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Discourses on Social Order


Publication History of
'Is the GPS Worth It? Who Knows?'


The publicaton of the essay, "Government Distortion vs. Market Realism in Space or Is the GPS Worth It? Who Knows?" has a history itself which is worth sharing for the ideas that it demonstrates. This page contains the earlier version I (Kitty Antonik Wakfer) sent to Mises.org including the brief initial correspondence, the edited version by Jeffrey Tucker editor of Mises.org, the response to that by me and Paul Wakfer, and the reply by Tucker that resulted in our publication here instead.


-----Original Message-----
From: Kitty Antonik Wakfer [mailto:kitty@morelife.org]
Sent: Monday, November 21, 2005 8:49 PM
To: rockwell@mises.org
Cc: editor@mises.org
Subject: Proposed submittal for publication



Hello Lew,

I have a ~2300 word essay stemming from my previous position as the Mechanical Task Leader for the Crosslink Transponder Data Unit (part of the GPS system's vital spaceborne hardware built by Motorola), which I think would be of interest to Mises.org and/or LewRockwell.org readers. After being sent word recently that a long awaited milestone had finally been reached for this project, I was motivated to "pen" my thoughts, which mainly contrast the government initiated, funded and operated GPS system with the Iridium satellite system originated by Motorola and privately funded and operated.

If you are interested in publishing it at either or both sites, I do not want it copyrighted. Paul and I do not agree with copyright laws and do not claim copyright on anything we publish. Instead, each of our many website pages has the following message at the bottom:
"Although the creators of this website assert their ownership of it, the site content is not "copyright" as that term is legally defined because its creators do not agree with government copyright laws.
"Readers are welcome to copy and distribute any text within the site as long as they do not modify the text and they provide a link to this website as its source, so that those who read it will know where Value for Value gained, can be returned. If those who copy text from or link to this website gain value from that action, then they are similarly expected to return some of that value to its creators."

I will send you the entire essay for your consideration in Word document or in an email, if the conditions of no copyright are agreeable. Other essays I have written recently can be read at the Focus on Freedom section of the Self-Sovereign Individual Project, most of these have been included in Rational Review News Digest's list of commentaries.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

**Kitty Antonik Wakfer

MoreLife for the rational - http://morelife.org
Reality based tools for more life in quantity and quality
Self-Sovereign Individual Project - http://selfsip.org
Rational freedom by self-sovereignty & social contracting

PS I do not know who is currently the editor of Mises Daily Articles, so I have included "editor" as a copy.

--------------------EOM------------------------------------

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeffrey Tucker [mailto:tucker@mises.org]
Sent: Tuesday, November 22, 2005 4:43 AM
To: Kitty Antonik Wakfer
Subject: Re: Proposed submittal for publication



well, you list lew first so he has first choice. but i'm glad to look at it

> Kitty Antonik Wakfer wrote:
> Hello Lew,
[snip by Kitty]

--------------------EOM------------------------------------

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeffrey Tucker [mailto:tucker@mises.org]
Sent: Tuesday, November 22, 2005 10:45 AM
To: kitty@morelife.org
Subject: essay

Go ahead and send your essay here. thanks!

--------------------EOM------------------------------------

-----Original Message-----
From: Kitty Antonik Wakfer [mailto:kitty@morelife.org]
Sent: Tuesday, November 22, 2005 2:04 PM
To: Jeffrey Tucker
Subject: RE: essay

Hello Jeffrey,

I have attached the Word file with the understanding that you have agreed to the no copyright usage for it as I stated in my original email to Lew, which was copied to you.

**Kitty Antonik Wakfer

MoreLife for the rational - http://morelife.org
Reality based tools for more life in quantity and quality
Self-Sovereign Individual Project - http://selfsip.org
Rational freedom by self-sovereignty & social contracting

--------------------EOM------------------------------------

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeffrey Tucker [mailto:tucker@mises.org]
Sent: Tuesday, November 22, 2005 2:07 PM
To: Kitty Antonik Wakfer
Subject: Re: essay


I'm not sure why you are emphasizing this so much. I've never attached any copyright to any essay unless the author specifically requests it. moreover, i don't tend to turn down any reprint requests.

> Kitty Antonik Wakfer wrote:
> Hello Jeffrey,
[snip by Kitty]

--------------------EOM------------------------------------

-----Original Message-----
From: Kitty Antonik Wakfer [mailto:kitty@morelife.org]
Sent: Tuesday, November 22, 2005 3:16 PM
To: Jeffrey Tucker
Subject: RE: essay


I stressed this because items at LewRockwell.com are copyrighted and I don't think this is consistent for a market anarchist at all (using the definitions, arrangements and coercive powers of the state rather than the marketplace). I had seen copyright statements on some Mises.org Daily Articles and wanted to make sure that an article of mine was not so marked. I am pleased to learn that claiming copyright as defined by government is not the practice at Mises.org and that reprint requests are widely accepted. I think this is vitally important if we (the writers for and promoters of liberty) are ever to succeed in replacing the state with a better form of ordered society.

