On Sun, May 29, 2016 at 10:06 PM, Stephen Rice <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> And if people could learn languages instantly, perfectly, and
> permanently, that would would make quite a difference too. But we must
> work with what we have, and several conditions would have to be met
> before this democratic ideal could be realized:
> 1. At least one commonly accepted auxlang

True, but I note that it doesn't have be "accepted" or even exist at
all beforehand: It could be (and I would argue should be) developed in
parallel with the new political system (as per my previous posts on
crowd-sourcing the phoneme and vocabulary choices).

> 2. Dictators and terrorists willing to yield to moral suasion and play nice

As for dictators, I actually think this is the easiest part of the
problem: The people living in those environments lack all power now
and that's exactly the way those in power (and by that I mean in power
in *all* existing countries) want it. Give the power to the people and
these problems become much easier to solve. Previous revolutions
(including the Arab Spring) have all been severely hampered by not
having a system to *replace* the existing one, leading to disastrous
instability immediately after the old regime is removed.

As for terrorists, IMHO a competent police force is a necessary
component of any civilization. There are proposals on as
to how to improve the criminal justice system in general, but the
assumption is that terrorism is a criminal/social/mental health
problem and not a political or military problem.

> 3. Masses who would actually care to participate despite the
> self-evident fact that the kind of top-down system you envision would
> actually disenfranchise them.

You've missed my point: My proposal is actually a completely bottom up
system, which instead of having elected leaders only has hired (and
easily removable) managers. As for voter apathy, solving that is
actually a key part of the proposal as well: The idea is to provide
everyone with personality-matched proxies for decisions that they
don't have the time or inclination to cast an informed vote
themselves. This is as opposed to current systems that rely on
self-selected "representatives" (which, because they are
psychologically very unlike the majority of people IMHO should more
accurately be called "misrepresentatives").

> 4. People who would submit to a government with tyrannical powers
> (telling private groups such as businesses what to do) that would be
> effectively unaccountable because the responsibility would be spread
> over a few billion nameless, faceless voters.

As opposed to what we have now, where these decisions are made by
SDAPs (Social Dominators, Authoritarians, and Psychopaths), which make
up the vast majority of the "leadership" in our existing
misrepresentative democracies. But IMHO this is neither a political
nor a social problem, but merely a technical one. We have the
technology and knowledge to solve this problem, we just need people to
actually work on developing it. Unfortunately, there's no money in it
and it entails substantial personal and professional risk and so it's
a horribly neglected field. But it'll still happen eventually and when
the change comes I'm sure we'll all be astounded by how quickly it
will occur. This has certainly been the case for most previous shifts
like this, although of course many them (such as the Bolshevik
Revolution) turned out not to work out so well because they were based
on fundamentally flawed understandings of human nature.

> You will probably say, "The government is us!" No: the government is
> THEM. Out a few billion voters, practically everyone is someone else,
> and practically no one is me. And since THEY make policy apparently
> for everyone everywhere, THEY run things, not me.

Sounds like a libertarian rant to me: "I want to be the boss of me and
mine!". Unfortunately these frequently devolve into antisocialism,
particularly when it comes to one's need to pay taxes as part of the
social contract. My hope is that you can trust the rest of "us" more
than you've been able to trust the misrepresentatives, but I admit
that there will be substantial number of people who won't be happy
with any sort of true majority-rules system (most particularly the
misrepresentatives, but there are also large numbers of people who
have figured out how to game the system who won't be able to do this
anymore once everyone has a voice in identifying and eliminating the
loopholes and slack in our current systems).

> If you want real democracy, it should be bottom-up, following
> subsidiarity: Think Globally; Govern Locally. Keep all decisions as
> close as possible to those most affected, tailoring laws and policies
> to specific situations rather than imposing "one size fits all" laws
> from a distance. Individuals have more power in small groups, so
> that's where the decisions should be made. Then emphasize consensus
> and cooperation among groups when you find you have to move higher up,
> but always allow smaller groups as much autonomy as possible.

