Voting VS Spending

Which is more effective?

Explore the business, economy, finance and trade aspects of human society.

Moderators: Calilasseia, ADParker

Voting VS Spending

#161  Postby felltoearth » May 20, 2018 6:40 pm

I would encourage Xerographica to go to the toothpaste aisle in a pharmacy and look for anything other Colgate or Crest. That's pretty much the height of "free market" capitalism right there.

Image
"Walla Walla Bonga!" — Witticism
User avatar
felltoearth
 
Posts: 12176
Age: 52

Canada (ca)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Voting VS Spending

#162  Postby Xerographica » May 20, 2018 9:18 pm

felltoearth wrote:I would encourage Xerographica to go to the toothpaste aisle in a pharmacy and look for anything other Colgate or Crest. That's pretty much the height of "free market" capitalism right there.

Perhaps you perceive that Colgate and Crest conspire to limit competition. It's not an unreasonable thing to perceive, Adam Smith also perceived the same thing of companies in his day, but you have to acknowledge the fact that facilitating competition is not the market's responsibility... it's the government's. Given that it's the government job, it doesn't really work to blame inadequate competition on the market.

It's the same thing with global warming. Blaming it on free-market capitalism really doesn't work. Protecting the environment has never been the market's job. Environmental protection, like enforcing competition, is a public good, and supplying public goods is the very point of the government and taxation.

I think it's pretty obvious that the government sucks at supplying public goods. This is simply because a committee (ie congress) is responsible for ranking public goods. Plus, this committee is composed of politicians who were highly ranked by voting.

I personally don't have any evidence that voting or committees are better than spending at ranking things, which is why my main point is that we should test and compare different ranking systems. It's a problem that there isn't any interest in my proposed experiment to use voting and donating to rank prominent skeptics.

We can certainly debate the effectiveness, or lack thereof of markets, but we should all agree that evidence is very useful. Evidence is what helps to prevent us from having false beliefs. Wherever evidence is scarce, skepticism should be abundant.
Xerographica
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 83

United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Voting VS Spending

#163  Postby Shagz » May 20, 2018 11:21 pm

I personally don't have any evidence that voting is better than using tractor ownership at ranking things. Therefore we should test this. It's really outrageous that there is no interest in testing this on this forum.

I personally don't have any evidence that voting is better than using your favorite children's TV show to rank things. Therefore we should test this. It's really outrageous that there is no interest in testing this on this forum. Clearly, everyone here is extremely biased against my hypothesis.

I personally don't have any evidence that voting is better than using some random thing pulled out of my ass. Why the fuck is no one interested in testing this? Etc..

Wherever evidence is scarce, skepticism should be abundant.

Hence, abundant skepticism of your pet hypothesis.
User avatar
Shagz
 
Posts: 897

United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Voting VS Spending

#164  Postby Xerographica » May 21, 2018 2:20 am

Shagz, as far as I know, we don't use tractor ownership to rank things. But we do use voting to rank all sorts of things... such as webpages, Youtube videos, scholarly papers and presidential candidates. We do not, however, use voting to rank all sorts of other things... such as donuts, this forum and computers. We use spending to rank these things.

Despite the fact that we use spending and voting to rank all sorts of different things, there's no evidence that voting is better than spending at ranking things. This is especially strange given that it would be relatively simple and easy to directly test and compare voting and spending. Using voting and donating to rank skeptics would provide at least some evidence whether voting or donating is better at ranking things. Plus, it would also provide this forum with money.

If you don't see how immensely absurd and problematic it is that voting and donating are frequently used to rank all sorts of things, despite the fact that they've never been directly tested and compared.... then I must be terrible at explaining the obvious and/or you must be terrible at understanding it.

Let's say that I argue that tractor ownership is the best way to rank presidential candidates. You'd need to see some evidence that tractor ownership is better than voting at ranking presidential candidates. But if I argue that voting is the best way to rank presidential candidates... you wouldn't need to see some evidence that it's better than donating at ranking presidential candidates. This is because... why? Is it simply because voting is how we've always ranked presidential candidates?

