johnh865's recent activity

  1. Comment on The case for abolishing elections in ~misc

    johnh865
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    Juries are chaotic because they are idiotically designed. Juries operate oftentimes via unanimous rule, meaning a single juror could throw the trial into disarray. Juries use a terrible sample...

    Juries are chaotic because they are idiotically designed. Juries operate oftentimes via unanimous rule, meaning a single juror could throw the trial into disarray. Juries use a terrible sample size that guarantees high variation from one sample to another.

    A randomly selected legislature uses a scientific sample 1 to 2 orders magnitude greater in size - 100 to 1000 jurors. Moroever legislatures typically operate via majority rule, which tends towards the median preference of the sample. These sample sizes will produce a far more stable political preference distribution.

    Random sampling is the ideal way to achieve proportional representation. The sample will nearly perfectly match the distribution of American in terms of political party affiliation. It will also better match gender, class, race, ethnic, and every conceivable category you can imagine.

    In other words the median political preference from one sample to another is going to be roughly invariant, especially when statisticians can optimize the sample size to minimize deviation.

    It's chaos to rely on a single coin toss. It's not chaotic when you flip that coin 1000 times and find the results to be about 50/50 heads/tails.

  2. Comment on The case for abolishing elections in ~misc

    johnh865
    Link Parent
    I think sortition has the opposite problem that you describe. A legislative sortition body has the financial powers of the state - including the ability to compensate themselves. The worry isn't...

    I think sortition has the opposite problem that you describe. A legislative sortition body has the financial powers of the state - including the ability to compensate themselves. The worry isn't that those in service would be financially harmed. It's the opposite. The worry is that those in service would exploit the system to financially benefit themselves. Which is why a sortition system would need a system of checks and balances to keep jurors in check.

    I'd also prefer to keep service voluntary with high compensation as the carrot. Therefore the wealthy have incentive not to serve except for the greater good whilst the lower class have every incentive to serve.

    So for things such as loss of employment, that can be easily remedied by legislation. Generous unemployment benefits and severance package. The law could even be used to force/incentivize employers to rehire jurors.

    The sortition body would assuredly be motivated to provide such benefits.

    Moreover I don't think sortition is well suited to small municipal governments where there may be less than a dozen elected officials. Sortition depends on the large of law numbers to draw large numbers of people and thereby benefit from the diversity and wisdom of crowds. A small government cannot afford such a large sampling.

    1 vote
  3. Comment on Why Jeff Bezos must be stopped before it’s too late in ~finance

    johnh865
    Link Parent

    There is a consensus among Egyptologists that the Great Pyramids were not built by slaves. Rather, it was farmers who built the pyramids during flooding, when they could not work in their lands.

    7 votes
  4. Comment on Trump mounts campaign for more debates against Biden in ~news

    johnh865
    Link Parent
    Dismissing minor parties is probably the smartest thing to do in a "First Past The Post" plurality voting system. Minor parties will always spoil your second favorite candidate; that's how the...

    Dismissing minor parties is probably the smartest thing to do in a "First Past The Post" plurality voting system. Minor parties will always spoil your second favorite candidate; that's how the mathematics of voting works out.

    This isn't just a "meme" but a cold hard reality of how our voting system works. Indeed our system does create an inbred duopoly of two bad choices. But if you want to change that, you need to change the voting system.

    Therefore it's in mine and society's best interest to criticize and de-legitimize third parties. The appropriate way for extremist candidates to compete is to compete within the Democratic and Republican primary system. That for example is exactly what people like Ron Paul, Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Occasio Cortez, etc etc have successfully done. These Libertarians and Socialists have obtained substantially more power within the primary system than the Green or Libertarian candidate ever has. That for example is exactly what the typical strategy the Democratic Socialists of America do to get their people elected into office - challenging Democrats in the Democratic primaries.

    It's in my strategic interest therefore to make fun of third parties, to emphasize their gaffs, and to ensure that you don't vote third party, and convert you to a straight-party Democrat or Republican. The appropriate avenue for you to challenge the party is with primary challenges.

