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Author Topic: a trivial change in language that would certainly cause world peace  (Read 2367 times)
BenRayfield
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March 21, 2012, 10:59:46 PM
 #1

Do some research starting at places like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GiveWell and calculate and prove to scientific peer reviewed standards, how much does it cost to save the cheapest Human life? That number of dollars we should call HUMANLIVES. It fluctuates like a stock price. It increases when more is given to efficient charities, since the cheapest Human lives to save are saved and the next cheapest Humans don't have such extreme problems. It decreases other times.

Translate all prices and payments and other money amounts into the unit of HUMANLIVES. Example: A commercial selling cars for only 3.2 HUMANLIVES, no HUMANLIVES down, subject to approved credit. Example: Double cheeseburger, .0003 HUMANLIVES. Would you like fries with that?

Maybe USA's Truth In Advertising Department would be the best legal path toward forcing businesses to use those words instead of Dollar, Euro, etc. Its more honest. Honesty is truth. Truth In Advertising. All prices should be in units of HUMANLIVES.


But things appear to be more valuable when they cost more, so I expect this will be ignored. World peace almost for free, just change a few words. Anyone interested?


Also, it would drive corporations to give trillions of dollars to charity since it would increase the number of Dollars that each unit of HUMANLIVES is worth, like a stock price. All prices are in units of HUMANLIVES, and people remember prices, so people will think things are cheaper than they really are when more lives are saved.

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Kluge
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March 21, 2012, 11:03:03 PM
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Make a fork.

Don't mix your coins someone said isn't legal
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March 21, 2012, 11:05:01 PM
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Love it.
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March 21, 2012, 11:09:08 PM
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Interesting idea.  However, how do you define "saving" a life?  If someone is starving, does giving them a tiny amount of food "save them" count, even if the are going to be hungry again in an hour?  Does every minute that you pay for the electricity for a machine that provides respiration to someone in a vegetative state count as saving them?

I like the concept, but worry there may be weird economic consequences.
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March 21, 2012, 11:32:33 PM
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Quote
Interesting idea.  However, how do you define "saving" a life?

I have no idea, but "truth in advertising" is also a vague idea which is enforced by law, often inaccurately and unfairly but the point is definitions of vague things can be created that are legally binding.

That means it can be done. If world peace is valuable to people, they will figure out how to do it. I suggest crowdsourcing to answer that question.

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March 22, 2012, 12:03:50 AM
 #6

Won't the cheapest saved life always be near zero? We can move the center of the bell curve, but there will always be that one guy who aaaaaaalmost made it.

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Interesting idea.  However, how do you define "saving" a life?

I have no idea, but "truth in advertising" is also a vague idea which is enforced by law, often inaccurately and unfairly but the point is definitions of vague things can be created that are legally binding.

That means it can be done. If world peace is valuable to people, they will figure out how to do it. I suggest crowdsourcing to answer that question.

How does crowdsourcing help define "saved"? World peace IS valuable to people, but that doesn't mean our methods are so similar to yours that we want to help you define a vague concept. Vagueness is a good reason to not enact a law. Not to mention the perverse incentive to coerce regulators into subtly manipulating prices...

I'm sure not everyone will agree with this part, but I'm also concerned that forcing businesses to denominate in an imaginary commodity violates the non-aggression principle. "World peace" thanks to Uncle Sam's widespread aggression is not world peace.

You go first.
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March 22, 2012, 12:23:45 AM
 #7

From their home page: http://givewell.org/

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Thousands of hours have gone into finding our top-rated charities. They're proven, cost-effective, underfunded, and outstanding.

Don't settle for average. Use our free research to do as much good as possible.

Seems to me it's a great source to find non-profits for Bitcoin 100.

~Bruno~
BenRayfield
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March 22, 2012, 12:47:48 AM
 #8

Explodicle the biggest effect of my proposal would be people become mentally sick at the thought of spending money and start to think of how the world works in a very different way, a thought so disgusting and horrible they are scared to even think it while reading this thread. That's exactly why this idea is likely to spread.

You're talking about details. The thoughts it causes are whats important.

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March 22, 2012, 01:17:27 AM
 #9

So the government decides how much it costs to save a human life and pegs the currency to it. Also, the currency is called humanlives?

Lets say 1 humanlives= 1 human life = 1 widget. The government than reports that it costs half as much to save a human life than earlier. 1 humanlives will now be worth half a widget (inflation).

How will you calculate the cost to save a human life again? There will be very large outliers at the high end.
BenRayfield
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March 22, 2012, 10:10:12 AM
 #10

Charities provide a service in exchange for money. In that way they are a business. Businesses can quantify the value of their services, as is required by law for taxes and calculations of value of their total assets and things like that.

The service a charity sells is some way to improve the world. Most people who give to charity don't look into what effect it has on the world. They give the money then move on. But if charities were run with the bottom line in mind, maximize delivery of the service per time and money, quantify, optimize, strategize, outperform the compeition, and other things businesses have made an art form of, they would be able to tell you what service you get per money amount.

