Distributed Defense

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Tyndmyr
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:47 pm UTC

Sockmonkey wrote: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.


Exactly. I'm not worried about 3d printers vanishing OR mp3 sharing ending. I am worried about ham-fisted laws randomly screwing over people's lives.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby jseah » Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:31 pm UTC

I've read a bit (first and last section) of that mutualist link. Very strange thinking that, but the cost savings pointed out make sense and do point towards decentralizing industry.

I wonder how that "networked producer" system will handle:
1. Distribution of primary resources from each resource area to others so that each area is able to access all resources (accessing of a bit of everything is kinda central to how our current world works)
1b. This distribution will necessarily involves the long distance transport of many different types of resources from everywhere to everywhere. Which leads to...

2. How is a purely decentralized economy to make large capital investments if large entities do not exist? Eg. Nuclear/Fusion power, National Rail, Airports, Trans-Atlantic Internet, Satellites
2b. More worryingly, some types of research involve the occasional use of extremely expensive things (eg. protein crystallography & synchrotrons), decentralization as presented fails nearly completely at this. Engineering and Design excels under the opensource style that this thing works under but large research organizations and projects require collaboration and lots of people working together to share costly equipment (eg. many people using the same ultracentrifuge) and expertise (eg. someone doing IHC might occasionally need urgent advice on antibody aggregation or genotyping; a skillset he is only passingly familiar with but that other guy down the corridor is working on it right now)
2b-2. Actually, how DO they propose to fund research anyway? Most of research time nowadays is reading on what other people have done so you don't end up doing the same thing... and there's always always too much to read and you will miss some. Part-time research is... eh, non-ideal.
2c. Megaprojects also face a similar problem, can't fund those with a donation/kickstarter drive. Eg. The LHC, Space Elevators, Three Gorges Dam, Curiousity Rover

3. Centralized control of certain things, especially of biotech (and generally self-propagation capable anything), is virtually required if we are to avoid killing ourselves by someone accidentally remaking smallpox.
3b. Disintegration of national identity and central government also results in crazy things, like not knowing what the law is when you take a hike over that mountain.


In any case, at present, it reads like a conspiracy theory... not as bad as some I've read.
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Iulus Cofield
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Iulus Cofield » Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:35 pm UTC

If only there was one organization that was the largest single employer, with the highest single revenue, excellent credit, and capable of enforcing standards with the world's largest military to take care of those issues.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby jseah » Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:48 pm UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:If only there was one organization that was the largest single employer, with the highest single revenue, excellent credit, and capable of enforcing standards with the world's largest military to take care of those issues.

Part of the problem I have with that is that the mutualist link mentioned some plans to remove the government simply by becoming independent of it and too distributed to be taxable.

The world it paints is one of self-sufficient communities with local production linked by the internet and resource distribution.

Except that you can't have it without government. There isn't infrastructure without government.
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:03 pm UTC

jseah wrote:I've read a bit (first and last section) of that mutualist link. Very strange thinking that, but the cost savings pointed out make sense and do point towards decentralizing industry.


I find such concepts fascinating myself. I'm not sure we're really there yet....but the ideas, at least, are worth exploring.

I wonder how that "networked producer" system will handle:
1. Distribution of primary resources from each resource area to others so that each area is able to access all resources (accessing of a bit of everything is kinda central to how our current world works)


We're basically always gonna need some raw material transport...but local recycling can reduce this for the common stuff, and in any case, raw materials are typically much easier to transport than packaged goods. Most stuff sold in stores has rather a lot of packaging, and I can see potential savings there.

On the flip side, it means you're forgoing economies of scale in production, to a certain degree. My 3d printer is nifty, but it's not going to compete with a dedicated injection molder on speed and cost. So, from a practical pov, it will likely turn out that both models will exist side by side for different items, depending on the details of what each requires.

2. How is a purely decentralized economy to make large capital investments if large entities do not exist? Eg. Nuclear/Fusion power, National Rail, Airports, Trans-Atlantic Internet, Satellites


IMO, large entities would still have to exist to manage such things...I like a working GPS network, myself. It'd be merely less of them. You could, perhaps, reduce any one entities control over a niche by careful standard setting.

2b. More worryingly, some types of research involve the occasional use of extremely expensive things (eg. protein crystallography & synchrotrons), decentralization as presented fails nearly completely at this. Engineering and Design excels under the opensource style that this thing works under but large research organizations and projects require collaboration and lots of people working together to share costly equipment (eg. many people using the same ultracentrifuge) and expertise (eg. someone doing IHC might occasionally need urgent advice on antibody aggregation or genotyping; a skillset he is only passingly familiar with but that other guy down the corridor is working on it right now)


Right. The LHC isn't gonna get built by a backyard hobbyist. We need some sort of large organizations for people to get together and work on such things. We can talk about different ways to organize...but the need for the organization in some form won't vanish. I suspect that many folks get too focused on consumer production and forget about other needs when building such models.

2b-2. Actually, how DO they propose to fund research anyway? Most of research time nowadays is reading on what other people have done so you don't end up doing the same thing... and there's always always too much to read and you will miss some. Part-time research is... eh, non-ideal.


