Pitcairn Island


Pitcairn Island, in the South Pacific about midway between Australia and South America, consists of the island of Pitcairn and the three uninhabited islands of Henderson, Duicie, and Oeno. Its closest neighbours are the Gambier Islands and Tahiti to the West, but even these are several hundred miles away.

“Islands are metaphors of the heart, no matter what poet says otherwise.” – Jeanette Winterson, Sexing the Cherry

The island, which is the last remaining British territory in the Pacific, has a standing population of some fifty people, many of whom are descended from crew members of the famed HMS Bounty.

Pitcairn Island

In 1789, the Bounty was the setting for a now-legendary mutiny, when crew members enchanted by the idyllic life of the native Pacific islanders overthrew their commander, burned their ship in a nearby bay, and settled on Pitcairn.

The descendants of First Mate Fletcher Christian, the eight other mutineers, and the dozen or so Tahitians who accompanied them still inhabit the island. In addition to English, the residents of Pitcairn speak a dialect that is a mixture of Tahitian and 18th-century English.

Today, the descendants of those sailors mostly make their living off of farming, fishing, and selling their extremely rare postage stamps to collectors, but even with modern transportation they still remain one of the most isolated communities in the world.

There is no airstrip on the island, and getting there from the mainland requires hopping a ride on a shipping boat out of New Zealand, a journey that can take as long as ten days.

“No man is an island, entire of itself.”
– John Donne, No Man Is An Island

In 2014, only 48 people live on the island. According to some sources, the entire population is listed as Seventh-Day Adventist. If all 48 people are indeed practising Christians, it would make Pitcairn Island the most religious nation in the world, with a religiosity of an absolute 100%.

Religion Declines With Prosperity


The world’s poorest nations are also some of its most religious – but does that mean religion can’t flourish in a prosperous society?

Gregory Paul, who conducted an evolutionary psychology study in 2009 called The Chronic Dependence of Popular Religiosity upon Dysfunctional Psychosociological Conditions does not think that religion and socio-economic prosperity can flourish simultaneously.

After constructing a Successful Societies Scale that compared 25 socio-economic indicators against statistics on religious belief and practice in 17 developed nations, Paul concluded in his study that “religion is most able to thrive in seriously dysfunctional societies.”

Data was compiled on everything from homicide rates and income inequality to infant mortality and teenage pregnancies and found that the societies that scored the best on socio-economic indicators were also the most secular.

“There’s no situation where you have a really highly religious nation that’s highly successful socially.” according to Paul.

“The safest, happiest, healthiest, most peaceful, most equal, most developed, most emancipated, most educated, most socially and economically prosperous countries in the world are secular sovereign nations.” – Willem Etsenmaker

Paul’s intention in creating the scale was to challenge the idea that religion is universal and innate to the human condition, and to show that societies that don’t believe in god are not doomed, as some religious conservatives would have people believe.

“Religion is highly variable, and therefore we need to ask why is it sometimes popular and why it isn’t,” Paul said. “One thing we do know is that it’s only popular in societies that […] have enough rate of dysfunction that people are anxious about their daily lives, so they’re looking to the gods for help in their daily lives.”

According to Paul (and many other scientists and scholars at that), it is not fear of death that drives people to be religious, and there is no evidence at all for a so-called god gene or a god module in the brain or some sort of connection with the gods; it is basically a psychological coping mechanism.

“Prosperity is one strong causal factor in helping to explain why religion corrodes.” — Phil Zuckerman

Reimiro


The rei miro (also spelled reimiro) was a breastplate worn by the men and women of the Rapa Nui people of Easter Island.

Bandera de la Isla de Pascua/Easter Island/Rap...

Flag of Rapa Nui flag, Easter Island, depicting the Reimiro

It served as an insignia of high rank, and the paramount chief of the island was said to have worn two of them as pectorals and two others on his shoulders on special occasions.

The crescent shape may refer to the moon, an association found throughout Polynesia. The significance of the heads is unknown, though they may relate to ancestors.

Each side of the crescent reimiro ended in a human head. The outer, display side had two small pierced bumps through which a cord was strung for hanging it. The inner side contained a cavity that was filled with chalk made from powdered seashells.

A red reimiro provides the image of the flag of Rapa Nui, better known as Easter Island.

