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Topics - MacFall

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Serious Business / How paranoid are you?
« on: October 15, 2012, 03:32:53 PM »
I recently had a scary brush with ID theft. Some cocksprocket broke into my brother's car where I had (stupidly) left my wallet on the front seat, took my license, social security card (which I had in a custom-made, hidden part of the wallet) and debit card. I never found the rest, but they left those items in the alley behind the house of someone who, thankfully, knows who I am. I got my debit card canceled before they got anything out of me.

But it made me really paranoid and I started looking into security for my electronic stuff. I encrypted everything, and now do just about all my online stuff involving finances with a VPN and TOR, a MAC address altering program, and use PGP to communicate a lot.

It was weird - I actually felt MORE secure once I got my debit card changed and before I started doing that stuff, but once I started I felt like I had to do it all. Now I'm equipped to have a completely anonymous online fingerprint if I wanted to (obviously I'm not doing that now - I have a Facebook and such), and I'm getting more and more worried that maybe I should, although I don't have a really good reason for it other than maybe the government will someday try to round up Ron Paul supporters or something.

Anyone else experiencing this or anything like it?

General / Tobacco snobs unite!
« on: August 05, 2011, 09:25:37 PM »
Seems like tobacco is quickly going out of fashion. All the nic users are switching to e-cigs, and that's great for them. To hell with those gluesticks they call "cigarettes" these days. But what about those of us who actually enjoy fine tobacco - cigars, pipes, all natural tobacco - for its own sake? I feel like I'm a minority within a minority.

So, here's a thread for talking about fine tobacco. Post your favorites, your reviews, your recommendations.

P.S. Anyone who thinks that "tobacco tastes like mud" just hasn't tried the good stuff. If the best cigar you've ever had was a Dutch Masters or La Finca, you don't know what a cigar is. ;)

General / Rum
« on: March 26, 2011, 03:12:32 AM »
Rum is awesome, right? Is there anything - anything at all - that can't be improved by adding rum to it? I can't think of anything. Fish sauce? Rum works. Ice cream? Of course. Cheese? Sparingly, yes. Marinara? Hell yes. Therefore I challenge you to provide me with any exceptions to the culinary rule I have formulated. Otherwise, rum shall remain as the axiom - the ingredient that can be added to absolutely ANY food product, in some amount, with good results.

PS. My bloodstream is one of the things that benefits from the addition of rum. I've had two cups and I'm still posting coherently. Sometimes, being of Scottish descent is annoying. Lucky Irish - when they drink, they actually get drunk.

PPS. WTF doesn't this forum have a poll option? I'm sure it does but I'm just inebriated enough not to want to look for it.


General / How far from your principles will you date?
« on: September 29, 2010, 03:08:23 PM »
Since I've never met a lady in person who matches up with my pro-liberty principles, and those who have come close are already married or otherwise unavailable, I've started to wonder if I should stop considering a lady's political stance as a factor in my "standards".

I know there is a range of feeling about this in the liberty community, everything from "it really doesn't matter" to the Molyneuxian "if you date a statist you're going to ATHEIST HELL!" So I'm curious what you all think. I'm personally starting to think that if a lady "gets it" on a few issues and doesn't care enough to pick a fight about the rest, I might be okay with that.

The Show / What's this thing with L. Neil Smith about?
« on: July 14, 2010, 10:55:29 PM »
Man, I'm gone for a few months and one of my favorite authors shows himself to be a Randian crypto-statist. What gives?

I mean I got the story, more or less, with the Shire Society Declaration thing. Unfortunately I can't listen to the show right now so I can't catch up that way with what's going on. Can someone give me an update?

P.S. I think Smith is being a douchebag, even by IP-advocate standards.

General / Complete Liberty Podcast XML feed?
« on: May 28, 2010, 12:50:27 AM »
Does anyone know if the Complete Liberty Podcast has an xml url, and if so, what is it? I can't find it anywheres.

