Friday, May 5, 2017

The super-Dunbar problem, or how to sort homo sapies by their values to achieve world peace

How Dunbars' Number Relates to War

Per Wikipedia;
Dunbar's number is a suggested cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships—relationships in which an individual knows who each person is and how each person relates to every other person.[1][2] This number was first proposed in the 1990s by British anthropologist Robin Dunbar, who found a correlation between primate brain size and average social group size.[3] By using the average human brain size and extrapolating from the results of primates, he proposed that humans can comfortably maintain only 150 stable relationships.[4] Dunbar explained it informally as "the number of people you would not feel embarrassed about joining uninvited for a drink if you happened to bump into them in a bar".[5]
Basically, it is impossible to maintain constant staple relationships with more than a few hundred people. Oh sure, you can have ten thousand friends on Facebook, but do you communicate with each of them month? Can you keep track of all their birthdates without the software telling you? Are you really connected to them all?

It is a mathematical problem: as the number of people in a negotiation grows, the number of possible connections necessary to reach agreement grows almost exponentially.

Dunbar's number is important in politics because it relates to the ability of people to agree on values, beliefs, etc. There is a super-Dunbar problem where people treat society as one big tribe even though it is not. This cognitive bias results in never ending war and violent political struggle, since it is impossible for millions of people to agree on anything at all. A nation like America, with 400 million people, could not even agree on what flavor of chocolate to eat, let alone a political agenda. The failure to agree is not the crime, no, it is the insistence on agreement itself which is impossible and tyrannical. No will ever agree on anything at super-Dunbar scales, and thinking otherwise is a deluded fantasy. Above about 300 people, politics just becomes oppression.

So why do people do it? Why do people impose their value on others? Humans habitually think in terms of "we" because of our tribal evolution. This is inappropriate in the modern world. The tendency to impose ones values is genetic. People feel morally outraged, and believe this emotion entitles them to imposition. This is the root of all war. That's right, morality, (moral outrage) causes all war between humans.

People who just want prestige are actually generally content to leave others alone so long as everyone sings "hail to the chief" at all the right party's. It is the prig progs of the species that are the greatest tyrants.

Therefore oppression is inevitable, even if systems of "comprise" like democracy are used. Someone is always going to have the jackboot on their neck — unless humans are sorted into different spaces according to their moral and political values.

Our goal is peace on Earth.

Compromise, (which everyone calls "democracy") is presented as the only alternative to tyranny. But this is a lie. People can also be sorted into different boxes/territories using their own values as a guide. All you need is;

1. A values test that cannot be cheated, (like the Implicit Attitudes Test).
2. Enough boxes/territories to adequately represent all major permutations of political values.
3. A market mechanism to non-violently coerce people to sort/deport themselves according to their test results — using money to pull them to one or more districts whose politics matches their values. This is because you do not want to have to rely on violence in order to sort people. That would defeat the purpose.


There are at least five types of possible societies, based on how they deal with the super-Dunbar problem.

Tribe (does not have the problem)
Tyranny (monarchy, or authority if you prefer, subjugates disagreement)
Systems of compromise — "democracy"
Sorting humans by their political values (sorting in physical space, rather than market space)
Private law markets (give everyone what they want within a market equilibrium / sorting humans in market space, but not physical space)

Notice two things. First, this looks like a progression. Tribes led to monarchy. Monarchy led to democracy. Democracy should lead to governance markets of some sort. Governance markets might then lead to private law societies everywhere on Earth.

Second, notice that there are many possible combinations. There are five types here. Doing the permutations gives us 25 possible forms of government of combinations of 2, if we assume a federal structure with a different kind of local structure.

Territorial Governance markets
Territory-less Private law markets

Combinations of Two

Tribes + within Tribes (a federation of tribes has been done before)
Tribes + within Monarchy
Tribes + within Democracy
Tribes + within Territorial Governance Markets
Tribes + within Private law markets

Monarchy + within Tribes
Monarchy + within Monarchy (also known as empire, or feudalism)
Monarchy + within Democracy 
Monarchy + within Territorial Governance markets (or patchwork)
Monarchy + Private law markets (a type of patchwork)

Democracy + within Tribes
Democracy + within Monarchy (or exitocracy)
Democracy + within Democracy (federal democracy)
Democracy + within Territorial Governance markets (a different form of exitocracy)
Democracy + within Private law markets (anarcho-syndicalism)

Governance markets + within Tribes
Governance markets + within Monarchy (market formalism: a will talk about this is a future post)
Governance markets + within Democracy (probably impossible. Democracy would be hostile to it)
Governance markets + within Governance markets (medieval Iceland)
Governance markets + within Private law markets (impossible. You can't nest a territorial system inside a non-territorial system)

Private law markets + within Tribes
Private law markets + within Monarchy (a type of market formalism, Monarchy would probably be hostile to its own market)
Private law markets + within Democracy (probably impossible. Democracy would be hostile to it)
Private law markets + within Governance markets (in other words, private law societies within a federation of territorial private governments)
Private law markets + within Private law markets (the society described in Jennifer Government)

Everything is then duplicated along a second axis for left-wing and right-wing governments.

