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"in silverlande..." - silver Harloe

About "in silverlande..."

Previous Entry "in silverlande..." Jul. 4th, 2007 @ 07:08 am Next Entry
I've often described silverlande, but recently read a book which demolishes some of my ideas for how to organize law. The book is "Jennifer Government" by Max Barry. I thought it was excellent on some levels, and lacking on others, but I'm recommending it since I think it had more of the former characteristics than the latter. It's basically a near-future story about what happens if corporations gain too much power. It's self-published, but in this day and age that still means you get decent binding and cover art (actually, the cover art is strangely sexy, even though it's very simple).

I had watched a _really awesome_ documentary called "The Corporation" a year ago which _should_ have demolished my ideas in the way this book did, but somehow I managed to think my ideas would rise above the problems caused by corporation in the modern United States. I'm thinking now that I was pretty much wrong - if you give too much freedom, you will quickly lose that freedom to an economic slavery. I now stand unsure how to balance these factors.

A lot of my ideas - I think like most utopian dreams - work if and only if applied to a small colony of like-minded individuals. In reality, population grows and diversification leads to predators who demolish the societal ideal.

I still stand by one aspect of silverlande -- the idea that people are dependents until or unless they pass the adulthood criterion (perhaps a test, but it would difficult to create a proper test with proper objective judging. but in any case, not "merely" an age requirement). While people are dependents, their guardians (by default their parents) are _fully_ responsible for the actions of their dependents. Once the adulthood criterion is passed (at any age), all responsibilities and privileges are granted - there is no legal difference between "adults" of any age.

I also still believe in something which I have thought for a while, but which is only indirectly related to my "silverlande utopia" ideas. I still believe we need a new Constitution which has stronger protection of certain rights -- some things The Forefathers thought were obvious are being disputed in court, and some things they thought are no longer applicable in a planet of billions.

I still remember with horror the day I lost connection to my "cousin" (by my Aunt's marriage. "cousin-in-law"? I dunno) because she advocated voting based _purely_ on party lines, without regard for the character of the candidate or the platform the candidate proposed. I was frightened by such thought. I mean, I knew such people existed, but I always thought they were stupid sheep. But here was and adult person, whom I had previously judged as not-stupid then proposing that very scary view of voting. As if parties never change. As if the very party she was supporting weren't significantly different 30 years ago than it is today (the Republicans used to have a point - smaller, less intrusive government. now they are _frightening_ when it comes to personal freedom).

I remember a country that was founded on personal freedom, and founded on an ideal that people were _required_ to question their government as part of Patriotism and part of support of the government. I remember an ideal that the government simply _could not function_ without continual oversight by the populace.

...ugh... I think I'm straying from my original post about silverlande. perhaps time to stop typing :)
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From:mezaway
Date:July 4th, 2007 03:36 pm (UTC)
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The dogmatic approach to personal identity is what Robert Heinlein railed against in "Stranger In A Strange Land" and his various Lazarus Long books. Freedom, to him, seemed to me to be the ability to maintain that random element of "and that which I knew was imperfect, the new shall be grokked and cherished and THEN judged and THEN tried. And re-evaluated."
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From:silverharloe
Date:July 4th, 2007 03:39 pm (UTC)
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buh? what? huh?
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From:pasketti
Date:July 4th, 2007 03:54 pm (UTC)
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I have yet to hear of any utopian plan that can account for and overcome the Tragedy of the Commons.
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From:hillgiant
Date:July 4th, 2007 05:36 pm (UTC)

Party Lines

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To a certian extent I agree with you. However, when any party becomes well established in power, it tends to abuse that power. When I vote on party affiliation, I am typically attempting to break a monopoly of power. Even to the point of holding my nose as I pull the lever (push the button (pray that the button press actually does what I intend)). Pragmatic Anarchism? Anti-incumbantism?
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From:litch
Date:July 4th, 2007 06:33 pm (UTC)
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The ugly fact is that most people won't take the time or effort to find out about people who are running for election, maybe the top couple of slots on the ticket (if we are lucky) but even avid newshound political types like me know next to nothing about the people downticket beyond their party affiliation.

So we all wind up voting party line at some point.

And that's not necessarily a bad thing. When you vote for a republican you can generally be pretty sure they will toe the party line, which makes the decision of whether to vote for one pretty simple if you have some idea what the party platform is.

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From:silverharloe
Date:July 4th, 2007 11:23 pm (UTC)
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well, she was referring to the presidential candidate, not to the local dog-catcher.
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From:ed_harloe
Date:July 12th, 2007 07:22 pm (UTC)
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I sort of like the idea of doing away the legal concept that corporations are "people". A lot of what big corporations get away with (like buying senators) comes from the rights they enjoy that were originally intended for us citizens. I haven't thought about it much, but I get a strange satisfaction from the idea of two bright 15 year olds talking about who to vote for while the 25 year old junkie is not considered an adult. Of course, some folks might welcome a life without being legally responsible for their own actions. Sure would up the risk of parenthood if you might be responsible for somebody for their entire life.

As for voting, your comments remind me of an article in Scientific American Mind about how people make complex decisions. Analysis works for simple things. For complex issues, most folks use what the psych crowd calls "Deliberation with Attention". If the analysis is overwhelming, folks with do what feels right on an emotional level. Is almost like the two parties have become brand names, and both play on the US versus THEM response so many folks just don't feel comfortable voting for "the enemy", no matter what their current top issue is. A lot of the folks I know would never consider voting for "that other party". (They are evil you see.) Hard to talk about politics. Easier for me. Nobody takes us "We need a third party" guys seriously, so we aren't really the enemy.

P.S. The Corporation was great.
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From:litch
Date:August 14th, 2007 04:27 pm (UTC)
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