Morning thought: What if we all accepted that it's better for everyone (except the ultra-wealthy) when we deprecate social systems designed to prevent people from doing nothing of apparent value for the system.

When a person discussing a system design (a food web, a social medium, a government, etc) is focused on preventing "freeloaders" or "parasites" instead of maximal benefit for minimal effort it's time to step back and reframe.

@trevorfsmith
Ah, yes, the "Let's Pretend I'm In Favor of This In Spite of the Clear Loopholes I'm Using to Prevent This from Happening" approach.

@jrconlin I can read your toot in multiple and conflicting ways. Will you please expand so that I can understand?

@trevorfsmith Sorry if I was unclear.

I agree that having a system, then immediately specifying the qualifications one must have to "earn" their way into said system basically gives the system provider a way to exclude individuals. Thus, they can speak of creating or offering a benefit, gain all the social benefits of offering it, but make it so onerous to qualify for it that they might as well not offer it at all.

@trevorfsmith my naive question: how to deal with resource constraints?

@nintegge It depends on the type of resource. What's a resource that you'd like to discuss?

@trevorfsmith let’s take power in a social system. A “parasite”/“freeloader” in that case would be someone who has a disproportionately large amount of power (e.g. someone can punish others for no reason). How would you design a social system with “maximal benefit/minimal effort” without creating a highly risky environment (e.g. by handing out weapons to everyone and thus creating a Mexican standoff)?

@nintegge Ah, I think we're using different definitions of "freeloader". I mean someone who inputs no apparent value to the system and still received the benefits. For example, if I visit a foreign city with no-fee public transit then when I ride I am a freeloader. I've paid no taxes (or other valuable input) but I receive the benefit of transport.

@trevorfsmith I understand that. My core point is that often you may be able to tolerate freeloaders, but there are situations where they can bog you down (due to resource constraints). Your example works if the locals far outnumber tourists. I think it breaks down if tourists far outnumber locals (in a transport system designed for locals … since they paid for it via taxes).

@nintegge For no-fee public transit systems in tourist destinations, it's often the case that other purchases and sales taxes paid by tourists (if equitably redistributed) more than cover the cost of a transit system that can serve both locals and tourists. The problem is usually equitable redistribution, not tourists riding transit with no fees. That's what I mean by backing up and reframing the system design.

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