Distributed Defense

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Tyndmyr
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:53 pm UTC

johnny_7713 wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:
Unfortunately, it looks like they're focusing on plastic because they're targeting the type of 3d printers people actually own. Plastic's burst strength is not traditionally great. You also have to worry about layer separation from the 3d printing process. In addition, the burst strength of plastic normally decreases sharply if you heat it(especially suddenly). These are not at all good properties for a firearm. Sure, there are specific parts where plastic can be used with little risk. Grips, for instance. AR lowers(as has already been done elsewhere). But 100% plastic is going to fail very, very quickly. Just getting it to make it through one round without failing in a way that injures the user is non-trivial.


Many good points. I do feel compelled to point out that 'plastic' can mean any of a very broad variety of materials, with very different properties. The sub-set of those that are suitable for 3D-printing is probably much smaller however (I'm not sure what the requirements for 3D printing are).


Most home printers are doing PLA, ABS, or some variation thereof. These are not bad plastics...Lego is made from a type of ABS, for instance. However, I wouldn't trust a gun made out of Legos.

Ormurinn wrote:They're using ABS - with regards to making a gun, it could be better, could be worse, as polymers go. The really interesting developments are going to come in 3d printing when you can reliably print multiple materials in a single job.

Tyndmyr, (welsh name?) in your experiments with home firearms, have you come across any particular configuration that's worked well whilst incorporating printed parts?


Random internet name born of frustration at everything being taken, actually. =) My experimenting has been rather minor so far. I did print an AR mag, but experienced problems with expansion based on the models freely downloadable from thingiverse. I rather suspect they were originally CNC models that were not tested heavily on printers. So, I twerked 'em a bit to get them to work, and added a crude spring(their model didn't have this essential part). I'm not 100% satisfied with the spring yet, and metal is probably still a lot better, but you can indeed print a functional mag if you're willing to twerk it a bit. I've also done some basic trigger mechanisms, primarily styled on crossbow rotary styles. This seems to work pretty well, but I'm still trying to work out how to get enough springiness from the plastic to slam a firing pin fast enough without taking ludicrous space. And also for the firing pin to not just fail.

There's a lot of parts on existing guns that can indeed be replaced by plastics, though. Usually, barrel, chamber, firing pin are the toughest parts. They're exposed to the highest forces. That said, from a strictly "making a gun practically" standpoint, two of those three are mostly just pipe, and the last is a metal pin. They're not that hard to machine(though rifling does raise the difficulty a notch).

omgryebread wrote:If you're sane and responsible enough to have a gun, you should be able to get one without overwhelming obstacles without printing it. If you're not, it should be as hard as we can reasonably make it to get one.


I admit, the image of crooks trying to learn materials science and 3d modeling skills does amuse me. The idea of making self-education a necessary obstacle on the path to obtaining a firearm does have a certain oddball appeal to it. It's probably unlikely to ever happen...anyone with a coupla grand to get a printer and stuff for it is gonna just be able to buy a gun with that money, but the idea of a desire for crime motivating people to better themselves is kind of ironic.

BlackSails wrote:I cant wait for 3d printer technology to advance to the point where the RIAA commercials on "you wouldnt download a car" can be answered with "I can and I have"


Oh, I'd download a model for a car in a heartbeat. Also, I'd need to order more plastic. Again, like with guns, there are some serious obstacles to printing entire vehicles, of course...but there are in fact many minor parts that can be printed. Break a stupid mounting bracket that the company will charge you a ton for? Print a new one.

some_dude wrote:If you don't like the current gun control laws, the correct response is to try to influence politicians to change the laws; not to abuse a new technology to circumvent them. That you don't agree with a law doesn't give you the right to break it.


While I would generally encourage political means first, in extreme cases, people may indeed be morally justified in breaking an immoral law.

Red Hal wrote:3D Printing is the first step of many along the road to a post-scarcity society. Such a society would be a very hostile environment for traditional capitalist organisations. No wonder they want to shut it down.


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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:03 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:I admit, the image of crooks trying to learn materials science and 3d modeling skills does amuse me. The idea of making self-education a necessary obstacle on the path to obtaining a firearm does have a certain oddball appeal to it. It's probably unlikely to ever happen...anyone with a coupla grand to get a printer and stuff for it is gonna just be able to buy a gun with that money, but the idea of a desire for crime motivating people to better themselves is kind of ironic.
I'm more concerned with the image of bullied and emotionally vulnerable children acquiring weapons. I suspect there's a strong correlation between intelligence and social ostracization, and I can imagine a young person struggling to produce a functional gun because they otherwise couldn't acquire one.

That being said, that's always a problem, and I don't think it's sufficient reason to in any way hinder 3D printing technology.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:10 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:I admit, the image of crooks trying to learn materials science and 3d modeling skills does amuse me. The idea of making self-education a necessary obstacle on the path to obtaining a firearm does have a certain oddball appeal to it. It's probably unlikely to ever happen...anyone with a coupla grand to get a printer and stuff for it is gonna just be able to buy a gun with that money, but the idea of a desire for crime motivating people to better themselves is kind of ironic.
I'm more concerned with the image of bullied and emotionally vulnerable children acquiring weapons. I suspect there's a strong correlation between intelligence and social ostracization, and I can imagine a young person struggling to produce a functional gun because they otherwise couldn't acquire one.

