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19 Oct 2018
22:31:39@pete.b:matrix.orgpete.b joined the room.
24 Oct 2018
In reply to @mhpanda:matrix.org
On the one hand, yes, there is some risk that an individual might take some advantage, and then leave before making a contribution in kind. OTOH: 1)When this occurs, the "oath-breaker" will be limiting the advantage they might gain from the system, and will no longer be eligible for further advantage before making their own contribution; 2)Under normal circumstances, the advantages received will be predicated upon initial contributions made; and, 3)Ideally, this system will NOT be based on any fiscal transaction, so you don't have a condition where you promise a service and receive payment... rather, advantages are gained through the mutual efforts, contributed simultaneously.
Thanks for the reply. (1) strikes me as true in most systems, yet doesn't prevent fraud in general - the traveling snake oil salesman model seems well suited to get around this by planning from the start not to stick around. It isn't clear to me that (2) is possible - if Alex and Brian agree to a trade, one of them is going to be giving something to the other first.
00:16:46@dweissglass:matrix.orgdweissglass(shoot - hit enter early - continuing)
00:18:40@dweissglass:matrix.orgdweissglassLikewise, contracts are useful in many cases precisely because they allow for prepayment for future contributions - lawyers on retainer, etc
00:20:24@dweissglass:matrix.orgdweissglass(3) is likewise very restrictive - if we can only use this system for cases where it is possible to exchange value simultaneously (it doesn't matter whether the value exchanged is monetary, money is just a stand-in afterall), this would stand in the way of the sorts of large scale prospective projects that we likely want to enable
25 Oct 2018
12:45:01@mhpanda:matrix.orgmhpanda dweissglass: First, I should point out that, with a couple exceptions, the points that I have been proposing constitue more of a philosophical backbone to an approach to governance, and not the system of governance itself. These are sets of ideals that the constituency would have to agree upon. The actual mechanisms required for this to work would have to be derived later. I have put a lot of consideration into such mechanisms, but they tend to be long and detailed. I am still working on a tentative draft. This really isn't the kind of platform where I can go into depth (I am working on a separate website where these issues can be iscussed; if you are interested, I can let you know when the site goes live). That said, 1) As I said, yes, there is some risk.
12:50:44@mhpanda:matrix.orgmhpanda dweissglass: Sorry, as I was saying, 1) As I said, yes, there is some risk. However, the snake salesman tends to run into trouble when information about his/her activities spreads. Communication will be one of the most important features of this governance, so after a first fraud, there will hopefully not be an opportunity presented for a second. Another point is that fraud occurs because there is an incentive or benefit to be gained. The main idea here is to create a GREATER incentive NOT to engage in fraud, or to otherwise cheat. You continue to get benefits so long as you remain in good standing, and the value of the benefits depends upon the value of your contributions.
13:04:57@mhpanda:matrix.orgmhpanda dweissglass: 2) You are possibly correct, if you think of such exchanges only as single, independent interactions. However, these propositions are intended to reflect ongoing relationships within the constituency. An important aspect, here, is that this is NOT an exchange between two individuals. It is an exchange between an individual and a community. Importantly, the point that I made was that the individual contribution comes first. This is not unlike what usually happens within a business. No employer hands a new hire a check for the first month of wages, and says, "okay, I'll see you Monday". The employee is generally expected to show up for work, and complete the first week or two (at least) before receiving a paycheck. Now, this system would ideally not be quite so rigid, and there will likely be some benefits that are provided immediately... but such benefits would likely not incur an additional cost on the community, which would be "lost" if the person cheats. Such benefits might include access to fitness facilities, access to equipment on site, etc.
13:18:28@mhpanda:matrix.orgmhpanda dweissglass: 3) There are actually three points here. The first is that monetary exchange makes it possible to exchange "markers" for value that far exceed virtually any real value that can be presented directly, so it makes it easier for people to cheat aggressively. Second, fiscal interaction tends to devalue the actual work done, and is directly responsible for phenomena such as extreme inflation. These points are actually relatively minor, though. The third point is that such exchanges promote the "zero sum" mindset, whereby everything gained comes at a cost. The actual key point is that his should be a community effort to achieve common goals, and to achieve more together than we can achieve alone. The kinds of exchanges I envision would be something more along the lines of, "come, help me build this house, and we can live in it together." Now, there (probably) will have to be an incentive to put in a quality effort when you build the house. This might be something along the lines of, "now, everyone who helps with this house will rank the quality of the contributions of everyone else, and the higher ranked contributors will get to choose their rooms first." This is just an analogy, of course.
16:32:06@dweissglass:matrix.orgdweissglass mhpanda: All fair, I suppose. Without seeing the actual enforcement mechanisms in detail and practice, it is hard for me to tell whether this runs into the standard sorts of problems that this sort of approach brings (the cheater being one of them). I will point out that iterration only matters if I am planning to stay inside to community, but the snake oil salesman might just as easilly pick up and go to a new community after ripping of the first one. Likewise, the employee-employer example takes place in a system where contract enforcement is carried out by a third party - the employer can't just choose not to pay, else the employee can sue - even if the employee decides to up and leave the community. Without that sort of enforcement, you're asking the employee to take a lot on trust. The fact that one side of the agreement is an abstract entity/organization doesn't actually seem to make much of a difference. Again, the solution here would seem to be to enforce contracts as they were drafted even on entities or individuals that have since left the community or decided to withdraw from the agreement. You'll also need some system to prevent the community from breaking its agreements, to ensure that the community can't rob the individual either.

