Level1 News May 30th, 2017: Jeff Bezos's Evil Fruit Kingdom | Level One Techs

Those don't exist since the end of the eastern bloc.
There is no more second world, and therefore no first or third.

This is an outdated classification.

In terms of postcolonial and post-cold-war relations, the terms "Global North" and "Global South" are often favored (for example, Australia and Israel would be in the Global North, but Siberia and Palestine would be in the Global South), but they don't really relate very well to the degree of technological development specifically.

You're forgetting the rise of non-protectionist localist movements (sometimes called "regionalist movements" in some parts of the world) propped up by nations ans peoples who are also actively opposing free market globalization but, contratry to stateist movements, are also opposed to the constructed "nation-state" and so-called national economies (which are really state-level economies, not national-level, especially in the case of multinational countries, which is almost all modern countries).

Independentist and autonomist movements are also seeing a rise, both from peoples wanting organisation at the local and meta-national level and peoples wanting organisation at the national level; not just protectionist movements in favor of the modern country model as a union-of-states or union-of-nations (or worse, unions-of-nations that think they're a single homogeneous nation).

I think we'll see a return to peoples-level administrative organisation, and a gentle dismantling of multinational countries.

Scotland has a second referendum for independance coming pretty soon, and a lot of countries are keeping an eye on it, watching out for a contemporary historical precendent. If Scotland goes, Catalonia is also likely to get a Yes majority, with could give a significant nudge to other autonomist and independantist movements in the global North, such as in Wales, Corsica, Bretony, Québec, etc.

Heck, even California has an independance/autonomy movement now (though it is microscopic by comparison).

I would of course rather have it end up in a spam folder than in my ear :wink: .

I'm not sure what scientific research needs to rely on this channel. Maybe there is an alternative which is good enough or better for specific purposes (Apple's health-app comes to mind)? You make a damn good point in that there may be some value in calling to people who would be too passive to respond otherwise. For sure, there is no way to obtain data without some kind of invasion. An exception to science, maybe? Idk.

One could "easily" mark their public phone numbers as allowed for salesmen separately from available for scientists, and separately from available for opinion polls. "Easily" in the sense everything is digital now, just check the database before you call, or face legal action if you didn't check before calling.

Another case is, an occasional wrong number call could also be difficult to distinguish from an unsolicited call (a real life anecdote follows):

Had a guy calling me 3 times and hanging up just too fast for me to answer. I looked up and even found his number repeatedly reported for unsolicited sales for a period of two months less than a year back. Got him when he called the fourth time. And I was ready for a calculated but angry exchange. Turns out, he was convinced he was calling a girl he had talked to the previous Friday. I did refuse to explain who I was, but I did explain no such person was here, and that it was about time he stop calling this number, and to delete this number from his phone after hanging up, and made it clear that I would be rather unpleasant should he call again (...thinking back to it, the caller may have taken me for a surly dad and/or a jealous boyfriend at the time). I verified later that the number indeed had changed hands after belonging to the misbehaving call center. Hope he got in contact with the girl he was looking for.

Having a wrong number to call is not something that needs to be illegal for sure, bothersome as it may come.

Pretty much anything that requires a large sample size that doesn't involve having an over-representation of either highly educated people or people who live near a university or research center.

This particularly screws up research in the field of geography (human geography is a thing, so is demographics), economics, and basically every single one of the human sciences. Say goodbye to sociology and politology if we can't reach the people required for a representative sample.

People who don't mind being contacted for research are not by themselves representative of the whole of humanity.

It's already bad enough when people ignore available facts, imagine what happens when those facts become harder or even impossible to discover in the first place. It's the reign of unsubstantiated opinion, and nobody wants that.

Without unsolicited contact, it becomes impossible for policies to be oriented towards the will of the people, and even less so towards the people's general interests, leaving even more power in the hands of the loud and opinionated.

The terms are Old World, New World and Third world. The reigns of empires are historically finite. The Old World was essentially England, France and Germany. The New World Is the US and somewhat England. The Third World is an extrapolation. The empire that exists now will fall and a new one will take its' place. This may be nonsense. Empires may die in a fire all together; but the US is unlikely to lead in the mid century and beyond. That is the context in which I was using it.

