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[PATV] Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - Extra Credits Season 7, Ep. 13: Incentive Systems and Politics



  • PJmarohlPJmarohl Registered User new member
    I enjoy the thoughts and conversation, but i think this is kind of a dead end way of looking at it. incentive systems can only be put forward from an organised position of authority, and while i believe that the People do actually hold the power, its not in the least bit organised. this leaves us with the problem that any implementation of a fair incentive system would either require Californians, Texans, and Virginians to all agree to something (lol) or for the congress to self implement (roflol).

    the bigger problem approaching politics from this direction is that it requires us to assume that a college educated congresses person is not as self aware as a high school educated video game junky (me). a definition that I've heard of for intelligence is the ability to break down a system and see how it ticks. Can we seriously expect to stick a huge number of very intelligent men and women in a room, set out a legal incentive system, and not have a broken system in under a week, specially when we consider most of them are trained to do that exact type of thing (lawyers)?

    i like this line of thought, and i cant wait until the next episode, but i don't think anything useful will come out of questioning how to get well educated people to operate under, and prop up, a system that does not favor them.

  • Iron LungIron Lung Registered User regular
    As has been well and properly belabored congresspeople have no politically practical interest in their salaries. I'm sure exceptions exist, but that's just what they are: exceptions.

    The goal of fixing American politics would be well served with starting by limiting reelection campaign finances to publicly provided funds. Gerrymandering is a major headache as well, but without big donors to appease a great deal is done to correct the American Political Clustastrophe.

  • SynraSynra Registered User regular
    I was thinking along these same lines recently, but not for government, but for corporate. I was recently working for a certain company that didn't pay me a fair wage. It was a professional neck tie wearing job that required certification. It was also a very demanding job. This is easily a $15 per hour or more job, but they hired me in at $9/h. I had expected to work hard and earn raises up to more realistic pay, but they never came. Eventually I found out that raises are virtually non-existent with this company.

    This position I was in was a major money making position for the company. Yet while I struggled to simply pay my own bills, the corporate bigshots enjoy a $40 million dollar income each year.

    I quit this job because I simply couldn't afford to keep working there. It's absurd. The high level corporate employee should be making money in relation to the lowest level workers.

  • FnorosFnoros Registered User regular
    lulz, assuming governments are designed to help the people, and not enrich some old white dudes.

  • AuriniAurini Registered User regular
    The begged question is the root of the problem here:

    James can design a better system, and heck, just about ANY of us could put together something that works better than what we've currently got - but this isn't the case of WoW developers trying to balance different classes, or keep the game engaging - this is Democracy, where the players themselves design the rules.

    If you've ever allowed a player in a D&D game to design a character class, they're always going to overpower it - myself included. Often this isn't done maliciously, it just occurs. Add several layers of complexity, guilds joining together to vote for changes, and you've got the modern, degenerate Democracy; the same system that ruined Rome, and led to despotism.

    Democracy has failed, exactly the way its detractors predicted it would 200 years ago. That's why the Neoreactionary movement is gaining steam:

  • Ace42Ace42 Deaf-Mute United KingdomRegistered User regular
    edited December 2013
    @gingerbolt (comment)
    They'll cover that when they come to gerrymandering I'd imagine. A plurality voting system encourages a polarisation into two parties thanks to a principle known as "Duverger's law". To allow third-parties to gain traction, you'd need a more representative / proportional voting system; such as AV or STV.

    Ace42 on
  • zingledotzingledot Registered User regular
    @aurini no, not anyone could design something better. Everyone thinks they can, but in reality it's all so complex that no one can really do it by themselves. The best you'll get is one guy can create the kind of system he wants, and the people who like it will follow and the people who don't will say "I can do this better than you".

    I can say that the government's job is collective organization. It makes sense to me that the only reason we create it, is to keep this organized and to accomplish things small groups cannot. So that is my world, I create it. But you might think I'm wrong and that governments and mass organization only leads to large scale conflict and despotism, therefor the end is result is never worth it and governments should be killed off as they start.

    Not saying that is what you believe, but that you'll never make everyone happy with any "system of government". Everyone has their 'What they would do' but few people take time to really consider how ridiculous the idea of doing it all actually is.

  • zingledotzingledot Registered User regular
    EC, I think ideas that don't start with 'fixing the politicians' would be interesting to see. What kinds of game mechanics can we leverage to get citizens to the polls. Things in politics don't change because people can't be bothered to vote. If they know they are going to vote, they're more inclined to educate themselves about it.

