[extropy-chat] Citizen Cyborg on If Uploads Come First

Robin Hanson rhanson at gmu.edu
Fri Mar 31 18:58:15 UTC 2006

At 12:03 PM 3/31/2006, James Hughes wrote:
>I don't think you are evil. I just think you share the worldview of many
>American economists, and most of the 1990s transhumanists, who prefer a
>minarchist, free-market oriented approach to social policy, and do not
>see redistribution and regulation as desirable or inevitable. ...
> > I do not argue that people should trust  political elites.
>No, only the unfettered market. Is there any form of law, state or
>collective action other than market exchange in your imagined Dawn?

You keep making these false statements about me, which I deny.   I teach
economics and in most lectures I make statements about the desirability
and inevitability of regulation and redistribution.   Really.

>... Yes, labor supply does effect wages, but so do government policies
>like worker safety laws, taxation and minimum wages. The fact that these
>policies are completely off your radar is part of the problem.

I am well aware of such policies.  But my claim that in this context they
would "prevent the vast majority of uploads from existing at all" if they
raised wages a lot remains true.

> > while he favors "redistribution," it is not at all clear to me who he
> > wants to take from, and who to give to under the scenario I
> > describe.   After all, given the three distinctions of human/upload,
> > rich/poor, and few/many-copied, there are eight possible
> > classes to consider.
>Rich -> Poor will do nicely thank you, regardless of their number or

I gave a long analysis showing how there were at least five different
ways to conceive of who are the "poor" in such a scenario, and I have
twice now asked you to clarify which of these groups you want to favor
with redistribution.   You complain that I have not supported "redistribution"
but without clarification this can only be a generic slogan.

Robin Hanson  rhanson at gmu.edu  http://hanson.gmu.edu
Associate Professor of Economics, George Mason University
MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030-4444
703-993-2326  FAX: 703-993-2323 

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