That being said, that's always a problem, and I don't think it's sufficient reason to in any way hinder 3D printing technology.


Possible, I suppose. That said, school shootings are fairly rare already(and home-built weapons are not common in them when they do occur), so this doesn't worry me over-much. The number of children that have access to such a printer is probably pretty low, and anyway, they'd still have to buy the bullets since you can't print those. Those can be made in traditional ways, but the amount of skill and dedication that'd be put in is fairly high for a kid. I can't see it happening all that often.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:15 pm UTC

I was thinking as 3D printers become more common (I assume we're a long way off from that anyway, though). And couldn't you just make a gun that uses metal ball-bearings as ammunition? And some sort of cheap, readily available combustible chemical for the gun-powder? Such a gun wouldn't be accurate, but it could certainly be lethal at close range.

Then again at this point what I'm imagining is something you could cobble together without a 3D printer, which makes the whole point moot.

EDIT: I'm also worried about 'self-destructing' projects being put out there--blueprints for guns that are actually designed to violently harm the person who's trying to build them. But again, this seems like a trivial concern. It's certainly something to keep in mind when printing a gun, though.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:29 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:I was thinking as 3D printers become more common (I assume we're a long way off from that anyway, though). And couldn't you just make a gun that uses metal ball-bearings as ammunition? And some sort of cheap, readily available combustible chemical for the gun-powder? Such a gun wouldn't be accurate, but it could certainly be lethal at close range.

Then again at this point what I'm imagining is something you could cobble together without a 3D printer, which makes the whole point moot.


Precisely. Nobody needs a printer to get a length of pipe... It's an interesting challenge from a "can we build this" perspective, but it's practical applicability is somewhat less than is being presented currently.

EDIT: I'm also worried about 'self-destructing' projects being put out there--blueprints for guns that are actually designed to violently harm the person who's trying to build them. But again, this seems like a trivial concern. It's certainly something to keep in mind when printing a gun, though.


This is fair. Hell, it could easily happen accidentally. Think of every bug you've seen in a program...and then keep in mind that not all printers print identically. Hell, many of the things I've tried printing from Thingiverse just don't print, or don't print at all well. Lots of people apparently just strip models out of games, then slap them on the internet taking credit for the work.

I've considered carbon fiber doping as one way to get the material strength up, but I don't think it'd help with layer separation, which is the current weak point.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby sam_i_am » Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:40 pm UTC

LaSargenta wrote:
Ormurinn wrote:If you really are a highly enough trained martial artist or fortunate enough to be tall enough that the odds are in your favour in a physical confrontation with a criminal, then I'm happy for you.

You obviously haven't been in many fights. I am 5' 1.75" tall. I actually have a better time of it with a taller attacker. I can get in close and hit hard in sensitive spots and he can't get any distance to slug me. He is reduced to essentially hugging me trying to break my grip and he can't get the front of my neck. Someone my height requires different tactics...like handy anythings that can be turned into weapons. Bike chains are good. I once dealt with it with a mechanical pencil.

I'm not highly trained, I just have a highly developed sense of survival and have, as they say, "been around". Shit happens. When it does, best not to worry about getting dirty.



I am calling bullshit on this one.

You're painting a picture of yourself as some sort of street brawler, which I kinda doubt.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:42 pm UTC

I admit to also being skeptical that a mechanical pencil would hold up to a bike chain.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Chen » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:32 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:I admit to also being skeptical that a mechanical pencil would hold up to a bike chain.


Well if you could stand up to a bike chain unarmed (which is certainly possible), having a pointy object would just make taking down the attacker easier. Doesn't seem that unrealistic.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Zamfir » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:38 pm UTC

Perhaps I am w long on this, but I thought that cartridges would be far trickier to make than a gun, especially a single-shot gun.
I must have seen pictures of DIY guns that are hardly more than a pipe with a spring and a firing pin. But ammo seems trickier to me, both to make the construction reliable and to get primer and powder of good enough quality that you can trust it to go off, but not in your face.

The website in the OP suggests that people just go to the supermarket to get some ammo, which seems to defeat the purpose of the site.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:41 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:Perhaps I am w long on this, but I thought that cartridges would be far trickier to make than a gun, especially a single-shot gun.
I must have seen pictures of DIY guns that are hardly more than a pipe with a spring and a firing pin. But ammo seems trickier to me, both to make the construction reliable and to get primer and powder of good enough quality that you can trust it to go off, but not in your face.

The website in the OP suggests that people just go to the supermarket to get some ammo, which seems to defeat the purpose of the site.


It is kind of important, yes. A gun without ammo is just a paperweight. Now sure, ways to whip up your own ammo do exist...but they're inherently going to not be made of plastic. Plastics pretty terrible as a propellant.

So yeah, it's another fairly major loophole in the sites wonderful plan(side note, any plan you label a "manifesto" immediately sounds 200% crazier).

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Heisenberg » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:50 pm UTC

The inherently crappy nature of an ABS printed gun really makes me wonder why you wouldn't just buy a $5 hatchet and throw it at someone. You'd have roughly the same chance of success.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby eran_rathan » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:57 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:Perhaps I am w long on this, but I thought that cartridges would be far trickier to make than a gun, especially a single-shot gun.
I must have seen pictures of DIY guns that are hardly more than a pipe with a spring and a firing pin. But ammo seems trickier to me, both to make the construction reliable and to get primer and powder of good enough quality that you can trust it to go off, but not in your face.