  • cB557cB557 voOOP Registered User regular
    ...No way in hell I'm clicking that link, so correct me if I'm wrong...
    but you'd prefer a monarchy?

  • Nicolaus99Nicolaus99 Registered User new member
    How naive. Does the writer have any idea what the average net worth of a Senator or Representative is? ($11 and $6 mil respectively. Google it up.) Only the independantly wealthy can afford to run anything resembling a successful campaign, it's very expensive. Rest assured that your Congressman has little need of his paycheck at all.

  • Titanium DragonTitanium Dragon Registered User regular
    Seriously, this is the sort of naive nonsense I see people spout when they don't really get it.

    From the point of view of wages:

    1) Tying the wages of our congresspeople to the median income of Americans will do exactly nothing. The truth is that Congressmen don't -actually- make extremely large amounts of money in the grand scheme of things and that, in reality, almost all Congressmen are taking a pay cut by becoming Congressmen. Congressmen are typically speaking very wealthy to begin with, and their wages from actually working for the government pale in comparison to everything else. Moreover, it is beyond moronic - congressmen have incredibly important jobs. If anything, we don't pay them proportionally to what their true value should be - we underpay them as-is, really (though let's face it, most of them are really bad at their jobs, that's our fault, as we elect them).

    2) In any case, you can make far more money by being a congressman and taking speaking engagements and teaching and what have you and pull in lots of money that way anyway. Moreover, the less money you pay them as congressmen, the MORE incentive you're giving them to stop being politicians and swich over to being a lobbyist, where they can easily rake in millions of dollars per year. The less you pay them, the more incentive they have for such things.

    So obviously, this is an absolutely horrible idea which makes no sense whatsoever.

    Also, it is based on the extreme delusion that Congress actually has the power to magically increase the median wage in this country. The only real power they have in that department is increasing minimum wage, but ultimately that would not increase their wages very much.

    I mean, if you lived in realityville, you'd understand that, in the end, Congress actually has very little POSITIVE ability over the economy; it is mostly negative ability (that is to say, they can screw things up, but they have limited ability to actually make things all that better). Why is this? Because the economy is incredibly complicated and no one actually understands it. If they knew how to make the economy better, they would because it would ensure reelection.

    So no, they have no skin in the game as far as their wages go to begin with, so the whole argument is retarded. It shows a fundamental lack of understanding of Congress to begin with - Congress isn't made up of people who live paycheck to paycheck, and if you understood the first thing about Congress, you would know this.

  • DreferenceDreference Registered User new member
    I started watching earlier this year, initially because Punic Wars, but then something happened that made me question why working in this industry is worth the chunk of my life that I am giving it.
    Enriching Lives (link: ) and the continuing theme of games and gamebuilding being things that can help us find out about ourselves and live with greater insight, skill and authenticity, have both been exceedingly helpful in guiding my search for my answers.

    This is the episode that has pushed me over the edge into creating an account.

    I see here an effort to take that exploration of the good games can do for ourselves and our communities another step further, challenging us to not stop short of really examining the world we live in. More than any practical solution suggested in this episode or any problem brought up, by bringing this thing into the realm of what this show can talk about, you've challenged us to not ignore it, not give up on it, and not be silent about it. I don't think you didn't see backlash coming; I commend you for braving this anyway and I support you through it.

    To solving these problems. I urge all of us to not waste this opportunity in trying to "win," either by virtue of being right or by virtue of silencing the opposition by marginalizing them, dismissing them or shouting louder, longer. There is no win within the scope of this series, this forum or those who are here to see it. We don't have enough people gathered together here to see the thing as it is and solve the problem--ANY of these problems. So the solution is to go bring more and get a bigger group together, to get closer to being able to solve each of these problems. There's a couple people's lifetimes' worth of problems to solve brought up just by this episode. If we try to do it all here in our free time away from the rest of the people involved, we'll probably just waste all our energy, get burnt and those problems will still be there. So we need more people to effectively talk about these things.

    Because TL;DR and repetition: the problems are too big for just us on EC comments; we need more people to have talks about them that can address the problems.

  • HayekattackHayekattack Registered User regular
    “The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.”

