Dan Plante <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
Thanks, Eric. I followed the links you provided. Actually, this is loosely similar in form, but profoundly different in function. It suffers from the same ailment as the "committee" analogy, that was dealt with in the preceding post: it isn't "anchored" by a strong, stable "motivational complex". In other words, the effective feedback loop from which all emergent properties arise, doesn't exist in those two examples. Each and every "decision node" MUST bear the full and direct consequences of the decisions, or it's not a real feedback loop. The consequences for each decision maker must be significant and unavoidable.
As I see it, you've made two points here:
(1) your systems needs a stable motivational complex
(2) the system must have consequences which are significant and
unavoidable for each decision/maker.
I agree with you that Nomic lacks the first, although it is quite
traditional for the first few enacted rules to *define* a game
purpose, and then the motivation is to win.
I agree with you that Nomic lacks the first, although it is quite traditional for the first few enacted rules to *define* a game purpose, and then the motivation is to win.
Nomic does, however, have the second -- players are always bound by every enacted rule -- and some of them have serious effects. (e.g. in games which can be "won" by creating a rule paradox, it only takes one mistaken vote to lose the game)
But beyond all that, the game still serves as an example of a system which evolves by letting it's players create and vote on new legislation. As such, it proves that such systems can actually function. (according to my readings, the game was orginally invented to show the impossibility of such things -- an ironic turn of events!)
>Major Point #2:
>You seem to think that the final 'stable' point in the evolutation of
>the political system will necessairly be the best point.
Yes, by its very nature. Unavoidably so.
Hmmm. I've re-read your comments on this issue several times, and I still feel that something is wrong -- but I'm having trouble putting my finger on it. I think the crux of the wrongness must rest with an argument from ignorance. i.e. the population as whole is not going to be totally informed, not going to know what is best -- and furthermore, it's not going to have the time necessary to learn what is best from the few members who do know. For instance, let's say that there is a debate about the value of welfare, or government aid. And lets further assume that there is a 'correct' solution to the problem that welfare attempts to solve. Now most of the population isn't going to have a clue about what that solution is -- and, honestly, most of them don't care because -- hey -- they arn't on welfare! I contend that even if the ideal solution is *known* by someone in the population, and they even manage to get their voice heard, that is no garantee that such a solution will be implemented -- indeed, I suspect that the majority will implement what they are already familiar with (e.g. lump sum payments based on need). This is not the best solution, but it's easy, and it's stable (in as much as once its in place changing it is more bother than it's worth...)
How could 20% of the voting members pass anything that required, say, 70% of voting members to pass it (unless your'e under the impression that I meant 70% of whatever group of people bothers to vote)?
Yes, that's what I was thinking. I suspect you'll find that actually requiring 70% of all potential voters to vote "aye" will result in nothing ever happening. We may not like Apathy, but we do have to live with it -- the real truth of the matter is that most people are not particulairly interested in politics, and are quite content as long as the system doesn't fuck with their lives.
I used to think that the percentage of lurkers on this (or any other list) was totally crazy, but I realize now that all aspects of life are like that -- most people listen, but do not participate, except in a few chosen areas. Nobody has time to participate in all of their areas of interest -- and even fewer than that have the time to be interested in everything!
(BTW: virus: 176 subscribers; virus-digest: 143. this is down quite a bit since I last checked)
This is handled by human nature (which the particular dynamics of the system actually takes advantage of). Say 72% of the population outlaw abortion. That's bad for the other 28%. Then, another mix of 72% of the population outlaw liquor. Another baddie. Then another mix of 72% of the population outlaw cigarettes. Then another 72% outlaws gay relationships. Then another 72% outlaw gun ownership. Life is really starting to suck for a greater and greater combined percentage of the population, until all the "disenfranchised" 28%'s start to add up to a majority 66% (or whatever) and start retracting these laws, saying "Enough, already! It's abvious we'll have to agree to cut each other a LOT of slack, or it very quickly (remember the short "bio-feedback" time constant?) starts to turn around and bite almost *everyone* in the ass".
You're making an assumption here that the 72% who are imposing their will in each case are different. What if, for instance, the current rise of Fundamentalism continued, and eventually 72% of the population were Fundamentalists, and they all (as a group) began to impose their will on the remaining 28%? Sure, the 28% of people would get *very*fucking* pissed off, but the 72% are actually happy about that... this is what 'tryanny of the majority' actually comes down to.
The dynamics of the system *forces* apathy out of people in the same way that it *forces* them to tolerate minority opinions, as in the example above.
I think you're wrong. People are still only going to care about issues which affect them -- and that's only a small fraction of the important issues for a political system to deal with.
>(and since if *everybody* participated, totally, the volume
>of changes would be too great to manage),
No, not really. Once the systemic paradigm has established itself near
its set-point (long before it would ever be adopted on a large (i.e.
national) scale, the amount of legislative activity would have slowed
to a bare trickle, partly for the reasons given above, and partly for
other reasons. People would already be familiar with the individual
behaviour required by a workable set-point long before it got to that
level. News media, word of mouth, etc.
So you're saying that much of the development of the system would have to occur with a limited scale? Does this not take away from the egaltarian nature of the system, as well as almost ensure that the solutions found in the system will not be the best ones available?
This is actually quite interesting, and it seems to me that it would manifest a damn-sight better dynamic than the current one. As a matter of fact, I could see this as a workable incremental step toward the system I suggested. We are already headed in that direction anyway (politicians "governing by poll", and all that). As I said, it's inevitable, sooner or later. The only thing that would need to change for your proposal, though, is that instead of the polls being "push", they become "pull". In other words, instead of polling companies geared to single issues and feeding voters their own questions, poll sites on the net accumulate multiple-issue opinion-maps of larger and larger percentages of the population
Hmmm. I didn't say anything about poles in my system -- I was assuming that people would vote directly on the legislation (why have a middle step?). But I think you knew that anyway...
(building what would become, as I suggested, an inverted bell curve), until it becomes obvious to everyone when a politician is acting contrary to the "collective will" of the voting public. Once this paradigm is established and people get used to thinking in these terms, it becomes a very small conceptual and emotional leap to "delete the middle-man", redundant as he would then seem by then.
But it's not redundant -- the primairy purpose of the middle man is to remove the labour and time requirements from the average Joe, who doesn't care to spend the kind of time that is really needed. Instead, he gives his vote to X, whom he trusts because their positions are similar on matters Joe actually has thought about.
"Collective Will" is also quite a dangerous meme; having a very close similairty to "will of the people" or (horror of horrors) "the greater good". We cannot afford, at any price, to let such misconceptions of where the power rests get a hold on the populas. We don't want rule by the mob, or rule by peer-pressure, what we want is rule by reason.
>I think the best part of such a system is that it
>brings us back again to a Kinocracy.
Could you supply me with a link to a good description of "Kinocracy"?
Kinocracy -- rule by those who take action. Carl (Hermit) is right that ultimatly, *any* political system boils down to a Kinocracy, it's just that some systems make it much harder for the average Joe to contribute (mostly by supressing his ability to accomplish anything). I would now contend that the ultimate aim of a political system is to allow those who have something to contribute to do so in the easiest manner possible; i.e. the ideal government is a Kinocracy, and to the extent that other systems approach it (e.g. democracy), they are good.
I've tried to find a page about this on the internet, but my searching turned up nothing. I suspect we may be spelling the word wrong. Or maybe it's so special that nobody else has written anything on it?