"I'm confused by this senten..."


by Jeremy Perret Feb 16 2016

Hugh has access to the internet\. He can send and receive emails, can browse the internet, and so on\. He can attach money to emails painlessly\. In principle, the people of Earth could all agree not to accept Hugh’s money\. On average, this would make them better off\. But it’s not going to happen\. The world isn’t on Hugh’s side, either\. He doesn’t have any super\-trustworthy assistants, much less thousands of them\. There are just a lot of people who want their share of \$10M / day\. In the easy version of the problem, there are also some people who share Hugh’s vision—but even then, who can tell the difference? Hugh has written a lot about his goals and his outlook\. Anyone who’s curious can go learn about Hugh on the internet; lots of people have\. If someone doesn’t want Hugh to learn something, they can pay a news site not to cover it\. They can launch a DDoS against Google\. They could even go to more extreme lengths\. But we’ll assume that Hugh’s connection to the internet is itself tamper\-proof\. And just like the world won’t coordinate to turn down Hugh’s money, they won’t coordinate to set up a parallel version of the internet just to delude him\. Hugh has no prospect of fixing his debilitating sleep disorder\. He could leave his room if he wanted, but what is he going to do in 10 minutes, anyway? He’s already arranged for his room to be secure and well\-stocked, and for his infrastructure to be reliable\. Hugh’s goals do not require the cooperation of any specific person, or any unverifiable private information\. Everything that Hugh wants to do could be done by one of several people \(and, as per assumption \#2, we assume that these people will not all collude\)\. All of the information that Hugh needs could in principle be verified by Hugh, if he had enough time to spend veryfing it\.

I'm confused by this sentence. How not accepting Hugh's money lead to the people of Earth being better off? Is it the fact that they would have to achieve perfect coordination to do that?