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Offline vbuterin

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Re: Another fun challenge to political views
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2015, 06:01:03 PM »
Wow, based just on quickly skimming it, this looks great. Bookmarked for later reading. Thanks.

Offline roadscape

Re: Another fun challenge to political views
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2015, 06:46:03 PM »
Wow, based just on quickly skimming it, this looks great. Bookmarked for later reading. Thanks.

Same. Thanks for sharing, Vitalik!
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Offline fluxer555

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Re: Another fun challenge to political views
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2015, 06:49:48 PM »
I got through till section 6. Very good read.

I think blockchain technology and applied cryptography will be able to solve the problems of coordination problems. I think bytemaster needs to read this, I'm sure he would be inspired to create solutions here.

Offline starspirit

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Re: Another fun challenge to political views
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2015, 11:01:05 PM »
Yes, as the author points out of people's views on the state, I've noticed in forums such as this that many of us have also the view that ideal freedom is to be equated to maximum decentralisation and the non-existence of state, but is this just an emotional connection rather than logical outcome?

I wonder whether centralisation around certain activities is sometimes preferred even in the context of individual freedom - the freedom to delegate choices to others when we have higher priorities, and to form organisations of common interest to perform certain actions more effectively. I wonder if a balance of decentralisation and centralisation is actually the natural order that best serves our goals of freedom.

Anyway, must give the article a full read when these markets settle down a bit!....

Offline toast

Re: Another fun challenge to political views
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2015, 11:06:15 PM »
A good title for this post might be "A list of unresolved coordination problems". BM's response might simply be "you're not creative enough".

I'd be interested in an argument that characterizes what kinds of market failures can't be solved without force which doesn't primarily rely on examples of market failure in the past.
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Offline bytemaster

Re: Another fun challenge to political views
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2015, 11:21:21 PM »
Wow so much unoriginal hogwash.   

It starts out poorly... the wasp owner is clearly an aggressor in the same way someone with aggressive attack dogs or out of control robots.  The owner of property is responsible for damage caused by that property.

Every single "alternative" proposed is "everyone votes to pass a law".

The problem with everyone voting to pass a law is the same "coordination problem" that already existed.  There is a rational ignorance where the cost of learning how to vote responsibly is greater than the value of the vote.  Thus no one learns how to vote responsibly. 

Look at this video by David Friedman on Market Failure:
http://cryptogeeks.com/bitcoin-understanding-bitcoin-market-right-now

Bottom line.. resorting to violence is a shortcut to finding creative alternatives. 
 
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Offline starspirit

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Re: Another fun challenge to political views
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2015, 09:37:59 PM »
I've been considering some of the arguments in this piece. Section 2 covers co-ordination problems (why boycotts don't work etc), and I wondered if the following solution could work as co-ordination tool without the need for state law. Let's say a polling tool is available, whereby passionate people can request a public call to action on some issue. But the agreed action is not taken until some specified critical mass supports the action. When that critical mass is reached, all participants know that their action will be effective, and the action goes ahead successfully. For example, it might be boycotting a consumer product for a month, which is more than the company can bear, but which is not a difficult (and only temporary) sacrifice for each individual. This might overcome the hurdle of people not willing to make a sacrifice when they are uncertain others will act similarly and that their sacrifice will be meaningful. Thoughts?

Offline bytemaster

Re: Another fun challenge to political views
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2015, 10:15:09 PM »
FYI.  Voting is a coordination problem. 
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Offline starspirit

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Re: Another fun challenge to political views
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2015, 11:22:48 PM »
FYI.  Voting is a coordination problem.
I'm not sure if this is in reference to my idea above. The way I see this tool working is that, apart from the need for an initiator, it can be self coordinating. There is not even a need for widespread publicity in the beginning - there is no cost to signing up early (and indeed this can be reversed if desired), so only as critical mass builds and word spreads, are more and more people engaged to participate if they desire. And then when the critical mass point is reached, effective group action takes place.

Offline Troglodactyl

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Re: Another fun challenge to political views
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2015, 12:11:59 AM »
Like Kickstarter, or the Free State Project.

Offline starspirit

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Re: Another fun challenge to political views
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2015, 12:18:57 AM »
Section 3 of the article on irrational choices is an illogical argument IMO. The author identifies that in certain situations people make predictably irrational choices. The example he gives is inaction often reflects a lack of mental energy applied to the problem rather than a preference. While this is true, it only justifies changing how the choices are arranged or presented for individuals, rather than constraining those choices. Second irrationality is most often subjective. Taking away the choice considered irrational by a majority, academics or some bureaucracy would harm those for whom that is a clear and purposeful preference that benefits them.

