Re: POL: Extropianism and Politics

Michael Lorrey (
Sun, 21 Mar 1999 11:21:37 -0500 wrote:

> Mike,
> Some interesting ideas you've brought up here....
> Balkanization - I agree that some level of having people be able to opt for
> competing service providers and societies could exist in the same geographical
> region. This shifts the majority of functions of big government to small
> and/or distributed government, which I think might be quite useful. However,
> there would still be a need to have some overall social
> system/organization/government to deal with interactions between these quasi-
> governments and between those who subscribe to different systems. It would
> not have to be a huge government, but it would have to be effective, otherwise
> you would likely end up with the usual situation in a Balkanized area, The
> Balkans Wars.
> Ballot option for neither? Okay, but what then do you do if neither wins?
> Not that this is an unsurmountable problem, I'm just interested as to which
> solution/solutions you would suggest.

If neither wins, then you hold a new election, disqualifying the losers of the previous. Or you could say "If neither was picked, then obviously nobody cares enough that the job gets done, so we'll leave the position open."

> Uploads with unique encryption keys? This would provide an artificial
> difference where one may not (initially) exist. And while I agree that they
> are separate individuals at the first aware movement, they are still likely to
> think a heck of a lot alike on broad issues for a long time to come. In fact,
> the one big political difference that I see might develop between copies and
> originals in using this system could be voting rights for copies. And what do
> you do with destructive uploading? If only one upload is made, with all the
> same memories, experiences, and opinions as the original, does this person
> lose voting rights until they have established their residency post-upload?
> If you do say they get to keep pre-upload voting rights, then how is this
> equitable to uploads from non destructive techniques. And what of creation of
> multiple uploads at the same instant from a destructive upload? I'm not
> saying that you're wrong in your approach....honestly I don't know what the
> best way to answer these questions are yet, and I'm trying to work my way
> through it. In that respect, your comments on the issue are really helpful,
> and I thank you for them.

I think that there should be only one vote allowed until the new copies either establish a regonized maturity point (I doubt that an upload will be fully concious and capable for a period afterward. They need to learn to use new interfaces, etc.) or a residency status. If I make a dozen copies of myself, I will have to pay for the cost of those duplications however they are done, as well as maintenance and training fees to bring the new copies up to speed, until they gain residency. This is all assuming, of course, that there is in fact a government around at this point in time, in which case the government can treat any copies more than one as voter fraud, or limit the number of copies you can make to one a year or so....and put a nice long residency period on uploaded personalities. Apply some child labor laws on them, so you can't use them to make money with, etc. Making it nice and expensive will help reduce the problem. This might not dissuade the superrich or even the merely wealthy, but it will put a nice choke on high reproduction of uploads of lesser performers and lower intelligences. This might sound elitist, so what I am in my own way elitist, but I'm an equal opportunity elitist.

> I agree that division into multiple copies solely for the purpose of voting
> amounts to voter fraud, but the sticky part is figuring out if the division
> occurred for that purpose. This is where the residency requirement will be
> most useful, since the longer you have to have existed in that area, the less
> likely someone did it just to influence a vote. I suppose my main concern is
> that people do not lose their vote simply because for unrelated reasons it is
> best for them to divide (or just upload) near the time of a vote. Maybe the
> best way to deal with this would be to combine the residency restriction with
> the following rule: Anyone multiplying their mind after the residency deadline
> still gets one vote, but who gets to vote in that election must be determined
> before the actual multiplication (If only a single mind will exist as in a
> destructive upload, then that entity gets the vote by default). For example,
> let's say that I won a free non-destructive upload in a promotional campaign,
> but it is only good for a month and there is an important vote coming up in a
> month and a half. I am still trying to make up my mind on some of the issues.
> What I might decide to do is cede my vote to my upload for this election,
> since he'll be able to process this stuff a lot faster than me, and I trust
> his inherited judgement. Or I could decide to keep it myself if I feel that
> my upload might develop an opinion that I would not support, given the
> difference in perspective. But there would only be one vote, and the
> premultiplication person (who definitely would have qualified to vote) can
> basically decide what to do with their proxy.

Yes good ideas

> Borganisms with one vote....I suppose it depends on how closely integrated the
> Borganism is. I can envision a whole spectrum of Borganization. What if the
> Borganism is capable of having more than one opinion? It might have sixty
> percent of itself that leans toward one approach, and forty percent that lean
> toward another. Do those members of the Borganism lose their voices?

Well, a coporatation is sort of a loose borganism (though only for 8 hours of a person's day). The employees and stockholders each have a vote in the surrounding society, but the corporation has none. A labor union is, conversly, a tighter borganism, but only with respect to the company, and with respect to the union financially supporting politicians it likes. In neither case do these two borganisms have votes in the surrounding society.

I doubt that a true networked and aware borganism would tolerate independent opinions or even personalities for its members, and I expect that given an initial number of members, it will take some time for the borganism to become self aware with members linked up, and if members are separated from the group, it will take them some time to reassert their personalities, so I doubt that you will see a borganism divest its membership specifically for an election. In this case, a borganism gets one vote.

