Author Topic: Voting VS Spending  (Read 3596 times)

Online trdsf

Re: Voting VS Spending
« Reply #30 on: May 17, 2018, 08:13:31 PM »
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I already provided an explanation...

"My best guess is that the donating ranking will be better than the voting ranking.  Honestly I don't even know who Matt Dillahunty is.  I spend far more time studying economics than atheism.  Yet, even though I'm not very informed about atheists... with voting I'd have the same exact influence over the rankings as the experts.  With donating, on the other hand, it's a very different story.  I'd donate a lot less money to help rank atheists than I would to help rank economists."
This is an assertion, not an explanation.  It says nothing about why you think donating will be better, only that you think it would be better.

It also doesn't address the fundamental imbalance brought in by the fact that not all donors bring equivalent resources.  The problem of the process controlled by the few who have much remains.

Also, why shouldn't your vote count, just because you're not an expert?  You can in that case consider your vote as your evaluation of the experts' analyses.

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What do I know about dogs?  Not much.  If a friend dragged me to a dog show, then I might vote for my favorite dog.  It's not like it would cost me anything.  But if I was given the opportunity to spend my money to help rank the dogs, then I definitely would not be willing to spend much money.  I'd certainly be willing to spend a lot less money than the people who are very knowledgeable, and passionate, about dogs. 

Voting and donating would rank prominent skeptics very differently.  Go ahead and rank the prominent skeptics according to your own preferences.  Then we will see whether your own ranking is closer to the voting ranking or the donating ranking.
Again, why should resources have anything at all to do with your level of influence?  If I had a million dollars, that doesn't make me better able to analyze arguments than someone who only has a few thousand, or even nothing.  I might have just hit the lottery.

If you really want to introduce the market to democracy, the way you want to do it is ranked voting systems, as I indicated in my last response.  Everyone has equal resources to apply, and the freedom to apply them as desired.  Otherwise you only reproduce everything that makes the overall American political system not work.
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?"

Online trdsf

Re: Voting VS Spending
« Reply #31 on: May 17, 2018, 09:17:33 PM »
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I spend far more time studying economics than atheism.
Let me just add relative to this that my degree is in political science.
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 #32 on: May 17, 2018, 10:26:16 PM »
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This is an assertion, not an explanation.  It says nothing about why you think donating will be better, only that you think it would be better.

It also doesn't address the fundamental imbalance brought in by the fact that not all donors bring equivalent resources.  The problem of the process controlled by the few who have much remains.

Also, why shouldn't your vote count, just because you're not an expert?  You can in that case consider your vote as your evaluation of the experts' analyses.
Again, why should resources have anything at all to do with your level of influence?  If I had a million dollars, that doesn't make me better able to analyze arguments than someone who only has a few thousand, or even nothing.  I might have just hit the lottery.

If you really want to introduce the market to democracy, the way you want to do it is ranked voting systems, as I indicated in my last response.  Everyone has equal resources to apply, and the freedom to apply them as desired.  Otherwise you only reproduce everything that makes the overall American political system not work.
If wealth was entirely determined by winning the lottery or inheritance then I'd be perfectly fine with democracy.  But the fact is that nobody randomly allocates their money.  Everybody endeavors to efficiently allocate their money and this primarily determines how wealth/influence is distributed.  You think it's beneficial to override/disregard how influence is distributed by countless consumers... but nothing could be further from the truth.  All you end up doing is harming everybody

You haven't studied economics and you expect me to try and teach it to you.  Well, I'm telling you that the best way to understand the difference between spending and voting is to actually see the difference.  This is the point of my proposed experiment.  Members of this forum can vote and/or donate for their favorite atheists.  Then we will all be able to see the difference between voting and spending. 

The best way to learn economics is to actually do it. 
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Online trdsf

Re: Voting VS Spending
« Reply #33 on: May 17, 2018, 11:20:05 PM »
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If wealth was entirely determined by winning the lottery or inheritance then I'd be perfectly fine with democracy.  But the fact is that nobody randomly allocates their money.  Everybody endeavors to efficiently allocate their money and this primarily determines how wealth/influence is distributed.  You think it's beneficial to override/disregard how influence is distributed by countless consumers... but nothing could be further from the truth.  All you end up doing is harming everybody

You haven't studied economics and you expect me to try and teach it to you.  Well, I'm telling you that the best way to understand the difference between spending and voting is to actually see the difference.  This is the point of my proposed experiment.  Members of this forum can vote and/or donate for their favorite atheists.  Then we will all be able to see the difference between voting and spending. 

