Linux Education in America: Inspiration from Russia?

Story: Linux Education in America: Inspiration from Russia?Total Replies: 23
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Henry_Keultjes

Sep 24, 2007
4:52 PM EST
Paul:

Blame the people who pay politicians in the form of "campaign contributions" to do their bidding. How do we outpolitik people like Bill Gates and Steve Balmer who have billions to spend on political graft?

Until the majority of the American people realize the terrible wrongs of our campaign laws, the Open Source community will just have to continue the guerilla fighting.

Henry Keultjes
Bob_Robertson

Sep 25, 2007
10:00 AM EST
Henry, money follows power. Ask yourself, what are Bill and Steve buying?

The failure is not that there are politicians to be bought, it is that the politicians wield power that _can_ be bought. Campaign finance is merely the latest way found to funnel the money. Change that, and the funnel will change, but the money will flow because there is power to be bought.

Take away the power, the money will dry up like water in the Sahara.

Until that power is removed, corruption will exist. Power corrupts.

Corruption without power is just fetish. Power without corruption is a fantasy.

azerthoth

Sep 25, 2007
10:54 AM EST
And thus you have proven that knowledge is a bad thing and should be avoided at all costs. *grin*
Abe

Sep 25, 2007
11:08 AM EST
Quoting:The failure is not that there are politicians to be bought, it is that the politicians wield power that _can_ be bought.
Bob, That is true, on the other hand, those politicians get their power from the people. Governments are necessary evil, so it falls upon the people to make sure they don't bring routine individuals into the government.

Henry is partially right when he said
Quoting:Until the majority of the American people realize the terrible wrongs of our campaign laws, the Open Source community will just have to continue the guerrilla fighting.


I say partially because it is not the laws, it is the current and continuous ignorance of the American people!

We have been allowing corrupt officials to come into the government. Bush, Clinton, another Bush, now we are about to have another Clinton. This is becoming ridiculous. The whole current selection of candidates is so bad. Don't we have better quality of individual to select from?

Albert Einstein said "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.".

That is all what we have been getting for a while, same old same old.

It is a duty incumbent upon the American people to consider and select out of the box individuals and let the chips fall where they may.

Things are getting to a hopeless status and can't get any worse. It will only get better.

Call me crazy, here is my list.

Ron Paul, Barack Obama, Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel

Here is why

http://www.marketingpilgrim.com/presidential-election-reputa...



Bob_Robertson

Sep 25, 2007
12:05 PM EST
> Governments are necessary evil.

Ah....no. Govern_ment_ is not necessary, merely pervasive. And, yes, very evil.

So what would I have to do to convince you that governments can be eliminated with great benefits to all involved?

http://www.mises.org/story/1855 http://www.mises.org/etexts/longanarchism.pdf

Agreed about Ron Paul. I've hesitated to get "political" as in politicians, although I'll gladly wax "political" as in philosophy. I consider Dr. Paul to be one of the last, if not the last, opportunities the US has to roll back leviathan peacefully. I would much prefer peaceful independence to violent, but if the shooting part of this war ever begins I will be somewhat relieved that the waiting is over.

It's too bad that there is such a media black-out concerning Paul. Otherwise, he would have a real chance.

Abe

Sep 25, 2007
2:20 PM EST
Quoting:It's too bad that there is such a media black-out concerning Paul. Otherwise, he would have a real chance.
Media blackout is for sure a major issue but we, the people of the super power of the world, are not taking the issues seriously enough or not enlightened enough. It is pathetic.

In regards to the necessity of government, let me put this way. The founding fathers never intend for a big and powerful government. What they wanted the of the US Government is to preserve the union, enforce the constitution and as an arbitrator among the states. Jefferson created the counties map for a reason. He wanted local governments to deal with the day to day peoples business. Currently the USFG is intruding on every aspect of the daily life of the states and counties.

The FD became big and powerful when the tax laws were ratified. The states became dependent on the FG for funding of projects and services. The tax laws should be abolished and funding of projects and services should be funded from charging for services. FG services should be funded by the states not the other way around like it is now.

Well, it hurts to talk about it so I will stop.

jacog

Sep 26, 2007
12:22 AM EST
I think the developed world is slowly inching its way towards a William Gibson-esque society where governments are practically irrelivant and supercorporations run everything. The signs are there.

As for anarchy... interesting papers cited above, but as much as I hate government, I am not entirely convinced. Some of the arguments in the above papers use economics as a foil for any arguments against anarchy. But simple things like maintenance of public property like roads become an issue. Who pays for it? Would be nice if citizens all contributed some money... but then some might refuse to contribute, making others edgy. One could enforce contributions to this public maintenance fund, but that's really just taxes. In a way, I believe there will always be some form of government, even when there's no government.

