Been thinking a lot about future stuff, mostly because it is interesting.  The way we govern has changed a lot from caveman politics of the strongest, to kings, to democracies.  It has to keep evolving and I was trying to guess what it could become next.  So I posed a question online, imagine computers and encryption like bitcoin protocols could make online voting completely transparent and secure and thus enable a direct democracy where we vote on individual issues.  There was a lot of skepticism and direct democracies have a lot of weaknesses.

But a lot of people opened up and shared how they would see the governments of the future.  Some saw a break down of society and a return to tribalism, almost anarchy.  Where power is decentralized.

Others saw a reverse where power becomes more centralized.  A rise of global governments with AI’s or computers leading the way and making difficult decisions for us so we don’t have to.  We already have the UN, and the EU so thinking this is the next step is not an unrealistic stretch.

One particularly appealing one to me was futurachy.  Laid out here by Robin Hanson, who I believe works with the CATO Institute now. http://hanson.gmu.edu/futarchy.html

The cliff notes of it is, people vote for values.  Then you have betting markets, like the stock market, make bets on the best way to achieve those values.  Betting markets are a great way to aggregate information, and something I never even realized.  The appeal of betting markets is it cuts though the bullshit that we are fed in the mass media, and the television ads that tell how how to vote.  We voters don’t have enough of the real truth to make informed decisions.  Betting markets establish that truth.  If I hand you a kilogram of gold and there is no stock market you have no idea what it is worth.  You go to one store the guy says he’ll buy it for $50 you go to another he says $2000, but you don’t have enough information to make an informed decision, and betting markets solve that problem.  You look up the price of gold on the NYSE and bam, you know if you are getting the true value of your gold if you sell it.

Robin Hanson has an interesting essay about healthcare I’m in the middle of reading.  My next post will probably talk about it.  You can find it here if your interested.

http://www.cato-unbound.org/2007/09/10/robin-hanson/cut-medicine-half

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