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Why Are So Many "Nerds" Libertarians?

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    ThaumaturgistThaumaturgist Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Remember when this thread was attempting to address why {members of this forum} perceive that nerds tend to be libertarian-leaning? Yeah, neither do I.

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    The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited September 2007
    well, it kind of wasn't. I don't know where "most" came from, but its pretty obvious to me that a lot of nerdy types are indeed libertarians, and libertarians in the obnoxious I-don't-want-to-pay-taxes-because-i-hate-other-people kind of way. The Internet Libertarian is a well-established archetype.

    The Cat on
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    Che GuevaraChe Guevara __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2007
    Canada provided an interesting example with how they instituted the payroll for the new Afghani police departments.

    Traditionally, money was handed out in lump sums to individuals, who would each take their 'cut' before passing it on down the chain. Through successive generations of transfers, the final amount that makes it into the pockets of those with families to feed would be laughable if it weren't so sad.

    To circumvent these kinds of abuses, the Canadian military saw to the installation of ATMs in various locations, allowing for a direct payment system.

    Definitely an improvement over the old system.

    This eliminated corrupt 'governing body' simply by computerizing it.

    Che Guevara on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    well, it kind of wasn't. I don't know where "most" came from, but its pretty obvious to me that a lot of nerdy types are indeed libertarians, and libertarians in the obnoxious I-don't-want-to-pay-taxes-because-i-hate-other-people kind of way. The Internet Libertarian is a well-established archetype.
    I think it's pretty safe to say that there are more Libertarians per capita within the geek population than there are within the general population.

    Thanatos on
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    SenjutsuSenjutsu thot enthusiast Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Almost every geek I know is liberal.

    Standard anecdote, self-selecting, live in canada disclaimers

    Senjutsu on
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    JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    edited September 2007
    How does Ron Paul poll online vs. in the real world? I'm curious.

    Jacobkosh on
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    jacobkosh wrote: »
    How does Ron Paul poll online vs. in the real world? I'm curious.

    Online, he's already President. Real world? Who's Ron Paul?

    mcdermott on
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    ThaumaturgistThaumaturgist Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    jacobkosh wrote: »
    How does Ron Paul poll online vs. in the real world? I'm curious.

    Not saying you're doing this, but let's preempt it:

    Ron Paul is polling high on the internet. Only nerds use the internet. Therefore, most nerds are libertarian.

    Internet polling {save for say, Gallup and Zogby} isn't often internally valid.

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    Mithrandir86Mithrandir86 Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Hacksaw wrote: »
    Oboro wrote: »
    Did you seriously just say that the New Deal AND World War II were ineffectual in regards to the end of the Great Depression?

    You need to write a textbook at this point. Start explaining, I guess? o_O
    He needs to read a textbook at this point.

    A serious one.

    How about A Monetary History of the United States? Or Essays on the Great Depression? Have you read those?

    Mithrandir86 on
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    JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    edited September 2007
    Therefore, most nerds are libertarian.

    Once again, nobody's saying this. Just that there's a greater incidence of libertarianism among nerds than among the general populace.

    And I know that internet polling isn't valid - that's part of the gist of my question, and mcdermott's response. "Who's Ron Paul?" indeed.

    Jacobkosh on
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    JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    edited September 2007
    Yet again, mithrandir, I'm going to have to call you out on the fundamental and rather scurrilous dishonesty of throwing up Milton Fucking Friedman like he's the end all be all of economics and not even acknowledging the existence of controversy.

    Jacobkosh on
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    Mithrandir86Mithrandir86 Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    jacobkosh wrote: »
    Yet again, mithrandir, I'm going to have to call you out on the fundamental and rather scurrilous dishonesty of throwing up Milton Fucking Friedman like he's the end all be all of economics and not even acknowledging the existence of controversy.

    He's not. That's why threw up the second book. It was published in 2005, and Ben fucking Bernanke was the editor.

    Edit: Some people may have issues with Freidman due to his political views, which is fine, but as Economist he was really the greatest of the 20th century.
    The book I am referring to is not a political book like Capitalism and Freedom, but rather an academic Economic book. He won a Nobel Prize for it. It's pretty much Economic canon at this point.

