Monday, February 23, 2015

Who Are You?

Reply to my thread... Epiphytes and Economics

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A comparison of the IP addresses of members Xerographica and Robittybob1 shows there is no evidence of Xerographica being a sockpuppet of Robittybob1. - Cogito Ergo Sum

Well that's a relief.

It would have been a real mind**** if Cogito Ergo Sum had shared conclusive evidence that I was Robittybob1's sockpuppet. I don't even know who Robittybob1 is... yet it turns out that I'm his marionette and he's my puppet master? Everything that I've done in my life was the result of unseen strings that he's pulled? *woah*

In the Matrix Neo had a choice between the red pill and the blue pill. Which pill would you choose? I would choose the red pill.

I don't want to be anybody's sockpuppet. If moderators on this forum determine which options that I'm allowed to choose... then I'm their sockpuppet. My options have been limited to options that they've approved. My work/perspective can only be applied to threads that they deem acceptable.

Right now we're all congress's sockpuppets. Regardless of your preference for the war on terror, or the war on drugs, or the war on poverty... a portion of your labor was used to support these wars. Strings attached to your fingers, arms, legs, eyes, ears, mouth and brain directed you to pay for my trip to Afghanistan.

Yes, I chose to join the Army. That's true. But this option was only available to me because congress approved it.

Does anybody want to argue that, because we choose them with our votes, congresspeople are actually our sockpuppets? If you vote for Elizabeth Warren... I think you're just saying that you want her to be your puppet master rather than some other guy.

I have absolutely no problem if you truly want to be somebody's sockpuppet. My problem stems from the fact that I question whether you do really want to be Elizabeth Warren's sockpuppet.

My hypothesis is that people don't truly want to be sockpuppets. It's easy enough to test this hypothesis. We just have to give people the option to directly allocate their taxes. If you really do want Warren to be your puppet master... then you'll give her your taxes to allocate for you rather than allocate them yourself.

On this forum in the general category there's this thread... The Theory Of Everything. Coincidentally my friend just posted this blog entry... A Scheme for Future Metaphysics. Let's say that a minimum contribution standard prevented me from replying to the thread with just the link to my friend's blog entry. Would you ague that the thread/forum is better off without my two cents? Would you argue that this blocking of my input would be beneficial? Would you argue that if I'm going to take the time to share a link that I should also take the additional time to explain why I think its relevant?

Well... what if I don't have the additional time to explain its relevance? I'm sure you've said... "I don't have the time...". Taken literally it means that your demise is imminent because nearly all the sand in your hourglass is at the bottom. Of course we all understand the real meaning... that you have more important things to do with your time.

Is it possible that somebody really is too busy to share a link's relevance/significance/value/meaning? Maybe you imagine that the only other thing that somebody could possibly do with their time is pick their nose?

Rather than saying "I don't have the time"... it's a lot better to say "the opportunity cost is too high". With the latter expression I think it might help people better appreciate that there are more valuable allocations of your time.

Wikipedia really wouldn't work better with a minimum contribution standard. You really don't maximize contributions by making the opportunity cost of contributing so high that for most people it's not worth it to do so.

So far GiantEvil has taken the time to share his two cents in two of my threads. In this thread, he shared a link to the cheese.com website. Personally, I value this contribution of his at less than two cents. However, in this other thread that I started... Nature: Supply and Demand... he shared a link/video that I value a lot more than two cents.

GiantEvil's contribution was a Ted Talk by Michael Sandel.... Why we shouldn't trust markets with our civic life. Anybody want to guess how much Sandel was paid for his talk? Actually, he wasn't paid at all. If you want to take this to mean that his time is worthless... then if Michael Sandel joined this forum then there's absolutely no problem with ensuring that he complies to the minimum contribution standard. Except, it would be rather strange if people were willing to pay several thousand dollars for the opportunity to listen to talks given by people whose time is worthless.

If Michael Sandel did actually join this forum then would GiantEvil really complain if Sandel started a thread that only consisted of a link? Would GiantEvil really argue that the opportunity cost of Sandel's time really wasn't that high? For some reason I doubt it.

I don't know who any of you are. I have no idea whether you're a bunch of Harvard professors or professional nose pickers. What I do know is that your sand is slipping from your hourglass just like mine is. So if you post a thread or comment that only consists of a link... then I'm going to really grasp that the opportunity cost of a greater contribution was too high for you. I might disagree with your valuation but who am I to override it? Your puppet master?

It was a relief to learn that Robittybob1 isn't my puppet master. It would be an even bigger relief to learn that I don't have AIDs or cancer or ebola or Alzheimers or Parkinsons.

What's going to steal the sand from your hourglass? Disease? The Taliban? Poverty? Cocaine? I'll tell you what's going to steal the sand from your hourglass. It's the fact that we, the people, can't allocate our taxes accordingly.

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Bueller's Basement

For a while now Ireland has been over-represented in my web statistics.  Maybe the Irish are especially interested in choosing where their taxes go?  It seems more likely that it's just one person in Ireland who regularly visits my blog.


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