Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Flava for fav

This is an awesome story, check it out.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Interstellar Anarchists Movement (IAM)

In my sci-fi setting Blood of Sol, I have a group of counter culture called the Interstellar Anarchists Movement, they don’t have a strict hierarchy of government but more of a society and way of life. They move around human space by wake riding (thanks Arryn don’t know where that came from), their small shuttles hide behind larger ships jump envelopes and use the larger ships energy to propel their sub light shuttles through warp space.

IAM have a delegation to the united nations, and constantly try to get their “Nation” ratified as a sovereign state, however this is always difficult as they are merely a society of vagrants and drifters and have no borders, laws, money, economy etc.

This raises some questions, how do you deal with a state that has no bounds and simply drifts along from place to place, how do you tax it, control it use it. I find myself sometimes wondering why I'm in Australia, why not anywhere else why do I need a national identity when I spend so much time on the internet.

Most of the members of IAM are located in habitats orbiting Mars, Jupiter, Earth or on mining colonies that have depleted all their resources. A few of them are remnants from the collapse of the first colonization bubble when the bubble burst it left them stranded all over the solar system. When the UN returned it had been 20 years since the collapse and corporate wars, they simply assumed that the colonies now belonged to the people living there. This has lead to a huge influx of "crime" during times when the Anarchists colonies are having problems, anarchists simply take what they need believing that they can do a favor for it later.

The anarchists provide a vehicle for subversive types, criminals crazies and wackos, they also provide a fantastic comedic potential for crazies, conspiracy theorists and nut jobs.

In my next short story, Sovereign for You, happy IAM, Wendy Miller is tasked by the UN to asses the current case for the IAM sovereignty proposal in the story she meets with several anarchists who want the UN to name the movement as a sovereign nation.

In the previous posts I described the Collective as a free market, when asked I thought about how the free market would be affected by morals. So with enough monitoring and transparency, I postulated that this would happen in the setting.

Moral Market, how to sell to those who are so jaded about every product that they literally live like hermits.

The Collective is a truly free market. The level of transparency is such that not just mere components but the raw materials and video footage of manufacture is displayed for all to see. This means that overtime the level of moral production reached substantial levels where produces such as cars, hamburgers, toilet paper etc were produced with a measurable impact level, zero impact is the goal where products are so clean that they literally make people feel good about buying them.

The moral choice has become a market force that drives everyone towards that goal. I think that is only possible with laws in place, and those that break them are committing a crime worse that murder, information violations is the term used for company s that lie about their products. The first instance is a fine and the second all assets are seized by the state and the assets of the directors are liquidated to pay for the class action that follows.

Visualise your way out of global warming fuckers or how to bullshit yourself up your own arse

Last one I promise next post will be happy!

Relevance to space game, I got a comment from my flatmate that the previous post didn’t link too well to space game. That may be true but he still didn’t use the comment thingy which infuriates me more than the lack of salt and vinegar chips in America. Space game has two powers, which are important, the collective represent a command economy free market (which can turn to a non free market in the blink of an eye) the UN represent a company driven free market.

Both options sort of work, however I did get side tracked on the boomers selling me down the river for some lattes and supposed rising temperatures so they can get me to buy their totally shit solar panels, yogurt, free trade coffee and some shit house free trade itchy clothing. Hmm free market to rip me off you 60 something bitches. Give me my friggen space age pants that curse the environment never break down and will last longer than David Letterman (I hate that guy). This same group of people are telling us to imagine, that we can be successful, imagine this rip off your kids and you too can be successful! I got emailed this blog about the problem with positive thinking, and I thought there may be some more juice in my spleen to vent.

The chaser did a great “The Secret” segment, really funny. Maybe they can imagine that the global warming will provide them with a magical land of mangoes honey, bananas and lattes.

Now imagine your head going up your own arse so far that you think that buying someones free trade coffee is good and that you have truly made a difference.

Humans screw people over all the time, if the Boomers can screw their kids, then they have no problem about screwing the third world. Now imagine that the power of positive thinking can make it all go away. That’s how I see the UN they have edicts rules, laws, proposals, sanctions etc but what they should really do, is do what I would do fuck all those guys and buy a coffee because it’s not my fault it’s my parents who changed the world and gave me a steamer.

They knew in the 50’s about global warming, the same people are now calling it climate change. Just because they can’t get the math right doesn’t mean it won’t happen does it? Think positively global warming will make our kids scared and buy our shitty itchy shirts and shithouse coffee. Global temperatures have been falling since 1998; sun spot activity is at its lowest in recorded history. Sun spots matter more than carbon dioxide suspected of causing the medieval warm period where green land was colonized; so what’s the truth? the model, the science, certainly not, we haven't moved to a law from a theroy yet, all the expirments are not done so why impose a new market? Truth is irrelevant, it’s all about selling. If there’s a problem then we will solve it with technology, in the immortal words of Dave Chappelle "Mars Bitches, the united states of Space" lets just build a friggen colony there or some super sun blocker technology or fusion.