What if you were raised in a society that always threw one virgin into the volcano each year? Would you need to see any evidence that this was truly effective at preventing the volcano from erupting? Or would you simply assume its effectiveness, given that it was tradition?

When I was a kid I was taught that God was real. I simply accepted that this was the truth. But then, when I was around eleven, I came to believe that there was far more evidence that evolution, rather than God, was real.

Just because a belief is traditional in no way, shape or form means that it's true. All traditional beliefs should be rigorously tested for truth. The more consequential the belief, the greater the necessity of testing it. Failing to question the tradition of saying "bless you" after somebody sneezes is one thing. It's another thing entirely to fail to question the tradition of using voting to elect our country's leaders.

The fact that I'm having to explain all, and any, of this makes me feel like I am indeed living in a society that regularly throws virgins into a volcano. I'm disgruntled that I was born into such a primitive society. I resent the responsibility of having to explain the painfully obvious. I especially resent how defective I am at explaining it. My life has to be the most comedic (as in Greek tragedy) story ever.
Xerographica
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 83

United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Voting VS Spending

#165  Postby Shagz » May 21, 2018 4:27 am

We use free voting to elect candidates because, as anyone who would take half a minute to think about it would realize, having to fucking pay for votes would result in a government that is horribly biased towards those who can afford to pay to vote. Ideally, a democratically-elected government equally represents all its citizens, rich and poor.

Didn't get the memo? Read about the Poll Tax. Are you going to now try and argue that poor blacks were more fairly represented in the US government before 1966, when the 24th amendment prohibiting the poll tax was ratified? Perhaps you don't care about that, or you think poor blacks should be less represented in the government.

Seems to me that that is at least some evidence that paying for votes is, ideally, not as good as having free votes. Yet there is no evidence at all that your pet hypothesis would result in a better government. You have been carefully avoiding saying that there is because you know that there isn't, so you keep wording it as "there is no evidence that voting is superior." Well, there is no evidence that voting is superior to pulling strawberries out of my ass, either, but I doubt anyone is interested in testing this alternate method of assembling governments.

Xerographica wrote:If you don't see how immensely absurd and problematic it is that voting and donating are frequently used to rank all sorts of things, despite the fact that they've never been directly tested and compared.... then I must be terrible at explaining the obvious and/or you must be terrible at understanding it.


There is a third option that you might want to consider, and that option is: Your theory is idiotic. Yes, that could very well be the reason, and it might not be because we prefer tradition, or we're irrational, or we're throwing virgins into volcanoes or whatever fucking reason you're coming up with. It could very well be that everyone rejects this shit because this is a skeptic's forum, and the skeptics here have considered your argument and found it lacking.
User avatar
Shagz
 
Posts: 897

United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Voting VS Spending

#166  Postby Xerographica » May 21, 2018 6:08 am

Shagz, if you think about it for a minute, or two, you should realize just how incredibly incoherent your story is. If having to pay for votes would detrimentally bias the government... then doesn't having to pay, in general, detrimentally bias the economy? If it would be truly detrimental for Bill Gates and the average Joe to have unequal influence in the public sector... how could it possibly be beneficial for them to have unequal influence in the private sector?

For me it's not even about whether blacks, poor or otherwise, should be less represented by government. No matter whether we're talking about blacks or whites, or the public sector or the private sector, an individual's control over society's limited resources should be entirely determined by their benefit to society. The more beneficial you are to others, the more influence you should have on how things are ranked. This is the only possible way to maximize society's benefit.

It should be really intuitive that equal influence is an idiotic idea. Would you truly want a farmer who feeds 1000s and a serial killer who murders dozens to have equal control over society's resources? Of course not. You'd want the farmer to have a lot more influence than the killer. You'd want the farmer to have a lot more employees than the killer. You'd want the farmer to have a lot more land than the killer. You'd want the farmer to have a lot more tools than the killer.

A few years back I made a relevant and random illustration of this idea...

Image

It might be hard to tell but basically, don't give evil robots any legs to stand on. Logically we should give the most beneficial robots the most legs to stand on. Metaphorically speaking of course. I'd be a little scared of a millipede robot.