At a minimum, I suspect they'd need a kickstarter-like system for aggregating donations and such. I can't research all topics myself, but I can chuck money at some. Homebrew is great for some stuff, but sometimes you want a professional. The medical profession comes to mind here as well. DIY open heart surgery seems problematic.

3. Centralized control of certain things, especially of biotech (and generally self-propagation capable anything), is virtually required if we are to avoid killing ourselves by someone accidentally remaking smallpox.


It's actually pretty hard to actually make lethal viruses and such from scratch...but no controls whatsoever is probably going a little too far. It's certainly not hard to imagine someone making a chemistry mistake that takes out the neighbor's house.

3b. Disintegration of national identity and central government also results in crazy things, like not knowing what the law is when you take a hike over that mountain.


Yeah, you want at least SOME standardization of laws. You end up replacing government with something that acts, feels, and smells very much like a government. ANY theory that leads to "and then government vanishes" engenders a lot of skepticism in me. There's nothing wrong with a DIY ethos, and indeed, it can provide many advantages in certain fields, but it isn't necessarily a cure-all.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Derek » Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:44 pm UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:1) The 'price where supply equals demand' and 'supply being equal to demand' are two completely different things.

I don't see how. I can only guess you mean "maximum possible supply is realized and maximum possible demand is satisfied", but that's meaningless in anything other than a post-scarcity situation, because both parts would be incredibly wasteful. And in a post-scarcity scenario, that still corresponds to "price where supply equals demand".

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.

I agree that there will be no market for a post-scarcity product. I do not agree that this is anti-capitalist. On the contrary, if such a situation were possible (which, honestly, I don't believe is for the vast majority of goods, but that's a separate topic), I think capitalism would be the best way to achieve it. Other people's comments have already elaborated more on what I mean by this.

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LaSargenta
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby LaSargenta » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:21 pm UTC

This is an interesting thread and astoundingly abstract. Obviously, I have a lot to learn about material science.

But, in the course of posting, people have brought in lots of other issues -- including some absolutely prize assumptions
(Including this one:
Tyndmyr wrote:I admit, the image of crooks trying to learn materials science and 3d modeling skills does amuse me.
which seems to just ooze classist generalizations. Let me assure you that what is a major determination of whether or not someone becomes a 'crook' is a desire to show off being smarter than everyone else, pulling something over on all the 'stupid people', or a complete lack of impulse control. None of these things precludes knowing about materials science.)

and what seems like a lot of resentment disguised as suspicion; so, since offering my own experience has lead to some odd posts, let me assure you that, sam_i_am, Tyndmyr, and Heisenberg, no, I am not a "street brawler", but, I am a woman.
Tyndmyr wrote: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.
And once I was a girl. And women get to be targets of men. And it is not impossible for a woman to end up having to be in a fight. I never was the kind of person to take the advice of those stupid Police Department Advisories that said that I'll get hurt worse if I fight back. I fought back. It relates to the general concepts being discussed in that it relates to the specific concept of self-defense. Ormurinn used the example of "women and the physically disabled". All I did was post that, in my experience, a gun wasn't the thing that saved me and that if I did carry one, it wouldn't be as useful in the situations that most women are more likely to find themselves in. Nice try, Tyndmyr, but saying my post or sub topic wasn't relevant at that point in the thread isn't true. And, I'm middle class now.

I could give you a whole Women's Studies Analysis of my motivation for putting myself out in the world to do what I was good at and just dealt with the consequences; but, I haven't the time. I am taking the time, though, (no, don't thank me...really!) to reply to a couple of things:

Belial got it right, you had reading comprehension problems:
Tyndmyr wrote:I admit to also being skeptical that a mechanical pencil would hold up to a bike chain.
They were probably due to a blood pressure surge. Nope. The mechanical pencil stuck through the t-shirt into the soft skin of the underarm of a guy who had just tried to pin me to a wall. He screamed and backed off long enough for me to get away.

Which brings me to Heisenberg:
Heisenberg wrote:... she would throw her gun out the window and draw her trusty mechanical pencil.
No, I'm saying that for self-defense, defending can be done with a whole lot of things. I am saying that the first rule of defense is to use your brain. It might result in you saying something clever that distracts or difuses the situation. It might be using whatever is to hand in a way that can hurt. I was and still am in disagreement about guns being framed as the be-all-and-end-all of self-defense.

And,
sam_i_am wrote:It's mostly that I disagree with her basic premise that physical size(height) is not an advantage.
I didn't say that. I said in viewtopic.php?p=3155399#p3155399 that
I actually have a better time of it with a taller attacker. I can get in close
. Generally, physical size is useful. But, if you have a big difference, well, a suicidally brave small person -- EG: threatened female who has just flipped that switch -- can really make small an advantage.

This is a perfect example of the brain working on self-defense:
nitePhyyre wrote: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.
True. Unless they've been a boxer. But, oddly enough, boxers like to stay out of fights. They save it for when they're getting paid.

And, ameretrifle, nice response.