The best way to learn economics is to actually do it.
No one asked you to teach me economics, and I never said I haven't studied it—it is part and parcel of studying political systems.

I repeat, influence determined by resources is inherently unfair, and the proof is in the damage already rampant in the American political system.  We have seen the difference, and you still haven't provided anything to back up your assertion that the marketplace is a better decider.  I've given my evidence, where's yours?

My claim -- backed up by the evidence of how our political system has been perverted by the influence of money -- is that all consumers/voters deserve equal voices.  Yours is that a voice's importance is determined not by who has the best evidence, but by who has the most money.  We already know that's not a fair way to conduct our nation's business, just based on what's happened to our political system.

For example, You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login -- even before the Las Vegas and Parkland shootings, and the numbers are higher since.  But the money thrown around by the NRA is being used to thwart the will of the majority.  What, exactly, is fair about that situation?  The system you propose is exactly that: money trumps majorities.  You cannot and will not convince me that that is a reasonable way to do things, because we already know from experience that it is not.

You also have twice ignored the ranked vote option as a way to introduce the marketplace into the vote without making it dependent on individual available resources.  Do you accept that it would work, or at least admit that you haven't an answer as to why it wouldn't?
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 #34 on: May 18, 2018, 03:02:25 AM »
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No one asked you to teach me economics, and I never said I haven't studied it—it is part and parcel of studying political systems.

I repeat, influence determined by resources is inherently unfair, and the proof is in the damage already rampant in the American political system.  We have seen the difference, and you still haven't provided anything to back up your assertion that the marketplace is a better decider.  I've given my evidence, where's yours?

My claim -- backed up by the evidence of how our political system has been perverted by the influence of money -- is that all consumers/voters deserve equal voices.  Yours is that a voice's importance is determined not by who has the best evidence, but by who has the most money.  We already know that's not a fair way to conduct our nation's business, just based on what's happened to our political system.

For example, You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login -- even before the Las Vegas and Parkland shootings, and the numbers are higher since.  But the money thrown around by the NRA is being used to thwart the will of the majority.  What, exactly, is fair about that situation?  The system you propose is exactly that: money trumps majorities.  You cannot and will not convince me that that is a reasonable way to do things, because we already know from experience that it is not.

You also have twice ignored the ranked vote option as a way to introduce the marketplace into the vote without making it dependent on individual available resources.  Do you accept that it would work, or at least admit that you haven't an answer as to why it wouldn't?

The "ranked vote option" wouldn't work because it doesn't involve any personal cost.  You say that you've studied economics... but here I am having to explain to you the fundamentally basic concept of cost.  Let's say that you decide to donate your kidney.  In this case, you personally pay the cost, which is the only way that your decision can truly be rational.  What if I decide to donate your kidney?  Can my decision be rational?  Of course not.  I do not pay the cost... you do. 

Bob votes for war knowing there's no chance that he will be drafted.  Frank, on the other hand, votes for war knowing that he almost certainly will be drafted.  Whose decision was more rational? 

Here's a relevant and common joke among economists.  Two economists are walking along and they happen to end up in front of a Tesla showroom.  One economist points at a shiny new car and says, "I really want that!"  The other economist replies, "You're lying". 

Here's the explanation from the perspective of a psychologist...

Quote
If a woman told us that she loved flowers, and we saw that she forgot to water them, we would not believe in her "love" for flowers.  Love is the active concern for the life and the growth of that which we love.  Where this active concern is lacking, there is no love. - Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving

There is no love without sacrifice. 

Here's the explanation from the perspective of You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login...

Quote
The handicap principle is a hypothesis originally proposed in 1975 by Israeli biologist Amotz Zahavi to explain how evolution may lead to "honest" or reliable signaling between animals which have an obvious motivation to bluff or deceive each other. The handicap principle suggests that reliable signals must be costly to the signaler, costing the signaler something that could not be afforded by an individual with less of a particular trait.

