Difference between revisions of "Talk:Best of the public"

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(I suppose it is a thin line between the "best of the public" and the "worst of the public"! Wikipedia, with its lack of meaningful rules, approaches the "worst of the public.")
(A better analogy with the advancement of knowledge would be Kasparov playing 100 games simultaneously against the best of the public. Kasparov would lose nearly all of those games.)
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::::::::Brilliant point.  I suppose it is a thin line between the "best of the public" and the "worst of the public"!  Wikipedia, with its lack of meaningful rules, approaches the "worst of the public."  As with the US Constitution, the rules make all the difference in bringing out the best of the public.--[[User:Aschlafly|Andy Schlafly]] 21:14, 17 December 2009 (EST)
 
::::::::Brilliant point.  I suppose it is a thin line between the "best of the public" and the "worst of the public"!  Wikipedia, with its lack of meaningful rules, approaches the "worst of the public."  As with the US Constitution, the rules make all the difference in bringing out the best of the public.--[[User:Aschlafly|Andy Schlafly]] 21:14, 17 December 2009 (EST)
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A better analogy with the advancement of knowledge would be Kasparov playing 100 games simultaneously against the best of the public.  Kasparov would lose nearly all of those games.  Limiting the contests to just one game at a time artificially helps Kasparov in a way that is not realistic in the search for knowledge.--[[User:Aschlafly|Andy Schlafly]] 21:20, 17 December 2009 (EST)

Revision as of 21:20, 17 December 2009

A third "Invisible Hand?"

Andy,

I think you may be underestimating the importance of the concept you've articulated. It seems to be that best of the public, when applied to an academic endeavor, creates a third "Invisible Hand"--an "Invisible Hand of Insight," if you will, with the power to lead to deeper and more powerful insights than conventional, expert-dominated processes.

Indeed, it may well be that best of the public is, in fact, the driving mechanism behind all of the Invisible Hands. Certainly, Smith's Invisible Hand can only function in a free market, where the best of the public is free to produce goods and generate wealth. The Invisible Hand of Marriage only functions in a society where those who believe in the value of the family are free to marry and raise children to share those values--again, the best of the public coming to the fore.

Thus, best of the public would be a central force. When applied to economic matters, it would result in Smith's invisible hand; when applied to social matters, it would result in the Invisible Hand of Marriage, and when applied to intellectual, it would result in the Invisible Hand of Insight.

In fact, best of the public provides a powerful means of explaining exactly why big government liberalism is so harmful. Invariably, dependency on big government intervention interferes with the best of the public, and thus, with the ability of the Invisible Hands to act.

Really, a remarkable piece of insight. It succinctly and concisely identifies the engine behind conservatism. Well done, indeed!

--Benp 22:18, 15 December 2009 (EST)

That's brilliant, Ben. You (or the public!) could develop your marvelous insight further!--Andy Schlafly 22:38, 15 December 2009 (EST)


Well, thank you, Andy! I'm honored and flattered that you find it so. I'll certainly work on this (and I hope others will, too)...but perhaps tomorrow, when I'm not nodding off at the keyboard.  :) Have a pleasant evening! --Benp 22:46, 15 December 2009 (EST)


I think there may be Coase theorem implications as well. When property is owned individually, by the public, regardless of what property or who owns it, an economic system flourishes. However when property is owned collectively, even by well meaning institutions run by experts and people who think they know best for others, economic decline and catastrophe are inevitable. It is almost as if an invisible hand guiding the public works better than the all too visible hand of the experts. --PThomson 23:00, 15 December 2009 (EST)

I may work this into my final lecture for my Economics class, which I must complete tomorrow (Wednesday). Perhaps students -- and the best of the public here -- can develop it even further!--Andy Schlafly 23:25, 15 December 2009 (EST)

Boston Marathon

It's not quite true that "anyone can enter" the Boston Marathon--I cannot,as I have yet to meet their standard of completing a marathon with a time better than 3 hours 10 minutes (the minimum required for a male in my age group). AlexWD 00:54, 17 December 2009 (EST)

