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How Would Radio Work Without Government?

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limitgov Posted: Thu, Nov 17 2011 10:10 AM

Who would radio stations pay? 

If noone, please elaborate further.

 

Would radio stations broadcast over each other?

 

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It would be just like now, where frequencies would bleed into different stations every 50 miles or so, but with this occuring every mile or so instead.

"What Stirner says is a word, a thought, a concept; what he means is no word, no thought, no concept. What he says is not what is meant, and what he means is unsayable." - Max Stirner, Stirner's Critics
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Mtn Dew replied on Thu, Nov 17 2011 10:27 AM

Jackson LaRose:

It would be just like now, where frequencies would bleed into different stations every 50 miles or so, but with this occuring every mile or so instead.

Doubtful.

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MaikU replied on Thu, Nov 17 2011 10:42 AM

It won't. In libertopia there will be no radio. This is ANARCHY ffs!

"Dude... Roderick Long is the most anarchisty anarchist that has ever anarchisted!" - Evilsceptic

(english is not my native language, sorry for grammar.)

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Autolykos replied on Thu, Nov 17 2011 10:45 AM

See this. It certainly helped me a lot when I first read it.

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limitgov replied on Thu, Nov 17 2011 11:15 AM

"See this. It certainly helped me a lot when I first read it."

Why do people insist on writing articles like there loan contracts, with paragraphs full of unecessary verbose crap?  Noone reads the fine print.  Noone reads through pages and pages of legal speak.

Just give your position in plain english and stop acting better than everyone else.  Writing like a lawyer doesn't make you smarter than anyone, nor does it make your arguement any better.  In fact, its going to bore and turn alot of people off of the writing.

that wasn't directed at you, Autolykos , it was directed at whoever wrote that article.

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Autolykos replied on Thu, Nov 17 2011 11:27 AM

I really didn't think it was that bad? Can you point to some examples where you think the author used "legalese"?

Let me see if I can try to break it down for you. Before the radio spectrum was nationalized at the end of the 1920s, property rights in radio broadcasting were recognized based on two things: broadcasting power and broadcasting frequency. Homesteading in radio broadcasting took place whenever a radio station started transmitting at a previously-unused and unopposed power and frequency combination. Violations of broadcasting property rights thus took place when another station started transmitting at the same or similar frequency at a power high enough (given its distance from the first station) to interfere with the first station's broadcast signal.

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limitgov replied on Thu, Nov 17 2011 11:38 AM

"I really didn't think it was that bad? Can you point to some examples where you think the author used "legalese"?"

I'm probably just being a baby.  Its been a long day so far.

 

"Homesteading in radio broadcasting took place"

who did they pay to broadcast?  noone?

 

 

 

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Clayton replied on Thu, Nov 17 2011 11:47 AM

The early amateur radio operators developed a code of conduct which was enforced through peer pressure and neighborliness. It worked just fine.

The analogy by which to think of radio frequency property rights is the surface of a very large swimming pool. Who has the right to disturb the pool's surface? Well, whoever has been disturbing the pool all along (easement). But if you even stick your finger in the pool it will send ripples through the entire pool, so only one person can use it, right? Wrong. Ripples lose their energy at 1/r-squared (just like gravity or RF) so if its a good size pool you can have one person on one end rippling the surface and another person at another end rippling the surface, There will be "interference" where the two wave fronts meet but this will already be very close to the noise margin.

Finally, radio receivers are frequency selective, meaning that they can choose between two simultaneous waves of equal strength so long as they are separated by enough freqeuency "distance". So now you can have two people in the pool right next to each other disturbing the pool's surface... so long as they are doing it at different frequencies, their customers can easily select which "station" they want.

There is nothing particularly challenging about applying property rights to radio frequencies. Property rights in air quality in a dense urban area is much more challenging.

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Clayton:
There is nothing particularly challenging about applying property rights to radio frequencies. Property rights in air quality in a dense urban area is much more challenging.

You think so?  Wouldn't an organic "common law" emerge from such a large aggregate of individuals?  I thought you were a big proponent of that notion.

"What Stirner says is a word, a thought, a concept; what he means is no word, no thought, no concept. What he says is not what is meant, and what he means is unsayable." - Max Stirner, Stirner's Critics
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Groucho replied on Thu, Nov 17 2011 12:39 PM
I somehow doubt there is any legitimate way to claim a "property right" on electromagnetic field oscillations.
An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup. -H.L. Mencken
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If you find a radio station bleeding over yours couldn't you just call them up and say, "hey man, let's work this out."?

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Or strangle them in their sleep?

