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DanielBoyd

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DanielBoyd last won the day on June 25 2019

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About DanielBoyd

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  1. Totally agree with you on this one. It is utterly ludicrous that Facebook (that doesn't present itself as a new outlet) gets pummelled for the drivel its social-media users produce and share, while politicians can lie through their teeth and get away with it. There was a recent attempt to take Boris Johnson to court for misinformation but it failed. Not a good precendent. If I was to talk utter nonsense in my job I'd soon be out on the street, but politics seems to actually foster bending/breaking the truth. Perhaps an extension of the debating principle, but no excuse. What you propose woul
  2. I live in Holland where we have a lot of (probably a little too many!) political parties. You vote for a party rather than for a local candidate. This solves the problem of votes for minority parties being lost (e.g. Lib Dem votes in the UK). If a party just gets 2% of the votes spread over the whole of Holland, these voters still get a representatieve in parliament. Just one example of an alternative (and fairer) voting system. Winner-takes-all is in my view a disastrously undemocratic system. Take the Brexit referendum. 49% of votes cast are taken as irrelevant because 51% voted to leave.
  3. Sorry! Been on holiday. What's wrong with the political system? Where shall I start? ;-) To name a few things: - Most voting systems are patently (mathematically) unfair. - Politicians make decisions about things they have no understanding of - Periodic elections provide a disincentive for long-term vision or planning - Periodic changes in government break developmental continuity: often what one government has built is broken down by the next - Politicians are not held acccountable for misinformation - twisting the truth is even considered an inherent part of the political process - Nation-
  4. Love these videos : both very relevant. Friedman is presenting the same problem - but not providing a solution. Other than introducing competition to government agencies. That would be great: Then you don't need to design, just introduce variation and selection to get progressive evollution to more effective forms as happens in business. The problem with this line of thinking is that governments are by definition monopolies. You can have 10 businesses making TVs and let the worst five go bankrupt, but you can't have 10 governments using different methods at the same time in the same country.
  5. If I were a lawyer, I think I would object to this generalisation! I'm sure they're not all evil. Actually, I think I might even prefer them to some populist with a sound-bite and no understanding of the workings of the political system.
  6. Sorry, should have read your second post first!! This is exactly the point I'm interested in. As long as politicians have contol over the system they are a part of conflicting interests are always going to be a problem. It would take a very very public-minded politician to give away his own position of power to someone else, even if that other person could do the job better. Shouldn't the first line of the Constitution be: "Politicians do not determine the Constituion"? I also don't think the populace should be asked how the political system should work. To start with, they can only exer
  7. You've got a good point about the fact that different laws may conflict, that lawyers make the laws, and they get paid to sort out the mess it has become, which probably doesn't optimally motivate for a logically coherent system. And the examples you mention would be clearly terrible examples. My question in theis thread is not so much directed at this kind of law, as to the constitutional structure of society: defining what politicians jobs should be, rather then letting them run riot with anything they have a (ususally uninformed) opinion on. Any thoughts on that?
  8. Hi Laurie Separation of powers is certainly a relevant issue. Can you explain more about what you mean here? Most lawyers just have the job of executing the law for businesses and individuals. Are you referring here to the part of the legal profession that occupies itself with creating/changing constitutional law?
  9. I think a distinction is important here between topics of fact and topics of opinion. Global warming is a topic of scientific fact, where personal opinions of non-experts should not be granted influence. What to do about global warming (the priority we give it relative to other issues such as global poverty or making the rich elite richer) is a matter of opinion: there is no factual scientific answer to this question. Could a solution be to make a distinction between these two types of question, give the first to the experts, and the seccond to the politicians?
  10. Misinformation is certainly a problem in politics - always has been, with those in power twisting the truth to stay in power. But the fact that they can do this is also a result of the design of the system. So why don't we redesign it to prevent this from happening? At the moment, some countries have freer press than others, and even a free press may have a political preference that you can't always blame on the politicians. But political influence on the media certainly doesn't contribute positively to the task of politics of serving the population. So why doesn;t every country have laws t
  11. I was particularly interested as to whether how to design an effective and fair political system is part of the curriculum of Political Science studies (as designing effective organisations is in Business Studies). And of course, if not, why not?
  12. In the business world it's quite normal to reorganise if you come to the conclusion that the way things are set up is not working well. Why doesn't this happen with political systems? Why do we stay chained to constitutions and voting systems that were thought up often hundreds of years ago in very different circumstances and simply don't work well? Two simple examples: - As attempts at democratic representation, both the UK consituency system and the American system spectacularly fail at giving each vote cast in an election equal value in determining who is in parliament/congress. Why are
  13. Hi people, up till now, we've been mostly discussing the first couple of points, about what the genome does and does not code for. Does anyone have any ideas about the systemic arguments I present (numbers 7 - 10)? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on those.
  14. Funny you should bring up the spaghetti monster. That's kinds the image I get of your impression of the genome. It spews out these long strands, that get all tangled up and drift off into the distance, yet somehow it manages to keep control of where they go and what they do. Personally, I don't see how it could. But perhaps I'm missing a nuance here or taking things too literally.
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