The website in the OP suggests that people just go to the supermarket to get some ammo, which seems to defeat the purpose of the site.


If you're willing to go the extra mile, you can go with paper cartridges, much like were used post-American Civil War. I would expect printing a functional revolver (replacing the barrel & hammer with metal, as discussed) would be fairly easy.

And black powder is simple: 70% charcoal, 15% sulfur, 15% ammonium or potassium nitrate. Charcoal can be made from any wood (willow works best); sulfur from car batteries (or eggs, if you want to go the LONG route), and ammonium nitrates can be procured from compost (or cold packs). Grind, wet, grind, pack. Easy.

(Yes, having done a LOT of voyager/Civil War reenactment, this is a simple process. Time consuming, but simple.)
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:09 pm UTC

eran_rathan wrote:If you're willing to go the extra mile, you can go with paper cartridges, much like were used post-American Civil War. I would expect printing a functional revolver (replacing the barrel & hammer with metal, as discussed) would be fairly easy.


A problem with paper cartridges is that the metal in modern cartridges serves a very important purpose beyond holding stuff in...it's a heat sink. Rapidly ejecting ammo dumps a lot of heat directly out of the gun. You can ignore this for low rate of fire guns, when you're using metal...but when you're working with a material that turns into goo at about 300 degrees and that has a rapidly lowering burst strength with increasing temperature, it's a real problem.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby eran_rathan » Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:13 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:If you're willing to go the extra mile, you can go with paper cartridges, much like were used post-American Civil War. I would expect printing a functional revolver (replacing the barrel & hammer with metal, as discussed) would be fairly easy.


A problem with paper cartridges is that the metal in modern cartridges serves a very important purpose beyond holding stuff in...it's a heat sink. Rapidly ejecting ammo dumps a lot of heat directly out of the gun. You can ignore this for low rate of fire guns, when you're using metal...but when you're working with a material that turns into goo at about 300 degrees and that has a rapidly lowering burst strength with increasing temperature, it's a real problem.


Hm. Even the metal powder printers have this issue? I've seen one (regrettably, I fail to recall the specific type) that was printing car parts using aluminium & titanium powder - though, it was at a university, perhaps they had a specialized machine for it.
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Heisenberg » Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:18 pm UTC

eran_rathan wrote:Hm. Even the metal powder printers have this issue? I've seen one (regrettably, I fail to recall the specific type) that was printing car parts using aluminium & titanium powder - though, it was at a university, perhaps they had a specialized machine for it.
Nah, aluminum does fine with the heat. But the proposed project would use ABS due to availability and accessibility of printers and material.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby eran_rathan » Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:20 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:Hm. Even the metal powder printers have this issue? I've seen one (regrettably, I fail to recall the specific type) that was printing car parts using aluminium & titanium powder - though, it was at a university, perhaps they had a specialized machine for it.
Nah, aluminum does fine with the heat. But the proposed project would use ABS due to availability and accessibility of printers and material.



Gotcha. I missed that part.
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:21 pm UTC

eran_rathan wrote:Hm. Even the metal powder printers have this issue? I've seen one (regrettably, I fail to recall the specific type) that was printing car parts using aluminium & titanium powder - though, it was at a university, perhaps they had a specialized machine for it.


I would imagine not, or at least, dramatically less so. Sintered metal may not have the same properties as metal produced in other ways, exactly, but it's going to be leaps and bounds ahead of plastic.

That said, if you're not aiming at the plastic printer market, you're not really doing anything new. I can already hit print, receive gun, if I have the proper hardware...but that kit is pretty uncommon. Even plastic 3d printers are not terribly common, but they're much more so.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby induction » Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:24 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:(side note, any plan you label a "manifesto" immediately sounds 200% crazier).


The whole manifesto thing makes me think they got the idea from Cryptonomicon. Just mix in a pinch of The Diamond Age, and bam. Two great tastes that taste great together. Thank you Neal Stephenson.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Derek » Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:45 pm UTC

Red Hal wrote:3D Printing is the first step of many along the road to a post-scarcity society. Such a society would be a very hostile environment for traditional capitalist organisations. No wonder they want to shut it down.

Only if you consider plastic and other raw materials to be in unlimited supply. So basically not at all. What 3D printers offer is the potential to greatly reduce the capital and labor costs required to manufacture parts. They do nothing to increase the availability of raw materials or the creativity to design novel products.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:22 pm UTC

Derek wrote:
Red Hal wrote:3D Printing is the first step of many along the road to a post-scarcity society. Such a society would be a very hostile environment for traditional capitalist organisations. No wonder they want to shut it down.

Only if you consider plastic and other raw materials to be in unlimited supply. So basically not at all. What 3D printers offer is the potential to greatly reduce the capital and labor costs required to manufacture parts. They do nothing to increase the availability of raw materials or the creativity to design novel products.


Certainly they do. Localized manufacture reduces shipping, especially if you incorporate recycling into the chain. I know significant experimentation with a recycling hopper for plastic atop a 3d printer has already been done, and while it's not a finished area of work, it does have some serious potential.