    ― Friedrich von Hayek

    I enjoyed the ideas floated here and many students of political science or economics will recognize the underling message as something akin to James M. Buchanan pubic choice theory.

    I suppose my critique of the idea of attaching wage to economic performance, is sorting out who actually did what? It be like playing risk and getting that massive army because you put your cards in at the right time and not because you where putting in over time.

    Also continuing with the board game analogy is judging economic performance, its like playing a card game within the game the only problem is you get to stack the deck so you get the outcome you desire and that does not accurately reflect reality. This is done all the time in politics, committees and supposedly independent organizations narrow or widen their views as it it benefits them.

    Then there is the problem of what if today's success is tomorrows failure? I would put forward the case the current economic problems have extensive roots in the Clinton era and both parties are to blame.

    I am sorry but the health care bit is just basic tu quoque. Its not constructive and besides it may be because of such government spending allows for less then desirable outcomes to occur.

    I enjoy this honestly, just be wary of any fatal conceits.

  • Javelin1Javelin1 Registered User new member
    edited December 2013

    "I urge all of us to not waste this opportunity in trying to "win," either by virtue of being right or by virtue of silencing the opposition by marginalizing them, dismissing them or shouting louder, longer. "

    I assumed you were being serious until I saw this. Now I am not sure whether or not what you wrote is supposed to be satire or if you are really advocating intimidating people who have different beliefs than you.

    In the event your post is serious: First off, despite the intro, nothing discussed in this video was tied back into gaming. EC is going off track of gaming with this. Also, it appeared to me you may have the misconception that any backlash is coming from people who wanted to 'ignore the issue'. However, most of the counterarguments I am seeing appear to come from people who have been paying attention and see errors in EC's arguments. (I apologize if I wrongly interpreted your words, that is just how I read them at the time.)

    Second, what do you define as a "win"? Usually, people on both sides will agree to "what" a problem is, its how to solve it that is the source of conflict. To encourage people to take such extreme measures to solve a problem when you don't even know what their solutions are is like throwing gasoline on a fire. You may not of meant it that way, but rhetoric like what I quoted at the top is what encourages people to ignore other's point of view, leading to polarization.

    Javelin1 on
  • EliteGameKnightEliteGameKnight Registered User new member
    As many others have said, I'm not sure how much a congressional income change would help. Now something that would allow that to work is if people didn't have to pay their own way through the campaign, but instead the government would cover that giving each candidate a budget which they must use. It would allow the people, which The United States is supposed to be for, get into office based on good ideas and personality instead of the amount of money in their pockets.

    Now the prospect of government paid campaigns may seem detrimental to the economy more so than it already is, but if we got real people instead of the disconnected rich in congress, then we may see some repairs to the deficit wherein we could fully support this system.

    Please, share your opinions on how this system could be better. I'd love to develop the idea more :)

  • maximaramaximara Registered User regular
    I couldn't believe just how *ignorant* and clueless this episode was.

    China had a set up where the official's pay was tied to their region's local income...and the result was MASSIVE corruption with bribes and extortion the rule.

    The whole thing regarding Congress' paychecks is due to the 27th amendment:
    "No law, varying the compensation for the services of Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened."

    Note that not only Congress has to pass an amendment with a 2/3 majority but by the states with a 3/4 majority. What became the 27th amendment was proposed by James Madison in 1789 and finally reaching the 3/4 goal in 1992 ie over 202 years The aim of James Madison was to prevent the current members of Congress from voting themselves pay raises...but because of the way he worded it the amendment it also prohibits pay cuts.

    "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,—That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." (Declaration of Independence)

  • Add in CanadiaAdd in Canadia Registered User regular
    The "better" system people that say is so hard to come up with already exists: Direct Democracy, as opposed to Representative Democracy. Though for the modern times, we would now call it "Crowd-sourced Democracy"

    People participate in direct democracy all the time, especially when you're in a small group. Everyone casts a vote and the majority wins, if the minority is vocal enough they an often get the whole group to do a compromise to get everyone happy. (Akin to stretch goals)

    Direct democracies in the past were impractical because that required hundreds, thousands or more people to assemble into a single spot to cast votes on issues; which is why representative democracies exist today: We send out one person to hold the weight of everyone's votes. Problem is, it's a lot easier to sway the opinion of a single person than it is the opinion of thousands.

