Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Neocameralism vs. Demotism & AI vs. Amerika

Abstract:
Neocameralism appears to share the problematic feature of demotism.
Nevertheless, if we somehow implement natural selection in government by making it as easy as possible for governments to fail, we will get the best government.
Moldbug seriously embarrassed himself when he didn't discuss neocameralism's political formula.



Background:
You can have a government that's run for the benefit of the 'employees,' which is literally communism, always parasitic, and always fails because it either bleeds the subjects dry and starves, or loses their support.

Every government is at least a little democratic, in that it requires the resignation of the subjects. No government has ever been able to afford to suppress widespread dissent. (The key threshold is about 10% civil (or impolite) disobedience. If the autres refuse to be encourger, the government ends.)

Alternatively you can have government that's run for the benefit of the subjects, which is not-communism, but hasn't ever been tried. (Though the closer approximations have been better, just as closer approximations of communism have been more Infernal.)

The problem is what makes Moldbug come up with the 'primary property' distinction. As a matter of physical fact, groups do security better than individuals, meaning there's always going to be a principle-agent problem, and this one is the very worst because the agent can always physically seize the principle's entire capital, and the principle can do nothing because individuals are not a group.

We can imagine what is called today an 'enlightened dictator,' which used to be called a 'just king,' who knows not to slaughter the golden goose; who is a communist, an employee running the government for the benefit of the employees, i.e. themselves and their kids, but knows to have a light touch.

We can also imagine that God gives everyone a flying unicorn for a bar mitzvah present.



Because all governments must pacify their subjects vis a vis government rule, it requires a pacifier, which adults have taken to calling the 'political formula' to avoid the embarrassing truth. The political pacifier has a distinct effect on the character of the government using it. As per Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, of stable pacifiers, demotism is a particular awful specimen. The Divine Right of Kings transmutes to the Divine Right of Mob. (ProTip: Kings are noble. Mobs are not. They're both parasitic, but you as subject prefer one parasite over the other.)



Discussion:
While deeply confused about what Moldbug was trying to say, Brett Stevens raises all the salient points, passing an extremely high bar, statistically speaking, as a quality critic. I will thus politely ignore the confusion, and I hope you can too.

Neocameralism is Moldbug's attempt to produce a much better political pacifier than demotism. He does this by imagining the most ideal workable governance structure and ignoring the issue of pacification entirely. I extrapolate that he imagines a world of adults like himself, who recognize they can't change the government, and thus simply accept its existence without a specific pacification doctrine. Moldbug shows that neocameralist governance indeed theoretically aligns governor and subject interests, and thus behaving as an adult like himself is indeed rational.
(By 'theoretically' I mean theoreticians forget relevant factors all the time. However, if Moldbug has done so, nobody has been able to point out which factor he's forgotten. If he hasn't, it will turn out he is simply correct, because that's how logic works.)
Basically, while the neocameral CEO can indeed seize the entire neostate for himself, he demonstrably won't, for exactly the same reasons the CEO of Ford doesn't simply allocate all of Ford's production to himself and retire with like a million cars.
("Sir, we're running low on virgin's blood for your bath."
"Ah, Jeeves, just sell a few hundred more of the Pintos."
"Very good sir.")

Moldbug imagines that the sovcorps would leave their borders open, as a home you're not allowed to sell is less valuable than one you are allowed to sell, meaning closed sovcorps would have a lower stock price, and either get bought out, go broke and collapse, or shape up to prevent these things.

However, this means sovcorps have, if anything, even more of a democratic nature than democracies. Especially thinking of the most valuable citizens, if moving sovcorp is as easy as moving apartments, then we imagine a quite servile and solicitous 'king.'
they will flock to that which is more mentally convenient, thus ending up at liberalism.
(Noting his idiosyncratic though precise notion of 'liberalism.')
It seems sovcorps will pander to their subject's whims, generally speaking, the same way 'the customer is always right' often means you're allowed to verbally abuse your service provider. And the whole point of anti-demotism is the people's whims are kind of cataclysmically awful.

And you know what? That may indeed happen. However, you can no more prove it will happen than I can prove it can't happen.