    Indeed our system has idiotic foibles. One important component of plurality elections is that these elections are extremely manipulable to political strategy. For example, the typical layman might not understand viable voting strategies and indeed may waste their vote. If you don't like the way things are, what you need to advocate for is fundamental electoral reform into:

    1. Newer voting systems such as ranked choice voting, scored voting, Condorcet voting, and a plethora of methods.
    2. Proportional voting systems such as party list, Single-Transferable-Vote (STV), Mixed-Member-Proportional (MMP), etc.
    3. Direct democracy methods such as Citizens Assemblies and sortition methods. Citizens Assemblies are in my opinion the ultimate version of scalable direct democracy with near perfect proportional representation.

    But until the necessary reforms are put into place, a vote for a third party will always spoil your second favorite, causing your most hated option to win. That's how the math will work out. Plurality systems do not work correctly when voters do not behave strategically but rather vote for their "honest favorite". Indeed you can observe this phenomenon in plurality and alternative voting system simulations: http://electionscience.github.io/vse-sim/VSE/

    2 votes
  5. Comment on Wood heaters too dirty to sell are clean enough to be donated to Native American tribes and Appalachian communities for a tax deduction, says EPA in ~enviro

    johnh865
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    I believe the ideal use of wood in a green economy is as construction material, where the wood can sequester the carbon for many decades.

    I believe the ideal use of wood in a green economy is as construction material, where the wood can sequester the carbon for many decades.

    1 vote
  6. Comment on Wood heaters too dirty to sell are clean enough to be donated to Native American tribes and Appalachian communities for a tax deduction, says EPA in ~enviro

    johnh865
    Link Parent
    Wood burning for home use is supposed to be very bad for your health. Clean wood burning, if it exists, would be better for your health because people wouldn't be breathing in the particles. We'd...

    Wood burning for home use is supposed to be very bad for your health. Clean wood burning, if it exists, would be better for your health because people wouldn't be breathing in the particles. We'd rather have the byproducts contained rather than released into the air.

    Not all combustion processes emit the same byproducts. I'm by no means an expert but there's a reason why diesel engines for example are considered more dirty - their combustion happens at higher temperatures which tend to create more nitrogen oxide "NOX" emissions. Wood by its nature is not a "clean" fuel in that wood has not been refined to be more chemically pure than typical oil & gas products. Therefore wood emits a lot more "bad chemicals" than a cleaner fuel. This is a concern when you're burning this wood right in your home.

    4 votes
  7. Comment on Tower of God - Final in ~anime

    johnh865
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    I used to follow the manga but then it got copy-right noticed, and then the official English translation was terrible. Stopped at I think the "pain train" arc. I guess I'm interested what...

    I used to follow the manga but then it got copy-right noticed, and then the official English translation was terrible. Stopped at I think the "pain train" arc. I guess I'm interested what ultimately happens, is it worth it to find out?

    2 votes
  8. Comment on What 'classic' bands or artists do you think are overrated? And can you suggest any alternatives? in ~music

    johnh865
    Link Parent
    Radiohead is really fucking good live. Other bands are not so great live. So yeah Bonaroo 2012. Radiohead is the first major act for Day 1. I'm there with no expectations; I've listened to and...

    Radiohead is really fucking good live. Other bands are not so great live.

    So yeah Bonaroo 2012. Radiohead is the first major act for Day 1. I'm there with no expectations; I've listened to and enjoyed their music but wasn't a fanatic. Radiohead starts singing their siren's song and everyone, enchanted by their music, move towards the stage in unison for a closer listen. The set is amazing and every song has been rearranged for a new fresh listen. Radiohead was so fucking good the next big set, Red Hot Chili Peppers, started their set with "damn that Radiohead show was amazing". Anyways Radiohead blew away every other act in the rest of the music festival.

    So yeah, one live show and a timely smoked joint cemented for me their status as one of the greatest bands.

    6 votes
  9. Comment on Spider-Man: Miles Morales is the latest example of Black people being relegated to side stories in games in ~games

    johnh865
    Link Parent
    Which to me then, video game representation is irrelevant. What matters is fixing the fundamental power structure, rather than demanding more black people in video games and movies. Making the...

    Representation points to power not actually being equal. If it was you could have expected more equal outcomes. It's a pretty clear leading indicator that things aren't all right behind the scenes.

    Which to me then, video game representation is irrelevant. What matters is fixing the fundamental power structure, rather than demanding more black people in video games and movies. Making the indicator "politically correct" does nothing to solve the fundamental problems.