In addition, digital design does wonders for creativity. Having access to the designs of others with ease means improving their designs, not reinventing what has already been done. You can draw inspiration from others, avoid wasting time on tedious building blocks, and distribution of designs are dramatically easier digitally.

It's true that there are a great many steps on the path to a post-scarcity society, and we're a LONG way from it now, but this is the exact sort of thing we need to make scarcity a thing of the past.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby ameretrifle » Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:34 pm UTC

sam_i_am wrote:
LaSargenta wrote:
Ormurinn wrote:If you really are a highly enough trained martial artist or fortunate enough to be tall enough that the odds are in your favour in a physical confrontation with a criminal, then I'm happy for you.

You obviously haven't been in many fights. I am 5' 1.75" tall. I actually have a better time of it with a taller attacker. I can get in close and hit hard in sensitive spots and he can't get any distance to slug me. He is reduced to essentially hugging me trying to break my grip and he can't get the front of my neck. Someone my height requires different tactics...like handy anythings that can be turned into weapons. Bike chains are good. I once dealt with it with a mechanical pencil.

I'm not highly trained, I just have a highly developed sense of survival and have, as they say, "been around". Shit happens. When it does, best not to worry about getting dirty.
I am calling bullshit on this one.

You're painting a picture of yourself as some sort of street brawler, which I kinda doubt.

Because...?

Because there are factual errors in the statements she has made? Because you know enough about street brawling to think that the described scenarios are unrealistic? Because you know enough about physics or anatomy to think that the described scenarios are unrealistic? Because you suspect the things she's describing are impossible but can't really prove it? Because street brawlers don't read xkcd? Because street brawlers don't use the internet? Because the first rule of street brawling is you don't talk about street brawling? Because street brawling is a myth? Because no one under 5'6'' can throw a punch? Because who the hell knows their height to fractions of an inch I mean come on? Because she's a professed ~girl~ and girls don't brawl in the streets? Because Great Prophet ADuouhgLJDS'DAdj whispered Zir holy words of doubt into your psychic ear? Because, why?

This is a sincere question! For all I know, you are a martial artist and veteran of barfighting who can point out several logical inconsistencies with this narrative and just hasn't actually bothered to yet. And, for all I know, you just think girls can't fight because hormones. Or something in between! How am I supposed to know if you won't say anything but "Meh, you can't be a street brawler"? The range of possible reasons to believe that is enormous, and as the one "calling bullshit", there is some degree of burden of proof on you.

I'm just saying, if you don't explain the gaping holes in your chain of reasoning, you're not gonna like the way readers fill them.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:41 pm UTC

I can't say for certain what his motivation is, but I stand by my questioning of a bike chain being stopped by a mechanical pencil.

Realistically, such skepticism is much like the (on topic again, talkin bout guns!) original "mall ninja" troll. Realistically, most people don't get in a ton of really serious fights. I mean, sure, I've done a coupla years of martial arts, and they were fun, but the odds of them ever saving my life...a bit low. So, when someone pops on a forum talking about all the fights they've been in(especially in a context of questionable relevance to the topic at hand), the odds of them simply being a braggart is rather high.

I mean, she could secretly be some kind of super secret agent taking down people with mechanical pencils who has been waiting for this perfect post to reveal her nature to the world, but the more likely explanation is someone watched too many action movies.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Belial » Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:46 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:I can't say for certain what his motivation is, but I stand by my questioning of a bike chain being stopped by a mechanical pencil.


I suspect reading error. Her statement:

Someone my height requires different tactics...like handy anythings that can be turned into weapons. Bike chains are good. I once dealt with it with a mechanical pencil.


Bike chains are listed as a weapon she could use to take down an attacker. Mechanical pencil is listed as another thing she could use. The "it" in "dealt with it" is "a hostile situation", not "a guy with a bike chain".

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:52 pm UTC

Possibly. That interpretation still seems unlikely, though. I mean, I've lived in rough parts of town, and they were not populated by street fighting people using wild assortments of weaponry. Sure, fights happened. They still weren't that common, and most everyone just avoided such things. The middle-class woman who has to routinely fight does not seem to be terribly common. So, yeah, I'm still a bit skeptical. And even if it is true, I'm having trouble seeing how it relates to the general concepts being discussed.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Heisenberg » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:19 pm UTC

It's relevant because she doesn't need a gun. If a 6'5" 220 pound assailant attacked her, she would throw her gun out the window and draw her trusty mechanical pencil. Because even though she doesn't have any training, size doesn't matter because she's been in lots of fights. Like, seriously, tons of them.

Mostly it's bullshit because (A) people bragging about fighting prowess and penis size are likely to exaggerate, and (B) when you haven't been trained to fight, size matters a lot. So someone asking to fight a larger, stronger opponent hasn't really "been around."

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby sam_i_am » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:54 pm UTC

ameretrifle wrote:
sam_i_am wrote:
LaSargenta wrote:
Ormurinn wrote:If you really are a highly enough trained martial artist or fortunate enough to be tall enough that the odds are in your favour in a physical confrontation with a criminal, then I'm happy for you.