"What Stirner says is a word, a thought, a concept; what he means is no word, no thought, no concept. What he says is not what is meant, and what he means is unsayable." - Max Stirner, Stirner's Critics
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Clayton replied on Thu, Nov 17 2011 2:07 PM

If you find a radio station bleeding over yours couldn't you just call them up and say, "hey man, let's work this out."?

+1!

This is the true origin of all property rights!

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This "bleeding over" isn't even really an issue these days.  In those early days, everyone believed the spectrum was limited (and it basically was, due to our limited technology)...and that Cato article was published almost 30 years ago.  Today with digital radio technology, and now wireless Internet, the scarcity that once existed in the broadcasting world just doesn't exist any more.

(Yes, we're not completely there yet, yes there are many antiquated systems still in place, yes many NPR listeners would experience interference or lose their beloved This American Life if a total switch was made overnight...don't try to come back with that weak crap.  The point is the scarcity doesn't exist, this isn't really a problem any more, and it's becoming less and less of an issue every day.)

 

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"This is the true origin of all property rights!"

Well, it can be accounted for or described by property rights, but I'm not quite sure one particular property theory necessarily does so exclusively or better than any other.

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MaikU replied on Thu, Nov 17 2011 5:07 PM

Jackson LaRose:

Or strangle them in their sleep?

 

 

that's what State does, my friend.

"Dude... Roderick Long is the most anarchisty anarchist that has ever anarchisted!" - Evilsceptic

(english is not my native language, sorry for grammar.)

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Clayton replied on Thu, Nov 17 2011 5:22 PM

Well, it can be accounted for or described by property rights, but I'm not quite sure one particular property theory necessarily does so exclusively or better than any other.

Dude, you really need to read Human Action. I think it will blow your mind. It's not what your friends have led you to believe.

Property doesn't mean "gIt off my land 'fer I shoot ya!" ... that's a very vulgar, mean-spirited and low view of what property is about. Property rights are about harmonious cooperation in a world where humans are constantly rubbing elbows... in such a world, unintended conflicts arise frequently and property rights are the human social construct which has emerged to prevent and resolve many conflicts, often without the involvement of third parties.

Contrary to the propertarians and NAP-fundamentalists, I do not believe that property rights are a panacea. They just happen to be a huge chunk of what makes harmonious social order possible. Property rights exist within a larger framework of constant ideological tension pulling this way and that way and that tension operates on a much more fundamental level of the human psyche, the level that includes half-baked ideas, evolved mental reflexes, spriitual perception, and so on. Those aspects of human nature are not going away as far as I can see and so any truly comprehensive social theory must include them. I think that's a large source of the misunderstanding between mises.org libertarians and left libertarians.

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"Dude, you really need to read Human Action. I think it will blow your mind. It's not what your friends have led you to believe."

Funny enough, I actually did pick it up after posting here, and, I'm sorry to say, that it didn't really rub my whistle.

"Property doesn't mean "gIt off my land 'fer I shoot ya!" ... that's a very vulgar, mean-spirited and low view of what property is about. Property rights are about harmonious cooperation in a world where humans are constantly rubbing elbows... in such a world, unintended conflicts arise frequently and property rights are the human social construct which has emerged to prevent and resolve many conflicts, often without the involvement of third parties."

I wasn't trying to suggest that proprietarianism meant "git off my land 'fer I shoot ya!" All I was saying was that my initial post very well could be accounted for by proprietarianism. No doubt about it. But that plenty of other property theories or social theories could account for it just as well. So singling it out as the root of property rights probably isn't accurate.

"I think that's a large source of the misunderstanding between mises.org libertarians and left libertarians."

I think it boils down to much more than semantics, actually. Otherwise people would've gotten over it at this point. It's not like LLs and Misesesesianses are just discovering each other now.

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MaikU,

But they are much harder to fight than little ol' me!

"What Stirner says is a word, a thought, a concept; what he means is no word, no thought, no concept. What he says is not what is meant, and what he means is unsayable." - Max Stirner, Stirner's Critics
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Raian replied on Thu, Nov 17 2011 5:42 PM

Jackson LaRose:

It would be just like now, where frequencies would bleed into different stations every 50 miles or so, but with this occuring every mile or so instead.

Well, why? Are you suggesting that people are going to start up their own stations and put them on the same frequencies as others? Are people going to scramble to build new transmission towers every few blocks so as to interfere with other signals? I don't understand why you think dismantling the FCC would lead to chaos.

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Who said anything about chaos?  It's just a little different, that's all.  And sure, I think there would definitely be pirates out there.

"What Stirner says is a word, a thought, a concept; what he means is no word, no thought, no concept. What he says is not what is meant, and what he means is unsayable." - Max Stirner, Stirner's Critics
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It can actually cost about $500 for a simple low power station that goes about 10 miles. Currently, the FCC sucks at licensing them and also hates you if you try.