    Mithrandir86 on
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    Ethan SmithEthan Smith Origin name: Beart4to Arlington, VARegistered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Hacksaw wrote: »
    Oboro wrote: »
    Did you seriously just say that the New Deal AND World War II were ineffectual in regards to the end of the Great Depression?

    You need to write a textbook at this point. Start explaining, I guess? o_O
    He needs to read a textbook at this point.

    A serious one.

    How about A Monetary History of the United States? Or Essays on the Great Depression? Have you read those?

    More money wouldn't have done crap for the American economy in the long run hadn't the GI's bill of rights been put into effect. The Bill of Rights turned an economic upswing into a changing force in society, and made higher education a realm that any man, rich or poor, could enter.

    Ethan Smith on
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    ThaumaturgistThaumaturgist Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    jacobkosh wrote: »
    Therefore, most nerds are libertarian.

    Once again, nobody's saying this. Just that there's a greater incidence of libertarianism among nerds than among the general populace.

    And I know that internet polling isn't valid - that's part of the gist of my question, and mcdermott's response. "Who's Ron Paul?" indeed.

    Again, we hit at the heart of the point I am trying to make. Whether we are talking about most or greater incidence, we can't make a blanket statement like that based on anecdotal evidence. Might libertarianism be disproportionately represented among nerds? Sure, but I haven't seen it plotted out. Hell, my hypothesis would be that they are more likely liberal, but I am not saying that as a fact.

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    JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    edited September 2007
    Yes, Friedman and Hayek both won the fake Nobel Prize awarded by conservative Swedish bankers, that's very nice. I should set up my own awards committee, give posthumous medals to Thorstein Veblen and John Kenneth Galbraith and then declare myself "canon."

    Jacobkosh on
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    imbalancedimbalanced Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I don't know about anyone else's rational for claiming at least some level of libertarianism, but I think of it as a "reset button" for current federal politics. Many libertarians probably know for a fact that they aren't democrats, but at the same time know that republicans lack a level of leadership to bring things back to what may or may not be a rose-colored world view of the past. Libertarianism shows a lack of confidence in the current two-party system, which I happen to share.

    That said, I'm okay with political gridlock. Halving congressional power keeps people from thinking too irrationally and politically moving on the spur of the moment. And lets be honest, a lot of the time when people make decisions from the hip, they end up being the wrong ones.

    imbalanced on
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    The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited September 2007
    There's something to be said for the phenomenon wherein republicans too embarrased to associate themselves with the current conservative movement start calling themselves libertarians to avoid copping flak, too.

    The Cat on
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    JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    edited September 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    There's something to be said for the phenomenon wherein republicans too embarrased to associate themselves with the current conservative movement start calling themselves libertarians to avoid copping flak, too.

    to be fair, i notice everyone I know calling themselves "progressive" now. Rebranding ftw!

    Jacobkosh on
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    Mithrandir86Mithrandir86 Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    jacobkosh wrote: »
    Yes, Friedman and Hayek both won the fake Nobel Prize awarded by conservative Swedish bankers, that's very nice. I should set up my own awards committee, give posthumous medals to Thorstein Veblen and John Kenneth Galbraith and then declare myself "canon."

    They're conservative in the fact that they only give out awards for theory with real-world applications. I never thought I'd see someone accuse the Nobel prize commitee of favoring political ideals.

    Perhaps they did not win because, although they were popular, they were simply not good economists?

    You know, Krugman is probably going to win one, and he's not exactly Conservative. Or Libertarian.

    Mithrandir86 on
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    HacksawHacksaw J. Duggan Esq. Wrestler at LawRegistered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Hacksaw wrote: »
    Oboro wrote: »
    Did you seriously just say that the New Deal AND World War II were ineffectual in regards to the end of the Great Depression?

    You need to write a textbook at this point. Start explaining, I guess? o_O
    He needs to read a textbook at this point.

    A serious one.

    How about A Monetary History of the United States? Or Essays on the Great Depression? Have you read those?
    I'm guessing you didn't pay much attention in History class. Here's a hint: the New Deal created jobs. Lots of jobs. WWII created jobs. Lots of jobs (and gave birth to the GI Bill). Saying neither of those was effectual in the dissolution of the Great Depression is like saying water is not an effective Wicked Witch of the West repellant.