You obviously haven't been in many fights. I am 5' 1.75" tall. I actually have a better time of it with a taller attacker. I can get in close and hit hard in sensitive spots and he can't get any distance to slug me. He is reduced to essentially hugging me trying to break my grip and he can't get the front of my neck. Someone my height requires different tactics...like handy anythings that can be turned into weapons. Bike chains are good. I once dealt with it with a mechanical pencil.

I'm not highly trained, I just have a highly developed sense of survival and have, as they say, "been around". Shit happens. When it does, best not to worry about getting dirty.
I am calling bullshit on this one.

You're painting a picture of yourself as some sort of street brawler, which I kinda doubt.

Because...?

Because there are factual errors in the statements she has made? Because you know enough about street brawling to think that the described scenarios are unrealistic? Because you know enough about physics or anatomy to think that the described scenarios are unrealistic? Because you suspect the things she's describing are impossible but can't really prove it? Because street brawlers don't read xkcd? Because street brawlers don't use the internet? Because the first rule of street brawling is you don't talk about street brawling? Because street brawling is a myth? Because no one under 5'6'' can throw a punch? Because who the hell knows their height to fractions of an inch I mean come on? Because she's a professed ~girl~ and girls don't brawl in the streets? Because Great Prophet ADuouhgLJDS'DAdj whispered Zir holy words of doubt into your psychic ear? Because, why?

This is a sincere question! For all I know, you are a martial artist and veteran of barfighting who can point out several logical inconsistencies with this narrative and just hasn't actually bothered to yet. And, for all I know, you just think girls can't fight because hormones. Or something in between! How am I supposed to know if you won't say anything but "Meh, you can't be a street brawler"? The range of possible reasons to believe that is enormous, and as the one "calling bullshit", there is some degree of burden of proof on you.

I'm just saying, if you don't explain the gaping holes in your chain of reasoning, you're not gonna like the way readers fill them.


It's mostly that I disagree with her basic premise that physical size(height) is not an advantage.

I've practiced a couple of combat sports in my time. I admit that that doesn't exactly make me an expert in street fighting, but it has demonstrated to me that being physically large is almost Always an advantage.

now, If your technique is better than the other guy's than you most certainly can overcome the size differential, but her claim was that the larger person doesn't get any advantage at all

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Sockmonkey » Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:26 pm UTC

Ormurinn wrote:OT - rapid manufacture/microfactories offers the chance of a fully free and unrestricted market, with all the goodies that entails. When object piracy gets to the same level as file piracy, thats the IP monopoly gone - along with planned obsolescence. Lots of mutualist/Distributist fantasies are on the verge of coming true. It's exciting.

For a Mutualist view on this I'd recommend Here.

Great link there. Question: how do we keep the corporations ignorant of the changes long enough to implement them?
Any time some new technology or technique pops up that lessens corporate controll it gets regulated to death or outright banned because people can't resist going hah ha we can do this and don't need you and you can't stop us.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Derek » Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:08 pm UTC

Sockmonkey wrote:Any time some new technology or technique pops up that lessens corporate controll it gets regulated to death or outright banned because people can't resist going hah ha we can do this and don't need you and you can't stop us.

[citation needed]

It is virtually impossible to suppress technology. See: Illegal drug manufacturing and the discussion of homebrew gun manufacturing in this thread. You could perhaps argue an exception for technology that requires a large amounts of capital, but that would contradict your point.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Arariel » Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:45 am UTC

felltir wrote:Saying no-one is allowed a gun is not discriminating against groups that might be less able to defend themselves, Ormurinn.

Carrying a knife makes you less safe.

There is no reason to believe a gun, a far more dangerous weapon, would be any different.


... the first link does not back up your statement. It's... marginally related, about knife crime statistics. Which evidently include (according to your second link) 'carrying a knife that is banned'.
The second link doesn't provide any statistics.

Anyway, as far as statistics go, correlation != causation. Otherwise you could conclude increasing ice cream sales result in higher violent crime rates.

For example, other reasons for statistics on why people with weapons more likely to become victims of a crime could include:

  • People who are involved in inherently dangerous activities (gang membership, drug dealing, etc.) are more (probably almost certainly) likely to own weapons than most people. Thus, they take a larger proportion of the population of weapons owners.
  • People may own weapons because they feel unsafe. People who feel unsafe are probably more likely to actually be unsafe (not every case, but likely).
  • A victim of an attempted assault or attempted mugging is the victim of a crime as much as victim of an assault, a mugging, or a murder.

And so on. Same goes for gun data; there's pro-control, anti-control, and studies that show no correlation whatsoever.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby nitePhyyre » Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:44 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Possibly. That interpretation still seems unlikely, though.
So when faced with two possible interpretations, the option that contains coherent thoughts is less likely than an interpretation that is absolute nonsense ...right...

You look less stupid by saying "Ooops, I made a mistake" than you do defending stupidity.

LaSargenta wrote:You obviously haven't been in many fights. I am 5' 1.75" tall. I actually have a better time of it with a taller attacker. I can get in close and hit hard in sensitive spots and he can't get any distance to slug me. He is reduced to essentially hugging me trying to break my grip and he can't get the front of my neck. Someone my height requires different tactics...like handy anythings that can be turned into weapons. Bike chains are good. I once dealt with it with a mechanical pencil.

