The State is Over! If You Want It

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Hugh Akston
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The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by Hugh Akston »

A thread for the various ways both good and bad that emergent order fills the gaps left by the state.
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Hugh Akston
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Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by Hugh Akston »

Moynihan has a story about private security firms taking over police duties in Detroit, where the city can't afford to retain its cops:
It's become a booming industry here in recent years, with the largest contractor, Securitas, reporting 25% year-over-year growth since the city's bankruptcy.

Another successful player in the business is Threat Management Center, run by ex-Army paratrooper Dale Brown. His 60-person VIPER force serves a client roster of over 5,000 private citizens and 100 businesses. Altogether, he said, the company brings in about $2 million a year.
Two thoughts:
1) These guys look like clowns, even with their tactical boats and motorcycles.

2) It will be interesting to see what happens when one of these Army Surplus Store gift card holders inevitably shoots an unarmed person in the back. Since they aren't state actors they don't have sovereign immunity, and they may lack the political connections and capital to avoid criminal consequences for their actions the way cops do.
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Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by Warren »

Hugh Akston wrote: 01 May 2019, 17:04 Moynihan has a story about private security firms taking over police duties in Detroit, where the city can't afford to retain its cops:
It's become a booming industry here in recent years, with the largest contractor, Securitas, reporting 25% year-over-year growth since the city's bankruptcy.

Another successful player in the business is Threat Management Center, run by ex-Army paratrooper Dale Brown. His 60-person VIPER force serves a client roster of over 5,000 private citizens and 100 businesses. Altogether, he said, the company brings in about $2 million a year.
Two thoughts:
1) These guys look like clowns, even with their tactical boats and motorcycles.

2) It will be interesting to see what happens when one of these Army Surplus Store gift card holders inevitably shoots an unarmed person in the back. Since they aren't state actors they don't have sovereign immunity, and they may lack the political connections and capital to avoid criminal consequences for their actions the way cops do.
The police are answerable to the public...
Ha ha ha. Pull the other one Chief.
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Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by Aresen »

Warren wrote: 01 May 2019, 21:26
Hugh Akston wrote: 01 May 2019, 17:04 Moynihan has a story about private security firms taking over police duties in Detroit, where the city can't afford to retain its cops:
It's become a booming industry here in recent years, with the largest contractor, Securitas, reporting 25% year-over-year growth since the city's bankruptcy.

Another successful player in the business is Threat Management Center, run by ex-Army paratrooper Dale Brown. His 60-person VIPER force serves a client roster of over 5,000 private citizens and 100 businesses. Altogether, he said, the company brings in about $2 million a year.
Two thoughts:
1) These guys look like clowns, even with their tactical boats and motorcycles.

2) It will be interesting to see what happens when one of these Army Surplus Store gift card holders inevitably shoots an unarmed person in the back. Since they aren't state actors they don't have sovereign immunity, and they may lack the political connections and capital to avoid criminal consequences for their actions the way cops do.
The police are answerable to the public...
Ha ha ha. Pull the other one Chief.
I laugh with you Warren, but it's a crying kind of laugh, because you know that the first time one of the rent-a-cops blows the wrong person away, the rallying cry of the ones on the public teat is going to be 'we are answerable.'
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Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by Warren »

Aresen wrote: 01 May 2019, 23:22
Warren wrote: 01 May 2019, 21:26
Hugh Akston wrote: 01 May 2019, 17:04 Moynihan has a story about private security firms taking over police duties in Detroit, where the city can't afford to retain its cops:
It's become a booming industry here in recent years, with the largest contractor, Securitas, reporting 25% year-over-year growth since the city's bankruptcy.

Another successful player in the business is Threat Management Center, run by ex-Army paratrooper Dale Brown. His 60-person VIPER force serves a client roster of over 5,000 private citizens and 100 businesses. Altogether, he said, the company brings in about $2 million a year.
Two thoughts:
1) These guys look like clowns, even with their tactical boats and motorcycles.