I washed my hands after using it, but there must have been some on my fingernail or something because OW HOLY CRAP IT HURTS SO BAD. My left eye is running like a faucet. AAAAAAAAAAAAGH.

General / I lost my job today
« on: March 16, 2010, 07:50:04 PM »
This is the appropriate emoticon: :D

I have been working 60+ hours a week and driving 2+ hours a day, five or six days a week for a company that has absolutely no respect for their employees. Not Verizon, they're actually cool to work with. But the marketing company (as they call themselves) who staffs the FiOS kiosks, 20-20 Communications, is crooked enough to walk sideways through a corkscrew.

I should have started looking for a new job as soon as I realized I had been lied to about my commission and hourly rates. But I didn't, because the money was worth it for a while. But my GM was an utter monster, and that really wasn't worth it at all.

The GM is a compulsive liar. She would say one thing, then say the exact opposite a few sentences later, and when confronted she would get angry and make threats. She is also a feminist, and basically her whole thing about being in management is messing with the guys employed under her. I don't want to go on an ad-hominem rant so I'll just summarize by saying that she's pretty much a non-violent sociopath.

So after three and a half months of abuse, I'm doing what I should have done all along: becoming self-employed. As of this moment I am now a professional writer. I have enough money in savings and investments to publish a whole lot of my stuff that I've already written, so I'm going to do it.

But that's all a prelude to why I lost my job.

This morning as I approached the store my car's alternator died. So I had to push it into a nearby gas station parking lot and have it towed. Before the guy left, I grabbed some valuables out of the trunk, among them a bag with a C02 container for my paintball gun in it.

After the tow-truck left I noticed that there was also a box of 12-gauge clay shot in the bag with a few shells in. I figured I should just leave it behind the store where nobody would see it and tell the shift manager that it's there so he wouldn't freak out. He was busy at the time and my blood sugar was running low, so I walked back over to the gas station to get some food.

When I came back, the store manager was out there with the shift manager, and the former was getting ready to call the cops. Someone had found the bag, rooted through it (it was opaque so they had to have been looking through it) and told the managers about it. They seemed about to crap their pants in terror because they saw a couple of clay shot shells.

To make a long story short, they went apeshit, called my GM, she shat bricks, she called the DM, he went completely Bursor, he called HR and I'm certain that by this time HR is preparing the troops for a desperate battle against the Evil Employee With Some Clayshot. Because what happened was she was told that I brought ammunition into the store (which I didn't; I deliberately left it outside so as not to cause anyone to wank out), and then she told the DM that I had brought EXPLOSIVES into the store because she couldn't tell a straight story if someone was threatening the life of her shitzu, which is the only thing in the world she cares about besides herself.

I'm surprised I'm not in jail by now for threatening to blow the place up.

With clay shot.

So I suspect they will fire me. But even if they don't, I'm quitting. This is pretty much the incentive I needed to do what I've been planning to do for a long time. Even if things are tight for a while, it will be worth it to no longer depend on anyone else for a paycheck. Except customers, of course, but one depends on them in any case, unless one works for the state.

General / The definitive Agorism thread
« on: February 26, 2010, 12:13:36 AM »
Since so many people that I have encountered on this site (including, notably, Ian and Mark) seem to have at best a vague understanding of what Agorism is, I decided to sum it up here. It is essentially the tl;dr version of the first few chapters of the New Libertarian Manifesto (SEK3's treatise on the idea). If any fellow agorists disagree with my description, or believe it to be incomplete, understand that I meant herein only to describe the elements of the philosophy; those ideas which make it different from any other. Further details are not necessary to accomplish that, though I would be happy to discuss them below if any should be brought up.


An agorist is a person of a libertarian mindset who participates in the black market with the deliberate goals of achieving immediate personal freedom by circumventing the state, and the eventual replacement of the state with market institutions consciously developed through counter-economic means. It is both a strategy and a philosophy. One must embrace both in order to be an agorist.