*********************************************************************************************

Now, on another topic floating around, I wonder about the safety of widely distributed reservoirs of powdered aluminum. Whenever I change a toner cartridge, there's something that gets out. Would a cartridge of the building supply leak at all? In the presence of heat? Aluminum? I don't think I'd want that in my house. I hear Ensign Bickford uses that a lot. :wink: It arrives on my job sites in a mobile magazine.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Sockmonkey » Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:35 am UTC

LaSargenta wrote:But, in the course of posting, people have brought in lots of other issues -- including some absolutely prize assumptions
(Including this one:
Tyndmyr wrote:I admit, the image of crooks trying to learn materials science and 3d modeling skills does amuse me.
which seems to just ooze classist generalizations. Let me assure you that what is a major determination of whether or not someone becomes a 'crook' is a desire to show off being smarter than everyone else, pulling something over on all the 'stupid people', or a complete lack of impulse control. None of these things precludes knowing about materials science.)
Hell, look at some of improvised weapons prisoners come up with. Some of them are easilly MacGyver level or better.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby jseah » Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:30 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
jseah wrote:I've read a bit (first and last section) of that mutualist link. Very strange thinking that, but the cost savings pointed out make sense and do point towards decentralizing industry.


I find such concepts fascinating myself. I'm not sure we're really there yet....but the ideas, at least, are worth exploring.

Read a bit more now, and can only say, yeah, we're definitely not there yet.

Distributed manufacturing involves alot of despecialization. Everyone growing their own garden, servicing their own appliances and building their own machines? Lol no.

Perhaps the community workshop idea at the end might be workable for some things. In the sense that if we didn't have IP laws, where engineering and design ran off open source principles, manufacturing might cluster around the local community. There, provided each community has the relevant specialists (questionable), you have the collaboration of ideas and ability to share use of expensive equipment.

Sort of like a general do-everything factory that is owned by the locals and employs the locals and sells to them, probably non-profit. Probably has a 3D printer and CNC mill, recycling, carpentry stuff (lathes, saws, etc.); things they mention. You'll still need to ship in primary resources like metals and oil, so those distribution networks are likely to remain around, and mining towns will be just as mining driven as ever.

A problem I see (without counting the infrastructure problems from my earlier post) is that there is no way the town is going to become self-sufficient. It requires input in the form of raw materials, and if it has its own microeconomy, then all the things about countries apply to it. Namely, balance of payments and in this case, capital markets don't exist (too small), so trade imbalances aren't even possible in the short run without drastically affecting the money circulating in the town.
The only possible stable state is an input/output balance; aka. everyone in the economic unit we call one town collectively exports labour or some form of material goods so as to buy services like transport, internet and electrical power.
If government exists, then taxes are paid from the town's circulating money and the government needs to ensure that each town's tax receipts is balanced with government expenditure in that town... which isn't ever going to be possible. The government's action would be more or less restricted to being a surplus recycling mechanism, to move trade surpluses to trade deficits; which is a bad way to allocate government expenditure (infrastructure needs aren't ever so nice) and is all too much like taking money from the mining towns (those are likely surpluses) and giving it to the farming town (coz exporting corn doesn't work anymore, which was the whole idea).

It's basically the same problems facing putting the whole europe under a single currency system while maintaining individual economic areas, only smaller. Oh wait, that isn't working so well. =(

Left to its own devices, the system will naturally aggregate populations towards the more productive areas (aka. building a city around some key natural resource), which cuts into people's ability to be self-sufficient. And if the culture was such that people refused to live in areas that they couldn't be... say, 70% self-sufficient in, cities aren't possible. Collapse of government is a near certainty in such cases.

...

Actually, I think I'm going to have to say this idea is non-workable. Sounds nice, but it won't work, it doesn't solve the need for large scale cooperation.
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:07 pm UTC

LaSargenta wrote:This is an interesting thread and astoundingly abstract. Obviously, I have a lot to learn about material science.


It's a big field. I dabble, and within certain areas, I have some pretty good practical knowledge, but there's absolutely loads I don't know jack about.

But, in the course of posting, people have brought in lots of other issues -- including some absolutely prize assumptions
(Including this one:
Tyndmyr wrote:I admit, the image of crooks trying to learn materials science and 3d modeling skills does amuse me.
which seems to just ooze classist generalizations. Let me assure you that what is a major determination of whether or not someone becomes a 'crook' is a desire to show off being smarter than everyone else, pulling something over on all the 'stupid people', or a complete lack of impulse control. None of these things precludes knowing about materials science.)


Come now, even a cursory study of the type of crime that involves handguns will reveal that it's biased heavily toward the lower class. Lower quality of education is unarguably a contributing cause to perpetuating the cycle of violence. Surely the elegance of would-be criminals being encouraged to self-educate in order to commit crime is appealing, yes?

Sure, not likely to ACTUALLY happen, since there's so many easier ways of getting weapons, but in the abstract, it's a lovely idea.

Ormurinn used the example of "women and the physically disabled". All I did was post that, in my experience, a gun wasn't the thing that saved me and that if I did carry one, it wouldn't be as useful in the situations that most women are more likely to find themselves in. Nice try, Tyndmyr, but saying my post or sub topic wasn't relevant at that point in the thread isn't true.


Anecdote is not a synonym for data.

Now, on another topic floating around, I wonder about the safety of widely distributed reservoirs of powdered aluminum. Whenever I change a toner cartridge, there's something that gets out. Would a cartridge of the building supply leak at all? In the presence of heat? Aluminum? I don't think I'd want that in my house. I hear Ensign Bickford uses that a lot. :wink: It arrives on my job sites in a mobile magazine.


