I'm Swiss and you'd have to pay me really significant amounts of money to get me to live in the US permanently. So anecdotally, the opposite is true.

And I know the same holds for most of my peers. Most would work in the US for a year or two, but could not imagine being there their entire life.

It even goes so far that several explicitly rule out top US business schools (personally, I'm looking to get into LBS or Insead, even though I might actually have reasonable chance to get into one of the top three) because their network would be very US biased...

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What I meant to say is that it's plausible that the cognitive drives behind Communal Sharing, Authority Ranking and Equality Matching are what motivated the development of Socialism, Conservatism and Capitalism, respectively.

I agree that there's a lot of mixing in practice, but should there be? People hate corporations that are vey authoritarian etc, see Pinker ('The Stuff of Thought') for discussion suggesting that many social conflicts in everyday life are indeed caused by attempted mixing of the different types of relationship.

I think it's a good bet Futarchy will never work because of the status conflict between Equality Matching (the cognitive basis for prediction markets) and Authority Ranking (the cognitive basis for government arms such as the military).

The link you give to integration of Bayes and analogical inference is a link I myself posted in Open Thread 27, it supports my theory. I postulated that Bayes is a special case of analogical inference (i.e. Analogy is more powerful, but it includes Bayes as a special case). If I'm right, some kinds of analogy making should be found to give the same result as Bayesian inference. And that's exactly what the paper shows.

Nice to see LW folks supporting my view. In the thread 'In Defense Of the Outside View', one poster states:

"This whole debate looks like a red herring to me. The entire distinction makes no sense-- all views are outside views. Our only knowledge of the future comes from knowledge of regularities. So all arguments are arguments from typicality. Some of that knowledge comes from surveys of how long it takes someone to finish a project. Some comes from experimental science. Some of that knowledge comes from repeated personal experience-- say completing lots of projects on time. Some of it is innate, driven into us though generations of evolution. But all of it is outside view. The so-called "inside view" arguments are just a lot harder to express by pointing to a single reference class."

I couldn't have said it better myself. If the addition assumption is made that analogical inference is in fact identical to categorization and the outside view (which seems a very reasonable assumption), then the quoted poster above is in effect saying exactly what I'm saying, Bayes is just a special case of analogy.

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There are a great many kinds of self-deception, and this would at most tax only a few. The net effect on status isn't obviously negative to me.

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Put slightly differently, futarchy taxes self-deception, and it's hard to see how that can reduce sting, given that self-deception is a major mechanism by which we feel good about ourselves.

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No one likes the person who says, “I told you so”, and they will detest the one that makes “lots” from bad policies.

Well, the traders who bet against that person might not like him. But most other people would probably just remember that they agreed with the sucessful trader all along.

People have a bad memory of the times when they got it wrong.

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I suspect most of us prefer:...2.to be part of large rich powerful empires, since those are high status,

Hmm. There have been an awful lot of nationalist/ independence movements in recent decades. Those people were not trying to become part of a bigger empire.

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I just read Stuart Armstrong's comment; I'll second that.

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"Jeffrey, I said my list is about status, not about control." But you don't consistently observe the distinction. Admittedly, it's not sharp; but ignoring it--failing to distinguish between power and influence--threatens to make your notion of "status" too broad to be useful.

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Science perennially ranks very high among esteemed professions. Scientists don't make a lot of money, and don't do it for a lot of money.

Much the same might be said for the judiciary -- they are, after all, basically just government employees.

A good "futarch" might settle somewhere in that range of social esteem (and income range, maybe), if only because he/she will probably require similar diligence and cognitive skills for success. No doubt, many of them would be seen as just lucky gamblers for a while. But that's true of many of those who are now "wealthy from personal earnings and real market investments."

Recursion step/repeated play: I believe any reasonably effective futarchical system would evolve tax policies that more effectively filter the mostly-lucky from the mostly-able, and tax the latter significantly less. A good futarchy might increase the esteem in which futarchs are held (for surely, we already have some in our midst, in disguise), while also increasing the esteem in which we hold those who become at least moderately wealthy through other pursuits. If futarchy would make society more closely approach meritocratic ideals, how would it not also, in the process, confer more perception of merit on successful futarchs?

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Communal sharing can hardy be based on socialism, since it shows up in all cultures, including those that aren't socialist. Authority ranking need not be conservative, since even a radical organization usually has an authority structure. (In fact, some of them have little else.) Finally, equality matching seems to predate markets in the same way that communal sharing long predates actual socialism -- equality matching is pretty much just the idea that everybody should be subject to the same rules. (Thus, civil rights legislation evolved that says that that market pricing and a authority-redefined communal sharing overrides the "authority" of the property holder.)

