As I’ve pitched vouching as a general solution to both law and medicine, the looming coronavirus pandemic offers a good and challenging concrete test; how well could vouching handle that? If you recall, under a law vouching system, each person is required to get a voucher who stands ready to cover them for any large legal liability, including fines as punishment for
Could you share this post please? Would love to read it.
Apple and Google want to make smartphones send out Bluetooth signals so that people can learn whether they've been near someone who later tested positive. It's not quite RFID tags, but I like the concept.
"Backer", that's another example of a word that wouldn't be confusing here...
1. Yes, but that only disambiguates when it's already clear what sort of thing "voucher" refers to. When you say "voucher system", though, it could be anything, which calls to mind the dominant meaning. "What if we used a law voucher system?" is confusing; it contains no context to indicate here that "voucher" is a person or organization.
2. Even when there is context to disambiguate, ultimately this just isn't that helpful if the meaning you're not trying to evoke is sufficiently dominant over the meaning you are trying to evoke. As mentioned above, most people would not have even heard of that usage of "voucher" (irregular uses can take priority over regular derivations). If there weren't another meaning to interfere, that might not be a problem, but there is. Even knowing the context and knowing what you mean, it still takes me a bit to process every time I see you use that word in this way.
None of the arguments you're making provide any reason that "voucher" would be a good word to use here. They're merely arguments that the reasons it's a bad word are, in this case, mitigated. But, firstly, as I argue above, they're not nearly mitigated to the extent you seem to think they are. Ultimately, the use is confusing -- as in, I, personally, find it confusing -- even if you expect that context should make the meaning clear (which, as I mentioned above, it fails to in this case due to the other meaning of the word being just that much more prominent, and many points where it's used not having that context anyway).
And, secondly and perhaps more importantly... like, basically all your arguing basically only makes sense from a position that's already anchored on the word "voucher". If you started from neutral and tried to look for the best alternative... well, there are clearly better alternatives; I gave examples above.
When a "voucher" is a thing, I agree people usually think of a "bond … worth a certain monetary value and which may be spent only for specific reasons or on specific goods." But I'm using it in the context of a person or org, for which that meaning couldn't apply.
That's a definition of "vouch", not "voucher". Language isn't so regular like that. Now, that is also a usage of the word "voucher", but it's a rare one; it's rare enough that merriam-webster.com doesn't even include it. Checking the OED, all of its cites for that usage are from before the 20th century. Calling it "rare" may be generous; "archaic" might be more like it.
Now all this would be fine if the word didn't have another, much more common, conflicting meaning. If that weren't the case, people would just say, "oh, I get it, a voucher, one who vouches". But that is not what just about anyone is in fact going to think on hearing "voucher", becuase the word does have another, much more common, conflicting meaning, that is going to be the dominant meaning in people's heads when you say "voucher", namely, this.
It doesn't really matter that someone has used the word that way. What matters is, is it confusing. And it is. In fact, because there are other words you could use, it is gratuitously confusing. There's simply no need to introduce terminology that will confuse discussion! Yes, sometimes one needs to use confusing terminology that already exists, but introducing it is a different matter; you have a chance to pick something that isn't confusing, that doesn't overlap with other things. Even using purely made-up jargon would be an improvement, as it wouldn't have other conflicting associations to confuse matters.
I like the word a lot, and see my usage as matching a standard usage: https://www.vocabulary.com/...
Suggestion: Could you use a word other than "voucher" for this? This isn't what the word "voucher" normally means at all and as a result it's very confusing to talk about. Perhaps "underwriter", or "guarantor", or something similar, instead?
there was a scientifical paper of yours in which you compared hunter-gatherer communities to farmer/industrial communities and families. But now I cant find it. If I remember it right, it was co-written with someone.
If you can remember what paper I am talking about, I would appreciate if you could link it here so I could read it.
My proposal doesn't involve estimating individual infection risk.
I discuss that at length in my posts on vouching.
What happens to people who don't have a voucher, e.g. because they are unwilling to accept their conditions and/or the vouchers are unwilling to vouch for them?
I have not read the whole thing so the following may be off point: It seems challenging to estimate infection risk very well at all for many (perhaps most) people. That is because I *guess* that for many (if not most) people, most of their infection risk results from the riskiest 0.001 percentile (say) of their personal behavior. Which is almost by definition hard to observe.