Well, sintering frequently has a lot of wastage, so yeah, you're likely going to have some left-over powder atop the printer after a job. It's not a big deal, though...many manufacturing processes are a little bit messy. You probably shouldn't put it in your kitchen, obviously, but having it in a workshop or local manufacturing/hobby shop isn't a big deal.

jseah wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:
jseah wrote:I've read a bit (first and last section) of that mutualist link. Very strange thinking that, but the cost savings pointed out make sense and do point towards decentralizing industry.


I find such concepts fascinating myself. I'm not sure we're really there yet....but the ideas, at least, are worth exploring.

Read a bit more now, and can only say, yeah, we're definitely not there yet.

Distributed manufacturing involves alot of despecialization. Everyone growing their own garden, servicing their own appliances and building their own machines? Lol no.


Exactly. Now, there's absolutely nothing wrong with growing a 'lil garden and doing some of your own repair work. Hell, we'd probably be better off if more people did that. But it's inherently going to be missing out on economies of scale, and nobody can truly learn EVERYTHING. Even in a post-scarcity world, some things, I imagine, will be centrally made. Current processor fabbing places, for instance, are ludicrously expensive. You're not gonna roll your own. This may change eventually, but there'll probably be some new cutting edge tech that occupies the same slot instead.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Sockmonkey » Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:11 pm UTC

Fortunately, it doesn't require that every home, or even every community be self-sufficient. If every town had an independant local place that specialized in such manufacture it would still make things much better. We don't need to get rid of every corporation, just getting rid of a good chunk of them would go a long way towards removing their undue influence on society and government.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby weasel@xkcd » Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:30 am UTC

Sockmonkey wrote:We don't need to get rid of every corporation, just getting rid of a good chunk of them would go a long way towards removing their undue influence on society and government.

But it seems to me you're getting rid of the least harmful cooperations and leaving those most likely to influence the government untouched.

Looking around my room the things I see that could easily be replaced by a 3d printer are shelves, containers and (maybe?) a fan. I'll be honest, I've never really worried about the influence of Ikea or some random shelf-making company on my government / society. You're welcome to try and convince me these cooperations are a problem but it sure doesn't feel like it.

I'd worry more about the mining companies, the power companies, the logging companies and the other primary industries, and frankly I don't don't see how 3d printing will reduce their power. Surely nobody is arguing the possibility of mining for example as a cottage industry?

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Arariel » Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:06 pm UTC

Derek wrote:
nitePhyyre wrote:1) The 'price where supply equals demand' and 'supply being equal to demand' are two completely different things.

I don't see how. I can only guess you mean "maximum possible supply is realized and maximum possible demand is satisfied", but that's meaningless in anything other than a post-scarcity situation, because both parts would be incredibly wasteful. And in a post-scarcity scenario, that still corresponds to "price where supply equals demand".

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.

I agree that there will be no market for a post-scarcity product. I do not agree that this is anti-capitalist. On the contrary, if such a situation were possible (which, honestly, I don't believe is for the vast majority of goods, but that's a separate topic), I think capitalism would be the best way to achieve it. Other people's comments have already elaborated more on what I mean by this.


This is toward both of you, because I'm too lazy to go through both your quotes.

First, you people mean quantity supplied equals quantity demanded, not supply equalling demand.

Second, post-scarcity does not mean all supply equalling demand. It means a perfectly elastic (or nearly) supply curve (or marginal cost curve for a monopolistic company) at a price of zero (which is not a supply curve that is infinite at all places). Quantity supplied will ALWAYS match quantity demanded in equilibrium; else there will be a surplus or deficit (and despite this being 'post-scarcity', even if you manage to miraculously create these at absolutely no cost, you still don't have infinite storage, so surpluses and deficits are still bad). For a competitive market, the price will be zero, but for a monopoly, the quantity supplied will be where the marginal cost and marginal return curves intersect, at a price above zero.

Third, capitalism is not about making supply never equalling demand (which is completely meaningless and makes no sense at all; if you're talking about making Qs never equalling Qd, that's completely wrong because even monopolies make Qs equal Qd. The only instances where Qs and Qd are not equal are under price limits, quotas, and central planning, which are all very un-free market, funnily enough). Capitalism is the economic system of private ownership of means of production (emphasis on capital, hence, capitalism) and nothing more than that. Unless you think that post-scarcity == no property, there's absolutely no conflict between the two.

Fourth, markets develop the technologies to lower or eliminate the profits of suppliers all the time (the idea of this somehow eliminating markets is an odd thought). Labour-saving devices, digital media and piracy (not that they haven't attempted to combat this), and cell phones (yes, many people still have landlines and offices will probably continue to have them for a very long time, but I doubt residential landlines have a long life ahead of them). The classical example is of an industry that develops a new technology at a point where the demand curve is elastic, meaning that in order to sell a higher quantity, they need to lower the price by so much they lose profit overall. If all of them refused to adopt the technology, they'd make more money; if all except one refused, those who refused to adopt the technology would lose market share to the adopter who would make more money. Hence, each of them will adopt the technology out of fear of the others' actions. The same argument applies if they adopt the technology but artificially limit the supply by not producing as much or setting self-imposed price floors.

