[Previous] liberals against free speech | Home | [Next] Hitchens Rocks

i wonder if anyone is listening

Dan is a bit confused about democracy

if you had an "ideal" democracy in the really absurd and stupid sense that everyone votes on every issue, and everyone's vote counts (and yes, if you're thinking that isn't coherent, you're right), well what would happen is, most things that got voted on....well you'd have 7% for one policy, 4% for another, 3% for another, etc...

So then what? We could just have the highest thing win. Then 93% of the people get screwed I suppose (though they'll form parties, coalitions, and voting blocks so that won't happen as much in the future).

Or you could do run-offs. This slowly forces minority opinions to pick a more popular opinion to support, too. similar effect to parties/coalitions/voting-blocks

What we couldn't have is a mixed law that incorporates the ideas of every single voter. it wouldn't come out to have a coherent meaning. cause different people will support contradictory ideas.

so we discover the reality of our system is very similar to the real effects of a so-called "ideal" democracy (and also that you have to make some tough choices to have a workable democracy, and can't just rely on the "ideal" notion that everyone has a voice). and truth is there are very good reasons for a two party system. ok, i admit that point is debatable, but saying the US isn't a democracy is absurd (BTW I'm aware that there are technically other parties, but stuff *is* setup for only two parties to be powerful at a time).


Elliot Temple on November 7, 2003

Comments (10)

That's all very splendid.



Of course, I never claimed total democracy was a good thing. In fact, I said that the original poster only implied it, and further implied that I did not agree. I said then and say now, that's irrelevant to your bad arguing skills.



And, wonder of wonders, you seem to be pretending here that you never made the asinine comparison to Israel. Which is more than enough vindication for one of my meager stature.


Dan at 4:44 AM on November 7, 2003 | #121

the point about Israel explains why more-proportional democracy (i.e. more than 2 party system) has a bad side.



and if you're backing away from the position that the US is bad for not being a quote "democracy" (a position the poster on TCS did take), then ummmm your objection is purely semantics? if so, I obviously have standard usage on my side, so barring some extraordinary point, I win that one.


Elliot at 4:49 AM on November 7, 2003 | #122

ok, but the US ISN'T a democracy...it is, in fact, a rebublic - a representational democracy - theres no need to use the word democracy if theres a perfectly good different word for it. also, there are a variety of European countries with multiple party systems that DO work - isreal may be a case, but it is not the onyl case. Of course, I been wondering for a while if America is even a republic - its seems almost more like an aristocratic oligarchy from time to time: who sets policy, and how much power do 'the people' have.


Eli at 4:58 AM on November 7, 2003 | #123

Israel's government does "work", i.e. it functions. it's not that proportional representation causes the country to explode. it just has umm issues. every European government with highly proportional representation also faces the same kinda issues.



we call the US a democracy because, today, democracy refers to any country with a government based on a certain class of voting systems. the class of voting systems that counts includes both highly proportional and not-so-proportional ones. and does include ones where people vote for representatives instead of voting on issues directly. that's what the word means today. get over it.


Elliot at 5:15 AM on November 7, 2003 | #124

"Irregardless" is a Standard Use word. And I still think anyone who uses it is, at best, making an embarassing error. Just because a lot of people have a poor vocabulary doesn't mean we should all cripple ourselves.



Note that this is also different than, for instance, slang that, through Standard Use, becomes a word. "Democracy" and "Irregardless" are not slang.


Dan at 4:55 PM on November 7, 2003 | #125
Dan said:

> "Irregardless" is a Standard Use word. And I still think anyone who uses it is, at best, making an embarassing error. Just because a lot of people have a poor vocabulary doesn't mean we should all cripple ourselves.

what does Dan mean about "embarrassing error"? does he mean it literally? like, if you found out that you made this error, you'd feel embarrassed? or does he made an error a typical person would get embarrassed from? i'm stabbing in the dark. anybody have any insight?

Anonymous at 6:36 PM on February 4, 2016 | #4830
I think it means Dan is second-handed and lets his feelings be controlled over what others think of him when he makes mistakes. He thinks mistakes should be avoided to avoid embarrassment, not because better ideas exist.

People afraid of embarrassment actually make a lot of mistakes or let a lot of mistakes remain uncorrected because their concern is social and they will be taking social cues over what is embarrassing or not.

Dan was one of the very active oldies who left TCS.

Anonymous at 4:25 AM on February 5, 2016 | #4832
Dan was never very active.

He left after critical discussions over several days. He didn't want to deal with criticism. He never said he was leaving or why – actually he said he'd be replying later, then didn't.

curi at 10:55 AM on February 5, 2016 | #4847
Dan claimed to have various criticisms of my ideas. His narrative was: I'm good and bad at some stuff, TCS is good and bad at some stuff, Objectivism is good and bad at some stuff. Dan's good and bad at some stuff. Everyone and everything has strengths and weaknesses.

This narrative helps him ignore ideas and criticism, and excuse his lack of participation in the FI community. He also tried to deny he has significant problems in order to deny there's much upside potential from learning to think and solve problems way rationally/better.

And Dan didn't to *have* those criticisms of some of my/TCS/FI/Oist ideas. I asked him why he didn't *share* the criticism and have a discussion. He said he *had already written and posted several criticisms of things I was wrong about*. And the problem was that *I* was irrational about criticism, didn't listen.

When asked for an example thread, he was unable to provide a single one. He couldn't find one time that'd ever happened. And he said he'd make one, but never did.

So he has this narrative where I see some flaws he has, *and he sees some flaws I have*, and we're all kinda equal. But he never actually wrote down a single one of his criticisms of my thinking and exposed it to critical discussion. Maybe because all his criticisms were false and wouldn't withstand critical discussion.

curi at 11:00 AM on February 5, 2016 | #4848
I think when people say they have criticisms about something but don't share them, it's because they feel uncomfortable about that something, but can't really explain why.

Anonymous at 4:34 PM on February 5, 2016 | #4873

What do you think?

(This is a free speech zone!)