Thursday, April 10, 2014

Shallow vs Deep Input

But when your leaders are chosen by popularity, whether through vote or product buying or social buzz, you then have a Cathedral that is of the bazaar. The great secret — this is what the Dark Enlightenment types are morally afraid to face — is not that our elites are bad, but that our elites are bad because they were chosen by our undifferentiated majority. The herd isn't brilliant; it's stupid. Worse than stupid, it's deceptive and dishonest. The bazaar is the enemy, not the cavalry come to save us! - Brett Stevens, The Redundancy of the Dark Enlightenment 

The other day I went to a bazaar. I saw a small rug that I really liked...




...so I asked the vendor whether he accepted votes.  For some strange reason he didn't.

Isn't that weird? The guy only accepted money. He wouldn't let me buy his rug with my words (opinion/sentiment/feeling).  I even tried offering him a thumbs up...both real life and youtube...but he said no deal.  Same thing with facebook likes. He did pause at a reddit upvote though.

See guy, your mistake is lumping markets and democracy together.

In a market...in order to get the rug, I have to sacrifice something that I personally own and value...like my money (blood/sweat/tears).  Spending is deep input.

With voting, on the other hand, I'm simply talking. Talk is cheap. Voting is shallow input.

Our system fails because shallow input trumps deep input.  Words are given more weight than actions.  It wouldn't be so bad if our political leaders were omniscient....but they really aren't.  This means that resources are diverted to less valuable uses.

NRxc (anorexic...no economics on their bones) people guess that the solution is to eliminate shallow input (voice).  No, the solution is to facilitate deep input on public goods. How? By creating a market in the public sector.  Giving people the freedom to exit within the public sector would clarify the demand for public goods.

Let me tweak Stephen Crane a bit...
Democracy, thou art for suckling children,
Thou art the enlivening milk for babes;
But no meat for men is in thee.
Then-
But, alas, we all are babes.
When you're ready to grow up, pragmatarianism has the meat you'll need.

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