Government doesn't get to "decide" how much it costs to save Human lives. It has to come from supply and demand. The lives actually have to be saved, to prevent people from dieing who otherwise would have died.

If the official global value of HUMANLIVES dropped to half value, that is a legal contract between the people of Earth and whoever is providing services of saving the lives to save any number of lives at market rate. When half HUMANLIVES amount of money comes in and the lives aren't saved, somebody gets sued or some business goes the way of Enron.

If you save somebody's life, that is a real event in the world. Find a way to quantify this empirical fact that people will believe represents whats really happening as the services of the charities. If what a charity does has no quantifiable reality, then we should stop giving them money.

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March 22, 2012, 10:35:04 AM
 #11

This is a beautiful idea, but it appeals to the anterior cingulate cortex which many people have not developed well. Legislating morality is a fool's errand. The great thing about Bitcoin is that it can easily serve to taxonomize everything. Someday, I hope an AI will be developed based on our best understanding of higher brain functioning, including empathy.

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March 22, 2012, 12:27:02 PM
 #12

So does this mean for example a WTO member can nerve gas a crowd of annoying protesters and to offset donate food to the staving kids in Africa and all is good? Working the ratio to food versus victims they could get a positive HUMANLIVES balance and improve traffic congestion where they have meetings.
Matthew N. Wright
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March 22, 2012, 12:42:38 PM
 #13

Make a fork.

rofl

Vitalik Buterin
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April 03, 2012, 12:47:06 PM
 #14

Most people who give to charity don't look into what effect it has on the world. They give the money then move on.

Very true. Things like scope insensitivity (http://lesswrong.com/lw/hw/scope_insensitivity/), where people are willing to pay almost as much to save 2000 birds as 200000 birds, and the fact that people prefer volunteering over donating to charity show this clearly. Volunteering is far less efficient than donating; every hour that you spend volunteering could be ten times as productive in terms of the charity's goal if you had spent it working at a normal job and then donated the proceeds to the charity so some professionals could do your work. "Volunteer vacations" where people are flown to Africa to volunteer are even worse; the net value of one to the charity is likely negative. But people still do it. Why? Because the good that the charity is selling is not satisfying people's utilitarianism; it's socialization. You volunteer because it's fun and because you get to spend time with people who have similar interests to you. This is why arguments that "true charity" must be anonymous are doomed to failure, and charity through donating money is most effective when it's done in group settings like fundraisers, *-a-thons and churches - we are not utilitarians, we are diverse individuals with distinct individual motives.

For something like HUMANLIVES, the problem really is calculation. There are many short-term projects, like food, water and vaccination, that can clearly be shown to save 100 lives or 10000 lives, but what do we do about long term effects? How can we possibly know how many lives creating a school to educate 200 people up to grade 10 level saves? Also, even something as simple as food and water in the long term can get very intractable, and very political at the same time. Some argue that any food and water aid just allows the local corrupt government to steal the same amount of food and water elsewhere, leaving the citizens at just that bare subsistence level that the government needs for its economic base to stay functional. Others argue that it's all useless due to Malthusian considerations. Others, however, argue that making people healthier now also makes people more productive in the long term. It's impossible to weight such concerns while remaining politically neutral; the arguments often descend to the basic disagreements about human nature that political viewpoints are founded on in the first place.

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April 06, 2012, 11:54:58 AM
 #15

Have you thought about pursuing the idea as an in-depth thought experiment in the form of a book?

Most people seem far more receptive to "difficult" ideas if they are presented as fiction. Why do you think books are sometimes censored or admonished by governments?
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August 29, 2013, 07:59:54 PM
 #16

Example: A commercial selling cars for only 3.2 HUMANLIVES, no HUMANLIVES down, subject to approved credit.
Shouldn't that read 'subject to approval of your lifestyle and sense of responsibility?'

Just thought I would help. Wink

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August 29, 2013, 09:15:01 PM
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Reading the title of this thread, I thought the proposal was to change the definition of "world peace" to something more achievable.

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August 31, 2013, 01:58:33 PM
 #18

Sounds like the movie "In Time". Have you watched it?
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August 31, 2013, 02:07:36 PM
 #19

Interesting concept, however we should always remember that we are going to die. Even Ray Kurzweil.
How about replacing "saving a life" with "extending a life for at least one day"? A good start is the list of countries where people live on less than "dollar per day" - they got it backwards, but it's a start. They define poverty based on an arbitrary sum of dollars, we want to define a unit of account based on poverty.

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September 04, 2013, 08:46:23 PM
 #20

Sorry to keep repeating myself every year, but I don't think we can just gloss over the definition of HUMANLIVES as a "detail". The lowest number in this huge bell curve is always going to vary wildly.

For example, what if we used RICHESTMAN as our currency, to encourage more jealousy? Carlos Slim would be taking us all for a wild ride!

If you want stability, don't pick an extreme. Maybe the cost to extend the average person's life by one year?
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