Saturday, April 28, 2018

A Noah Smith After-Hours Diversion

Basically Hanson asks "If you want to redistribute money, why not redistribute sex too?" Here is the quotey-quote:

So, most people's reaction to this is probably going to be "FUCK YOU ROBIN HANSON WOMEN DON'T OWE YOU SEX!!!" And that's a good and legitimate reaction.

It's worth remembering that Hanson is an extremely creepy guy, who once asked what's so bad about "gentle, silent rape":
It occurred to me recently that we can more clearly compare cuckoldry to gentle silent rape. Imagine a woman was drugged into unconsciousness and then gently raped, so that she suffered no noticeable physical harm nor any memory of the event, and the rapist tried to keep the event secret. Now drugging someone against their will is a crime, but the added rape would add greatly to the crime in the eyes of today’s law, and the added punishment for this addition would be far more than for cuckoldry.
Yes, Hanson does seem to think of women as objects, so I guess it makes sense that he'd want to redistribute them. That's bad.

But just because a question is motivated by EVIL doesn't mean it's STUPID. And Hanson's question, though seemingly motivated by evil, is an interesting one. Why *don't* we care about equality of sex?

But there's a big problem with that simple answer. Most of the things we associate with the word "sex" aren't actually things that could be bought from a prostitute. Or in any market.

"Sex" is actually a bundle of many different goods. Too many to enumerate, but they include: 1. Sexual arousal, stimulation, and orgasm. This is actually not scarce at all! With free internet porn you can masturbate to your bliss point. Done.

Other goods included in "sex": 2. The happiness of knowing someone is attracted to you 3. The happiness of giving someone else pleasure 4. The bond of love and intimacy that many people get from having sex 5. The social respect some people get from relationships etc. etc. etc.

These things can't be bought. No matter how much money you pay someone, they can't be more attracted to you, they can't enjoy sex with you more, they can't love you, etc. And THESE things are scarce.

If you read the forums of the "incels" who started this whole discussion, it's clear that they don't just want intercourse, stimulation, orgasm, etc.
Some want love, others want a feeling of being attractive, others want social respect.

And yes, some of them want creepy bad things like power, domination, and a feeling of superiority, that nobody should have. Yes yes. BUT, the important point here is, most NORMAL human beings want all those positive intangible, non-market goods that come with "sex".

And these nonmarket sex goods are scarce. They are unevenly distributed in our society. As the communist dude says in Enemy at the Gates, "There will always be rich and in love...poor in love..." Then he kills himself. Dammit incels! Anyway.

Should it make us sad to see people without love, without the feeling of attractiveness, without social respect, without the satisfaction of giving others pleasure? HELL YES IT SHOULD MAKE US SAD!!!

Now the question is: What do we, as a society, do about it?? Even if we wanted to, we can't actually redistribute these things by government fiat (thank fucking God). No policeman or judge can force one person to love another, to be attracted to another, to respect another.

So we have to do other things. Indirect things. We can give people gyms so they can work out and get more attractive. We can give people Coffee Meets Bagel so they can meet people more easily. We can give people internet forums so they can learn how to have relationships.

We can give people psychotherapy so they can deal with emotional issues. We can give people bars and clubs and Reddit and comic book stores etc. so they can join subcultures and meet people and form social bonds. And we can give people MONEY to buy all this stuff!!

So the answer to Hanson's evil-but-not-stupid question is: THIS IS ONE REASON WE WANT INCOME REDISTRIBUTION IN THE FIRST PLACE! So people can afford to buy things that will help them create better human connections!

But we, society, government, The System, etc., can only do so much. This bridge can only take you halfway there, as Shel Silverstein wrote.

The last few steps you'll have to take alone. YOU have to go figure out how to love people and be loved, pleasure and be pleasured, respect and be respected. It's really hard, and it's not something you can buy with money, and it takes most people most of their lives.

The government cannot do this for you. Your friends and family, if you're lucky enough to have them, can help, but there's a certain amount they can't do for you either. Redistribution is great, but people *have* to do some part of life for themselves.

And thus, no matter how much we want equality, the communist dude from Enemy at the Gates is right - there will always be some inequality. Perfect redistribution can't possibly happen. So we do the best we can.

Our society can do lots of things to help people be emotionally healthy. We can prevent rape and child abuse. We can reduce violence. We can try to help families stay together. We can give people money so they can have stable lives free from want and fear.

But in the end, we can't force our way all the way to a world of perfect equality, sexual or otherwise. (end)
@latenitenoah is described as...
A group of 5 to 9 people writing under the pseudonym of "Noah Smith"

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