Gays or Straights.  Blacks or Whites.  Immigrants or Natives.  Find someone in that group, introduce yourself, talk to them and find all the things you have in common.
  8. Free your consent. Don’t pay a tax.  Perform non violent civil disobedience for something you believe in.  Commit a victimless crime.
  9. Free your attention. Stop watching / reading MSM. There are plenty of blogs, podcasts, and youtube channels that actually deserve you paying attention too (remember there is a reason it’s called paying attention for a reason – it’s not free!)
  10. Free your ideas. Take the time to sit own and write down an idea you have.  Or record a podcast or  a video.  Put your idea out there and see what people think – don’t be cowed by culture or peer pressure into keeping your idea bottled up.  Share it with the world and take honest feedback – it’ll make it better, or if its already good it will spread.

Pick one from the list above, or even better suggest another in the comments, and just do it.  Make independence personal.

 

A stateless society would be chaos (for good)

It’s no secret that I am a huge podcast fan.  I subscribe to more than 30 and listen to about 10-15 episodes a week (lots of driving and mowing time).  One of my two favorite are put out by Dan Carlin – Hardcore History and Common Sense.  At various times in each of them, Dan describes himself as a “fan of history” as opposed to be a historian. I have never considered myself to be either – a fan or history, much less a historian – but that has changed rapidly in the last 18 months.  It started with the stories that Dan tells on Hardcore History and has rapidly expanded – of the 5 books I am reading right now (my wife hates that), 4 of them are history books.

Although I have only recently become a fan of history, I have been a math geek (as opposed to a mathematician) much longer.  I can recall sitting inside for recess one day in 4th grade and listening to my teacher (Ms. Arlinghaus) work with a 5th grade student on some math he was struggling with.  It was fascinating…and I understood it.  For whatever reason, I decided right then and there that I was “good at math”.  I breezed through the rest of elementary and junior high math, took all the advanced classes in HS and spent a lot of free time reading books about math and physics, ending up going to school to become a mechanical engineer (side note: I did finally meet my match in mathematics in Differential Equations II – I had to take it twice).

Last week at Porcfest, I had the chance to run into some fellow math geeks.  After the introductions and background chat, for some reason or another we got onto the topic of chaos theory and how it relates to a stateless society.  One question people ask when first introduced to the idea of a  stateless society (besides “who will build the roads?”) is “without the state, won’ everything devolve into chaos?”

I think Rothbard did a pretty good job of answering the chaos question (he even provides an answer for the roads question ;-) from a philosophical and human behavior standpoint, but can we explore the question using mathematics as well?  The branch of mathematics devoted to investigating chaos is aptly named chaos theory.  The Wikipedia article in the previous link does a great job giving an overview of the aspects, history and application of the theory.  For this discussion, however, we can start with the basic definition of chaos that chaos theory uses.  Lorenz put it this way:

Chaos: When the present determines the future, but the approximate present does not approximately determine the future.

In my words:

A Chaotic system is a deterministic system which is highly sensitive to initial conditions.  While chaos may seem random, it is in fact highly predictable – but only if the initial conditions are known precisely.

So unlike the popular perception of chaos (which can be shortly summarized as no one knows what will happen, but its likely to be bad) math tells us that you can know what will happen, IF you precisely understand the starting conditions.

Getting back to the original question: yes, a stateless society would result in chaos.  But a society ruled by a leviathan state also results in chaos.  Chaos is not created by the absence or presence of a state, but merely by the presence of multiple self-determinant, but interacting degrees of freedom.  By definition society consists of more than one person.  By definition each person in that society has their own unique wants and needs = they are self determinant, but interacting degrees of freedom.  Therefore all societies will always be chaotic.

Since a state run societies and stateless stateless societies are both chaotic, the more interesting question becomes: which form of chaos is most beneficial to its participants? In answering this question, its easy to fall into the normalcy bias trap: thinking that what we have now isn’t so bad and saying that no one know what a stateless society would actually produce since its never been tried (wrong on both counts – but thats another argument).  If we are able to avoid that trap, chaos theory might shed some light on an answer.  Chaos theory tell us that if we know the initial conditions of the system, we can know the eventual outcome.  So, let’s compare some of the initial conditions of the state run and the stateless society:

State Run society Initial Conditions Stateless society Initial Conditions
  • Use of force (by those permitted) is the norm – theft, violence, kidnapping
  • Human potential is limited
  • People do what they are told
  • Dependency / blame culture
  • Most communication is propagandized – limited or skewed information
  • Decision making through emotion or flight / fight responses
  • Mass acceptance of the non-aggression principle
  • Human potential is unlimited
  • People do what they are interested in
  • Self ownership culture
  • Critical thinking makes propaganda ineffective, so communication is honest
  • Decision making through the gathering of evidence and the application of reason

Does anyone know exactly what a stateless society would look like?  Of course not, although as I said in a previous post I think there are some experiments which give us a pretty good idea.  However, I don’t think it takes a math geek (or even a fan of math) to look at those two lists of initial conditions and make a pretty accurate prediction about which chaos they’d want to live in.