According to the intellectual norms that I learned when young, there is a high road and a low road for proposing reforms. The low road is populist and pandering – you ignore critics and try anything to get folks who could do something excited about your idea – sex appeal, group loyalties, demonizing opponents, overselling gains, whatever it takes. The high road is elitist and analytical – you carefully write up arguments, ideally with math models, randomized trials, and stat analysis, and present them to elites for evaluation.
"I propose the shape of the pyramid, which is well known in traditional political thought. The pyramid is indeed a particularly fitting image for a governmental structure whose source of authority lies outside itself, but whose seat of power is located at the top, from which authority and power is filtered down to the base in such a way that each success possesses some authority, but less than the one above it, and where, precisely because of this careful filtering process, all layers from top to bottom are not only firmly integrated into the whole but are interrelated like converging rays whose common focal point is the top of the pyramid as well as the transcending source of authority above it"
I think that path that needs to be followed is to have ambitious and committed students. What happened with Milton Friedman and the Chicago Boys.
The Chicago Boys (c. 1970s) were a group of young Chilean economists, most of whom trained at the University of Chicago under Milton Friedman and Arnold Harberger, or at its affiliate in the economics department at the Catholic University of Chile. The training was the result of a "Chile Project" organised in the 1950s by the US State Department and funded by the Ford Foundation, which aimed at influencing Chilean economic thinking. The project was uneventful until the early 1970s. The Chicago Boys' ideas remaining on the fringes of Chilean economic and political thought, even after a 500-page plan based on the Chicago School's ideas called El ladrillo ("the brick") was presented as part of Jorge Alessandri's call for alternative economic platforms for his 1970 presidential campaign. Alessandri rejected El ladrillo, but it was revisited after the 1973 Chilean coup d'état on 11 September 1973 brought Augusto Pinochet to power, and became the basis of the new regime's economic policy. Eight of the ten principal authors of "The Brick" were Chicago Boys.
Failing with foreign students who are able to go back and implement policy.
Try to get adoption at a special economic zone.http://en.wikipedia.org/wik...
Establishing a seastead operated with these principleshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wik...
Failing any small scale real world adoption try to create a virtual community / virtual world that uses Futarchy as a basis.
This order can also be reversed. Try to do the virtual world tests - have a conventional virtual world tested with the same participants.
With proven superior results and fine tuning move up to seasteading or special zones. Then try to get national or regional adoption.
Well, I've even talked with someone at SI about it and they agreed that it's pretty bad [note: I use singular 'they' as a gender neutral pronoun].
Thanks for your reply, dmytryl. Would you care to explain why you think Luke's letters are "arrogant and stupid"? I have not read his exchange with Pei Wang in detail; your feedback would be helpful in helping me decide whether to read it more attentively.
Thanks for the elaboration, dmytryl. I appreciate the fact that you took time to reply.
Sending stupid letters to editors of AI related journals, for example, can be expected to slightly increase the barrier for publishing actual safety papers.
Here's another example. In the field of "cold fusion", due to prevalence of crackpots - many of whom are considerably better educated, more accomplished, and more knowledgeable in the relevant fields than our friend Luke here, which at least have some chance of not being crackpots - in the off chance that there is some real cold fusion ish effect there, it would be very difficult to get recognition for it through all the noise and bad data.
Would you care to elaborate what you mean by "damages" that concern people who are actually relevant to the field? Thank you.
After all, beliefs mainly matter for inducing relevant actions. The high road might produce more accurate beliefs, but the low road may often get more things done.
Other readers too must be asking this question: Why should we believe you're being honest in your postings? Maybe all you're really doing here is pandering, only to a nerdy crowd.
I might trust some utilitarians to be intellectually honest, but this is only because they seem to have accepted that intellectual truthfulness is (almost always) good policy. But grounds seem absent for having intellectual trust in a utilitarian who believes that, practically, utility often conflicts with truth.
Yudkowsky got the poorly educated and uneducated (e.g. you) interested.
Wouldn't have been possible without funding from billionaire Peter Thiel.
