[ExI] Unilateralist was uploads

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Mon Dec 24 10:52:59 UTC 2012

On 12/24/12, Anders Sandberg  wrote:
> We have looked at ways of solving the problem from a practical ethics
> standpoint. The best solution would be to have all people involved get
> together and pool their knowledge, making a joint decision:
> unfortunately this is rarely possible and people often disagree
> irrationally. Sharing smaller amounts of information (like just voting
> yes or no) is also surprisingly effective, but again there are big
> limitations. One can calculate the ideal Bayesian behavior, which allows
> people to make fairly decent decisions even without talking to each
> other (very useful when you do not even know who the others are, or if
> they even exist). There is a quick-and-dirty solution by precommitting
> to defer to the choice of a particular agent in the group singled out by
> some random property (we call it "tallest decides"). And then there are
> ways of setting up institutions in general to handle this kind of cases
> and enforce non-unilateral behavior. All in all, it looks like we have a
> moral obligation to - in cases where the conditions for the curse apply
> - to defer to the group rather than our own judgement. Even if we happen
> to think we are right and rational.

But what if the group is 'insane'? i.e strongly biased in a bad direction.

e.g. a nation run by a wildly popular nationalistic party, or
religion, or dependant on rich financial institutions, (or academics
desperate for tenure  :) ).

Your paper should consider what to do when the outlier opinion is
actually the better solution.


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