    Hacksaw on
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    CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    jacobkosh wrote: »
    Yes, Friedman and Hayek both won the fake Nobel Prize awarded by conservative Swedish bankers, that's very nice. I should set up my own awards committee, give posthumous medals to Thorstein Veblen and John Kenneth Galbraith and then declare myself "canon."

    They're conservative in the fact that they only give out awards for theory with real-world applications. I never thought I'd see someone accuse the Nobel prize commitee of favoring political ideals.

    Perhaps they did not win because, although they were popular, they were simply not good economists?

    You know, Krugman is probably going to win one, and he's not exactly Conservative. Or Libertarian.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobel_Prize
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobel_Prize_in_Economics
    The award was established by the Sveriges Riksbank (the world's oldest central bank) at its 300th anniversary in 1968. The prize is awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in accordance with the same principles as those for the original five Nobel Prizes.[1] Although it was not one of the awards established in the will of Alfred Nobel, the economics laureates receive their diploma and gold medal from the Monarch of Sweden at the same December 10 ceremony in Stockholm as the Nobel laureates in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, and literature. The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo, Norway. The amount of money awarded to the economics laureates is also equal to that of the other prizes.

    Couscous on
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    Mithrandir86Mithrandir86 Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Hacksaw wrote: »
    Hacksaw wrote: »
    Oboro wrote: »
    Did you seriously just say that the New Deal AND World War II were ineffectual in regards to the end of the Great Depression?

    You need to write a textbook at this point. Start explaining, I guess? o_O
    He needs to read a textbook at this point.

    A serious one.

    How about A Monetary History of the United States? Or Essays on the Great Depression? Have you read those?
    I'm guessing you didn't pay much attention in History class. Here's a hint: the New Deal created jobs. Lots of jobs. WWII created jobs. Lots of jobs (and gave birth to the GI Bill). Saying neither of those was effectual in the dissolution of the Great Depression is like saying water is not an effective Wicked Witch of the West repellant.

    I'm thinking that you never advanced beyond High School.

    Jobs that add no utilty do nothing for the economy in the long run.

    Also, yes, Titmouse, I'm well aware there is a wikipedia entry for the Nobel Prize in economics.

    Mithrandir86 on
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    Che GuevaraChe Guevara __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2007
    Canada provided an interesting example with how they instituted the payroll for the new Afghani police departments.

    Traditionally, money was handed out in lump sums to individuals, who would each take their 'cut' before passing it on down the chain. Through successive generations of transfers, the final amount that makes it into the pockets of those with families to feed would be laughable if it weren't so sad.

    To circumvent these kinds of abuses, the Canadian military saw to the installation of ATMs in various locations, allowing for a direct payment system.

    Definitely an improvement over the old system.

    This eliminated corrupt 'governing body' simply by computerizing it.

    My point is that perhaps "Nerds" are Libertarians because we believe it's possible to eliminate outmoded forms of bureaucracy to create more efficent forms of governance that can prevent the abuses of power that currently take place.

    This computerized payroll is a prime example.

    Che Guevara on
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    CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Jobs that add no utilty do nothing for the economy in the long run.
    The Hoover Dam has created a lot of power.

    Couscous on
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    KatholicKatholic Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Kaputa wrote: »
    Heh, I always like watching libertarians talk about smoking. They never get how much they come off as hypocrites.
    This is just me being ignorant, but can you elaborate on this?

    Supposedly, one of the tenets of libertarianism is "your right to swing your fist ends at my nose" - that is, your right to action is free until it affects me. Smoking, as anyone dealing with someone who smokes knows, is incredibly invasive and irritating. One would think that this would fall under that, and libertarians would be very strongly against smokers who think nothing of lighting up around other people.

    Yet, they adamantly defend the rights of smokers to smoke wherever they damn well please. They say that other people who don't like the smoke can just leave. They seem to not comprehend how this basically goes against their tenets.

    Really, I have always followed the school of thought that public places should not allow smokers to light up, but privately owned places like bars or homes should make the decision to allow smoking or not.

