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Dreddnafious Maelstrom

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Everything posted by Dreddnafious Maelstrom

  1. Dreddnafious Maelstrom

    Hi GameDev!

  2. Dreddnafious Maelstrom

    Here Are The Other Costs Of The US Health Insurance Law ( ACA )

      Sweet Flashback Jeebus!   Where in the world of capitalism have you been?!   My working theory is he has some kind of alert system that automatically emails him the moment an idiotic politically motivated GDNet thread appears.    "some kind of alert system" does no justice to describe the "Troll-a-tron" three thousand sir. Actually I found a link to a coding question from google that lead me here and I thought I'd check in on the world famous "Lounge" I see you're still very active with your anti-political trolling Roy. Did you ever show your doctor where the bad pundit touched you?
  3. Dreddnafious Maelstrom

    Here Are The Other Costs Of The US Health Insurance Law ( ACA )

      Sweet Flashback Jeebus!   Where in the world of capitalism have you been?!   Evening sir.
  4. Dreddnafious Maelstrom

    Anybody left from the 2003 crowd?

    Fear?!? - Someone drag Lessbread, Mithrandir, and InnocuousFox out. Let's get this rolling.
  5. Dreddnafious Maelstrom

    Here Are The Other Costs Of The US Health Insurance Law ( ACA )

    The effective outcome is a means to prop up insurance companies and then mandate their use. If you grant those two stipulations then the forthcoming results are common sense. :)
  6. Dreddnafious Maelstrom

    Rate your own intelligence from 1 to 10.

    Honest assesment means taking a certified Mensa test. They're free, take about 1 hour and are given out regularly at local universities. Once you have that certificate, look at it, smile, then put it away in some drawer somewhere so it doesn't gather much dust. Because nobody cares. Actions define how people are perceived. [/quote] Sure, but that wasn't the question was it? Honest assessment is just that, it doesn't require an appeal to self selected "experts" on the subject.
  7. Dreddnafious Maelstrom

    Unity UDK or Unity 3D

    UDK cons: Ironclad network layout without a lot of flexibility. Does well with pre-processed artwork but falls down pretty hard on dynamic assets. UnrealScript is only of use with the Unreal Engine, so your knowledge doesn't travel with you to another engine. A somewhat arcane series of config files and build chain.(Not horrible given the complexity of the engine but still witchcraft until you learn it.) Unity cons: Unity built in networking is pretty bad, however there are a few free or nearly free alternatives that will just plug and play. Unity GUI is a resource hog and you'll be looking for an alternative if you push to a mobile device. Unity is stuck on DX9 for the foreseeable future due to MAC compatibility issues(essentially they don't want two feature sets between windows and MAC) Both have great toolchains, both have great communities. The workflow for Unity is more intuitive if you're coming from an art background for certain. Unity can be coded in C# or javascript or boo so at least you work in a language that exists outside the bubble of the engine and Unity can take advantage of much of the .Net libraries . The short answer is to try both of them. I prototyped the same game in both engines and found I was 3 to 5 times more prolific in Unity using C# but for the art that could be pre-processed UDK generated a prettier render. When I tried to "color outside the lines" it felt like UDK fought me a lot harder where with Unity you can beat it into shape pretty easily if you have a decent mastery level of the scripting language.
  8. Dreddnafious Maelstrom

    Rate your own intelligence from 1 to 10.

    I rated myself a 10 as i'd guess most responders should have. Whom here isn't in the top 10% of demonstrable intelligence? Simple self selection would dictate that an honest assessment would have a heavily weighted upper end given the context of the site. Some faux-modest wankery is the likely culprit that is imitating [font="helvetica, arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif"][color="#282828"]Dunning-Kreuger.[/font]
  9. Dreddnafious Maelstrom

    Sandbox MMORPGs: advantages and problems

    I've signed up for Rift, the new MMO going into open beta tomorrow. One aspect of it is procedural rifts that open up randomly on the map. They are attuned to a specific element like earth, wind or fire. If left unattended they evolve into footholds, then ultimately fortresses. So they must be dealt with or else they effectively invade the player map. It's not enough to build a full game on but it's a good example of procedural content that adds to the game via mechanics instead of costly custom content generation.
  10. Dreddnafious Maelstrom

    Question about cloud computing, Goggle App Engine or Amazon?

