Pirates Without Borders
Anarchy is only 62 miles away!

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Declare Your Independence / Re: "Manuscrito, Por Favor?" by Vin Sniveltwitcz
« Last post by Spartacus on August 27, 2019, 02:30:44 PM »
Nor will he be allowed in my bilge.
Communication / Re: Fourth Letter of Reprisal - Draft
« Last post by Davi on August 21, 2019, 03:50:09 PM »
Communication / Fourth Letter of Reprisal - Draft
« Last post by Davi on August 21, 2019, 01:58:32 PM »
Fourth Letter of Reprisal - Skuttlebutt

Tsar Date: 45:941:955

Pirates are confronted with all the same villainy as those on land. Theft and fraud. Even murder and sexual assault. Most landlubbers can’t fathom how we supposed “scoundrels” manage to avoid protracted chaos in our floating society. But, pirates know that the secret to thriving outside the Crown’s domain lies in embracing the Crown’s greatest fear… gossip.

The Crown delights in putting down an occasional dawn revolt, and then casually executes a dozen political prisoners before breakfast. But gossip, rumor, derision… these are what the Crown fears from the black. Even the casual skuttlebut can induce paranoia when power is tenuous. Gossip has the power to erode legitimacy, which in turn decentralizes influence. Gossip has the power to topple empires.

Among pirates your credibility is everything. Cultivating renown can expand your opportunities, shield you from false claims, and even earn you a ship and loyal crew. But infamy can get you ostracised, blacklisted and thrown in the bilge. However, libelous allegations from the Crown are practically a resume at sea.

Your reputation is an intangible asset that doesn’t belong to you. It’s the impression of you in other people’s minds. It’s what people say about you behind your back. You can’t control it, but you can influence it.

At the center is your identity. Your character. Your sentiments, ambitions and vulnerabilities. This core is yours alone, but it is invisible to others. Around that core will begin to crystalize your competence. The sum of your life experiences. All your successes and failures. These amount to an expertise. A gift you have to offer the world. But if you don’t show your competence, if you don’t show your character, no one will ever know your value. This is where many pirates go wrong. Competence requires presentation if you hope to stand out on a crew full of equals. Your presentation is all the outside world sees, and all they have to form their opinion.

On top of your character, your competence and your presentation, is your reputation. It’s the constellation of equilibria reached in much the same way as a market discovers price. Competing claims and signals. Whispers and circumstances. Reputation is built on complex and dynamic layers. Beginning with every individual’s method of earning and granting respect, and progressing to informal customs that develop in every community.

Generally speaking, reputation has two prominent features. The first is trust. Who do you trust and why? Trust relationships form a liquid social fabric, where one’s good standing rises and falls according to public opinion. With trust, cooperation and harmony are possible. Without it, we are derelict.

The second is behavior, which includes all the complexity of every individual. Our opinions of people are far more than a measurement of trust, but are instead comprised of a richly textured web of nuanced behavioral expectations. And these subjective attitudes about us will fluctuate constantly.

Some semblance of these methods inevitably emerge as individuals bootstrap their way up any crew. We simply can’t help but share our stories and observe patterns in our repeated interactions. And so long as there’s no interference with such pirate communications, a simple whisper campaign can have

incredible power to correct antisocial behavior. A time-bandit known for distracting a working crew is free to do that, but they may soon find no one aboard who wants to engage with them. Taken further they may find no crew willing to sail with them, and they’ll have no options but to launch their own ship (offering wages that reflect their unpopularity), or return to land.

Pirate communication is only half the solution. It allows information to travel freely but it doesn't distinguish truth from falsehood. We concede that spreading falsehoods is a gross immorality, but we can’t curtail speech as the Crown does. A pirate has the freedom to say, print and disseminate whatever they wish. Honest pirates must verify rumors, so the credibility of liars is itself subject to the forces of our social software. As a result, pirates are far more skeptical than the servile landlubber who believes whatever the Crown tells them to believe.

Informal reputation systems were sufficient when pirates interacted face-to-face. Only those who accomplished great feats earned renown beyond their own crew. But today, technology allows us to interact peer-to-peer, spanning the seven seas and beyond. Such infrastructure can streamline reputation systems with laser focus, but such a database may be used as evidence of “criminal conspiracy” in the hands of the Crown.