**Kitty Antonik Wakfer

MoreLife for the rational - http://morelife.org
Reality based tools for more life in quantity and quality
Self-Sovereign Individual Project - http://selfsip.org
Rational freedom by self-sovereignty & social contracting

--------------------EOM------------------------------------

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeffrey Tucker [mailto:tucker@mises.org]
Sent: Tuesday, November 22, 2005 3:17 PM
To: Kitty Antonik Wakfer
Subject: Re: essay

believe me: i completely agree with you

--------------------EOM------------------------------------

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeffrey Tucker [mailto:tucker@mises.org]
Sent: Tuesday, November 22, 2005 2:54 PM
To: Kitty Antonik Wakfer
Subject: Re: essay


this is a nice piece. can you write an intro paragraph that sums up the essential questions you are dealing with? it needs more to engage the reader from the outset

--------------------EOM------------------------------------

-----Original Message-----
From: Kitty Antonik Wakfer [mailto:kitty@morelife.org]
Sent: Tuesday, November 22, 2005 9:08 PM
To: Jeffrey Tucker
Subject: RE: essay

I am attaching a full copy of the essay (with an amended file name). In addition to the intro paragraph that you requested - which does, I think, set it up nicely - I have added a sentence at the end of the next paragraph.

Also attached is a photo of me in our office with a portion of the Spirit of Iridium print that I mentioned. Unfortunately, I could not find a free link to the print online.

**Kitty Antonik Wakfer

MoreLife for the rational - http://morelife.org
Reality based tools for more life in quantity and quality
Self-Sovereign Individual Project - http://selfsip.org
Rational freedom by self-sovereignty & social contracting

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Kitty Antonik Wakfer [mailto:kitty@morelife.org]
> Sent: Tuesday, November 22, 2005 3:33 PM
> To: Jeffrey Tucker
> Subject: RE: essay
>
>
> I (and my editor and mentor husband, Paul) are very glad that you like it. We're
> on our way out the door on planned errands for a few hours. I will work on such
> an intro paragraph on our return and likely get it to you later tonight.
>
> **Kitty Antonik Wakfer
>
> MoreLife for the rational - http://morelife.org
> Reality based tools for more life in quantity and quality
> Self-Sovereign Individual Project - http://selfsip.org
> Rational freedom by self-sovereignty & social contracting

--------------------EOM------------------------------------

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeffrey Tucker [mailto:tucker@mises.org]
Sent: Tuesday, November 22, 2005 9:11 PM
To: Kitty Antonik Wakfer
Subject: Re: essay

yes, that's very nice. thank you

--------------------EOM------------------------------------

Except for a few small changes to the first paragraph (insertion of the words "government's" and "private-sector" are all that we can remember) that were inadvertently written over the only copy of the original when it was being edited to resend as what is seen separately, the following is identical to what was originally sent to Jeffrey Tucker on 11/22/05

Government Distortion vs. Market Realism in Space

By Kitty Antonik Wakfer

During the last two decades, the benefits of satellite systems have become an integral part of the lives of most individuals living in the industrialized countries of the world. Determining one's position and communicating from and to virtually anywhere on, or above the earth are two of the major satellite applications currently available. As a direct participant in the design of part of the government's Global Positioning System (GPS) implementation and an interested inside observer of the private-sector Iridium (communication) system, I have been in a position to make pertinent observations comparing the two. This information is used here to elucidate how government intervention distorts what would otherwise be a smooth running mechanism - the free market.

Very recently I received news from the project leader of a program I worked on while employed at Motorola for 16 years (the portion of that company which was designated Space and Systems Technology Group while I was there, but was later sold to General Dynamics) that the first "ship set" (first production units for actual use in space) for the newest generation of Crosslink Transponder and Data Unit (CTDU) had finally been delivered to the customer. This unit is a vital part of the networking between satellites of the Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) system, and while I was also involved in the design modification of other GPS space hardware, for this total redesign of the CTDU (previously not produced by Motorola) I was its original Mechanical Engineering Task Leader, serving in that role from first proposals until I left to join my new found partner in everything, Paul Wakfer, in mid-August of 2000. I put an enormous amount of effort into that program from the earliest proposals to all the details of mechanical design including oversight of concepts, drawings, analyses, engineering models, testing, reviews and numerous other related tasks. Despite all of this, the email announcement of the project having finally reached this long sought stage left me with none of the project leader's excitement - "Gloria Halleluiah!!! Yippee!!!! Heehaw!!!! Awesome!!! Stupendous!!!! Fantastic!!! Wonderful!!! Fabulous!!! Cool!! Terrific!!! Worth-waiting-for???" (Not unnoticed was the hint of doubt showing that, perhaps even for this gung-ho project leader, there was a glimmer of reality beneath all the elation.)