    Just beware of the cost. If it scales massively, GAE will bankrupt you. And as always, there is no free lunch. For anything "massively", nothing will scale just out of box. Most cases where such scaling is talked about would run quite happily on a single multi-core box on a dedicated server. Another thing to consider is that in case of problems with GAE, unless you're a big customer, you're likely out of luck. Amazon tends to be somewhat better. [/quote] Not to pick a fight but that's counter to the information I have in both regards. GAE is cheaper than EC2 in every meaningful metric. It does "just scale" out of the box. There are some development hurdles to over come because the topology requires you to alter your workflow such that it WILL scale. I did mention no SLA, it's a decision you have to get comfortable with before you decide to go GAE.
  11. Dreddnafious Maelstrom

    Sandbox MMORPGs: advantages and problems

    Thank you very much. [/quote] I agree with the general premise of the OP and have some ideas regarding "content" of a sandbox game. Most sandbox games rely on pvp for content as it doesn't have the supporting mechanics required to have procedural pve. There is the run of the mill procedural pve which is like diablo or city of heroes. This is pre-structured "lairs or dungeons" that randomly generate groups of mobs. There is a deeper and technically manageable method for procedural content but it requires the game design to support it from top to bottom. Just as pvp is player generated content confined and shaped via game mechanics so too can pve content be generated. Player generated quests, transportation of scarce goods across distances that don't have easy or instant travel, bounties as in Star Wars Galaxies. The original Ultima Online ecosystem was designed to have a procedural monster generator and mobs that leveled up but they squashed it for a simpler implementation. These issues are fixable with some creativity.
  12. Dreddnafious Maelstrom

    Question about cloud computing, Goggle App Engine or Amazon?

    Thanks a lot Dreddnafious, very helpful. Do you know any good forum where I can ask cloud computing question? I mean, a general forum, I already know Amazon and GAE forums. Thanks. [/quote] I don't know one in particular. Were I you I'd go to stack overflow and/or hacker news and ask whatever questions you had to their site specific search. That should get your questions answered as well as provide tons of links to read regarding the subject.
  13. Dreddnafious Maelstrom

    Question about cloud computing, Goggle App Engine or Amazon?

    If GAE restrictions don't cause an issue with your application then it's hard(impossible) to beat. Pro's versus EC2: 1) You only pay for the part you use, including bandwidth, process time, datastore etc.. EC2 bills you for the number of instances you have access to. 2) No admin - really, none. EC2 is closer to the metal and thus requires the typical set up and admin. 3) Automatically scales. New server power spins up as your users consume it. You_must_do_nothing. EC2 requires you to log in and spin up additional capacity. Cons versus EC2: 1) Python or Java server-side only. EC2 supports most every framework. 2) https requires the .appspot sub-domain in the url. 3) there's a dearth of good frameworks for GAE while EC2 is compatible with most of the mainstream frameworks. 4) you can't write to files on GAE, datastore, cookies, and memcache are your writeables. EC2 doesn't have this restriciton. 5) GAE does not have a relational datastore. This requires a rethink of how you structure your data and also limits your data access layer to either built in classes or GQL. EC2 supports all the typical DAL's. 6) No service level agreement. This list is hardly exhaustive. I'm a fan of GAE. It requires a re-think of your development and workflow but this also allows it to scale massively.
  14. Dreddnafious Maelstrom

