Author Topic: Voting VS Spending  (Read 3650 times)

Voting VS Spending
« on: May 13, 2018, 12:28:01 PM »
Here's a list of books...

The Origin Of Species
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
The Handmaid’s Tale
A Tale of Two Cities
50 Shades of Grey
Principia
The Bible
War and Peace
A Theory of Justice
The Cat in the Hat
The Wealth of Nations
The Hunger Games

Imagine if this list was sorted by a bunch of college students. One group of students would use voting to rank the books while another group would use spending.  To be clear, the spenders wouldn’t be buying the books, they would simply be using their money to express and quantify their love for each book. All the money they spent would be used to crowdfund this experiment.

How differently would the voters and the spenders sort the books?  In theory, the voters would elevate the trash while the spenders would elevate the treasure. This would perfectly explain the exact problem with Google, Youtube, Netflix, Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, Medium and all the other sites where content is ranked by voting. Democracy is a major obstacle to the maximally beneficial evolution of society and its creations. Of course I might be wrong.

Evidence is something that all reasonable people expect.  Reasonable people expect medicine to be supported by evidence.  Reasonable people expect executions to be supported by evidence.  Reasonable people expect evolution to be supported by evidence.  Reasonable people expect love to be supported by evidence.   Reasonable people expect important things to be supported by evidence.  So when it comes to democracy... where are all the reasonable people?   Where's the expectation for evidence that voting is more effective than spending?

Naturally some, or even most, of you will be very inclined to try and justify/explain/defend democracy.  But if you do so, please acknowledge the fact that your defense is not based on any evidence that voting is more effective than spending.  Since your belief in the effectiveness of democracy isn't based on evidence, it must be supported by faith.  You trust that democracy is correlated with abundance.

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Re: Voting VS Spending
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2018, 12:58:10 PM »
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In theory, the voters would elevate the trash while the spenders would elevate the treasure.
Oh?
"Observe that noses were made to wear spectacles; and so we have spectacles. Legs were visibly instituted to be breeched, and we have breeches" Voltaire�s Candide

Re: Voting VS Spending
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2018, 01:07:05 PM »
Don't moviegoers vote with their dollars resulting in the types of movies that are currently being produced?
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Re: Voting VS Spending
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2018, 01:40:30 PM »
Democracy is inherently mob rule.

Online Shiranu

Re: Voting VS Spending
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2018, 01:57:23 PM »
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Oh?

Yeah, that seems like a pretty dubious claim.
I've Got Love, Fuck Your Money.

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Re: Voting VS Spending
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2018, 03:10:51 PM »
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Don't moviegoers vote with their dollars resulting in the types of movies that are currently being produced?
X = the amount of money that you've spent on your favorite movie
Y = the amount of money that you would spend on it if you could earmark your Netflix subscription dollars to it

Is Y greater than X?  If so, how much greater is it? 

Buying and earmarking are different things.  With buying, the more expensive the movie is, the more profitable piracy becomes.  Creating a perfect copy of a movie is a lot easier than creating a perfect copy of a steak.  When it comes to digital goods, buying is an inherently defective system.

If you could earmark your Netflix fees, then you really wouldn't be buying movies and shows.  You'd simply be using your Netflix fees to quantify your valuation of the content.  If you really love the BBC show Planet Earth II, then in one year you could earmark around $100 dollars to it. 

Since buying and earmarking are very different systems, naturally they distribute money very differently.  It stands to reason that the earmarking distribution of dollars would far more accurately reflect the distribution of love.  Consumers would essentially be far more honest with producers and this would greatly improve the supply of shows and movies.