Fifth, a market is any institution where two or more parties engage in an exchange of goods or services. Unless a post-scarcity society entails a society where no people interact to make any exchanges at all (including, for example, bartering services), it will not be post-market.

weasel@xkcd wrote:
Sockmonkey wrote:We don't need to get rid of every corporation, just getting rid of a good chunk of them would go a long way towards removing their undue influence on society and government.

But it seems to me you're getting rid of the least harmful cooperations and leaving those most likely to influence the government untouched.

Looking around my room the things I see that could easily be replaced by a 3d printer are shelves, containers and (maybe?) a fan. I'll be honest, I've never really worried about the influence of Ikea or some random shelf-making company on my government / society. You're welcome to try and convince me these cooperations are a problem but it sure doesn't feel like it.

I'd worry more about the mining companies, the power companies, the logging companies and the other primary industries, and frankly I don't don't see how 3d printing will reduce their power. Surely nobody is arguing the possibility of mining for example as a cottage industry?


And not large companies whose power depends heavily on government-granted monopolies in the form of copyright? Those are most certainly post-scarcity goods that have been monopolised by practices contrary to the free market, and they do wield an extraordinary and undue amount of influence over the government.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby BlackSails » Sun Oct 14, 2012 9:36 pm UTC

LaSargenta wrote:(Including this one:
Tyndmyr wrote:I admit, the image of crooks trying to learn materials science and 3d modeling skills does amuse me.
which seems to just ooze classist generalizations. Let me assure you that what is a major determination of whether or not someone becomes a 'crook' is a desire to show off being smarter than everyone else, pulling something over on all the 'stupid people', or a complete lack of impulse control. None of these things precludes knowing about materials science.)


Are you really going to argue that there is a non-negligible number of burglars with doctorates?

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sun Oct 14, 2012 9:39 pm UTC

Most shoplifters do it for the thrill, rather than for the actual stolen goods or to sell the stolen goods for money, according a textbook on deviant behavior I used to have. Poor people are much more likely to commit certain kinds of crimes, but America wouldn't be a nation run by billionaire supervillains if money made you immune to criminal behavior.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby yurell » Sun Oct 14, 2012 9:45 pm UTC

BlackSails wrote:Are you really going to argue that there is a non-negligible number of burglars with doctorates?


Why do you go just for the blue-collar crime, without looking at its white-collar equivalent (embezzlement, fraud etc.)?
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Green9090 » Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:32 pm UTC

yurell wrote:
BlackSails wrote:Are you really going to argue that there is a non-negligible number of burglars with doctorates?


Why do you go just for the blue-collar crime, without looking at its white-collar equivalent (embezzlement, fraud etc.)?


Because you don't need a plastic gun to commit fraud.
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:36 pm UTC

Sockmonkey wrote:Fortunately, it doesn't require that every home, or even every community be self-sufficient. If every town had an independant local place that specialized in such manufacture it would still make things much better. We don't need to get rid of every corporation, just getting rid of a good chunk of them would go a long way towards removing their undue influence on society and government.


Well, here's the thing...corporations totally can be problematic. However, one of the things corporations care most about is...other corporations, their main competitors. Less corporations in total would limit their competitor pool, and possibly allow greater abuses. For a healthy market, you want corporations competing tightly with a LOT of others. Limits the power of any one corporation.

Now, I'm not against local manufacturing...I just don't think that axing manufacturing corporation A will necessarily be an overall help if manufacturing corporation B is now just as big, and doesn't have to worry about that competitor.

weasel@xkcd wrote:Looking around my room the things I see that could easily be replaced by a 3d printer are shelves, containers and (maybe?) a fan. I'll be honest, I've never really worried about the influence of Ikea or some random shelf-making company on my government / society. You're welcome to try and convince me these cooperations are a problem but it sure doesn't feel like it.


While I agree with your overall point, let me tell you...once you have a printer, you'd be amazed at how many different uses for it you find. =)

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Violent crime, the sort that would be influenced by printable guns, is indeed overwhelmingly the purview of the poor and under-educated.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby sardia » Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:59 pm UTC

I could argue that you've been brainwashed by the white elite that violent crime is a bigger problem than white collar crime. What's the penalty for 3 felonies in the US? What's the penalty for Bernie Madoff's crime? Why is it that when you shoot your neighbor, it's prison, but when you shoot the economy in the face, you get billions of dollars to fix it?

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Derek » Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:10 pm UTC

sardia wrote:I could argue that you've been brainwashed by the white elite that violent crime is a bigger problem than white collar crime.

I'm not seeing where anyone has suggested otherwise. The point is that CEOs don't need guns to commit fraud, and this topic is about printing guns. So CEOs aren't relevant to this topic.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Green9090 » Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:16 pm UTC

Why do people want so badly to make this about class war? WE'RE TALKING ABOUT GUNS. You do not use guns to embezzle money or evade taxes with offshore accounts. We aren't ignoring it because we're being privileged middle class white males, we're ignoring it because it has literally nothing to do with the crime that comes from access to guns.
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:43 pm UTC

Yup. What they said.