There might be specific incompatibilities in specific cases between the three different kinds of relations, but as Fiske himself points out, most relationships and social arrangements involve a mix of the types to some degree. (In some cases, the maintenance of one requires the other -- e.g., the legitimacy of the authority of judges is in a mutual reinforcement relation with the notion of equality under the law.) Fiske doesn't say that it's necessarily offensive to mix market pricing and other relations. Indeed, regulation of markets is popular and that clearly requires both market pricing and authority. It's just that some cultures -- non-Western ones are mentioned -- value market pricing less than other relations. They probably put a lower value on equality matching in general, though. Is that a good thing?

"Bayes will always be beaten by analogical inference"? Well, somebody forgot to tell these people:


I think you're seeing a lot of conflict and dichotomy where it need not necessarily exist. At one time, for example, it was thought that independent central bankers controlling "fiat money" was an inappropriate mixing of authority hierarcy with market pricing. Now, though, the gold bugs are on the margins. I expect futarchy to be taken up more or less in the order Robin suggests, starting with corporations -- and perhaps it's no suprise that prediction markets have found a footing in hotbeds of anti-authoritarian/pro-market sentiment in the corporate world, such as the info-tech sector. Bellwhether or faddism? Only time will tell.

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When you have a hammer everything looks like a nail. Prediction markets have their place but not in politics. It's pushing a love of Probability, Bayes and The Free Market to a reductio ad absurdum. The flaw in Futarchy is the exact analogy to the flaw in Bayes.

I base my ideas on Alan Fiske and his relational models theory (given the nod by Stven Pinker in 'The Stuff of Thought').

Fiske-Relational Models

Fiske initially found 4 different types of human social relationships, which were later reduced to 3: (1) Communal Sharing, (2) Authority Ranking, (3) Equality Matching and Market Pricing

Communal Sharing is based on a socialistic model, Authority Ranking is based on a conservative model and Equality matching/market pricing is the market model. The idea is that each of these types of relationship has a valid place, and it is a mistake to elevate one above all others.

I think is Fiske is correct. Seems to me that Futarchy is an attempt to try to elevate (3) the market above the other types of relationship (1) and (2). But according to Fiske's theory, people should find it offensive to mix the market with politics, because there's a clash between the 3 different types of relationship. And in fact people do indeed find it offensive, just as predicted.

Sorry but the market will always be subsumed by democracy, in exact analogy to how Bayes will always be beaten by analogical inference ;)

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Sigh... This post continues the trend of stripping 'status' of all meaning by having it gobble up everything else. This time it's control that is reduced to an appendage of status, as well as desire for independence. And a list of ten points, which are generally one plausible observation followed by an unjustified assignement of status as the explanation.

If status explains everything, it explains nothing. Don't let status go the way of freudian psychoanalysis.

As for the issue discussed, probably the best way of giving people the illusion of control, is to give them some local control. Not local as in the local council's garbage collecting, which no-one cares about, but local as in the arenas and communities they choose to participate in. Maybe an acceptable situation would be any decently democratic overall system, a level of privacy and independence available to all, and a whole slew of voting communities with voluntary participation and actual powers, maybe some sort of fusion between local councils, facebook, and voting TV shows.

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Ironic how we try to take control of ourselves from status-seeking impulses by trying to understand them... when the feelings of wanting control are products of status-seeking impulses themselves!

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Being, or being associated with, a successful policy entrepreneur will probably initially confer more status than being, or being associated with, a successful policy arbitrageur. That said, the question arises: how do social perceptions evolve in repeated play? Success in policy arbitrage would depend considerably more on the cognitive skills typically seen in science generally than those seen in entrepreneurship generally, and science routinely tops the rankings of highly esteemed professions. I'm not sure how you get from here to futarchy, but getting there might, after some difficult bootstrap stage, enjoy a positive feedback loop from successful "futarchs" breeding more of the same, through mentoring and imitation, and not least because the field is gaining in status.

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More than simply snubbing people who won't put up, it would force people to pay money in order to have any policy input in the government.

Futarchy is designed to take money from those who cannot predict policy effects and give it to those who can. I'd expect that like every other market, only a small fraction of participants could reasonably expect to make money. Thus the majority of the citizens would go from being nominally courted voters to having to pay people to "listen" to their views.A significant status decline.

If you have to fight this out on the battlefield of citizen status, I would suggest ignoring the mechanics of selecting policies (in the same way we ignore the back-room dealings in a normal democracy) and focus on the fact that the citizens would still voting, in fact would be able to vote their values rather than simply mark their allegiance to the grubby political parties of today, and that they will then be citizens of a forward looking nation that would soon be globally recognized as the world leader in effective governance.

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My understanding is that proportional representation (of parties) does little to fix the majoritarian problem; two or more parties will simply band together to form a coalition government. All proportional representation does is move the winner-take-all aspect from the election vote to the legislative vote. Either way, 51% of the electorate can pass anything it wants.

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