Re: POL: Extropianism and Politics

Michael Lorrey (
Fri, 19 Mar 1999 20:20:39 -0500 wrote:

> Mike,
> 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.

Yes, under the current system the only way to opt out is to immigrate to somewhere else (unless there is nowhere that has the sort of system you want, then you are SOL). However the trend in gated communities is I think indicative of a widespread desire to balkanize, as is the school voucher idea. If a person wishes to opt out of the services a government or PPL provides, they should be free to do so and should have that portion of their tax bill deducted from the whole. If they want to send their kids to a private school, or school them at home, they should not have to pay the taxes that would have gone to that purpose. If they are not satisfied with the level of police protection, they should be able to hire their own security services, or, as Vinge's ungoverned would say "go armadillo", completely self reliant.

> 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.

There should be an option for that on a ballot, as well as for "neither".

> 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?

I think that any upload or AI should have some sort of encrypted unique key, so that if another copy was made, it couldn't register a duplicate key, and would need a new one issued. I don't see there being a problem with merging personalities back together, as the two will become separate individuals pretty quickly. Merging them back together would only be possible in making them into a borganism, which would be a new personality entirely.

> 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.

A Borganism is a corporate entitiy with one vote with respect to its relationship with society. Each 'person' in the collective only has a vote within the collective....

> 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.

My answer is TOUGH. Their action in dividing, if they seek more votes, was obviously for political purposes and in my mind is tantamount to voter fraud. Its kind of like getting residency in more than one jurisdiction and voting in all of them.

> "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.

The market is definitely a political system where resources have a vote, in dollar units. There is the concept of funding government by vote lottery like I mentioned recently, where say I put up a referendum that we need one more attack submarine, at a cool $1 billion. I need to fund that mandate, so I post a lottery in conjunction with, say, a guy who thinks we need another stealth bomber instead. People can buy tickets to the lottery for a year's period or so, voting either for the sub or the bomber. When $1 billion in tickets have been sold, a winning ticket is drawn, and whatever piece of equipment the winner voted for gets the billion bucks....

> 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.

Strength of position may be measured by whether or not the law is conflicting with an article of the Constitution, or how many years the old law has been in effect, etc The strength of attack and defense might also be measured by people putting a rating on their vote, not just a yea or nay. I might be defending a law I feel so strongly about that I put a 10 rating on it, but the two people opposing me only put a 4 rating on their resolve. Their rating comes up at 8 while mine is 10 and I still win even though outnumbered....

   Michael Lorrey, President
                        Lorrey Systems
"A society which trades freedom for some measure of security
shall wind up with neither."   -----Benjamin Franklin

"The tree of Liberty should be watered from time to time
with the blood of tyrants and patriots."
                               -----Thomas Jefferson
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