30 thoughts on “Cheating – Rules, Part 2 – Extra Politics – #5

  1. What counts as "cheating" in a political system, and why do people do it? What are the challenges we face as we try to reduce cheating?

  2. "Election monitoring." The term you're looking for is election monitoring. Which isn't to say that this is a bad video, or even a bad series-Hell, I love this channel-But there's a reason why catching cheaters is so hard. It very, very quickly becomes a partisan process.

  3. Even though I haven't watched the first part, it was still really interesting. It shows how well your channel is.

  4. The single most important piece of education reform we can possibly do is teach kids fallacies. At least a week dedicated to the topic every semester in English class.

  5. "I think electing Republicans is better than electing Democrats…so I drew this map to foster what I think is best for the country."
    ~Rep. David Lewis, on why he keeps drawing North Carolina districts to be so heavily biased towards the Republican party.
    In this case, the person doesn't feel like he's even cheating because the advantage x value side of the equation is so high for him; if Democrats are elected, the country will go down the shitter. Therefore, he must do what he can to make sure Democrats are not elected.

  6. This one got super sociological, implicitly. The way things are framed in this and the previous episode, with the breaking of unwritten rules being able to function as a "cheat" in the context of political/social competition is one of the main real reasons why there must be a public ritual punishment of someone to symbolically restore order after societal norms are transgressed. #Durkheim. It's why philosophers and thinkers in Northeast Asia (I don't want to make claims about all of Asia, since I haven't studied or lived in other parts as much) frequently stress conscientious maintenance of ritual decorum, explicitly codifying rules that would seem to only have an obscure or tangential bearing on the issues and concerns under the purview of the authority. In other words, you've touched on something really profound in a concise way. Much more could be said on the topic, but I don't know what kind of "extra" series it would fall under, lol.

  7. I'd like to add another major form of cheating: the institutional kind. The most obvious example is congressmen/senators, you know the guys in charge of writing the law, taking advantage of loopholes within the law and refusing to shut said loopholes down(for obvious reasons). Which believe it or not is merely the mild form of outright breakage of the law by powerful people(the rich and famous, politicians, etc) while using their influence over the people who are supposed to punish them: law enforcement and the courts(typically by influencing individual judges) to get away with it. The second form, which was much less talked about until recently, is where members of the government itself(and not even the higher ranking ones) breaking the law in favor of others within the government. I'm of course talking about what we now call "the deep state". This is problem is compounded in the US since the American system has a unique characteristic of the entire(well almost) governmental bureaucracy being replaced whenever a party loses power. Going back to the deep state example I'm referring to the former FBI Director Comey and his vice McCabe who have been proven to break various laws in favor of a certain candidate, while being in charge of the organization that's supposed to crack down on law breakers. Yes, this example is obviously the extreme case, but it also just happened.

    The biggest issue with institutional cheating is that the very people that are supposed to fight against it are the people doing it. Moreover the people who benefit from these cheats(in cases when the individual/group isn't doing it directly for him/her/themselves) are also part of the institution, which in turn means that beneficiaries of the cheating have a reason to cover up the cheating rather than fight against it. Yes, every system has its share of checks and balances, however these operate on the functional level, not the individual one. All the functions needed to combat said cheating are obviously still in play, but the people currently holding said functions simply refuse to do their intended job because it goes against their own self interest. So who is supposed to combat institutional cheating and how exactly is s/he supposed to do that?

  8. I find your whole definition of cheating obtuse and self-contradictory. Parking in a No Parking spot IS cheating. It's just that people do the same risk/reward calculation that you discuss at length later.

    We do need to address cheating and/or bad behavior in politics and you mention that codifying the rules is part of that. Unfortunately (as I believe you mentioned in an earlier problem) THAT is huge problem because the people who typically do that codifying (legislatures, etc.) are some of the people who would be most affected. History has proven time-and-again that Congress is HORRIBLE at policing Congress and members of Congress often only want to police presidents when they're in the party opposite the president. Therefore, the best bets for achieving this are:
    A) Citizen referendums. These can be done in most states, but can be quite difficult and often have unintended side-effects.
    B) Largescale congressional turnover. Our system is structured so that incumbents win at VERY high rates even though Congress is judged about as favorably as cannibals. So, the only realistic way to achieve this is term limits. They're a great idea, but many states reject them because people operate an almost universally insane view that, "Yes, Congress is a bunch of evil crooks, but MY GUY is good."