Spending money is a costly signal, which is what makes it a credible signal. 

I could go on and on and on citing source after source after source.  But would it do any good?  If you're so certain that voting is not bullshit... then why not agree to the contest?  Your god (voting)  will rank prominent atheists... and so will my god (spending).  Then we will see whose god is the real one. 
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Online Shiranu

Re: Voting VS Spending
« Reply #35 on: May 18, 2018, 03:08:34 AM »
Well, I for one aint spending any money on ranking atheists, so that's one vote for trdsf...
I've Got Love, Fuck Your Money.

Don't feed the douche-trolls.

Re: Voting VS Spending
« Reply #36 on: May 18, 2018, 04:05:58 AM »
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Well, I for one aint spending any money on ranking atheists, so that's one vote for trdsf...
Out of curiosity, who are your favorite atheists? 
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Online Shiranu

Re: Voting VS Spending
« Reply #37 on: May 18, 2018, 04:20:51 AM »
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Out of curiosity, who are your favorite atheists? 

Can't say I have any, at least not because of anything to do with their religious beliefs. George Carlin is the closest I guess to being interesting to me because of his religious beliefs, but those beliefs are also heavily dramatized and exaggerated for the lawls.

There are a million things I look for in a person before I look at their religious beliefs.
I've Got Love, Fuck Your Money.

Don't feed the douche-trolls.

Online trdsf

Re: Voting VS Spending
« Reply #38 on: May 18, 2018, 07:35:29 AM »
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The "ranked vote option" wouldn't work because it doesn't involve any personal cost.  You say that you've studied economics... but here I am having to explain to you the fundamentally basic concept of cost.  Let's say that you decide to donate your kidney.  In this case, you personally pay the cost, which is the only way that your decision can truly be rational.  What if I decide to donate your kidney?  Can my decision be rational?  Of course not.  I do not pay the cost... you do.
No, you don't have to explain cost to me.  I just reject the idea that cost should have any relevance to indicating preferences, and have already shown how using cost thwarts, rather than reveals, the public will.

The cost to the voter in ranked voting is having to actually stop and think about the ballot and one's actual preferences.  It's still possible that a voter could go in and just put a '1' next to their preference and walk out of the booth and be done with it.  The cost there is that they've chosen to throw away any further voice should their candidate be eliminated as votes are tallied.  This is an acceptable cost because it's based not on a voter's bank balance, but on their own estimation of how much time and thought they want to put into what they're doing.

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Bob votes for war knowing there's no chance that he will be drafted.  Frank, on the other hand, votes for war knowing that he almost certainly will be drafted.  Whose decision was more rational?
Insufficient data to answer, because we don't know their reasons.

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Here's a relevant and common joke among economists.  Two economists are walking along and they happen to end up in front of a Tesla showroom.  One economist points at a shiny new car and says, "I really want that!"  The other economist replies, "You're lying". 

Here's the explanation from the perspective of a psychologist...

There is no love without sacrifice. 

Here's the explanation from the perspective of You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login...

Spending money is a costly signal, which is what makes it a credible signal. 

I could go on and on and on citing source after source after source.  But would it do any good?  If you're so certain that voting is not bullshit... then why not agree to the contest?  Your god (voting)  will rank prominent atheists... and so will my god (spending).  Then we will see whose god is the real one.
Ah, there's that refrain, "let's just run the experiment" when IT'S ALREADY BEING RUN and WE ALREADY HAVE THE RESULTS.  You have not refuted any of the points I have brought up:
  • that finance-based preference distorts rather than reveals public intent;
  • that making public preference subject to the whims of individual and group resources thwarts public will rather than clarifies it;
  • that when money isn't a significant factor, public intent is better revealed; and
  • that it is possible to allow weighted preferences without tying it to individual resources.

I will further posit the following:
  • Weighting votes to personal resources is explicitly anti-democratic since it allows a small handful of individual with large resources to completely overwhelm the majority;
  • No amount of money validates a poorly-reasoned position; and
  • No amount of money invalidates reliable evidence.

Your experiment is completely without merit until and unless you can explain why Person A's money should carry more weight in a decision-making process than Person B's evidence-based reasons.

