Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"No guns"- No deal

Wow! Today I started to go into a local business and saw something I have never before seen: a sign saying my gun was not welcome!

I should have noticed something was wrong as soon as I pulled into the parking lot. Mine was one of only 3 cars there. Did the others belong to employees? I'll never know since I pulled my hand off the door as if the handle were red-hot and covered in blood and gore. Which it might as well have been. I'll trade with a competitor who respects me, instead.

Here in Libertopia people are free to be stupid. And I am free to avoid dealing with those whose twisted notion of "property rights" includes violating mine. I'll be surprised if the business lasts long.

It has the potential to be an "exciting" short run, though. The few surviving armed-robbers still in practice might not have a very big window of opportunity to rob the only place around I know of that "guarantees" an unarmed victim pool for their craft.

"Unarmed", that is, unless customers don't notice the sign. If anything does occur, the business owners will be facing a lot of liability claims, either way.

Libertopians assume liberty, and it takes a lot to break through that assumption- in most cases a sign will probably not be enough to get their attention and make them realize their rights are not respected there. As a service, I have already told several people to be wary of that particular establishment. I also gave that information to the competitor I chose to patronize (they were already aware of the sign).

Good luck to them and to those customers foolish enough to give up their liberty and their security for- I'm not even sure what.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Libertopian relationships

As far as relationships go, "traditional", one man/one woman, monogamous marriage is still pretty popular in Libertopia. At least as the "ideal".

The reality is probably more similar to the reality during most of human history. It just isn't usually hidden any more.

Nowadays, if you decide to marry someone, anyone, you just do it. The expense is what you make it. So are the ceremony and stipulations. This means that a lot of people are married who probably wouldn't be under more strict guidelines.

In most cases you don't need anyone's permission. Multiple-partner marriages that are adding a spouse being one exception. It must be by unanimous consent, of course. But, if no consent can be had, nothing prevents the unhappy members from leaving to find more suitable arrangements.

Sometimes, because of the age of one of the participants or other circumstances, family members may have objections. If no solution can be worked out privately, arbitors can be hired. If no solution comes from that, elopement seems to be pretty standard. Some things don't change much.

You can have any sort of ceremony you and your Chosen wish to have- or none at all. You can try for "'til death do us part", or have a set expiration date. Divorce is seen as a business arrangement where property is divided and obligations are fulfilled. It usually still hurts, but the hurt isn't magnified by stupid meddlers.

On the whole, I'd say relationships are happier than they have historically been. There are no coercive barriers to entering or leaving a romantic relationship. Since the myth of "one size fits all" has been tossed in the scrap heap of failed delusions, people are free to find the situation that suits them best, even if they are the only people on the planets who have ever tried a particular arrangement.

Someday, maybe even I can find a relationship that adds more to my life than it drains. Hope springs eternal.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Vacation time and Air travel- a Perfect Match

I'm thinking about flying to a tropical paradise for a bit of a vacation. It's about time to sit under a palm tree, on a beach, and sip drinks with tiny umbrellas in them for a week or two. And maybe watch some female humans walk around in skimpy swim suits ... or less. Or maybe I'll go to the mountains. Hmmm.

As much as I enjoy vacations, getting there is half the fun. Well, 10%, at least. Air travel is always great. The suborbital flights and near-Earth shuttles, especially so.

Of course, flying means I need to buy some more frangible ammunition. It isn't required, but in case the unthinkable happens I really don't wish to pay the airline for .45 caliber holes in the aircraft skin.

I think there are still a couple of airlines who forbid guns to their passengers (although I don't know of any who still ban knives on flights). Not that I'd ever consider doing business with any of those. Sure, they have all the best security, but no "security" will ever beat self-responsible passengers and crew.

Living as I do on "Anarchist Standard Time" I generally end up running through the gate at the last possible second- tossing my luggage at the nearest luggage handler (hoping he puts it on the right plane), and sometimes paying the ticket collector onboard instead of buying a ticket at the counter. Yes, it costs a bit more that way, but I can never seem to be on time. I suppose I prefer that to the alternative of waiting around for my flight.

Although, on the occasions where I have missed the flight I intended to take (yes, it happens), I do enjoy browsing around the airport shops. I picked up an old, but very nice, Tommy Gun for a great price at an airport gun shop once. It seems a traveler was short on cash, so he traded for a cheaper carry piece and pocketed the difference, and I (and the gun shop) both made out like bandits on that deal. I never get my ammo at the airport, though. Airport ammo prices are notoriously high.

The liquor/narcotics/hemp shops in the airport are also popular with those who have an irrational fear of flying- if they didn't come prepared. Some things just go together like peaches and cream, and the airports and airlines recognize that.