    I'm Leaving Gamedev.Net Because Of The New Site Design

    It's a bit off-putting to see people get so teary eyed over a software change when we're ostensibly supposed to be software engineers, but then again I guess that may be part of the why rather than in spite of it. Just to go in to pure kiss-ass mode for a moment, for a decade or more GDNet has been THE community to learn about game development as well as providing a great community of like minded people to kick around non-game development ideas. Taking your ball and going home over some CSS and infrastructure changes seems a bit silly. Dave, Kevin, Frizzlefry, Gaiden and company have provided a great user experience for thousands of folks for a long time. Hundreds or maybe thousands of you have gone from "why does my naked void pointer give me a memory leak" to producing images of the day and full blown games. Take a deep breath and try to not be that same pain in the ass customer you so despise dealing with in your 9 to 5. Good software is iterative. So remember this roll out the next time you're throwing a tantrum over whatever ultimately replaces this one. As for the single line of ad text there's only one important detail to recall. Gamedev ATI pop-up ad!
  15. Dreddnafious Maelstrom

    Carmack on government

    With the caveat that being really smart and having uber-engine programming skills doesn't mean your political philosophy is inherently superior I recently read a short blurb by Carmack on his political philosophy, and as it mirrors basically my own beliefs I thought I'd share it. Link to source Quote: John Carmack on 10-28-2010 Almost everything that I write publicly is about technical details in software or aerospace, and the points are usually not very contentious. I’m going to go out on a limb today and talk about a much more banal topic -– government. This is sort of an open letter to my mother and stepfather, who are intelligent people, but we don’t see eye to eye on political issues. A couple brief conversations a year during visits doesn’t really establish much, and I have wanted to make a more carefully considered set of points. I had nearly disqualified myself from discuss politics by not bothering to cast a vote for almost 20 years after I was legally able to. I was busy. I paid millions of dollars of taxes without any dodges, and just focused on my work. Listening to political speeches full of carefully calculated rhetoric is almost physically painful to me, and I diligently avoided it. A couple things slowly brought me around to paying more attention. A computer game company doesn’t need to have much to do with the government, but a company that flies rocket ships is a different matter. Due to Armadillo Aerospace, in the last decade I have observed and interacted with a lot of different agencies, civil servants, and congressmen, and I have collected enough data points to form some opinions. The second thing that has changed for me is becoming a father; with two young sons, I think more about how the world might look in twenty or thirty years when they are adults. I am an optimist on almost all fronts. Throughout history, there have always been those that argue that the world is going to hell, yet here we are, better off than any previous generation. Not only are things pretty damn good, but there is a lot of positive inertia that makes it likely that things will continue to improve for quite some time. We aren’t balanced at a precipice, where the result of any given election can pitch us into darkness. However, trends do matter. Small, nearly painless losses accumulate over the years, and the world can slowly change into something you don’t want while you weren’t paying attention. It doesn’t take a cataclysmic crash, just a slow accretion of over regulation, taxation, and dependency that chokes the vibrant processes that produce wealth and growth. Without growth, you get a zero sum game of fighting over the pie that breeds all sorts of problems in government and society. basic premise. Quote: My core thesis is that the federal government delivers very poor value for the resources it consumes, and that society as a whole would be better off with a government that was less ambitious. This is not to say that it doesn’t provide many valuable and even critical services, but that the cost of having the government provide them is much higher than you would tolerate from a company or individual you chose to do business with. For almost every task, it is a poor tool. So much of the government just grinds up money, like shoveling cash into a wood chipper. It is ghastly to watch. Billions and billions of dollars. Imagine every stupid dot-com company that you ever heard of that suckered in millions of dollars of investor money before leaving a smoking crater in the ground with nothing to show for it. Add up all that waste, all that stupidity. All together, it is a rounding error