Technologically the CTDU (and related GPS hardware) is all of this, but is it truly worth the more than a million dollars that each of the approximately 50 of these delivered boxes will have cost - only one of dozens of components which constitute only the spaceborne portion of GPS? (Actually there are two of these CTDUs in each Block 2F satellite - a subsystem to provide backup down to the module level.) http://www.gdc4s.com/content/detail.cfm?item=e64623fa-fc9f-41f9-8c25-6271f4a61cb9. Unfortunately, I didn't keep any of the files related to the program's budget, but I know that it was a very significant amount - even though it was just one of the smaller military programs handled by the engineering section of which I was a part during my tenure at Motorola.)

Of course, there is actually no way to determine the real worth of anything that is not part of a free market of exchange. How many people would be willing to invest in a company for the purpose of producing a satellite system to enable people virtually anywhere on earth to accurately determine their position at any time of the day or night? Initially the investors would be only those individuals who had taken the time to study the market for viability of the idea and had money to invest on a high risk venture. But it would be their money, and they alone would gain or lose with the undertaking - to promote innovative ideas is the important role of the "venture capitalist". In a free market, the company (the individuals owning it) would be interacting with investors, employees, suppliers, sub-contractors, and customers solely by the method of voluntary exchange to mutual advantage expectation. (One can never be certain that advantage will occur, but only expect it - to estimate that it has a high probability of occurrence.) This means that each exchange participant has agreed to what s/he has determined is in hir (his/her) longest range, widest viewed best interest. No one could be compelled to invest in the company or to purchase a product/service from the company; the company's credibility by way of previous and ongoing research, management efficiency, schedule achievement and product quality would be among the criteria used by other individuals to determine whether to interact with the company by way of value exchange, and to what degree.

Little of the above description for investment applies to the portion of Motorola for which I worked for 16 years and 7 months (before I knew better J). True, this very large company is a private firm (with many stockholders of which I am still one through my 401(k)), but many of its major customers are government departments, either directly or through a general contractor (such as Lockheed-Martin or Boeing). As such, the development and production of the CTDU, and the other spaceborne electronic boxes for which I was the mechanical task leader or performed support mechanical engineering tasks, were part of a vastly distorted arrangement which has grown larger and worse with every decade in the past approximately 60 years, and which still exists. Government funds, virtually all money stolen from individuals (all taxes are ultimately a burden on individuals), were the source of funding for all these completed projects (and are and will be the source for the many still under development). There was no voluntary exchange of value at this level - the very basis of the project. The money used to pay for all the expenses related to the project came via a process that is no different than any other kind of theft, except that this particular kind of theft has been designated as legal by the state (so that they can morally do it, of course).

Governments with their monopoly on legalized initiation of force (again precisely the same kinds of actions that are deemed to be highly immoral and are punishable for anyone else) take money from their residents (visitors too, and even those at a distance who they have managed to "tap") and spend it on whatever those in power determine suits their purposes. At sometime in the past, some one or group of government employees decided that having a satellite system that provided global positioning (for military purposes) was a nifty idea. And since government has a virtually unlimited source of money via theft from its residents, the overseeing government entity (US Air Force) could fairly easily arrange that it be part of their budget without any cost/benefit evaluation, in terms related to US residents being willing to pay for the value obtained, was ever done. Yes, they had to assure a few Congressmen that the idea was not a total pipedream, but this bore almost no resemblance to a businessman convincing stockholders or venture capitalists that hir idea would be profitable (ie. that its voluntary creation would cause a net gain in total human value).

The US taxpayers have been forced to pay for the GPS system for many years - long before any had the ability to purchase a receiver themselves to determine their own position on land, water or in the air. Now that its benefits are becoming available to people everywhere, it can be more clearly seen that the idea had great merit and eventually would have been implemented by some means. Many people argue that this it is just the sort of project that would not have happened if the government had not funded it, but I don't think this is true. It probably would not have happened when it did, but it would almost certainly have eventually occurred, likely differently and even better technically - perhaps coordinated with satellites for communication purposes. In any case, if a GPS system would never have come into being this simply means that its cost/benefit was too low for it to be funded and thus its creation would be unprofitable, which in turn means that its creation would cause a net loss of total human value. The printing press, light bulb, airplane, and numerous other scientific and/or technological electronic advances did not come into existence because stolen (government) money was used for their invention and production. The most long term prosperous business ventures in the heyday of capitalism in the US were those with the least amount of government "support" via subsidies or protection. And the worst examples of "Robber Barons" were those who sought and obtained government money and privilege to operate rather than compete in a straightforward manner in the market. (The many resources within Mises.org cover the details extraordinarily well.)