I'm not highly trained, I just have a highly developed sense of survival and have, as they say, "been around". Shit happens. When it does, best not to worry about getting dirty.
ameretrifle wrote:Because...?
Well, the idea that because someone is tall, they can't get any distance to use their longer reach is utter nonsense.

Yes, it is possible to get in close so that you can neutralize the reach, then make sure that you stay right on top of them so that the can't take a single step backwards without you instantly closing the distance. But at this point I am reading a lot into LaSargenta that was never said. Personally, I like to abuse the fact that I am left handed in a fight. EVERYONE always starts a fight by taking a huge swing with their right hand. Always the same right-hook haymaker. It leaves people completely, utterly, 100% open for a quick left jab. Break their nose/knock out some teeth on the first punch, then as they collapse, push them down, drop a knee onto their backs and give hard kidney shots.

Works everytime.

Tyndmyr wrote:One fine day, I hope the Culture exists, and it is us.
Maybe off topic, but I would love to know how people reconcile being generally pro-capitalism, and pro-post-scarcity. Post-scarcity is the state of being where all supply greatly exceeds demand. Capitalism is making sure supply never meets demand. How do people in general believe that capitalism will lead into post-scarcity?

Derek wrote:
Sockmonkey wrote:Any time some new technology or technique pops up that lessens corporate controll it gets regulated to death or outright banned because people can't resist going hah ha we can do this and don't need you and you can't stop us.
[citation needed]
Have you been under a rock and have never heard of napster, limewire, kazaa, bittorrent, megaupload, youtube, and every other p2p network, or...?
Last edited by nitePhyyre on Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:43 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
sourmìlk wrote:Monopolies are not when a single company controls the market for a single product.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Red Hal » Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:51 pm UTC

I don't need to reconcile those two because I am not pro-capitalism, but to answer your question of how one leads to another, eventually the vast majority of markets (except those for raw materials) become commoditised. At that point the differentiator is in the service provided rather than in the item itself. In a future in which you can have every thing you want, there will still be people, whose services will not become commoditised until AI capability exceeds that of humans.
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Ormurinn » Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:51 pm UTC

It's also possible to be pro free-market without being pro capitalism. They're actually very different things.
"Progress" - Technological advances masking societal decay.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:29 pm UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Possibly. That interpretation still seems unlikely, though.
So when faced with two possible interpretations, the option that contains coherent thoughts is less likely than an interpretation that is absolute nonsense ...right...

You look less stupid by saying "Ooops, I made a mistake" than you do defending stupidity.


Look, I don't know what she's saying precisely. However, the point is that regardless of interpretation, "screw guns, I have a mechanical pencil" is a little over the top. We don't live in some action-movie universe where fighting off hordes of people with improbable improvised weapons is a normal occurrence.

The point is not to compare penis sizes over fighting skill. It's merely to recognize that yes, as a general rule, being armed confers an advantage. In the same way, being stronger generally also confers an advantage. For guns, the "stronger" attribute is mostly irrelevant to it. Therefore, a society in which everyone has guns will have greater equality between the stronger and the weaker.


nitePhyyre wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:One fine day, I hope the Culture exists, and it is us.
Maybe off topic, but I would love to know how people reconcile being generally pro-capitalism, and pro-post-scarcity. Post-scarcity is the state of being where all supply greatly exceeds demand. Capitalism is making sure supply never meets demand. How do people in general believe that capitalism will lead into post-scarcity?


Capitalism isn't the point. Technology is. Capitalism happens to be fairly good at producing technology. We've gotten the tech for 3d printers(and much of the tech for post-scarcity in other things, such as MP3s) from companies. Sure, they don't like us using it for that...but they're not gonna stop producing tech to sell us. It's useful stuff. Capitalism may eventually be outmoded. However, that doesn't mean that companies, eager for profit now, won't gleefully profit off the road to that future.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Derek » Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:41 pm UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:Maybe off topic, but I would love to know how people reconcile being generally pro-capitalism, and pro-post-scarcity. Post-scarcity is the state of being where all supply greatly exceeds demand. Capitalism is making sure supply never meets demand. How do people in general believe that capitalism will lead into post-scarcity?

"Capitalism is making sure supply never meets demand", what? Do you know what capitalism is? The point of capitalism is to use the price signal to find the optimal distribution of resources. On the micro level, this means finding the price where supply equals demand (any more supply is waste, any less is lost profit). Post-scarcity can be modeled with a supply curve that is infinite at all prices. Then it's clear that the market equilibrium will be at P=0 and demand will be as high as possible. You can look at any resource that is effectively post-scarcity, like air, to see this.

Derek wrote:
Sockmonkey wrote:Any time some new technology or technique pops up that lessens corporate controll it gets regulated to death or outright banned because people can't resist going hah ha we can do this and don't need you and you can't stop us.
[citation needed]
Have you been under a rock and have never heard of napster, limewire, kazaa, bittorrent, megaupload, youtube, and every other p2p network, or...?