I will nevertheless suggest as much.
 
right now people know that voting Leftist results in them paying more taxes and receiving less, and still they do it — why? Answer: because government is not the cause but the effect, and the cause is that under social systems, egalitarianism is the way to advance. Again, the problem is us.

Two differences.
First, 'good schools.' When someone is choosing something they have genuine control over and has a genuine effect on them, they don't signal, they, err, competence.

Voting is free and pointless, thus pure signalling. No, voting left doesn't really result in them paying more taxes. They are going to pay more taxes anyway, so you might as well vote left and be holier-than-thou, instead of voting right and being taxed for nothing.

Similarly, try to use political sophistry to convince someone of something false about their job. At least, if you enjoy being shut down the hardest you've ever been. Scamming someone is much, much harder than the voting booth makes it seem.

Second, what's actually mentally convenient is choosing the strong horse and ignoring all policy. Folk will move to the richest or most feared polity - the strongest, thus the healthiest. Sure at first it won't be clear who's going to win, and it will come down to policy. Likely a bunch of folk will voluntarily move to communisms. Then they will get jacked, and move somewhere they don't get jacked. (Equivalently, the polity will die out and become fallow.)



While the school thing suggests subjects will be relatively sane about things, let's imagine a few ways they might not be.

The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay liquid. If a light-liberal regime can last long enough for sane regimes to go bankrupt, the 'strong horse' comparison becomes a broken-window fallacy of unseen benefits.

Citizens may choose redistributivist regimes out of guilt or virtue-signalling, then refuse to recant (move) out of embarrassment.

Violent (e.g. Islamic) regimes may outcompete regimes trying to be more peaceful, because violence pays off now but economic growth pays off ten years from now, again leading to a broken-window world.

There is an absolute lower bar for competent polity-scale leadership. It may well be that nobody alive passes that bar. (Or equivalently the smallest number of key supporters per capita is larger than the number of sane rulers per capita.) Genetic evolution tries everything. Humans can only try things that occur to them to try, meaning someone has to think it's a good idea to do the thing that's actually a good idea. The leading cause of corporate dysfunction is government regulation, but the runner-up is various forms of not thinking of the good idea as good or at all.

Once demotism is as discredited as divine right, we recognize that there is indeed demand for a political formula, and a neocameral selection stew is as good at selecting for sophism as for competence. They may come up with a really compelling novel lie, which will last another several hundred years.



Neocameralism is a specific model of what Steel Anarchism would result in. (Caveat: true anarchism formalizes Exit as pacifier, instead of simply hoping the incentives work out.)

Steel Anarchism is a prayer to Gnon.

"Dear Gnon, bestow upon us the best government, love, everybody." The fiercer the selection, the more graciously Gnon will grant our prayer. Anything that weakens the selection - namely, political pacifiers that aren't Exit - is a slap in Gnon's face. While Gnon is merciful (or perhaps lazy) eventually he will slap back. And his hand is bigger than yours.

However, it may well turn out the best government is still a net parasite. It's not up to you, or me, or us, and especially not to idealistic pro-state wishers. It's up to Gnon. We can thank Gnon it's not worse, or do that whole slapping thing. There aren't any other options.

Nitpick:
Brett Stevens is ontologically committed to anarcho-pessimism.
Until we get rid of the notion of equality, and replace it with culture and hierarchy, we are doomed.
Hierarchy == coercion => parasitism,
[prevent] government from being able to operate behind an ideological aegis which allows it to commit parasitism that cannot be criticized because its goal is theoretically noble.

Doing the substitution, "until we get rid of parasitism and replace it with parasitism, we are doomed." Coda: oh wait shit, we're just doomed.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Economics Scholarly Failure

Excuse me, I have to quickly outsmart all of economics here. (Again, this is to to economics' shame, not my credit.) When I see the word 'puzzling' I attribute it to self-inflicted stupidity. This was indeed the case this time.

both employment and wages fall due to decreased demand.
Technology increases productivity, which causes deflation, effectively increasing wages. Since I'm not all of economics I can't get exact numbers, but it will be close to parity, netting no change in wages. Further, demand for raw materials actually increases. Employment only falls short term, because the market gets further away from equilibrium, temporarily.