Everywhere it exists, government intervention creates a distortion of the profile of the free market production of goods and services. (Think of a bar chart on which all possible goods and services are the bars along the x-axis with the bar heights being the yearly production of that good or service in terms of some common unit.) Government actions in the marketplace of ideas, products and services, while bringing certain events into existence, prevent the creation of others or cause a reduced amount of others (ie. they distort the profile of such a bar chart). Government officials (whether elected, appointed or hired as "civil servants") and their regulations are like grit in the smooth mechanism of the marketplace. These officials and regulations do nothing, either as individuals or as a system, to improve the interactions of people, which other voluntary participants in the market could not provide - if they were not prevented from doing so by various legal prohibitions. The result of this coercive interference is not only a distortion of the shape of the production profile, but a vast decrease in total goods and services (average bar height) from what a free market system would produce.

Even some who call themselves libertarians still excuse this expenditure for the GPS system as military hardware necessary to protect the country from attack. All during the time I was employed at Motorola I agreed with this - as a limited governmentalist I considered the military as one of the few legitimate functions of the state (the others being the police and courts). Even here though, government creates more problems than it claims to solve, and is ultimately unnecessary since protection from force, both internal and external, and settlement of disputes can be obtained within a self-ordering, fully voluntary market-based system. The Self-Sovereign Individual Project describes a new (and I think more valid) approach to the foundational self-ordering principles of such a society, within which the free market of social interactions would optimally provide all profitable goods and services, including those that limited governmentalists believe only government can adequately provide.

While I did not knowingly waste money from my mechanical engineering budget on any of the projects I worked on, I cannot say how much more efficient my portion of the design, at least, would have been had the project been funded and developed within a free market. The existing yardstick by which to measure was one that could be changed in ways that would likely not happen when all the players are using resources for which they are solely responsible. The GPS system was government initiated (using tax dollars) and not the creation of a private company or consortium of companies for profit, as was, for example, the Iridium program, another concurrent major Motorola project with which it is useful to compare GPS.

I will not pretend that I know all the history and factors behind the creation and demise of the Iridium satellite system as initially conceived and begun by Motorola upper management. However, I do think that the choices of individuals not to purchase and use the large telephones (and other cumbersome equipment) at a very high price (compared to cell phones at the time) sent a strong message to Iridium LLC (the consortium of companies of which Motorola was the major part) that the system contained perceived weaknesses by a major portion of the intended market. The result was a major business reduction and realignment in the Motorola portion that was devoted to Iridium - another division within the business group of which I was a part and located in a building where I had worked for several years. Iridium LLC filed bankruptcy but assets were finally sold to another consortium that currently goes under the name of Iridium Satellite LLC. Products and services for worldwide line-of-sight satellite communication are available using the 66 low-earth orbiting Iridium satellites. (The history up to January 2001, when Iridium Satellite LLC came into existence, is available at http://www.ee.surrey.ac.uk/Personal/L.Wood/constellations/iridium.html )

However, it is important to note that the business decisions made by Motorola and other companies involved with the original Iridium system were done in a marketplace heavily distorted by government interventions, especially the US government. If individuals had decision making ability over the spending of all their income, rather than a large portion of their incomes being removed before they ever see it (demanded from them under various coercive threats and used to purchase goods and services at prices highly distorted by all forms of market intervention), it is quite possible that more people would have chosen this globally usable communication system, even at its significantly higher price than cell phones. And likely without the numerous government regulations at all levels, the products and services of Iridium LLC would have been lower priced and more varied. But the major point about the Iridium system's relationship to the marketplace is that it was not subsidized either as an investment or a product, by individuals most of whom wanted no part of it. Such has never been the case for the GPS system.

For the creator and developer involved, a major result of these differences is that for a thoroughly "unreal" project such as GPS - because it is impossible to tell whether or not any real value has been produced - it is also impossible to feel any true pride in one's work - to gain any self-esteem from one's achievements. This is as opposed to Iridium whose creators and developers can correctly be proud of their accomplishment, even if it has not yet turned a profit. For me, personally, the result of this is that, in a narrow technical sense, I am still proud of the work I performed on Motorola's part of the GPS system and I certainly have fond memories of the people and many of the activities involved in its creation when I look at a picture of the box. However, even though I took no part in Iridium, I much prefer the framed "Spirit of Iridium" print by Robert T McCall that I have on the wall of our Arizona home office.