3d printing is pretty unnecessary for CEO fraud, so it's just not relevant here. Fraud sucks, sure, but 3d printing isn't going to enable that very well at a corporate scale...though it MIGHT allow some fraud at a lower scale.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby sardia » Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:30 pm UTC

Fair enough, hmm now you got me thinking about committing fraud with a printed out objects.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Red Hal » Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:30 pm UTC

Police badge, copies of keys, counterfeit parts, I could go on; so I will. Replacement of stolen parts with facsimiles to hide the theft, copies of objects in someone's environment that have surveillance built-in. All of these things are achievable without 3D printing, but may become more profitable as the cost of producing them falls.
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby EMTP » Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:36 pm UTC

A few hopefully on-topic thoughts:

1. Of course you can "stop the signal." Of course you can suppress technology. Get real. Any particular technology may be more or less difficult to control, but the existence of hard-to-control technology does not make all regulation/restriction a doomed effort. I say this has someone who has watched with deep frustration as a certain Mid-East state has trampled its native inhabitants' rights underfoot; most rebellions fail. If the government felt there was a serious danger from these weapons, they'd ban their home manufacture and back up that ban with a long prison sentence. How many are going to risk that to home-brew a widely available legal product? And please, don't tell me your local law enforcement won't find out. You know another disruptive tech advancing by leaps and bounds? Surveillance tech.

2. Don't worry about a post-scarcity society. That's not a thing. Worry about global warming. If we fail to cope with that challenge, humanity is likely to stop getting steadily richer and start getting steadily poorer.

3. Experienced or not, bigger people do better in fights. Little people who brag about their skill as experienced brawlers seem less believable because actual experienced brawlers, of any size, know to avoid hand-to-hand engagements with bigger, stronger people. If you don't know enough to respect that advantage, your pretense of experience seems less than credible.

3. Don't worry about the benefits or problems of "mutualism." Just like any other form of anarchy, mutualism is like an artificial element: it is found nowhere on earth, would take massive amounts of energy to synthesize, and would fall apart in a fraction of a second.
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby EdgarJPublius » Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:50 pm UTC

EMTP wrote:A few hopefully on-topic thoughts:

1. Of course you can "stop the signal." Of course you can suppress technology. Get real.



Absolutely, the Pirate Bay isn't a real thing after all, neither is Tor or Bitcoin and the Silk Road. And knock-offs, counterfeits and other fake/fraudulent products certainly aren't rampant, from designer clothes and accessories to automobiles, computer components and accessories, appliances, aircraft parts, firearms and firearm accessories...

The War on drugs? Totally over, prohibition worked.
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby EMTP » Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:58 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:Absolutely, the Pirate Bay isn't a real thing after all . . .


This is exactly the same fallacy refuted above. You've got no argument. "Yeah, sometimes people steal intellectual property and get away with it." So? Key word there is "sometimes."

Does the existence of jewel thieves mean that ownership of jewelry is impossible and safes and security guards are wasted effort? That's an irrational, childish misapprehension of how society works.
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby yurell » Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:17 pm UTC

EMTP wrote:Does the existence of jewel thieves mean that ownership of jewelry is impossible and safes and security guards are wasted effort? That's an irrational, childish misapprehension of how society works.


Except theft of jewellery results in it being denied to the original owner, whereas fabrication of copies doesn't.
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby EMTP » Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:23 pm UTC

yurell wrote:Except theft of jewellery results in it being denied to the original owner, whereas fabrication of copies doesn't.


That is an argument for whether government should restrict the sharing of certain things. It isn't an argument that it can't. In most cases, it can.
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby EdgarJPublius » Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:38 pm UTC

EMTP wrote:
EdgarJPublius wrote:Absolutely, the Pirate Bay isn't a real thing after all . . .


This is exactly the same fallacy refuted above. You've got no argument. "Yeah, sometimes people steal intellectual property and get away with it." So? Key word there is "sometimes."


Every study ever performed shows that people getting caught and/or prosecuted for stealing intellectual property are *by far* the exception.

Even the more recent 'shotgun' approach has only caught out a small fraction of infringers, and almost all of those lawsuits are thrown out before the defendants can even be named from IP records.

As the network infrastructure becomes more inherently secure (which is already happening as a result of various cyber-security mandates) it will be harder and harder to identify infringing/illegal content, let alone anybody downloading or distributing it. Savvy pirates have already moved on to using strong encryption and VPNs.
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby EMTP » Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:50 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:Every study ever performed shows that people getting caught and/or prosecuted for stealing intellectual property are *by far* the exception.


Oh, so people do get caught for stealing intellectual property? How interesting. And presumably more could be caught, if it were a higher priority for law enforcement. I wonder how many twenty-year prison sentences one would need to hand to cut intellectual piracy by 75%?

But that, of course, is a side issue. The central question is whether the ability to download a song without paying for it means it is logically impossible to effectively discourage the illegal manufacture of guns.

There are two separate ideas here, both of them half-baked. The first is that governments are powerless to stop thieves who steal intellectual property. The second is that because (supposedly) governments are powerless to stop thieves who steal intellectual property, governments are helpless to stop people from illegally manufacturing guns.

No, sorry, not so. This is real life, not Rand/Heinlein slash fiction.
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:03 am UTC

EMTP wrote:
EdgarJPublius wrote:Every study ever performed shows that people getting caught and/or prosecuted for stealing intellectual property are *by far* the exception.


