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You indicated that there was a problem with me doing a spot check on something not directly related to co-ops, so let me instead do a spot check on something directly related to co-ops:

Let's look at what the literature indicates as the benefits of socialist firms:

[...] 3. Workers put in more effort[11]

I believe this is the cited study?

I'm confused about this study because the abstract seems to say that conventionally owned firms are better than co-ops:

In our experiments, subjects in conventionally-owned firms exhibited higher productivity, perceived greater fairness in the pay they received and the method used to pay them, reported higher levels of involvement in their tasks, had more positive evaluations of their supervisors, and showed a greater propensity to interact with and provide assistance to their co-workers than did those in employee-owned firms.

However, this seems to contradict table 3, where co-ops did better. So maybe they swapped around the labels in the abstract or something.

I'm also confused about what role the owner/supervisor was supposed to play in the work. It looks like the experimental simulation-company had workers do fairly independent tasks (spellchecking), and that there were not significant coordination or risk-management tasks for the owners to solve.

A spot check is supposed to take a number of random sources and check them, not pick the one claim you find most suspicious (that isn't even about co-ops)

There seem to be three parts to this objections:

  1. I did not spot-check sufficiently many claims
  2. I filtered the claim to spot-check based on being the most suspicious
  3. I did not filter the claims based on being about co-ops

With regards to point 1, I agree that I cannot know your accuracy very precisely without doing more checks, but the problem is that each check takes time and there are a lot of posts on the internet to read, so I have to limit how much I search.

With regards to point 2, it's not that I spot-checked the most suspicious one, rather it's that I spot-checked the first suspicious one. This is still a filter on suspiciousness, but a much weaker one. I think some filter on suspiciousness is appropriate since suspicious claims are also the ones I can learn the most from if they turn out to be true, as claims become suspicious through a combination of being unlikely and having big implications.

With regards to point 3, if you put much more effort into verifying the accuracy of your claims about co-ops than your claims about other stuff, then your accuracy on co-ops might not be that correlated with your accuracy on other stuff, and I ought to do a spot-check specifically on your claims about co-ops. I don't know if that is true. If it is true, it might also be helpful to mention it as a disclaimer in the post so people know what claims to mostly focus on.

and use that to dismiss the entire literature on co-ops.

So it's not so much that I'm dismissing the entire literature on co-ops. (Or well, I would generally dismiss any social science that I haven't done some surface checks of. But that's different from my comments here.) It's more that I'm dismissing your literature review of the literature.

This is dishonest, the vast majority of the sources are primary scientific studies and the few times I do refer to secondary sources it isn't irrelevant.

I wasn't talking about the vast majority of the sources, I was talking about source 3, which turned into source 2, which turned into some other source that I had to find myself.

You did handle it right, especially your deleted comment.

My deleted comment was nearly identical to one of the non-deleted comments. It's just that I realized there was a problem with one of my comments after posting it and I needed to take some time to look at it.

Yeah, because the primary source is right there?! What value would me explaining in my second language bring to the explanation, when you can click on the link and immediately download the primary source?

The problem is that the primary source does not seem credible without additional information.

For your quiz, could you give an example of something that is grader-optimization but which is not wireheading?

Aren't these obviously, non-subtly different from the stuff that has consistently led to catastrophe? Or am I missing some similarity? (I have to admit that I'm somewhat weak on the relevant history, so it's possible I'm missing some obvious deep similarity.)

Aren't socialist co-ops a totally different kind of socialism from the stuff that has "consistently led to catastrophe"?

More fundamentally the reason I call out that specific section is because I strongly doubt that the "businesses with engaged workers have 23% higher profit" sentence is based on statistics that are of any nontrivial evidentiary value for whether better workers lead to more profit, and if this part of the post is totally wrong then that calls into question whether the other statistics cited in the post are similarly totally wrong.

However, in spot-checking whether the statistics were totally wrong, I found myself struggling with wading through signups and links and long mostly irrelevant articles. Of course some nonzero amount of this is likely to happen with spot-checks but it seemed like the layers of links just made it even worse.

