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    The vast majority of people are in no way qualified, and often completely incapable, of forming informed opinions on a lot of issues. Many voters get all their information from cancerous tabloids or their friends' Facebook statuses, and will never consult a single primary source of information. Our policies are based on the emotional whims of completely uninformed people.

    Science gives us a way to predict the outcomes of policies. We have facts and statistics available, but they get ignored because every idiot thinks they know more than people that are actually qualified to form opinions on issues. Most people aren't capable or aren't willing to form an opinion based on facts and evidence, despite that we KNOW that basing our policies on evidence will always give better results.

    We should be living in a technocracy. All of our policies should be determined democratically, but only by people with the relevant qualifications, knowledge and experience.

    Crime policy should be determined by police, lawyers, judges and sociologists using the relevant data.

    Health, drugs and disability policy should be determined by doctors, nurses, medical researchers and relevant charities.

    Education policy should be determined by teachers, psychologists, statisticians and education researchers, not by morons like Michael Gove who will produce policies that are the exact opposite of what scientific evidence says we should be doing.

    Technology policy should be determined by computer scientists, data scientists, and engineers, not by some old hag with a degree in geography that's probably never used a computer in her life.

    Economic policy should be determined by economists, statisticians, relevant historians.

    Environmental policy should be determined by biologists, meteorologists, chemists and geographers, not by some corrupt old dinosaurs with politics degrees that will base their policy on whatever brings them the most £££.

    And so on.

    It's crazy that in the 21st century, having seen how effectively science works, we still let our policies be produced by people who have likely never read any sort of scientific report.

    We should NEVER have referendums. Most people voting in the upcoming EU referendum will be forming opinions on the economic and social repercussions without even reading a single relevant piece of research, let alone having any background of study in these areas.

    Issues are so complex now, and the solutions are so relevant to niche fields, that the general public simply can't understand the intricacies. Most people don't even try, they just pull their opinions out of thin air. Why do we let people who know absolutely NOTHING make all the decisions?
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    (Original post by JordanL_)
    Why do we let people who know absolutely NOTHING make all the decisions?
    The notion that academics are without bias is about as stupid as suggesting that we live in, what amounts to, a dictatorship.


    You don't want me to help make the decisions? Fine. But I'm not paying for them anymore - I'll have all my tax back thanks.
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    The notion that academics are without bias is about as stupid as suggesting that we live in, what amounts to, a dictatorship.


    You don't want me to help make the decisions? Fine. But I'm not paying for them anymore - I'll have all my tax back thanks.
    Of course academics can be biased. But it would be far less biased than it is now, where the opinions of completely uninformed people are controlled by the tabloids which are controlled by a few individuals.
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    (Original post by JordanL_)
    Of course academics can be biased. But it would be far less biased than it is now.
    Pure guesswork on your part. Absolutely no way of backing that up.
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    Pure guesswork on your part. Absolutely no way of backing that up.
    Yes it's guesswork, just like 99% of our policymaking. Why do you think academics would be more biased? There's far more academic lobbying for climate change intervention than there is against, for example. Why would academics be any more biased than they already are?
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    It may well work better but some decision have no obvious answers. Technocrats will not always agree and therefore things become political.

    People prefer democracy because they get a say in who has a right to govern over them, even if they arent the wisest and brightest.
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    (Original post by JordanL_)
    Yes it's guesswork, just like 99% of our policymaking.
    And if you think that that's genuinely the case - that politicians and civil servants sit there throwing darts into a dartboard to get ideas - then you're deluded.

    They already get the advise of experts for every decision they make. The notion they don't is beyond moronic.

    What they also do, though, is balance up those decisions with what's feasible, what's affordable, what agrees with their policies and what the experts suggest.

    The problem with experts is they have a very narrow focus and, usually, no sense of a bigger picture. You need impartial people above then to see the strategic view. And I'd far rather that role be taken by someone we can get rid of.
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    And if you think that that's genuinely the case - that politicians and civil servants sit there throwing darts into a dartboard to get ideas - then you're deluded.

    They already get the advise of experts for every decision they make. The notion they don't is beyond moronic.

    What they also do, though, is balance up those decisions with what's feasible, what's affordable, what agrees with their policies and what the experts suggest.

    The problem with experts is they have a very narrow focus and, usually, no sense of a bigger picture. You need impartial people above then to see the strategic view. And I'd far rather that role be taken by someone we can get rid of.
    I'm well aware that they have expert advisers. They actively ignore those advisers, and you're the one who's deluded if you think otherwise. Theresa May's awful Snooper's Charter, and the Psychoactive Substances Act, were opposed by all the relevant experts. As were Michael Gove's education reforms. I can't be bothered right now, but it's not hard to find some first-hand scientific evidence that says we should be doing the exact opposite of all of these things.
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    I'll perfer democracy, even though it caused voilence and hatred. Would you perfer a corrupt leader like in China and can't kick out? Making your country fall back? No!
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    (Original post by ckfeister)
    I'll perfer democracy, even though it caused voilence and hatred. Would you perfer a corrupt leader like in China and can't kick out? Making your country fall back? No!
    Our leaders are corrupt too, the only difference is that we voted for them. In reality we don't get as much choice in who runs the country as we like to think. How the media presents each party is a huge factor in who people vote for.

