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Eripsa
Jan 13, 2002

by Y Kant Ozma Post


The Duke of Ben posted:

Quick question for you Eripsa. Do you think that moderation and administrators have helped make SA a better place to post?

Sure. I don't think you can have static threads like SA has and keep it coherent without moderation. Some of the mods are bad and do more to hurt thread than others, but I have no objection to moderation in principle.

But not every format requires moderation of this sort. Reddit is largely moderated by the crowds up/down voting posts, so that "popularity" has more to do with the end result than moderation. I think in that kind of different structure requires different moderation tactics, and it is often the case that moderators can have a counterproductive result in formats like reddit.

So I don't think you can conclude anything about moderation in general from this. Moderation will work in some formats, and not work in others.

Right now resource distribution is decided by the people with the most money, and they use that money to provide incentives to others for doing the work they want. In such a situation, of course you need some master to tell you what to do.

In my system, no one has a monopoly on resources, and no one can "own" the means or production or the networks of distribution, and so no one can tell anyone else what to do. In such a system, having "moderators" with a monopoly on authority would be counterproductive, even those moderators might be essential for ensuring order in some other system.

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The Duke of Ben
Jul 12, 2005
Listen, if you're not going to tell me how the entire world economic, political, and social order can be completely replaced in every detail, then I think maybe you should consider that this is the best of all possible worlds.

Check and mate.


Eripsa posted:

My system works on the following assumptions:

IF you make it possible for people to do the work, AND you make it clear why the work is important, and how people will benefit from that work, THEN people will be willing to do that work.

If enough people want fish, and you make it clear enough that having fish would be a socially good thing, and you empower people to act on that demand by giving them access to the boats and training such for acquiring the fish, then they will fish.

I guess I'm trying to move the conversation back to an earlier post of yours. Here is my response to that post again:

The Duke of Ben posted:

Note the unsaid premises in everything you put down here. I think you genuinely don't see it, so I will try to walk it through.

"...you make it possible" "you make it clear" "you make it clear enough" "you empower people" ...then they will [fish].

There is an actor here which is unsaid but clearly present. "You" in here is a standin for somebody in charge. Somebody needs to be making choices and directing society. That somebody is government, something which you seem to be distinctly denying.

You (Eripsa) need to be able to write out this group of assumptions without the implied actors. Who does all of this? Why do they do it? Who gave them the power to direct? Why/how is that not government?

You've explicitly stated numerous times, including just now, that we should not have government. When asked to describe how things would work, you've detailed an un-named "you" that gets things started and keeps things on track.

Can you write out your assumptions from above without including an un-named source of this starting power?

Eripsa
Jan 13, 2002

by Y Kant Ozma Post


The Duke of Ben posted:

I guess I'm trying to move the conversation back to an earlier post of yours. Here is my response to that post again:


You've explicitly stated numerous times, including just now, that we should not have government. When asked to describe how things would work, you've detailed an un-named "you" that gets things started and keeps things on track.

Can you write out your assumptions from above without including an un-named source of this starting power?

Would it help if I change the pronouns to "we"? Because I'm talking about crowdsourcing the whole thing, so the only "you" there is a whole lot of "us".

I don't think it needs to be centralized, I don't think anyone can or should have the power to decide on their own. I think you give the people all the information they need, and you have some coordinating principle that allows them to search through that information as they see fit such that the best ideas for a solution rise to the top, and then you empower the people to act on those best solutions. All without centralized coordination or executive decisions.

You seem to think this is impossible, but I'm not sure what your argument is.

The Duke of Ben
Jul 12, 2005
Listen, if you're not going to tell me how the entire world economic, political, and social order can be completely replaced in every detail, then I think maybe you should consider that this is the best of all possible worlds.

Check and mate.


Eripsa posted:

You seem to think this is impossible, but I'm not sure what your argument is.

I'm looking at really hard decisions that need to be made, but that don't have a majority consensus.

If a decision must be made (everyone agrees that something needs to be decided) but the field of options is split evenly, does society simply break down?

ryde
Sep 9, 2011


Eripsa posted:

I don't think it needs to be centralized, I don't think anyone can or should have the power to decide on their own. I think you give the people all the information they need, and you have some coordinating principle that allows them to search through that information as they see fit such that the best ideas for a solution rise to the top, and then you empower the people to act on those best solutions. All without centralized coordination or executive decisions.

How do you handle any decisions that need to get made that require expertise? You are making the extremely bad assumption that all decisions can be properly made by the collective assuming the proper information is given. This is not the case. For example, a crowd of people given access to Web MD may give the wrong diagnosis whereas a doctor would give the correct one. Another example: software engineers and system administrators make better decisions on how to run network infrastructure than average people. Information often takes expertise to properly analyze.

Actual real-world example: Reddit had severe issues with running on AWS. The average redditor's response was that AWS was bad. The real response from technically literate people with domain knowledge of the problem was that the particular service they were using, EBS, was unsuitable for running a database, and that they need not abandon AWS as a whole. In other words, the crowd made a bad and inaccurate decision. Even assuming that they had access to the raw data, they don't have the expertise required to interpret that data.

Another real-world example: Raw global warming data is often analyzed by laymen and their conclusions are used as evidence that global warming is fake. In reality, it takes someone knowledgeable in climate science to understand what the data is telling them. This is why we don't defer to the broad consensus of the population on whether global warming is actually real.

You don't address this at all. In the real world, decisions that require some level of expertise are far more common than decisions that require none. Deferring to consensus would lead to suboptimal results. This is fine if you are able to opt out of these sub-optimal decisions, but what you are proposing is, in effect, tyranny of the majority. Under your system, I am subject to the decisions of people who likely do not have the qualifications to be making proper decisions. This is a serious problem, and one that you have repeatedly ignored.

Eripsa
Jan 13, 2002

by Y Kant Ozma Post


ryde posted:

You don't address this at all.

I do address this, although you are right that I haven't made the point salient yet. I'll say that in the apartment in Chapter 3 resides a doctor. So expertise is a good question, and it will be addressed.

But I've given examples of how to address it already. Expertise (which is really just a matter of having paid extended attention) ultimately provides weights to the attention economy, which is used to evaluate the decisions being made.

