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Nightmare Doom
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Found this:

http://www.quartertothree.com/game-...John-Carmack-no


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 doesnít 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 canít go on squandering resources like that for long, but it is standard operating procedure for the government.

Well, canít 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 canít 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.
[...]
However, a lot is done in the name of misplaced idealism. It isnít 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 wasnít 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 ďDo SomethingĒ 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.
[...]
Helping people directly can be a noble thing. Forcing other people to do it with great inefficiency? Not so much. There isnít 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.


http://media.armadilloaerospace.com/misc/government.htm

Turns out Carmack is a Ayn Randriod Libertarian.

Old Post 01-22-14 20:50 #
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doomgargoyle
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He should stick to firing the rockets.

Old Post 01-22-14 20:55 #
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Bucket
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It doesn't surprise me that Carmack - whose line of work has graduated from grunt work to a lucrative career in the technological age, and whose daily routine requires very little human interaction - would hold a techno-libertarian view. Libertarianism is about as narcissistic a worldview as you can get. It throws out everything we know about behavioral science and ethics, and replaces it with an overly reductionist self-centered philosophy that doesn't apply itself well to real world situations.

That's exactly the kind of point of view I expect from a guy who has repeatedly taken his own company hostage, trumping up his value through dubious means, threatening "it's him or me" on multiple occasions and forcing his partners to make severe decisions to keep the unit functioning. Whether that behavior resulted in better quality products and a more sustainable model (and whether that was because of that behavior, or in spite of it) is a matter of opinion, and probably a moot point.

Old Post 01-22-14 21:09 #
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Quasar
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He's mostly correct. The US government is horrible at accomplishing anything, except for increasingly removing our freedoms. They're becoming very efficient at that.

Old Post 01-22-14 21:46 #
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Technician
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Quasar said:
He's mostly correct. The US government is horrible at accomplishing anything, except for increasingly removing our freedoms. They're becoming very efficient at that.
I dislike libertarians and I can't find a whole lot wrong with his statements. The government as it is is completely incompetent to handle taxpayer's money. Not because they are stupid, but because everyone working in it has private interests.

Old Post 01-22-14 22:04 #
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Nightmare Doom
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Quasar said:
He's mostly correct. The US government is horrible at accomplishing anything, except for increasingly removing our freedoms. They're becoming very efficient at that.


Actually "freedoms" is a vague subjective term but if you take class society into consideration, you'll eventually realize that the US Government actually represents the bourgeoisie who basically write laws to to help economic order of course though Carmack is just a petite-bourgiose business owner hence they tend to become libertarians.

Old Post 01-22-14 22:23 #
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doomgargoyle
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I figured Carmack would be nothing less than a narcissistic prick.

Old Post 01-22-14 22:38 #
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Nightmare Doom
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doomgargoyle said:
I figured Carmack would be nothing less than a narcissistic prick.


Aren't almost 90% of game developers or "Gaming Gods" are? Oh wait I just realized something....

Old Post 01-22-14 23:05 #
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Quast
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Carmack said:
Helping people directly can be a noble thing. Forcing other people to do it with great inefficiency? Not so much.

I do love it when libertarians don't really even bother hide their contempt for those less fortunate than themselves, or just plain other people in general. As if he would otherwise gladly pay taxes were it opt-in or "noble" or whatever the fuck he's trying to imply.

Old Post 01-22-14 23:10 #
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geo
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doomgargoyle said:
I figured Carmack would be nothing less than a narcissistic prick.


Most nerds are.

Old Post 01-22-14 23:29 #
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Piper Maru
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John Carmack will make the ecanamy his bitch.

Old Post 01-22-14 23:39 #
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Quast said:
I do love it when libertarians don't really even bother hide their contempt for those less fortunate than themselves, or just plain other people in general. As if he would otherwise gladly pay taxes were it opt-in or "noble" or whatever the fuck he's trying to imply.
Ironically it's usually less fortunate people who are supporting libertarianism. Their view is if they remove the government, they remove taxes.

Old Post 01-22-14 23:58 #
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geo
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Technician said:
Ironically it's usually less fortunate people who are supporting libertarianism. Their view is if they remove the government, they remove taxes.


I made a post maybe 6 - 12 months ago about being at a party full of Libertarians. Many of them have wives all make 6 figures. They however, do not. 2 of them were unemployed at the party. 2 different ones are unemployed now.

Old Post 01-23-14 00:43 #
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Ralphis
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Almost the entire post is about inefficiency in government. How can anyone truly disagree with how inefficient the federal government is?

Old Post 01-23-14 01:36 #
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Bucket
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Compared to what?

Quast said:
I do love it when libertarians don't really even bother hide their contempt for those less fortunate than themselves, or just plain other people in general. As if he would otherwise gladly pay taxes were it opt-in or "noble" or whatever the fuck he's trying to imply.

They know that charity won't end poverty, or even put a dent in it. The untold, understood consequence of this rhetoric is eliminating poverty by eliminating the poor. They honestly believe it's better to let many people die than trample on some imagined liberties of the sheltered few.