-----Original Message-----
From: Kitty Antonik Wakfer [mailto:kitty@morelife.org]
Sent: Wednesday, December 14, 2005 8:21 PM
To: Jeffrey Tucker
Subject: RE: essay

Hello Jeffrey,

It's been now over 3 weeks since you accepted the essay from me for publication as a Mises Daily Article, "Government Distortion vs. Market Realism in Space". When can I expect to see it published?

**Kitty Antonik Wakfer

MoreLife for the rational - http://morelife.org
Reality based tools for more life in quantity and quality
Self-Sovereign Individual Project - http://selfsip.org
Rational freedom by self-sovereignty & social contracting

--------------------EOM------------------------------------

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeffrey Tucker [mailto:tucker@mises.org]
Sent: Wednesday, December 14, 2005 9:12 PM
To: Kitty Antonik Wakfer
Subject: Re: essay

i'm so sorry. you are right that i should have been quicker on this. I really want to do a careful job on it and i just haven't found the time yet. it will come

--------------------EOM------------------------------------

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeffrey Tucker [mailto:tucker@mises.org]
Sent: Friday, January 20, 2006 7:33 AM
To: 'Kitty Antonik Wakfer'
Subject: RE: essay

I spent a lot of time editing this so that the meaning and message would be as clear as possible. I do think this is an important essay.
http://www.mises.org/story/2019

--------------------EOM------------------------------------

-----Original Message-----
From: Kitty Antonik Wakfer [mailto:kitty@morelife.org]
Sent: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:29 PM
To: Jeffrey Tucker
Subject: RE: essay

Is this article now already published? I do not see it on the Mises.org site. Are you asking me to approve the changes you have made? I have only just read the first few of the small paragraphs you have created.

**Kitty Antonik Wakfer

MoreLife for the rational - http://morelife.org
Reality based tools for more life in quantity and quality
Self-Sovereign Individual Project - http://selfsip.org
Rational freedom by self-sovereignty & social contracting

--------------------EOM------------------------------------

-

----Original Message-----
From: Jeffrey Tucker [mailto:tucker@mises.org]
Sent: Friday, January 20, 2006 1:55 PM
To: 'Kitty Antonik Wakfer'
Subject: RE: essay

not it is not published. This is a blind link. Let me know what you think.

--------------------EOM------------------------------------

Since it is not expected that the blind link at Mises.org will continue, a .mht file of that page containing the Tucker edited essay has been created. A text only page has been created from the .mht file for those unable to access the latter.
2/1/06: The Mises.org blind link was found broken today.

-----Original Message-----
From: Kitty Antonik Wakfer [mailto:kitty@morelife.org]
Sent: Thursday, January 26, 2006 11:55 PM
To: Jeffrey Tucker
Subject: RE: essay

Hello Jeffrey,

I am joined in this response to you by Paul Wakfer, my husband and partner in all. While I am the initiator and chief writer of the article submitted to you, he, as the theoretician for the Self-Sovereign Individual Project, edited it and thereby contributed greatly to its content. This joint production is how we operate with all the items on SelfSIP.org and MoreLife.org. The one of us with the closest connection/intimate knowledge of the subject initiates the essay/article/webpage and the other provides significant assistance by way of editing, sometimes this includes visuals by me since I am more visually oriented. The initiator is then considered the author, except in a very few cases where we have jointly begun a particular writing. This last is the case for another essay that we had been considering submitting to you, which is a major improvement of one currently online in the Focus section of SelfSIP.org - "Personal Characteristics as Market Commodities". However, unless we - you, I and Paul - can come to an understanding on vital points of content purpose, we will not do so.

If you needed to have the GPS/Iridium essay shorter, say by 300-400 words, I would have expected that you would communicate that to me and then I (with Paul's assistance) would have modified it for that purpose - with what tightening you thought would be of benefit, without reducing the effectiveness of the message as I (and Paul) intended it should be.

What follows is jointly that of both Paul and me but was initiated by him so I have left it in his phrasing. I realize it is lengthy but I think you should have full explanations of where and why I and Paul disagree (and agree) with your edits.