You perceive that there's evidence that voting is better than donating, at least concerning the government. But it really wasn't democracy that lifted million and millions of Chinese people out of poverty. It was the market, which Deng Xiaoping gradually began introducing to China starting in 1978. Democracy can't take any credit for this.

Is there some country where millions of people were lifted out of poverty solely because of democracy? No. There's never been a democratic country that didn't also have a market. But there's certainly a market-having country that doesn't have a democracy.

I don't necessarily condone conducting drastic economic experiments with entire countries. The only reason that millions and millions of Chinese people were in poverty in the first place, not to mention the millions who starved to death, was because Mao Zedong conducted a drastic economic experiment to see how the country would fare without a market. Evidently he didn't see any evidence, or strong evidence, of a correlation between markets and abundance.

You want me to consider the possibility that my theory is idiotic. I've considered and accepted the possibility, which is why I wouldn't initially conduct my economic experiment on an entire country. But have you considered the possibility that it's actually your own theory that's idiotic? Have you considered the possibility that democracy does far more harm than good?

What you certainly haven't done is explain the harm of using voting and donating to rank prominent skeptics. The worse case scenario is that we don't learn anything about voting versus spending and only a few bucks are raised for this forum. The best case scenario is that lots of money is raised for this forum and we achieve economic enlightenment. In no case in human history has the potential harm been so much smaller than the potential benefit.

Maybe I don't use the word "hierarchy" enough. Today PZ Myers shared this article about Jordan Peterson...

From this, he determines that hierarchies, rather than being socially constructed, are simply a natural expression of biological reality. - Robyn Pennacchia, Wonksplainer: Who Is Jordan Peterson And Why Is He The Worst?

The larger point here, however, is not to be scientifically accurate, or to get people to throw themselves into pots of boiling water, but to eliminate the stigma of social hierarchies as a negative and, ultimately, the entire concept of systemic oppression. - Robyn Pennacchia, Wonksplainer: Who Is Jordan Peterson And Why Is He The Worst?

Peterson is telling young men the story they want to hear about themselves and the world around them. That they are “individuals,” that hierarchy and inequality are not bad things, that we live and have always lived in a meritocracy. That people aren’t clamoring for equality because they are good people who want people to be treated fairly and decently, but because they want to manipulate them and put them in gulags. That women are going to be just fine with jumping back into “traditional” gender roles and give them their patriarchy back. That women will not be put off by misogyny. That soon they will be living in a world where they can insult people — and yes, refusing to use someone’s preferred pronoun is insulting to them — and there will be no social consequences for that. That, rather than having enjoyed unearned privileges and advantages, those who have risen to the top of our societal hierarchy did so because they were simply the hardest and best workers. Because they were simply lobsters with more serotonin. - Robyn Pennacchia, Wonksplainer: Who Is Jordan Peterson And Why Is He The Worst?

The thing is, he’s promising these men a world they actually cannot have without the permission of other groups of people. He’s not doing them any favors. If he really wanted to help these “lost men,” he’d help them thrive in the actual world they live in, rather than the way they want the world to be. He’d help them learn to adjust to a world in which the old hierarchies have been dismantled and understand that they’re no more entitled to be at the top of a hierarchy than anyone else is. Or help them learn how to function and love and improve themselves without needing to base that on being “better” than someone else, how to deal with the world in which women don’t want traditional gender roles, and help them to understand that life isn’t a zero sum game in which if someone who has been oppressed gets a right you have, you automatically lose something. - Robyn Pennacchia, Wonksplainer: Who Is Jordan Peterson And Why Is He The Worst?

Myers himself said...

That last paragraph is familiar. It’s the same thing feminists have been saying to men, that everyone has been saying to MRAs, for years: the patriarchy is not your friend. A hierarchy that puts undeserving white men at the top does no one any favors. It’s almost a Petersonian thing to say, that if you want respect, you have to straighten up and earn it…and it’s ironic that his career is all about promising the opposite, that if you’ve got status, you must have deserved it, so don’t let women and minorities make you work for it.