    Katholic on
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    HacksawHacksaw J. Duggan Esq. Wrestler at LawRegistered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I'm thinking that you never advanced beyond High School.
    I'm thinking that you never advanced passed Grade School.

    Jobs that add no utilty do nothing for the economy in the long run.
    Yeah, because the Tennessee Valley Authority had no utiliy what so ever. :roll:

    Hacksaw on
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    JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    edited September 2007
    Also, yes, Titmouse, I'm well aware there is a wikipedia entry for the Nobel Prize in economics.

    What he's saying is that they're not real Nobel Prizes.

    Jacobkosh on
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    Mithrandir86Mithrandir86 Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    titmouse wrote: »
    Jobs that add no utilty do nothing for the economy in the long run.
    The Hoover Dam has created a lot of power.

    The Hoover dam was first thought up in 1922. It's not a part of the New Deal (employement for the sake of employement).

    Mithrandir86 on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Canada provided an interesting example with how they instituted the payroll for the new Afghani police departments.

    Traditionally, money was handed out in lump sums to individuals, who would each take their 'cut' before passing it on down the chain. Through successive generations of transfers, the final amount that makes it into the pockets of those with families to feed would be laughable if it weren't so sad.

    To circumvent these kinds of abuses, the Canadian military saw to the installation of ATMs in various locations, allowing for a direct payment system.

    Definitely an improvement over the old system.

    This eliminated corrupt 'governing body' simply by computerizing it.
    My point is that perhaps "Nerds" are Libertarians because we believe it's possible to eliminate outmoded forms of bureaucracy to create more efficent forms of governance that can prevent the abuses of power that currently take place.

    This computerized payroll is a prime example.
    I'm not seeing how paying government employees through computers instead of other government employees, and making government more efficient are uniquely Libertarian ideas.

    Thanatos on
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    Mithrandir86Mithrandir86 Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    jacobkosh wrote: »
    Also, yes, Titmouse, I'm well aware there is a wikipedia entry for the Nobel Prize in economics.

    What he's saying is that they're not real Nobel Prizes.

    It's still the most prestigious award for sciences with Economic applications. I really don't see the point - the awards are valuable because people percieve them as such, not because Alfred Nobel founded them.

    Mithrandir86 on
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    Che GuevaraChe Guevara __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2007
    Thinatos wrote: »
    Canada provided an interesting example with how they instituted the payroll for the new Afghani police departments.

    Traditionally, money was handed out in lump sums to individuals, who would each take their 'cut' before passing it on down the chain. Through successive generations of transfers, the final amount that makes it into the pockets of those with families to feed would be laughable if it weren't so sad.

    To circumvent these kinds of abuses, the Canadian military saw to the installation of ATMs in various locations, allowing for a direct payment system.

    Definitely an improvement over the old system.

    This eliminated corrupt 'governing body' simply by computerizing it.
    My point is that perhaps "Nerds" are Libertarians because we believe it's possible to eliminate outmoded forms of bureaucracy to create more efficent forms of governance that can prevent the abuses of power that currently take place.

    This computerized payroll is a prime example.
    I'm not seeing how paying government employees through computers instead of other government employees, and making government more efficient are uniquely Libertarian ideas.

    I never said uniquely...

    But if it were possible to completely eliminate the entire bureaucratic structure through automated computerized systems (ala AI, not touchtone phones and call waiting), geeks and nerds would be at the forefront of the revolution. They'd have to be... no one else would be able to design such a beast.

    And the final product of this kind of social revolution would probably look extremely close to the current ideals espoused by Libertarians.

    Che Guevara on
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    Ethan SmithEthan Smith Origin name: Beart4to Arlington, VARegistered User regular
    edited September 2007
    titmouse wrote: »
    Jobs that add no utilty do nothing for the economy in the long run.
    The Hoover Dam has created a lot of power.

    And had the added bonus of hiding the frozen body of Megatron.

    The thing about WW2, though, is that it created a lot of new kinds of jobs, the kinds that could only function with a highly educated society, and created our new service economy.

    Ethan Smith on
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    CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    titmouse wrote: »
    Jobs that add no utilty do nothing for the economy in the long run.
    The Hoover Dam has created a lot of power.

    The Hoover dam was first thought up in 1922. It's not a part of the New Deal (employement for the sake of employement).