Old Post 01-23-14 02:12 #
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fraggle
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Having recently moved to America I completely understand his complaints about the federal government. It's the attitude of "just give up on government being able to do anything" that I can't agree with. Other countries do it much better. What's needed is probably some kind of radical reform, but the US political system seems to make any kind of change almost impossible.

Old Post 01-23-14 03:07 #
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We used to have a nice balance of progressive policy and a bit of bureaucracy to keep it in check. Now we just mainly have bureaucracy, tethered by a HUGE regressive backlash that would take forever to explain. Our president is a moderate conservative, but that's still too liberal for the more vocal ideologues here.

Old Post 01-23-14 03:32 #
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Grazza
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My core thesis is that the federal government delivers very poor value for the resources it consumes
A fair observation to start with, but the conclusion he draws is far from the only one. How about asking for a government that delivers good value for those resources? Compared with other developed economies (and even the US itself historically), the unusual thing about the US government is how little it consumes, so asking for a government that consumes even less (and presumably delivers even less) would be an experimental step into the unknown. There are plenty of other developed economies that could be used as models to be studied for a move in the other direction.

Of course, until you've done something to resolve the outrageous racket that is US healthcare, nothing is likely to work very well.

But as fraggle says...

...the US political system seems to make any kind of change almost impossible.

Old Post 01-23-14 04:22 #
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Quasar
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Change is never impossible. It's just a question of what price has to be paid to accomplish it.

Old Post 01-23-14 04:52 #
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doom_is_great
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Bucket said:
Compared to what?

They know that charity won't end poverty, or even put a dent in it.



And neither do govt. programs. LBJ started the War on Poverty over 50 years ago. Has poverty been ended here in the US? NO! The US donates billions of dollars in foreign aid to poorer countries in Africa. Has poverty been ended there? NO! So why the hell do progressives put so much damn faith and trust in the fantasy that more govt. programs, more taxation of the wealthy, and more wealth redistribution will somehow end poverty? It won't! The only thing that has ever managed to put a dent in poverty is capitalism. That's only thing that has ever managed to dramatically improve the lot of the ordinary man.

Old Post 01-23-14 05:35 #
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Bucket
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Wow... I haven't heard that talking point for literally MINUTES. Federal assistance programs have reduced poverty by 40% over fifty years, for your information.

https://courseworks.columbia.edu/ac...M.December7.pdf

You'll notice the graph flattens out around the Bush Jr. administration, and actually goes up in the Reagan era. I'll leave it to you to ponder why. For now, let's see some poverty numbers from free market capitalist countries. I want to see that wealth trickling down.

Old Post 01-23-14 06:39 #
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Kontra Kommando
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I agreed with Carmack.

But, I don't think he sounds like a libertarian though (more like a moderate-republican, but never mind the semantics.). He isn't complaining that the government shouldn't help people, just that they waste a lot of resources in the process. The government should be more efficient, and place more focus on improving on more practical goals. For example, the War on Drugs (misplaced idealism), and the excessive-surveillance state (control and profit off of fear-mongering) are a huge waste of money. That money could be invested better, like in research and development, and education. The government should promote the opportunity for people to enrich themselves; Give a man a fish, and feed him for a day, teach a man how to fish, and feed him for a lifetime.

This is why people need to get more involved with their local politics, that's where they could make the most fundamental change. Its Congress that ultimately has the power of the purse, and creates policies.

Last edited by Kontra Kommando on 01-23-14 at 13:01

Old Post 01-23-14 12:50 #
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Kontra Kommando
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fraggle said:
Having recently moved to America I completely understand his complaints about the federal government. It's the attitude of "just give up on government being able to do anything" that I can't agree with. Other countries do it much better. What's needed is probably some kind of radical reform, but the US political system seems to make any kind of change almost impossible.


I think the biggest problem is that people put too much focus on the presidential elections, and barely any on their house Rep or senator. They are our direct-line to D.C. While the president is important, for domestic policy, congress is even more so.

Old Post 01-23-14 13:07 #
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Gez
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Carmack is an engineer, and he thinks like an engineer. Everything is about efficiency for him, and efficiency as measured by one single number, whether it be framerate in a computer game or return on investment in a government program.

And that is where he fails. Like everybody else who confuses the real world with a spreadsheet. Guess what, genius: money isn't real. Money is an abstraction. It's a number which is fundamentally meaningless. By building our society around the concept of money as judge, jury, and executioner of all our enterprises and the very way we live, we build for ourselves an infernal machine which throws us continually into chaos and misery, as it allows corrupt managers, criminals, and speculators to play with the lives and wellbeing of millions without giving it any afterthought.

By measuring only short-term return on investment, we blind ourselves to everything that isn't measured directly in money, and everything that is long-term. The purpose of government programs is to be useful on the long-term. You know the motto, "think of the children"? Yeah, that's where it's supposed to kick in, not for censorship campaigns. Things like taking drastic measures to reduce pollution, even if it may mean the destruction of countless jobs which are built around the wasteful spending of hydrocarbons because in the short-term it's cheaper than building different infrastructures.