“It amazes me that there are Christians against the death penalty. If it wasn’t for capital punishment, there’d be no Easter.” – Bill Hicks

Types of Micronations


Historical anomalies and aspirant states

A small number of micronations are founded with genuine aspirations to be sovereign states. Many are based on historical anomalies or eccentric interpretations of law, and tend to be easily confused with established states. These types of micronations are usually located in small (usually disputed) territorial enclaves, generate limited economic activity founded on tourism, philatelic and numismatic sales, and are at best tolerated or at worst ignored by other nations.

Social, economic, or political simulations

Micronations of this type tend to be fairly serious in outlook, involve sometimes significant numbers of relatively mature participants, and often engage in highly sophisticated, structured activities that emulate the operations of real-world nations.

Exercises in personal entertainment or self-aggrandisement

With literally thousands in existence, micronations of this type are by far the most common. They are ephemeral, rarely surviving more than a few months; although there are notable exceptions. They generally involve a handful of people, and are concerned primarily with arrogating to their founders the outward symbols of statehood. The use of grand-sounding titles, awards, honours, and heraldic symbols derived from European feudal traditions.

New-country projects

New-country projects are attempts to found completely new nation-states. They typically involve plans to construct artificial islands (few of which are ever realised). A large percentage have embraced or purported to embrace libertarian or democratic principles.

Seasteading

Seasteading is a lifestyle of making the oceans, or at least water-borne craft, one’s home. Most seasteads historically have been sailing craft. Nowadays, all sorts of floating crafts are used. Some theoretical seasteads are floating platforms which could be used to create sovereign micronations, or otherwise serve the ends of ocean colonization.

See other: Posts on Micronations

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The first armoured cars (commissioned by Winston Churchill in WWI) were Rolls Royces fitted with three and a half tons of armour plate and a machine gun.

Flag of Greece

Flag of Greece also known as the ‘Sky Blue-White’

A bullet fired straight up in the air loses about 90% of its speed on the way back down, giving it the energy of a brick dropped from a height of about four feet.

The nine blue and white stripes of the Greek flag stand for the nine syllables of the slogan of the war of independence from Turkey, Eleutheria i Thanatos ‘Freedom or Death’.

On the night that Alexander the Great was born, a man from Ephesus called Eratostratus, or Herostratus, or Erostratus, burned down of the Temple of Diana – one of the Seven Wonders of the World – so that no one would ever forget his name.

The 3rd Infantry Regiment of the French Foreign Legion is stationed in the town of Kourou, French Guiana. Ironically, its base is in the Forget neighbourhood.

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

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More than 50 national flags have five-pointed stars on.

Atlantic cod fisheries have collapsed

The Gadus Morhua or Atlantic Cod

New Zealand is famous for trout fishing, but before the British colonised it, there were no trout anywhere in the country.

A sole can live cheerfully at a depth of 35,800 feet (10,933m).

Codfish can be up to six feet long and weigh more than 200 pounds.

Catfish have more tastebuds than any other creature. Their entire bodies are covered with them. A catfish just six inches long has more than a quarter of a million tastebuds, not just in its mouth and gills, but on its whiskers, fins, back, belly, sides and tail.

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

Styles of Government


Listed and described below are 27 styles of government which are common in countries around the world. They are primarily differentiated into three categories: governments with libertarian, neutral, or authoritarian views on personal freedoms. They are further subcategorised by their views on political and economical rights. The particular style of government is then labelled by a neutral, left-wing, and right-wing view.

Libertarian views on personal freedom

Anarchy

  • Description: Citizens live in a state of perpetual fear, as a complete breakdown of social order has led to the rise of order through gangs.
  • Classification: Utopian Capitalism.Libertarian views on personal, political, and economical freedoms.
    • Neutral: Anarchism
    • Left-wing: Post-Revolution Embryonic Society
    • Right-wing: Lawless Wasteland

Civil Rights Lovefest

  • Description: Libertarian rule, with less emphasis on the economy and more on civil and political rights. Citizens hold their civil and political rights very dear, although the wealthy and those in business tend to be viewed with suspicion.
  • Classification: EverydayLiberalism.Libertarian views on personal and political freedoms, neutral views on economical freedom.
    • Neutral: Anarcho-socialism
    • Left-wing: Brave Progressives
    • Right-wing: Nation-Hating Hippies