This is exactly backwards, and more than a little bit naive, as anyone
who has studied evolutionary or moral psychology could tell you.
There's a whole section on this on, but the bottom line
is that the concept of moral codes as a local phenomenon is just a
prescription for archaic tribalistic societies that are constantly in
conflict with each other. Your proposal is to allow FGM and killing
dolphins for food and denying certain racial groups the right to vote,
just so long as it's a "local decision". We can finesse the issue a
little bit by specifying that the law contains only the absolute
minimum of moral code in it (a libertarian prescription), but we need
to shift to a system where we make moral decisions *AS A SPECIES*
rather than as a bunch of warring tribes like we do now. As is the
case for the auxlang, there can be only one moral code for our
species: Society just doesn't work if we allow everyone to make up
their own, or even to allow every "local" tribe to have their own. You
may consider this oppressive or suboptimal in some way, but it's just
how human beings are wired and to ignore that is just a prescription
for another few hundred thousand years of conflict, or possibly the
extinction of our species when one of these local conflicts gets out
of hand.

> There would have to be some over-arching laws, such as free speech
> (not the right to  be obnoxious on a whim, but the right to express
> the truth as you see it) and mobility (the right to leave an area
> where you feel oppressed or endangered). Of course that second one
> would involve many complications that I won't address here.

Right, so your system includes the right for teenage girls to leave
their families and their countries when they learn that their FGM
procedure has been scheduled. Or that the North Koreans *won't*
continue working on nukes and planning to use them. These things are
under local control, right? Your proposal is just naive and
unworkable, even though it's right in line with the multicultural
zeitgeist (proponents of which are in my experience mostly left-wing
authoritarian, the rarer and more troublesome variety. Unfortunately
you need to really understand right-wing authoritarianism to have any
hope of identifying or understanding the left-wing version of it, but
the short answer is that it's not about individual freedom, but about
enforcing conformity).

>>> To combat hunger and poverty population growth should be addressed.
>>> Yes, by increasing it. Most First-World countries are reproducing
>>> below replacement rate, which diminishes demand and devalues output,
>>> leading to poverty. Also, fewer taxpayers means higher tax rates
>>> without spending reforms, and Greece shows how that works.
>> This is getting off topic, but I couldn't let this astounding statement go
>> unchallenged. You've obviously bought into the Ponzi scheme that is our
>> current civilization's resource usage policy: Consume *everything* and give
>> very little consideration to sustainability or collective quality of life
>> or the value of other species.
> That is neither obvious nor (as a trivia note) true. We do need to
> rein in consumerism and exercise proper stewardship of resources.

And who's going to do that, your local representatives? Or are you
just willing to let scarcity take care of this problem automatically?
Be careful what you wish for: It's exactly this type of scarcity that
resulted in the rise of Nazism and the various communist revolutions.
Again, this proposal is simply naive because it ignores a fundamental
characteristic of human beings: Most of us simply want more of
everything. Much easier I propose to make them sacrifice one thing
(the right to have lots of kids) in exchange for getting more of
everything else.

> problem is that society as currently organized requires a certain
> number of people to keep it going, and we are experiencing a
> demographic implosion that will take us below sustainability.

Hogwash. People are being displaced from jobs by technology orders of
magnitude more rapidly than any shrinkage in the population that would
lead to labor shortages. As robots, self-driving cars, etc. come on
line the gap will probably increase even more rapidly in the future.

> Perhaps
> we could organize civilization to work with fewer people, but that
> shift would probably be as catastrophic as the collapse we're headed
> for. Until that magic solution arises along with a relatively painless
> way to implement it, we need to keep the current system going or be
> responsible for a humanitarian crisis of probably unprecedented
> proportions.

Compared with Communist China or Nazism? I'm not proposing the
population drop to 100 million in one generation, but maybe over 4 or
6 or 10...

> My prescription instead would be to
>> *decrease* the worlds population by several orders of magnitude,
> By death camps? By massive programs of forced sterilization and
> abortion?