Not that not all of these combinations are possible. I have crossed out some of them. A tribe is a small thing. A larger structure cannot exist within it. Democracy is hostile to every form of government other than democracy, and so another system within democracy is probably also not possible.

Our goal is to find that system, or develop it, that will allow massive sorting based on values without needing violence to do it — some sort of market system.

A Values-Based Market Sorting System for People

1. The whole population gets tested according to some test criteria for political and moral values using a test that cannot be cheated. This test is a form of IAT, or implicit attitudes test. The values criteria is standardized across the whole country.

There are a number values criteria: here is a hypothetical list;

1. Attitude towards more taxation: positive or negative.
2. Attitude towards more privacy: positive or negative.
3. Attitude towards greater family values: positive or negative.
4. Attitude towards more authority: positive or negative.
5. Attitude towards more sexual liberation: positive or negative.
6. Attitude towards more women's rights: positive or negative.
7. Attitude towards more religious tolerance: positive or negative.
8. Attitude towards more freedom of speech: positive or negative.
9. Attitude towards implementing Sharia law: positive or negative.
10. Attitude towards more racism against non-whites: positive or negative.

2. Everyone can buy deterrence certificates, or sell attractance certificates. For a person to move to a county, they must pay the balance of all deterrence certificates minus the balance of attractance certificates. Whether or not they pay the system, or the system pays them, is determined by whether or not they are moving to a system that aligns with their values, or disagrees with their values. If you move to where people agree with you then you get paid. If you to where people disagree with you then you must pay their market.

2a. A Deterrence Certificate is a form of property in proximity. Basically, you are paying the market to keep people who don't share your values out of your county. You can buy one certificate for each of the ten attitudes on the standardized test. A Deterrence Certificate is property in deterrence of hostility. It is a form of property in likeness of values, buy a certificate that requires other people to have a minimum score on a standardized test for a certain trait in order to move there. A person has to pay the cost of certificate to live there.

With a deterrence certificate, you pay the system money to deter others you dislike — you get money back, when they pay you, to live there against your desires.

2b. An Attractance Certificate pays out to the stranger who shares your values when a person who meets a criteria moves to your county. It works in the reverse mode of a Deterrence Certificate: the system pays you first, and you pay back the system when someone moves to your district according to a standardized test criteria that proves they share your values along one of the ten standardized attitudes.

All the money the system pays out to you is held in escrow so you can reinvest it in buying deterrence certificates. The system never actually pays out directly. It allots a certain amount of credit for you to play with and then all money is reinvested. Otherwise the wealthy will set up "poles" (like magnetic poles) using their vast resources to push people out and pull people in. Also, their moral values would wind up dominating everything. In this iteration, every citizen gets the same amount of credit to their escrow account.

First Summary

We now have a design for a system of moving vast numbers of people non-violently based only on their political values. The only problem is that if we implemented it within democracy the left would probably move to block or nullify its effects. We need a consensus-based democracy like system, which isn't democracy at all, to allow this sorting machine to flourish. We need some sort of market-based federal government: a marketocracy. We need a higher level system to facilitate the lower level system. I'm not going to design that here. I don't know what it would be.

To implement this system you would need to follow a process. Also, you would need "poles" (like magnetic poles), meaning financial attractors, which are not controlled by the wealthy, and which would pull on people to accelerate and stabilize the process or sorting. Otherwise, markets could shift at whim and people could find themselves being pushed out of the places they just moved to. But these would need to be relatively equal, otherwise the rich would distort the system until it represented their values, and only their values, at which point it would transform into something else. Once it transformed, sorting would end, which would also defeat the purpose. To achieve the purpose of peace, sorting must never end, because new generations are constantly being born.