Oh, so people do get caught for stealing intellectual property? How interesting. And presumably more could be caught, if it were a higher priority for law enforcement. I wonder how many twenty-year prison sentences one would need to hand to cut intellectual piracy by 75%?


How many false positives do you have to get before your campaign on 20-year prison sentences loses public support? Its not like the IP address (the best identifying marker) from Bittorrent is enough to prove guilt. (or should be enough I should say...) Plenty of elderly folk with incorrectly configured routers were the target of bittorrent users. And when various companies came down to sue technologically illiterate grandmas, the public reacted very poorly. "The traffic for bittorrent definitely originated from here!!" just wasn't enough to convince people that grandma knew how to use bittorrent to begin with. http://torrentfreak.com/bittorrent-gran ... ts-110831/

Unlike EdgarJPublius, I do believe it is possible to eventually "stop the signal" so to speak. However, it would require a huge amount of technology advances and proliferation of anti-consumer products (beyond just DRM inside computers, but some sort of identification DRM chip that cannot be compromised installed on every computer). And after that, you need to ban VPNs and anonymizers like Tor. Under those conditions, it would be possible to identify traffic and track where "counterfeit IP" or "pirated IP" comes from. But anything less than that will be doomed to failure.

Case in point: onion routing. Not much you can do about that. Even if all traffic originating from your computer were tracked, it it were encrypted and then onion routed, people would have a very difficult time proving that you're actually pirating things.

But that, of course, is a side issue. The central question is whether the ability to download a song without paying for it means it is logically impossible to effectively discourage the illegal manufacture of guns.

There are two separate ideas here, both of them half-baked. The first is that governments are powerless to stop thieves who steal intellectual property. The second is that because (supposedly) governments are powerless to stop thieves who steal intellectual property, governments are helpless to stop people from illegally manufacturing guns.

No, sorry, not so. This is real life, not Rand/Heinlein slash fiction.


The former seems pretty valid to me unfortunately. At least with the current state of technology as well as the policies and guarantees that the government gives us. (In particular, the 4th amendment). The only reason the latter doesn't exist is because the technology for quality metal 3d printers isn't cheap enough for consumers.
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:07 am UTC

EMTP wrote:Oh, so people do get caught for stealing intellectual property? How interesting. And presumably more could be caught, if it were a higher priority for law enforcement. I wonder how many twenty-year prison sentences one would need to hand to cut intellectual piracy by 75%?
Okay, so, just to clarify: Yes, that would decrease intellectual piracy. No, it's probably not going to happen. Because it would cost too much to enforce.

So on one hand while it is totally fair to say 'Yeah this could happen', you can't treat it as if it's somehow likely or reasonable or represents an ever-present threat. America's got a neurotic relationship with prohibition--gun control, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, free speech--you name it, we fight to keep it. Part of the reason is because there's always a tangle of interests involved, and that tangle keeps things from getting ridiculous (although there were a few multi-million dollar suits aimed at a few pirates in the US way back in the Napster years, if I recall...).
EMTP wrote:But that, of course, is a side issue. The central question is whether the ability to download a song without paying for it means it is logically impossible to effectively discourage the illegal manufacture of guns.

There are two separate ideas here, both of them half-baked. The first is that governments are powerless to stop thieves who steal intellectual property. The second is that because (supposedly) governments are powerless to stop thieves who steal intellectual property, governments are helpless to stop people from illegally manufacturing guns.

No, sorry, not so. This is real life, not Rand/Heinlein slash fiction.
The government is helpless to stop people from illegally manufacturing guns.

Seriously, have you driven around the southern parts of the States? We've got standoffs that have lasted for years. Years! If the government wanted these people, they'd go and get them, yeah--but it's not worth the cost. And another way of saying 'It's not worth the cost' is 'We're helpless to stop it'.

I mean, I get what you're saying, but I sincerely doubt that if people really wanted to print their own guns in the states--and they had the machinery to do so--that the government would be able to do much about it. It's simply a matter of making sure that the cost of stopping you is higher than the government is willing to pay. And I don't think that the government's sincerely scared of people 'printing' guns. Government's got tanks; maybe they'll get scared when people start printing those.

Until then, I suspect they won't be willing to pay a tremendous amount.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby EdgarJPublius » Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:32 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:The only reason the latter doesn't exist is because the technology for quality metal 3d printers isn't cheap enough for consumers.


It does exist, CNC mills cheap enough for consumers are quite capable of turning out illegal firearms, and legal ones for that matter, since in the U.S. and a few other countries, its perfectly legal to manufacture your own firearms.

Seriously, we covered this on page 1.
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby EMTP » Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:33 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:And another way of saying 'It's not worth the cost' is 'We're helpless to stop it'.


Those are not equivalent statements.

As to the specific example, there are abundant examples of countries that have successfully restricted private gun ownership, at minimal cost. The reason we do not in the US is not because it is difficult, but because it would be unpopular -- in other words, because we choose not to.

Let me be clear: enforcing any law costs money. Some laws cost more to enforce than others. Some technologies and products are harder to restrict than others. What I object to is not that self-evident reality but the invocation of a airheaded meaningless aphorism like "You can't stop the signal" to assert that government is powerless in the face of technology.
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby jareds » Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:42 am UTC

EMTP wrote:I wonder how many twenty-year prison sentences one would need to hand to cut intellectual piracy by 75%?

