Interesting! This reminds me of what Prospera wanted to do, where someone in a traditionally regulated category could choose to be regulated by any OCED country of their choice. In general, I think I agree that this approach has lower risk of having bad unknown-unknown consequences than most other approaches I've seen that would achieve the same level of libertarian-ness.

Some significant game-theoretic risks that immediately come to mind:

* If Interland gets into a strong rivalry or cold war with another country, that country could try to attack Interland by legalizing something terrible that happens to have negligible impact in the other country for situation-specific reasons but has a big impact in Interland. For example, Iran could legalize murdering Korean people. This would have a very small impact to Iran itself, but it would make Interland permanently useless as a cosmopolitan business and culture hub in addition to severe one-time costs on Koreans even if there's a waiting period before the law propagates.

* Texas-abortion-law-style strategies. Another country that wanted to affect Interland policy could avoid banning X, but instead legalize private individuals doing some really harmful thing to people who do X.

* There are lots of poor countries that are probably very easy to corrupt but also not really worth corrupting because not much (in dollar terms) is happening there. But if Interland law is tethered to the weakest one of those countries, then people could corrupt those countries in order to legalize terrible things in Interland.

Possible mitigations:

* Instead of using a total-intersection rule, use a 90% intersection rule. Something must be illegal in 90% of reference countries to be illegal in Interland.

* Have a judicial body define a legal category of "private punishment behavior" (basically, selectively going after people with the goal of disincentivizing a particular act), and require that behavior to follow the opposite rule (it must be _legal_ in all or almost all reference countries to be legal in Interland). The definition of "private punishment behavior" intuitively feels similar to categories like "hate crimes", so there's probably precedent that you can carry over.

* Allow the legislative body to remove a country from the reference country list if something terrible happens as a result of that country being on the list, and constitutionally rate-limit the use of this mechanism. In addition to the self-correcting property, this creates an incentive alignment: countries know that if they screw up and influence Interland law in bad ways, they will lose their influence over Interland.

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May 24, 2022Liked by Maxwell Tabarrok

very cool thought experiment

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May 21, 2022Liked by Maxwell Tabarrok

> Unfortunately, almost no one is willing or able to experiment with new institutions. A first step towards changing this, is changing people’s minds.

There's lots and lots of people experimenting with new institutions; see Optimism, Uniswap, Gitcoin, IPFS/Filecoin, Arweave, Tally.cash, Radicle, LabDAO, Toucan, Celo, EF, Worldcoin and on and on.

Most are the same strategy:

- Create a pool of funds (typically by charging a % of transactions) in a community treasury

- Give out programatic votes that control that treasury to your stake holders

- Write code to create rules as to what those votes can do (ie governance)

- Fund public goods that the stake holders vote on

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May 20, 2022Liked by Maxwell Tabarrok

So would Interland have elected leaders, legislatures, or a judiciary? It seems like it wouldn't, according to this definition - the laws that describe how the President is elected in the US aren't the same as the laws that describe how elections for in France, so the intersection is roughly the empty set. But then what group is just enforcing the mundane laws like "no murder"?

I feel like there is a problem with intersecting laws, in that sometimes you have a law A that doesn't make sense on its own. It requires either B or C to function. For example A might be "murder is illegal" and B and C are two different ways to accomplish the same goal of "here's how the police force is set up and empowered to fight murder". Then one country does "A and B", which is coherent, and another country does "A and C", which is also coherent, but then "just A" isn't coherent.

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Most rules are of a type in which there is neither consensus nor an obvious 'pro-freedom' default, like whether a federal court or bureaucratic body will resolve certain disputes. What is default for Interland? Will the districts be drawn by a committee of experts or an elected council? What's the pro-freedom default?

Some freedom issues are controlled by framing effects. If everyone believes all humans have rights and human life begins at conception, then the default freedom is for the fetus. If everyone believes, a woman has a right to choose to have an abortion, then the default freedom is for the woman. If everyone believes both freedom statements, then how can Interland resolve the conflict?

Interland furthermore will always be the last country to act on a positive or negative externality. During a pandemic, it will never get positive government interventions (OWS) or negative ones (price controls, aggressively subsidized demand). It will be the last to make any smoking laws,

When the facts change, Interland will be the last to change its mind. For example, when a previous negative externality has been solved by technological progress and no longer needs regulation, Interland will be late. Consider the adverse selection in Interland markets!

If you can figure out an additional rule to govern when the Interland algorithm goes in and out of effect, then you will have solved the problem. Until then, Interland is best avoided.

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