    As for China, they're extremely progressive in economic and even environmental issues, because the country isn't being run by masses of idiots. Not perfect obviously, but it's not as bad as people pretend.
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    (Original post by JordanL_)
    Our leaders are corrupt too, the only difference is that we voted for them.
    And we can vote them out when we get fed up of them.



    Which is why your version will never, ever happen.
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    And we can vote them out when we get fed up of them.



    Which is why your version will never, ever happen.
    It takes 5 years to vote them out, and they're making it harder with all their scheming and gerrymandering.
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    (Original post by JordanL_)
    It takes 5 years to vote them out, and they're making it harder with all their scheming and gerrymandering.
    A maximum of 5 years.


    Which is infinitely better than never.
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    A maximum of 5 years.


    Which is infinitely better than never.
    So having a dozen people determine everything that happens for 5 years is better than having thousands of qualified people determining it? A technocracy with qualified people would be democratic, and it would be a direct democracy so we wouldn't be handing total control to one party for 5 years.
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    Isn't this something explored in modern AI research? Fairly sure if you look up Decision/Random Forests and Bagging you will find that research says that a collection of weak ("stupid" ) AI will collectively make a better decision than a single strong ("smart" ) AI. I reckon the same can be said for people too. While there are many stupid people, on the whole they will know what is best for themselves more than a dictatorship-like system knows what is best for everyone in the country.
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    In my opinion, democracy (in the true meaning of the word) does not exist anywhere in the world
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    (Original post by JordanL_)
    I'm well aware that they have expert advisers. They actively ignore those advisers, and you're the one who's deluded if you think otherwise. Theresa May's awful Snooper's Charter, and the Psychoactive Substances Act, were opposed by all the relevant experts. As were Michael Gove's education reforms. I can't be bothered right now, but it's not hard to find some first-hand scientific evidence that says we should be doing the exact opposite of all of these things.
    What do you think would happen if we put the Snooper's Charter, and the Psychoactive Substances Act to a referendum?
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    (Original post by JordanL_)
    Science gives us a way to predict the outcomes of policies.
    Science works by subjecting theories to external critique and testing. What you are proposing looks like rule-by-science but is actually closer to theocracy, with someone's power over a given issue being determined by what state-issued credentials they possess rather than the robustness of their theories against attempts to disprove those theories. What will happen is that the location of political power moves back a stage: the rulers of the state will be those who are empowered to choose the experts. These experts will continue to call themselves experts and scientists but in fact will be regular old politicians.

    The USSR was governed along very similar lines to those you are proposing, and its beliefs diverged much more from reality than those of the Western democracies. The USSR was intended to be a scientifically governed state but actually it was a theocracy. Similarly the Catholic Church did not start out with the intention of suppressing truth in favour of superstition; quite the contrary, early Christianity was much closer to the leading philosophy of the time than the old paganism was. What happened in both cases is that selection of experts became about something other than whose ideas stood up to external critique; indeed, since these "experts" were both very powerful and publicly claimed to be intelligent and wise, critiquing them became extremely dangerous. When it becomes impossible to advance any actually correct scientific theory because it threatens the legitimacy of powerful people, you are living in a theocracy.

    There is a fundamental problem with a scientific state which is that science is a fundamentally libertarian concept. Science works only if anyone can be a scientist, and the quality of their work is judged by its accordance with reality rather than their popularity or their connections. So science is incapable of governing a state. If it tries, it ceases to be science. Indeed, the "scientific state" quickly destroys real science everywhere else in society too.
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    (Original post by JordanL_)
    Our leaders are corrupt too, the only difference is that we voted for them. In reality we don't get as much choice in who runs the country as we like to think. How the media presents each party is a huge factor in who people vote for.

    As for China, they're extremely progressive in economic and even environmental issues, because the country isn't being run by masses of idiots. Not perfect obviously, but it's not as bad as people pretend.
    I agree democracy isn't good as it prevents unpopular things to be done for the better. However, the thing that will worry people is that the leaders will abuse the power and control media etc... into getting what they want. Socialist non-democracy is good.. but capitalist.. not so good.
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    (Original post by JordanL_)
    We should be living in a technocracy. All of our policies should be determined democratically, but only by people with the relevant qualifications, knowledge and experience.
    The problem with this line of thought is that said institutions should be run for the benefit of the people. The health secretary doesn't have to be a doctor because the NHS isn't run for the benefit of doctors. An engineer doesn't have to set the energy policy because it is not to be run for the benefits of engineers. And so on.

    People with relevant skills ought to be considered as consultants, whose knowledge and experience can be utilised to provide better policy, and I think this is an area where British politics is lacking at the moment, but the available evidence does not suggest that technocracies make better decisions than democracies.
 
 
 
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