And spending money is not a credible signal when large amounts can be thrown into the system by a small number of individuals at a small relative cost to themselves.  The Kochs can throw millions around on their causes and candidates at a small relative cost to themselves -- even zero cost, on the expectation that they're going to make it back through favorable legislation and tax breaks.  Making a $100 donation is a large relative cost to me.

Who's sacrificing more?  Who's putting more of their resources - relatively speaking - into that?

All you're talking about is plutocracy.  And if you really want to know what that looks like, open your eyes and look around you.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2018, 09:46:32 AM by trdsf »
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 #39 on: May 18, 2018, 05:26:43 PM »
Trdsf, I really fail to understand your opposition to my proposed experiment.  You say, with emphasis, that the experiment is already being conducted and we have the results.  But the experiment currently being conducted is completely different to my proposed experiment.  I have no idea why you can't tell the difference between the two experiments.  It's not like the difference is minor... it's major.

With a presidential election, for example, the candidates are first ranked by donations... and then the top-ranked candidates are ranked by voting.  We don't see how the candidates would have been solely ranked by voting or solely ranked by donating.

With my proposed experiment we will be able to see and compare how the prominent atheists are solely ranked by voting and solely ranked by donating. 

With the presidential election we only end up with one ranking.  But with my proposed experiment we will end up with two rankings... 1. voting ranking and 2. donating ranking.  This will allow us to compare the rankings.  With the presidential election we can't compare rankings because there is only one ranking.  You can't compare one thing

Despite the fact that presidential elections do not provide us the opportunity to compare voting ranking and donating ranking... you are certain that the voting ranking is superior to the donating ranking.  How can you be certain about this when you can't even see and compare the two rankings?   

Let's say that you are correct that the voting ranking is truly superior to the donating ranking.  Why in the world would you oppose my proposed experiment?  All it would do is provide additional evidence that voting is superior to donating.  You could say, "See!  I told you so!  Voting is superior to donating! I'm right and you're wrong!" 

Right now you're simply pointing at one ranking and saying, "Look, voting is clearly superior to spending!" 

Also, I completely understand the parable of the Widow's mite.  Clearly she made a bigger sacrifice than the wealthy donors.  But this doesn't mean that we should disregard the fact that the sacrifice she made for food was a lot larger than the sacrifice she made for God.  You think you benefit the poor by disregarding their preferences/priorities.  Nothing could be further from the truth. 
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Re: Voting VS Spending
« Reply #40 on: May 18, 2018, 05:57:01 PM »
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With my proposed experiment we will be able to see and compare how the prominent atheists are solely ranked by voting and solely ranked by donating.   
Assuming we actually did your experiment, how would we know which result was "better"? You earlier made an apology with pudding, saying that we needed to taste them both to see which was better; what if you and I have different tastes in pudding? Are you saying anything more meaningful then "my preference is better than your preference because I prefer it?"
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Offline Baruch

Re: Voting VS Spending
« Reply #41 on: May 18, 2018, 06:20:29 PM »
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Assuming we actually did your experiment, how would we know which result was "better"? You earlier made an apology with pudding, saying that we needed to taste them both to see which was better; what if you and I have different tastes in pudding? Are you saying anything more meaningful then "my preference is better than your preference because I prefer it?"

That is the exact point, as Stalin says, it isn't what votes are cast, but who counts them, that counts.
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Online trdsf

Re: Voting VS Spending
« Reply #42 on: May 18, 2018, 06:57:15 PM »
Xerographica, I use emphasis because based on your responses, I feel I need to draw your attention to the major points.  Also, because it reflects the emphases I would make if I were reading this aloud.

We do see how decisions are made in voting systems where money isn't a controlling factor, by looking at how local elections work.  So we can do comparisons.  I explained that already.

You continue to fail to address the problem of resources.  A billionaire can drop thousands of dollars at no meaningful personal expense, while it would be difficult for me to spare $100 -- you keep talking about 'cost' but the costs are absolutely not the same, relative to the donor.  That $100 costs me a lot more than those thousands cost a billionaire, but your system does not account for that.