Left-wing Utopia

  • Description: The democratic government grants broad civil rights but keeps a tight leash on business. Citizens are free to do what they want with their own bodies, and vote for whoever they like in elections; if they go into business, however, they are regulated to within an inch of their lives.
  • Classification: Utopian Socialism. Libertarian views on personal and political freedoms, authoritarian views on economical freedom.
    • Neutral: Egalitarian democracy
    • Left-wing: Utopia
    • Right-wing: Drugged-Out Hippies

Capitalizt

  • Description: It’s all about business. Civil rights are generous. Citizens enjoy some of the most opulent lifestyles in the region, unless they are unemployed or working-class, in which case they are variously starving to death or crippled by easily preventable diseases.
  • Classification: Liberated Capitalism. Libertarian views on personal and economical freedoms, neutral views on political freedom.
    • Neutral: Anarcho-capitalism
    • Left-wing: Self-Congratulatory Merchant Bankers
    • Right-wing: Freedom-Loving Libertarians

Left-Leaning College State

  • Description: What would happen if college students ruled the world. Civil rights are the main priority, followed by political rights. Citizens enjoy extensive civil freedoms, particularly in social issues, while business tends to be more regulated.
  • Classification: Bureaucratic Liberalism. Libertarian views on personal freedom, neutral views on economical and political freedoms.
    • Neutral: Liberalism
    • Left-wing: Paradise
    • Right-wing: Deluded Tax and Spend Hypocrites

Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

  • Description: High taxes, tons of civil freedom, but a weak economy. Citizens enjoy extensive civil rights and enjoy a level of social equality free from the usual accompanying government corruption.
  • Classification: Liberated Socialism.Libertarian views on personalfreedom, authoritarian views on economical freedom, and neutral views on political freedom.
    • Neutral: Egalitarianism
    • Left-wing: Normal
    • Right-wing: Gay Marriage State

Benevolent Dictatorship

  • Description: A dictatorship ruled by someone who pays no attention to the people and allows them to do whatever they want, except challenge the government. Citizens enjoy great individual freedoms in everything except elections, which, where they exist at all, are populist shams for a dictatorship government that has no intention of ever giving up power.
  • Classification: Capitalist Paternalism. Libertarian views on personal and economical freedoms, authoritarian views on political freedom.
    • Neutral: Feudalism
    • Left-wing: Temporary Liberal State of Emergency
    • Right-wing: Temporary Conservative State of Emergency

Libertarian Police State

  • Description: The state does nothing to impede on your private life, yet will require you to register everything down to your shoes with a bureau of some sort. Citizens are proud of their wide-ranging civil freedoms, and those who aren’t tend to be dragged off the streets by men in dark suits and hustled into cars with tinted windows.
  • Classification: EverydayPaternalism. Libertarian views on personal freedom, neutral views on economical freedom, and authoritarian views on political freedom.
    • Neutral: Benevolent monarchy
    • Left-wing: Slightly Overzealous Peoples Democracy
    • Right-wing: Government-Enforced Political Correctness Society

Iron Fist Socialists

  • Description: The state is omnipresent, and will provide everything for its people except political freedom. Citizens are ruled with an iron fist by the socialist government, which grants its people the freedom to do whatever they like so long as it doesn’t involve getting richer than anybody else or challenging the government.
  • Classification: LiberatedAutocracy.Libertarian views on personal freedom, authoritarian views on economical and political freedoms.
    • Neutral: Communist dictatorship
    • Left-wing: Equality and Tolerance Society
    • Right-wing: Inevitably Bloody Result of Liberal Ideals Mugged By Reality

neutral views on personal freedom

Corporate Bordello

  • Description: Free market, free elections, not-so-free merchandise. Civil rights are moderate; political rights are generous. Citizens are effectively ruled by a group of massive corporations, who run for political office and provide their well-off citizens with world-class goods and services. Their poorer citizens, however, are mostly starving to death while being urged to go out and get real jobs. The populace has reasonably extensive civil rights, although these are mostly aimed at allowing them to buy whatever they like.
  • Classification: Everyday Capitalism.Neutral views on personal freedom, libertarian views on political and economical freedoms.
    • Neutral: Capitalist democracy
    • Left-wing: Blood-Sucking Capitalist Leeches
    • Right-wing: Patriotic Business Zone