Please keep in mind the importance of immediate feedback. I've seen research studies that seem to indicate that criminality stems from the fact that some people can't think long term. Poverty seem to be one reason why the brain is unable to think long term, which makes sense since if your poor you don't know how to get food today. Tomorrow's problems are quite distant under such conditions. There are also some people whose brains are simply wired that way. So in the end: Immediate feedback is key to minimize criminality.

The feedback does not need to be severe, only enough that you feel that crime doesn't pay. Which implies that you also need to do something about poverty to get rid of criminality.

28 Oct 2018
10:55:11@mhpanda:matrix.orgmhpanda dweissglass: I think that I mentioned that the "snake oil salesman" defense is predicated on communication. This communication has to extend throughout the constituency. Regarding theemplyer/employee relationship, the "employer" IS the community. The delegated representatives would/should be subject to more restrictions than the population at large, and such regulation would be established by pre-established legislation. The "employee/owners" retain full authority to ensure that the representative government follows these regulations.
10:57:38@mhpanda:matrix.orgmhpanda dweissglass: I will hopefully address some of my preliminary recommended mechanisms shortly. At least a simplified version. I should note that SD already embodies many of the prinicples that I have been proposing... if not exactly in the manner thatI would suggest for a broader civil community.
11:03:57@mhpanda:matrix.orgmhpanda neutronstar: I quite agree, concerning feedback. However, feedback does not have to be negative. In fact, there are several decades of research data that demonstrate that positive feedback is far more powerful. Instead of convincing indivuals that "crime does not pay" by imposing penalties for crime, it is preferable by far to demonstrate that cooperative community involvement "pays" much better. NOT through monetary incentive, as research has demonstrated that monetary compensation actually tends to significantly reduce incentive to contribute, but through mutual benefits and community support.

I agree, I actually avoided the term "punishment" and used the more balanced term feedback for this reason. But I could have been more clear on this though...

Crime does not pay could actually be solved by both benefits for following the law as well as punishments for not doing so.

