[ExI] Security clearances

spike spike66 at att.net
Sun May 15 16:18:02 UTC 2016


>.Cool. And mildly frightening. Anders

Hi Anders,

It is not mildly frightening to those of us yanks living in the
libertarian's worst nightmare, it is terrifying.  We see appalling
stockpiles of nukes being handed over to one of two candidates, both of whom
have demonstrated clear evidence of being authoritarian to the point of
totalitarian warhawks.  The rest of the world has a huge vested interest in
how this comes out.  Can this get any worse?  Eh. ja.

For those who believe that anything posted on FoxNews automatically defaults
to memetic toxic waste, do feel free to skip this article, but if so I will
summarize: if the government does not like whoever the voters choose, there
are ways to elect someone else, someone who never campaigned, even someone
nobody ever heard of, to be president.  This was intentional.


We often hear citations to Andrew Jackson, the populist outsider who came
into the presidency in 1824 and turned everything on its head.  He was ready
to use the military to enforce law, ready to do all the things libertarians
worry about.  Somehow. he ended up on our 20 dollar bill, which has become
perhaps the most important remaining paper currency we have, since fifties
are oddballs (they look too much like the far more common 20s) 100s are
viewed with suspicion because they are worth attempting to counterfeit.  So.
cash machines spit out pictures of Jackson.

OK so we face the possibility of a Jacksonian administration.  Over forty
years ago, a president asked if a sitting president could pardon himself.
All witnesses agree he said it in jest, with the implied no, of course not,
the people would riot and they are armed, etc.  Now. it is easy enough to
imagine that same question being asked on the first day of a new president's
administration, by either of the leading candidates, not at all in jest,
with the surprise answer coming back that that power damn sure can be
misused that way, even if we know it wasn't intended for that.  If the
people riot, the US Marines have a fighting chance in holding them off, and
even if they cannot, there is a safe room, etc.

Anders, since you are a black swan expert, it occurred to me there is a gray
swan scenario which could turn even worse.  Although it has never happened,
our recent failure of the ExI server (DNS?  What's that?)  Thursday and
Friday reminds us that the internet could fail somehow, perhaps a virus of
some kind shutting down main hubs and so forth.  Suppose. someone figured
out a way to crash the internet and shut down much or most electronic
communications for just a day or two, even just a few hours.  Now suppose
someone or someones realized the perfect time to pull this gag: on USA
election day 2016.  What if there is suddenly no news, no email, no
internet, nada nada nada.  The phones all still work, but what good are
they?  Who are you going to call?  The mainstream news agencies?  They can't
help, for they don't know what is going on either; their computers are down.
All of them.  The newspaper?  What is a newspaper?  

We are all dependent on electronic communications.  If that whole system
somehow crashes on USA election day, we will not know what happened that day
and will not accept the outcome after the fact, even if anyone can tell us
what that outcome was.  We will have no way of verifying it.  We have
another case like 2000 where it probably all will come down to the election
outcome in. Florida.  Have you noticed that any weird crime story currently
being used as filler on slow news days, about a quarter of it happened in
Florida.  That is one weird state, something I didn't even realize until I
moved away to a slightly less weird one.  Florida may elect a president for
us.  Again.  And we won't like either choice.  And some parts of Florida
still have un-auditable machine voting.

So what if.the internet goes down that day, or some important portion of it,
and now America does not know the rightful legal custodian of all those
fireworks?  What if there is an ambiguous outcome and the electoral college
convenes, then perfectly legally hands us a third candidate?

Anders, being an outsider and black swan expert, your take on this will
likely be most enlightening.




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