While it may be true that you "think this is an important essay" and that you want its "meaning and message [to] be as clear as possible", the problem with your editing is that you do not have our (my and Kitty's - my use of "our", "we" or "us" always refers only to me and Kitty unless otherwise specified or totally clear from context) view of either the importance or the meaning of the essay. You are somewhat attempting to impose *your* view of current and desirable social reality onto the facts that Kitty has brought to your attention. Kitty's purpose in writing the essay is not to support *your* (and the current Austrian school) limited application of praxeology, but rather to use an example showing major differences between two otherwise similar projects to illustrate what is wrong with current social order and to project broad hints of how society could and should be more effectively organized. The problem here (again with your editing) is that while we (you, Kitty and I) are in broad agreement about what is wrong with the current social order, we are by no means in agreement with the methods of operation of a maximally free and effective society. Here are the places in your editing which are unacceptable to me and Kitty and the reasons for that unacceptability. A new version of the essay is attached containing: our reworking of some of your changes and omissions, some of your edits which we will accept, and a few of your ameliorative edits for which we thank you. We particularly appreciate you catching the cost/benefit ratio reference being "too low" - in our philosophical writings we always refer to a benefit/cost and therefore the error.

1) The use of "our" (or any other undefined collective) is completely unacceptable to us. For reasons see: http://selfsip.org/fundamentals/we.html Furthermore its use in the first paragraph is extremely narrow and parochial since "the benefits of satellite systems" are certainly *not* "an integral part of the lives" of the vast majority of the world's population at the current time.

2) The separation of the first paragraph into two (with the complete omission of the last sentence) is inappropriate, since these ideas all connect parts of a whole. The third sentence being the specification to the example being discussed in the essay, of the general statement of the second sentence. The complete omission of the last sentence is inappropriate because it breaks one part of the fundamental triadic rule of good essay writing: "First, briefly tell them what you are going to tell them" (the other two parts of the triad being "Second, tell them in detail that which you just described in introduction" and "Third, briefly summarize the major point(s) of what you just told them in detail").

3) We object to the use of wikipedia. This organization has no reasonable means by which the quality nor even the simple truth of anything within its pages can be ensured or verified - it is, in essence, a commons and suffers from the same problems. A major reason for this is that most contributors to wikipedia appear to be practicing altruism and not wanting any personal gain for their work. (Alternate links have been provided.) Furthermore, we are convinced that the behavioral norms practiced by the vast majority of people within current societies do not provide any such means (ie. by which to verify their credibility) and that such limitations are not the result of governments, although they are indirectly supported and encouraged by governments. For a truly free society ever to emerge, a major change in the social behavior of large numbers of people will need to take place. *This* is purpose of the Self-Sovereign Individual Project.

4) Your added third paragraph is out of place. First it duplicates the information above that the systems were respectively government and private-sector. And secondly it unnecessarily and prematurely describes the systems in terms of "success" or "failure" when, in fact, such terms, being entirely relative to distortion by current society, including governments, are inappropriate to use at all!

5) By removing most of the details of Kitty's part in this project you have also removed the credibility of her knowledge and the credibility for her emotional response to the announcement, both of which are highly important from our viewpoint about social reality and what it should comprise. We have replaced some of this while greatly editing out some of the detail and making it shorter overall.

6) By changing the position of "more" in the original phrase "but is it truly worth the more than one million dollars that each of the approximately 50 of these delivered boxes will have cost" to "but is it truly worth more than the $1 million that each...", you have lost the meaning of the original. The word "more" was added because Kitty was unsure of what the exact cost of each box would work out to. Our rough estimate was that it was most likely more than $1 M. However, she was certainly not rhetorically asking if they were each worth more than $1 M, since such a question would be irrelevant to the purpose of her essay.

7) Your paragraphs are ridiculously short. The purpose of a paragraph is to amplify and complete a major thought. A good paragraph is written like a small essay. It starts of with an introduction of the major thought in general terms, then it supplies details about that thought and finally it concludes with a brief summary of the thought usually from the point of view of the details now introduced. Are you now insisting that no one can follow more than two sentences without a space between them, and that everything must now be written in sound bites? If so, you are lowering yourself to the norms of current society and essentially letting the idiots of the world win the battle of effectively detailed writing.

8) Your change of "the company (the individuals owning it) would be interacting with" into "the individuals who own the company interact with" has changed the meaning that the individuals are acting only for or as representatives of the company, rather than purely for themselves. That is, with this set of actions they have agreed to subordinate their own best interests to those of the group (the company). Of course, they have done this because each of them thinks that such behavior will in the long run actually also be best for hirself. If one changes hir mind in this respect then logically and ethically s/he should resign as a representative of the company.