    We have technology now and direct democracies can be a thing. Nation-wide votes could be cast on a weekly basis, and important issues voted on inside a day; all it would require is a law requiring everyone carry an electronic voting device that displays legislation to be passed with a yes/no vote. No additional features, why? Because those will be voted in. I imagine the first pieces of legislation would be "add in a feedback/comments section." and the system would design itself based on the needs of the people to best serve the people.

    The only 'problem' is that many people talk about security problems with such a system of electronic voting, and as such determine that the current system is therefore better. Even if fraudulent voting was rampant to insane levels such as 10% it still would not change the outcome of legislation that has support levels of 60+%. This by default makes direct democracy better than what the USA runs now, because the population can be in agreement of any issue to 70% or more and people will not see legislation reflect that (Like the general stance on cannabis as an example)

  • CantelopeCantelope Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    The following YT video by CGP Grey is a great primer on what's wrong with our voting system, which is at the root of the problem.

    TLDR; Two party systems are inherently problematic and promote polarity.

    Edit: As to the issue of making congress wage be set relative to the median wage I have huge issue with this. I have the issue that many have already outline, that congressman do not make most of their money through their wages as a congressmen, but I have an issue with it even if that was not the case. It could incentivize policymakers to make decisions that will effect average worker wages in the short term.

    Look at any company where the first thing new management does is cuts it's marketing or R&D department. It's not usually because those departments are bloated, it's because the CEO knows he can make more money in the short term by lowering expenses which has the effect of handicapping the companies long-term success. Stock compensation schemes that more or less were made to do a similar thing (not for employees but for shareholders), actually have the effect in many cases of incentivizing's CEO's to create sudden short term profitability so that they can cash out with the biggest earnings possible. They don't have an incentive to make sure that the company profits in the long term.

    Cantelope on
  • DreferenceDreference Registered User new member
    I post what I posted in earnest.
    What I mean to get at is that there is a difference between arguing to solve and arguing to win.
    A webpage outlining the concept:

    All of the roads to winning I mentioned are things that I see occurring in political discourse here in the States, and can probably occur in any kind of communication. I see them taken in personal conversations among friends and family, as well as in all kinds of professional contexts. It can get results, but as far as solving the problem and disentangling it from all the other baggage I see other people bring to tense conversations just like I do, it doesn't seem to fix things that deep. If anything, it makes those things worse. That makes things really hard when we have to work/live/etc with one another.

    A dungeon metaphor:
    I'm not saying we have too small a party to enter the dungeon (the discussion about these problems). I'm saying I think we have too small a party to finish it (which in this case would be affecting meaningful change to solve at least some problems for the betterment of our group--our nation, the world, gamers--however you want to slice it; I would go with "our world" because what the US does affects everybody someway or other these days, I observe).

    We are touching on a slew of big public policy and public problems. They're everyone's. These are communal problems, and will take the whole community to varying degrees coming together to solve them. I don't think PennyArcade can be a big enough place to do that; I think we have to take it home and keep talking about it, because it is everybody's business and bigger than just us. So keep spreading the conversation (like sharing files, not spreading butter) and I think that will move us closer to a good resolution than, say, arguing here and only here whether or not the 2.5x median US income is a sufficient solution.

    Thanks for kicking me to refine and elaborate. I'm also trying to disentangle my own baggage from this myself, and the extra work helps. :)

  • thilina bthilina b Registered User new member
    If politicians got paid based on average income, two things will happen. First they'll make sure unemployed people don't count in the calculation. Then they'll do every thing possible to remove low income jobs with no care for the unemployment rate. Easiest way to increase average income.

    And the role of government isn't to help people its to maintain power for your party / family / group / shadowy organization / etc.. And it does a good job of that already.

  • humbleElitisthumbleElitist Registered User regular
    I think you probably misunderstood what they were probably trying to say? (unless I did)

    I think "I urge all of us to not waste this opportunity in trying to "win," either by virtue of being right or by virtue of silencing the opposition by marginalizing them, dismissing them or shouting louder, longer. "
    would mean that we *shouldn't* try to silence others.
    that is, instead of trying to "win" (quotes indicating that that is a flawed goal), we should instead try to find the right answer.

    maybe I misunderstood them instead though.

  • beleesterbeleester Registered User regular
    I don't know if targeting the wages of politicians will make for a great incentive. Numerous candidates, like Romney, were independently wealthy before they got into the business. And as you point out, politicians are already willing to risk the country's well-being on political points, even though a plunging economy is a bad thing for them too. Some people care more about their ideology than their income.