Let me try and put it as simply as possible.  With buying you want to hide your love.  You want to pay the lowest amount possible for movie tickets and DVDs.  But with earmarking there's absolutely no reason to hide your love.  The amount of money consumers earmark to content will accurately reflect their love, which will result in a more lovable supply of content. 
« Last Edit: May 13, 2018, 03:13:17 PM by Xerographica »
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Offline Baruch

Re: Voting VS Spending
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2018, 03:18:16 PM »
Well, different generations would rank books or other media, differently.  That is part of the variety in history that keeps it interesting.  At one time, the only two books literate English people had in their homes, were the Bible and Pilgrim's Progress.  That is why Franklin invented the lending library.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2018, 08:30:37 PM by Baruch »
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Re: Voting VS Spending
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2018, 03:40:53 PM »
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Imagine if this list was sorted by a bunch of college students. One group of students would use voting to rank the books while another group would use spending.

So you'd just end up with two groups of drunk college students and no books.

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tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. -Plato

Offline trdsf

Re: Voting VS Spending
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2018, 12:31:19 PM »
You can still use your money to make your preferences clear -- when I got my Netflix membership, I sought out a place to leave feedback so that they knew I not only was joining to support their decision to carry the new MST3K, but that they were getting my money even though as a Kickstarter, I was getting all the new episodes in HD anyway and didn't actually need their service to see it.  Since Netflix has picked MST3K up for another season without the fans resorting to a Kickstarter campaign, obviously I wasn't the only one.

Also, don't forget that once you've paid your membership fee, you do engage in earmarking.  I have no doubt that Netflix keeps track of exactly what gets watchlisted, how often, where, and by whom.  And since the membership fee is a flat rate, it makes no difference to your wallet whether you mark a single program, or hundreds.
Sir Terry Pratchett, on being told about the theory that the universe is a computer simulation: "If we all get out and in again, would it start to work properly this time?"

Re: Voting VS Spending
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2018, 07:36:15 PM »
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You can still use your money to make your preferences clear -- when I got my Netflix membership, I sought out a place to leave feedback so that they knew I not only was joining to support their decision to carry the new MST3K, but that they were getting my money even though as a Kickstarter, I was getting all the new episodes in HD anyway and didn't actually need their service to see it.  Since Netflix has picked MST3K up for another season without the fans resorting to a Kickstarter campaign, obviously I wasn't the only one.

Also, don't forget that once you've paid your membership fee, you do engage in earmarking.  I have no doubt that Netflix keeps track of exactly what gets watchlisted, how often, where, and by whom.  And since the membership fee is a flat rate, it makes no difference to your wallet whether you mark a single program, or hundreds.
I truly wish Netflix had more nature shows and more economics shows.  Right now Netflix has several nature shows but barely any economics shows. I perceive that it's a big problem that there's a severe scarcity of economics shows. How I earmark my fees should accurately reflect my perception.

Imagine an army scout who discovers a battalion of enemy soldiers. When he returns to his base he doesn't report his discovery. We should all intuitively appreciate that this soldier is defective. He had very important information but he didn't share it with his fellow soldiers. So as a result, his fellow soldiers are going to be inefficiently allocated. In other words, there's going to be a big disparity between where they are, and where they should be. There's going to be a seriously faulty distribution, all because the scout didn't share very important information with his unit.

Let me hedge my bets by putting it in terms of bees. Samantha the bee discovers a huge flower patch of Aloes. She automatically and naturally estimates the value/benefit/profitability/importance/relevance/usefulness of the patch. Her estimate is in terms of her precious calories. If, when she returns to the hive, she doesn't report her discovery/estimate to the rest of the hive, then we should all intuitively appreciate that she's a defective bee. Because she didn't share her important information, the hive's labor will be suboptimally divided. Again... faulty distribution.