11:14:07@neutronstar:matrix.orgneutronstar Another thing that I feel some societies are lacking in is the ability to adapt to people's capabilities. Some people are simply unable to think in advance, and the society should therefore be able to adapt to this. The end goal should be that the person in question should not be able to be quilty of crimes solely because of who they are. I'm not speaking of simply not being punished for things that would be seen as a crime if other people did it, but actually not even be able to commit the crime to begin with. This is a hard to achieve goal, but still worth to strive for.
11:19:38@mhpanda:matrix.orgmhpanda yalda: Hi Yalda. I just wanted to address your comments on letting the governance structure "evolve". For the purposes of SD, especially for the near future, this is fine. However, over the long term, evolution has proven itself far from ideal, naturally evolving organisms tend toward self-destruction far more often than they tend to succeed. Most nations have gone through a large number of governments and revolutions because they have tried to follow "evolving" trends. The US, OTOH, has survived this long because it did not rely on evolution for its structure of governance. Yes, it was a new system, but that system was founded on a collection of principles that had been discussed and developed over a period of centuries before. Specifically, these discussions centred on the failures of previous governments.
11:25:07@mhpanda:matrix.orgmhpandaSD is essentially a "grass roots" movement. To succeed, we are going to have to establish a significant community. This community is going to need a form of civil governance, or it will tend to collapse, as more people join who have diverse objectives and priorities. It will be necessary to plan out a system of mechanisms that corrects the failures of current and past systems. That is what I am trying to address here. Of course, some evolutional flexibility will be necessary, because structures that are too rigid tend to break. I am just saying that we can not rely on an unplanned structure to simply come together, if we mean to endure as a successful community.
11:37:36@mhpanda:matrix.orgmhpanda neutronstar: From how I understand what you have written, I tend to agree... although it might help if you could provide some examples of what you mean. From my perspective, this could be addressed by how we define "crimes". Given my initial assumption of individual sovereignty, there can be no "crime" except for an action that violates the prinicple of equivalent sovereignty. Sovereignty is expressed through the capacity of making choices. The available choices MUST NOT be limited. Thus, a crime would incur if you deny another individual the possibility of a choice that you yourself enjoy. Under such conditions, government could only legislate against "crimes" that involve someone depriving another person of such a choice.
11:43:33@mhpanda:matrix.orgmhpanda"Regulation" is a separate issue. Governance has the power to provide benefits that constituents might not otherwise be able to provide for themselves. It is reasonable for governance to regulate the use of such benefits, applied equally to all, without exception. But such regulation would only apply to what the governance specifically provides. It would NOT apply to other constituents providing the same benefits, under different conditions. Failure to follow a regulation would not be a crime, and the only "punishment" permissible would be suspension of access to the benefits in question (although the benefit could be provided from another source, which governance would not have the authority to regulate... only to intervene if the terms of provision violate individual sovereignty).
11:50:29@mhpanda:matrix.orgmhpandaI believe strongly that civil enforcement/justice should be founded upon restitution/reparation, rather than punishment. It might be necessary to restrain violent offenders (or, at least, segregate them from triggers and/or targets of their violent tendacies). However, this should not be an option for non-violent infractions. "Penalties" should be restricted to undoing whatever harm they caused, or making some other amends if the harm is irreversible.
13:09:12@neutronstar:matrix.orgneutronstar Let's take alcohol as an example. Some people just freaks out when they get even small amounts of it. I would prefer a system where they would be unable to get hold of it rather than keep punishing them for all the assaults they would commit.
15:00:06@mhpanda:matrix.orgmhpanda neutronstar: Sorry, this is something I could not support, for a couple reasons. First, preventing access would be a violation of individual sovereignty. Second, prohibition has proven to be countreproductive, inducing greater extremes of violence, and greater costs. Third, I rather like alcohol, on occasion, especially for cooking. There are other methods to avoid the costs of substance abuse. Education of adverse effects is one of the most effective methods. Offering counselling and support services to abusers is also helpful. It is also reasonable to regulate the workplace environment, as well as the environment in other social centres... these would be regulations such as stating that certain environments/activities are off limits to those under the influence of a substance. Another approach would be to limit, rather than prohibit, access... for example, the community does not have to provide access to the substance (and can refuse to do so), even if it can not prohibit access. It would also be permissible to require additional compensations/restitutions/reparations for offenses conducted under the influence, and/or longer durations of loss of priviledges for regulation non-compliance where substance influence/abuse is involved. It would even be permissible to restrict use of substances to private areas, or to designated facilities.
15:37:43@neutronstar:matrix.orgneutronstar I'm not talking about the 99.9% of people for which your suggestions would work, but rather those one out of thousands that simply can't help themselves. For some cases there could be medicine that might help, but that is probably even more invasive since it would require monitoring that you actually take the drugs. The alternative to let people get hurt or keep imprison the offenders with the argument that we otherwise would violate their personal sovereignty is something I don't see as the better alternative.
29 Oct 2018
14:17:49@mhpanda:matrix.orgmhpanda neutronstar: Unilateral forced prohibition is still not an option, IMHO. However, presumably, violent acts against others (or other incidents that might result in harm) would themselves be violations of the sovereignty of those harmed. under such circumstances, there are a few options that could be presented: 1) The abuser willingly submits to a "prohibition" programme (this actually falls into my counselling and support services proposal); 2) consentual detention when under the effects of a substance, when intending to use a substance, and/or when exposure to a substance is likely; 3) should the individual refuse to submit to consentual restrictions, the individual may be formally expelled from the community (constituents will have full right to interact with the individual, but the individual will no longer have the benefit of community privileges)... this is an extension of the sovereign right of others NOT to associate with certain individuals (again, this does not prevent individual constituents from consentual association). Presumably, if the member values association with the constituency, that member would consent to certain restrictions and limitations, knowing that doing so would best prevent any non-consentual infraction, while affording continued access to other benefits and liberties. Option 3 would be a final resort.