I've heard that air travel wasn't always so nice, "back in the day". It's hard to imagine.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

FurLumpz and other "new" species

One of the most amusing (to me, personally) trends in Libertopia are the genetically-engineered pets: "FurLumpz".

They are billed as "the perfect pet", and I suppose they are. For a lot of people. Cute (indescribably so), fuzzy, non-shedding, can be induced to hibernate if you need to leave them home while you go away for 6 months or more, clean (they excrete hard, odorless pellets), easily fed, long-lived, and healthy.

Just about everyone I know either has one now, or is thinking about getting one soon. I have to admit I'm still a sucker for the defective natural critters that evolution designed so well (even if that "design" doesn't mesh quite as well with living with a human).

But, FurLumpz aren't the only genetically-engineered animal (or plant, or combination of both, or of neither) out there. There are some "unextincted" creatures around for those who like that sort of thing. There are some things that have been created for the individual that doesn't like cute and cuddly, but toothy and hideous. Some people prefer to work with the microscopic world and have made bacteria that do some amazing and beautiful things. Or some odd things. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, after all.

Just about any hacker can put together a genetic manipulation lab these days. That may not be "safe", but it is freedom. There have been some unfortunate incidents. However, if you create something that causes harm to any individual or their property, you WILL be held fully liable. There is nothing to shield you from accountability. There are always ways to figure out just where a creature originates and who is responsible in case of a problem when there is an incentive to find out. This accountability has kept tragedies to a bare minimum.

So far, the benefits have vastly outweighed the drawbacks. And not just for pet lovers. There have been incredible breakthroughs in medicine that would have never been discovered had the doors of innovation not been ripped from their hinges. There have been new art forms created (beyond looking at life as a medium for art). There have been new energy sources discovered and new materials perfected. All because of (mostly) "kids" tinkering in their bedrooms and garages.

I love it, and could tell you so much more, but it's time to feed my archaeopteryx.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The death of "One Size Fits All"

If there is one thing that defines Libertopia, it is the realization that one size NEVER fits all.

Sure, there are still a few people out there who insist their way is the only way. But they are pretty rare and getting rarer. And they have no power to enforce their opinions.

There are nudists and prudes living in mutually-embarrassed peace. There are gun owners and pacifists. There are the devoutly religious and atheists. There are even little pockets of communism in Libertopia, for those who just can't bring themselves to be free. The difference is that no one can be coerced to participate against their will in anything here, and no government to take over to force your preferences on anyone else. Even when you are a part of a group, opting out is always one disagreement away.

It all comes down to choices. You have an almost unlimited variety of choices available here. No one even "legally" forbids you from attacking your neighbor, although few who choose that path survive long in a polite (armed) society. Your choice; your consequences. And those who attempt to limit the non-aggressive, non-thieving choices of others quickly find themselves shunned or worse.

Just as it should be.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Starting a business in Libertopia

I'm thinking of starting a business.

That means I would have to decide what kind of business to start.

If I decide to sell things I'd have to locate a supplier and place an order or make something myself.

If I decide to offer a service I'd need to think of something I can do that people might wish to pay for. I might even need supplies of some sort.

I'd need to make a sign to put outside my door, or rent a place, and maybe advertise as well.

I doubt I could be open before tomorrow evening with so many things to consider and get done. Oh, the pressures and stresses inherent in freedom! (wink!)


Monday, August 1, 2011

Libertopia- Museums galore!

Over the weekend I visited a nice little natural history museum. Museums in Libertopia? Of course!

Obviously they are all privately funded. Some are profit motivated while others are supported by a charitable group. Both kinds can be very educational and fun!

Everyone is a lot richer now since there is no "taxation" at any step of the production, and therefore the things you need and want cost a lot less. Plus, you get to keep all the money you earn to spend as you wish. You don't have to pay for "services" you don't want. (Estimates are that everyone is about 8 times more wealthy than they would have been during the era of The State.) That means there is lots of money to spend on things such as museums.

Here in the free society, museums compete to attract the best scientists and researchers. This means those who pay well, or provide the best opportunity for the scientist's particular interests, can get the scientists they wish to have on staff. They also compete to attract paying visitors with engaging displays and innovative design.

Objects of interest are not likely to languish in the "collections" in the basement since someone spent money to obtain the item and they have a financial interest in getting it understood and described and displayed, rather than letting it gather dust and be forgotten. They also usually have an interest in getting the information right rather than in being sensational, since word gets out otherwise. But, that isn't always the case.

Some goofy museums exist, such as "Creationism museums", but few people take them seriously and see them more as a sideshow displaying freaks of sloppy thinking. Sure, they still make money but you don't support them unless you want to, just as you don't support a scholarly museum unless you want to.

It's similar to the way libraries operate here in Libertopia.