  9. For all of those who asked for it – the tabletop game based on this series is now on Kickstarter. Check it out! http://kck.st/2wbtCQY

  10. This would be great if the people cheating didn't win and then start changing the rules or firing people trying to hold them accountable. When cheaters win and the winners help write the rulebook things become problematic

  11. Sadly there's a good amount of Republicans who are perfectly happy with a cheating system… those who are fine with gerrymandering, voter disenfranchisement , the electoral college etc… if any of these stopped benefiting them they'd of course flip.

    Not sure how to convince them that it's wrong. They seem to not be fans of logical arguments…

  12. If you want a recent and prime example of blatant cheating within the system…
    Look no further than what just happened in San Fransisco, California

  13. 8:10 the length of the election cycle is stipulated in the constitution of the country. 2 years for the house, 6 years for the senate, 4 years for the president. That is the hardest way to reduce cheating constitutionally.

  14. The issue with shortening the election cycle is We really should see what candidates are made of. Which means the longer their under the microscope the better.

  15. This is a really interesting look at cheating from a pragmatic sense. In politics, it's basically almost always pragmatic, which sets it very far apart from most game systems.

  16. I would REALLY love to see a limit on the campaign period/cycle. 3 months is enough to visit all 50 states (if needed, but not usually the case), and plenty of time to make repeat visits to key and swing states. Have one debate per month, or one every other week. Maybe extend the period to 6 months tops, but that should be the limit. No talk of reelection campaigns the day after being elected, and no long, drawn-out, tiresome campaign YEARS.

    We'd need some air-tight campaigning rules, because you can bet they'll try to find ways around it. Such as: no entity many run ads supporting a candidate, political party, or "hot button" issue outside of the designated campaigning season. So no NRA ads lauding the GOP, even if they never actually say "vote for x" or "you should support y party".
    Even then, it'd be a fine line, and I'm sure both sides would be combing over ANYTHING that could possibly misconstrued as supporting some agenda for the other side. Also some segments would likely get up in arms about free speech.

  17. 3:15 Uh boy. If you've dabbled in macro-economics, that definition of internal/external costs is a bit strange. In eco, external costs (monetary or not) are costs not payed by the acting party. Like a factory dumping waste into a river, and farmers downstream getting sick (See also "tragedy of the commons"). Regulations re-internalize external costs (by imposing (non-)monetary penalties to the acting party.

    Like, if we spin it further: The external cost to cheating, or breaking game rules in general, is that the game becomes either un-enjoyable or imposible to play in the long run. But the individual or team that cheats doesn't care, because the benefit of winning outweigh the cost right now (If you think mechanistic, the future of "game unplayable" is "getting discounted"). But penalties change the cost side of the equation and so lessen the utility of cheating (Oh, how economists love the U word). The "internal costs" in this video, as well as direct social costs are also implied in utility, at least of recent behavioral economic models (not so much in the purist, classic view).

  18. Winning by cheating is in deed less satisfying, But there are times when cheating makes a win MORE satisfying. That is, if your opponent cheats, and you win anyway.

  19. Basketball fouls would be the better example for "strategic cheating." Basketball players purposely foul to stop the clock, which, when combined with a player with poor free throw shooting, gives them a chance to catch up. Football would have been a good example if you used pass interference instead of holding. Originally, pass interference was a 10 yard penalty, but then defenses realized it would be better to get a 10 yard penalty than a wide receiver catching a 40 yard Hail Mary, so they would purposely commit pass interference for a smaller loss. Now that the penalty assumes the player would have caught it, the offesnse advances to the spot of the penalty. Thus, defenses are less likely to cause pass interference.

    Cheating in politics is both messy and odd. We all agree we like to see cheating in politics eliminated, but if we were to be honest without ourselves, we had a biased view of cheating. If the opposing party cheats, we blow the whistle, but if our party cheats, we deem it a necessary evil. We do this with the electoral college all the time. At the end of every presidential election, the losing party screams, "And this is why the electoral college needs to be abolished!" and the winning party yells back, "No, this is exactly why the electoral college." The only way cheating will end in politics is if we can somehow create a bipartisan group that can change the policies without the help of a political party.

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