2) It will be interesting to see what happens when one of these Army Surplus Store gift card holders inevitably shoots an unarmed person in the back. Since they aren't state actors they don't have sovereign immunity, and they may lack the political connections and capital to avoid criminal consequences for their actions the way cops do.
The police are answerable to the public...
Ha ha ha. Pull the other one Chief.
I laugh with you Warren, but it's a crying kind of laugh, because you know that the first time one of the rent-a-cops blows the wrong person away, the rallying cry of the ones on the public teat is going to be 'we are answerable.'
I WTFV The rent-a-cops are unarmed. The lead guy is, somewhat amusingly, too gung-ho, but I find the service he offers to be properly executed and much preferable to government goons.
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Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

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The funny thing is that in some ways, the answer is "the great majority of things we do in a (reasonably) free-market economy". I have heard repeated stories of visitors from Communist countries being introduced to the West and not being able to grasp "But how do you know how much anything should cost?"
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Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

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JD wrote: 02 May 2019, 00:51 The funny thing is that in some ways, the answer is "the great majority of things we do in a (reasonably) free-market economy". I have heard repeated stories of visitors from Communist countries being introduced to the West and not being able to grasp "But how do you know how much anything should cost?"
The funny thing is in some ways, the no listed prices thing is the future of capitalism. There's more friction in haggle societies, but you get perfect price discovery.
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Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by JasonL »

I think there will be multiple equilibria based on good or service. Also a feature of emergent order.
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Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

Rent-A-Cops may have silly uniforms and not carry firearms now, but so did real cops back in the day. Frog, meet kettle.

On the topic of emergent order generally, I look back at all those stories about the landed gentry just not getting that mere ownership of farm land wasn't going to be the sole or most important source of wealth and power forever. Whatever the prevailing powers that be may happen to be can try to stop or co-op change, but only the ones who embrace and learn to use the change get to hold on to that power and get, for a while, to be the new status quo.
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Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by Shem »

Mo wrote: 02 May 2019, 06:02
JD wrote: 02 May 2019, 00:51 The funny thing is that in some ways, the answer is "the great majority of things we do in a (reasonably) free-market economy". I have heard repeated stories of visitors from Communist countries being introduced to the West and not being able to grasp "But how do you know how much anything should cost?"
The funny thing is in some ways, the no listed prices thing is the future of capitalism. There's more friction in haggle societies, but you get perfect price discovery.
In a world with Amazon? Nah, the future of capitalism is algorithms that make listed prices rise and fall in semi-real time depending on how many people are buying the item. We've already noted this happening at work when we buy office supplies from Amazon. Buy half the office desk-sized whiteboards to replace post-it notes, the price jumps $8 two days later. Next month, the prices are back to where they were.
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Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by Warren »

Shem wrote: 02 May 2019, 10:05
Mo wrote: 02 May 2019, 06:02
JD wrote: 02 May 2019, 00:51 The funny thing is that in some ways, the answer is "the great majority of things we do in a (reasonably) free-market economy". I have heard repeated stories of visitors from Communist countries being introduced to the West and not being able to grasp "But how do you know how much anything should cost?"
The funny thing is in some ways, the no listed prices thing is the future of capitalism. There's more friction in haggle societies, but you get perfect price discovery.
In a world with Amazon? Nah, the future of capitalism is algorithms that make listed prices rise and fall in semi-real time depending on how many people are buying the item. We've already noted this happening at work when we buy office supplies from Amazon. Buy half the office desk-sized whiteboards to replace post-it notes, the price jumps $8 two days later. Next month, the prices are back to where they were.
And I'm told the price varies customer to customer, so shopping in a private window can be advantageous. I currently rely on the market to provide me with the best price via the Honey app.
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Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

