Saturday, May 27, 2017
  Why do tech-tyrants love globalism?

Tech-tyrants, who call themselves Libertarians, are the wildest and harshest Globalists of all. This is especially STUPID because techies SHOULD understand better than anyone else why GLOBAL is bad and LOCAL is good.

Basic point: Primitive algorithms and primitive computers (both mechanical and electronic) are purely GLOBAL. Sophisticated algorithms and computers are ABLE to be sophisticated because they apply MODULARITY and LOCAL STORAGE and LOCAL MEMORY. Without modularity and reliable internal storage you can't do much.

= = = = =

This little mechanical computer



is all GLOBAL. It has one line of computation, with no separate sub-actions or separate memories.

This slightly more sophisticated computer



has one subroutine and one memory. When you set the X switch down, your entered number stays in place so you can add it repeatedly (loop) to form a primitive type of multiplication. The subroutine and memory are GLOBAL because the whole machine has access to the memorized number.

Better adding machines have several automated subroutines for mult and div, and several registers to hold numbers for loopy usage.

= = = = =

It's the same with programming. Early BASIC and FORTRAN had no provision for modularity or local storage. All variables have to be declared at the start of the program, and any subroutine can use and CHANGE the global variables. No subroutine has any form of SECURITY or PRIVACY because all activities are VISIBLE to every other subroutine, and all numbers can be CHANGED without notice.

After 1980 or so, all computer languages have provisions for LOCAL memory and storage. Numbers or words or arrays are usable and changeable ONLY by the module that creates them. Each separate operator can store its own needed numbers or words, and can rely on them to remain in place until the next time it needs to work on them. You can set up global variables, but the language deliberately makes it HARDER to go global.

= = = = =

Life works the same way, except that life departed from primitive global forms so long ago that none of them survive. Everything from viruses to parrots is almost infinitely modular, with strong borders and boundaries at each level. Each module has its own internal organization and communication. Borders can be opened to let nutrients or signals in and out, but ONLY at the command of the cell or organ or creature INSIDE the border. All border decisions are LOCAL.

= = = = =

Tech-tyrants understand all of this in the context of technology. WHY do they want a PRIMITIVE NON-FUNCTIONAL world without borders, a world without savings, a world without privacy?

Because they're more tyrant than techie.

A better question: Why don't we hear more from tech-loving people who CONSISTENTLY appreciate localism and modularity in everything? They do exist, but it feels like a losing fight.

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Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

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