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State ran by Computer Algorithms?

tvellalott
Posts: 10,864
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4/17/2013 8:04:53 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
This is a response to a question asked in the Economics forum by FREEDO regarding how I would run an economy if I had ultimate power. Now don't get me wrong, I'm still an AnCap. This is just hypothetical.

As I delve deeper and deeper into the world of programming, a thought that has occurred to me many times before seems more and more plausible.

Could a complex enough program run an entire state? Not artificial intelligence, but a series of complex algorithms that maximise efficiency in assigning tasks to workers and managing the taxes paid to pay for said tasks. That is, after all, what a Government does.

So the first thing I do is hire a bunch of experts in various areas, based on credentials. My starting budget will be say, 10 billion dollars (lol). Various engineers, economists, agriculturalists and that sort of thing. People who collectively can make decisions that would allow everyone to live comfortably. I also need a whole heap of programmers and computer security experts. Probably a thousand of them.

The computer (lets call it the Task Assignment and Fund Management Automated System, or TAFMAS) collects taxes, just like a Government does. Of course we need to come to a consensus about how much individuals should pay. This is the first problem, of course. I think perhaps people should just pay a percentage of what they earn, maybe 10% or something. (Don't crucify me, I'm not an economist. I'll just hire a bunch of them to work this sh!t out). Anywho, once that has been worked out it should be simple enough. Whatever decision is made, it's not going to make everyone happy. DILLIGAF, I have ultimate power! So we have our state income is handled.

Now we need to program the algorithm to calculate the priority of tasks and the most effective way to complete them. Take road works for example. Some time ago, a number of traffic islands were installed at a roundabout intersection, but now trucks have to drive up on the footpath because the turning circle is too narrow. Bad planning to begin with. The council solved this problem by sending out a bunch of workers and they cut part of the footpath away, fixed it all up and solved the problem. I don't think that's the best solution, but I'm just a guy. TAFMAS would have the variables added to it's database (the problem is this, here are the variables for the various ways the problem can be solved, their costs and the effectiveness.) I don't understand what the purpose of the traffic island is, but given there's a roundabout there it seems only to exist so that a "Keep Left" sign can be installed. Could that sign be placed on the roundabout?

Now, despite what many of you may think, there are not infinite problems a Government could face and over time, TAFMAS would eventually have most problems covered. In situations where TAFMAS could not solve the problem, it has a directory full of of experts (based on their costs and the efficiency of their solutions) to bring in to add new code. Any decision which needs to be addressed democratically (like should we go to war, should we build a basketball stadium, whatever) works by voting within the relevant population groups (so local decisions are voted for locally and so on).

This idea is still in its infancy, but I'm just wondering what people think.

It's probably dumb. :D :D :D
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darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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4/17/2013 8:08:57 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Robin Hanson, economist, has a proposal to use future markets to determine policy. For example, one can use future markets to see whether a legislation will have its intended effects or not. For example, future markets on whether unemployment would rise or fall.
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tvellalott
Posts: 10,864
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4/17/2013 8:10:03 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/17/2013 8:08:57 PM, darkkermit wrote:
Robin Hanson, economist, has a proposal to use future markets to determine policy. For example, one can use future markets to see whether a legislation will have its intended effects or not. For example, future markets on whether unemployment would rise or fall.

I'll definitely hire him. :P
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Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,286
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4/17/2013 8:11:33 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
The only problem that springs to mind at the moment would be the logistics of getting a computer immense enough to process such information to function.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
darkkermit
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4/17/2013 8:12:28 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/17/2013 8:10:03 PM, tvellalott wrote:
At 4/17/2013 8:08:57 PM, darkkermit wrote:
Robin Hanson, economist, has a proposal to use future markets to determine policy. For example, one can use future markets to see whether a legislation will have its intended effects or not. For example, future markets on whether unemployment would rise or fall.

I'll definitely hire him. :P

Here's some information about the idea:

http://en.wikipedia.org...
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tvellalott
Posts: 10,864
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4/17/2013 8:13:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/17/2013 8:11:33 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
The only problem that springs to mind at the moment would be the logistics of getting a computer immense enough to process such information to function.

I'll just build a super dooper computer with my 10 billion dollars.
Those Google boys could probably work something out for me.
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