All of RIchard_Hollerith3's Comments + Replies

No One Can Exempt You From Rationality's Laws

Vassar, maybe I misunderstand. I always thought informing someone about the agreement theorem will decrease the probability that that person will dare to dissent from a widely-held consensus. The belief that Majority Rule is an effective and reliable way to make correct or ethical decisions is of course a widely-held consensus. I would be obliged if those who write about the agreement theorem would periodically disclaim or at least profess agnosticism towards the notion that it applies to pursuits such as religion and politics in which dissenters face w... (read more)

5David_Gerard10ySomewhat off-topic and answering an ancient comment, but a useful reminder of how important endeavours can actually be horribly short of resources and much more fragile than people think: We know this :-) Wikipedia as monopoly provider of the world's encyclopedia is an anti-pattern [http://www.gossamer-threads.com/lists/wiki/foundation/219133#219133]. But the network effects are very powerful. This means we are a great big single point of failure [http://davidgerard.co.uk/notes/2007/04/10/disaster-recovery-planning/]. Our single data centre is one hurricane away from disappearing. Even making a good backup of English Wikipedia is a remarkably difficult endeavour because it's SO BIG. A billion and a half words. Can you mentally grasp how big that is? I sure can't. And the distributed network you outline would be a wonderful thing. But, like most things that it would be nice to do with Wikipedia, it requires coding on MediaWiki. Lots of people have "Why don't you ..." technical ideas - nearly none of them follow them with the requisite code. The budget for this year includes a pile of cash on technical resources: a second data centre and a lot more coders. We're also developing a pattern where young whizzkids work for WMF for a couple of years at charity pay and go off to make a bundle in industry - and that's fine by us.
No One Can Exempt You From Rationality's Laws

Here is another comment on democracy, and I warn the reader of highly provocative and unorthodox opinions ahead.

Here is a quick example of what I mean when I say that some of the the bloggers here are pickled in our civic religion:

As for liberal democracy, it's clearly an error to assert without further argument that liberal democracy will solve all future problems. But it is not a mistake to say that it is far and away the most successful thing that humans have ever come up with, and so that it is the best framework in which to try to address future probl... (read more)

1Дмитрий Зеленский1yI would say that you're rather strawmanning the author of HPMoR where some reasons to distrust democracy are nicely illustrated - by (spoiler, now rot13ed) gur znva ureb thvyg-gevccrq vagb gnxvat n yvgreny gevc gb Nmxnona naq uvf orfg sevraq nyzbfg trggvat nabgure bar va funpxyrf.
4Polymeron10yThese are all good and well as observations go, but it is unclear what alternative you are proposing, if any. I would also like to point out that, once you start discriminating between who should have more (or any) weight in decision-making, the biases of whoever is making said discrimination could very well result in excluding beneficial or even indispensable viewpoints for whatever decision is being made. That isn't to argue, that extreme equality of decision-making power is optimal; but it does raise an important issue with systems that lack it, which needs to be addressed in any alternative method. There are other similar pitfalls, but I think this may be the main one.