Maybe I missed something in the last two days since I ran it, but last time I checked BitTorrent was still working fine. Youtube too. Taking down a few download sites and P2P applications has done absolutely nothing to stem P2P file sharing. In fact, several of the evil capitalist corporations have started using BitTorrent themselves, because it's a much more efficient way to distribute files.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Red Hal » Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:48 pm UTC

Derek,

The point I believe nitePhyyre is trying to make is that these new technologies are tolerated so long as they aren't used as a tool of rebellion. Once that happens then some very powerful players become involved in trying to regulate, outlaw or take over that technology. P2P is not going away any more than a car is, but try selling knock-offs of car parts as genuine and see how long you last; about as long as file-sharing of paid for music lasted before going underground again after its brief period in the lime(wire)light.
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Zamfir » Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:12 pm UTC

Derek wrote:
nitePhyyre wrote:Maybe off topic, but I would love to know how people reconcile being generally pro-capitalism, and pro-post-scarcity. Post-scarcity is the state of being where all supply greatly exceeds demand. Capitalism is making sure supply never meets demand. How do people in general believe that capitalism will lead into post-scarcity?

"Capitalism is making sure supply never meets demand", what? Do you know what capitalism is? The point of capitalism is to use the price signal to find the optimal distribution of resources. On the micro level, this means finding the price where supply equals demand (any more supply is waste, any less is lost profit). Post-scarcity can be modeled with a supply curve that is infinite at all prices. Then it's clear that the market equilibrium will be at P=0 and demand will be as high as possible. You can look at any resource that is effectively post-scarcity, like air, to see this.
.

'Reliance on market prices' is far to broad to use as defining characteristic of capitalism. After all, both literal and figurative markets predate capitalism by thousands of years, even the most inclusive concepts of capitalism. It's a nebulous concept with many conflicting views on it, but all those views require something more than market prices. A dominating importance of capital, for example. Privately owned rights to control (and derive profits) from a part of economic production, based on prior investments that were necessary to make that production possible. Incorporated legal persons as the organizational form of that capital, with most working people employed as wage-labourer in such companies. Etc.

In a post-scarcity society, that whole structure to organize production would not exist, and it would make little sense to call such a different society 'capitalist'. Except perhaps as a historic affection, like Britain still has knights.

But even outside of a Culture-like utopia, there seems to be a strain between capitalism and the kind of p2p/open source home-based manufacturing that some people hope to see as the outcome of advanced 3d printing. Such s system would cut out (privately owned) capital as an important factor in the production of those goods.

If centralized mass production has no cost advantage, and adequate designs can be accessed for free, then there seems to be no important point where someone has to invest in the production process, and can demand a share of future profits in return.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby nitePhyyre » Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:22 pm UTC

Good point, Ormurinn. I maybe should have used market instead of capitalism? I'll try that out in this post.
Derek wrote:
nitePhyyre wrote:Maybe off topic, but I would love to know how people reconcile being generally pro-capitalism, and pro-post-scarcity. Post-scarcity is the state of being where all supply greatly exceeds demand. Capitalism is making sure supply never meets demand. How do people in general believe that capitalism will lead into post-scarcity?
"Capitalism is making sure supply never meets demand", what? Do you know what capitalism is? The point of capitalism is to use the price signal to find the optimal distribution of resources. On the micro level, this means finding the price where supply equals demand (any more supply is waste, any less is lost profit). Post-scarcity can be modeled with a supply curve that is infinite at all prices. Then it's clear that the market equilibrium will be at P=0 and demand will be as high as possible. You can look at any resource that is effectively post-scarcity, like air, to see this.
1) The 'price where supply equals demand' and 'supply being equal to demand' are two completely different things.
2) Ignoring that, aren't you agreeing with me? There is no market for air. That's my point. How is a market going to create a post-market society? It seems that people have said that they are against non-market solutions on principle. Only accepting market-based solutions and hoping for some form of post-scarcity seem, IMO, at odds with each other.

Tyndmyr wrote:Capitalism isn't the point. Technology is. Capitalism happens to be fairly good at producing technology. We've gotten the tech for 3d printers(and much of the tech for post-scarcity in other things, such as MP3s) from companies. Sure, they don't like us using it for that...but they're not gonna stop producing tech to sell us. It's useful stuff. Capitalism may eventually be outmoded. However, that doesn't mean that companies, eager for profit now, won't gleefully profit off the road to that future.
Well, not really. MP3s were created by the MPEG group, which was a working group of experts that was formed by ISO and IEC to set standards for audio and video compression and transmission. ISO and IEC are non-profits. The internet was created by the government and universities. As were computers. Ok, so that was a bad example, but I'll concede the point. The modern market-based system has been pretty good for us. We now have cheese inside our pizza crusts. Forget about that, I'm focusing on the outmodded part. The people benefiting from scarcity aren't going to really want to push for post-scarcity. We can all agree on that, yes? I'm asking how do we get from here to there. It seems in your answer that companies will just keep producing tech until they produce something that renders scarcity obsolete. Essentially, the only hope is for someone who is actively trying not not create a post-scarcity environment accidentally opens a pandora's box?

Personally, I believe we use social programs to get from here to there. But how do the people who don't believe in 'socialism' believe it will happen?
sourmìlk wrote:Monopolies are not when a single company controls the market for a single product.

You don't become great by trying to be great. You become great by wanting to do something, and then doing it so hard you become great in the process.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby jareds » Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:34 pm UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:Maybe off topic, but I would love to know how people reconcile being generally pro-capitalism, and pro-post-scarcity. Post-scarcity is the state of being where all supply greatly exceeds demand. Capitalism is making sure supply never meets demand. How do people in general believe that capitalism will lead into post-scarcity?