This explanation may help us understand why we see steep declines in employment while wages remain steady
Mainstream economics exists to glorify what its paymasters wanted to do anyway. This means it's their job to not understand how a minimum wage works.

It's obvious now I've said 'minimum wage,' right? If wages must fall, but can't, you get unemployment, while wages remain steady.

Wages remain steady because there's a status cline that overrides wage compression. Have to pay the not-janitor a set percentage more than the janitor. If market wages fall below that for the not-janitor, since the market can't lower the janitor's wage, the market responds with rationing, which is equivalent to unemployment in this case. Specifically, it can only hire not-janitors with above-previous-average productivity, who are willing to work for less than their market wage. If humans weren't slow and stupid, minimum wages would entirely eliminate non-minimum-wage jobs at any point wages are falling.

But the quoted combination could happen anyway. Technological unemployment: wages down, productivity up:wages up. So, wages: no change, but unemployment.

None of this is to say that I don't think better productivity wouldn't cause leisure to substitute for employment. Further, that's a good thing. However, it raises another government boondoggle, which is regulatory overhead. The overhead for a half-time worker isn't half as big as a full-time worker. But, at the same time, hours over 40 cost 50% extra on the margin. Ergo, all wage employees must work exactly 40 hours, absent very strong contrary factors. All salary workers must work as much as they can be convinced to amortize their regulatory overhead. (On top of it already being a good deal for the employer.)

When there's less work, because more productivity, employers fire someone rather than reduce time worked, and thus wages. Or, the salaried worker works less for the same pay.

Right now, I’m gathering facts about the possible mechanisms at play, beginning with a hard look at time-use by young men with less than a four-year degree.
Viciousness in the population must be at fault, because our rulers are virtuous, not vicious. Everything they do is anointed.

I am currently working to document this phenomenon, but there is a real challenge in determining what the right policy response might be to address the underlying issues.
Boy, demonstrating the whiteness of black sure is tough.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Receptor Sensitivity Homeostasis

And for that matter, I’ve met a few people who never seem to develop tolerance for benzodiazepine sleeping pills. You see this same pattern for opiates used as painkillers. I spent so many years confused about whether people develop tolerance to these or not, and my final conclusion is that some people do and some people don’t and if you try to find a coherent universal pattern here you will go insane.
Essay writers all need physics and programming.

If the user repeatedly clicks the 'OK' button, some programs will crash and some don't and if you try to find a coherent universal pattern here you will go insane.
It's called a 'bug,' and someone suitably knowledgeable about the program and the language it's written in can find and fix the bug. The issue with benzos is the program is executed in proteins and the language it's written in is GATTACA.
I spent so many years confused about whether programs crash or not.
Yet it never occurred to him that 'programs' isn't a natural kind at this level of detail. Programs vary in their bugginess and thus their responses to input. Programs also vary in function and implementation, so the exact same input may produce, variably, good output, buggy output, and correct output that is identical to the buggy output due to the 'bug' being correct behaviour for that program, and 'fixing' it would break six other things.

I don’t know who first discovered that low-dose naltrexone could help potentiate the effect of opiates
This is one of the first things I would have thought of, because I know receptor sensitivity is homeostatically regulated. (I think I confirmed this from one of Sapolsky's behavioral biology lectures.) There's a target range of stimulation, and the body attempts to meet it. It can use impulses/behaviour, self-medication, hormone regulation, and if those don't work, it tunes receptor sensitivity. You can see this happen very quickly with taste and smell. However, since it's a range, it's possible to get stuck at the extrema. There's hysteresis.

Addiction is often the result of the target range itself getting deformed, so no reasonable amount of natural stimulation can hit it, even with maximally aggressive tuning. Alternatively, the tuning process can itself be buggy.

Naturally pain receptors are highly resistant to this effect, much the way sharks don't get cancer. It became well-tuned and stayed that way, and is now selected for being conservative.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Consciousness is Not PR Agent

It's said consciousness is the brain's PR agent, which implies the consciousness is largely a net cost to everyone else and should be ostracized, ignored, ridiculed, etc.