In the sci-fi setting, its important to know why things work even if all the players don't it adds the realism.

In my sci-fi settings, selling is just as important as it is now, unless you are going to have a Utopian society which has surpassed the need for individual wealth;

I see that oneday humans work together for the good of all, these are lofty ideals and good goals but in the short term unachievable. This however is the dream of the Tau Ceti Collective; at the moment in the setting they are in their honeymoon period, they have created their world, their cities and their economy is booming primarily because they are selling to the less fortunate Earth economies.

They can out-compete them because resources are cheap, labor is cheap, and who are they ripping off? They create robots, infants that reach sentience after 5 years. During this 5 year period the robot is property; sold for a low cost to people who want to use it. So the collective the beacon of hope and light for mankind, is really the master of slaves what game masters and designers do with this is up to them but it provides a huge number of story hooks. Robots that start waking up earlier what to do, what are the legal ramifications, illegally keeping the robots indentured by wiping their minds, robots burn their programs (like the burning bras) and decide to strike out on their own and discover that it’s an unforgiving unfriendly world, come up against glass ceilings etc. Its nice to have everything balance up and everything has a cost, their prosperity is at the expense of their children the robot brains that they create.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Collective Vs the Free Market and fuck those boomers

This is a bit of a rant, mainly because I talked to my dad about the moon landing and sputnik and how he tuned his radio to hear it.

In relation to space game, this is the crux of how the collective works, and how the united nations works in the setting. The collective is a free market economy with a large command directive for defense and social services. The UN directs companies through grants to develop certain technologies and certain services they pay for this by taxing companies and individuals, they do provide a basic social safety to some planets particularly the nice ones.

Now onto the rant.

It's interesting to note that experiment of the free economy is still running, it has lead the the biggest recession since the great depression. We have sacrificed stability and long term equality for short term spiky gains for some ideas and some people. Which is better for the survival of our species?

The developments in free markets seems to lead to some rapid innovations, in some places particularly low cost and rapid market innovation. We see great speculation companies like Google, Facebook, My Space, Enron, Time Warner etc.

Maybe this issue of control vs free has made the very large corporations of the US and Europe and Japan uncompetitive because they are effectively directed according to a plan. GM as far as I'm concerned is not an innovative company, they must have known years ago that they were not competitive yet they still continued to stay the course; This has lead to their reliance on the US tax payer to bail them out.

If GM behaved more like a free market, say more like Google with separate competing islands (correct me if I'm wrong in the comments) they may have been more flexible and more adaptive, however they would not have developed costly innovations like say clean car technology; somehow it seems that GM didn't innovate at all in the last 20 years, so the innovation must have been in making cars cheaper rather than improving the technology. GM is now suffering, because they had no plan and yet were run like a company that did have a plan.

Software companies probably can adhere to a free market economic model better than car companies; this is because the cost of development is less in both time and money. We see that software companies and companies like Nintendo can turn themselves around fast. Could you make a large company that that can behave as a collective economy, the answer is probably no because any long term innovation cycle is going to be viewed negatively if it takes longer than 2 years to get to market its not worth doing. The anarchist Kevin Carson pointed out that in a truly free market you wouldn't have companies, so the entire idea of globalization is false, because companies become less necessary in a free market, I make engine parts in my workshop and sell them as parts to people who assemble cars.

With that in mind the economy of the future should indeed be a command economy because if you do have a government run company even though its inefficient the vast economics of scale will outweigh the disadvantages. In my country Australia we have sold out our massive companies like our energy company for short term gain, most not for the country but individuals.

Those baby boomers and the generation before them sold us out, they got their moon landing on a command economy where is my moon landing dammit! shit we sold it for some houses at Noosa! They took all those gains, and divided the spoils between a few people. They took away free university and make us pay hex.

We are also being sold clean tech, Eco tech save the planet tech. This tech is old, and the very people who decided not do anything are going to profit from it. So, as a member of gen X or Y whatever, I'm not going to do anything and I encourage all the gen X and Y to do the same. Essentially screw those boomers don't buy into their bull shit and their crap let them sort it out in their walking frames. This has also created a new speculation market carbon trading so they can make more money, what a joke.

So being not any smarter and just a little further ahead and far greedier than us they managed to put our generation in a nasty place. The unwillingness of those people to change means that we will not see a man on mars, not see fusion, and be left with a stinking ball of rock with 8.9 billion people on it. But hey its ok, they can retire to the golf course at Noosa on the rent that we have to pay because they bought all the houses.