    That wasn't what the New Deal was about. While the Hoover Dam might have started construction under the Hoover administration, the purpose was similar to the purpose of the New Deal. The main reason for naming it the Hoover Dam was that Hoover wanted to take some of the credit for creating jobs during the depression.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tennessee_Valley_Authority as mentioned above.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Works_Progress_Administration This built a lot of roads and other useful shit.
    Most of the new deal programs designed to create jobs produced a lot of utility. All of this can be found in pretty much any history book that covers the time period of the 1930s.

    Couscous on
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Katholic wrote: »
    Really, I have always followed the school of thought that public places should not allow smokers to light up, but privately owned places like bars or homes should make the decision to allow smoking or not.

    Not to derail, but the driving force and legal justification for public smoking bans is often employee safety/health, not patrons. Bars have employees, and exposing them to high concentrations of smoke for 40+ hours a week is pretty unhealthy. As for homes, that works great as long as there aren't any minors living there who have little legal recourse to avoid being exposed to your smoke (at admittedly lower concentrations than in a bar) for even more hours a week.

    But this is a subject for its own thread, if you're in the mood to start it.

    mcdermott on
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    GimGim a tall glass of water Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Ooo, nifty. No one's posted it yet.

    tillthesoilhu7.png

    Lemme see. We don't exist inside a vacuum. Economists can be wrong and/or limited in their views. Theories are fun for everyone. Yadda yadda yadda.

    Gim on
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    monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    jacobkosh wrote: »
    Also, yes, Titmouse, I'm well aware there is a wikipedia entry for the Nobel Prize in economics.

    What he's saying is that they're not real Nobel Prizes.

    It's still the most prestigious award for sciences with Economic applications. I really don't see the point - the awards are valuable because people percieve them as such, not because Alfred Nobel founded them.

    Yes, but it coopts the legitimacy of the real Nobel Prizes rather than attempting to stand on its own. It isn't as if I'd become a prominent architect if I sucked Jay Pritzker's cock (although it wouldn't hurt) yet they let their award stand as an individual and prestiguous achievement on its own merits.


    Also, I still don't understand how my State having its own Dept. of Labour is justifiable to libertarians.

    moniker on
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    moniker wrote: »
    Also, I still don't understand how my State having its own Dept. of Labour is justifiable to libertarians.

    It probably isn't. But leaving it at the state level probably ensures that many states either won't bother, or will form weak toothless agencies that have no real power to regulate businesses.

    mcdermott on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Thinatos wrote: »
    Canada provided an interesting example with how they instituted the payroll for the new Afghani police departments.

    Traditionally, money was handed out in lump sums to individuals, who would each take their 'cut' before passing it on down the chain. Through successive generations of transfers, the final amount that makes it into the pockets of those with families to feed would be laughable if it weren't so sad.

    To circumvent these kinds of abuses, the Canadian military saw to the installation of ATMs in various locations, allowing for a direct payment system.

    Definitely an improvement over the old system.

    This eliminated corrupt 'governing body' simply by computerizing it.
    My point is that perhaps "Nerds" are Libertarians because we believe it's possible to eliminate outmoded forms of bureaucracy to create more efficent forms of governance that can prevent the abuses of power that currently take place.

    This computerized payroll is a prime example.
    I'm not seeing how paying government employees through computers instead of other government employees, and making government more efficient are uniquely Libertarian ideas.
    I never said uniquely...

    But if it were possible to completely eliminate the entire bureaucratic structure through automated computerized systems (ala AI, not touchtone phones and call waiting), geeks and nerds would be at the forefront of the revolution. They'd have to be... no one else would be able to design such a beast.

    And the final product of this kind of social revolution would probably look extremely close to the current ideals espoused by Libertarians.
    Well, yeah, either that, or...

    terminator_004.jpg

    Thanatos on
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    monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    That still beats standing in line at the DMV.

    moniker on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    moniker wrote: »
    That still beats standing in line at the DMV.
    Funnily enough, you don't actually need an AI to avoid standing in line at the DMV. A web-based appointment system works just fine.

    Now, if only Washington would pull its head out of its ass, and figure that out. :x

    Thanatos on
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