With government in place, there are essentially two different sides that create equilibrium. The government will push and as long as the citizens push back equally hard, a predefined system can be held in place. It's when the system goes out of balance that things potentially get ugly.

Think Yin / Yang. Without darkness, there can be no light.
jdixon

Sep 26, 2007
5:12 AM EST
> As for anarchy... interesting papers cited above, but as much as I hate government, I am not entirely convinced.

You don't have too. Just work for a minimal government with sharply limited powers. Once we get that far, we can start arguing about whether or not even that minimal government is needed.
Abe

Sep 26, 2007
5:53 AM EST
Quoting:But simple things like maintenance of public property like roads become an issue. Who pays for it? Would be nice if citizens all contributed some money... but then some might refuse to contribute, making others edgy.
Edgy? why? Pay Per Service (PPS). People already pay for license plates renewal and without it, cars are not allowed on the roads. There is you money needed.

When people pay for services they need form a government, and that money is totally allocated and appropriated for that service, we most probably will get better services. When we streamline this process, why do we need to pay taxes and let the bureaucratic politicians manage the money?

Why do we have to have a big powerful federal government run by useless people while the states can handle the vast majority of the services people need.

The biggest problem we have now is local people can't make federal officials as accountable as their local state officials. There is too much bureaucracy in big government and that tends to make it very inefficient and extremely wasteful.

Bob_Robertson

Sep 26, 2007
12:41 PM EST
> What they wanted the of the US Government is to preserve the union, enforce the constitution and as an arbitrator among the states.

Ya know, I have to take issue with this one. "Preserve The Union" was tyrant Lincoln's catch-phrase, not that of the so-called "Founding Fathers".

The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, penned by two of the most outstanding of the F.F.s, directly refute the "preserve the union" thing. Secession is a right of a sovereign at any time. The Tyrant Lincoln put the lie to the idea that this USA was a union of equals.

Agreed, the 16th and 17th Amendments put the final nails in the coffin of sovereign states, but the corpse was long dead already.

> But simple things like maintenance of public property like roads become an issue. Who pays for it?

Who pays for it now? The issue of "public property" is only an issue because there _is_ "public property". If it were private, we wouldn't be talking about "who would pay", we'd be talking about which is better to take long distance, rail or road(s) or aircraft or boat.

Private roads, private rail, private canals, private airports, all existed and flourished prior to being expropriated (or subsidized out of existence) by government.

> With government in place, there are essentially two different sides that create equilibrium.

Nice sentiment, but you forget that government is the "monopoly on the legitimate use of coercion" and they have lots of guns. A cop kills a citizen, it will be exceptionally rare that it is not declared a "regretable accident". A citizen kills a cop, it is exceptionally rare that the citizen doesn't burn for it.

Every law curtails the actions of citizens. Just try to curtail the actions of politicians or bureaucrats. They have the law on their side, and they use it.

I see police change lanes without signalling, speeding, running stop signs, etc, all the time. Not once have I seen one get a ticket.
jacog

Sep 26, 2007
11:52 PM EST
You are forgetting one thing: human nature. Basically it's the reason goverments are currently as screwed up as they are and systems like communism that actually seem good on paper, have never really worked in the past. I can't see people playing nicely in this sandbox that anarchy would create.

You should come live in South Africa for a few years. Here, people generally think they can do whatever the hell they want. Worker strikes nearly always end up in violence. They go on rampages, burn vehicles in the streets, assault random people etc. Violent crime is huge here. I can only imagine what would happen if you suddenly introduced the idea that you CAN actually just do what you want. It'd be blood on the streets. The government here are terribly incompetent, but at least there's the illusion of order that keep some things in place.

Sorry... if you want anarchy to work, you first need to eliminate all dumb people, then you need to make the remaining people caring types with some interest in improving everything around them, not just their own self interest.

And allow me to pull a statistic out my butt... I bet most people arguing for anarchy are not poor. With your system... poor people will have to pay every time they want to go to the park, pay every time they want to go to the library and so forth. That system is only for the priviledged.

Current government stuctures are flawed and there's a lot of abuse of power and over-regulation, and something better is definitely needed to ensure people's civil rights and freedoms, but anarchy isn't it. Anarchy is just allowing every person to submit to his own selfish primal need for survival. And with the human race being the asshole that it is, that just sounds ugly to me.

EDIT: Oh, and I don;t need a lecture about how the US Govt gives breaks to big corporations like Halliburton and cuts education funding in some areas, all in the name of the three Rs, so they can keep a large uneducated workforce to work the factories etc. I know that bodies like the FCC takes bribes and all their other atrocities. I know all this and am not saying any of it is right.
jdixon

Sep 27, 2007
4:52 AM EST
> You should come live in South Africa for a few years. Here, people generally think they can do whatever the hell they want. Worker strikes nearly always end up in violence. They go on rampages, burn vehicles in the streets, assault random people etc. Violent crime is huge here.

