February 26th, 2004


(no subject)

I think democracy is flawed.

No, hear me out for a second.

The theory behind democracy is that humans are intelligent, honest, and reasonable. Unfortunately this is dead-wrong. The fact is that humans are greedy. Experiment: Take a hundred random people off the street and give them $10 each. Tell them whatever they end up with after a series of votes, they can keep. Now introduce "bills" of the form "we will take money from a tenth of you, and redistribute it to the rest of you, minus administrative overhead of course".

Guess what? They'll vote for it. 90-10 in favor! And the money gets redistributed (minus administrative overhead) and redistributed again (minus administrative overhead) and again (minus administrative overhead) until eventually the administrative overhead has eaten all their money. It's the prisoner's dilemma, and it only works out well if the people aren't greedy.

Which people are.

So how exactly is democracy supposed to work? I don't get it. It seems like it's founded in invalid assumptions. Can someone explain what the deal is supposed to be? Fill in the blank: "Assuming that people are greedy and self-serving, democracy works because _____."

I'm honestly curious here, incidentally.

(no subject)

I hate how we don't do any of the interesting experiments.

Predict the impact location of a projectile launched at a certain angle and velocity? Nope. Put magnets on the air track and see how it influences the acceleration? Nope. We weren't even supposed to discover what a lissajous pattern is. (We did anyway.)

It's like they actively don't want us to learn anything.
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