Netflix has over 100 million subscribers who live all over the world. Presumably all these subscribers have eyes and brains. They all gather and process information about their environment. According to my own eyes and brains, economics is extremely important... so it's a huge problem that Netflix barely has any shows about economics. If I don't report this, then I am a defective subscriber... and again... faulty distribution. Sure, I can e-mail Netflix and make the case that they should have a lot more economics shows. But if this was truly an effective/efficient way for people to share their perceptions with each other, then what would we need markets for?
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Offline Baruch

Re: Voting VS Spending
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2018, 07:47:30 PM »
Netflix and all the rest, and most economics "education" is propaganda by the Oligarchy.
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Offline Draconic Aiur

Re: Voting VS Spending
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2018, 08:25:12 PM »
Most students are freshmen to seniors, ages  17-24,  most are religious or agnostic theists and also alot of them are mostly stupid. So we can conclude most would pick 50 Shades of Grey, The Cat in the Hat, The Hunger Games, and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

Offline trdsf

Re: Voting VS Spending
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2018, 11:40:55 AM »
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Netflix has over 100 million subscribers who live all over the world. Presumably all these subscribers have eyes and brains. They all gather and process information about their environment. According to my own eyes and brains, economics is extremely important... so it's a huge problem that Netflix barely has any shows about economics. If I don't report this, then I am a defective subscriber... and again... faulty distribution. Sure, I can e-mail Netflix and make the case that they should have a lot more economics shows. But if this was truly an effective/efficient way for people to share their perceptions with each other, then what would we need markets for?
And not emailing them accomplishes what, exactly?  You can't be held responsible for them listening or not, but what you seem to be saying here is that it's not worth speaking up in the first place, and all that does is guarantee your voice is not heard.
Sir Terry Pratchett, on being told about the theory that the universe is a computer simulation: "If we all get out and in again, would it start to work properly this time?"

Re: Voting VS Spending
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2018, 04:19:34 PM »
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And not emailing them accomplishes what, exactly?  You can't be held responsible for them listening or not, but what you seem to be saying here is that it's not worth speaking up in the first place, and all that does is guarantee your voice is not heard.
I've personally e-mailed plenty of organizations... including Netflix.  I always wonder exactly how many people actually read my e-mail... and judge my idea.  Usually when I e-mail organizations I don't get a response.  There was only one instance when I received a response from two different people in the organization.  In that case I could be certain that at least two people heard my voice and judged my idea. 

The beauty of forums is that I can be certain that plenty of people hear my voice and judge my ideas.  With that in mind, I'll share an idea with you and everybody else...

Two years ago You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login.  Basically the donors used their money to help rank the potential candidates.  Two birds were killed with one stone.  Money was raised for skepticon and a decision was made. 

What if AtheistForums.com used a fundraiser to rank atheists?   People could vote and/or donate for their favorite atheists (ie Richard Dawkins).  How differently would voting and donating rank the atheists?  Here are the benefits of this idea...

1. Money would be raised for this website
2. We'd all learn which atheists are the most beneficial
3. We'd all learn about the difference between voting and spending

I'm sure you've heard of the wisdom of the crowd concept.  But which is wiser... a crowd of voters or a crowd of donors?  We should really figure out the answer to this question. 
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Offline trdsf

Re: Voting VS Spending
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2018, 05:27:26 PM »
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I'm sure you've heard of the wisdom of the crowd concept.  But which is wiser... a crowd of voters or a crowd of donors?  We should really figure out the answer to this question.
The real problem I have with this is that it gives an outsized voice to a small minority of donors.  If you have one donor plunking down $10,000 on Richard Dawkins, and eight thousand donors putting down a dollar each on Matt Dillahunty, is it really reasonable to say that Dawkins is the crowd's choice?

It makes having a voice dependent on having resources that have absolutely nothing to do with having an informed opinion.  Let's say donors were limited to only making a single $1 donation in the name of their choice.  You know what?  I have had times when that was asking too much of my wallet, when my personal finances were cut that fine that I couldn't justify even a dollar.

It also makes the decision dependent on factors that have nothing to do with what's being decided.  Would you have a ranking of the historical importance of presidents done by size of donation?  No, of course not, because here comes the Koch brothers with a dump truck full of money to spend on Reagan or Dubya, and to hell with Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln or Roosevelt.

Fundamentally, it imports the precise problem with our political system into other decision-making systems.
Sir Terry Pratchett, on being told about the theory that the universe is a computer simulation: "If we all get out and in again, would it start to work properly this time?"

 

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