OK, accepted. Now, let me ask you a simple question. What percentage of the general population of South Africa owns guns?
jacog

Sep 27, 2007
5:11 AM EST
Hard to say. There are about 4 to 5 million registered guns in the country, and an estimated 500000 to 1 million that are not registered. 40-ish million people.

Gun laws are a bit screwy here though. You're almost entirely prohibited from firing a gun, except in the most extreme situations. This applies to cops too. For example, you are only allowed to fire once you have already been fired upon. Of course, this might be too late for you the assaultee.

Anyhoo... I assume you have a follow-up question?
jdixon

Sep 27, 2007
5:24 AM EST
> I assume you have a follow-up question?

No. Merely an observation. That means that there are at most 6 million guns among 40 million people. Less than 15% (assuming one gun per person, which isn't a safe assumption) of the population even have the capability of defending themselves against such violence. I doubt the violence would be anywhere near as prevalent if that percentage were 50% or higher. The laws against using the guns wouldn't really matter. When faced with violence, most people will use the gun and take their chances with the courts later.

There's a fairly common axiom espoused by some in the US: An armed society is a polite society. That's probably an overstatement (in particular, the transition from an impolite society to a polite one could be rather, erm... difficult), but it has a kernel of truth which should not be overlooked.

Added:

I'd guess that the percentage of gun ownership in the area I live in is something on the order of 80%, with most families owning multiple guns. But it is a fairly rural area.
Abe

Sep 27, 2007
5:37 AM EST
Quoting:Agreed, the 16th and 17th Amendments put the final nails in the coffin of sovereign states,
I didn't say anything about the 17th Amendment, I don't see anything wrong with it unless you don't want a FG at all. That I personally don't agree with. What I am saying is that, the FG shouldn't have the powers it has now. It was never in or intended to be in the constitution originally.

Bob, I agree with Jacog. Total anarchy doesn't work. What I am saying we should create a balance between the FG authority and State authority. I favor more authority to the State government than FG. and more authority to Counties than State in day to day matters. In other words, create a distributed government system. Well, the best analogy I can think of is sort of distributed computing infrastructure.

The State powers would be granted by the county powers, and the FG powers would be granted by the state powers.

jacog

Sep 27, 2007
5:47 AM EST
jdixon: My wife is American and a former NPR journalist and has been living here for three years now. Totally rocked her sense of reality. However you think things should be, is probably only valid within the context of your own country.

A rather huge portion of that 40 million live in extreme poverty in self-built shacks that are tightly packed together like canned fish. The crimes within those communities are not committed with guns and more guns would just cause more shooting. Whether everyone has guns, or nobody has guns, it makes no difference. We have different heavily crimed communities here that show examples of every possible situation, guns, no guns, some guns.

People in mIddle class suburbs usually have guns, big dogs etc, but people still get assulted in the middle of the night. You seldom ever hear of anyone successfully defending themselves with a gun. Unfortunately, the attacker usually has the advantage.

If you want to test out your theories on gun ownership, this is a great place to study.
jdixon

Sep 27, 2007
5:59 AM EST
> You seldom ever hear of anyone successfully defending themselves with a gun.

Given the laws against gun use, that's not surprising. If you had successfully defended yourself, would you report it?

> If you want to test out your theories on gun ownership, this is a great place to study.

If you know of a non-profit dedicating to providing weapons and training to poor folks in the area I'll be glad to send them a few dollars. I've never found one.
Bob_Robertson

Sep 27, 2007
6:29 AM EST
> You are forgetting one thing: human nature.

Not at all. In fact, I depend upon it.

Theories like communism only look good on paper if human nature is ignored. Aggregation of power into the hands of a few will attract those who wish to use that power. Again, human nature.

Assuming that a balance can be found is also ignoring human nature. Governments always tend toward increasing power unless violently opposed, because every action by government, no matter how benevolent it may seem, is itself backed up by overwhelming violence.

What I'm trying to point out are the advantages of an environment where coercion is always considered illegitimate. It is only a side effect that "government" is eliminated.

The reason that "economics" seems pervasive in the discussion is because commerce is one of the very few non-coercive environments most people are familiar with.

It's easy to point to others and say _they_ could not deal with others peacefully without the "Sword of Damocles" of the state hanging over their heads. But even with vast governments over every square inch of the globe there is still interpersonal violence.

