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albatross comments on Free to Optimize - Less Wrong

25 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 02 January 2009 01:41AM

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Comment author: albatross 02 January 2009 06:02:45PM 0 points [-]

I find the parallel with what we want from government help kind-of interesting. Because I'm about 99% certain that I'd rather have fixed rules about how people get help (if you're unemployed, you get $X per week for N weeks maximum; if you're seriously poor, you qualify for $Y per week under qualifying conditions Z, etc.) than have some government employee deciding, on a per-case basis, how much I deserved, or (worse) trying to improve me by deciding whether I should be given $X per week, or whether that might just encourage me to laze around the house for too long.

The parallel isn't perfect--bureaucracies, like markets and legal systems, end up being more like some kind of idiot-savant AI, than like some near-omniscent one. But I think there is a parallel there--we'd probably mostly prefer consistent, understandable rules to our safety nets or whatever, rather than some well-meaning powerful person trying to shape us for our own good.

Comment author: VAuroch 02 December 2013 01:52:43AM 0 points [-]

There is another alternative, and one that's been proposed: an unconditional income for all. Everyone gets enough to survive. If you make more money on top of that, good for you.