New York Times Democracy

  • Description: Liberal democracy, with elections heavily influenced by the media. Citizens enjoy a sensible mix of personal and economic freedoms, while the political process is open and the people’s right to vote held sacrosanct.
  • Classification: ResponsibleLiberalism. Neutral views on personal and economical freedoms, libertarian view on political freedom.
    • Neutral: Democracy
    • Left-wing: Corporate-Dominated Sham Democracy
    • Right-wing: New York Crimes So-Called Democracy

Liberal Democratic Socialists

  • Description: There is a centralized economy, but it is more democratic than Democratic Socialists. Citizens love a good election, and the government gives them plenty of them. Universities tend to be full of students debating the merits of various civil and political rights, while businesses are tightly regulated and the wealthy viewed with suspicion.
  • Classification: Everyday Socialism.Neutral views on personal freedom, authoritarian views on economical freedom, libertarian view on political freedom.
    • Neutral: Socialist democracy
    • Left-wing: Open-Minded Education State
    • Right-wing: Ivory Tower Reality Disconnect Zone

Capitalist Paradise

  • Description: No restrictions whatsoever are placed on trade; civil rights and political rights are not repressed but take a back seat to the economy. Citizens are either ruled by a sleek, efficient government or a conglomerate of multinational corporations; it’s difficult to tell which.
  • Classification: Bureaucratic Capitalism.Neutral views on personal and political freedoms, libertarian views on economical freedom.
    • Neutral: Capitalism
    • Left-wing: Corporate Slave State
    • Right-wing: Decent Hardworking Self-Starters

Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

  • Description: Where the people have a good mix of political and civil rights as well as security. Citizens have some civil rights, but not too many, enjoy the freedom to spend their money however they like, to a point, and take part in free and open elections, although not too often.
  • Classification: Responsible Conservatism. Neutral views on personal, political, and economical freedoms.
    • Neutral: Republic
    • Left-wing: Fascists
    • Right-wing: Communists

Democratic Socialists

  • Description: Political Freedoms in this state would be regarded as average, while the government is omnipresent and has much say in the economy, with citizens having few economic rights. Citizens are fiercely patriotic and enjoy great social equality; they tend to view other, more capitalist countries as somewhat immoral and corrupt.
  • Classification: Bureaucratic Socialism. Neutral views on personal and political freedoms, authoritarian views on economical freedom.
    • Neutral: Socialism
    • Left-wing: Ordinary Caring Intelligent World Citizens
    • Right-wing: Hell

Compulsory Consumerist State

  • Description: Like Capitalist Paradise, except that the government does not allow dissent. Citizens are rabid consumers, partly through choice and partly because the government tells them to and dissenters tend to vanish from their homes at night.
  • Classification: Responsible Plutocracy. Neutral views on personal freedom, authoritarian views on political freedom, libertarian views on economical freedom.
    • Neutral: Corporatism
    • Left-wing: Consumerist Wage Drones
    • Right-wing: Aspirational Worker State

Father/Mother Knows Best State

  • Description: The government allows moderate freedoms, but has the final say (like a parent). Citizens are ruled by a mostly-benevolent dictator, who grants the populace the freedom to live their own lives but watches carefully for anyone to slip up.
  • Classification: Responsible Paternalism. Neutral views on personal and economical freedoms, authoritarian views on political freedom.
    • Neutral: Monarchy
    • Left-wing: Suspiciously Conservative Democracy
    • Right-wing: Suspiciously Liberal Dictatorship

Corrupt Dictatorship

  • Description: A state in which the government has lowered political and economic rights and adopted a moderate civil rights policy. Citizens are ruled with an iron fist by the dictatorship government, which ensures that no-one outside the party gets too rich. In their personal lives, however, citizens are relatively unoppressed; it remains to be seen whether this is because the government genuinely cares about its people, or if it hasn’t gotten around to stamping out civil rights yet.
  • Classification: Everyday Autocracy. Neutral views on personal freedoms, authoritarian views on political and economical freedoms.
    • Neutral: Authoritarian communism
    • Left-wing: Well-Meaning Dictatorship
    • Right-wing: Corrupt Liberal Dictatorship

authoritarian views on personal freedom

Free-Market Paradise

  • Description: People are free to vote and make money but have few civil rights. Citizens enjoy frequent elections, which are uniformly corrupted by big-spending corporations buying politicians who best suit their interests.
  • Classification: Rigid Capitalism. Authoritarian views on personal freedom, libertarian views on economical and political freedoms.
    • Neutral: Right-wing democracy
    • Left-wing: Randroids
    • Right-wing: Paradise