9) Your change of "to mutual advantage expectation. (One can never be certain that advantage will occur, but only expect it to estimate that it has a high probability of occurrence.) "into the expectation of mutual advantage" is understandable and would have already been that way *if* "expectation of mutual advantage" were a standard well understood phrase. Kitty's purpose in putting "expectation" last followed by a parenthetical explanation was because the standard phrase is "voluntary exchange to mutual advantage" which shows that most people forget that the desired advantage may still not occur and that the fact that it does not occur does not negate the voluntariness nor the fairness or justice of the original exchange. It is very important to emphasize every time that actions and desire do not ensure that the purposes of those actions and desires actually happen, which is the message that Kitty's parenthetical remark conveyed. (I later saw how part of this parenthetical remark could be instead merged with the next sentence. We hope you like it this way.)

10) You have made unnecessary and negative changes to the sentence "This means that each exchange participant has agreed to what s/he has determined is in hir (his/her) longest range, widest viewed best interest." First, we object to replacement of "s/he" with "he or she" and of "hir" with "his or her"; both of our usages are currently used shortenings of this balky modern day requirement for sexual equality even for pronouns. Admittedly the use of "hir" for any of "her, his, him" is not as well known, but that is why in its first usage we always insert an explanatory parenthetical "his/her". However, we have changed to your old style usage since this point is of no philosophical import. Second, your change of the last part of the sentence to a simple "best interest" omits the very important point that "best interest" is most often not that at all! That is why it must be emphasized every time that for *true* best interest, one must examine the longest range and widest view of all one's actions. That is one must act rationally. I know Mises rejected the notion of "rational" as having no meaning, but I am convinced that he was wrong in this respect. Not *all* human actions are rational by any reasonable meaning of that word. Yes, from a simple economic view of human actions and from the direct meaning of "voluntary", actions need only be thought of as being for benefit. However, from a more generally praxeological point of view applying to *all* human interactions of all kinds and even to human self actions (which I am developing), the rationality of actions becomes highly important. I am slowing working through _Human Action_ and making fundamental critiques of where I think it is wrong and instead what are the correct understandings of reality. However, since with respect to the pure act of "voluntary exchange to the expectation of mutual advantage", it is true that "best interest" is all that is needed, we have accepted your editing change.

11) It is important to follow the phrase "for which I worked for over 16 years" with an explanation of why Kitty did not continue employment in a highly enjoyable (with respect to the actual work) highly paid position when she was still only 55 years old and in great health (and still is at almost 61). Therefore, we have now included a more fully descriptive clause to replace the parenthetical "until I knew better" which you removed.

12) Your change to: "the development and production of the GPS hardware, and the other spaceborne electronic boxes" makes it appear as if Motorola was the general contractor to the government for the GPS system. This is far from the truth. Motorola was merely a supplier of *some* of the GPS hardware as opposed to Iridium where Motorola was in charge of the whole project. You have also removed the personal notes both here and many other place, which make it clear the extent to which Kitty does and does not know about the whole situation. She will not agree to inflate her knowledge and position in any manner. We also both think these personal notes make the essay more interesting and bring more personal credibility to it. Removing them lessens the appeal of the essay and its total impact. We have tightened up the words of what was there.

13) In changing "a vastly distorted arrangement which has grown larger and worse with every decade in the past approximately 60 years and which still exists" into "a vastly distorted arrangement which has grown larger and worse with every decade", you have left in the verb "has grown" which is incorrect in your new sentence. If you wish to shorten it and not allude to when this major expansion of government began (which is certainly debatable), then simply use "grows". We have done so in the attached rewrite.

14) I do not think that it is sufficient to merely say that "Government funds were the source of funding" without also clearly noting the coercive nature of all government funding, since that fact is the heart of the problem with all government funding. I do realize that you likely removed the parenthetical remark because it was already amplified later and you did not want the redundancy. We have therefore reorganized the text to what we think is a better arrangement and removed the redundant expansion.

15) We have slightly rewritten and combined the next two paragraphs, also including a new reference to the impossibility of state computation of market value (credit to Mises, of course).

16) In the paragraph beginning: "Everywhere it exists, government intervention", you had removed all parenthetical remarks about a bar chart to illustrate the notion of distortion of a profile, but you had left that last one there "(average bar height)". Since most people only think in terms of government restrictions rather than in terms of distortion, I think it is important to relate this to a bar chart to enable the reader to better understand. We have therefore reinserted, but shortened those descriptive remarks.

17) Shortened but left the lead-in to Iridium at the end of the paragraph beginning "While I did not knowingly waste money".

18) Made first reference to "Iridium satellite system" a link to description and history of the original planned project.

19) In the next paragraph beginning "However, the business" as part of removing redundant ideas about taxation of incomes, you removed one of the two reasons why the government likely was the cause of the Iridium failure. We have reinstated the first and explained it more simply.

