Scott Raney metamerman at gmail.com
Sat Nov 19 10:56:40 EST 2016

On Sat, Nov 19, 2016 at 4:55 AM, Michal Štěpánek
<agora.ekklesia at gmail.com> wrote:

> Sure they are different. Business is mostly Autocracy Ltd. with a direct
> goal of profit.
> Government
> is authoritarian/plutocratic with goals described by Parkinson's laws and
> may be limited by elections.

I'd clarify that to specify that the executive branch is naturally
hierarchical and authoritarian, but that's not necessarily true of the
legislative branch, nor does the latter even need to be plutocratic.
Always consider the EEA when making statements about the natural state
of human "government": A million years ago there were no "plutocrats"
because our social instincts prevented them from arising (indeed
acquiring too much power was liable to cause your murder). And
decisions involving the whole band were made collectively, with the
same people making the decisions being the ones who would have to
carry them out. Hierarchy did probably sometimes emerge at that point
(e.g., when making war on the neighboring band, there were undoubtedly
leaders, although unlike our current concept of them leaders in the
EEA were out on the front lines too), but if we design our new system
properly, hierarchy and plutocracy won't have to be part of the
legislative/decisionmaking process. But we've got to understand and
account for our natural abilities to ensure that.

> Still
> they both should be focused on goodness and may be analogical in group
> decision-making.
> Anyway
> I think we do need to reform both, government and business.

Business could certain stand a little "optimization" but I wouldn't
even consider it to the scale of "reform". Government, on the other
hand, doesn't need "reform", it needs a complete redesign. So that's
where IMHO we should concentrate *all* of our effort.

>> 2) Conflicting values makes it impossible to come up with a single
>> definition of "good". Unlike business, where profitability is a
>> universal standard.
>> Yes, that is the usual approach, but not mine. The adjective is one:
>> "good",
>> that is what I like to measure. One man that says "good" about decision1 +
>> one woman that says "good" about decision1 = two people that say "good"
>> about decision1
> Hmm. Sounds challenging. You certainly can't use the normal metrics
> for measuring something like this because you've also got to develop
> some sort of massive factor-analysis model to figure what "good" is
> even measuring before you can even start comparing goodness of fit for
> decisions...
> Why?

Say one system results in the passage of a law in Europe or the US
that puts all immigrants from the middle east or Africa out of work,
but compensates by ensuring full employment for white people, then
compare that with a system that passes a law that only slightly
increases employment rates of all groups. By your metrics the first
one could be selected as doing more "good" because all you're
proposing to do is poll the very voters who rendered the decision.

Granted I don't propose to design a system that would naturally make
one of those laws more likely to be passed than the other, but my
proposal has two important differences:
1) I'm not going to be deluding myself or the population into saying
that we just used a "good" system to pass a "good" law: They're going
to have to keep their doubts and be prepared to reverse or alter the
decision at any time.
2) The design of the system must only ensure that the preferences of
those immigrants (and indeed every other marginalized group) would
have at least been considered and counted when making the decision.

That is, I don't plan to make any claims about objective "goodness",
which would require a very complicated analysis where the impact on
each individual affected by the decision would have to be assessed and
aggregated. Being truly representative is sufficient. Only in that
case can we ensure that the decision "matches" the Will of the People
and whether you or I, or indeed even the majority of the "voters" as
they are counted in misrepresentative democracy, would consider that
decision "good" is irrelevant.

> You know, Scott, there is a lot of ideological work and it is basically
> incomparable ( based on different worldviews). You are asking us to do this
> more ideological work, to believe unquestionably in direct democracy (or
> even in some very special form) and work. Heaven is close.

I guess at this point I shouldn't be surprised or disappointed when I
see someone on this list blindly accept elitism as not only the status
quo, but indeed a fundamental component of your ideology. Yet I am:
The idea that some new technology-enhanced oligarchy (which includes
every system discussed on this list with the possible exception of
AutoMatch) will be any improvement over our current misrepresentative
democracies is just delusional IMHO. It's like tweaking the equations
that predict how the sun goes around the earth, or how may grams of
phlogiston will be released when a piece of plastic burns. Even if you
don't end up believing in DD wholeheartedly, not taking the time to
research and understand the personality types that emerge as rulers in
oligarchies means your are simply wasting your time working on
anything that assumes that they'll behave any different than they do

> On the other hand, we got here a method that may compare worldviews in some
> sense. Moreover, science seems to be more influential than ideology today.

LOL! You may have missed it, but the US just elected a climate-change
denier president!

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