With a toll of more than 200,000,000 people dead at the hands of their own governments (not including wars!) in the 20th century alone, I don't see how the private violence that we are supposedly being "protected" from can compare.
jacog

Sep 27, 2007
7:42 AM EST
I agree with what you are saying, but still don't think a society without enforced rules can hope to be more than a land of chaos. People just don't play very nicely. The solution is not no government, just something where the people are more involved.
jdixon

Sep 27, 2007
7:51 AM EST
> The solution is not no government...

Jacog, please allow me to reiterate my comment of Sep 26th, 9:12 AM.

It doesn't have to be all or nothing.
Bob_Robertson

Sep 27, 2007
8:12 AM EST
> People just don't play very nicely.

You do, I do. The rest of the people in this forum do, obviously, because there is no violent threat used to keep people civil, yet we all are.

What people are you referring to? "Other" people?
Bob_Robertson

Sep 27, 2007
1:19 PM EST
"The problem of political irrationality is the greatest social problem humanity faces. It is a greater problem than crime, drug addiction, or even world poverty, because it is a problem that prevents us from solving other problems."

http://home.sprynet.com/~owl1/irrationality.htm
jacog

Sep 27, 2007
11:11 PM EST
> What people are you referring to? "Other" people?

I refer to people I encounter every day. People in traffic that speed, run red lights and tailgate. I refer to the 28% of South African males that think it's okay to beat their wives. I think of a survey we took at a college where I used to lecture that showed that 40% of the students there (mostly poor) were brought up to believe that if you want something badly enough, it's perfectly ok to steal it. I refer to the greedy, the Bill Gates' and Steve Ballmers of the world (no offense to any decent people who happen to have the same names).

And yes, this forum is full of rational people... but go lurk on sites like YouTube for a while. It's like the land of the trolls. And then there are the downright stupid people. And I don't mean uneducated... I mean stupid.

There's a part of me that thinks people should take some sort of voter qualification test before they are allowed to vote wince I don't think most voters really understand issues. I mean, my wife was interviewing people in Maine after Bush got reelected, and a lot of the voters said the reason they voted for him was "family values". What the hell does that even mean??

Here there's also a lot of gullibility going on and the general public is easy to manipulate if you know which strings to pull.

But then I also think most people in government fall well within this abovementioned list of "not desired to decide my fate" category, and I agree that things need to change. I think a big part of that is to just get the general public to question things more and understand what's going on around them.

"Govern"ment should actually be true to the name that gov employees have... "public servants". Turning the entire country into a web of private enterprise is asking for trouble. There does need to be a body that manages public interests.
Bob_Robertson

Sep 28, 2007
4:45 AM EST
> And I don't mean uneducated... I mean stupid.

You will find no disagreement with me on that aspect of humanity.

One of the aspects of the _Irrationality_ article I posted above is its discussion of the concept "should".

Unfortunately, "should" is a value judgement. It is the tragedy of politics that "should" becomes codified into law as "must". No matter how stupid I believe someone's actions to be, unless they harm someone no crime has been committed.

Please don't get me started on the gullability of humans! Of all the reasons to _NOT_ have an institution of coercion, that very gullability is the most powerful! I refer you to the words of Hermann Georing and Joseph Goebbels on the subject.

> Turning the entire country into a web of private enterprise is asking for trouble. There does need to be a body that manages public interests.

My interests do not need to be "managed". I have innumerable profit-seeking people who are ready and willing at a moment's notice to fulfill my interests without any coercion on their or my part. They offer aid and guidance at the drop of a hat, as can be seen in any "self help" section of a book store. Credit problems? Call us at 1-800-555-1212 for our free service that will help you get your bills paid and creditors off your back!

Software In The Public Interest isn't a government agency, either. I do not want to know what would be mandated for everyone to use if there were such a government agency, but I can make a guess based upon what software company is capable of the greatest campaign contributions.

With the removal of coercion, it also removes "limited liability", so those evil merchantilists which you seem to be worried about will be personally liable for any damage they inflict. Polluters will again be able to be prosecuted by those private individuals "down-stream", something which was made illegal to prevent disruption of "industrialization".

The coercive elements do not manage "my" interests at all. They manage their own.

I believe you are falling into the trap that Plato fell into when he proposed Philosopher Kings (taught, of course, by Plato) who would rule all benevolently and piously.

Oh, it sure looks good on paper, and there are a whole bunch of people whose lives _I_ would not run they way they run them, but it has turned out in practice to always be an exercise in futility and hubris. The Philosopher King cannot know what is best for everyone, or run each individual's life separately, or deal with the negative repercussions of even one intervention without creating a cascading cycle of destruction by ever more interventions trying to resolve the problems caused by the previous interventions.

I, too, would prefer a "night watchman" government, one which only intervenes when there is a breaking of the peace. Sadly, no government has ever remained restrained by its constitution (figuratively speaking).

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