RE: External reference semantics

From: Thomas Buckner (
Date: Fri May 28 2004 - 18:57:08 MDT

--- Ben Goertzel <> wrote:
> > I have been trying to work out a system I call the
> > Random Mandarin which would be a debugged form of
> > democracy. Some science-fiction writers have
> suggested
> > ideas of this sort, but not gone into much detail
> that
> > I know of.
> My friend George Christos, when I lived in Western
> Australia, wrote a
> paper on what he called the "Random Parliament"
> system, very similar to
> what you propose. He circulated it in the
> Australian government but
> predictably enough it never got any traction.
> One problem with the plan is the extent to which
> non-elected powers
> actually control the government --- e.g. in the US,
> the
> military-industrial complex, and the health care
> industry. Randomly
> selected parliamentarians who are ignorant of
> politics may become dupes
> for the permanent civil servants and
> government-contractor leeches who
> feed them information and *actually* run things...
> -- Ben G

The duped-by-careerists issue needs to be considered,
but it is a rampant problem now. A random system IMHO
wouldn't make it worse. In any case, careerists who
don't set policy are like professionals in any other
trade; a lot of them actually know their jobs and want
to do them well. This is why, for example, our
political leaders were fools not to listen to the
generals about how many troops would be needed to
occupy another country, not to listen to career
diplomats about how to deal with other democracies,
and so on.
I won't go on a lot more about the Random Mandarin
system in this forum; it's a bit off-subject except in
my wish to portray government systems as a form of
software which can be rationally analyzed for obvious
Also, an AI takeoff is almost guaranteed to happen
long before any large nation adopts random


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