- I’m not going to claim there’s a great alternative, but the occasionally – adequate alternative is the neoliberal one – find a couple of elegant systems that all optimize along different criteria approximately aligned with human happiness, pit them off against each other in a structure of checks and balances, hope they screw up in different places like in that swiss cheese model, keep enough individual free choice around that people can exit any system that gets too terrible, and let cultural evolution do the rest.
- Nick Szabo, on the other hand, reminds us that there’s a wealth of knowledge that has accumulated from experience throughout the ages that we should draw upon instead of risking a repeat of the same mistakes only to find out what has been known all along:
If we started from scratch, using reason and experience, it could take many centuries to redevelop sophisticated ideas like contract law and property rights that make the modern market work.
- In game theory, which studies the strategic interactions between rational decision-makers under different circumstances, there’s the notion of Nash equilibrium – a proposed solution of a non-cooperative game involving two or more players in which each player is assumed to know the equilibrium strategies of the other players, and no player has anything to gain by changing only their own strategy.
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