Re: The meta-invisible hand

The Low Golden Willow (
Tue, 23 Sep 1997 19:14:17 -0700 (PDT)

On Sep 22, 12:31am, Max More wrote:

} >there another way than an IRS to create and maintain a Guaranteed Income
} >floor (which I recommend in the book, on the same grounds as Mr Willow)?
} Yes, promote widespread stock ownership. It's happening without prompting,

For those who think I'm turning into a socialist, I have thought of this
myself, and am not sure why I didn't mention it myself. It's obviously
the most gradual transition, and theoretically should handle any
population explosion problem -- parents have to think about passing on
their capital (if mortal) or saving enough dividends to accumulate a new
reserve for their children.

I think the Culture's population control method is social
pressure/fashion; it's gauche to have lots of kids. It can be done
anyway, but the Culture can afford the occasional large family and if
you believe humans are largely determined by education than those kids
are no more likely to have large families of their own, or at least the
evolutionary pressure has not been visible in 11,000 years. But like
I've said, I don't read Banks for believable economics.

John Clark claimed that this wouldn't provide really guaranteed income.
In case of war, yes, but if you own power, material, and factories, and
people remain civilized, the sudden advent of picotech, say, shouldn't
hamper you. You have the same power supply, property, stuff, and tools
as before. The catch, I suppose, would be stock in a small slice of the
economy, and losing your trading partners; or a small slice of stock in
a factory, which went out of business somehow.

} I wouldn't have a problem with tax incentives to promote wider stock
} ownership. (That just means taking less away from people who invest.)

Those don't already exist? I've heard the left say capital faces lower
taxes than labor. A different concern: do taxes favor low dividend
stock which rises in price over stable stock that issues continuous

Of course, tax structures can be affected by attitudes, which I mentioned
I was trying to change. For the Singularitarians out there, the
attitudes of whoever makes an SI (what did that stand for again?) will
probably affect its values and behavior, through design, copying, or
counter-reaction. There are people here who's child-SI would probably
happily view humans as simple feedstock. Even people who say they think
that'd be a bad thing could cause that, through seeing it as inevitable
and not worth fighting. If an SI pops up 8.5 years from now like Dan
Clemmensen claims I'd much rather it resemble a Culture Mind, and treat
us indulgently, than a Vinge Power, and treat us callously.

Although it occurred to me that the Powers beyond the Powers actually
must be more like Minds than I thought. If the Zones were set up to
protect and nurture newcomers, and not a side-effect of an old war, then
the High Powers also thought putting aside material to come up with
new random diversity was worthwhile. But they didn't want to hang
around us in the meantime, whereas Minds are happy to have humans as
"passengers, pets, and parasites", probably interacting with them the
way we play postal chess, or raise plants.

Merry part,
-xx- Damien R. Sullivan X-) <*>

A dream of a meme
is a wonderful theme
or so we always do deem;
But a ream in a beam
causes termites to teem
or so it to me does seem.