Re: poly: Pondering Privacy

From: Hal Finney <>
Date: Wed Jun 03 1998 - 21:31:55 PDT

Robin Hanson, <>, writes:
> One's analysis of this situation depends on one's theory of bigotry.
> If it's just a matter of people directly and strongly preferring not to
> associate with gays, then the straightforward economic analysis would say
> that everyone would be better off if the straights paid the gays to go
> live by themselves. If in fact gay's desire to live among straights is
> not so strong, there must be enough of a cash transfer so that both gays
> and straights would be happier. Under this model, who do you think you
> would be helping if you instead forced gays to live among straights in
> the closet?

This type of solution, paying people to behave the way you want them to,
is not adopted very often in our society. It seems that the anti-gay
bigots prefer to harass gays rather than to pay them. Could it be that
harassment is cheaper?

Also, for some people the goal is not to make them move away, but to
make gays stop their sexual behavior. These people believe homosexuality
is morally wrong wherever it is practiced. Again, perhaps they could
in theory simply pay homosexuals to abstain, but this policy is not used
with other classes of sin. Why not?

> A model I find more plausible, however, is that what people really care
> about is convincing their associates that they are not gay. They want
> potential mates to see them as available and interested, and don't want
> potential mates or rivals to think them "weak", "effeminate", or other
> undesirable features they believe are associated with gays.

I'm not sure I understand this. Are you talking about "potential mates"
of the same or of the opposite sex? Presumably the one group to which
they are willing to reveal their true sexual preference is other gays
(or people they think are likely to be gay).

Received on Thu Jun 4 04:35:37 1998

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