On Collusion - Vitalik Buterin

post by mr-hire · 2019-10-09T14:45:20.924Z · score: 24 (10 votes) · LW · GW · 3 comments

This is a link post for https://hackernoon.com/on-collusion-fk1xr3png

...if there is a situation with some fixed pool of resources and some currently established mechanism for distributing those resources, and it’s unavoidably possible for 51% of the participants can conspire to seize control of the resources, no matter what the current configuration is there is always some conspiracy that can emerge that would be profitable for the participants.
...This fact, the instability of majority games under cooperative game theory, is arguably highly underrated as a simplified general mathematical model of why there may well be no “end of history” in politics and no system that proves fully satisfactory; I personally believe it’s much more useful than the more famous Arrow’s theorem, for example.

I've found this post quite useful in thinking about mechanism design and problems of designing stable systems.

3 comments

Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by romeostevensit · 2019-10-09T19:04:41.940Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Votes have to ultimately accrue to super cooperators (cooperators who take on enforcement costs for the payoff distribution) via some mechanism for stability.

comment by mr-hire · 2019-10-09T21:10:58.006Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I think that this assumes what crypto-calls "extra-protocol incentives", that is, the supercooperators get payoffs from cooperating that exist outside of the game. I'm unsure if this practically solves the problem (was working on something like that solution for a while with Verity) but it definitely doesn't solve the theoretical version of this problem.

comment by Pattern · 2019-10-10T00:42:36.136Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Errata:

and it’s unavoidably possible for 51% of the participants can conspire

to conspire