[extropy-chat] Extinctions

KAZ kazvorpal at yahoo.com
Tue Jun 13 13:57:11 UTC 2006

----- Original Message ----
From: Damien Sullivan <phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu>
To: KAZ <kazvorpal at yahoo.com>; ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Sent: Monday, June 12, 2006 9:53:33 PM
Subject: Re: [extropy-chat] Extinctions
> The universe which contains Los Angeles, where the air is still crappy
> but has gotten a lot better.  Private technology did the work, but it's
> not obvious it would have been developed and deployed without government
> mandate -- after all, a pollution filter in your tailpipe does very
> little to make your own life better.
Yes, and it's an idiotic, self-defeating way of "fixing" the problem. 
A free market solution would be to actually improve the efficiency of automobiles, while a pollution filter actually /decreases/ the efficiency, instead.
Pollution, as I said, is inefficiency. Coercive government, with its usual bumbling incompetence, actually makes things MORE inefficient.
> I'm not sure India is Marxist, 
Then someone's dropped the ball, because people should be painfully aware that Marxism is why India, as well as the old Soviet Union and Communist China, is such a failure. And Haiti, and South Africa, too.
> but I know Soviet Russia was a disaster.
> And our own military has generated some nasty sites, since it's exempt
> from the strictures of the EPA, unlike the rest of us.  
Which is exactly what you can expect from a government wielding coercive authority. The more you give it, the less it will do what you think it should, and the more it will abuse. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely; great men are almost always evil men.
> But the effects
> of regulation need not be linear, in quantity or quality; a well-managed
> democratic government might be better than either the absence of
> regulation or the craptastic fiasco of the USSR.
No, even if coercive power did not invariably attract the very worst of society, and corrupt the very best of it, government /cannot/ regulate anything effectively, because it lacks any mechanism for doing so. There's no way for it to measure either needs or solutions with any efficiency. The only way the real will of the people can be expressed, and values weighed correctly (at our technological level), is through all members of society making their own choices, with the economy working as a massive parallel-processing problem solver. This is more powerful than any subset of that society setting itself up as a coercive government, no matter how "wise" its members.

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I think every good Christian ought to kick Falwell right in the ass.
                -- Barry Goldwater
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