The Ancient World is still somewhat pre-historic as study still continues. Documentation in ancient times was not as prevalent as it was post Roman Empire to today. There's also the fact that ancient empires tended to try to erase the previous one by destroying evidence of its' history.

The terms have nothing to do with technological development. It's about competition between nation states. It's also an understanding that the proverbial torch is bound to be passed to someone eventually. Third World countries are countries that are due for their chance to lead.

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Fair enough. But it's hardly the third round of such cycles. Unless it's meant to specifically designate empires that spanned worldwide, therefore starting with the modern era (early 16th century CE), but even so, only the New World would have gotten close to a worldwide hegemony anyway.
Before the modern era and its world-spanning empires of France, England, Germany, the Dutch empire, Spain and Portugal, there was (as far as eurasian empires go) the Persian empire, Macedonian empire, Roman empire(s), Umayyad Caliphate, Mongol empire, etc. in chronological order.

The term is also rather confusing, considering that the end of the cold war and its other three-world division is still very recent.

"Stop making sextapes" is such an incredibly naive comment.

If it only happened to people who make sex tapes, it would be far less common.

The pictures, videos and audio used in sextorsion are very often taken without the knowledge or consent of the victim.
Sextorsion and "revenge porn" is also not always done by the people you slept with or are/were in a relationship with.

It unfortunately happens that people do spy on other people for nefarious purposes, you know that very well.

It can be done by "friends", siblings, classmates, etc. It's committed in locker rooms, at parties, and in the comfort of your very own room.
In many cases, it's as simple as quickly taking images or audio through a slightly opened door and quickly closing it back again. And even if you catch them spying on you, they still got what they wanted.

In some cases, it's done by doxers and stalkers.
In other extreme cases, it's when a rapist films the ordeal in order to blackmail the victim into not pressing charges, or to add to the blackmail that led to the non-consensual sex in the first place.

If you really wanted to give people advice on how to stop this, you could just as well say "stop being in the general proximity of other people and devices with sensors" or "Stay at home, don't let anyone in and board up the windows even if you live in the middle of the fucking desert. People have been known to use drones and telescopes." /s

This is analogous to people saying "don't get raped" all the time instead of "don't rape".

Come on @ryan, you can do better than poorly thought-out victim-blaming.

The main thing that people can say that would reliably have a significant effect on this phenomenon is, you know, educating people in ways that make them not commit sextorsion or "revenge porn" in the first place. That's done by schools, families and friends over a long period of time.

True. But would you not agree that people who mind being contacted for research will refuse participation anyway?

One can not have all the participation without a degree of unpleasant coercion. Coercion impacts the results too. Is there a research in a specific country pointing out a phone call to be the best way (and not only the most time- and cost-efficient way) to gather statistics?

Phone-based research has failed predicting several very recent events because voters refused to share their thoughts anyway due to self-censoring what they believed to be unpopular/uncomfortable opinions when speaking to another human being who could have been judging of them.

Also, observing in a poll results that a person's unpopular/uncomfortable opinions will not in fact win on the election day, one may be further incited to voice them, because one will be able to walk away from that election day without any feeling of guilt whatsoever. In effect, more people then feel more free to vote on their unpopular/uncomfortable opinions against the polls, and you get election surprises. To take two less controversial examples - Brexit maybe happens in spite of the polls as much as because of them, because polls thought Farage could not win. Macron maybe wins in spite of the polls as much as because of them, because polls thought Le Pen could win.

There are other subjects than politics one may be unwilling to disclose. While one may ideally as a scientist pose a list of unassuming and seemingly unrelated questions, and from answers to those questions find out the answers they seek, responding to those questions requires consensual participation.

Another possibly relevant point is I do not think that I wish to give up personal integrity for science without consent, especially if I am convinced I have no option. In fact, just being given the option could change my mind, because just the perception of having my personal integrity respected would make me less reluctant to demand that integrity to be respected (reverse psychology 101).