In principle, you can get around very low probability of enforcement with very draconian sentences. In practice, there is some limit to how disproportionate to the offense that the penalty for a widespread crime can be in a democracy. Do you think you could also hand out 20 year prison sentences and end even the most minor speeding?

This is real life, not George Orwell slash fiction.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:45 am UTC

EMTP wrote:Let me be clear: enforcing any law costs money. Some laws cost more to enforce than others. Some technologies and products are harder to restrict than others. What I object to is not that self-evident reality but the invocation of a airheaded meaningless aphorism like "You can't stop the signal" to assert that government is powerless in the face of technology.
Okay, but 'The signal costs way too much to thoroughly stop'--and 'Even if you pay that cost, you probably can't completely stop the signal, because the signal is far too ubiquitous'--are valid statements concerning the types of technology we're talking about.

When someone says 'You Can't Stop The Signal', I usually assume that's what they mean--but I can understand wanting to challenge the notion that the signal is inherently unstoppable. Everything stops if you stomp on it hard enough. But things like this are very costly to thoroughly stomp out--and the cost seems to be increasing.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby EMTP » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:01 am UTC

Okay, but 'The signal costs way too much to thoroughly stop'--and 'Even if you pay that cost, you probably can't completely stop the signal, because the signal is far too ubiquitous'--are valid statements concerning the types of technology we're talking about.


I don't agree that that applies to homemade firearms.

I haven't seen any argument that this technology or this application would be particularly expensive or difficult to stop. "You can't stop the signal" was offered as a sweeping generalization that obviated the need for a specific case.

It seems to me that we have had a lot of success in the regulation of weapons. We've had a lot of success "stopping the signal" of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.

It seems to me an illegal homemade firearm would suffer from some of the same problems as a homemade chemical or biological weapon: sure, you might have the necessary elements in your garage, but after a dangerous manufacturing process, the end product is an unpredictable, unreliable weapon that will get you locked up for the rest of your life if anyone finds out about it.

What's the specific case for the proposition that home manufacture of guns will be difficult to discourage in the sense that stealing a music file is difficult to discourage?
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:07 am UTC

EMTP wrote:What's the specific case for the proposition that home manufacture of guns will be difficult to discourage in the sense that stealing a music file is difficult to discourage?
That discouraging the illegitimate use of 3D printers will mostly just discourage the legitimate use of 3D printers--exactly how discouraging illegitimate use of filesharing mostly just discourages the legitimate use of filesharing.

When technology reaches a certain level of trivial access--that is to say, when the requirements to accomplish a type of task becomes trivial--it becomes very hard to prevent illegitimate tasks while allowing for legitimate tasks. Because illegitimate tasks and legitimate tasks start becoming less and less distinguishable. And depending on the utility of this technology, interests will strongly align on the side of protecting the legitimate use rather than trying to (often unsuccessfully!) punishing the illegitimate use. In other words, if 3D printers are successful and useful, people will fight to have them (and sell them).

If all I need to print a gun is a 3D printer, a downloadable blueprint, and a trip to the local hardware store, you only have three means to stop me from printing guns: Stop me from owning a 3D printer, stop me from downloading the blueprint, or stop me from buying things at the hardware store. None of those are easy.

EDIT: And remember, the claim I'm making isn't that guns will be widely available, popular, or reliable--I'm only claiming that the cost of preventing the printing of guns is probably going to be too high to bother.
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:13 am UTC

EMTP wrote:
EdgarJPublius wrote:Absolutely, the Pirate Bay isn't a real thing after all . . .


This is exactly the same fallacy refuted above. You've got no argument. "Yeah, sometimes people steal intellectual property and get away with it." So? Key word there is "sometimes."

Does the existence of jewel thieves mean that ownership of jewelry is impossible and safes and security guards are wasted effort? That's an irrational, childish misapprehension of how society works.


I submit that piracy is perhaps a bit more widespread than jewel thieves.

Given that the pirate bay already has a section for 3d models(albeit with a terrible supply of actual models currently), I suspect that the comparison is quite fair. I imagine that it'll be equally hard to stop people from downloading gun models...but again, I think that's not really the bottleneck. Everyone in the world can have the plans, but it'll still be mostly pointless compared to building a gun from a pipe and such.

That said, stopping the latter is also mostly impossible. You can make it rarer, but I suspect that draconian punishments for hobbyist firearm crafting is just not going to ever have significant traction in the US. We've got a pretty big gun culture here, and frankly, the hobbyist is pretty inoffensive in general as far as guns go. It just doesn't seem like a likely target to me.

EMTP wrote:
The Great Hippo wrote:And another way of saying 'It's not worth the cost' is 'We're helpless to stop it'.


Those are not equivalent statements.

As to the specific example, there are abundant examples of countries that have successfully restricted private gun ownership, at minimal cost. The reason we do not in the US is not because it is difficult, but because it would be unpopular -- in other words, because we choose not to.


Well, at a certain point of unpopularity, enforcement does become impossible. The citizens are many, the police are few. Remember when they tried Prohibition? That's an activity with similar popularity in the US, and they tried rather harsh crackdowns in many cases, with pretty poor success.


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