The way modern companies are managed is always disastrous on the long term, because it doesn't matter. Limited responsibilities, baby! Get a company that works, send it on a course that will maximize its profits on the short term while dooming it on the long term (for example, outsource everything so that your labor costs are massively decreased, but this results in your subcontractors acquiring your technology and know-how so that they'll become your competitors tomorrow), and get away with the treasury just before it starts losing money. Then once it's bankrupt, you don't care, you get to keep your money because your responsibility is limited. It's the company that owes money, not you. Yeah!

And this strategy is exactly what most people who think countries should be managed like companies are "because the private sector is more efficient" tend to adopt when managing their own companies. Look at Carmack himself and how he managed to foist the expensive and useless id Software to ZeniMax. He saw that his company was going nowhere, and he jumped ship.

You know what? It turns out the private sector is more efficient because it can always manage to eventually foist its failures on the public sector, either directly through a bailout or indirectly just by going bankrupt, creating massive unemployment and loss of revenue for the population, causing the government to have to intervene with social welfare and entitlement programs.

The public sector is inefficient BECAUSE the private sector is inefficient. If these private businesses were really as efficient as they claim to be, there wouldn't be a need for a welfare state. And if you look at how things go, the freer the market is, the more welfare programs are needed. Why do you think the welfare state concept appeared in the UK to begin with? The UK was also the first country who went in the direction of "all market, all the time; property is sacrosanct, human life isn't", notably cutting off many traditional rights which allowed the poor to thrive (like gleaning).

When you look at it, at the core, the idea that the state is inefficient really translate to one single thing: "I want rich people to get richer and poor people to get poorer".


Kontra Kommando said:
The government should promote the opportunity for people to enrich themselves; Give a man a fish, and feed him for a day, teach a man how to fish, and feed him for a lifetime.


Sophistry. It isn't possible for everybody to be rich. Because richness is a relative concept. Suppose some fairy Godmother twirls her magic wand and everybody on Earth, without any exception, receives one free billion dollars. Everybody is now rich, isn't it? No, it just made dollars worthless, and everybody is now poorer than they were before.

In practice, most people would fail to enrich themselves. Maybe because they'd think there are other things more important to pursue than wealth. The modern Mammonite psychopath of course would deem them losers who deserves squalor and misery because, by not putting the accumulation of money as their number one priority, they are disrespecting our One True Lord and Savior, Money.

To put it another way, teach a man to fish, and he'll be beaten up by the river's monopolistic owner who wants to be paid with ten fish firsthand to allow the would-be fisher to use his river for one quarter of an hour. Also the river is polluted anyway and all the fishes are dead.

Last edited by Gez on 01-23-14 at 15:11

Old Post 01-23-14 13:27 #
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MajorRawne
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Bucket said:
That's exactly the kind of point of view I expect from a guy who has repeatedly taken his own company hostage, trumping up his value through dubious means, threatening "it's him or me" on multiple occasions and forcing his partners to make severe decisions to keep the unit functioning. Whether that behavior resulted in better quality products and a more sustainable model (and whether that was because of that behavior, or in spite of it) is a matter of opinion, and probably a moot point.

Agreed. He's always come across as a highly arrogant weirdo and if it hadn't been for the team relying on him so much, I'm pretty sure they'd have chucked him. Who would you want to work with every day, John Romero or the man who makes Tuvok look like a laugh riot?

Old Post 01-23-14 14:01 #
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Maes
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John Carmack should try living a year in Greece as a business man, and try abiding to all the regulations, taxes, laws etc. that affect the locals to the letter. Then the US Federal Government will appear ultra-neo-libertarian, super-efficient and ultra-democratic in comparison.

Old Post 01-23-14 14:24 #
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doomgargoyle
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Maes said:
John Carmack should try living a year in Greece as a business man, and try abiding to all the regulations, taxes, laws etc. that affect the locals to the letter. Then the US Federal Government will appear ultra-neo-libertarian, super-efficient and ultra-democratic in comparison.


Why not tweet that to him? :)

Old Post 01-23-14 14:35 #
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Maes
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doomgargoyle said:
Why not tweet that to him? :)


He'll probably tweet back that banana republics are, by definition, basket cases :-p

Old Post 01-23-14 14:46 #
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doomgargoyle
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Maes said:


He'll probably tweet back that banana republics are, by definition, basket cases :-p



Yeah, typical arrogant libertarian only speak english american reply.

Old Post 01-23-14 14:52 #
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Maes
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doomgargoyle said:
Yeah, typical arrogant libertarian only speak english american reply.


Only that in this case, he'd probably be right. Greece has more in common with the stereotypes attached to banana republics, than it does with Western countries -which is one of the reasons it allowed itself to be hit that hard by the crisis, and why people seem to more or less accept it, with a disproportionate lack of reaction -or a midirected reaction, at best.

Old Post 01-23-14 15:17 #
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