Shem wrote: 02 May 2019, 10:05
Mo wrote: 02 May 2019, 06:02
JD wrote: 02 May 2019, 00:51 The funny thing is that in some ways, the answer is "the great majority of things we do in a (reasonably) free-market economy". I have heard repeated stories of visitors from Communist countries being introduced to the West and not being able to grasp "But how do you know how much anything should cost?"
The funny thing is in some ways, the no listed prices thing is the future of capitalism. There's more friction in haggle societies, but you get perfect price discovery.
In a world with Amazon? Nah, the future of capitalism is algorithms that make listed prices rise and fall in semi-real time depending on how many people are buying the item. We've already noted this happening at work when we buy office supplies from Amazon. Buy half the office desk-sized whiteboards to replace post-it notes, the price jumps $8 two days later. Next month, the prices are back to where they were.
I've told the story before, but on a vacation to recently post-Warsaw Pact Poland, a woman liked some gewgaw a street peddler was selling and figured she'd get a half dozen to bring back as gifts but when she asked what the price for six was, the peddler asked for a higher price per gewgaw than she was asking for them apiece. Her reasoning was, hey, this buyer really must like them, so I can charge her even more!

On the topic of Commie bewilderment over prices, I've read that back in the USSR (cue Beatles soundtrack) they had to rely on Sears catalogs and the like to figure out how much to charge for, say, a pair of shoes. I don't know if the story is true, but it delights me if it is.

All commercial transactions are exchanges of risk. I sell you X for $Y today, at which point I have lost the possibility of getting more for it and you have lost the opportunity to buy it for less tomorrow. Obviously, individual buyer and seller motivations can skew the negotiated price in a single transaction significantly from whatever the perfect market price may be in the aggregate, but it is in the nature of negotiations that both parties must have some common ground, some overlap between what one side is willing to sell for and the other is willing to buy for or else the negotiations are doomed from the onset.

If Amazon has figured out how to raise and lower prices "in semi-real time," it strikes me that that is just as good for its customers as it is for itself. As consumers, we're not used to spot prices for, well, for consumables, so I can well imagine the shock and outrage of, say, a supermarket customer upon discovering the can of soup in his cart had just gone up in price two cents from the time he took it from the shelves to the checkout line, but he wouldn't be outraged if it were two cents cheaper. We'll adapt as retail customers just as commodities and other commercial and financial markets learned to adapt to ever increasing real-time information about actual supply and demand.
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Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by Mo »

Shem wrote: 02 May 2019, 10:05
Mo wrote: 02 May 2019, 06:02
JD wrote: 02 May 2019, 00:51 The funny thing is that in some ways, the answer is "the great majority of things we do in a (reasonably) free-market economy". I have heard repeated stories of visitors from Communist countries being introduced to the West and not being able to grasp "But how do you know how much anything should cost?"
The funny thing is in some ways, the no listed prices thing is the future of capitalism. There's more friction in haggle societies, but you get perfect price discovery.
In a world with Amazon? Nah, the future of capitalism is algorithms that make listed prices rise and fall in semi-real time depending on how many people are buying the item. We've already noted this happening at work when we buy office supplies from Amazon. Buy half the office desk-sized whiteboards to replace post-it notes, the price jumps $8 two days later. Next month, the prices are back to where they were.
That's what I meant. This is just an automated version of the guy at the souk eyeballing you, figuring out how much you will spend for them and then charging you what you're willing to pay.
his voice is so soothing, but why do conspiracy nuts always sound like Batman and Robin solving one of Riddler's puzzles out loud? - fod

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Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by tr0g »

Sears is amusingly bad at this. If I go look at something on their website logged in, they will come back and email me when it's on sale, say, 2 months later.
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Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by Highway »

tr0g wrote: 02 May 2019, 13:04 Sears is amusingly bad at this. If I go look at something on their website logged in, they will come back and email me when it's on sale, say, 2 months later.
I don't know that that indicates 'bad'. If you didn't buy it before, maybe the reason was that the price was too high. They lower the price, and see if you, an apparently interested shopper, are still looking for the item, and whether the new price is acceptable. Maybe they sell an item that they wouldn't have sold since you didn't come back because when you checked before the price was too high. Seems like it's moving towards that more perfect information on all sides.
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Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by Warren »