So I referred in an earlier post to some decision about the market that needs to be made. I want such decisions to be open access, so that everyone has a say, and that all voices are heard within the system. I haven't yet said how that is possible, but I have ideas. But so say we have such a genuinely open access system. Your concern is that Art, who has spent the most time at the market, and knows best how it works, will have a judgment that ultimately has more merit than a random person with no attachment to the market at all, but that my system weights them equally.

So my response is that no, it doesn't. My system is open access so that all voices get heard, but the system is weighted by Attention, and people have all the information. So people will see that Art has spent 20 years working on the store, whereas the dissenter will have no experience or special knowledge at all, and that should weight the crowd towards Art's view.

But not necessarily. Art might suddenly go mad and start demanding that they sell the beating hearts of little children at the market. And though Art has put in a lot of effort into the market, you would hope that the crowd is capable enough at recognizing how bad an idea that is, that they won't let Art's popularity outweigh the clear insanity of his view.

So that's the idea. Make it open so that everyone has a say, but provide enough information so that people can make informed decisions, and weight those decisions in favor of the people most capable of making them. You don't have to exclude the non-experts entirely, but you don't have to ignore the experts either. You can balance the system so that it is open and democratic, but so that the good ideas can rise to the top.

So, just to be clear, in my system a good idea is not enough on its own to change the system. It has to be a good idea that is also popular, because only if it is popular will you get people to act on it. And I have no safeguards to ensure that the good ideas become popular, I'm just resting on the good of the people to do that.

In contrast, our current system also doesn't encourage good ideas for their own sake. In order to be implemented in the system, a good idea also needs to be profitable, and there are obviously no safeguards to ensure that all the good ideas will be profitable.

So again, the basic dilemma in this thread rears its head. Would we rather trust the crowd and risk the possibility that the crowd will ignore a good idea when it comes around, or do we trust the oligarchy and risk the possibility that the money will ignore a good idea when it comes around?

I'll just say that we have extensive historical evidence that the good ideas will be ignored in a capitalist system even when they threaten the very stability of the environment, and the very sustainability of human civilization. In the pursuit of profit, we know that capitalism will scorch the earth if necessary. So I see very little reason to trust the oligarchs.

On the other hand, the internet seems to show quite clearly that people will trumpet a good idea when it comes around whether or not it is profitable, and although the crowds are easily distracted by petty personal politics, I see nothing to suggest that humanity is interested in scorching the earth for the sake of popularity.

Eripsa
Jan 13, 2002

by Y Kant Ozma Post


The Duke of Ben posted:

I'm looking at really hard decisions that need to be made, but that don't have a majority consensus.

If a decision must be made (everyone agrees that something needs to be decided) but the field of options is split evenly, does society simply break down?

I'm not talking about "majority consensus". Consensus isn't a matter of voting.

I have things to say about consensus but I want to put off these questions until a later chapter. I'm not ignoring the question because it is a good one, but I don't want to answer it now.

OatmealRaisin
Aug 15, 2007

I'm going to commit more science

Eripsa posted:

[...]

you would hope that the crowd is capable enough at recognizing how bad an idea that is

[...]

And I have no safeguards to ensure that the good ideas become popular, I'm just resting on the good of the people to do that.

Twice just in this post. Your system is weighed far, far too heavily on hoping for the best and dismissing the worst.

Eripsa
Jan 13, 2002

by Y Kant Ozma Post


OatmealRaisin posted:

Twice just in this post. Your system is weighed far, far too heavily on hoping for the best and dismissing the worst.

My system is weighted, sure, but you need an argument to show why it is weighted too heavily.

Again, I'm resting on the empirical evidence from the internet as a test case. The internet proves quite conclusively that if you grant open access, a lot of people will do lovely things with no value, but enough people will collect around the important things with a lot of value that the shittiness is far outweighed by the good. In my estimation, the good of the great open projects on Internet (like Wikipedia) so far outweigh the bad of lovely youtube comments, that the former easily makes up for the latter, even though there are more people who contribute to the latter than the former.

But again, this is just network dynamics and open distributive collaboration. If I told you 20 years ago that Open Source would be successful, you would have probably laughed at me. And, indeed, lots of code that is released open source is garbage. But there is enough big, important projects that use the method of collaboration, that the slack in the long tail is trivial.

I fully grant that it is counter intuitive, or at least it once was, to expect a self-organized group of humans to accomplish some collaborative project of a massive scale, without the motivation of profit or political gain. But the internet has served as a proof of concept of amazing proportions that shows it is, at the very least, possible.

Apparently people like evilweasel think it is foolish to even try to apply the digital paradigm to the economy, but since the digital paradigm has been an overwhelming success I don't think it is stupid to try. Most of the confidence I have that this system will work, is grounded in experience I've had seeing the internet work, and I have no reason to think that the successes won't transfer over.

I'm curious why evilweasel is skeptical, but I'm pretty sure his rejection comes by way of picking on me, and not as a reasonable argument. Apart from evilweasel, I don't know of any reason to be resolutely skeptical that the digital paradigm wouldn't be successfully applied to economic models.

ryde
Sep 9, 2011


Eripsa posted:

But I've given examples of how to address it already. Expertise (which is really just a matter of having paid extended attention) ultimately provides weights to the attention economy, which is used to evaluate the decisions being made.

This point is flawed. The Google page rank algorithm originally worked on such an idea: pages with more links tend to have better result. Turns out that this is easily gamed, and future versions of their algorithm moved away from using this as the basis for ranking. Another example is movie stars. Their views get a lot of attention, but they are often not well informed on what they are talking about, nor experts. Attention does not necessarily correlate with expertise.

Eripsa posted:

Your concern is that Art, who has spent the most time at the market, and knows best how it works, will have a judgment that ultimately has more merit than a random person with no attachment to the market at all, but that my system weights them equally.

So my response is that no, it doesn't. My system is open access so that all voices get heard, but the system is weighted by Attention, and people have all the information. So people will see that Art has spent 20 years working on the store, whereas the dissenter will have no experience or special knowledge at all, and that should weight the crowd towards Art's view.

Except that it frequently does not work this way, and large groups of people who dissent are often not capable of recognizing their lack of capability. There is actual scientific literature along this effect. See Dunning-Kruger.