That's a new strict condition. Good point to raise it. I'll replace the Boston Marathon with the New York Marathon to avoid that issue.--Andy Schlafly 08:52, 17 December 2009 (EST)
It's interesting to note that the Boston Marathon has resulted in few world records--one men's and two women's, none more recent than a quarter of a century ago--and all three of those were controversial in some way. On the other hand, the Chicago Marathon, which lacks the restrictive entry requirements of the Boston Marathon--has had four, and the Berlin Marathon--which prides itself on the number of people who participate, and also doesn't appear to have an entrance requirement--has had 7, the most of any marathon. This would seem to be strong corroborative evidence that the best of the public principle is valid; otherwise, you'd expect the races that only allow "expert" runners to produce the most records. --Benp 19:32, 17 December 2009 (EST)
That's an intriguing insight, Ben--you should add it to the article, and I should consider setting my marathon goals "lower" and find a cheap flight to Berlin!! AlexWD 19:40, 17 December 2009 (EST)

Kasparov vs. the World

This is a fascinating article and I'm sure you're on to something here. I have another apparent "counterexample", the close consideration of which I hope can lead to new insights on this topic, and I certainly don't expect to refute it. In 1999 the chess champion Kasparov played a match in which his opponent's moves were decided by popular vote. More than 50,000 players participated, but Kasparov emerged victorious nonetheless. Do you have any reflections on this match, and can it help refine the notion of "best of the public"? --JimR 19:47, 17 December 2009 (EST)

That seems much more like an example of mob rule than of Best of the Public! If the opponent's moves were the best suggested moves rather than just the ones the mob voted for, I suspect Kasparov would have had a harder time. What we're doing here at CP isn't decided by popular vote of 50,000 random people; rather it is truly the best of the public. DanielPulido 19:55, 17 December 2009 (EST)
Daniel raises an excellent point. Simple majority vote doesn't ensure that the best of the public will prevail. If anything, it makes it very difficult. Suppose ten of those 50,000 players were capable of beating Kasparov. All of them saw clearly which moves would defeat him; all of them voted for those moves. Unfortunately, twenty thousand not-so-good players all voted for a different set of moves--resulting in a win for Kasparov. --Benp 20:03, 17 December 2009 (EST)
Benp hits it right on the nose. Kasparov's victory just shows he's better than the average chess player, since good and bad players voting on moves will be average. We already knew Kasparov was better than average. JacobB 20:14, 17 December 2009 (EST)
Super point by JimR, and even better responses. As noted in response, we don't decide by majority vote here. The winner of a gold medal at the Olympics is not chosen by popular vote either.
The better analogy is if Kasparov played a "best of the public" opponent consisting of a Conservapedia-like, rule-based process for welcoming, accepting, debating and then making each move. Timing would be an obstacle but in the real pursuit of knowledge there are no constraints of chess clocks. Kasparov would lose a contest against the best of the public. Indeed, if the best of the public could use computers, as our best of the public can, there would be no doubt that Kasparov would lose.
Thanks for the tantalizing point that illustrates how powerful the "best of the public" is.--Andy Schlafly 20:17, 17 December 2009 (EST)
Ah, you're right of course! But that there could be ten of those (non-expert) players capable of beating him seems extremely unlikely to me -- any such player could turn professional and make large sums of money, and so probably would for economic reasons. On the other hand I am sure that for each move, there were members of the public who found the ideal move, one which would give the best overall chance. Can this fit into the theory? --JimR 20:18, 17 December 2009 (EST)
Although I am not sure of the exact situation in this particular game, I have seen games played on other forums following this format. What tends to happen is one or two people (self titled "experts" usually) monopolize the conversation and shut out the rest of the people who want to contribute. Since the public views are largely ignored by a vocal minority who are more interested in self aggrandizement than success, the process results inevitably in failure.--PThomson 20:32, 17 December 2009 (EST)
As an interesting aside, this is perhaps much why Wikipedia is such a failure - a vocal minority want to argue and set aside the persuasive arguments of others primarily for their own sense of well being rather than helping the project.--PThomson 20:32, 17 December 2009 (EST)
Brilliant point. I suppose it is a thin line between the "best of the public" and the "worst of the public"! Wikipedia, with its lack of meaningful rules, approaches the "worst of the public." As with the US Constitution, the rules make all the difference in bringing out the best of the public.--Andy Schlafly 21:14, 17 December 2009 (EST)

A better analogy with the advancement of knowledge would be Kasparov playing 100 games simultaneously against the best of the public. Kasparov would lose nearly all of those games. Limiting the contests to just one game at a time artificially helps Kasparov in a way that is not realistic in the search for knowledge.--Andy Schlafly 21:20, 17 December 2009 (EST)