  • CantelopeCantelope Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    beleester wrote: »
    I don't know if targeting the wages of politicians will make for a great incentive. Numerous candidates, like Romney, were independently wealthy before they got into the business. And as you point out, politicians are already willing to risk the country's well-being on political points, even though a plunging economy is a bad thing for them too. Some people care more about their ideology than their income.

    I'd just like to add to this that the GOP's crazy budget antics are actually one of the few things in this world that have real potential to break the system and ruin the lives of people that are currently rich. Only in a world where dollars are worth a lot are they rich, the second that is not the case they are living in a country full of people who would just love to do all sorts of nasty things to them. If the US defaulted, it might have caused an economic collapse that would have caused the super rich not to be super rich anymore and force them to run from an army of people who just lost their livelihood, many of which have been earning appalling wages while doing grueling work for years. I mean, they were literally willing to do one of the only things that could potentially make all of them as poor as us and live in fear of their lives.

    I think that it's correct to say that the problem is that the rich are disconnected. But it's not just from us, it's from consequences in general. I think that for the rich who have grown up in a life of privilege and taught that they deserve it and that they are special, I don't think you can reason with such people. They have completely divorced themselves from any notion of responsibility for their actions.

    Cantelope on
  • dejavu,againdejavu,again Registered User regular
    The income tying system assumes that the majority of a congressperson's income is from their direct pay...and it isn't. Congresspeople usually enter congress taking a direct pay cut from their previous jobs, and yet the rate of wealth accumulation increases while in office. Reason? Advanced notice of legal, regulatory and even private-sector business decisions that allow for what would be insider trading by anyone else. Frequent access to IPO's of start-ups (and somehow that's not a bribe). And all kinds of lovely lovely benefits beyond.

    The idea that a system incentivizes behavior people would find abhorrent is nothing new. It's why banks caused the '08 financial crash. It's why there's supposed to be regulations to incentivize not doing things that would create crashes. And the fact that regulators have no incentives to do their jobs correctly (especially since they're usually former lobbyists/ceos from the industry they're supposed to regulate) means improperly crafted regulations don't create the incentive not to crash the economy.

    So these businesses do, time and time again, and only once the crash is massive does any kind of regulation arise. But don't worry, they'll do it again.

  • bendmorrisbendmorris Registered User new member
    I hope next week's big underlying problem to be discussed will be that Congress sets up its own incentive structures. If not, I hope this is discussed in a future episode. It's great to talk about "changing incentive structures" but how will you convince legislators to do away with their own healthcare, for example?

  • J. D. MilknutJ. D. Milknut Lord of Chipmunks Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    Penny Arcade, I don't mind you dropping PAR or even Checkpoint, but don't drop EC PLEASE. They better your site by like 1000%.

  • Javelin1Javelin1 Registered User new member
    Thanks for elaborating, I think I see what you are saying now. I especially agree about the "arguing to solve" vs "arguing to win". Arguing to win often degenerates into trying to make you opponent sound invalid, as opposed to making making your own argument sound valid. This is definitely a problem in the current system, and unfortunately, "arguing to win" works on the campaign trail. For example, you could come up with your own budget plan, or you can just accuse your opponent's idea of being "crazy budget antics". (Quoting an example from people on this comment section, please don't read too much into it.)

    However, to paraphrase your metaphor, a solution could be to "expand the dungeon party". I agree that any significant change will have to be the result of the majority of us to come together like you described. However, that is no easy feat. If we do manage to pull it off may I suggest a structural change that will hopefully make it easier for future generations to come together? My suggestion is to cripple the "arguing to win" approach candidates take during campaigns by making a change in the election process.

    It takes the same amount of money to make an attack ad as it does a promotional ad. And an ad that promotes one person (politician A) is at best about as effect as an ad that attacks one person (politician A's opponent, B). Because of the effectiveness of the attack ad, there is incentive to spend resources on it. But what if they had more than one opponent to attack, what if we "expanded" the field? Say we also have a choice of politicians C, D, E, and F, all of who get equal coverage, and thus all of whom are a threat to politician A. Now to run an attack campaign, politician A has to spend 5 times as much money. However a promotional campaign relatively costs the same as it did when there were only 2 candidates. Now there is incentive for candidate A to try an "arguing to solve" approach over "arguing to win". The hope is that these new arguments will spill over into the homes of future generations.

