Re: Property rights.

From: Byrne Hobart (
Date: Sun Apr 20 2008 - 08:17:45 MDT

> Yes, but the data (cross country and longitudinal from the moment
> public education systems were installed) indicate that such a system
> has benefited, on average, everyone in the country by growing the
> economy.

Source? Perhaps this could be true for some nations and not others. I would
be surprised, for example, if mandating that the ethnically homogeneous
Swedes or Finns attend school together would be problematic. But the US is
ethnically diverse, and there are conflicts when one tries to educate
different groups together. My Irish-German ethnic peers and I would be
painfully slow if we had to attend a *Juku*, if only because our parents
don't expect us to study as much. When low-achieving groups are integrated
with the average or above-average students through school districts
embracing multiple ethnicities, one often finds *de facto* segregation --
since they can't send their kids to different schools, parents just move

Are you comparing these benefits to the opportunity cost? Government schools
tend to keep people until they're 18 by default, even though many of these
people are better suited to manual labor or crafts rather than academic
study. Must we pay tens of thousands of dollars per student *per year* to
keep them out of the workforce and in a system that will teach them to
despise education?

I'm not claiming that this is a necessary feature of government monopoly
education. Just that when you put things under the control of a giant
monopoly (whether or not it even bothers to do things for a profit) you get
consistent results -- if you don't happen to have a permanently perfect
system at the outset, you won't get improvements. If we had, say, a
competitive system rather than a giant monopoly, we might have faster
progress in education. By the way, the situation is not improved when this
giant monopoly buys its main product (low-quality labor from the bottom of
the academic barrel:
from a cartel provider:

> Out of interest, since ideological points seem to be coming up here,
> how much trust would people put in a powerful FAI? If such an AI said
> that your pet system was demonstrably inferior to an alternative,
> would you accept the verdict? Remember that on any issue where there
> is expert disagreement (and education and healthcare is a case with
> much expert disagreement), then it is plausible that the FAI would
> decide against you.

I would be suspicious of an AI that had to persuade using the threat of
force, rather than either outsmarting us and paying us to obey or simply
persuading people. However, if the AI could carefully and cogently argue
that the only way humans will be truly happy is to concentrate power in the
hands of a few humans, and give them the power to imprison people who
disagree with their dictates, I would submit to this bizarre and unnatural

Or become a full-time terrorist. It's up in the air, at this point.

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