Value Added by Creating a New Life; Technocracy

This post is a follow-up for a previously announced discussion about global crisis that occured a few days ago on Toby Patke’s blog.

What do you think? Would creating a new life (i.e. having a child) mean adding or subtracting economic value to/from the rest of the World? Would raising a child mean better life for humanity in general, or would it just be worse?

Of course, the today’s answer depends on multiple factors, including the geographical ones: it’s different if you have a child in a less populated area where the new life could help resolving the needs of the local community, compared to doing it in an overpopulated country where a new person added to the community would probably mean less food for the others. Besides, the rich/poor factor needs to be considered, although generally overpopulated areas are poor, and less populated ones are richer (but this is not always true, look at some overpopulated and prospere cities, even within countries that are otherwise poor: it’s all about the considered area size).

However, now we can consider another thing to avoid such issues: globalization. With globalization in mind, the area is the largest possible, including all people from the whole World, and geographical factors do not apply anymore. In this case what is the answer to the original question? Have we reached the limit for global overpopulation or not?

I personally believe that no, we didn’t, and that we are far from that moment: I think there is plenty of room on Earth for more lives to be created and continue to generate value to the others’ lives in the process. But of course, in today’s practice we will still have geographical factors applying, and unfortunately humans do not have equal chances to benefit from adding a new life in their local community. As my friend, Toby Patke (who originated the global crisis related discussion) said, this inequity is called the Warren Buffet’s Ovarian Lottery.

But I’m an idealist, and therefore I think we could, if we really wanted that, to erradicate the Ovariant Lottery completely and by globalization to reach to a situation that has never occured before: all born people to have equal chances regarding their life benefits. Geography would be then history! 🙂 But in order to do that in practice we cannot consider communism as the goal of the World because it has been proven to not work as expected. And that is just because people are animals at their baseline (whether we like it or not) and therefore sharing things isn’t a good thing for us (excepting online sharing, where copies of things are created, so that’s not actually sharing anyway :-)).

My brother, Ovidiu, came up with an idea a few time ago: instead of democracy or communism, we should implement a global technocracy. Each person would be measured on how much value he or she gaves to the community (by working, creating, sharing, etc.), and based on that value each person would receive benefits back from the community (salary, goods, etc.) Of course, sometimes leadership would be needed and then a voting system would come up: but the personal vote importance would be based on the computed value of the person (at least for a last past period): so people who give more value to others (and which are more interested in the community) would get higher importance when they vote (value proportional voting). Also, in the proposed theory, voting would be online (provided that all people have access to a global network) and therefore votes can be done a lot more often than now (because voting system costs would be lower), i.e. for any law (or other important things) people could vote just like on a referrendum today (and therefore leadership, such as Parliament, would mean less power, at least for important matters).

But isn’t this type of World Constitution proposition the same utopical like communism (or democracy)? Could it become more than theory (i.e. started in production mode)? Because nobody could actually measure precisely the value a person added to the others’ lives (a definition for that personal value concept is probably to difficult to provide, even in theory), nor a safe system for storing the personal values of all people could be created in order to be able to vote. This is so because somebody (that would probably mean a person – see the ciclic?) would need to take care of all these, being able to create backdoors to allow inappropriate access for bad intentioned minds to the system.

But hey, I’m sure these black things already happen now in democracy too (it’s demon-cracy, in fact)! We hear many times about corruption at very high political levels such as in the government of democratic countries, some even with a long and good reputation. And maybe now it’s even worse as the current law, voting, and related systems are pretty obscure: they’re complex and/or maybe too obfuscated for the average person to easily understand everything.

Until now, however, democracy proved better than communism. But maybe this type of technocracy, seen as an intermediary step between democracy and communism, using more transparent and more simple law, voting, and related systems would be better! What do you think?


About Sorin Dolha

My passion is software development, but I also like physics.
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2 Responses to Value Added by Creating a New Life; Technocracy

  1. Toby says:

    I can definitely share your frustration with all current forms of government. There is no question in my mind that if the founders of democracy were working today – the internet would be considered a huge enabler of choice. Current democratic forms (elective representation) were an absolute requirement 200 years ago when information was transferred slowly and inaccurately. Today, we no longer have these problems and these old systems are easily hacked by the corrupt / powerful few.Communism doesn’t even deserve a discussion until we can answer two questions: How do you prevent corruption? What is a person’s incentive to innovate? Until these questions are answered satisfactorily, communism is just too idealistic.That said, I think overall contentment with government among society is probably at a historic high. I don’t see a revolution any time soon in the western world. So, while I think we are all in agreement that the current system can be improved; I think most societies are too lazy to actually improve it.Incidentally, I also agree with the most controversial idea you proposed above (my opinion). I think allowing a weighted vote to those who contribute more is probably a good idea. This would be an difficult thing to achieve in practice. You would need to be careful that “those who contribute” doesn’t become “those with money”. This is an opinion I have grown into as on the surface it seems very unfair. However, the older I get, the more I think that voting should be restricted to people who are familiar with the issues. It shouldn’t just be a popularity contest. …and if you asked me if the lower classes are familiar with the issues – I would say no. Yes, that is elitist and an over-generalization. I am not happy about it, but that is how I feel. Maybe things could be improved if, before being allowed to vote for a candidate, people had to answer a series of questions about them? For example, what is this candidates position on abortion? Or about the issues in general – what are the pros / cons of abortion?Going back to the topic of population, I have been thinking about it, and this is what I have come up with: The net effect of globalization as we currently know it is that the rich are getting richer and the poor are staying the same. By “the rich”, I mean “the rich countries – US, Germany, Japan, etc…”. Right now, the world is divided between producers (China, India) and consumers (US, Japan). If a person is born in China, they may one day work in the factory. This leads to a higher output. Output to be consumed by the rich countries at the same price. Therefore, a life born in a producer country means more wealth for the consumer countries. Alternatively, a new life in a rich country means less wealth for the other community members. A new life in a rich country therefore decreases wealth.Pretty dark, huh? 🙂 The solution is pretty obvious. Producer countries need to educate themselves, buy the goods they produce themselves and increase individual connectivity / communication. I think this is happening and we are going to see some pretty drastic changes in our lifetime.

  2. Sorin says:

    I agree both with the fact that governments will probably to continue to be too lazy to apply any changes to the systems, and with your vision of the World divided in producers and consumers.For the latter part, however, I wanted to add that at least in theory all people should be both producers and consumers and therefore the rich or poor state should indicate only how much of value they actually produce; there shouldn’t be any producer-poor/consumer-rich preference.Of course, in practice we must consider also money value (money isn’t always a good way to measure value), inheritances, education and education potential, etc. but eventually I believe the World will eventually get balanced from this point of view, either sooner or latter (but probably later), regardless of how selfish humans are: for the long term I think that it’s not in the interest of humanity and of nature to have a disrupted society and therefore I think that eventually nature or time (as they always do) will resolve the situation somehow.In other words, I agree that we’re going to see some peaceful but interesting movements in the World of the next years: we already see China growing as an economic power, and hopefully, other countries will economically grow up too.

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