Post-scarcity is not the state where supply exceeds demand (more or less). People will not typically be producing things literally just to throw them away even under post-scarcity. Furthermore, making sure that supply never meets demand is not the point of capitalism, as Derek pointed out.

I will assume you are talking about artificial scarcity, such as via intellectual property. Artificial scarcity is not an intrinsic part of private ownership of the means of production (capitalism).

However, it is easy even to be in favor of intellectual property and post-scarcity, albeit not as things that exist at the same time. (Personally, I think we should have less restrictive IP laws than we do now, but definitely nowhere near zero.) The resolution is simple: consequentialism, as opposed to some deontological position requiring IP and/or capitalism no matter what. The optimal amount of IP laws in a post-scarcity society is zero; the optimal amount now is non-zero. Food stamps make sense now; they would have been a dumb idea 200 years ago. Someone 200 years could have been against food stamps (at that time) but still have considered it a good thing to reach a state where food is so abundant that it can be highly subsidized for the poor.

As to "how capitalism will lead to post-scarcity?", I guess I realize now that your main question might have been something like, "won't owners of the means of production want to increase artificial scarcity as we approach post-scarcity?" I'm sure that many will, but ownership of some fraction of the means of production does not, per se, block post-scarcity. Approaching post-scarcity, the means of production themselves will not be very scarce. If you're worried about the owners of the means of production blocking post-scarcity via the political process, then indeed I cannot myself see how one would reconcile being pro-plutocracy and pro-post-scarcity, but in the absence of equating capitalism and plutocracy, I don't really see any particular problem.

If you're worried about inadequate incentive... in this case the "if I don't do it, someone else will" motive works in favor of society. In the absence of the whole world cartelizing against the enabling technologies, it doesn't really do anyone any good to be a hold out if post-scarcity is achieved anyway. Achieving post-scarcity won't give you any less wealth, and in the post-scarcity environment I'm sure you'll benefit from fame and whatnot if that's what you desire.

(As a last note, obviously capitalism becomes meaningless in a post-scarcity environment, but this would appear to be true of any economic system, as far as I can see. If that was indeed all you meant to say, it seems like a pretty silly question: it would seem that you are then equating being "generally pro-capitalism" with "regarding capitalism as an ends to itself, rather than a means". See earlier about consequentialism.)

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:22 pm UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Capitalism isn't the point. Technology is. Capitalism happens to be fairly good at producing technology. We've gotten the tech for 3d printers(and much of the tech for post-scarcity in other things, such as MP3s) from companies. Sure, they don't like us using it for that...but they're not gonna stop producing tech to sell us. It's useful stuff. Capitalism may eventually be outmoded. However, that doesn't mean that companies, eager for profit now, won't gleefully profit off the road to that future.
Well, not really. MP3s were created by the MPEG group, which was a working group of experts that was formed by ISO and IEC to set standards for audio and video compression and transmission. ISO and IEC are non-profits. The internet was created by the government and universities. As were computers. Ok, so that was a bad example, but I'll concede the point. The modern market-based system has been pretty good for us. We now have cheese inside our pizza crusts. Forget about that, I'm focusing on the outmodded part. The people benefiting from scarcity aren't going to really want to push for post-scarcity. We can all agree on that, yes? I'm asking how do we get from here to there. It seems in your answer that companies will just keep producing tech until they produce something that renders scarcity obsolete. Essentially, the only hope is for someone who is actively trying not not create a post-scarcity environment accidentally opens a pandora's box?

Personally, I believe we use social programs to get from here to there. But how do the people who don't believe in 'socialism' believe it will happen?


I suspect you're downplaying the role of corporations in each of those. Yes, anyone can create a standard. Creation of all the devices that use it...well, that was pretty corporate dominated. A standard that isn't used is frigging worthless. The core research on the internet was done by government and universities. The current internet has had rather a lot of it built by corporations.

If there's a dollar to be made from it, some company will do it. This includes things that will eventually kill the existing way business is done. If they can use robots to get a leg up on the competition, they definitely will and have. Capitalism is not about restricting supply(except in very niche circumstances, like monopolies, that are best avoided), it is about being better at making stuff than those you compete against.

Eventually, basically all technological innovations get copied and adopted, though. Every corporation is motivated to be the first one to develop the new way to make more stuff cheaper...or to quickly jump on the bandwagon if someone else does. The end result of more for cheaper is everything for nothing. Will we ever get there? Not a clue. But the existing structure is definitely going to get us closer, as it already has.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Sockmonkey » Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:44 pm UTC

Derek wrote:
Sockmonkey wrote:Any time some new technology or technique pops up that lessens corporate controll it gets regulated to death or outright banned because people can't resist going hah ha we can do this and don't need you and you can't stop us.

[citation needed]

It is virtually impossible to suppress technology. See: Illegal drug manufacturing and the discussion of homebrew gun manufacturing in this thread. You could perhaps argue an exception for technology that requires a large amounts of capital, but that would contradict your point.

The problem isn't that it can't spread on it's own. It's that the efforts to strangle it cause so much collateral damage. Like the aformentioned file sharing where people get fined ridiculous amounts and useless regulations get created that do nothing but make using new tech a pain in the ass.


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