Highway wrote: 02 May 2019, 13:33
tr0g wrote: 02 May 2019, 13:04 Sears is amusingly bad at this. If I go look at something on their website logged in, they will come back and email me when it's on sale, say, 2 months later.
I don't know that that indicates 'bad'. If you didn't buy it before, maybe the reason was that the price was too high. They lower the price, and see if you, an apparently interested shopper, are still looking for the item, and whether the new price is acceptable. Maybe they sell an item that they wouldn't have sold since you didn't come back because when you checked before the price was too high. Seems like it's moving towards that more perfect information on all sides.
The 2 month gap makes it unlikely I'm still shopping for that item. But given a decision to drop the price, I think an email to anyone that looked at it in the past year isn't a bad idea. It's not total spam in so far as I once indicated my interest in it, and if I still am, now it's cheaper.
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Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by Dangerman »

Amazon thinks I still want a big ticket items after I *make an actual purchase* which is fucked.
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Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by lunchstealer »

Yeah my wife got me a moveable kitchen island for my birthday and now Amazon is pushing them hard on my Facebook ads. Maybe they’re like Pokémon and I’ve gotta catch them all?
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Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by nicole »

lunchstealer wrote: 02 May 2019, 18:02 Yeah my wife got me a moveable kitchen island for my birthday and now Amazon is pushing them hard on my Facebook ads. Maybe they’re like Pokémon and I’ve gotta catch them all?
The reason this sort of thing happens is because of one or more of the following:

There’s a delay passing information between the systems that know who bought what and the systems that target (in this case, suppress) people based on whether they bought something;
Those systems don’t talk to each other at all, whether for technical or human reasons;
The suppression or some other aspect of the targeting just isn’t set up properly (for technical or human reasons);
You’re not properly recognized on that device/browser and it’s basing your ad targeting on only a subset of your behavior.

I’m sure there are other reasons as well.
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Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by Ellie »

Dangerman wrote: 02 May 2019, 14:54 Amazon thinks I still want a big ticket items after I *make an actual purchase* which is fucked.
download.png
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Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by lunchstealer »

Ellie wrote: 02 May 2019, 18:57
Dangerman wrote: 02 May 2019, 14:54 Amazon thinks I still want a big ticket items after I *make an actual purchase* which is fucked.
download.png
I liked Mo's formulation:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2689&p=413697#p413697
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Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by Warren »

Nobody, men included, wants a world where men treat women with the same respect they show to other men. - thoreau
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Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by Dangerman »

lunchstealer wrote: 02 May 2019, 19:03
Ellie wrote: 02 May 2019, 18:57
Dangerman wrote: 02 May 2019, 14:54 Amazon thinks I still want a big ticket items after I *make an actual purchase* which is fucked.
download.png
I liked Mo's formulation:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2689&p=413697#p413697
Lol credit to MO, I hadn't read through the thread properly.
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Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by Kolohe »

Hugh Akston wrote: 01 May 2019, 17:04 Moynihan has a story about private security firms taking over police duties in Detroit, where the city can't afford to retain its cops:
It's become a booming industry here in recent years, with the largest contractor, Securitas, reporting 25% year-over-year growth since the city's bankruptcy.

Another successful player in the business is Threat Management Center, run by ex-Army paratrooper Dale Brown. His 60-person VIPER force serves a client roster of over 5,000 private citizens and 100 businesses. Altogether, he said, the company brings in about $2 million a year.
Two thoughts:
1) These guys look like clowns, even with their tactical boats and motorcycles.

2) It will be interesting to see what happens when one of these Army Surplus Store gift card holders inevitably shoots an unarmed person in the back. Since they aren't state actors they don't have sovereign immunity, and they may lack the political connections and capital to avoid criminal consequences for their actions the way cops do.
They're rebooting RoboCop yet again? It's only been 5 years.
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Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by Ellie »

lunchstealer wrote: 02 May 2019, 19:03
Ellie wrote: 02 May 2019, 18:57
Dangerman wrote: 02 May 2019, 14:54 Amazon thinks I still want a big ticket items after I *make an actual purchase* which is fucked.
download.png
I liked Mo's formulation:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2689&p=413697#p413697
YES. OMG that's still my favorite.
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