Voting and spending are all about creating hierarchies... yet I didn't use this word even once in this thread. Why is that? It certainly wasn't a conscious or deliberate decision. Then again, it's not like anybody else in this thread used the word "hierarchy". Pennacchia sure used it several times in her article, but she didn't even once mention the difference between voting and spending.

Right now there's already a hierarchy of skeptics. It was determined by some combination of voting and spending. If a skeptic creates a Youtube video, and enough people vote for it, then they will, at no cost to themselves, propel him to prominence. In the absence of any real sacrifice on the part of his fans, I doubt that there's any real guarantee that he truly earned his pedestal. But then once he is on a pedestal this naturally makes it far more likely that people will give him donations. If it wasn't for Youtube and voting, Peterson wouldn't currently be earning around $50,000/month on Patreon.

All the people who voted for Peterson's video must have benefited from it. But voting doesn't reveal how much benefit they derived from it. Therefore, my theory is that voting is a really idiotic way to determine influence. Is this theory idiotic? It might be. But what's truly and most definitely idiotic is not wanting the evidence that can help determine whether a theory is idiotic.
Xerographica
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 83

United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Voting VS Spending

#167  Postby Cito di Pense » May 21, 2018 6:59 am

Xerographica wrote:All the people who voted for Peterson's video must have benefited from it. But voting doesn't reveal how much benefit they derived from it. Therefore, my theory is that voting is a really idiotic way to determine influence. Is this theory idiotic? It might be. But what's truly and most definitely idiotic is not wanting the evidence that can help determine whether a theory is idiotic.


You're just assuming that people who have the money to donate to determine what you consider the appropriate rankings have some sort of merit of practical utility to decision-making that people without money do not have. This assumption is also your conclusion, which is that spending is never frivolous, which is a bad assumption when making frivolous decisions, and so that's what's idiotic about your proposal. My expectation is that no one will spend a dime to indulge your fantasies, and that is why Jordan Peterson's housekeeper is making out better than you ever will with this kind of raucous idiocy.

Another assumption of yours is that it's important to somebody (besides you) how skeptics are ranked, but that's already been mentioned. If it is not as important as you suggest, then the ranking of skeptics afforded by donation won't help anyone much to decide whether voting or spending is the right way to rank anything you've mentioned so far. Consider toothpaste. I'm about as eager to rank brands of toothpaste as I am brands of skeptics. You, on the other hand, might suggest I should try to determine whether ranking skeptics is more valuable than ranking toothpaste. Yeppers.

Xerographica wrote:In no case in human history has the potential harm been so much smaller than the potential benefit.


It's too late, Xerographica. Your proposals are so idiotic that people are actually being discouraged from trying to rank skeptics just to test your idiotic theories, and conclude that you are simply trolling a skeptic forum.
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
User avatar
Cito di Pense
 
Name: Lou Kleener
Posts: 28760
Age: 23
Male

Country: The Heartland
Mongolia (mn)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Voting VS Spending

#168  Postby Xerographica » May 21, 2018 9:01 am

Cito di Pense wrote:
Xerographica wrote:All the people who voted for Peterson's video must have benefited from it. But voting doesn't reveal how much benefit they derived from it. Therefore, my theory is that voting is a really idiotic way to determine influence. Is this theory idiotic? It might be. But what's truly and most definitely idiotic is not wanting the evidence that can help determine whether a theory is idiotic.


You're just assuming that people who have the money to donate to determine what you consider the appropriate rankings have some sort of merit of practical utility to decision-making that people without money do not have. This assumption is also your conclusion, which is that spending is never frivolous, which is a bad assumption when making frivolous decisions, and so that's what's idiotic about your proposal. My expectation is that no one will spend a dime to indulge your fantasies, and that is why Jordan Peterson's housekeeper is making out better than you ever will with this kind of raucous idiocy.

Did it count as frivolous spending when LucidFlight, Spinozasgalt and laklak made a donation to this forum? Is it at all possible that they are more interested, and informed, about skepticism than non-donors? Why wouldn't you want to find out? Ignorance is bliss? Ignorance allows you to imagine that I'm wrong. If the experiment is conducted, then sure, I might be proved wrong, but there's also a chance that you'll be proved wrong. Evidently you prefer to imagine that I'm wrong.

