94Joined Jun 2018


Thanks, I appreciate the discussion. :)

> A high level of participation would change how spending and taxation happen.

Absolutely. Unfortunately many people don't see it's worth the effort, arguably very rationally so ( and high participation often only comes from elites (

From the mechanism design corner, sortition (for voting, referenda, any political discussion) might help:

Or we can all just decide to actively discuss and deliberate more:

Thanks for your comment Noah!

Firstly, fully agree that wealth equality is a prerequisite to achieving efficiency. So much indeed that economists often optimize for both.

Some of the mechanisms from the article are actually not "budget-balanced", for example the much-hyped quadratic funding requires a matching fund - which can be raised through progressive taxation. Note that at this point the terms "private" and "public" break down a bit, in theory the taxes could be collected entirely through private coordination, without requiring a public government body, but that doesn't look like a realistic outcome anytime soon.

In practice, any system can be gamed, which is why tax professionals advocate for "lowering the rate - broadening the base". Translating this to public goods funding schemes, it might be worth replacing the 1:1 matching schemes of various governments by quadratic funding, but replacing the entire economic system would surely be naive indeed!

Great initiative! Slight nuance to Chris Leong 's earlier comment. Though I'm not an expert, I would just caution for standards-setting bodies hastingly standardizing a losing standard, see

Your encryption standards examples feel like a great comparison of the way to go

As someone not active in the field of AI risk, and having always used epistemic deference quite heavily, this feels very helpful. I hope it doesn't end up reducing society's efforts to stop AI from taking over the world some day.

I wrote down some thoughts on the trade-offs one encounters when balancing profitability and other values:

Very much interested in other material!

Thanks for your thoughts! 

it seems that in general more indirect democracy functions better due to the fact that voters have little incentive to cast informed votes, whereas representatives are incentivized to make informed decisions on voters behalf.

To let voters cast more informed votes, there's a whole movement around deliberation. You can argue that increases costs for voters, but I think the trade-off is unclear and likely context dependent.

The books are great pointers, will have a look at the research referenced!

There is a lot of information in your post to digest, but I'll focus on what seems to me your biggest point: "public goods are treated like consumables and not investments"

The way I see it, people can consume private and public goods, just like they can invest in providers of private or public goods.  If you want to invest in providers whose main purpose is to provide public goods, there are already a number of possibilities:

  • Buying government bonds
  • Buying shares of Decentralized Autonomous Organizations / cryptocurrencies

Perhaps you can blur the legal lines and find ways in which non-profits can reward shareholders, but I feel that is no different from:

  • Buying shares of impactful/responsible companies which plausibly make some public goods, namely (quadratic funding) crowdfunding platforms, as their main aim is to let groups/communities coordinate to fund (public) goods.

As for whether the main mechanism you introduce holds up in practice:

> If thoughtful altruists are involved in the market and either own a lot of certificates or want to buy a lot of certificates, other traders will want to predict what these “impact whales” think is impactful.

I recommend chatting with !

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