My global warming example, in particular, demonstrates this. Quite a lot of lay-people think that global warming is made up and that they are clearly able to see how the experts are wrong. These people are incorrect. But under your system, their policy decision wins over the experts. Likewise, this is a persistent problem with Wikipedia where groups of people will disregard experts' information because they think they know better or have a better understanding. A little digging brings up plethora of examples, from the anti-vaccine movement, to SOPA proponents, to armchair economists.

In other words, your version of events is highly idealized and not likely to work out that way in practice.

Eripsa posted:

But not necessarily. Art might suddenly go mad and start demanding that they sell the beating hearts of little children at the market. And though Art has put in a lot of effort into the market, you would hope that the crowd is capable enough at recognizing how bad an idea that is, that they won't let Art's popularity outweigh the clear insanity of his view.

Not a good example. You've used an extreme example where the crowd is clearly able to tell what the correct answer is. A more poignant example is if I, a fairly skilled software developer, came to a group and said that I think we need to replace a sub-system with a rewritten alternative. A group might find my explanation reasonable, but they actually have no ability to rationally gauge my points other than relying on reputation. On the other hand, a skilled developer might analyze my position on its actual merit and decide that I am making a mistake.

In other words, you still have problems unless you specifically exclude people that do not have the capability to analyze decisions. This is generally how peer review in science works -- papers are submitted to a smaller community that has the proper credentials to provide input.

I'd encourage you to actually think deeper about some of the claims you are making. In particular, you claim that the internet itself is an example of how community driven consensus works, but on deeper inspection it really isn't. In the few examples of consensus working, its because you have alternatives and the ability to walk away from decisions you don't like and defer to experts. In your system, I am not given that option.

Another aspect here is I very much dislike the fact that you have given no room for privacy in your system, which is a non-starter. I do not wish to make all information public. In fact, your system comes off strongly as totalitarian, because if I disagree with baring my life to the community and acquiescing to their communal decisions then I face negative consequences, even if I have valid reason to go against the community's wishes. You seem to think that making decisions communal fixes this problem -- it does not. It makes it worse.

Eripsa posted:

Again, I'm resting on the empirical evidence from the internet as a test case. The internet proves quite conclusively that if you grant open access, a lot of people will do lovely things with no value, but enough people will collect around the important things with a lot of value that the shittiness is far outweighed by the good. In my estimation, the good of the great open projects on Internet (like Wikipedia) so far outweigh the bad of lovely youtube comments, that the former easily makes up for the latter, even though there are more people who contribute to the latter than the former.

Well the problem is you're resting on a far-too superficial analysis of the internet. A deeper examination of the the evidence shows the opposite - crowd sourcing usually does not lead to good results unless you specifically limit the crowd to people who have qualifications to make a decision. You've taken your own broad sentiment of the internet and enshrined it as fact without actually making a deeper examination of that sentiment.

Slanderer
May 6, 2007

anger issues


Eripsa posted:

My judgment is that moving the masses in conditions of genuinely open and free participation will only come with great justification, and that justification will normally have to rise above the level of petty fetishization. People will, of their own accord, rally together to help the victims of a hurricane. People will happily engage in the public shaming of an individual who has carried out some significant abuse of power. People like seeing justice done.

No, people like being entertained. They're also lazy, and great at distributing responsibility for events like hurricanes.

And for the record, if another hurricane hits New Orleans, I sure as hell am not getting on a bus for 16 hours, missing enough work to get fired for my job, and doing recovery work I am neither trained nor compensated for.

Someone should. But they should be trained and paid.

@Eripsa:

Can you go one page without saying:

open access
digital paradigm
crowdsource

or any other essentially meaningless buzzword, and furthermore, without viewing humanity in the most charitable, historically inaccurate light possible?

evilweasel
Aug 24, 2002


Every soup ladled to the hungry, every blanket draped over the cold signifies, in the final sense, a theft from my gigantic paycheck.

Eripsa posted:

You might that that if each Jew had political power on par with each German, that a system whereby the Germans oppress the Jews would have never happened.

You might, if you were utterly ignorant of the history of pre-Nazi Germany and the rise of the Nazis, and merely were babbling based on a vauge theory of what happened.

Slanderer
May 6, 2007

anger issues


evilweasel posted:

You might, if you were utterly ignorant of the history of pre-Nazi Germany and the rise of the Nazis, and merely were babbling based on a vauge theory of what happened.

You'd also have to conveniently miss the fact that a tyranny of the majority implies a majority, which means that giving the minority equal power on an individual basis doesn't change the fact that they are in the minority, which solves exactly nothing.

ryde
Sep 9, 2011


evilweasel posted:

You might, if you were utterly ignorant of the history of pre-Nazi Germany and the rise of the Nazis, and merely were babbling based on a vauge theory of what happened.

Or Japanese Americans in WW2. Or homosexuals. Or black people. Tthere are tons of forms of bigotry and oppression that operate with the approval of the majority. How many people thought that homosexuality was a choice? How many still think that?

I take it as a point that your system is not implemented, so we don't really know if a proper completely democratic system would have stopped these things, but I think you're being a bit naive by assuming that the populace would have stopped these clearly wrong things if they had direct power instead of proxy power via representatives.


VVVVVVVVVVV

Best Friends posted:

What I really love here is the supreme irony that Eripsa's plans are failing the only metric Eripsa recognizes as valid - crowdsourcing. Eripsa takes this to mean that in this and only this instance, crowdsourcing itself is showing the deficiencies of the crowd. Crowdsourcing remains, of course, the optimal method for distribution of toothpaste.

I brought this point up before, and so far he has completely ignored it. If a small group of goons can't arrive at the "correct" decision after nine pages of discussion, what makes him think that this system will scale?

Best Friends
Nov 4, 2011



Hello friends. It is clear that capitalism has some failings. Therefore we should institute a dystopia that will not even meet the same standards of living capitalism provides. Also, police will be replaced by redditors. Here are 25 more paragraphs saying almost nothing. Good day.

~time passes~

Everyone is being so hostile. That must mean it is they who are wrong.