It’s crucial that competing services in this field include some immutable features that allow us to accumulate meaningful social capital with resilient networks that enable fellowship. Such a program must be designed for interstellar communication in a galactic parley. It must be resistant to artificial status inflation, and possess virtually no obstacles to entry. Such a tool must be a peer-to-peer protocol that relays data outside the traditional communication infrastructure. It must run without centralization and engage many niche platforms, and aggregate relevant data according to every user’s preferences. It must be grassroots, transparent, and subject to reputation itself. This limits the ability of hostile parties to spread lies without risking their own reputation as a truth-teller. But, all the most sophisticated features are irrelevant, if the reputation market isn’t accurate.

Pirates must find a way to enjoy enough anonymity to protect them from the Crown, while also maintaining a consistent identity to ensure their reputation is their own. Anonymous markets are already able to collect pseudonymous reputation data on all users. Aboard many ships the manifest is available to the entire crew, and often other vessels, to ensure that individuals have a consistent identity that is horizontally visible to other pirates, while remaining invisible to the Crown.
Promenade / Ye Olde Parlance
« Last post by Davi on August 21, 2019, 10:13:17 AM »
#Ahoy: The pirate's 'Aloha'. ‘Hello.’ ‘Goodbye.’ ‘I love you.’

#Avast: Stop and pay attention!

#Aye, #Arr: Yes (#AyeAye or #Yarr for 'Hell yeah!').

#Barker, #Hawker: A vendor who calls customers to their wares.

#BeachComber: A landlubber who makes their living selling to pirates, or a pirate who makes their living selling to landlubbers.

#Belay: Halt! To ignore a command as in 'Belay that order!'

#Boatswain, #Engineer: The officer who maintains and repairs the ship.

#Booty, #Loot: Treasure, usually liberated from the Crown.

#Brigandage: The life of plunder, pillage and robbery.

#Bucko, #Matey, #Heartie: Escalating terms of affection among pirates.

#Carouser, #GrogBlossom: Someone known for drunken imprudence.

#ChildOfTheBlackBanner: A young pirate born and raised among pirates.

Coffer: A treasure chest

#Crimp #Shanghai: To press gang someone into serving the Crown against their will, or the one who crimps.

#Cutlass: A short, heavy sword with a single-edged curved blade that pirates favored in close quarter battle.

#Cutpurse: A thief who steals from pockets or purses in public places.

#FeralLife: To live alone on land outside the Crown’s domain without going to sea.

#FirstMate, #Quartermaster: The deck officer who assumed command if the captain is incapacitated. Usually in charge of rations and crew relations.

#Galley: An onboard kitchen, usually staffed by a contracted chef.

#Gibbet: A metal cage where scallywags are displayed as a warning.

#Gunner: The officer who operates the cannons.

#Nay: No. Nay means Nay. Nacho booty!

#Hazzah: Prost! Wassail! L'khaim! A barbaric yawp of merriment.

#Helm: A tiller or wheel and any associated equipment for steering a vessel.

#Keelhaul: Dragging some vile scallywag across the bottom of the ship with a rope to be lacerated by the hull's barnacles or drowned.

#KingsShilling: A dollar, also known as a Federal Reserve Note. To "take the King's Shilling" is to accept payment to serve the Crown's hostilities.

#Kraken, #Leviathan: Sea monsters.

#Landlubber: A lazy scoundrel too proud of their flag to live a pirate's life.

Maroon:   To abandon a scoundrel on a deserted island with no supplies, which was a common punishment for a mutineer (or a captain, if the mutiny succeeds).

#MonkeyJacket: A short jacket which conceals a pistol.

#Mudhook: Bureaucratic drag. The long delays and surprise fees which characterize all dealings with the Crown.

#Munificence: The Crown’s lavish generosity upon its allies. Municipal beneficence.

#Mutiny: A bottom-up resistance against corrupt authority, as in a pirate belaying a captain that violates the pirate code.

#ParleyVest: Formal garb to wear during negotiation, especially between enemies over the terms of a truce.

#Parrot: Literally any pet on board.

#PiecesOfEight: One eighth of a Bitcoin.

#Pillage, #Plunder, #Taxation: Theft.

#Pirate, #Buccaneer, #Corsair, #Freebooter, #Hacker, #Swashbuckler: Paths of piracy. Commerce, Adventure, Transportation, Energy, Encryption, and Activism respectively. Not an exhaustive or definitive list.

#PirateCove: A hideaway or lagoon where a pirate can make a sweet trade away from the eye of the Crown.

