[ExI] Call To Libertarians

David Lubkin lubkin at unreasonable.com
Wed Feb 23 14:29:26 UTC 2011

Giulio wrote:

><<Democracy, though, doesn't seem a viable concept in a 
>transhumanist future. >>
>Remember Churchill:  democracy is the worse form of government, with 
>the exception of all others tried so far.
>Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding, by majority vote, what 
>to have for dinner. In other words it tends to degenerate into 
>dictatorship of the majority and oppression of all minorities.
>The question is what is better than democracy. I am not able to answer it.

As Lenny Bruce noted raucously, the free market is.

<< Capitalism is the best. It's free enterprise. Barter. Gimbels, if 
I get really rank with the clerk, "Well, I don't like this," how I 
can resolve it? If it really gets ridiculous, I go, "Frig it, man, I 
walk." What can this guy do at Gimbels, even if he was the president 
of Gimbels? He can always reject me from that store, but I can always 
go to Macy's. He can't really hurt me. Communism is like one big 
phone company. Government control, man. And if I get too rank with 
that phone company, where can I go? I'll end up like a schmuck with a 
dixie cup on a thread. >>

Democracy is like getting together once a year to vote on the one 
model of car that will be built, that everyone has to buy. The free 
market is a hundred models and everyone buys whatever they want, 
regardless of what other people do. [I forget whose analogy this is; 
I want to credit them.]

Back to <<Democracy, though, doesn't seem a viable concept in a 
transhumanist future. >>

The American Founding Fathers specifically did not want everyone to 
be able to vote. But it's become holy writ that each of our votes is 
of equal value, whether Snooki or Thomas Sowell. The electorate span 
is now roughly 6 SD in IQ, from about 70 to 160 (SD 15), all of a 
single species. What happens when the society includes revived 
corpsicles, clones, AIs, uploads, uplifted species, Matrioshka brains, etc.?

There are central problems. As the variety of sentience grows, the 
needs and wants of individual voters will also spread; it seems ever 
less likely that we could reach majority agreement on anything. The 
gap in electorate knowledge and intelligence would now pit Snooki's 
vote against Colossus. *Now*, we see the politics of nations altered 
by changing the demographic mix through high reproductive rates of 
subgroups. Imagine showing up with a quadrillion new voters because 
you used nanotech to turn the Kuiper Belt into sentient individuals.

It seems like the nearest thing to a viable answer is the free market.

-- David.

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