    And there's two components to modern power. Political power and economic power. Black people can be empowered economically by giving them entitlements to capital and production and education. Black people can be empowered politically by removing the anti-democratic components of our government and promoting ideal democratic components such as proportional representation, citizens assemblies, etc.

    To me all this politically correct stuff is noise. Why should we care? They're indicators, not root causes. Then let's go after the root of the rot.

    2 votes
  10. Comment on What's wrong with email? in ~tech

    johnh865
    Link Parent
    A carbon tax doesn't exist because we aren't a democracy. On every single poll I've seen on the issue, carbon taxes are actually enormously popular. Carbon taxes can even be implemented in a...
    • Exemplary

    I know we're just speaking in hypotheticals, but the solution is much more complicated than tax the shit out of it if only because we live in democracies where doing just that will drive your voters away

    A carbon tax doesn't exist because we aren't a democracy. On every single poll I've seen on the issue, carbon taxes are actually enormously popular.

    Carbon taxes can even be implemented in a progressive way. It's called "Carbon Fee and Dividend". The proposal is simple. Slap on a carbon tax at extraction. Redistribute all tax revenue back to all Americans in the form of a monthly dividend. This tax system has bipartisan support among economists and even has two competing liberal/conservative bills (for example HR 763) in Congress. The last poll I checked (too lazy to find it) suggested that a majority of Americans would support such a tax.

    In the few places where direct democracy has been tried (for example in Ireland), Irish Citizens Assemblies ultimately concluded that a tax ought to be imposed on both carbon and meat production. These citizens assemblies are randomly chosen juries of around 100 people, who deliberate on many issues for several days.

    So yes, democracies around the world have already decided that carbon taxes ought to be imposed. The problem is that America is not a democracy. The problem is that special interests oppose carbon taxes, and their special interests supercede the general democratic interest.

    9 votes
  11. Comment on Replacing (potentially) insensitive terminology in programming in ~comp

    johnh865
    Link Parent
    Because it takes time and energy to change and discuss terminology. There is a real cost in re education to a new communication standard. Moreover you're calling for cultural erasure of language....

    Because it takes time and energy to change and discuss terminology. There is a real cost in re education to a new communication standard.

    Moreover you're calling for cultural erasure of language.

    Also it's not like only black people suffered through a master slave arrangement. I'm quite certain every culture and people have been enslaved, from Greeks to Romans to Chinese to Japanese, etc etc.

    Finally, do people actually care? There's only one language police I care about and it's called democracy. if you poll every black American, maybe they can come to a consensus about this terminology. Until that happens I don't care what random people on the internet argue what the correct terminology should be, especially when the alleged impacted people have not been asked their opinion. I don't see the need to coddle black people unless they are explicitly asking for it.

    6 votes
  12. Comment on Spider-Man: Miles Morales is the latest example of Black people being relegated to side stories in games in ~games

    johnh865
    Link Parent
    I'm wondering how they measure video game character ethnicity. Take for example the typically Japanese RPG. The vast majority of JRPG characters are either "white" or some sort of made up...

    I'm wondering how they measure video game character ethnicity. Take for example the typically Japanese RPG. The vast majority of JRPG characters are either "white" or some sort of made up ethnicity. Anime enthusiasts sometimes argue that these characters' features are actually Asian even though their hair color is not black. In Japanese anime, characters specifically described as Japanese are frequently depicted with non-black hair colors. So are these characters white or Asian?

    Sometimes characters have blue hair, pink hair. What race are these people?

    Anyways your linked paper doesn't seem to discuss their methodology, and I guess they presume protagonist classification is trivial.

    Anyhoo, let's say all these characters from Japanese games are white. What does that mean for Japan? Does that mean that there's some sort of racial bias of Japanese games against Japanese people?

    The last two single player games I played were Zelda and Hollow Knight. Zelda has a white protagonist I suppose. Hollow Knight's protagonist is a... bug? In the paper, human characters made up 4966 characters of a total of 8572 characters. I guess they also neglect to count how many nonhuman protagonists there are. Perhaps the biggest discriminated people are humans in general compared to fantasy nonhumans?

    Yes, they want a good game made around a black character. Can you explain what your issue is with that exactly?

    My issue with it is that I don't see explicitly requiring more black protagonists as much of a priority. Why aren't Japanese people demanding more Japanese characters in their games? Do they need a Japanese version of Mario and Zelda? I suppose most Japanese don't care because they don't feel disempowered by this factoid, even when the protagonist is not Japanese.