versus the analogous program results in the government. Private enterprises can’t go on squandering resources like that for long, but it is standard operating procedure for the government. Well, can’t we make the government more efficient, so they can accomplish its tasks for less, or do more good work? Sure, there is room for improvement everywhere, but there are important fundamental limits. It is entertaining to imagine a corporate turnaround expert being told to get the federal house in shape, but it can’t happen. The modern civil service employment arrangement is probably superior to the historic jobs-as-political-spoils approach, but it insulates the workforce from the forces that improve commercial enterprises, and the voting influence of each worker is completely uncorrelated with their value. Without the goal and scorecard of profit, it is hard to even make value judgments between people and programs, so there are few checks against mounting inefficiency and abject failure, let alone evolution towards improvement. Even if you could snap your fingers and get it, do you really want a razor sharp federal apparatus ready to efficiently carry out the mandates of whoever is the supreme central planner at the moment? The US government was explicitly designed to make that difficult, and I think that was wise. So, the federal government is essentially doomed to inefficiency, no matter who is in charge or what policies they want it to implement. I probably haven’t lost too many people at this point – almost nobody thinks that the federal government is a paragon of efficiency, and it doesn’t take too much of an open mind to entertain the possibility that it might be much worse than you thought (it is). Given the inefficiency, why is the federal government called upon to do so many things? A large part is naked self interest, which is never going to go away -- lots of people play the game to their best advantage, and even take pride in their ability to get more than they give. However, a lot is done in the name of misplaced idealism. It isn’t hard to look around the world and find something that you feel needs fixing. The world gets to be a better place by people taking action to improve things, but it is easy for the thought to occur that if the government can be made to address your issue, it could give results far greater than what you would be able to accomplish with direct action. Even if you knew that it wasn’t going to be managed especially well, it would make up for it in volume. This has an obvious appeal. Every idealistic cry for the government to “Do Something” means raising revenue, which means taking money from people to spend in the name of the new cause instead of letting it be used for whatever purpose the earner would have preferred. again, this seems like a reasoned approach to me. Quote: It is unfortunate that income taxes get deducted automatically from most people’s paychecks, before they ever see the money they earned. A large chunk of the population thinks that tax day is when you get a nice little refund check. Good trick, that. If everyone was required to pay taxes like they pay their utilities, attitudes would probably change. When you get an appallingly high utility bill, you start thinking about turning off some lights and changing the thermostat. When your taxes are higher than all your other bills put together, what do you do? You can make a bit of a difference by living in Texas instead of California, but you don’t have many options regarding the bulk of it. Also, it is horribly crass to say it, but taxes are extracted by the threat of force. I know a man (Walt Anderson), who has been in jail for a decade because the IRS disagreed with how his foundations were set up, so it isn’t an academic statement. What things do you care strongly enough about to feel morally justified in pointing a gun at me to get me to pay for them? A few layers of distance by proxy let most people avoid thinking about it, but that is really what it boils down to. Feeding starving children? The justice system? Chemotherapy for the elderly? Viagra for the indigent? Corn subsidies? Helping people directly can be a noble thing. Forcing other people to do it with great inefficiency? Not so much. There isn’t a single thing that I would petition the federal government to add to its task list, and I would ask that it stop doing the majority of the things that it is currently doing. My vote is going to the candidates that at least vector in that direction. Here he's just bringing it home. So the upshot is that Carmack might have a hard time maintaining a decent rating here on GDNet [smile] It's really odd that so many of the quality hackers I meet in real life are largely classical liberal and the general bent here is more socialist. That's part of what I love about this venue. I'm sure most of it is where I live and the country I live in.
  16. Dreddnafious Maelstrom