Offline Troglodactyl

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Re: Another fun challenge to political views
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2015, 12:32:13 AM »
Section 3 of the article on irrational choices is an illogical argument IMO. The author identifies that in certain situations people make predictably irrational choices. The example he gives is inaction often reflects a lack of mental energy applied to the problem rather than a preference. While this is true, it only justifies changing how the choices are arranged or presented for individuals, rather than constraining those choices. Second irrationality is most often subjective. Taking away the choice considered irrational by a majority, academics or some bureaucracy would harm those for whom that is a clear and purposeful preference that benefits them.
That's an issue with the entire approach, given it's based in consequentialism.  Unless he argues that he is guided by an objective and superior value system, the whole argument boils down to taking away people's freedom simply because he wants to. If all value is truly subjective, it's hard to point to any problem with that.

Offline starspirit

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Re: Another fun challenge to political views
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2015, 12:39:17 AM »
Section 4 on Lack of Information I think is becoming ever less an issue as more information can be collated by a decentralised network of billions of people than can be collected by any government bureaucracy (except perhaps the NSA!). You can see this in the number of product and shop customer reviews littering the internet. The only problem is one of filtering that information in the best way possible, and making it as convenient to access as possible at the point of the consumers decision. Technology there seems to be improving. Without government agencies to fulfil this function funded by tax dollars, I also expect that interested consumers would voluntarily pay for services from expert private organisations to report on safety and environmental research in certain areas relevant to them. Companies that fail to disclose information would naturally be deemed more suspect by the public.

Offline vbuterin

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Re: Another fun challenge to political views
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2015, 05:56:15 PM »
So, one place where I think Scott errs is that he fails to make a distinction between coordination problems and public goods. To see the difference, consider the following two situations.

1. The English language spelling system is horribly bad. Just about every letter has multiple potential sounds that it can map to, and vice versa, there are combinations of letters that are completely silent in some cases but not others, and even the best possible formalizations of English spelling rules work only 85% of the time. Hence, we could try to switch to a system that is better, yusing the saem leters to olways refur tu the saem sounds so yu kan noe hou tu pronouns a wurd from looking at it just liek mor siviliesd languages. If we all switch over, then that is better for all of us. But if you switch over and no one else does, then you are stuck writing posts that no one can understand well, and so you suffer.

The payoff matrix looks like this:

You don't switchYou switch
Other people don't switch(1, 1)(0, 0.99)
Other people switch(0, 1.99)(2, 2)

Where the values are (your utility, society's total utility). Hence, even though everyone would switch over, no one benefits from switching over unilaterally.

2. You run a factory. Do you install filters in order to reduce the amount of pollution you emit? You suffer slightly from your own pollution, but not enough to notice; however, everyone's pollution together significantly affects your health and you would rather no one did. But then, installing filters is expensive.

Now, we have:

You don't polluteYou pollute
Other people don't pollute(2, 2)(2.1, 1.7)
Other people pollute(0.9, 1.3)(1, 1)

Here, in all cases it's 0.1 units better for you to pollute, regardless of where others do. Coordination problems are solvable through many mechanisms; assurance contracts are perhaps the simplest one, and dominant assurance contracts also work well. Public good problems, however, are much more tricky, because there is always an incentive to defect; it's not just a matter of finding a way to move a rock from one valley to another, it's a matter of moving a rock up a 45 degree slope to a point at the top where the slope is still 45 degrees, and keeping it there. I think that solving coordination problems specifically really should be a primary objective of the crypto-mechanism-design community.

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I also expect that interested consumers would voluntarily pay for services from expert private organisations to report on safety and environmental research in certain areas relevant to them.

Well, the problem is that safety and environmental research is a public good. Although, note that this argument is a rationale for the existence of a government-funded certification agency, not for making its certifications mandatory (for that you have to appeal to either irrationality, or a rather weird countersignalling argument which is really clever and cool in its economath but that I'm not sure applies that strongly in many situations).

Quote
That's an issue with the entire approach, given it's based in consequentialism.  Unless he argues that he is guided by an objective and superior value system, the whole argument boils down to taking away people's freedom simply because he wants to. If all value is truly subjective, it's hard to point to any problem with that.

For that we have his other FAQ.

Quote
The problem with everyone voting to pass a law is the same "coordination problem" that already existed.  There is a rational ignorance where the cost of learning how to vote responsibly is greater than the value of the vote.  Thus no one learns how to vote responsibly. 

Now I wonder why you are so keen on DPOS :)

 

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