    I'm pretty skeptical of all of this. Despite the lack of Asian representation in American media, Asian Americans tend to enjoy high socio-economic status. This is because of the fundamentals - investment in higher education and large pools of economic and social capital, and an immigration policy that favors high status people. The root of the problem then isn't representation in media. The root of the problem is power in general. When you have de-facto power, why would you care about video game characterization?

    3 votes
  13. Comment on What's wrong with email? in ~tech

    johnh865
    Link Parent
    The carbon problem is impossible for normal people to care about. It's impossible to expect people to meticulously calculate the carbon footprint of every action they take, because the vast...

    The carbon problem is impossible for normal people to care about. It's impossible to expect people to meticulously calculate the carbon footprint of every action they take, because the vast majority of people don't have the information to do so. It is impossible to figure out the supply chains of incredibly complex systems to perform the carbon footprint calculations, particularly not by yourself. And how are you so sure that researchers did the calculation correctly either?

    If global warming is a concern, get to the root of the problem. Price the cost of carbon into every possible transaction by taxing carbon at extraction. Tax every fossil fuel mined, dug up, and pumped out. This doesn't take care of imports. Slap a tariff on every single imported resource with unfortunately, an estimated carbon tax, a tax that shall unfairly remain in place until the exporting nation implements their own carbon tax.

    This takes care of the problem. If emails are a problem, then your internet prices & and email prices are going way up. Ecologically unsustainable business models will be destroyed. Free stuff like gmail will disappear.

    5 votes
  14. Comment on Confessions of a former bastard cop - An essay by a former police officer on why police are like this in ~life

    johnh865
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    The abolishment of capitalism is easier than you think. Capitalism is described typically as a system with markets, firms, and private property. The component in biggest contention is private...

    The abolishment of capitalism is easier than you think. Capitalism is described typically as a system with markets, firms, and private property.

    The component in biggest contention is private property. Leftists typically seek to abolish or limit private property and convert it into public property. Public property is any kind of property communally owned, and the ideal social system used to control communal property is called democracy.

    So what's the best way to "abolish" capitalism? It's to promote democracy and democratic ideals and optimize for ideal democracy. Movements abound around the world to create better democracy, with systems like single transferable vote, proportional representation, citizens assemblies and sortition, condorcet methods, scored voting methods, etc etc.

    A variety of social structures are proposed to democratize government and economics. They include worker cooperatives, consumer cooperatives, unions, citizen assemblies, etc.

    The more power is granted to democracy, the more private property is converted to public property, the more socialistic society becomes.

    Democracy is also about the wisdom of crowds applied in a systematic manner. Unlike capitalism, democracy treats the wisdom of each participant as equal. In contrast capitalism demands that private property owners have full control.

    Obviously scarcity doesn't magically go away. Democracy is just another feedback mechanism that people can use to control society in an optimal, utilitarian fashion.

    Take for example the problem of global warming where capitalists push negative externalities onto society. Capitalists can do this because the People don't have sufficient control to force the capitalists to stop. The solution is to seize control and regulate the industry, seizing their private property and enforcing regulations and imposing control. A form of seizure that capitalists typically hate for example is tax, and for global warming the solution is a carbon tax.

    4 votes
  15. Comment on Daniel Radcliffe responds to JK Rowling's latest tweets about gender identity in ~lgbt

    johnh865
    Link Parent
    Rowling is equating women with sex rather than gender and asserting that sex is a significant and meaningful classification. In contrast certain activists are pushing the notion that sex as a...

    Rowling is equating women with sex rather than gender and asserting that sex is a significant and meaningful classification.

    In contrast certain activists are pushing the notion that sex as a classification needs to be superceded with binary gender classification in both legal and cultural norms.

    I tend to agree with Rowling. The physical form and function of your body matters. The form and function of a trans woman is not the same as the form and function of a woman.

    Rather than forcing everyone to reclassify the "Trans-Woman" gender as "Woman", why not just use the identity "Trans-Woman"? It's more descriptive and more accurate, able to capture information about both gender and sex. Like it or not, we don't have the technology to do a full sexual conversion. A trans-woman can not genetically and physically approach the "Woman" descriptor as well as the typical "Real Woman".