What I really love here is the supreme irony that Eripsa's plans are failing the only metric Eripsa recognizes as valid - crowdsourcing. Eripsa takes this to mean that in this and only this instance, crowdsourcing itself is showing the deficiencies of the crowd. Crowdsourcing remains, of course, the optimal method for distribution of toothpaste.

bieber the creator
Sep 24, 2003

craving wonton soup irl


Just browsing kickstarter for an hour or two will tell you all you need to know about how crowdsourcing would be a terrible way to decide resource allocation.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects...s?ref=spotlight
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects...t?ref=spotlight
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects...ef=discover_pop
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects...rpg?ref=popular

bonus link:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects...ef=discover_rec

Best Friends
Nov 4, 2011



No, see, that is because it is poisoned by capitalism. Imagine how great life would be if you had to run a kickstarter campaign to get enough attention to be allowed a unit of hemorrhoid cream.


edit


bieber the creator posted:

bonus link:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects...ef=discover_rec

God, that's depressing. But who are we to doubt the wisdom of crowds? Harlem probably has too many art centers, and the vanguards of twitter are effectively preventing them from being greedy.

ryde
Sep 9, 2011


How much do you want to bet that he claims that no-one has brought up relevant arguments against his system again, despite having posted a multitude of examples of crowdsourcing failing and explanations as to how it can lead to suboptimal results?

I mean, his argument in favor of crowdsourcing is basically, "Hey guys, the internet has some cool things that are the result of people working together to contribute," which is all well and good, but its completely devoid of any deeper inspection of how well those things work, or whether its extensible to more important subject matter.

Yiggy
Sep 12, 2004

"Imagination is not enough. You have to have knowledge too, and an experience of the oddity of life."


ryde posted:

How much do you want to bet that he claims that no-one has brought up relevant arguments against his system again, despite having posted a multitude of examples of crowdsourcing failing and explanations as to how it can lead to suboptimal results?

That, or how he found arguments unconvincing. Which is, apparently, never a credible response in the other direction.

ryde
Sep 9, 2011


Even setting that aside, how is a large group dictating things like how much toothpaste I am allowed not tyranny? Are we supposed to just deal with the fact that our freedom is severely limited for the greater good?

melon farmer
Oct 28, 2009

My boy says he can eat fifty eggs, he can eat fifty eggs!


Eripsa posted:

But not every format requires moderation of this sort. Reddit is largely moderated by the crowds up/down voting posts, so that "popularity" has more to do with the end result than moderation. I think in that kind of different structure requires different moderation tactics, and it is often the case that moderators can have a counterproductive result in formats like reddit.

So I don't think you can conclude anything about moderation in general from this. Moderation will work in some formats, and not work in others.

If by "counterproductive" you mean "limiting the amount of racism, misogyny, and surprise sex jokes", and by "not require moderation" you mean "will be a festering pool of poo poo and rear end for lack of it", then yes I think I see your point.

But I have a proof that these problems will totally not happen for larger scale systems like society which goes as follows (but first I must ask you to ignore the bad parts of human nature):

Eripsa
Jan 13, 2002

by Y Kant Ozma Post


Hi fellas, I just got off work. I'll be home in a bit to respond to most of this, but I just want to say:

Slanderer posted:

@Eripsa:

Can you go one page without saying:

open access
digital paradigm
crowdsource

or any other essentially meaningless buzzword, and furthermore, without viewing humanity in the most charitable, historically inaccurate light possible?

I don't consider these to be meaningless buzzwords. This is like asking a biologist to explain evolution without using the words "species" or "reproduction" or the phrase "survival of the fittest". These are essential concepts that give the system substance.

So I am not going to take this challenge, sorry.

If you think these terms are meaningless, or that they don't belong among our human value systems, then we can have that argument. But I am taking these as defining concepts of our age. If that's where you get off the boat, and the last twenty years haven't convinced you otherwise, then I don't know there is anything I can say to change your mind.

ryde
Sep 9, 2011


DMBFan23 posted:

If by "counterproductive" you mean "limiting the amount of racism, misogyny, and surprise sex jokes", and by "not require moderation" you mean "will be a festering pool of poo poo and rear end for lack of it", then yes I think I see your point.

Reddit is a particularly terrible example, because the noise to signal ratio is so high, even if you discount bigotry. Useless memes and pictures are upvoted, and intelligent discourse is not. What few articles meet the outrage bar enough to get to the front page are usually accompanied by hilariously inaccurate headlines and analysis. The prevailing wisdom, even on reddit, is that you have to remove all the popular subreddits and search out the niche subreddits to make it worthwhile. That's basically a vindication of the view that crowds really suck for high-quality judgements, and that smaller, selective groups can provide better decisions. The OP might want to avoid trying to use Reddit to prove his point.

Also, pretty much every social media aggregation site has this problem. Slashdot had it (despite ostensibly being for smart people). Digg had it. Reddit has it now. Hacker News is starting to show signs of this. Something Awful forums also ostensibly have this problem. If you want me to use social networking and social aggregation sites as the benchmark for plausibility, then my reaction is that this system is likely to end poorly.

Eripsa
Jan 13, 2002

by Y Kant Ozma Post


I will be spending the next few hours working on Chapter 3.

If you want to read as I work and edit in real time, you can see the document and leave comments here.

I'm also going to be broadcasting on my streaming channel because wooo internet. You can stop by there and ask questions or harass me in chat or whatever.

Totally doing this live.

Eripsa
Jan 13, 2002

by Y Kant Ozma Post


ryde posted:

If you want me to use social networking and social aggregation sites as the benchmark for plausibility, then my reaction is that this system is likely to end poorly.

I'm not arguing that social networks are a benchmark for plausibility of the system. I'm just arguing that they are evidence of the structure of a digital solution. Distributed, decentralized, participatory.

The social networks you describe do face a number of problems, and those problems do require solutions. One solution is to restrict who can participate network. One solution is the appointment of moderators. One solution is to crowdsource the moderation and let the crowd up/down vote to adjust what is seen by the typical user. These methods will all work or fail to work in different contexts and depending on the situation, but the point is that there ARE solutions to the moderation problem (aka the problem of lovely Human Beings), and we know those problems don't require solutions that violate the basic digital paradigm. Crowdsourced solutions can solve the moderation problem; and the problem itself doesn't necessitate setting up a centralized body with a monopoly on power.

