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88 – UBI and Other Forms of (Evil?) Taxes

The Conspiracy sits down with David Spearman, a long time listener and commenter who told us why we were all wrong about UBI and we figured he should tell you too.

Here’s the homework problem David spoke about. The answer is at the bottom.

Suppose a firm has to workers: Bob and Omega. It makes two goods: Ultraspace Drives, worth $1000 each (like I said, cost of living has gone way down) and gizmos worth $10 each. Bob can make an Ultraspace Drive in 1000 years and a gizmo in 1 year. Omega can make an Ultraspace Drive in a year and 10 gizmos in a year. What is the maximally productive allocation of these workers? 

David also sent us a couple of links for further research if you’re inclined.

  • Jason Brennan’s When All Else Fails: The Ethics of Resistance to State Injustice
  • Glen Weyl and Eric Posner’s Common Ownership Self Assessed Tax and book link
  • [From David:] The “a UBI will be spent which will stimulate economic growth” argument is basically a rehash of John Maynard Keynes’ argument from the General Theory of Employment, Interets, and Money. You can read the General Theory here
  • There are really good summaries of Keynes’ theory as well as really good criticisms of it scattered around the internet, but the most accessible is the Keynes vs. Hayek rap battle videos (part 1 and part 2)

Samuel Hammond article “Universal Basic Income” Is Just a Negative Income Tax With a Leaky Bucket

SMBC Steven mentioned about not emotionally connecting with the end of the world

Denver’s Tiny Home Village

Eneasz couldn’t find the super compelling link on air pollution correlating to increased Alzheimer’s risk, but here are two others (One) and (Two)

Richard Dawkins “We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones”

If anyone is interested in Crionics but finds the paperwork daunting, contact Rudi Hoffman!

Slate Star Codex review of The Machinery of Freedom

 

You can buy Eneasz’s novel! He’d be super-pleased with that state of affairs. 🙂 You can buy it in physical or ebook versions at Amazon, or ebook-only at any ebook seller.


Rationality: From AI to Zombies, The Podcast… and the other podcast

LessWrong posts Discussed in this Episode:

Beware the Unsurprised

The Third Alternative

Third Alternatives for Afterlife-ism

Next Episode’s Sequence Posts:

Scope Insensitivity

One Life Against The World


Homework Solution:

If Bob makes Ultraspace drives, he makes the company $1/year. If he makes gizmos, he makes the company $10/year. If Omega makes Ultraspace Drives, it makes $1000/year. If it makes widgets, it makes $100/year. Observe that Omega is more productive regardless of what job he takes. However, if he makes Ultraspace Drives, and Bob makes gizmos, the total revenue is $1010/year. Any other allocation of labor will result in lower revenue. If they reverse jobs, revenue is $101/year; if they both split their time evenly, revenue is $555.5/year; if both build Ultraspace Drives, revenue is $1001/year; etc.

As long as Bob and Omega aren’t identically productive, Bob can still be gainfully employed. Even if Omega can be infinitely copied for free, additional copies should be put to work on Ultraspace Drives (this does break down if you relax the “production doesn’t affect the price” assumption, but only if you also make the assumption that the cost of producing an Ultraspace Drive is the same as producing a gizmo). This is why “Chuck Norris has a comparative advantage in everything” jokes are hilarious.

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87 – Degrees of Freedom

We discuss Sarah Constantin’s recent post Degrees of Freedom, addressing where optimization and free-will conflict.

Mentioned in this episode:

The parable of The Whispering Earring

The Transporter Argument

Our episode about Desirism with Alonzo Fyfe

Eneasz’s Classic WoW guild – The Tail End (US – Alliance – PvE, eventually raiding Sun/Mon 9-12EST)

Rationality: From AI to Zombies, The Podcast… and the other podcast

 

LessWrong posts Discussed in this Episode:

Universal Fire   — Also, you can hear Eneasz’s reading of the full post here

Universal Law

Think Like Reality

Next Episode’s Sequence Posts:

Beware the Unsurprised

The Third Alternative

Third Alternatives for Afterlife-ism

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Bonus Abortion non-episode

This is not an episode of The Bayesian Conspiracy. It’s just some additional feedback and informal thoughts on abortion, particularly in the USA. If this is not a topic of interest to you, please move on. A regular episode will air at the regular time. 🙂

Relevant Links:

Our subreddit where people post comments is reddit.com/r/thebayesianconspiracy/

David said he based much of his email from Abortion is Difficult at Fake Nous

Policy Debates Should Not Appear One-Sided

SSC post regarding whether people really believe what they say they believe about abortion

Proposed: the 1980s farm crisis (which was where family farming finally died in America) at some level fed into the development of anti-abortion activity and identity in the same period, by way of agrarian-magical fertility rites.

And for a lighter note: Key and Peele teach men about menstruation

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86 – Quick Shout Out to the Consolidated Nature of Morality Thread

We dive into the Consolidated Nature of Morality Thread in a lot more detail than originally planned. We seem to get a bit off track.

Stuff that came up this episode:

Read Eneasz’s novel, What Lies Dreaming, online here

Or preorder the ebook:

The short story “The Secret Number”

 

Next Episode’s Sequence Posts:

Universal Fire 

Universal Law

Think Like Reality

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85 – Stuff is Weird, Yo

This episode Jess, Eneasz, and Steven sit down to discuss… well, you tell us. We’re kind of all over the map here because things have, in the majority, been weird for us lately. We cover some random things about how America is going to shit, how to conduct yourself in public when making an effort not to spook people, and “magic” life hacks.

 


Stuff that came up this episode:

Georgia Heartbeat Bill

Doof! Media’s (called The Daly Planet at the time) episode on Alien and Aliens

Moridinamael (Matt Freeman) on Spamming Micro-Intentions to Generate Willpower

Reddit’s r/askmen thread on What the fuck are you supposed to do when you walk past a woman alone at night to let her know you’re not a murderer?

The related book, Whistling Vivaldi and a talk on the subject


LessWrong posts Discussed in this Episode:

Your Rationality is My Business

Feeling Rational

Briefly Discussed: Consolidated Nature of Morality Thread

Next Episode’s Sequence Posts:

Universal Fire 

Universal Law

Think Like Reality

 


Big thanks to David for our intro music! Check out his music and VFX here!

We’d like to thank creators of our new outro music from the Sumerki Project! Check out their stuff here!

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84 – Yang-arang!

Eneasz has a thing for Andrew Yang

He’s ex-goth

Yang interview on Freakonomics

Quick summary of Fosta/Sesta

Archer’s dead hookers

Where does Denver’s Pot Money go?

Hear Steven discuss Endgame on The Doofecast!

Chess-Boxing

 

LessWrong posts Discussed in this Episode:

Priors as Mathematical Objects

Lotteries: A Waste of Hope

New Improved Lottery

 

Next Episode’s Sequence Posts:

Your Rationality is My Business

Feeling Rational

and there will be a quick shout-out to the Consolidated Nature of Morality Thread


Big thanks to David for our intro music! Check out his music and VFX here!

We’d like to thank creators of our new outro music from the Sumerki Project! Check out their stuff here!

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