    Carmack on government

    Quote:Original post by Alpha_ProgDes Ok, so the government is inefficient and private corporations handles things more efficiently. So let businesses provides services not government. Well for one, corporations are for shareholders and government is for the people. Two, we've already seen what happens when government lets the market run without oversight. Also Carmack made a comment about quality of service from a corporation is superior to a government counterpart. That's only because there is government oversight. Corporations will pass low-quality products for a high price if they can get away with it. Regulation (ie. anti-monopoly) creates competition which in turn creates advances in quality and performance. Corporations by nature look to profit first, not progress. Everyone knows that government is inefficient. That its citizens can be sheep. And change does not come unless the mob is enraged. But a government can be dictated to by the population with a vote. The corporation can be efficient. Its customers can be lulled and turned into zealots. Change can come by supporting the corporation's competitor. The corporation can only be dictated to by the shareholder. I don't want to parse your statement line by line(although I will) but there's just so much in it I disagree with I have to comment. First understand that modern day corporations, at least the ones that are in the news aren't proper corporations, they're cartels. You also stated Quote: we've already seen what happens when government lets the market run without oversight. Which is untrue. Perhaps not the type or quantity of oversight you feel is proper but there is no extra-governmental organization that is actually non-regulated. Quote: Regulation (ie. anti-monopoly) creates competition which in turn creates advances in quality and performance. The profit motive creates competition. Regulation creates cartels and artificial barriers to entry. You have this exactly backwards. Quote:Everyone knows that government is inefficient. That its citizens can be sheep. And change does not come unless the mob is enraged. But a government can be dictated to by the population with a vote. The corporation can be efficient. Its customers can be lulled and turned into zealots. Change can come by supporting the corporation's competitor. The corporation can only be dictated to by the shareholder. The political process doesn't produce the type of candidate I can morally support. Therefore I can't vote without betraying my morals. I can't shop another government nor do I have a reasonable expectation that the political process will provide me with such a candidate. Further I can only vote in a predetermined, regimented process and my desires are dilluted to the lowest common denominator. Finally the political process is dominated by a duopoly that has shaped the rules to insure their cartels for the remainder of my life. I'm not arguing for government via corporation, I'm just respectfully putting forth the counter to each of your assertions.
  17. Dreddnafious Maelstrom

    Carmack on government

    Quote:Original post by Chris Reynolds I know what he's thinking... He probably thinks Obama is trying too hard to be cross platform and instead of fixing the current code, he just adds new modules. He probably thinks the government doesn't comment code as well as they said they would, and that the excess of global and public declarations denigrates the private sector. He probably thinks that inefficient programs have too big of a resource pull and that Obama is nothing but a bumpmap - looks good but lacks any real depth. Or a bloom effect - means well but often does more harm than good. ... then there's those that think Obama is trying to turn the whole country open source... x) Ok, I'm done. As my rating suggests, I agree with everything he had to say. Well done Chris, that's very clever. What I took from it, as regards, "what to do about it" is to attempt to discover means to provide the same social goods currently monopolized by government in a private manner. I think he may have intentionally dodged the "what to do about it" part because that's where it gets contentious. As he states, it's not difficult to get a head nod when you say government is inefficient and the incentives are counter-productive. The debate doesn't really start until you suggest a non-shrink wrapped solution.
  18. Dreddnafious Maelstrom

    Windows Phone 7 - who's gonna get one?

    Quote:Original post by ChurchSkiz I don't understand how no multi-tasking works, but there's been plenty of times where I'm surfing the net, get a phone call, have to switch to excel on the call, and then when I'm done I want to resume my browser. Does this mean that I have to reopen my browser from scratch and start all over again if there is no multi-tasking? Or is it that I just can't have two apps open at the same time? Using your scenario, while you're surfing a small band appears at the top showing the name of who's calling. If you touch the band it pulls up your contact, if you click your answer key you connect. Once your call is over you hit your back button and it pulls up your cached browser window with the last state. The back button treats your apps like a web browser treats websites. The whole process is pretty effortless. I won't be getting a phone the day they roll out because my carrier hasn't rolled out a handset yet. A couple of more details; the GUI is really slick and responsive. The UI is very well designed and intuitive. There's a built in themes system that is pretty limited but allows for some neat customization. The major drawbacks most people are discussing are largely non-issues. The lack of multi-tasking is handled well by a caching system and the back button. The lack of copy/paste is over-played in my limited experience. Requiring a unified UI is a design decision with its plusses and minuses but anyone can pick one up and know how to work it. Carriers will differentiate with hardware. The Facebook integration is really slick also. The native apps are liquid with no lag but some of the early third party apps are really laggy. Time will tell if the quality steps up.
  19. Dreddnafious Maelstrom