Just real quick, I want to point out that I've never denied the problem of lovely Human Beings, and in fact I have often conceded it is a real problem, and that (just like the internet) my system isn't structured to overcome that problem. I make that concession as a matter of realism, to show that I'm not a wide-eyed idealist about human benevolence, and that I don't think my system is meant to be the salvation of humanity. I have only claimed that my system will solve the coordination problem, and although it accounts for lovely Human Beings it doesn't have any built in protections against them.

In any case, I think it is completely obvious that there ARE decentralized solutions to the moderation problem, and though there are also centralized solutions I think there are some reasons to prefer the decentralized ones.

I do find it quite amusing how many people are quick to jump to shocked accusations of "tyranny of the majority" when I suggest distributed solutions, as if the system we have isn't tyrannical in so many more extreme ways. I was chastised for suggesting that there should be some public check on abuse of resources, with people essentially arguing that they should be able to waste resources without any checks on their abuse whatsoever, just like we do in a proper free country like America! Never mind the fact that our government can steal you from your home in the middle of the night, lock you in an overseas prison, and throw away the key and that not only can they but we know they have done it and will continue doing it and that we have literally no legal protections or any expectation that justice may prevail in such a system now or at any point in the future. But heavens to betsy someone cares if I'm wasting toothpaste why that's wurse than a goolog.

edit:

ryde posted:

Even setting that aside, how is a large group dictating things like how much toothpaste I am allowed not tyranny? Are we supposed to just deal with the fact that our freedom is severely limited for the greater good?

Right now, right this very loving second, your freedoms are severely limited because that's what the wealthy capitalists would prefer. I'm suggesting we take this power out of the hands of the wealthy elite, and putting that power entirely in the hands of the people.

"Let all the people, together, decide what is best, instead of the wealthy few"
"Tyrant!"

T-1000
Mar 28, 2010


Eripsa posted:

So we have the tools and knowhow to extract the ore, and we have a global system of use that depends on that ore. I am suggesting that you make the data of ore usage public so that the people can see its rates of use, and they can see the distribution network that enables that use, and you give them a say in how to monitor and coordinate that use, and you make the system open so they can contribution to that production if they want to.

I am arguing that if enough people recognize the need for that ore, then enough people will be doing enough work to make sure that ore is harvested in the necessary amounts, and that they will do it out of a recognition of the importance of the work without the addition of any external reward. Your argument boils down to the idea that the only way people will to that work is if you bribe them and threaten their lives with it, and I am trying to propose an alternative way of structuring the motivation.

But the rest of the system is in place, all the know how and tools needed to extract that ore already exists. You are saying that humanity will not use the tools it has if we are not being threatened to use them, and that's where I am disagreeing.
Iron ore is an interesting example. It is absolutely essential for our economy, but extracting it is a very unpleasant job. Mining is a difficult, dangerous job that typically occurs in remote places, and usually 24 hours a day. At present you can make $100k a year as a miner or truck driver in Western Australia. And a lot of them fly-in-fly-out - they work at the mine for a few weeks then get flown home for a break, because very few people in their right minds want to live in these places. Some, but not enough. I'm sure there are mines that are closer to civilisation, but I'd wager that few people would want to live there, given the choice of many other places.

This isn't like cleaning the local outhouse for an hour a week. This is living in a place that resembles Mars, working underground, getting covered in dirt and mud, where heat can get to 40 degrees, hundreds of kilometres away from your friends and family. These can't be negotiated around. Money is a serious incentive to overcome this; the Australian navy is haemorrhaging engineers and people with technical skills - both jobs involve hard work in difficult conditions and long periods away from home and family, and one pays a crapton more and lets you go home more often.

You can't just throw money or not-money at mining to make it nicer. You can't automate it all - believe me, we are trying - and I'm going to ignore your strong-AI-will-solve-everything idea because you're better than that sort of handwaving. The trucks and part of the digging can be automated, but not everything. Somebody needs an incentive to get out there and dig this stuff up. A million armchair miners on twitter will be happy to say "we need ore" but until someone gets off their arse nothing is getting done.

I'm sure there are other craptastic jobs that nobody will do out of a sense of duty or necessity, and many of them require years of training. Why would anyone do this? Why not be a kitesurfing instructor or a sculptor or any other job where you go home to your family every day, and live in a place with decent restaurants?

ryde
Sep 9, 2011


Eripsa posted:

The social networks you describe do face a number of problems, and those problems do require solutions. One solution is to restrict who can participate network. One solution is the appointment of moderators. One solution is to crowdsource the moderation and let the crowd up/down vote to adjust what is seen by the typical user. These methods will all work or fail to work in different contexts and depending on the situation, but the point is that there ARE solutions to the moderation problem (aka the problem of lovely Human Beings), and we know those problems don't require solutions that violate the basic digital paradigm. Crowdsourced solutions can solve the moderation problem; and the problem itself doesn't necessitate setting up a centralized body with a monopoly on power.

And our point is that they don't solve the problem. In reddit you have actual moderators and crowd-source moderation. The result is poor. In Slashdot, you had a crowd-sourced meta-moderation group that was selected out of the general users. The result was still poor. On Something Awful, you have appointed moderators. The result is often poor.

In other words, moderation and the problem of lovely human beings is unsolved. That's fine for a website, because you can opt out of visiting the site. It's not good for an economic system that you cannot opt out of.

Eripsa posted:

Just real quick, I want to point out that I've never denied the problem of lovely Human Beings, and in fact I have often conceded it is a real problem, and that (just like the internet) my system isn't structured to overcome that problem. I make that concession as a matter of realism, to show that I'm not a wide-eyed idealist about human benevolence, and that I don't think my system is meant to be the salvation of humanity. I have only claimed that my system will solve the coordination problem, and although it accounts for lovely Human Beings it doesn't have any built in protections against them.

The problem is that you're 1) underestimating the average human's capacity for being lovely and 2) giving lovely Human Beings undue power without proposing any realistic way of handling this. It's one thing to have lovely human beings in a system where you can walk away or otherwise work around them to some degree. Its another to have them in a system where they can control the minutiae of your life. And yes, under the current system, there are certain areas where lovely human beings have undue control over peoples' life. Your solution is to give them more control, and gee-golly hope that crowd-sourcing takes care of it. Forgive me if I'm not too enthusiastic about that option.


