Re: POL: Extropianism and Politics
Fri, 19 Mar 1999 18:47:30 EST


Glad you liked some of my musings. You suggested that a way to deal with the loss of concensus was to have a way for dissenters to opt out. I have also contemplated this as a compromise measure, but I'm not sure this would then be a concensus. True, if all parties were agreed that a separation into two or more separate groups were the best course of action, then we would maintain a concensus as to the way to deal with disagreement (we all agree that those who think this way should be over here, and those who think that way should be over there). However, what if someone who originally was a part of the concensus changes their mind, decides that they want to do things differently. In your scenario, there would be a means of having that person
"opt out", but what if that person doesn't want to do so? What if they say,
"This is my home, this is where everything and everyone I care about is. I'm
not going anywhere....if you don't like the way I've decided to do things,
then you leave!" Well, the majority could decide for the sake of tranquility to simply let this group be, acquiesce as it were. But what if the disagreement was on something fundamental which impacted everyone? I guess what I am saying is, sometimes people aren't willing to budge, in any way, shape or form. At this point the concensus ceases to exist.

BTW, I find the "I don't care either way option" interesting, sort of granting special permission for others to decide, but not letting it be assumed.

As for the residency requirement, I think it might work in some cases, but not all that I described. What if you could make a perfect emulation of someone? Which is the original, and which is the copy? Which gets to claim all the years of residency before the copying occurred? Or do you give up all your voting rights if you are duplicated for a certain number of years? And what of the Borganism which was twelve thousand separate voters until a few months ago? Does it get all those votes? Does it get any at all? After all, the Borganism wasn't a resident, all of them were. I think the identity problem is still there. In the cases of clearly definable duplicates, you might be able to impose a residency requirement successfully (especially if it were some long time such as ten years), but I can see people complaining that you are discriminating, and that since they have all the same memories and experiences of the home state/city/political unit, and are effected by any laws passed or people elected, then they have just as much right and ability to vote. Unfortunately, I haven't thought of a satisfying answer to this question yet.

"Resources do not have rights." - I agree they do not; I guess I was using them as a gauge of the amount of resources that would voluntarily be available for any enterprise voted on. I don't really like this concept, but it was the clearest alternative I could see to a head count, which might get confusing in the near future. Of course, trying to quantify resources might be as daunting a task if we take all forms of wealth and ability into account.

As for defenders, much of their advantage dissipates if they are not expecting an attack....this is the offense's great strength, the ability to choose when, where, and if a fight will occur. It is true that in our mock battle of voting, the defense gives up its strong position, but the offense gives up the element of surprise. I don't know which, if either, is the greater loss of advantage.