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Clayton replied on Thu, Nov 17 2011 6:20 PM

I think it boils down to much more than semantics, actually.

Well, of course. But there is a presumption in many of the posts I've read on ALL (I think it's ALL forum maybe I'm misremembering) that Miseseans are some kind of demented apologists for The Rich.

I want to live in a world of peace and prosperity where me, my family and friends, my children and grandchildren can attain real fulfillment in life (in other words, not just accumulate lots of material gadgets). It is my view that the organized gang of thugs hitting people over the head and taking their stuff (aka "the State") is the single largest obstacle between society today and a healthier society where self-fulfillment is the norm, rather than the exception reserved to The Few. It seems to me that you and I agree on these points but we disagree on other, theoretical points (why things are the way they are and how to fix them, etc.)

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Wheylous replied on Thu, Nov 17 2011 7:34 PM

Ripples lose their energy at 1/r-squared (just like gravity or RF)

Just 1/r, not r^2. Force is over r-squared. Energy is simply over r.

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Groucho replied on Thu, Nov 17 2011 11:40 PM

Wheylous:
Ripples lose their energy at 1/r-squared (just like gravity or RF)
Just 1/r, not r^2. Force is over r-squared. Energy is simply over r.

Electomagnetism is energy and the power (flux) at a given point varies as 1/r^2. Unless everything I learned about physics is wrong.surprise

 

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Josh:
Unless everything I learned about physics is wrong.

It just might be.

 

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Autolykos replied on Fri, Nov 18 2011 9:30 AM

limitgov:
"I really didn't think it was that bad? Can you point to some examples where you think the author used "legalese"?"

I'm probably just being a baby.  Its been a long day so far.

Understandable. Maybe try reading it again today? smiley

limitgov:
"Homesteading in radio broadcasting took place"

who did they pay to broadcast?  noone?

That's right. No one already owned (or was presumed to own) any combination of frequency and broadcasting power that wasn't already homesteaded. Of course, that doesn't mean the equipment or the materials to build it were free.

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Wheylous replied on Sun, Nov 20 2011 7:14 PM

Electomagnetism is energy and the power (flux) at a given point varies as 1/r^2. Unless everything I learned about physics is wrong.

You might be right. Hm, I'll check it again.

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For a start the there would be far better music on the radio. Without government licensing requirements it would remove the monopoly over the airwaves and anyone could broadcast, very similar to how it is on the internet. You can just look at how internet radio would work to see how radio would work without licensing requirements.

As for conflict over air waves i think they would be unavoidable but i do not think that it would be such a big of a problem that it would require the creation of massive tax funded bureaucracy to solve it. Property laws could be taken on to the airwaves, the homesteading principle. If you can prove that you have been on a specific frequency for a certain amount of time then you would have more sway in court. But there are probably 1000s of scenarios that i can think of right now that could occur that could all have different solutions. But none of them would have to involve licensing requirements.

It would also not be within the interest of a radio station to transmit on the frequency of another radio station, unless it was malicious and if that was the case then reputation would be a factor, especially when dealing with broadcasting, the one radio station could just tell its listeners about the problem and this could be a deterrent to a large extent.

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Wheylous replied on Tue, Nov 22 2011 3:14 PM

My bad, guys: intensity drops off as one over r-squared.

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Kakugo replied on Tue, Nov 22 2011 5:21 PM

It's curious to note nobody mentioned the '60s pirate radios (radios operating without license of any kind nor paying royalties).

They were pretty popular in the UK at the time and, until 1967, there was nothing HM Government could do about them. The most common modus operandi was broadcasting from a ship in international waters (Radio Caroline): until the Marine Broadcasting Offence Act was passed nobody could do anything about them. Pirate radios also operated inside big cities like London or Manchester with the operators becoming increasingly cunning as the clampdown tightened (for example setting up automated transmitters with timers on top of disused buildings).

Did people like them? Yes. The early pirate radios were a breath of fresh air from the stale mindset of the BBC, playing music people actually wanted to listen to. In fact when BBC Radio was overhauled at the end of the '60s most DJ's were drafted from pirate radio operations. In the '70s urban pirate radios catered to "obstracized" music fans who liked to listen to such genres as punk, ska or reggae. There was a resurgence in the '90s, mostly catering to the rave community.

It must be understood that penalties went from a little more than a slap on the wrist in the late '60s to the present draconian sentences (years of jail and ridiculous fines): the State don't want you to mess with the airwaves. But people right now have the Internet... wink

Together we go unsung... together we go down with our people
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A fairly interesting book with some sections on Pirate Radios is The Pirate's Dilemma: How Youth Culture Is Reinventing Capitalism. Available at amazon. The book is not related to austrian economics.

 

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