The enthusiasts drinking at Thiel's trough caricature the rightist image of welfare recipients sucking off the government and consequently voting for its policies.
Yudkowsky got the poorly educated and uneducated (e.g. you) interested. But there's also damage from this path - for example one resulting from you writing really stupid and arrogant letters to, among others, an editor of an important journal (Pei Wang).
The benefits are out in the open for you - the uneducated - to see. You attract folks that haven't completed their education, you attract philosophers who have hard time selling their work otherwise, you maybe get a few folks that can actually write actual papers and produce stuff can be as easily spun as dangerous and bad as world saving and good (but is most likely of no importance).
The damages on the other hand concern people who are actually relevant to the field, and damages are too subtle for you to see.
Picture taking low road about, say, the theory of relativity... not actually solving any equations but instead babbling about in a popular journal about how Newton is all wrong. That would have been pure crackpottery.
edit: also don't forget that you aren't the ones actually starting anything new. There's fiction where at least half of the time AI is the bad guy. There's Bostrom who puts it on academic footing. And there's you guys who are trying to build some sort of religion out of it, the lowest of the low roads.
Academia presents itself as the natural home of Russell and Feynman. If you're naïve enough to take such propaganda at face value (not doing so seeming "cynical" to you), you won't make the distinction. This includes contemporary Russells and Feynmans, some of whom are indeed elite academics and don't notice their privilege and that they exist despite, not because of, the academic system.
In this mindset, it's taken for granted that the low road was a luxury they could afford after having earned their place via the high road.
good post. two comments.
1. you don't seem like the ideal candidate to promote futarchy to the corporate crowd. you're too honest and lucid to embellish effectively and i doubt you can compete with gladwell &co. in the storytelling department. how willing are you to hand your baby over to a proven ideamonger?
2. to reiterate a sentiment expressed in a few other comments, if you are planning on taking the low road it doesnt make much sense to publically describe it as ''pandering''. i understand why and how you used the word -- you didnt intend to betray contempt -- but broaching the subject at all is an obvious mistake. see 1.
Academics do, but the people who Academics endorse, from Socrates to Russell to Darwin, Einstein and Feynman, consistently choose the 'low road' and endorse doing so. I have never been able to relate to the non-transitive endorsements that seem to be so common, where one endorses certain thinkers but not their thoughts. My intuition transfers authority from the conventional academics endorsing people like Russell and Feynman to, you know, Russell and Feynman.
The presumption here is that academia represents the high road. As an outside observer looking in academia is largely concerned with showing off, building fiefdoms, pursuing fashionable areas, and hitching your wagon to others.
And that's academia when it's done "right," before even considering the absolutely massive amount of research that's plagued by manipulation, referee corruption, cherry-picking and outright fraud.
Show, don't tell. Guido van Rossum changed the programming language landscape more than the massive army of PL researchers employed at nearly every university in the world.
If futarchy actually gains a foothold in the real world it probably won't be because of some well-written journal articles or New York Times bestseller. It will be because some clever entrepreneur or hacker (probably in Silicon Valley) created a futarchy killer app. Something that everyone *must* have, in a way that it causes a mass of people to actually use and run prediction markets to do real world things, rather than just think about them.
why not being empirical about this and take as accurate as possible a census of situations where decision markets *have* been tried and then run a post-mortem to figure out the most common cause of death of those that failed? This seems to be a first step towards a theory of what constitutes a Great Filter for prediction markets (i.e. why they are not observed in practice with the frequency expected by those -- like me -- who think they are in principle a great idea).
that would be another stretch of the high road, i.e. a rigorous study of the conditions under which such markets prosper or fail.
my experience with http://www.forecastingace.com and https://www.goodjudgmentpro... suggests that even people who are highly motivated in participating in such markets find it difficult to find markets that contain bets they are willing to take (i.e. bets that one could reasonably connect with one's state of knowledge, resulting in reasonably confident predictions).
Seriously, write a popular business book on prediction markets and how executives can use them to manage their companies more effectively. That's the way to change the world and get you ideas respected. Please write this book.