No need for anything so dramatic.We in the West make very little
effort to curb population growth, mostly IMHO because the SDAPs want
more sheep to help them become richer and more powerful, or maybe to
use as cannon fodder if the need should arise.  For example, about
half of all pregnancies even here are accidental, and in a significant
percentage of those cases actually unwanted, leading to abortion, or
worse, a child who grows up to be an asshole, mentally ill, or even
criminal because they were raised in a unsuitable environment. Merely
eliminating these unplanned pregnancies will cause the population to
drop to about 1% of its current level in 100 years to a level where we
can start thinking about villas and penthouses for everyone. But
that's merely the low-hanging fruit: There are lots of other
non-traumatic social engineering techniques that can be used to reduce
the population. Some of these are discussed on, but note
that none of them require any sort of personal assault, although is
some cases it does require a shift to putting the human rights of
children ahead of the property rights of their parents. This is
another shift that I think you'll be astounded by how fast it comes
when it does.

> What about dissidents?

You mean like Mormons? ;-) The statistics are pretty horrifying there
too: The prospects for the younger children in very large families
(over 4 kids) are worse than those who live in abject poverty or who
get lead poisoning. We tend to romanticize large families like that,
but if you look at the actual numbers you can only consider having a
large family as a form of child abuse: It's not good for the kids and
it sure as hell isn't good for society...

> Note that I don't believe you favor such things; I merely wonder
> whether you've considered the implications of your program.

Definitely: It's all in there, even including some thought experiments
that should hopefully help you understand and appreciate it. Not that
it'll be easy, though: Objectively examining ones own moral code is a
very difficult thing to do...

> making
>> resources abundantly available to that much smaller human population (i.e.,
>> everybody gets to have a 10,000 square foot villa on a many thousands of
>> acres in the country *and* a nice penthouse in the city) without
>> compromising human sanity and the global environment.
> I find it vaguely amusing that the incentive you offer is actually
> more materialist and consumerist than anything I would consider, yet I
> am supposedly the consumerist here.

No, we *all* are. It's a fundamental component of our natures. Our
society needs to be designed to account for that and accommodate it to
the greatest degree possible rather than trying to suppress it (as
religions typically try to do, but as it turns out their approaches
only work on a relatively small fraction of the population).

> You've unfortunately
>> completely misdiagnosed the problem which has nothing to do with population
>> but merely the result of allowing the wrong people to run the
>> decisionmaking system (see above, and my site
> Who decides who should run the decision-making system? And who decides
> on who decides?

It will of course be open source so "running" it is pretty much not an
issue (i.e., the raw data will be available to everyone, so everyone
can run the system and check the answers). As to who votes, that's
probably not as difficult as you'd think either. Registered voters
would be a sufficient first approximation I think, but ultimately
there will be a different and more inclusive definition of who's
preferences are taken into consideration (e.g. denying most teenagers
and convicted criminals the right to vote is immoral IMHO and should
eventually be changed). As with the auxlang, the shift to a new system
isn't going to happen overnight, but a lot can happen even in one

>> I look forward to seeing it. I would encourage you to reconsider "going
>> public with an incomplete proposal". We're not "the public" and I think
>> could provide some very useful criticism of your ideas prior to releasing
>> the specification to the *actual* public, thereby improve the odds of
>> success. Unless your claim is that your first public draft will be perfect
>> and will never need to be updated, in which case I'd be happy to wait for
>> that ;-)
> The major problem is that I've made changes here and there without
> updating all of my documentation. That would be rather confusing. I'm
> also not quite sure about the order of presentation after phonology,
> orthography, and importation rules. There are some questions about
> numbers (especially ordinals and related issues) that I really want to
> pursue, but they will probably require a lot of preparation, so I'll
> likely have to defer  them. For that matter, I predict that my actual
> starting point will annoy a lot of people: a brief rationale for the
> project and, believe it or not, a backstory or founding myth to
> explain where Inlis supposedly came from and thus where it's going.

That stuff is important for marketing purposes, but probably only
interesting and not essential for us aficionados. I think we'd be
happy just getting a glimpse under the hood. I sympathize with this
position as it's one I'm faced with every day when I'm tempted to
start talking about Matchism on FaceBook or Twitter. But this is a
relatively isolated group with a very specific (and narrow) interest
and so talking about these things here I think can only make the
proposals better without risking a viral smackdown.

> I will be mentioning some alternatives to see whether I should have
> taken another route in some areas, and I will point out weaknesses and
> try to minimize their effects. No propaganda or whitewashing. We'll
> see where it leads.

I look forward to being able to put my 2 cents in ;-)

> Steve