I am intrigued by the concept here of bringing the cost of not doing right things to present. Why not extend this to the biggest issues world faces?
There are many costs continuously being differed - Climate change, Pollution, Social Security to name a few. The problem is that unborn generations that will suffer to pay these known costs cannot vote now!
It is apparent that children are more concerned about these issues than current politicians. Politicians do not worry about these costs now - they will now be around to face it.
So I was wondering if Beeminder’s little yellow road can help here : A little yellow road for path to CO2 level normalization - highlighting costs when we derail ? Maybe UN can keep these current and highlight them in media so public actually knows the costs ?
I do sometimes wonder if I’m working on the most important problem in the world, or in my field. Then someone does something like get a PhD with the help of Beeminder and I feel like I’m doing the lord’s work.
In fact, the latest one I know of, Daniel Greene, got his PhD in something that sounded related to public policy.
Unfortunately I’m at a bit of a loss for how to apply beemindery ideas to public policy more directly. But I feel ok about Beeminder merely being used to help brilliant people be more effective at improving the world in whatever way they’re best at.
(As for climate change, I feel really strongly that there’s exactly one answer: carbon taxes. And that the generalization of that idea – Pigovian taxes – has immense potential to improve the world, perhaps contingent on being called something sexier than “Pigovian taxes”.)
Note that in case of Beeminder one decides to do something (due to long term consequences) and uses Beeminder to increase immediate consequences.
Politicians generally put effort into avoiding immediate consequences (until election/coronation/securing power depending on whatever it is democracy/monarchy/dictatorship).
I am not sure how to solve that problem.