    Brainstorming game mechanics for web applications

    Many Web 2.0 applications are using game mechanics to further engage their users and I wanted to see if we could pin down opportunties where classic game mechanics could be leveraged to create more compelling sites. Common examples of game mechanics are a badge system where you get "experience points" for intended useage and the badge serves to show off your rank. Additionally you could show an "XP Bar" and maybe play a neat graphic when a user "levels up" While playing un-prompted sound via the web is generally considered poor design philosophy you could take a page from the "Tiger Woods" EA golf series and play a clapping sound and have the crowd Ohh and Ahh whenever performing some task that isn't so common as to drive you nuts. I've also considered small mini-games that are fast and not too distracting as a possible area to expand on. A simple slide puzzle with a few pieces, although it could be a distraction depending on the type of content and what you use the app for. What other possibilities lend themselves to translation? Or if not to translation, what other core mechanics can you identify and I'll see if I can translate them? edit** to be sure everyone understands the context, consider the web app could be a spreadsheet or a facebook clone, or ebay. Meaning, an application that is not in itself a game.
  20. Dreddnafious Maelstrom

    Brainstorming game mechanics for web applications

    Quote:Original post by ChurchSkiz You could have stats that need upgraded like an RPG. For example, putting points into Dexterity would allow you to load the page faster. For real though I like the idea of levels and badges. Works well in Kong and Stack Overflow. Maybe it's because I have a low IQ but whenever a site has badge achievements I feel an intense desire to try to acquire them all. Unlocking new avatars or items for your character could work just as well. Instead of just "having" a badge, maybe you unlock new clothes or armor or something. Or get points to buy in a store. Achievements, avatar upgrades, additional equipment; I know that stuff is a bit obvious but it escaped me. That's a neat train of thought to pursue, thank you. This is a fun topic. If you have levels and equipment what's stopping you from adding "social pvp"? haha. "You have been vanquished from this web site until respawn!" Farmville and all of the Zynga sites have a time-based mechanic that requires you to visit in regular intervals to maximize your play. I personally can't stand the mechanic but I see people comply with it all the time. Most forums have an "email me when this thread is posted in" option that actually "reaches out and touches you"
  21. Dreddnafious Maelstrom

    Brainstorming game mechanics for web applications

    Quote:Original post by wulfhart Bad plan in my book. When I go on Ebay, I DO NOT want to be "Leveling up" or have clapping playing when I purchase something rare. If you want a web app to be successful it needs to be laid out well and do what it was intended for well. Gimmics will only annoy and distract from intended usage. If your website is like Facebook and its intended goal is to keep people there and distracted. Mini games will work. The facts simply don't match your statement. Rather than debate the merits of mixing the two, I'd rather just focus on cross over potential and let everyone decide for themselves the merit or lack of.
  22. Dreddnafious Maelstrom

    Skill vs Levels. Also classes.

    The decision isn't as binary as we tend to make it. CLasses, with skill trees are a hybrid of the two, and given enough depth in the skill tree you actually end up with a variety of "class-like" derivatives. An arms warrior and a protection warrior in WoW are different creatures entirely. A drone robo and a crate robo in Global Agenda are different creatures as well. So have both. I like the idea of a skill system for diversity but the reality is you end up with cookie cutter specs regardless. A class system forces some level of diversity, and then it's up to you to create a compelling skill system that reinforces it.
  23. Dreddnafious Maelstrom

    On leaving .NET

    In the web dev start up world it's all about Rails with a smaller portion about Django. I've been trying to find a technical co-founder on an app for a while and it's been rails or go home for most of the quality people I've ran in to. I really like Silverlight and C# as a combination, but it's hard to find good hackers that are in to C# that aren't beat down from a full time production job.
  24. Dreddnafious Maelstrom