> Of course, you could also make the argument that we are all, in a sense,
> Borganisms with the various sections of our brain working both independently
> (subconsciously) and interlinked (consciously), and even consciously I can be
> of two minds on a subject.

Parts of my body cannot exist without the others as self aware units. While there might be a case for giving a vote to either hemisphere of your brain, its quite risky and unnatural to separate them purely for political reasons, even assuming that they would vote the same way.

While it is seen as good to be able to understand and sympathize with two opposing points of view, in the final analysis, there really is only one objective truth. Continuing to sympathize with and support a side which opposes and refuses to acknowledge an objective thruth when one knows better, just because of 'feelings' is not the mark of an intelligent and rational person.

Members of a borganism were originally self aware, intelligent, independent organisms.

> Often I would like to be able to instead of making
> an all or nothing choice on various candidates, be able to rank them as to
> their various desirability. That way if part of me likes one candidate, but
> most of me likes another, I can throw proportionate support to both, and then
> it will depend on how many other people's parts agree with my various parts.
> Of course, I can envision doing this right now since we can roughly quantify
> every single voter as making up 100% of a Borganism, and each voter having
> aproximately the same amount of processors in their Borganism, therefore we
> can simply have each voter weigh the various choices with a percentage, with
> all percentages equally 100% for that voter. Actually, I believe that this
> suggestion is akin to your suggestion that people be able to weigh their votes
> depending how passionately they feel on the subject if we throw in those other
> choices of either or neither. Example: Well, I think this position is right,
> but I'm don't feel strongly about it, so I'll give position 1 50%, position 2
> 0%, the either choice 50%, the neither choice 0%, and 0% for my write-in
> choice as I really don't have any alternatives to suggest at this time. This
> way I throw some support to position 1, but I help ensure that the issue is
> settled on this ballot, no matter what the outcome. Not sure that I would
> vote this way, but some people might on an issue. Also, we could say that
> people get a certain amount of weighing that they can attach to their votes
> each year, but that it is finite. For example, say you get an extra 100
> percentage point pool that can be added to any vote in any percentage, but
> once used up it is gone until you get more the next year. These points could
> disappear if they are not used year by year, or they could be accumulated
> (although I can see this accumulation leading to an advantage for one issue
> special interests as they could save up points to use only on the issue they
> care about). I guess the real question should be, how do you calculate how
> many points a Borganism should have?


> Also, since a Borganism could conceivably make up a large proportion of your
> society's cognitive resources, if we go on the theory that voting is the best
> way to make decisions because it brings a large amount of parallel processing
> to the problem being voted on, then wouldn't you be weighing the contribution
> of the Borganism (which would likely be massively parallel, just better
> interconnected) way too little? And as far as effect goes, if a Borganism in
> your voting district comprises most of the population (for example, those
> twelve thousand people who merged into our Borganism are still semi-
> autonomous, and distinct physically), then wouldn't the Borganism be
> disproportionately effected by any ballot initiative?

No. Allowing a broganism to carry excessive weight in a vote will excessively repress the rights of representation of the unassimilated individuals. Say a society says "Ok, borganisms are ok and can exist, but can only assimilate members that freely choose to join." The next year Borgansim Aleph has 51% of the members of a society, and the borganism brings up a ballot measure that forces all remaining members to join the borganism. It obviously has a majority control, but this is more indicative that the borganism has effectively balkanized itself from the others, so the others should be free to have their own government free of the borganism's influence. In the end, I think that borganisms should be treated as balkanized peoples, citizens of their own little voluntary tyranny.

> Say that ninety percent
> of the population are linked in the Borganism, but it only has one vote. The
> Borganism votes for one candidate, but fifty-one percent of the remaining ten
> percent of the population votes for the other candidate. Now this Borganism
> is (or should I say, members of the Borganism are) being represented by
> someone that only about five percent of the bodies in the district supported.

You are assuming that the members of the borganism still have independent personalities. They do not, so they have no individual rights, other than the right to be liberated from the borganism if they so choose.

> Funding mandates, I like this fact, go check out my post on Flat
> Taxes and check out the section on Philanthropic expenditures. I suppose we
> could extend the concept to include Infrastructure expenditures as well. I
> guess my question on the idea of a lottery would be why have a random element.
> Why not simply say we have the following options which take equivelent funds,
> you can vote with your funds for which one you want, with a direct
> contribution to vote ratio. As soon as the vote reaches the amount needed to
> fund one of these options, the one which received the most money gets it all.
> You could set this up as a cascade, so that the losing propositions could then
> be paired against each other and have the process continue until either no one
> is willing to pay for any of them or they all get paid. Of course, this in no
> way guarantees that smart decisions will be made, only ones that people are
> willing to pay for. But ain't that always the case?

I forgot to include my motivator. Using it as a lottery, you could say that x percent of the funds issued are prize money to the winning ticket. Since government only produces 57 cents on the dollar, you could say that such ballot lotteries could offer up to, say, 40% of the funds raised as a lottery prize. Of course you could place the percentage at a lower level, but the point is to keep the lottery mechanism functioning as a more efficient means of raising funds for community projects than using a big government bureaucracy, while motivating people to participate.

   Michael Lorrey, President
                        Lorrey Systems
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