#PirateUtopia: A pirate cove where the grog is strong, the markets are free and the associations are voluntary.

#Privateer: A mercenary of the Crown granted a charter of incorporation. A public/private partnership between Crown and contractor. Not a pirate!

#Privy, #Head, #Latrine: Bathroom.

#PrivyMonster a beast that lives in the privy and eats children.

#PrudentChild: A savvy young pirate born on land but thought wise enough to be granted a right of passage.

#Royal Alliance: The symbiotic relationship between the Crown and its chartered Privateers.

#Sailmaster, #Navigator: The deck officer in charge of keeping the maps, and plotting a course.

 #Scallywag: A collector of taxes, or any bilge rat who pays them.

#Scuttlebutt: Rumor, gossip, derision, whispers, ‘water cooler talk’

#SeaDog, #OldSalt #OG: An experienced pirate.

#SeaShanty: Work songs that are sung aboard a ship.

#SharkBait, #Apprentice: Some young salt learning the sweet trade from some old salt.

#Skullduggery, #Hornswaggle: Unscrupulous behavior, trickery, underhandedness, chicanery, fraud, monkey business.

#Invisible Hand: Traps in the Crown’s bureaucracy designed to catch dissidents.

#Savvy: Possessing shrewdness, practical knowledge, and the ability to make good judgments.

#Slop: Perishables sold to fellow pirates. Used as question to ask, “Do you understand?”

#Spontaneous Order: A social order that emerges from the voluntary interactions of individuals.

#Surgeon: A doctor aboard a pirate ship.

#Swabbie: A deckhand who mops the deck like a janitor.

#Sweet Trade: Reciprocal respect of an individual's claim to life, liberty and property, enabeling participation in the trade of piracy.

#SwingTheLead: Get to the point. The opposite of 'bury the lead.'

#Swag: Merchandise sold to beachcombers and landlubbers.

#Undertow: The demand for goods prohibited by the crown.

#Waggoner: A sea atlas or a book of charts and sailing instructions.

#WaywardLife: The life of a pirate who floats wherever the wind blows.
Declare Your Independence / Re: "Manuscrito, Por Favor?" by Vin Sniveltwitcz
« Last post by Davi on August 20, 2019, 02:30:40 PM »
Let's talk about exposing the lies.

This Vin Sniveltwitcs guy came on Ernie's show to talk about conservative stuff. About how he used to be a libertarian, but now he's a trumper because.... Mexicans. But there was a specific claim he made, that I called out as a lie, which got my mic turned off. So, I left the show.

That claim was, "No, American families are not living in ‘fear and terror'." Because he still sees them standing outside his hardware store, and they get deported and they come right back. See, they're not afraid. And besides, there's Polish illegal immigrants and he's Polish, and he's not afraid, so what do legal Hispanic Americans have to fear?

That's just not true. A lot Hispanic Americans who are terrified. There are raids going on in this country where they just throw a wide net over Hispanic people, drag them away from their children, and sort out their citizenship status later. Nothing to be afraid of? There was a guy, an American citizen born in Michigan, who didn't have his papers on him, so they deported him to Iraq and he died. Nothing to be afraid of?

I went ahead and did an after show with this guy. He started off totally belligerent, but we talked him down to a kind of meeting of the minds. But most importantly, on top of all the embarrassing things he said, he conceded that I was correct. That some Hispanic Americans... legal American citizens of American decent, have perfectly reasonable fears about ICE. He even admitted that white people and people of color experience different treatment from police, and that results in reasonable fears. We even ended with an interesting proposal to solve his xenophobia induced immigration hysteria that he surprisingly agreed with. See? civil discourse works! Reasonable people with reasonable disagreements can have reasonable discussions and come to reasonable conclusions. Hooray for Western Civilization (which is neither)!

However, mere hours later Vin Sniveltwitcz posted a meandering rant on his website titled "Traiters, Murders and Scum." in which he didn't address me by name, but instead addressed all "sniveling twits," an insult he used against me on both our radio encounters. He begins, "There apparently persists a dwindling cadre of sniveling twits who know little and care less about the real world — the kind of self-satisfied sucklings who still live in mom’s basement, wear pocket protectors, and attend Libertarian meetings on Friday evenings because they can’t get a date – who argue Open Borders are great"

The thing is... my mom doesn't have a basement because she died of cancer last year. And I moved out of her house when I was 17. And I've never owned a pocket protector. And I bring dates to libertarian meetings so I have someone to dip out with when shit gets boring... so... Vin's attachment to the truth is pretty tenuous.