Sadly, as it stands today, I simply prefer pointing out that "I will verbally abuse you if you call me again, so please, in a civilized manner this time, don't call me ever again and delete my number". Because, sadly, I am not convinced that a kind tone will result in an outcome I desire (you see how this connects back to current trends in politics :slight_smile: ).

This is difficult to argue against. But perhaps we need to improve the methodology? To find the points that matter, and follow only those points? Or perhaps to actually make sure that participants in some way receive something back? Perhaps a hard copy of the very scientific paper they have contributed to produce, so they can show off to their friends, as incentive?

How about compulsory voting then? In compulsory voting, you get something out of it. Unsolicited contact, by definition, takes something away from you (even if, depending on the outcome, it may turn extremely beneficial to you). At best, it is a gamble. Is it not possible to provide incentive for bothering people? A compulsory poll conducted by an authority on behalf of scientific institutions which takes your time and then pays you a token sum, like a blood donor or army reserve drill pay. you know you are serving your country, you know there is no escape, as incentive.

Now the following argument may be a little more difficult to explain in a globally easy to understand way, and without pointing out a few idiosyncrasies in what and why we are saying what we are saying on this topic. Feel free to point out any misunderstandings I may have.

Now, I very much agree with the necessity of providing a reasonably accurate representation of people's actual will and actual needs in a governing body. However the governing body I perceive you implied here is more likely to be one of scientocracy, direct democracy, and/or a single-party political system, than to having any ideologically inspired representatives actually supported by the people. Here I believe we may be diverting on a possible idiosyncrasy? Let me try and explain what I mean:

My idiosyncrasy, my starting point in my particular argument, living in Sweden, is: there are currently three fairly distinct movements - socialist, conservative, and liberal, in 8 parliamentary parties. None of the three movements has a majority. Every single party that has changed their course in following the loud and opinionated have been and are still being aggressively punished to by their voters. Those parties who have stayed their ideological course have been greatly rewarded. I can find at least two parties I can vote for in good conscience, and I can live with most of them being in government - they won't blow up anything but themselves.

I also think we must allow a reasonable amount of people to live in self-deception. Let them have a choice they aren't being forced to decide on in a specific way. Not everyone is wired up all correctly (God knows for sure I am not). I do not think that we need or should have perfect representation or perfect political science so I don't think it is worth personal integrity for the unsolicited calls to achieve full research coverage, or to satisfy any trending of political opinion polls. I do instead think we should have politicians who will actively deliver themselves to public scrutiny, have a lucid idea of where they want to go and how to get there, who will keep their eyes on the road, and simply operate their state management role (yes, it is this boring part that really matters) with impeccable conduct.

Not living in a want for, or a near-reality of, a scientocracy, a direct democracy, and/or a single-party political system, I am reluctant to allow any unsolicited phone calls to myself which isn't conducted by a tax-payed governmental or local authority.

EDIT: Damn this got long.

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Not all of them, at least. Better than nothing.

It's never the "best" way, but you can use it alongside other means. Some people are easier to reach by phone, hence why researchers still bother with phone calls. Research institutes, civil organisations and market study companies do not resort to phone calls because it is convenient for anybody. It is not.

Evidently. But the people who actually do research generally know the limits of these types of surveys (i.e., they don't use it to predict the future).
The fact that journalism majors and the general public exagerate the reliability of election polls is not a problem with phone-based research itself or its margins of error, but with people's expectations.

(It's also not really a politologist's or sociologist's job to predict the results of an election before it happens. Their job as scientists is finding out what happens and why it happens, so that we are better informed about the world and make better informed decisions as a result.)

Of course, which is why a lot of research projects reward their participants, sometimes with small sums of money, sometimes with discounts, free tickets, etc. But the initial contact will nonetheless be unsolicited. As in, the researcher initiates the contact without sollicitation from the responder.

But too many researchers/polls/votes/census starts rewarding people in a significant-enough way in order for them to not be initially bothered, it would also have an impact on their responses. This goes both ways.