Conservative Democracy

  • Description: People are free to vote, and usually use it to outlaw civil rights. Citizens are known throughout the region for their efficiency and work ethic, as well as their general suspicion of leisure.
  • Classification: Democratic Conservatism. Authoritarian views on personal freedom, libertarian views on political freedom, and neutral views on economical freedom.
    • Neutral: Religious democracy
    • Left-wing: Conservative Hell
    • Right-wing: Conservative Paradise

Tyranny by Majority

  • Description: Pure democracy without minority rights. Citizens enjoy great social freedoms and frequent elections, where the majority of the populace regularly votes to increase its benefits at the expense of various hapless minorities.
  • Classification: Rigid Socialism. Authoritarian views on personal and economical freedoms, libertarian views on political freedom.
    • Neutral: Populism
    • Left-wing: Tyranny By Bourgeois
    • Right-wing: Thieves

Right-wing Utopia

  • Description: A conservative state where little change is desired or put into action. Religion will usually play the role of the media. Citizens are free to succeed or fail in life on their own merits; the successful tend to enjoy an opulent (but moralistic) lifestyle, while the failures can be seen crowding out most jails.
  • Classification: Capitalist Conservatism. Authoritarian views on personal freedom, neutral views on political freedom, and libertarian views on economical freedom.
    • Neutral: Right-wing republic
    • Left-wing: Corrupt Thieving Uneducated Fascist Fundamentalists
    • Right-wing: Utopia

Moralistic Democracy

  • Description: The people have a say in the government, but choose to ban almost everything. Citizens are highly moralistic and fiercely conservative, in the sense that they tend to believe most things should be outlawed. People who have good jobs and work quietly at them are lauded; others are viewed with suspicion.
  • Classification: Everyday Conservatism. Authoritarian views on personal freedom, neutral views on political and economical freedoms.
    • Neutral: Theocracy
    • Left-wing: Narrow-Minded Backwoodsy Bigots
    • Right-wing: Ordinary Decent Hardworking People

Authoritarian Democracy

  • Description: Citizens have little freedom except some say in the government. Citizens are prohibited from doing almost everything except voting, which they do timidly and conservatively.
  • Classification: Socialist Conservatism. Authoritarian views on personal and economical freedoms, neutral views on political freedom.
    • Neutral: Semi-Populism
    • Left-wing: Mouth-Breathing Creationists
    • Right-wing: Slightly Oppressive But A Little Discipline Never Hurt Anyone State

Corporate Police State

  • Description: The government = big businesses. Individuals have few rights and have to buy from the top corporations. Citizens are ruled with an iron fist by the corrupt, dictatorship government, which oppresses anyone who isn’t on the board of a Fortune 500 company. Large corporations tend to be above the law, and use their financial clout to gain ever-increasing government benefits at the expense of the poor and unemployed.
  • Classification: Everyday Plutocracy. Authoritarian views on personal and political freedoms, libertarian views on economical freedom.
    • Neutral: Authoritarian corporatism
    • Left-wing: Halliburton
    • Right-wing: Entrepreneurial Freedom Zone

Iron Fist Consumerists

  • Description: This is an oppressive state that focuses on the economy. Supply and Demand are the two commandments. Citizens are kept under strict control by the oppressive government, which measures its success by the nation’s GDP and refers to individual citizens as “human resources.”
  • Classification: Regulated Plutocracy. Authoritarian views on personal and political freedoms, neutral views on economical freedom.
    • Neutral: Fascism
    • Left-wing: Imperialist Pig Dog Oppressors
    • Right-wing: Champions of Commerce

Psychotic Dictatorship

  • Description: Corrupt, authoritarian state where everyone is considered the leader’s toy. Citizens are ruled without fear or favour by a psychotic dictator, who outlaws just about everything and refers to the populace as “my little playthings.”
  • Classification: Rigid Autocracy. Authoritarian views on personal, political, and economical freedoms.
    • Neutral: Dictatorship
    • Left-wing: Fascist Dictatorship
    • Right-wing: Communist Dictatorship

See other: Admin’s Choice Posts