The kind of people I've met that has a hard time dealing with alcohol would most likely accept any programme that they think might help them. Those programs didn't help in the long run, they simply cannot stay away from drugs without help. A community that would not help in such circumstance, eg by making it hard or impossible for those individuals to get alcohol, is in my view a failed community. How to make sure those individuals cannot access alcohol is however an interesting problem, which we might not have a good answer to. But I think the community should do its best, and not avoid having to deal with it because of sovereignty. I think it would be a sad thing if expelling people would be preferred rather than enforce restrictions.

Sovereignty is a great thing which we could strive for as much as possible, but my point is that there are limits even to sovereignty. But if you need to intrude on someone's sovereignty it should be done only where needed. In my case by limit the access to a drug that would otherwise be freely accessible. The alternative would be to restrict the access to everyone just because some cannot handle it, or imprison or otherwise punish people when they commit crimes because they could not handle the drug. Either way we still intrude on someone's sovereignty.

30 Oct 2018
11:05:22@mhpanda:matrix.orgmhpanda neutronstar: If these people would accept ANY programme that they think might help them, then they would presumably accept a programme that involves a voluntary prohibition. That would be acceptable. In this way, it is not the community that is saying, unilaterally, that they will not be permitted access (which is how I interpreted the original suggestion). It is also permissible for the community to enforce restrictions to the extent necessary to preserve the sovereign determination of others, but ONLY to that extent (this might also have been a misunderstanding on my part... I originally interpreted your proposal to mean that in order to avoid the abuses provoked in some members, you were proposing prohibition to all members). Protection of sovereign determination is the
11:14:28@mhpanda:matrix.orgmhpandaSorry... Protection of sovereign determination is the central concern. The constituency may invoke actions to protect their sovereign determination; however, they may not take unilateral action that deprives another of sovereign determination because of the abuses of others (which was the point I was trying to make). The individuals who tend toward abuse may then willingly submit to limitations in order to maintain their constituency; however, they must always be permitted the option of leaving the constituency, rather than submit to unilateral penatlies or prohibitions. This is a true social contract, which all participants must accept willingly, and which any participant may withdraw from at any time.
11:22:23@mhpanda:matrix.orgmhpandaAgain, the important point is that the individual must agree to any prohibitions. I put this in the context of a support programme because it can be difficult to prevent access to some without preventing access to others. A support programme has access to several mechanisms, and should favour the least restrictive mechanisms that demonstrate effectiveness.
11:33:30@mhpanda:matrix.orgmhpandaI would like to point out that many programmes don't work because they don'thave the resources required to work. Modern culture is too focused (IMHO) on punishment, including incarceration, rather than on providing necessary resources to programmes. Also, modern society is not conducive for the requirements of such programmes. Different organisational structures and paradigms are too strict. You have fixed hours that you have to be at work. You have fixed locations that you have to work from. There is no contingency to allow for the supportive environment required for programmes to work. In other words, programmes don't work because you don't have 24/7/365 access/availability to the supporting structure. Programmes DO tend to work when this constant support network is available in practice. This includes peer-group accompaniment, peer leadership access and accompaniment, and professional access and accompaniment.

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