Everybody kills Hitler on their first trip

Often times I post an entry on my blog for the sole purpose of giving myself a permanent bookmark on a particular theme and this is one: The Internet meme that everybody [who is a time traveler] kills Hitler on their first trip. This one is not necessarily new to me, but I keep forgetting it when I see it. After  flipping through all the episodes of Dr. Who on Netflix and seeing one titled “Let’s Kill Hitler,”  and today’s XKCD referencing it, I am compelled.

The premise is that every time traveller, when they make their first voyage, travels back in time to kill Adolph Hitler, and thus changes the course of human history and destroying life as we know it. Usually someone else follows behind him and subverts the assassination attempt to make right the course of history.

This post is apparently one of the first references online to the meme:
http://www.abyssapexzine.com/wikihistory/

Others have expanded:
Hitler’s Time Travel Exemption Act
Godwin’s Law of Time Travel

The source of the paradox, Robert Heinlein’s story By His Bootstraps, included in The Green Hills of Earth & The Menace from Earth.

When Companies Become Countries

Being a geek, I really enjoy reading Scott Adams’s Dilbert Blog almost as much as I enjoy the comic strip.  The post below piqued my interest:

When Companies Become Countries: I wonder when the first multinational company will form its own country to avoid wars, government red tape, and corporate taxes. It feels inevitable. I assume it will involve seasteading.

The current notion of seasteading involves floating cities that are outside the control of existing nations. That concept has its appeal, especially as a way to test new forms of government. But existing corporations already have their own form of government called management, and despite its warts, it generally works.
Imagine, for example, that one of the world’s beloved companies such as Apple or Facebook someday decides to start its own country on the sea. The company’s existing management structure would need to add several functions, such as education, healthcare, and police. The corporate government would look a lot like the Chinese government. In other words, it would be efficient in terms of profit, while giving up freedoms that employees are already accustomed to giving up. For example, company employees don’t have freedom of speech when it comes to criticizing management. Somehow we live with that restriction and it doesn’t seem too onerous.

There would be no taxes for permanent residents of the company country. Public services would be funded from corporate profits. Every paid service in the country, from banking, to insurance, to groceries, would be company-run. The accounting would be transparent and the profits would flow to public services.

The big worry with this model is the “company store” abuse that was common during the early days of the United States. In some cases, an employer would take advantage of its monopoly on goods and services to gouge its employees, turning them into virtual slaves. But I think that risk can be addressed by accounting transparency, and by capping the compensation of top management to a multiple of the average employee pay. It also helps if employees can choose to leave whenever they want. That keeps management in line.
Wages in the company country would be low while still attracting top talent, so long as the cost of living islow, taxes are non-existent, and the lifestyle is awesome. Employees could earn less while saving far more, especially if they own equity in the company.

This prediction assumes that traditional governments continue to bankrupt themselves and strangle their own industries with red tape. That feels like a safe bet. But the main reason a company might want to form its own country is to attract the best minds, and the lowest cost of labor, from all over the world without any immigration issues.
Do company countries seem inevitable or unlikely to you?


To answer his question, I see one company in particular who already has the power to do this very thing: Walmart, and I don’t think that it would take seasteading for Walmart to accomplish this.

Walmart already has the means to support itself: a powerful central infrastructure, security forces, medical facilities, banking facilities, etc.; all that it lacks is housing for its employees. There would be other issues to work around, but it is already it is already the largest non-government employer in North America (http://www.articlesdeluxe.com/walmart.html). It also has trade relations with both consumer and producer nations. Walmart seems to be to be in the best position to pull of sovereignty.

‘Rocket City Rednecks’ ready to make TV debut

‘Rocket City Rednecks’ ready to make TV debut: After retiring, Charles and Mary Ann Taylor planned to travel, entertain grandchildren and sit on the patio of the home in rural Morgan County where they’ve lived for 27 years, just watching the world go by.

But they definitely aren’t watching the world go by – the world has come to them, compliments of their rocket scientist son, Dr. Travis Taylor, who works with the U.S. Army on Redstone Arsenal by day and as a “mad scientist” nights and weekends.