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The Pebble and the Avalanche by Moshe Yudkowsky

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Chapter ElevenThe Role of Government

121

“All bad precedents began as justifiable measures.”

—Julius Caesar

If you’re worried about competitors with new ideas, I highly recommend legislation. Legislation is an absolutely terrific method to quash upstart innovators. State power applied against your competitor’s ideas can prevent disaggregation from taking hold, or reverse a trend in your competition’s favor. The automobile industry and the liquor industry have made both excellent use of legal maneuvers to forestall disaggregation.

The threats to the liquor industry and the automobile industry came from the avalanche of change unleashed by the World Wide Web. I live in Chicago, and one day I went looking for a bottle of Old Peculier beer. In the ...

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