People's thoughts and the ways in which they express them tend to be affected by their mood regardless.

Even in our representative democracies, we still need a reasonably accurate representation of the peoples' wills. The whole point is that the elected delegates are supposed to know their constituents well enough to a) act on their behalf; and, more importantly, b) act in accordance to their constituents' best interests (though never actually against their will).

And it is important that the data used to formulate this reasonably accurate representation of the peoples' wills be compared and contrasted with data from equally-trustworthy independant sources. For the sake of public scrutiny, and proper operation of representative democracy, governmental or local authorities can't be the only ones obtaining and providing this data.

Of course. It only seems to account for the largest, most recent empires. I've already explained the issue with the prehistoric empires from Mesopotamia to Rome. It's not really centric to individual countries. This is a more recent occurrence that could account for the view. Large allegiances seem to be a more recent strategy.

a) is solved by voting.
b) is a public proposal which can be voted on. It is the purpose of publicists to present these proposals and to follow up on them.

Why is it not a reasonably accurate representation if it excludes unsolicited phone calls? I think we only have more accuracy or less accuracy, and so far, we have not discussed any measurable way to decide the benefits of these to accuracy, where we could draw the line. This could imply that the line is too arbitrary and too difficult to defend either way?

We have, I think, considered many arguments for and against specifically scientific unsolicited phone contact, and then further specifically for the purpose of communication from voters to the governing body. Also different incentives (carrots and whips) to motivate these.

However, being unable to specifically discern the actual value of phone call poll at this day and age, I am unable to weigh in attempting to solve the problem of silent majority as an argument to consider unsolicited calls to be a significant enough means in solving it to a significant degree. I also believe it important for the parties to represent values, interests, and ideas of their voters in the real world, but they should gather their input in other ways than using unsolicited calls.

I would further have to weigh this pro-argument, against phone harassment, sales-calls to mentally and otherwise impaired, and people being caught off guard in precarious and very vulnerable situations. Also against consumers being able to decide on who to contact them and who not contact them through a means (a product) the consumer themselves is paying for, and the consumer's ability to influence and define the purpose of their own payment.

In my mind, one should have an option to define the type of calls one accepts, and anything outside of that should be illegal. When one answers a call, one should feel safe it was important enough to come through exactly when it did. I believe explicit consent is necessary to protect personal integrity, and I also have no measurable way to decide where to draw the line. This could imply that the line is too arbitrary and too difficult to defend either way? Yet I choose to draw it at this point. I believe personal integrity at the present time (just look at all that social media and data hoarding exhibitionism) to be too important to protect from extinction then to draw this line anywhere else. Having your phone number in public, and NOT being harassed for it would be an important step towards protecting one's personal integrity.

The Princeton paper:

Just read the paper.

It was very interesting in content. Also on a meta-level, as in science confirming a gut feeling, and then embellishing that gut feeling with unexpected detail.

This not being my academic area, I am curios on whether the claims made in this paper been refuted, confirmed, or enhanced since? Also whether it has been used to support any further study? It seems to me the method could be immensely valuable to the political science also outside the US, if viable.

I haven't seen any attempts to refute it. With the evidence associated with lobbying, campaign contributions and subsidies, it seems that there isn't much confidence in the chance of refutation.

I went through it with a fine tooth comb; and the evidence is pretty clear. I did however test the Epistemology. The only weakness that I really found in it was, it seemed a little truncated. I'm pretty sure that, that was the intent though. Even as such I felt that it excluded an important extrapolation. I shared my findings; and a small political periodical actually published my blog post. :slight_smile:

After enjoying a brief moment of bias confirmation, one thing nagging me was the selection of the 1779 issues they had looked at was over ten years old at the time of publication, and that I do not understand whether the amount of issues is sufficient for a conclusion, or if there is a classification (as in different types) of those issues, and or what criteria has been used (was it "all the issues", for example, I do not recall if I had read that somewhere in the paper). There may be also issues with how they define the wealthy/influential top percentile (what is "wealthy", how distribution of wealth has changed since, the top 1% vs top 10%, etc.), and how they define interest groups, but it does not impact on the brute force method applied (policy review). None of this seems to considerably question the findings themselves, or the claims made in the paper itself in every way.

