Re: Constitution v2.0

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Sun, 10 Aug 1997 19:31:55 -0500

John K Clark wrote:
> On Fri, 08 Aug 1997 "Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" <> Wrote:
> >Whoa! Each person votes for 1 Legislator. There aren't "races" of
> >two alternatives; there are 500 alternatives and everybody votes for
> >one.
> So as I understand it, everybody could vote for anybody and the top 500 vote
> getters are elected. You can be certain that sports heroes, game show hosts
> and soap opera actors would be in this select group, even if they didn't want
> to be and had no wish to be in the legislature.

Not at all; I didn't say anything about electing people without their
permission. That's no better than jury duty. Besides, the sports heroes,
game show hosts, and soap opera actors can become Guardians, or maybe Lesser
Guardians or Guardians-At-Large. That's what the House of Decoys is for.

> Also, you can forget about
> the secret ballet, who voted for who would have to be a matter of public
> record so they'd know where to send the bill to in case your man makes a fool
> of himself and actually votes for something.

Is the amount you now pay in taxes a matter of public record? I don't see how
this changes anything. [Just completed my 1040 - you think you have it bad, I
didn't even get to vote!]

> Lots of people would get tired
> of paying for things their fool representative did years ago, and feel
> resentment knowing that their neighbor doesn't pay a dime, they'd move,
> change their name and disappear, even more would refuse to vote at all.

People evade our mandatory taxes; I don't see how having a say in the matter
would make things worse. And if people don't vote at all, they (might) still
have to pay for military spending or some such.

> If I was forced to vote I'd vote for myself because I'd know I wouldn't win,
> or I'd go for a Casper Milktoast who vowed to collect his salary, sit on his
> ass and not do one damn thing.

Gee, I guess the government wouldn't spend much, then.

> >So no more pork
> Absolutely true, no more spending of any kind. Come to think of it, your idea
> isn't so bad after all.

"He has discovered our secret!"
"Now we must kill him."

Yes, EXACTLY, that's the whole POINT, make it almost impossible for the
government to spend money unless there's some overwhelmingly urgent cause -
like an invasion - urgent enough that everyone DEMANDS to spend their own
money on it.

--       Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

Disclaimer:  Unless otherwise specified, I'm not telling you
everything I think I know.