Eripsa posted:

In any case, I think it is completely obvious that there ARE decentralized solutions to the moderation problem, and though there are also centralized solutions I think there are some reasons to prefer the decentralized ones.

It is not completely obvious, and you need to stop claiming it is. You're dodging the argument. You have not proven that distributed moderation systems can lead to good enough results to justify granting them high levels of control.

Eripsa posted:

I do find it quite amusing how many people are quick to jump to shocked accusations of "tyranny of the majority" when I suggest distributed solutions, as if the system we have isn't tyrannical in so many more extreme ways.

You haven't established that the tyranny of the current system is worse than the tyranny of the proposed system. We have outlined several ways in which your proposed system is worse. Please stop claiming that your system is better until you address this.

Eripsa posted:

I was chastised for suggesting that there should be some public check on abuse of resources, with people essentially arguing that they should be able to waste resources without any checks on their abuse whatsoever, just like we do in a proper free country like America!

You were chastised for proposing a system that gives undue power for busy-bodies looking to pry into peoples' personal life. Excessive resource usage is undesirable, but eliminating all semblance of privacy and giving people excessive power is worse.

Eripsa posted:

Never mind the fact that our government can steal you from your home in the middle of the night, lock you in an overseas prison, and throw away the key and that not only can they but we know they have done it and will continue doing it and that we have literally no legal protections or any expectation that justice may prevail in such a system now or at any point in the future. But heavens to betsy someone cares if I'm wasting toothpaste why that's wurse than a goolog.

You act as if the people complaining about your system do not also have problems with the current US government's actions. That's called a strawman. We're specifically saying that your solution doesn't make anything better, or at least you haven't made a convincing argument that it does. Its not as if a crowd-sourced solution is going to necessarily be better, given that the current population seems to be largely OK with these things, so long as they're done to "them" and not "us."


Again, keep in mind that we have practical examples in the current system. Any new, hypothetical system has incredible potential to be abused and lower the standard of living. Thus your system cannot simply be hypothetically better, but you must present a very strong argument that it will be better in practice. You have utterly failed to do so.

And no, I don't really think that people micro-managing my toothpaste is going to be an improvement. Please quit assuming people agree with your unsupported assumptions.


Eripsa posted:

Right now, right this very loving second, your freedoms are severely limited because that's what the wealthy capitalists would prefer. I'm suggesting we take this power out of the hands of the wealthy elite, and putting that power entirely in the hands of the people.

Well, I have a retirement account, so that makes me a capitalist, although I'm not wealthy. In both systems my freedom is limited, but in your system my freedom is limited more than in the current system. This is not that hard to understand. If I think I need something, then I can go out and buy it in the current system. No-one is going to come in and tell me that I can't buy it because they don't think I need it. And yes, this assumes that I have money, but surprisingly enough a decent number of people who are not rich still have money, even in this crappy economy. I can purchase things, change my living quarters, move about, find new employment, and pursue my interests without having my decisions meta-analyzed by Redditors or Twitterers.

And yes, the poor are severely limited, but that's why I advocate for strong social safety nets. Coincidentally, that still leaves me with the ability to decide for myself what I should be able to buy and use.

Bringing up capitalists is a dodge. The fact that a decision is arrived at by consensus doesn't mean that decision is somehow automatically fair. The capitalist system isn't perfect and needs serious reform or perhaps even replacement, but not by a system which removes any and all choice in how I can manage my life.


Eripsa posted:

"Let all the people, together, decide what is best, instead of the wealthy few"
"Tyrant!"

"The current system isn't perfect and your freedom is limited in part by your wealth. Let's just take everything away and force you to submit to the will of the majority, regardless of whether its actually good for you. See, it will be good decisions because we crowd-sourced it!"
"Yeah, so you're going to reduce my freedom and hand my personal life to the internet. Not a very good deal for me, even with the current system screwing me over. Also, you're a tyrant."

rudatron
May 31, 2011



Points eripsa has yet to deal with:
  • How to ensure proper incentivization for jobs that need to be done when 'what people want to do =/= what needs to be done to stay alive'.
  • Efficiency concerns with creating a caste of obsessive twitterers, whose goal is to monitor personal consumption.
  • Ethical concerns with creating a caste of obsessive twittereres, whose goal is to monitor personal consumption.
  • Feasibility of technical prerequisites of the system (Highly complex resource distributing AI, heavy automation).
  • Ethics involved in letting civilization crumble if everything isn't perfect and it doesn't follow your own toy economy
Points eripsa has dealt with:
  • Crowdsourcing.
  • Digital Paradigm.
  • Open Access.
  • Social Media
  • Open Source.

ryde
Sep 9, 2011


Has he dealt with the crowdsourcing? I feel he hasn't. He has yet to address how to properly moderate the crowdsource to prevent sub-optimal decisions or ethics violations. I mean, unless you count "assume it will all turn out OK" as addressing it.

rudatron
May 31, 2011



The second list are at worst buzzwords and at most poorly defined in the context of economics

Eripsa
Jan 13, 2002

by Y Kant Ozma Post


T-1000 posted:

You can't automate it all - believe me, we are trying

I completely acknowledge that there are really difficult and dirty jobs out there, that are hard and gross and absolutely essential for the operation of modern life.

I also admit that money is a good way to get people to do things they wouldn't otherwise do. It is a ready made incentive that works for almost anyone, it is anonymous and comes with no baggage, and it can get them to do things that will literally kill themselves and others.

So I agree that there are hard jobs out there that need to be done and without money will be difficult to motivate anyone to do.

But before I say anymore, I need you to admit a few things.

First of all, one of my central points in this thread is that using money as a measure of value is unattached to the real human cost of the resources that money can move. In other words, the extraction of X tons of ore does not represent the fact that X tons of ore is needed, or that anyone wants it. Instead, it only represents the recognition that this ore's value when mined exceeds the cost of mining, and so someone can make a profit off its extraction. If it were not profitable, it would not be extracted.

That was easy enough. This one will be harder.

If the cost of the ore is not related to its usefulness, then it is possible that the amount of ore we should be extracting to solve the coordination problem is different from the amount of ore we are as a matter of fact extracting.

Ok, still with me?