In your blog post, you do (importantly so) point out the temporal and political aspect of US being an "oligarchy", which is damn good, because the original infamous article which made this paper famous (and was in turn made famous by this paper) was not as careful in using the word "oligarchy" (click-bait). For the time being, there appears to be only oligarchy by consent, and any government by consent (of the people) remains within the loose definition of democracy, and is almost certainly within the operational parameters of the US democratic system (in terms of law, rules, and regulations, if not in terms of intention). It is difficult to pin-point where things break down. However the age which the paper implies "could be" considered an oligarchy (however the paper itself is never using that bold statement), is way past.

At the present time, US (just as many other countries) may "already be" an oligarchy, but also something else entirely, and I would rather be careful coining its present identity. Even more so as coining a sufficiently inaccurate identity may lead to (and has lead to, recently, but also historically) sub-optimal election processes and by extension sub-optimal results. I believe personal integrity and personal identity must remain fully owned by each individual as the last line of defense from a free-floating reality. Voting always comes down to reduction of issues, and reducing from inaccurate personal identity, and/or inaccurately identified environment (including, but not limited to how you see your country) - and both of those identities tend to define each other - reducing on inaccurate identifications carries a greater chance of one voting against their own needs and interests.

Reference points and the spaces between them are important.

Do I think we are living in an oligarchy today? In the Western world, I think, only by our consent, but not beyond it. There are still structures preventing it. Creaking under pressure, but still preventing it. It may indeed be so that the structures need to break to cause any serious restructuring.

Anecdotally, you can put a frog in cold water and heat it up slowly and the frog will end up cooked. If you just pour hot water over it, it will jump out and survive - this is also related to the concept of identity in terms of Theseus's paradox. You can completely replace any single part of a ship, and it still remains a ship. But is it still the same ship? When did it stop being the same? Does it have to be the same, and indeed why should it have to be the same?

Are we incapable of gradual change and sustaining a single purpose over a long span of time?

Individuals do not exist isolated from their environment. Intelligence can only be measured in how we operate within that environment. The humanity has come a long way to control the environment and make sure it doesn't change in a way that should cause extinction. Except the only danger remaining to the environment (outside meteor shower) is the humanity itself. The solution can of course NOT be to isolate humanity from the environment.

Do you have any idea whether this scientific method could be applied annually, and result in annual and somewhat more recent reports - does it take a year to cover a year, for instance? Also, is there any interest in funding this kind of regular democracy check, and do you know of any organizations who do or would do this on a regular basis?

The only organization other than political analysts at universities like Princeton, Stanford and MIT is the Freedom of the Press Foundation; which is founded by Daniel Ellsberg (The Pentagon Papers), who recently recruited Edward Snowden. They seem to keep a running tab on the attempts to disenfranchise the public. These attempts do however tend to be temporary though.

Scientific analysis may not be enough. I've been working on a project to produce a methodology for "Naturalized Socioeconomics". There is an interesting bit of Political Science from Sociology that I think could be helpful in aiding democratic systemic function with the more democratic aspects of natural systemic function. There are two denominations of political influence that might be coordinated to mirror the general organization and distributed variation found in nature.

"Instrumenatalism" is the top down, epistecratic aspect that could be coordinated with "Proceduralism" which is the bottom up, distributed influence. I've suggested using it like an experiment of sorts; where the issues that individuals face become data for analysis and solutions.

Here is my open project proposal:

I thought that correlating Instrumentalism with the Archetype, and Proceduralism with the Particular in a common General Systems Theory tuple might produce a more naturalistic, socioeconomic system. It would promote active participation in the system itself. It seems that most political issues revolve around disenfranchisement concerning socioeconomics.


More recently, I've been working on methods for implementing such a system; and data sharing seems to be a good candidate for it. I've come up with a basic model for an administration.