Cito di Pense wrote:Another assumption of yours is that it's important to somebody (besides you) how skeptics are ranked, but that's already been mentioned. If it is not as important as you suggest, then the ranking of skeptics afforded by donation won't help anyone much to decide whether voting or spending is the right way to rank anything you've mentioned so far. Consider toothpaste. I'm about as eager to rank brands of toothpaste as I am brands of skeptics. You, on the other hand, might suggest I should try to determine whether ranking skeptics is more valuable than ranking toothpaste. Yeppers.

Of course people aren't equally interested in ranking skeptics. Just like people aren't equally interested in ranking jazz musicians or beer or anything. This is part of my assumption. In theory, the most interested people will be willing to spend the most, which will give them more influence on the rankings.

Cito di Pense wrote:
Xerographica wrote:In no case in human history has the potential harm been so much smaller than the potential benefit.


It's too late, Xerographica. Your proposals are so idiotic that people are actually being discouraged from trying to rank skeptics just to test your idiotic theories, and conclude that you are simply trolling a skeptic forum.

I'm confident that there's nothing idiotic about comparing voting and spending. Regarding trolling... I'm sincerely pointing out real problems. Does this count as trolling? Here's a somewhat relevant passage from John Holbo's version of Plato's Apology...

I was attached to this city by the god - through it seems ridiculous thing to say - as upon a great and noble horse which was somewhat sluggish because of its bulk and needed to be roused up by a kind of gadfly. It is to fulfill such a purpose that I believe the god has placed me in the city. I never leave off rousing each and every one of you, persuading and reproaching you all day long and everywhere I find myself in your company.
Xerographica
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 83

United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Voting VS Spending

#169  Postby Cito di Pense » May 21, 2018 9:11 am

Xerographica wrote:This is part of my assumption. In theory, the most interested people will be willing to spend the most, which will give them more influence on the rankings.


You forgot the part about how the rankings reflect anything material. But then, you're quoting people who quote Plato, so I am not at all surprised. You seem to think that people would be better off donating, and that the rankings they make by doing so will give them that feeling of having influence, which is not the same as having influence. But then, that's your religion, and influence is what you are seeking. Pay up, buddy.

Xerographica wrote:Is it at all possible that they are more interested, and informed, about skepticism than non-donors? Why wouldn't you want to find out?


Because, Dear Boy, I am not interested in the answers to philosophical questions. I don't think the aim of philosophy is to provide answers.

Xerographica wrote:I'm sincerely pointing out real problems.


As if I am convinced by the imaginary role you claim you're playing and the sincerity you claim to bring.

Xerographica wrote:If the experiment is conducted, then sure, I might be proved wrong, but there's also a chance that you'll be proved wrong.


Where I come from, if a proposal is not funded, it only means the one who wrote the proposal didn't beat out the competition. This is a tautology, so you should feel quite comfortable with it. Given your approach to selling your proposal, I, unlike you, don't have much invested in whether it has any potential to show anyone to be right or wrong.
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
User avatar
Cito di Pense
 
Name: Lou Kleener
Posts: 28760
Age: 23
Male

Country: The Heartland
Mongolia (mn)
Print view this post

Re: Voting VS Spending

#170  Postby zoon » May 21, 2018 9:57 am

Xerographica wrote:...You want me to consider the possibility that my theory is idiotic. I've considered and accepted the possibility, which is why I wouldn't initially conduct my economic experiment on an entire country. But have you considered the possibility that it's actually your own theory that's idiotic? Have you considered the possibility that democracy does far more harm than good?

What you certainly haven't done is explain the harm of using voting and donating to rank prominent skeptics. The worse case scenario is that we don't learn anything about voting versus spending and only a few bucks are raised for this forum. The best case scenario is that lots of money is raised for this forum and we achieve economic enlightenment. In no case in human history has the potential harm been so much smaller than the potential benefit.