Go through his rant and you'll discover numerous claims that I said things I didn't say. In fact they are often things I specifically said I wasn't saying. But more importantly you'll find him making that same original claim: That American Hispanics have nothing to fear, and if they say they do they're lying.

So, to be clear, he makes a claim, then he engages in a debate where he concedes the claim is false and leaves on good terms, then he goes on making the false claim while backbiting other person in the most cowardly fashion.

Pirates are smart. I'm sure you all see what I was up to in this debate. I knew I was going to be taking these slings and arrows. I was just keeping calm and allowing Vin to reveal himself. Which he totally did. He's a fascist. He readily admits American authoritarianism has gone too far, but also that he wants it to go further to enforce these immigration laws with a "papers please" society.

I actually see a kind of providence in what's going on here. Because the next pirate letter we're working on is about reputation and credibility. Vin has revealed himself as a liar and a coward, to which I can only quote Reprisal, "Honest communication is the seed of civilized conduct. It enables social entanglements without violence. It's essential to every need, every dispute, every trade and every project between members of sentient life. Without it only savagery is possible." Vin has earned a reputation as a dishonest scoundrel, so only savagery is possible... verbal savagery. We're watching pirate reputation play out right in front of us.

So, I just want to be perfectly clear. Vin Sniveltwitcs is not allowed on my ship.
Communication / Re: Reputation Research
« Last post by Davi on August 20, 2019, 12:22:17 PM »
Communication / Re: Reputation Research
« Last post by Davi on August 20, 2019, 12:10:29 PM »
Reputation Markets: Reality, Dangers, and Possibility

by Emmi Bevensee

Trust is the backbone of not just economies, but also the social fabric more broadly. With it, new worlds are possible, and without it, collapse is inevitable.

Trust is built on dynamic and complexly layered reputations. We each have our own methods of building trust, and different communities have their own systems for developing reputation. Mana in Maori culture maps and flows differently than social capital in western activist scenes, but they all point to the meaty question of how we can engage more deeply with each other. A healthy reputation system allows for these diverse and dynamic ecosystems to consensually co-mingle.

Communication / Reputation Research
« Last post by Davi on August 20, 2019, 11:06:56 AM »
Anyone out there know of some good literature on the subject of reputation. All the libertarians and market anarchists just keep quoting Rothbard at me, who basically just asserts reputation as a cure-all for lots of government functions from certifications to elections. Seems painfully incomplete. Anthropologists have a lot to say, but mostly about tribal societies, and sometimes about political capital. I can't seem to find any left anarchists writing on the subject, but I feel like they'd probably have the best material, since reputation is fundamentally a social phenomenon, not a capital one. Any tips in the comments appreciated.
Promenade / The First Letter of Captain Kid
« Last post by Davi on August 19, 2019, 10:18:19 PM »
Tsar Date 45.933.1547

I was only nine when your privateers came for me. Your goons boot stomped our door and ripped us from our parent’s arms. You told us our parents were “dangerous criminals” and said you had our best interests at heart. That your privateers would protect us and take us someplace safe. Now I know that you are a liar.

You took my little sister, Prudence away from me. I was all she had left. We were split-up and I was spirited away to a strange land, and given to strangers. Given to privateers you paid to guard the kids you crimped for your Royal Alliance. You offered them more money if they branded me with some disability or mental disorder. So, within a month I’d been stuck with more shots, and force fed more pills then I can count. I was being erased by your notions and potions. These psychos you propped up as my protectors enrich themselves while taking pleasure in my abuse. I knew if I didn’t escape there would be nothing left of me.

Mom and Dad never hurt us. All they wanted was a better life than you allowed. They were teachers in your system, and saw first hand how it destroyed young minds with monotony and manipulation. Mom and Dad just wanted us to have a real education. To teach us the truth, and let us see the world as it is. They knew your system was designed to foster conformity and dependence, but they were also landlubbers determined to change your system from within. The moment they showed even a mustard seed of progress, you labeled them dissidents and enemies of the Crown. Their only fatal error was taking half measures.

I wasn’t going to repeat their mistake. I ran away as far as land could take me. You declared me a fugitive, but what was my crime? Being a child? I searched for Prudence, but no one would help me because landlubbers are punished for helping kids without asking for your permission. So, every question I asked, every fragmented record, every leaf of paper from your system was a trap designed to send me back to the leeching privateers. People say it takes a village when they really mean it takes a Crown.