20) Not only is it not what Kitty was trying to say, but I do not think that your phrase "they never know whether they are creating or destroying value" is correct. As opposed to war productions, there was no actual destruction of value here. Yes, there was certainly improper distribution of value and inefficient transfer and usage, but there was no actual destruction. Therefore, I have put the sentence back closer to the original with a bit of tightening.

Hopefully you will agree that the attached essay has the tightening in areas your edits indicated and also that you accept the modifications we have made. The essay is approximately 375 words shorter than what was last sent to you and we do think it is now better.

In addition, please note that the bio sentence should properly read: Kitty Antonik Wakfer is now a partner in the Self-Sovereign Individual Project.

**Kitty Antonik Wakfer

MoreLife for the rational - http://morelife.org
Reality based tools for more life in quantity and quality
Self-Sovereign Individual Project - http://selfsip.org
Rational freedom by self-sovereignty & social contracting

--------------------EOM------------------------------------

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeffrey Tucker [mailto:tucker@mises.org]
Sent: Friday, January 27, 2006 6:48 AM
To: 'Kitty Antonik Wakfer'
Subject: RE: essay

Thanks for your long note but I just don't have the time to unravel all of this, and it seems like the version you sent back is pretty much like the pre-edited version, from first glance in any case.

I do hope that you find a publisher, because I think you make important points, but as it is, I've already spent many hours on this, and so have you, so I suppose we should just cut our losses. Thanks again, and I'm sorry it didn't work out.

--------------------EOM------------------------------------

Note by Paul Wakfer: The use of "our losses" by Tucker implies that he thinks that he can in some manner evaluate the loss of another person. This shows to me that this supposed admirer of Mises does not fully understand the principle behind methodological individualism. Furthermore, since the "long note" of explanation of the unacceptability of some of his changes that we sent him contained full explanations of the philosophical basis of the reasons for our decision, his not reading any of it, was itself the the major cause of any loss that we incurred, which he could have prevented by taking time to understand our position. Obviously, he thinks he understands reality better than we could possibly know, and therefore has no time for such as we. This was not unexpected, although still sad to see. It is a clear sign of a person who is yet too immature to have learned how to correctly read whether or not others are worth spending time on and from whom he might actually gain some new insights rather than remain inside his comfortable box.

-----Original Message-----
From: Kitty Antonik Wakfer [mailto:kitty@morelife.org]
Sent: Friday, January 27, 2006 12:34 PM
To: Jeffrey Tucker
Subject: RE: essay

> ---Original Message-----
> From: Jeffrey Tucker [mailto:tucker@mises.org]
> Sent: Friday, January 27, 2006 6:48 AM
> To: 'Kitty Antonik Wakfer'
> Subject: RE: essay
>
>
> Thanks for your long note but I just don't have the time to unravel all of this,
> and it seems like the version you sent back is > pretty much like the pre-edited
> version, from first glance in any case.
[Kitty Antonik Wakfer] Unfortunately I forgot to change the title to what you had given the essay, which I (and Paul) agreed was better for your purpose. If that led you to think that the newly sent version was "pretty much like the pre-edited version", despite its 375 words less, that is unfortunate.

> I do hope that you find a publisher, because I think you make important points,
> but as it is, I've already spent many hours on > this, and so have you, so I
> suppose we should just cut our losses. Thanks again, and I'm sorry it didn't
> work out.
[Kitty Antonik Wakfer] If you still consider this essay not worth your time, then we will be publishing it at SelfSIP.org.

**Kitty Antonik Wakfer

MoreLife for the rational - http://morelife.org
Reality based tools for more life in quantity and quality
Self-Sovereign Individual Project - http://selfsip.org
Rational freedom by self-sovereignty & social contracting

--------------------EOM------------------------------------

No further response was received from Jeffrey Tucker; Paul's evaluation of Tucker's last statements appear quite accurate. In addition, it now is clear why the majority of Mises.org's Daily Articles have a sameness in style (except for the reprints of the highly notables like Rothbard, Bastiat, and Mises himself). I suspect that most (maybe all) of the submitters agree to Tucker's editing either because they very much want their essay published at Mises.org and are willing to compromise or because they consider the items edited out or altered by Tucker to be inconsequential.

What Paul and I write is carefully crafted, with the phrasing just as essential to the message as the content. Consequently, revisions by others are likely to distort the meaning. This is what happened with the version of "Government Distortion vs. Market Realism in Space" that Jeffrey Tucker "created" - the one for which he wrote me, "Let me know what you think" and then he proceeded to not bother to read what I and Paul thought of his changes or to read the rewritten essay that did retain the non-distorting or advantageous changes he had made. So readers now have the ability to determine for themselves which version best presents the information and ideas that I, with Paul's assistance, have attempted to convey.