There is at least evidence that democracies can compete and flourish, there are a number of them around. So far, as far as I can tell, there seems to be no actual experimental evidence that your system would work at all, let alone better? Or are there some countries out there which you would regard as being at least closer to your system than to democracy? Which countries would those be? If your other thread (here) is an experiment, has anyone actually donated yet? If not, would this be a result which suggests a problem? Or not? (As far as I know, RatSkep's income these days comes from advertisements; we used to be asked occasionally for donations, but this hasn't happened for some years now, and the Donate button at the top of the page seems to have been disabled.)
User avatar
zoon
 
Posts: 3179

Print view this post

Re: Voting VS Spending

#171  Postby Xerographica » May 21, 2018 3:06 pm

zoon wrote:
Xerographica wrote:...You want me to consider the possibility that my theory is idiotic. I've considered and accepted the possibility, which is why I wouldn't initially conduct my economic experiment on an entire country. But have you considered the possibility that it's actually your own theory that's idiotic? Have you considered the possibility that democracy does far more harm than good?

What you certainly haven't done is explain the harm of using voting and donating to rank prominent skeptics. The worse case scenario is that we don't learn anything about voting versus spending and only a few bucks are raised for this forum. The best case scenario is that lots of money is raised for this forum and we achieve economic enlightenment. In no case in human history has the potential harm been so much smaller than the potential benefit.

There is at least evidence that democracies can compete and flourish, there are a number of them around. So far, as far as I can tell, there seems to be no actual experimental evidence that your system would work at all, let alone better? Or are there some countries out there which you would regard as being at least closer to your system than to democracy? Which countries would those be?

It's true that there are numerous democratic countries, but all of them have markets. You say that they flourish because of democracy, I say that they flourish because of markets, and despite democracy.

It's also true that there isn't a single country with a system of government even remotely close to my preferred one. But what's the difference between using spending to rank politicians and using spending to rank producers? Whenever you spend your money in the private sector you're helping to rank producers. Do you think it would be better if spending was replaced with voting? Do you think voting is better than spending at ranking producers? Well, this is the premise of Youtube and countless other websites.

We are talking about different economic systems. My preferred economic system is currently being used to rank clothes, computers and cars. Admittedly, no government currently embodies my preferred economic system, but in no case is any government above or beyond the rules of economics. So if spending truly works better than voting at ranking flowers, furniture and food... then this must also be the case for every government activity. Conversely, if voting truly works better than spending at ranking Youtube producers, then this must also be the case for all producers.

What economics essentially examines is how attention is allocated. Voting and spending are very different things, which is why they really can't be equally effective at allocating attention. One of them must be a lot better than the other. My best guess is that spending is a lot better than voting at allocating attention. It's just a matter or proving that my guess is right, or wrong.

zoon wrote:If your other thread (here) is an experiment, has anyone actually donated yet? If not, would this be a result which suggests a problem? Or not? (As far as I know, RatSkep's income these days comes from advertisements; we used to be asked occasionally for donations, but this hasn't happened for some years now, and the Donate button at the top of the page seems to have been disabled.)

Whoever owns this forum hasn't responded to my suggestion yet. So because my proposed experiment hasn't been started, I don't see it as a problem that nobody has participated in it. If the experiment was started, but barely anybody participated, then I'd definitely see it as a problem. The problem wouldn't be with the general idea of the experiment, it would be with people's perception of it.

Suppose you go back in time and try to persuade early humans to cook their food. How successful do you think you'd be? In your case at least you could cook the food yourself and then everybody could simply try it. But in my case I can't make the pudding myself for everybody else to try. Voting pudding needs to be made by a crowd of voters. Spending pudding needs to be made by a crowd of spenders. Everybody is happy to participate in surveys when they involve voting. And I'm guessing that plenty of people were happy to participate in Skepticon's survey which involved donating. So it's just a matter of persuading people to use voting and/or donating to rank skeptics so that we can all compare the results. The more people who participate, the stronger the results.

