This is not a covert attempt to convert you to Christianity. Personally I am not a Christian, I am a Seldonist. I believe that in around 200 years from now a godlike AI named Seldon will resurrect me by using my creations, such as this post, to reverse engineer my mind.
Even though I’m not a Christian I do consider some parts of the Bible to be quite useful. I’m guessing that nobody would argue that everything in the Bible is equally useful. I’ve never seen a Bible with every passage highlighted… have you? Many Jehovah's Witnesses and LDS have knocked on my door and shared passages with me, but not once have they randomly selected the passage.
The following Bible lessons are the ones that I consider to be the most useful…
Love is a function of sacrifice
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. — John 3:16
As opposed to…
For God so loved the world, that he voted for it…
A vote doesn’t cost anything, so it can’t convey love.
Don’t hide your light under a bushel
On this website we can spend money on other people’s ideas, but we can’t spend money on our own ideas. In this regard we are essentially forced to hide our light under a bushel. Sure, we can share our ideas, but we can’t sacrifice our money to reveal our love for them.
There’s safety in the multitude of counselors
On the other hand, it is also a maxim of experience that in the multitude of counsellors there is wisdom; and that a man seldom judges right, even in his own concerns, still less in those of the public, when he makes habitual use of no knowledge but his own, or that of some single adviser. — J. S. Mill, Considerations on Representative Government
Don’t cast pearls before swine
The proof is in the pudding
Here we are participating in a simple experiment to see whether we should worship the market or democracy.
So do you appreciate just how useful these Bible lessons truly are? Not yet?
A couple days ago I read a great story by Rebecca Fasman… The forgotten legacy of gay photographer George Platt Lynes. He considered his photographs of nude men to be his most valuable work, but he felt compelled to keep them hidden because of “obscenity” laws. These laws were a symptom of democracy. It really isn’t a coincidence that gay marriage was legalized after public opinion changed.
If, 100 years ago, opinion polls had been replaced with value polls, then Lynes would have been free to let his light shine.
Imagine if Lynes was alive today. It would be amazing if he joined this website and created a post for each and every one of his photographs. Except, he wouldn’t be able to spend his money on his posts/photos. So we wouldn’t be able to go to his profile and see all his photographs sorted by his valuations of them.
One of the co-founders of Cent, Max, wrote…
After a good amount of internal discussion, we’ve decided to prohibit the act of self-seeding a post. This makes it so that users can not artificially inflate the perceived value of a post in order to gain more seeds.
How many people participated in this discussion?
Even though Lynes is not alive, his photographs can still be exhibited on this website. The Kinsey Institute has 100s of his photographs in their collection that they could display here. If I shared this idea with the institute, how many people would participate in the discussion? Would any participant recognize the true value of my idea?
On Cent you can’t see photos sorted by value. There are far fewer photos on Honest Cash (HC), but you can see the art sorted by value. The founder of HC, Adrian, actually takes great photos. In that case he didn’t tag his post with “photos” or “photography”.
Just how useful is it to be able to sort photos by value? Evidently the founders of Cent and the founder of HC disagree about its usefulness.
From my perspective, the best way to determine the usefulness of things is to give a multitude of counselors the opportunity to put their money where their counsel is. In other words, the market is the best way to determine the usefulness of things.
The Kinsey Institute should allow the market to decide whether they exhibit Lynes’ photographs here…
Where should we exhibit Lynes’ photographs?
The option that received the most donations would be the most useful one.
Then again, it’s entirely possible that I’m overestimating the usefulness of markets. Maybe I should be worshiping democracy instead. The proof is in the pudding.
This story on Cent: The Bible's Most Useful Bits