So I want to claim that it is at least possible that, if profit were not an issue, the mining operations we currently undergo could be scaled back in certain ways, or put under fewer deadlines and stresses designed to maximize profits but that have resulted in horrific human and environmental tragedy. Perhaps, if profits were not an issue, we may be able to devote more research into improving the safety of the miners at work, and more development of the automation technologies that will keep them out of harm's way in the future. Maybe we could devote research into ways of harvesting and reusing the ore we have already mined, and research into material alternatives to iron ore. These things usually won't turn a profit, and are ignored or sometimes actively avoided for the sake of profits, but it will keep humans from toil in the mines. Maybe when all those inefficiencies are ironed out, we'll have a task that is manageable enough that a small group of passionate and experienced people can approach it with the support of their technology and for the benefit of the crowd.

And maybe when all the ore that all the willing people have mined is used, and there is still demand for ore, then maybe, just maybe, we will go without ore.

ryde
Sep 9, 2011


I find myself agreeing with most of those points, except when I get to this part:

Eripsa posted:

And maybe when all the ore that all the willing people have mined is used, and there is still demand for ore, then maybe, just maybe, we will go without ore.

The problem with that statement is that it comes with the implicit assumption that we can go without that ore that we demand. If it means that we don't build a super yacht, then I think that most people won't feel that is too much of a loss. If that means we don't have sufficient iron for girders to build a school or hospital, maybe less so. There's the underlying assumption that when the willing people stop, then that is how much is "enough," which doesn't follow from the premises.

Edit:

Er, also missed this:


Eripsa posted:

Maybe when all those inefficiencies are ironed out, we'll have a task that is manageable enough that a small group of passionate and experienced people can approach it with the support of their technology and for the benefit of the crowd.

Yeah, I disagree with that too. There are some jobs out there that people simply don't want to do, no matter how easy you make them. For lack of passion, you have to provide some other incentive. You lost me at the important part.

rudatron
May 31, 2011



Your solution is to literally wish away the problems that come with trying to get people to do undesirable jobs.

Is reclaiming iron or steel from consumer or industrial waste any less of an undesirable job that extracting iron in the first place? Are you actually going to be able to automate iron ore extracting to the point where it's completely comfortable? What do you do in the mean time while it's not?

How likely do you think that achieving this is for iron extracting, and how likely is it going to be for the many, many other jobs that aren't going to get done unless someone gets paid for it? Do you think we can 'get by' with fewer sewage workers without public health concerns? Or should people take fewer dumps?

paumbert
Jul 4, 2007

by Ozmaugh


Best Friends posted:

What I really love here is the supreme irony that Eripsa's plans are failing the only metric Eripsa recognizes as valid - crowdsourcing. Eripsa takes this to mean that in this and only this instance, crowdsourcing itself is showing the deficiencies of the crowd. Crowdsourcing remains, of course, the optimal method for distribution of toothpaste.

@Eripsa please respond to this.

Eripsa
Jan 13, 2002

by Y Kant Ozma Post


ryde posted:

The problem with that statement is that it comes with the implicit assumption that we can go without that ore that we demand. If it means that we don't build a super yacht, then I think that most people won't feel that is too much of a loss. If that means we don't have sufficient iron for girders to build a school or hospital, maybe less so. There's the underlying assumption that when the willing people stop, then that is how much is "enough," which doesn't follow from the premises.

I want to relate this to a point earlier in the discussion:

quote:

If I think I need something, then I can go out and buy it in the current system. No-one is going to come in and tell me that I can't buy it because they don't think I need it. And yes, this assumes that I have money, but surprisingly enough a decent number of people who are not rich still have money, even in this crappy economy. I can purchase things, change my living quarters, move about, find new employment, and pursue my interests without having my decisions meta-analyzed by Redditors or Twitterers.

So a couple of things here.

First, you are correct that in my system won't just let you just buy whatever you want. You can take everything freely with no productive labor demanded in return, but your use of those things must be tracked. The "tracking" I am proposing is done in transparent and publicly accessible ways by decentralized and self-organized assemblies of people that speak for humanity collectively-- at least, that's the ideal-- and so is not in the hands of a secretive cabal of powerful elites who are exploiting the system for their private gain. Whether that part of it, the truly democratic and open part, is possible is also an open question, but let's assume it is for this argument. You can use a good, and the only "exchange" for access to that good is your privacy, because your use of the good is registered as a public item of interest.

You see this view and you say, No! I want to buy whatever I want, and I don't think it is anyone's business what I buy or don't buy. And yeah that means we need social safety nets and other provisions for the less fortunate, but I want to consume whatever I, and money lets me do it!

I think that is an unfortunate view, and I'm caricaturing it a bit, but I basically have the objection. I think we are understanding each other, at least on this point. And I think this is just a difference of opinion.

As I've argued, and you claimed to agree with this, money isn't tied to the value of the resource. So if we let everyone buy whatever they want, then they will rig the system in such a way as to increase their personal luxury at the expense and suffering of those at the bottom, and they will surprise sex and destroy the environment, and they will encourage war and famine and torture and slavery and abuse and oppression if it pads their already hefty wallets, and that unless you have money too then well we can't really do anything to stop them. We know for a fact money does these things. And you are saying that you would rather have the freedom to buy whatever you want with no checks on your behavior, even if that purchasing power will threaten the sustainability of civilization itself. Because these are literally the stakes here, humanity, and you will know this if you've been paying any attention at all.

So I am forced to say for basic humanitarian reasons that, no, sorry, you can't just buy whatever you want, and that there need to be checks on the resources you use, because there are a lot of us here who need those resources too and we need to loving share. Because we have enough stuff to go around but only if we share. But sharing is anathema to Capital, and I don't buy the bullshit arguments in this thread that sharing is contrary to human nature because gently caress you, learn some science. You don't want to share because you like your little pile of worthless shekels, not because the masses couldn't possible bear to do anything without them. If you actually think you earned them, and that by earning them you deserve the right to live, then gently caress you again. And I'm sorry that it violates your preferred consumption patterns, and I'm sorry if it will make your exceedingly comfortable life slightly less comfortable, but we need to be adults because we have actual problems to deal with, and you have no more right to food than any other person on this planet. There are sensible, straightforward ways to redistribute the resources to accommodate all 7 billion of us, and we know we have the production capacity to do it, and we have all the people with all the knowhow and all their combined brilliance who are all very clearly willing to help out with this whole "working together" thing. So we need to actually, you know, do it, instead of fooling ourselves that the interests and motivation of profit will ever solve this problem for us, or that the solution for these problems will be found in the market that generates them, and we need to quit believing that we are doomed to failure anyway so who gives a poo poo.