This experiment is going to be conducted. This forum might not conduct it, and it might not even be conducted in my lifetime, but eventually it's going to be conducted. Eventually everybody's going to understand the difference between voting and spending. Just like we all now understand the difference between not cooking and cooking food. Do we benefit from this knowledge? Well yeah, we immensely benefit from this knowledge. It will be infinitely more beneficial when everybody also knows the difference between voting and spending, which is why I want the experiment to be conducted sooner rather than later.

Also, regarding ads, I'm not usually a fan of them. Usually I'm pretty good at ignoring them, and so are most people, which means that the companies that paid for those ads are getting ripped off. In cases where it's impossible to ignore an ad, then I resent them for hijacking my attention. Plus, it seems to be the case that many, if not most, people use ad-blocker.

It would be far better if this forum replaced its ads with donations. In theory people should be more inclined to donate if doing so provides them with the opportunity to help promote their favorite things.
Xerographica
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 83

United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Voting VS Spending

#172  Postby THWOTH » May 25, 2018 11:40 pm

"No-one is exempt from speaking nonsense – the only misfortune is to do it solemnly."
Michel de Montaigne, Essais, 1580
User avatar
THWOTH
RS Donator
 
Name: Penrose
Posts: 37101
Age: 54

Country: Untied Kingdom
United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: Voting VS Spending

#173  Postby Xerographica » May 26, 2018 3:52 am

On Larry Lessig's contact page I found...

I apologize, but I am declaring a non-essential-email moratorium. I have three young kids, I have a demanding job, and I am trying to do as much as I possibly can to reform a corrupted political system. It has taken me too long to recognize that I can either do my jobs, or answer email, but I can’t do both.

I wonder if he decided to have kids before or after he decided to try and do as much as he possibly can to try and reform our political system.

Clearly I think his solution is seriously stupid. With that in mind... before he subjects the entire country to what could potentially be a seriously stupid solution... why doesn't he join this forum and try and persuade all of us, and especially the owner, to test out his solution on this forum?

I've participated on many forums and they are all, more or less, benevolent dictatorships. When they aren't so benevolent it's not the biggest problem because... there are so many forums and foot voting is so cheap and easy. Easy "exit" essentially regulates the quality of forums.

What if foot voting for another country was as easy as foot voting for another forum? Then perhaps bad governments wouldn't be such an issue.

Just because every forum is, more or less, a benevolent dictatorship... doesn't mean that they necessarily have to be. Nothing inherently prevents a forum from being a democracy. If Lessig transformed this forum, or some other forum, into his perfect democracy... and, as a direct result, lots of people foot-voted for it, then this would provide some decent evidence that his solution might not be so stupid.

Further progress requires recognising that America’s economy is an enormously complicated mechanism. As appealing as some more radical reforms can sound in the abstract — breaking up all the biggest banks or erecting prohibitively steep tariffs on imports — the economy is not an abstraction. It cannot simply be redesigned wholesale and put back together again without real consequences for real people. - Barak Obama, The way ahead

And since then, one of the central principles behind my philosophy has been “Don’t destroy all existing systems and hope a planet-sized ghost makes everything work out”. Systems are hard. Institutions are hard. If your goal is to replace the current systems with better ones, then destroying the current system is 1% of the work, and building the better ones is 99% of it. Throughout history, dozens of movements have doomed entire civilizations by focusing on the “destroying the current system” step and expecting the “build a better one” step to happen on its own. That never works. The best parts of conservativism are the ones that guard this insight and shout it at a world too prone to taking shortcuts. - Scott Alexander, SSC Endorses Clinton, Johnson, or Stein

Voters, activists, and political leaders of the present day are in the position of medieval doctors. They hold simple, prescientific theories about the workings of society and the causes of social problems, from which they derive a variety of remedies-almost all of which prove either ineffectual or harmful. Society is a complex mechanism whose repair, if possible at all, would require a precise and detailed understanding of a kind that no one today possesses. Unsatisfying as it may seem, the wisest course for political agents is often simply to stop trying to solve society’s problems. — Michael Huemer, In Praise of Passivity

Obviously I disagree with Huemer's recommendation. The wisest course for political agents is to use forums, and similar websites, to test their solutions to society's problems. If a solution doesn't make a virtual community noticeably better for its members, then we should be very skeptical of it.
Xerographica
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 83

United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Voting VS Spending

#174  Postby IHateYouTrebek » Jun 09, 2018 3:11 pm

I thought I'd let you all know (if you're curious), Xerographica tried his experiment on another forum that took him up on his challenge.