    I won't go into too much detail on my idea of how to do this in this post since this is already a page long, (and Im about to fall asleep at my keyboard:p ). But in summary it involves getting rid of the party primaries and having a general primary to narrow the field down to a manageable number of candidates, then use the Alternative Voting System to pick a winner. The larger number of candidates should hopefully create more discussion. (More detail in morning.)

    Sorry to take so long in my reply, let me know what you think so far. I hope I understood you right this time and that you find my idea entertaining. :)

  • Javelin1Javelin1 Registered User new member
    The glasses face is supposed to just be a B with a closed paren. Darn emotes, lol.

  • cwizzlecwizzle Registered User new member
    The fundamental thing you're missing, is that most people in Congress are independently wealthy. Currently most Congressmen wouldn't care if they didn't get paid for a week or if they have a poor health plan, because they could just buy a better plan and deal with the lost salary. All this incentive system would do is weed out people who don't have the money to deal with the repercussions.

  • Big IBig I Registered User new member
    Why tying politician's wages to median income doesn't work:

    1) It discourages poiliticians from pursuing policies that are ethical or serve the greater good but result in lower income. Examples would be abolishing farming subsidies or tax credits.

    2) It increases the incentives for politicians to take bribes and kickbacks from lobby groups. If they feel they're not getting paid enough, they're more likely to be open to corruption .

    3) It lowers the talent pool of available politicians. If someone could earn far more money as a business executive or as a professional like a doctor or lawyer, there's less incentive for people to study politics or to switch careers to politics.

  • rcorrectrcorrect Registered User regular
    Extra Credits needs to stay away from politics. This is pathetic like Extra History was. Oh well, so you've become a bunch of sellouts. Now you're being like Hollywood celebrities who think they know how everyone should vote. Excellent job! I don't give a damn about your liberal view and even if you were talking about conservative ideas I still wouldn't care. Should I want to hear about politics I will watch CNN or FOX News. I come here to learn about making better games. So get over yourselves.

  • rainbowhyphenrainbowhyphen Registered User regular
    This is an incredibly interesting observation. We've often seen how just about any system can be a game, and we often talk of "gaming" systems and "lawyering" in games, and yet somehow this inversion never occurred to me. Let's use the knowledge game design gives us to let it inform the broader culture.

    /r/outside only thinks it's a joke.

  • archangelkainarchangelkain Registered User new member
    I do think that this episode did miss the point a bit. The congressional paycheck is such a small incentive when you consider the millions they get paid in "campain donations" that they get from corporate interests. And this isn't a left vs right thing. All congressmen, senators, even the President, has received donations. From the same corporations in fact. Unfortunately the system is a bit too far gone to actually be effected by a simple change in how they get paid. I am of the mind that they should be taken out of the economy in general. Make it be a sacrifice to work in government. You and your immediate family are not allowed to own property or money but all of your needs are provided for to a certain extent. Thus they could make unbias decisions. Of course this also assumes that they are not also being threatened for their vote. In the end, the entire government must be gutted and replaced with new people and the entire constitution redone for the new generation (and not by people who lived hundreds of years ago). Or, you can be like me and root for the new American Empire to take over the world and be glad to welcome our new/old Manifest Destiny completed Overlords.

  • archangelkainarchangelkain Registered User new member
    Oh yeah, and DAMNIT EC Stop changing sites. Unless the youtube partner program is gonna get you more money in which case fair play.

  • Titanium DragonTitanium Dragon Registered User regular
    @Add in Canadia: Direct Democracy doesn't work at all, because democracy is actually a really, really terrible form of government, and you want to insulate the masses from the actual decision making process as much as possible.

    The problem is, to put it bluntly, people are retarded and incapable of making intelligent decisions about most things. Even Congressmen, whose JOB it is to do this, aren't great at it; the unwashed masses have no real understanding of reality, which is why you end up with messes like California, where they have a bunch of tax laws that seemed like a good idea at the time which screw over the state government badly. You have idiots voting for services and tax cuts at the same time, which just doesn't work. People are too irresponsible to vote directly on most issues and, moreover, it is an enormous amount of work to keep informed on such things.

    And who writes the bills anyway?