    Obama... or should I say Bush 3

    Quote:Original post by Prune Ultimately Hoppes promotes anarchy; I do not, for similar reasons I'm not a libertarian. I don't see libertarianism as viable by itself, since it cannot be stable and will degrade either into anarchy or some sort of suboptimal authoritarian system. If people are not busy with day-to-day survival, the rise of power-centric hierarchical self-organization in society is inevitable. This is why civilization appeared immediately after agriculture was developed and no longer was everyone responsible for producing sustenance. At first look, meritocracy sounds great, as power based on merit is better than power based on popularity (the latter is known as democracy) and much better than any of the more traditional metrics (caste, money, etc.), and optimally would be implemented in a way that blends in a strong recognition of individual rights, which is the one really valuable element from libertarian systems. Of course, this begs the question of who is the arbiter of merit, and thus I do not propose a meritocracy since there's no way to practically implement it. Anarchy and libertarianism remove the pyramid--the hierarchical structure of society. But either chaos would ensue or new pyramids will arise naturally. Instead, I suggest that a flattened pyramid would be best, with the top layer being small. This is different from the usual versions of libertarianism that have some central governing body but one with very limited powers, where its connection with the public is democratic in nature. In consideration of Arrow's theorem, my point about popularity vs merit, as well as classical criticisms of this flavor of libertarianism which I won't repeat here, I propose instead a non-democratic connection between the public and minimalist governing body--an empire as a second tier above a collection of libertarian-like meritocracies, with this upper level serving primarily as a unifying and dispute/conflict-resolution and tie-breaking mechanism that has the added benefit of being able to enter humanity in truly long-term, large-scope, civilization-scale endeavors (this last bit definitely sets me apart from anything libertarian and anything conservative). This begs the question of how to produce a benevolent dictator, but I see that as much easier to resolve than the practical issues of a representative system, not to mention the theoretical impossibility ones. But that's the very same conclusion Hoppe reached, that a benevolent dictator was the most utilitarian form of governance. The other issue he broached was how to maintain the one benefit of Democracy(the peaceful transfer of power between factions) without its shortcomings(mob rule, the renter problem, rent seeking) Your concept of a super tier of the pyramid isn't incompatible with libertarian ideology unless you mean to imply that these civilization scale endeavors are necessarily coercive. A perfect form of communism is quite possible in libertarian theory so long as it is opt-in. So the scope of the ideology isn't necessarily Randian in outcome, it simple sheds all pretense of "the moral right to kill its constituents.", along with all of the lesser brands of aggression.
  25. Dreddnafious Maelstrom

    Obama... or should I say Bush 3

    Quote:Original post by Prune There's no leap here. Voting is the essence of any democracy, whether direct democracy (referendums) or representative democracy (voting for parties and/or candidates). Any possible system of voting is covered, and voting is basically taken to be the process of aggregating individual preferences. Thus, it is sufficient to show that no voting system can have a theoretical guarantee of fairness in order to show that there can be no true democracy.1 All voting systems that exist, and can exist, violate at least one item in the small set of criteria listed. Some of them violate different criteria, and so a given vote can give a different aggregate ranking depending on the voting system chosen. This means that all voting systems are flawed, and thus democracy is not implementable--because the need to satisfy each of these criteria is pretty much self-evident and comes naturally from the idea of fairness and reasonableness of any voting system. Non-dictatorship, Pareto efficiency, and independence of irrelevant alternatives are especially obvious, but it might take a little though to see that unrestricted domain must also not be violated to claim a decent voting system. And yet, it is not possible to satisfy all four of these. There are deep problems with the idea of assigning preference to a population rather than an individual. In general, preferences of a group do not preserve transitivity; i.e. if an individual prefers X to Y and Y to Z, it necessarily follows that the individual prefers X to Z. However, for a population that logical implication does not hold, and one can do some research and find historical examples, as it is not a rare occurrence for transitivity to be violated. My way of looking at these issues is simply to acknowledge that preference does not make sense as a concept when applied to an aggregation. The non-dictatorship criteria is the one I prefer to give up on, partly for theoretical reasons, and party for practical ones, and I have my own ideas of the specific manner in which it would be best to do that. 1While one could try to argue that in practice most of the time the common voting systems work fairly, it turns out that situations where they do not, and different voting systems would, for example, choose different winners, is quite common. You should read Hoppes, "Democracy, the God that Failed" He lays out a very compelling argument I think you'd appreciate.
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