Judge the judges, and justice for all!

If you had been involved in forensic fraud investigations, you probably have heard about a framework called fraud triangle. It means that if any of the following elements is missing, people are unlikely to commit fraud. In our optimized world, one of the goals is to minimalize crime, so I will generalize this idea.

First, criminals need opportunity. This can be a stack of money, for example. Here, plenty of such opportunities simply doesn’t exist because the phenomena that create them do not exist ( detailed in the Whatnot post).

Second, they need motivation. If one is hungry and have no money to buy food, for example. The mechanism detailed in this post provides a stable income to everyone.

Third, they need to rationalize their actions. For example, one blames it on the need for survival, or simply says that top managers / politicians / etc. do much worth things. Note that while people don’t always do the right thing in the eyes of the society, they always try to do the right thing as it is suggested by their own instincts and thoughts, which may change significantly under pressure.

Pressure

Speaking of pressure, the best way to minimize that is inclusion, which leads to consensual decision making. That’s usually nice on paper, but ineffective or inefficient in practice. How does it work in the land of collective intelligence?

Remember to the “Sesame Street” community from this post. The members post and rate ideas all the time, which may be news (“a blood donation campaign will be held tomorrow”, posted by The Count), comments (“I love the unicycle lane” by Big Bird), proposals (“let’s buy a new trash can” by Oscar the Grouch), opinions (“me want cookie” by Cookie Monster), and many more.

If we compile all posts and rank them by ratings at any given point of time, we can trace out the community’s norms (let’s call this the “code”). Furthermore, the members can check this “code” and adjust the norms by adding or modifying posts and ratings to reflect all aspects of life.

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By the way, anyone can post anything. Posting offensive or destructive content is impractical for multiple reasons: anonymity prevents personal debates, downrates result in lower income for the poster, plus fallacies and biases will be likely pointed out by others. Let’s talk about the last point because it is essential if we want to have constructive debates.

Fallacies and biases, intentionally or unintentionally, may create arguments that are erroneous or unfair. It is a big challenge especially when those arguments suggest extreme actions and sound otherwise reasonable (for example, are partially based on valid arguments). To prevent those problems, members are encouraged to point out fallacies and biases, or like / dislike such comments (just like any other posts).

Therefore, if any specific education is required for all members of this fantasy world, that is studying fallacies and biases. Strawman, slippery slope, anecdotal evidence, confirmation bias, the Dunning-Kruger effect, groupthink are just a few examples — the members of an optimal society should get educated to recognize these (not necessarily by name though). Artificial intelligence can give us awesome tools for this (for example, when it reads a post saying that “XYZ is stupid”, it will likely flag it as an invalid argument), but only someone who is flesh and blood can make a point.

Bias

Don’t forget that in real life, someone can be a member of hundreds of communities, post, and rate hundreds of ideas every day (not to mention how artificial intelligence can increase efficiency), so the “code” can be a huge, dynamic database.

An interesting “anomaly” is that both of two, mutually exclusive proposals may be supported at the same time. For example, if “let’s buy a trash can, so that the streets will be cleaner” is liked by 85% and “we shouldn’t buy a trash can, because it motivates Muppets to generate more garbage” is liked by 75%, the first proposal will prevail. Notes:

  • This example is extreme, because it would mean that at least 60% of the “Sesame Street” residents supported both proposals. We expect that to happen rarely.
  • Even if the acquisition of a new trash can is decided, it will not actually happen until someone turns it into a project, which is detailed in another post.

Finally, today’s laws, just like anything else, may also be posted and rated.

The relation of a “code” to individual posts is similar to the relation of this wall to the sticky notes

Now we have “codes”, and we also know that our system minimizes the temptation to get in serious conflicts with others (through keeping opportunities, motivation, and rationalization at low levels). Let’s see how to handle those conflicts.

Anyone can file a complaint and ask a jury to study the case and pass a verdict. Jurors are selected randomly, in a way that the overlap of their and the involved parties’ communities is minimal.

They decide in the light of the parties’ “codes” (with the support of artificial intelligence), using their common sense. Jurors are paid by the complainant (but they may order this fee to be recharged to other parties).

Investigation and enforcement of judgments are the tasks of the communities. They may provide public services, or the complainant may hire third party providers. The jury may recharge those expenses to other parties — fines and recharges are automatically executed within the system.

The weapon of the justice system

To sum up, the emphasis is on prevention and consensus in our imagined world. Fair starting positions for everyone and the synthesis of collective decisions should result in fair judgment. What would Justitia say?

  1. List some fallacious or biased arguments that are widely accepted and show how to flag them.
  2. List fallacies and bias that you find in this blog’s content. Appreciate that you help us to develop!
  3. List alternatives for expensive and often ineffective prison sentences.

Originally published at https://coin-pardun.com on December 30, 2021.

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