    Technology doesn't fix any of these problems at all. Direct democracy doesn't work as a system because it takes an inordinate amount of time to understand everything relevant; even most congresspeople don't understand everything they're voting on. You can't expect ordinary citizens to understand any better.

    @Cantelope: The problem is that he's completely wrong about ways to fix the system, because every voting system sucks. Every single possible voting system has severe issues, and every single possible voting system causes strategic voting. There is literally no way to create a voting system which does not promote strategic voting, and essentially every voting system encourages two-party rule - there's really no way to create a system which does not do so, because as it turns out, banding together into a majority is just way better than anything else you can do.

    @archangelkin: They have no choice, PATV is shutting down.

  • VenicVenic Registered User new member
    archangelkain: You might want to re-read the last bit of the video where they explain why the switch is occurring.

  • CantelopeCantelope Registered User regular
    @Titanium Dragon Any preferential voting system would be far more fair.

    This for example might not be a perfect system, but it is far, far more fair than our current FPTP system.

  • AuriniAurini Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    @cB557 You're not going to click a link to a mainstream tech mag? Okay.

    Here's my question: where are the holocausts committed by Monarchs? The 20th century has been the bloodiest century in History thanks to Democracy and its bastard-child Communism. The first act was the French Revolution - kill the kings, kill the priests, kill the women who won't have sex with me!

    17th century values with future-tech? Sounds good to me.

    Aurini on
  • Ace42Ace42 Deaf-Mute United KingdomRegistered User regular
    edited December 2013
    Aurini wrote: »
    Here's my question: where are the holocausts committed by Monarchs?

    The Harrying of the North wants to speak to you. There were genocides perpetrated under all manner of feudal and tribal leaders the world over; the limit in scope of the horror is proportional to the power they had to exercise, not the type of government available to them.

    It is technology that has made the previous century bloody; not Communism or Democracy.
    rcorrect wrote: »
    Extra Credits needs to stay away from politics.

    Because of your say-so?
    Now you're being like Hollywood celebrities who think they know how everyone should vote.

    “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'”

    ― Isaac Asimov

    You don't think there are people out there who know better than you do?
    I don't give a damn about your liberal view and even if you were talking about conservative ideas I still wouldn't care.
    Then shut up and let the adults get on with discussing the topic?
    Should I want to hear about politics I will watch CNN or FOX News.
    That explains a lot...
    I come here to learn about making better games. So get over yourselves.
    If you are unable to separate ideology from objectivity, I doubt you'd learn much.

    No sense, no feeling.

    Ace42 on
  • DreferenceDreference Registered User new member
    The Old Testament describes the genocides of Amalekites and Midianites,[9] the latter taking place during the life of Moses in the 2nd millennium BC. The Book of Numbers chapter 31 recounts that an army of Israelites kill every Midianite man but capture the women and children as plunder. These are later killed at the command of Moses, with the exception of girls who have not slept with a man. The total number killed is not recorded but the number of surviving girls is recorded as thirty two thousand. Jones quotes Jerusalem-based Holocaust Studies Professor Yehuda Bauer: "As a Jew, I must live with the fact that the civilization I inherited ... encompasses the call for genocide in its canon."

    I went looking for Mary I of England (ya know, bloody Mary, famous for aggressively killing so many of her own Protestant countrymen) but that Wikipedia page seems a like a reasonable side-by-side bucket to demonstrate that we can throw down with a just fine with basically form of government.

    To the point of *values* I think you're on to something; I would say a government and a community which forget their values will collapse and eventually reform around new values (even if they're as basic as "I want to live" as seen so much in post-apocalyptic settings). I think that naturally leads to this pattern from old Chinese philoosophy:

    While it's debatable how much Zhou Wu et al. may or may not have been the inventors of this idea and it is true that the right of revolt is not just their idea anymore (there are several flavors: ) I like the elegance of this version of it, and how it is about rulers doing their job and tending to their societies by what the societies value.
    So, about that.... I couldn't write this without thinking to myself: Our part in this as a political body should probably include or even start with examining our core values as a community and getting consensus on "this is what's most important", because of this version of this principle I like so much.
    So there.
    We might assume we already agree on what's most important, but if that were true, it would contradict 0:00-0:54 of this video, which establishes the foundation for how this is a reasonable conversation to be had at all, regardless of forum. And if someone is debating that this is a conversation that is worth having at all, here, I have completely missed it.

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