Process of Implementing the Market

The values sorting market is implemented first.
People move around as a result of going where it is cheapest, e.g., where there are other people with values who agree with their own.
Then after awhile a blank Charter of Common Values is propagated for each county.
The Charter of Common Values is a summary of bullet points.
A bullet point is a mathematical statement or algorithm that determines the cost of a positive or negative attitude towards one, and only one, of the 10 standardized attitudes that are tested for. For example;

Cost of positive attitude towards more taxation.
Cost of positive attitude towards more privacy.
Cost of positive attitude towards greater family values.
Cost of positive attitude towards more authority.
Cost of positive attitude towards more sexual liberation.
Cost of positive attitude towards more women's rights.
Cost of positive attitude towards more religious tolerance.
Cost of positive attitude towards freedom of speech.
Cost of positive attitude towards implementing Sharia law.
Cost of positive attitude towards more racism against non-whites.

A cost can be NEGATIVE. Let us say that this is the case for "more taxation." In that case, there is a cost for an attitude in favor of less taxation. In other words, it can cost money to have an attitude in favor of less taxation rather than costing money to have an attitude in favor of more taxation. Since all of these ten standardized attitudes that are tested for can have negative or positive values, they can all be costs for a favorable attitude or costs for an unfavorable attitude, but never both.

Anyone can propose a bullet point on one of the ten values to the market.

A bullet point on the Charter of Values must be in one of the 10 categories of attitudes that is tested for, and may not overlap with another of the attitudes.

There is an auction. There are two simultaneous bids: one for "yes" and one for "no" on each proposed value/(a mathematical statement) regarding each bullet point.

People purchase "yes" or "no" votes with their escrow account (not regular money).

If more money is given for yes votes than no votes on a single bullet point, then it passes. If less, then it is defeated.

Once this is done for every single bullet point that has been proposed, each bullet point goes head-to-head in competition with another bullet point within its attitude category.

If there are 8 bullet points they go head-to-head in 4 competitions. 4 are eliminated. Then the 4 go head-to head is 2 competitions, then 1 competition. Finally, only one formula for each bullet point is left standing. That math formula becomes the markets way of calculation the cost, whether negative or positive, for that particular attitude. The result is a custom system of values, determined by the market itself, for its particular county. This custom system then attracts and repels certain types of people based on whether or not they share the value of the people who live there. It stabilizes the system, and is "democratically" derived.

Each county has a Charter of Common Values worked out by the market itself. This charter then acts like a "magnetic pole" attracting people who share its values by paying them to live there while taxing those who disagree with its values who live there. The push/pull effect consolidates a community of like-minded people in each and every county in the nation.

Any regular money paid to anyone within the system is corrupting. Therefore it is taxed at 80%. The tax money is then redistributed into every escrow account equally. This (and the free credit issued by the government) is how money gets into escrow accounts in the first place. The free credit amount can never be withdrawn from the account, though the additional money deposited from redistribution can. For example: if the government gives a person $500 worth of credit to play with, and then $700 redistributed from taxes on bribes/campaign contributions, then;

   500 Credit
+ 700 redistributed
= 1200 Balance (of which only 700 may be withdrawn)

As a result of this redistribution of influence, influence is maintained in common hands, rather than flowing into wealthy hands.

Each county the has a local democracy that determines its laws. While democracy resists any attempt to have another system encapsulated within it, democracy itself may be encapsulated within another system. What that higher system is, is not defined here. The result is a vast sorting within a super-structure. Humans then live under the democracy that represents their values, and struggle is (mostly) eliminated. Any remaining disagreement is within narrow margins between like-minded people.


  1. I may be thick, but doesn't the Dunbar Number more or less obviously means the ideal political system is feudalism? The king has 150 aristocratic vassals, say, counts, of whom he is all chummy and empathic with. Each have 150 vassals, say barons. Each baron has 150 vassals, say, lords. Each lord has 150 peasants, and we are at 510M. But it is not necessary to have nations this huge, 3.3M is enough and that is only 150 * 150 * 150. Let's take the second example. Some peasants have a difficult problem. They tell to their lord, who is really empathic with them because they are in his DN. The lord tells the count, who is empathic with him, because he is in his DN. The count tells the king, and the king is empathic because he is in his DN. Thus we have a system of governance based on human empathy and chumminess. That sounds good, even a bit too idealistic and hippie, actually.

    Best Regards

    The Dividualist

    1. There is nothing structurally wrong with monarchy, except for maybe its tendency towards civil wars, and Moldbug has a solution for that: the joint stock corporation. (Which works until a majority of shares are accumulated in a single hand, or by a foreign power). I just have a prejudice against it since I am not convinced it is compatible with freedom.