I was about to say that maybe I handled it wrong to begin with and should have just pointed out this problem. But looking back at my original comment I think I handled it right, in just asking OP to explain what data/model it was based on; the problem is that then OP responded back with repeating the links instead of explaining what he had read in the links. But I guess my followup response to OP responding back with repeating the links might be a problem.

You can immediately see a button that says "download report" when you click on that link. I wouldn't call that "digging for sources".

I have downloaded the report. When I searched for keywords from the sentence "This is not only terrible for the workers but also for the economy, since businesses with engaged workers have 23% higher profit, while employees who are not engaged cost the world $7.8 trillion in lost productivity, equal to 11% of global GDP." in the report, the main section that appeared was this:

Clearly, the COVID-19 pandemic era put a halt to a long period of gradual but general improvement among the world’s workers. This matters for global economic dynamism. Gallup estimates that low engagement costs the global economy US$7.8 trillion and accounts for 11% of GDP globally. Gallup’s analysis of 112,312 business units in 96 countries found a strong link between engagement and performance outcomes, such as retention, productivity, safety and profitability

The other potentially relevant section that appeared was this:

Business units with engaged workers have 23% higher profit compared with business units with miserable workers.

Neither of these sections give any idea of how Gallup came to the conclusion, but the link in the first section contains a link to a different document that probably forms the foundation/primary source for their analysis.

It's not independent

I mean if the independence of employee engagement doesn't hold, then the causal inference doesn't go through, and you can't infer that engagement has this much effect on productivity...

co-ops let you vote on managers which allows productivity to increase.

... however this sounds like a different form of independence than the one I brought up.

It was the second source in the post: [2]

Oh I think one confusing factor was the footnote placement.

But anyway, no, this link doesn't link directly to the study either, it links to a report that links to the study. I had to go through additional links to find this document which appears to be the original source with the actual analysis.

From the study

The wall of text doesn't really answer my questions about the independence of employee engagement.

I never claimed a massive growth advantage:

Ah sorry, that's my mixup between the effects of employee engagement vs effects of co-opts.

You can find my sources in the references section. This was based on a gallup study

The issue is basically friction. There were several things that made your links difficult to use:

  • They were not direct links to the study, but instead i direct links to articles that talk about the study, so I had to dig further manually.
  • The articles are often big and contain lots of specific things that might not be directly relevant to your point of using it in the post. 
  • Even having opened the study, I'm still left with confusions about the methodology. It looks to me like they basically just correlated employee engagement with productivity. This is valid if employee engagement varies in a way that is uncorrelated with other factors that have a big effect on productivity, but they don't seem to justify that assumption and it doesn't seem anecdotally sensible to me. Furthermore they suggest that managers have a huge effect on employee engagement, which seems to point to a potential area where this assumption could fail. I would like to see a factor analysis containing employee engagement and a bunch of other variables before I believe it to be reasonably independent of other factors.

Now, these are questions I could study myself, so why put the burden on you? I'd say friction and scale: If everyone reading your article studies this themselves, then it is a lot of duplicated work. Meanwhile if you did the work, e.g. making sure to link directly instead of indirectly to the studies you've read, and making sure to also link to factor analyses demonstrating independence or whatever else is assumed, then the work would be only performed once, and the results of the work would be available to everyone reading the article.

One issue that arises with starting a socialist firms is acquiring initial investing.[27] This is probably because co-ops want to maximize income (wages), not profits. They pursue the interests of their members rather than investors and may sometimes opt to increase wages instead of profits. Capitalist firms on the other hand are explicitly investor owned so investor interests will take priority.

I'm not sure I understand the economics of this. If co-ops have an inherent massive growth advantage, wouldn't that outweigh the advantage capitalist firms have in giving more dividends to investors? Because while in the short term the capitalist firms would maybe give more to their investors, in the long term the co-ops would grow bigger and therefore have more money to give, even if they allocate a smaller fraction of it?

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