You're not measuring how people value things, you're only measuring who has the most money to play with -- I can't explain it any more clearly than that.  You aren't measuring anything meaningful.  You're certainly not measuring anything that has to do with actual public preference.

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Also, I completely understand the parable of the Widow's mite.  Clearly she made a bigger sacrifice than the wealthy donors.  But this doesn't mean that we should disregard the fact that the sacrifice she made for food was a lot larger than the sacrifice she made for God.  You think you benefit the poor by disregarding their preferences/priorities.  Nothing could be further from the truth. 
I don't know where this comes from.  I am talking about giving everyone an equal voice regardless of their resources.  There is no rational way you can twist that into saying I'm "disregarding their preferences/priorities", especially since I've already shown how preferences can be measured without making them dependent on personal resources.

And you still haven't refuted any of the points I have made.  You completely ignore the problem of relative cost, you completely ignore the alternatives that allow preferential ranking without making it contingent on personal resources, you completely ignore the already available evidence that this is not a way to truly judge public opinion.

You're simply not measuring what you think you're measuring.  The fact that one person with high resources can come in and completely change your results based on nothing more than their own resources negates your entire argument that you're measuring public preferences.

I'm going to quote myself here, because I have to think that the point is lost on you so far:

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Again, if you've got a pool of, say, a thousand donors and the vast majority of them are putting in $1 to $5, a few are putting in $10 or $20, and a small number $50 or $100, all on Dawkins, Harris (Sam or Tracie), Mehta, Dillahunty, Dennett, Hitchens, Hirsi Ali, Randi, Sagan, whoever.  And then I come along and put in $20,000 on myself.  You haven't learned anything; I've completely screwed your stats for no reason other than that I have the money to -- unless you're willing to declare me the highest ranked skeptic solely on the basis that I can buy myself the title.
You yourself have already admitted that this is a perfectly plausible outcome under your system and that it undermines your point completely.  You don't seem to understand that because this is a perfectly plausible situation, it means that your system cannot be a reliable measure.

Bluntly put, your premise is fatally flawed and therefore your "experiment" is meaningless.
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 #43 on: May 18, 2018, 08:01:37 PM »
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Assuming we actually did your experiment, how would we know which result was "better"? You earlier made an apology with pudding, saying that we needed to taste them both to see which was better; what if you and I have different tastes in pudding? Are you saying anything more meaningful then "my preference is better than your preference because I prefer it?"
Right now we are debating which pudding tastes better, but we haven't even tasted and compared them.  Once we taste and compare them, we can still debate which pudding tastes better, but at least our debate will be informed by our first-hand knowledge of exactly how both puddings actually taste.  You can say, "I've tasted both puddings and the voting pudding tastes much better than the donating pudding!"

It's not like we'd have to climb Mount Everest in order to taste the puddings.  We would all simply be given the opportunity to vote for our favorite atheists and/or donate to this forum in their name.

We should all share who are favorite atheists are anyways.  We should all make a donation to this forum anyways.  None of us will be forced to do these things, but they really aren't unreasonable things. 

A long time ago, while on a date with a girl, I spotted a big tree that was completely packed with birds.  I told my date that we should stand under the tree.  Whoever got pooped on first would be the winner.  She didn't think it was such a good idea.  That was fine, I acknowledged and accepted that perhaps what I was suggesting wasn't entirely reasonable.   In this case though it's a completely different story.  What I am suggesting is entirely reasonable and the results can potentially be incredibly informative and useful. 

What's kinda fascinating about this experiment is that, unlike most experiments, the participants won't be randomly selected... they will be self-selected.  Anybody who think it's a good idea to boycott the donating part will prevent their preferences from influencing the donating rankings.  Therefore, the only people who will influence the donating rankings are going to be the people who think doing so is a good idea.  The only people who make the donating pudding are going to be the people who think it will taste better with their input.  Of course this doesn't guarantee that they'll like it better than the voting pudding. 

Anyways, the worst case scenario isn't so bad... and the best case scenario is epic.  We will actually figure out the truth about voting versus spending.
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Offline Baruch

Re: Voting VS Spending
« Reply #44 on: May 18, 2018, 08:55:53 PM »
Stop assuming monkeys can come to any common agreement.  Any agreement is just a sign of temporary shared prejudice.
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