So I am proposing that we all share and get along, and I'm basically (not at all but basically) saying that all it takes is sharing your data without any other requirement on you do contribute to or participate in that system in order to meet your basic needs, and you look at that system and say NO! Too much oppression! My privacy is so important to me that I will risk the sustainability of the planet in order to protect it! I have to disagree.

I think there is some space for privacy. I'll talk about that more in the story. I think that space is relatively small, but I think there is some space for it. For instance, I think that aggregate use patterns would probably best be anonymous, so that as a member of the public I'm not getting a list of what you in particular ate, but a list of, maybe, the eating patterns of everyone in the city, or on your block, or something, but not tied to you as an individual. But having that data available means tracking all of it. But I think that the collective has a pretty big stake in making sure the system is sustainable, and that cuts against your right to privacy to such a substantial degree that your claim to it is diminishingly small. I think it gets increasingly smaller the more clear it becomes that sustainability rests on total information awareness. I know TIA sounds big brother, and it is. I think in any other situation TIA would be intolerable. But I think a genuinely open access TIA could work. It would require a change of values (which is the hardest part for the imagination to grapple with, I know) but I think it could work.

Anyway, this is a good discussion. The "gently caress yous" weren't directed at you in particular, if that wasn't clear, they were entirely rhetorical. I appreciate your questions a bunch.

Eripsa
Jan 13, 2002

by Y Kant Ozma Post


rudatron posted:

Your solution is to literally wish away the problems that come with trying to get people to do undesirable jobs.

No. I have been answering the questions you have. You don't think my view is plausible, and that's fine. But I'm tired of people saying that I've not addressed this or that point, because I'm obviously putting effort into this and responding to questions. Asking a question doesn't require AN EXASPERATED TONE THAT IMPLIES THAT YOU HAVE NOT THOUGHT OF THIS BRILLIANT POINT I AM MAKING AND THEREFORE MUST BE AN IDIOT AND SUCH AN IDIOT THAT I DONT EVEN HAVE TO MAKE THE POINT MYSELF BECAUSE YOU ARE STUPID AND PROBABLY INSANE. Let's talk like people.

I forgot to add in my previous post that, since iron ore is incredibly loving useful and appears in everything, that everyone who pays attention to iron-ore-derived products will ultimately be shooting marbles at the iron-ore miners, who will be insanely popular and influential as a result. In particular, in decisions about how iron is used (which are big, important decisions that affect everyone), the people whose ideas are most heavily weighted by the Attention Economy system are exactly those people who put in all the days and hard work into producing and distributing that ore. In other words, while they don't reap the benefits of cash money dollars, and their access to their basic needs are entirely met even if they hadn't done this job, this does not mean they have not reaped benefits from their work. Their work entitles them, in my system, some measure of privilege and influence in the system; and that influence is directly proportional to the importance of the work they put into it.

I don't think this is trivial, but it's not the kind of thing that can be measured in dollars either so I don't know if it will resonate.

Eripsa
Jan 13, 2002

by Y Kant Ozma Post


paumbert posted:

@Eripsa please respond to this.

The criticism is that I've failed by the merits of my own system. I don't see how that speaks against the system. While it is very apparent that so many of you have demonstrated so little understanding of the view I'm trying to describe, I take that first as a sign that I'm not articulating the idea well, and second that none of you are putting much effort into understanding what I have articulated. I'm not really sure how much the latter depends on the former, but they are surely not unrelated.

I don't think the idea has failed yet; I think it is floating just fine, and I haven't run into any unexpected objections yet. I think I have answers to the objections that have been raised, and if I haven't articulated them well enough I am trying to do better. This thread hasn't shown the idea to be completely broken, and it has done a good job at showing where the stress points are so I can make sure that next time I'm better prepared to answer them. That's what I'm getting out of the thread at least, and I am finding it productive. Thank y'all for helping.

Your implication, of course, is that the failure of this system to be popular is a refutation of the system itself, but that doesn't follow. I have said repeatedly that my system doesn't guarantee that good ideas rise to the top, and there is certainly nothing in the system that suggests that I will do particular well in it. It isn't the inevitable result that an attention economy would be popular in an attention economy.

But again, my goal was not to create the most popular system in the world. My goal was to solve the resource distribution problem.

Eripsa
Jan 13, 2002

by Y Kant Ozma Post


Eripsa posted:

This thread hasn't shown the idea to be completely broken

A lot of people have called me crazy in this thread, but as far as I can tell, only one person has called the idea fundamentally broken.

So I would like, very clearly, from the skeptics, or better from someone who otherwise hasn't read a goddamned page of this awful thread, to address the following question:

Can the values of digital culture be applied to economics? Should they?

It is a question fitting for this thread, and I would have thought the answer is at least a tentative yes. But evilweasel seems to think that the very idea is so utterly moronic as to not be worth discussion. I think that this is yet another example of a personal attack derailing and confusing a discussion about an issue where there might be legitimate disagreement and discussion, and you would expect someone like that would not be a moderator of a loving debate and discussion forum.

So I want to ask what the thread thinks, completely independent of any idea I've proposed. Is it moronic to think that digital values (and not just digital products) will have consequences for how we structure our economy?

Eripsa
Jan 13, 2002

by Y Kant Ozma Post


Somewhat related to this thread: academia is undergoing a minor revolt against private journal publishers with a revolt against Elseviers and a growing demand for open access journals.

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rudatron
May 31, 2011



Except that we don't even think about the usage of iron ore in our day to day lives. And why should we? Why should I have to 'like' iron production constantly in order to keep the economy running? You're still presupposing that 'attention == demand' which isn't necessarily the case, and something you haven't actually made a cogent argument towards.

How much attention do you actually pay to sewage workers? Is that going to be enough to motivate enough people to take care of this public utility?

Unless you're supposing that the 'marbling' is completely automated, and as such requires advancements in image object recognition far, far beyond what we actually have. Which is basically the same 'computers' handwave you've been using since the beginning.

Which is just wishing the problem away.

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