    I have a hard time understanding why this even matters. In a legal sense, we can make laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender. Why then does it matter what classification of gender you are? Why do some trans-activists demand to use a binary gender classification scheme (You are either man/woman) rather than a broader classification scheme (You can be man/woman/trans/gay/etc)?

    I can think of only 2 things:

    • Sports competitions
    • Sexuality and partnership

    IMO it's not fair for trans women to compete in women's sporting events, because of biological advantages.
    In terms of sexuality and partnership, yes, your trans-status matters. I'm also quite sure the vast majority of partners would like to know if you are transgendered. Therefore trans categorization is indeed a useful social categorization and ought not "go away".

    1 vote
  16. Comment on What are you confused by? in ~talk

    johnh865
    Link Parent
    Conservatives are likely beneficiaries of the status quo social, sexual, and economic hierarchy. Right-wing Libertarianism is a conservative ideology because libertarianism preserves social and...

    Conservatives are likely beneficiaries of the status quo social, sexual, and economic hierarchy.

    Right-wing Libertarianism is a conservative ideology because libertarianism preserves social and economic hierarchies. Libertarianism is based on private ownership, which is synonymous with private control of property. Private ownership of land is synonymous with territorial ownership and therefore is equivalent to a state. Ultimately libertarianism is not about freedom but rather about privatization of governance. A traditional example of a privatized, "family-owned-and-operated" government is called monarchy. Unsurprisingly the vast majority of libertarians are aligned with the right rather than the left.

    Merit, innovation, and efficiency aren't really a part of conservative ideology in my opinion. The basis of private property is exclusionary and monopolistic in nature. By definition of ownership of land, the land owner controls all that goes on within the land, and therefore a land owner is someone with a local monopoly.

    So don't buy into the marketing. Libertarian ideology markets a kind of "freedom" that no normal person would actually define as freedom. Libertarians only believe in a single right. Private Property. That's it. They don't care about anything else. However by equating rightwing libertarian freedom with actual freedom gives Libertarians a sort of legitimacy they otherwise would not have.

    That's why the tax rate is ultimately the most important thing they care about. The tax rate is a government imposition on their private property.

    Conservative ideology over the ages is always flexible. Sometimes it will be libertarian. Sometimes it will be traditionalist. The ultimate goal of conservatism is to always protect the entitlements of an entitled class of people.

    Therefore conservatives are happy to tolerate Trump and huge violations of human rights. Trump lowered their taxes and therefore "freed" their private property! Trump therefore is a liberator (of their property)! Trump also protected their entitlements by kicking out labor competition (Latinos)! Tea Party Republicans were just all too happy to embrace xenophobia.

    4 votes
  17. Comment on If you were to run for president in your country, what would your platform be? in ~talk

    johnh865
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    On addition to STV I'd want a citizens assembly with legal powers rivaling the legislature. A citizens assembly is basically a randomly chosen jury of people. This "sortition" method of...

    On addition to STV I'd want a citizens assembly with legal powers rivaling the legislature. A citizens assembly is basically a randomly chosen jury of people. This "sortition" method of representation is essentially near perfect porportional representation.

    Citizen assemblies have been used to make great decisions in Ireland, Canada, etc, even if politicians or the public do not ultimately adopt their proposals. For example citizen assemblies played a large role in legalizing abortion and gay marriage in Ireland.

    Ideal assemblies make decisions with a learning phase, a public comment phase, a discussion phase, and a decision making phase. In Canada, a Citizens Assembly for example reached the conclusion that Single Transferable Vote was the best voter reform method that ought to be adopted in British Columbia. Unfortunately voters and politicians did not agree.

    3 votes
  18. Comment on <deleted topic> in ~games

    johnh865
    Link Parent
    IMO merely consuming media doesn't lead to a fullfilling life. Lose the games, stop watching TV, stop browsing so much internet. Fill the void with creation. Create art. Create a new business....

    IMO merely consuming media doesn't lead to a fullfilling life. Lose the games, stop watching TV, stop browsing so much internet.

    Fill the void with creation. Create art. Create a new business. Volunteer. Create or take care of children. Join a political movement. Help solve the world's problems. Stop being a consumer.

    Enjoyment of recreational activities might be fine in small doses. Many video games are like jobs, and are designed to be addictive and suck away your time.

    I don't like starting new games, or new TV shows, because of their addictiveness and huge time requirements.

    3 votes