In reality, naive introspective access goes to the subconsciousness' PR agent, and the naive consciousness uncritically repeats it. It must be this way, because consciousness does hardly any thinking itself - it's largely a coding interface, which the rest of the brain compiles and runs. The consciousness can't come up with its own rationalizations. However, the consciousness can stop being naive, and look beyond its own surface appearance. Once the consciousness learns not to take the rationalization agent at face value, it can become a powerful and active member of the gestalt being. The subconsciousness' various single-purpose networks don't have to be isolated, as the consciousness can query them on purpose and synthesize their results.

Consciousness gets ridiculed by those who want you to be weak, so they can dominate you. (Neglecting mere repeaters.) I suggest not listening to them.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Dominance Perverts Justification

Christians describe demons as dominated by the need to dominate. Domination is indeed evil.

Monarchs had the divine right of kings. But who's really in charge, the monarch, or God? There's an easy way to find out: do something God definitely doesn't want done. If it works, the king really is the dominant one. They'll get a nice high and want another hit, so they'll do something God would dislike even more.

Presidents, prime ministers, and chancellors represent the will of the people and govern with their consent. Unless they're really in charge, in which case they can do something against the will of the people and survive. The most dominant can directly contradict the people's will repeatedly and emerge unscathed. Thus, they do precisely this.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Godel vs. Physics

Godel's first incompleteness theorem is not true but there's a Platonic ideal form that is true. Physics does in fact have a logical singularity as described by Godel - something true, but not provable.

Little known fact: physics is indeed a formal system, which is why theoretical physics works (e.g. Einstein).

Godel's first concludes that healthy formal systems include true but unprovable statements. I have no idea what this would look like for math - and you can try googling up an example yourself, let me know if you find any, and more importantly teach me your google-fu. However, in physics, it's quantum decoherence.

Without loss of generality, consider an electron in a superposition of spin up and spin down. Before collapse there is no fact of the matter regarding whether it will be spin up or spin down. After, it is true that it is spin down.

How does the electron know to pick spin down?

('How does it know' is a critical physics question. Easy example: the water knows to be held back because the dam's surface tells it to stop, and more importantly, where exactly to stop, and how much force is necessary to unstop.)

Picking up or down makes sense - it's aligning with a magnetic field. After it's picked we can just look. But how does the electron itself know it picked spin down?

We know nothing else picks for it, because then we'd be able to measure that thing and predict the choice. Without some internal process telling it which to pick, it should itself not know which to pick, and remain in a superposition...but this has the same problem, being as we could measure the process and predict it.

There is no process that tells the electron it has picked spin down. It is not a consequences of any law of physics. Yet, we can measure that it indeed did pick it, and it is therefore true.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Free Will is Analytically Impossible


So, the five answers: yes, no, I don't know, I don't care, and wrong question. Y/N/?/¯\_(ツ)_/¯/X
At first I found a strong sign of X on the libertarianism vs. determinism question when it turned out their consequences were identical. I've since found determinism isn't predictable and now it's time to show libertarianism is impossible. Mainly for perspective on how conflicted the original question was.

Either I can decide to pursue what I want, or I can't. Either I can choose what I want or I can't. These are mainly straightforward empirical questions - I would notice if I couldn't pursue the strategy I wanted, like I notice I don't control what I like or don't like. (Minimal control, anyway.) However, it doesn't matter, because either way free will is impossible.

Though I control my actions, my best action is determined/predicted by what I want. If it were not so determined, I would not be free - I would be doing something other than what I decide to do. Thus, I cannot be free either way.

In theory I could control what I want, but based on what? Look at the words - I would be able to want whatever I want. If I could fully control my wants, then how I arranged them would have to be determined by some not-me factor. The thing which I use to decide how I arrange things under my control is, by definition, my preferences. Having total control over my preferences is impossible, because there would be nothing to decide their disposition with.

Empirically, the 'want' part of the brain can be damaged, producing caricature vulcans. These folk don't make decisions, because there's no ought from is. Ultimately, to change what I want, I have to have some core value to use as a fulcrum to lever around the values lower in the hierarchy. (Or shallower in the onion.)


Hence, the desire for 'free will' is an evopsych thing, not a philosophy thing. It's about not being in physical chains. It's about my values not being overridden by someone else's. Not being in logical/causal chains is impossible.