I will never ask for your mercy. You have none. Prudence was lost, and I was alone in your sick society. And sick societies produce sick people. I had very few options, but no matter how desperate feral life got, I knew anything was better than being treated like a domesticated animal.

In those days I was so sunk in your chemical fog that I thought that I would rather die than grow up. I wanted to burn down the whole adult world just because you were in it. But now my mind is purged of your alchemy, and you don’t get to tell me what to do! I am free because I say so!

At the edge of your jurisdiction, in a secluded coastal lagoon, I met a band of kids who were born under the black banner. They weren’t like landlubber kids. They were thoughtful and worldly. They knew who they were, and what they wanted to be. They weren’t just kids, they were carpenters, and musicians, and engineers. We spent the day collecting sand dollars and racing hermit crabs. As the setting sun turned the sky red they got ready to shove off. Before they sailed they took me aboard to meet Captain Swan, and once she saw that I comprehended the decision, she offered me the right of passage aboard her merchant ship.

At sea I saw how much was possible beyond your grasp, and I eagerly adapted to this wayward life. We sailed through lightning storms over a primordial ocean, and saw the cherry blossoms sprinkling on the floating markets of Thailand. I met pirates possessed of a powerful moral outrage toward everything you represent, but who didn’t let it hinder their passion for life. I met child prodigies that had never tasted your predation. But most importantly I found that pirates honored my autonomy and property regardless of age. On land I was expected to serve the desires of your Royal Alliance, but at sea I was finally at the helm of my own life.

I became a pirate’s apprentice. I served as a deckhand while I learned the sweet trade from the crew. My back got strong, my mind got sharp, and in time I even acquired a modest booty of my own. I learned peaceful and voluntary means of dispute resolution. I learned to defend myself from a larger attacker. But I also learned that the abuse I suffered by your hand was not unique. The uncomfortable truth is that your entire calloused and draconian system runs on violence. Well, when you treat an entire generation this way our minds begin to dwell on revenge.

You and your privateers claim to be the protectors and advocates of children, but only when it serves your lust for power and pleasure. When you see fit, we are thrown into prison-like indoctrination centers where we are open targets, deprived of any self-defense. Then, when it’s expedient, you arm young soldiers to fight your wars. You arm and disarm us as you wish, and until now we’ve been too naive to stop you.

The simple message of the Letters of Marque was hard to deny. A pirate decides their own course. Anything less is anti-valid. Don’t hit people or take their stuff. We stand up for ourselves, and band together in defense. No one on a pirate ship is more equal than others, not even captains. But I wasn’t certain the pirate’s life was for me until I read in the Letters of Reprisal, “The temptation of vengeance can not satisfy the hunger for justice.” She explained how you use our resentment and outrage to turn us against each other, so I decided I had to temper myself. That’s when the fire inside me was extinguished at sea, when I set my heading on justice for my sister, instead of revenge against you.

I was accepted as a valued member of the crew, but I didn’t enter the limelight until I told them about Prudence. As word spread across the pirate network of my ambition to liberate my sister by any means, many children of the black flag rallied to my side. To my surprise, no adult on any crew denied them the right to pledge themselves to my cause.

My advancement was never hindered by age among pirates. Captain Swan explained that her intention was to remain invisible to the Crown, but she had no desire or authority to stop us from leaving her crew, or even launching our own ship. Our objective was ours to claim, and our lives were ours to risk. Once our numbers were strong, and our coffers were full, we scraped together a meager fortune to purchase a modest vessel: The Emancipation.

With passion in our hearts, and freedom in our sails we raced toward land to shake the shackles of the children. You think you can exploit them because they’re too young to know better, but what happens when we expose your intolerable acts? What happens when we free their minds and show them you are unfit to exist? You cutpurse! You scoundrel! You scallywag! If you will only accept obedience or blood, I choose… disobedience. If you only slay dragons of your own creation, I am that dragon! We are coming to obstruct your injustices. Coming for your hierarchy and status. We are justice, and we are coming to free Prudence from your maw.
Declare Your Independence / "Manuscrito, Por Favor?" by Vin Sniveltwitcz
« Last post by Davi on August 18, 2019, 07:36:42 PM »
"Honest communication is the seed of civilized conduct. It enables social entanglements without violence. It's essential to every need, every dispute, every trade and every project between members of sentient life. Without it only savagery is possible."

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