What an Agorist is NOT:
- One who believes in counter-economic revolution but is not a libertarian is simply a "counter-economist".
- One who participates in the black market with no revolutionary goal is only a "black-marketeer".
- A libertarian who does not embrace the counter-economy as a means of achieving liberty is not an agorist. Many who would fall into this category do so not because they denounce Agorism entirely, but because they believe that liberty lies down a path that is contradictory to the purposes of Agorism (namely, politics).
- A libertarian who does not believe that there is freedom to be found in the act of disobeying the state (and getting away with it) is not an agorist. In practice, Agorism is a form of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship implies the taking of risks: in this case, the risk of being penalized by the state, against the expected reward of untaxed profit and the expansion of the unregulated, untaxed counter-economy. Those who refuse to take such risks are not agorists.
- Lastly, though I can't imagine many of this sort exist, a person who believes in other forms of activism to the exclusion of the black market is not an agorist. For example, if a civil disobedience advocate says that surreptitious black market activity is invalid and only open defiance of the state ought to be pursued, he is not an agorist. As I said before, I've never encountered such a person but it is a theoretical example of a non-agorist.

Note, however, that one need not consider the counter-economy the ONLY means of achieving liberty; a person can be an agorist and still follow other avenues toward liberty, such as education, frontier building (e.g. seasteading) and civil disobedience. But insofar as Agorism is a strategy toward the fulfillment of its philosophy, one must consciously participate in the counter-economy in order to be agorist.

To put it another way, a person is an agorist IF he believes in and upholds the non-initiation of force; and TO THE EXTENT THAT he is willing to take risks as a counter-economic entrepreneur, and disposes of the profits gained thereby in a manner consciously directed toward the development of market alternatives to the state.

Right now, there are probably only a handful of people who are 100% agorists. But nobody is doing any measuring as far as I know; what is important is that one does as much as one can with the resources one has at this time. There is no rite of passage or requisite amount of "cred". One may be an agorist for a long time before he actually puts his beliefs into practice; but an agorist recognizes that the practice of his philosophy is a way to be free right now, to whatever small an extent.

General / Anagram your name.
« on: February 23, 2010, 11:43:36 PM »
Best one I could come up with for Daniel George Shorthouse: "Gorgeous, hedonist healer" Even though I'm not really any of those.

It's also fun to make ones for people you hate. E.g., Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels: "Snarl, grim leech; fix a dark nerd."

And try to guess who this one is: "Lynch harlot in mid-oral"

General / I'm stranded in a hotel with the cable out.
« on: February 06, 2010, 01:21:58 PM »
So I'm stuck in a hotel near where I work (I closed yesterday, then I was supposed to open today but they closed the store), and I can't even get out of the parking lot to try and make it home. Not that I'd definately make it if I tried; I don't have 4wd and the main highway isn't in much better shape than the road I'm on now. Apparently they just closed down 2 of the 3 major routes into Pittsburgh, and now there's shit happening all over the other one because everyone is still trying to get home (this being the morning AFTER the blizzard) that way.

The upkeep of the road beside which I am now is a point of dissention between the city (who is responsible according to the state) and the state government (who is responsible according to the city). So what happens? The local businesses have to do the plowing. But not so fast there, market solution! The city decided to close the road down since "nobody" was going to plow it, so the local property crews couldn't even get it done until noon today!

Goddamn weather and goddamn government roads.

Oh, and the cable's out. And so is my cell phone.

General / Manchester Brewing makes me sad
« on: January 19, 2010, 11:49:48 PM »
...because I can't get their beer around here in PA. Yet, anyway.

General / Epic IP debate on the ICDB forum
« on: January 12, 2010, 10:44:33 PM »
wherein one of the parties to the argument claims that copyright breakers believe in enslaving creators, and one side of the debate completely fails to distinguish between properties in physical items and properties in ideas.


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