Wealth of Nations won when it came to voting, but Fifty Shades of Grey won when it came to spending - despite the fact that only one person liked fifty shades of grey and spent money on it, a number of other spent money on it just to make it beat wealth of nations.
IHateYouTrebek
 
Name: Justin Macnak
Posts: 1

Country: United States
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Voting VS Spending

#175  Postby Hermit » Jun 09, 2018 7:36 pm

Thank you, IHateYouTrebec, but I have lost my curiosity regarding anything Xerographica posts a few days after he began posting here, and judging by the fact that nobody else has bothered replying to him for about two weeks now, so has everybody else.
God is the mysterious veil under which we hide our ignorance of the cause. - Léo Errera


God created the universe
God just exists
User avatar
Hermit
 
Posts: 2845
Age: 66
Male

Country: Here
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Voting VS Spending

#176  Postby Thommo » Jun 09, 2018 8:52 pm

IHateYouTrebek wrote:I thought I'd let you all know (if you're curious), Xerographica tried his experiment on another forum that took him up on his challenge.

Wealth of Nations won when it came to voting, but Fifty Shades of Grey won when it came to spending - despite the fact that only one person liked fifty shades of grey and spent money on it, a number of other spent money on it just to make it beat wealth of nations.


Do you have a link to the forum thread? It's hard to make much of this when the forum population, and what they were told isn't shown.

I'm quite interested in why anyone would spend money on this at all!
User avatar
Thommo
 
Posts: 26623

Print view this post

Re: Voting VS Spending

#177  Postby LucidFlight » Jun 09, 2018 8:57 pm

Oh, this is excellent information, worthy of a polite chuckle. Don't underestimate the power of the spiteful spender.
OFFICIAL MEMBER: QUANTUM CONSTRUCTOR CONSCIOUSNESS QUALIA KOALA COLLECTIVE.
User avatar
LucidFlight
RS Donator
 
Name: Kento
Posts: 10615
Male

Country: UK/US/AU/SG
United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: Voting VS Spending

#178  Postby Thommo » Jun 09, 2018 9:15 pm

LucidFlight wrote:Oh, this is excellent information, worthy of a polite chuckle. Don't underestimate the power of the spiteful spender.


Well, there is that. I'm probably taking it too seriously. :lol:
User avatar
Thommo
 
Posts: 26623

Print view this post

Re: Voting VS Spending

#179  Postby SafeAsMilk » Jun 09, 2018 9:26 pm

I honestly can't believe someone took the time to write all of it. Still impressive, even for copypasta.
"They call it the American dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it." -- George Carlin
User avatar
SafeAsMilk
 
Name: Makes Fails
Posts: 13569
Age: 40
Male

United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Voting VS Spending

#180  Postby PensivePenny » Jun 09, 2018 10:28 pm

Calilasseia wrote:Anyone who thinks money is superior to critical thinking and acting thereupon, has come to the wrong forum.


Bingo!

The Hope Diamond has no sparkle when it sits at the bottom of a latrine. Likewise, I can't agree that Democracy is a "terrible system" until it can be evaluated without the obligatory willfully ignorant electorate.

It still may be short of perfect, but I can't imagine it not being greatly improved through critical thinking. Unfortunately, I don't see much chance of that happening. Do they even teach "critical thinking" in schools anymore?
Evolution saddens me. In an environment where irrational thinking is protected, the disparity in the population rate of creationists vs that of rational thinkers, equates to a creationist win. Let's remove warning labels from products as an equalizer.
PensivePenny
 
Name: Penny
Posts: 1687
Age: 57
Female

Country: US
United States (us)
Print view this post

PreviousNext

Return to Economics

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 1 guest