The anthropic principle, evolution and economics.

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by wesmorris, Feb 15, 2004.

  1. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

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    It's because you should have wrapped your "you're a cunt, no you're a cunt, no you're a cunt" like that (you know, with "quotes" and I don't mean (parenthesis)) so as to displace it (I mean like displacing it like moving it to the responsible party).
     
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  3. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

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    Ramblings for Rosa

    I smell a setup.

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    I'm impressed that english is your third language. You seem to understand and write it better than 90% of the people I've known to do so. That is freakin cool,, yay you.

    Hehe, well I'm subjectivity boy. I see things as wholly relative, but for a very good, objective reason. I think I can push through it generally without BSing more than I already am by broaching the topic to begin with.

    Well in that case I do believe I agree.

    Again, I'm with that.

    Like "god" eh? Okay I'll buy that. You can use the words you like. I prefer survival of the fittest because to me it stands for something unique an ubiquitous. "The fittest" always reminds me: "in what context?", which is really, really deep to me, as it is exactly that which defines how "fit" we really are. I'm certainly unfit to survive without all that air.

    I would counter that context is entirely maleable, and the term begs the question as I stated above. There is always context, though it's not always easy to define.

    Yes, but it seems that maybe you have a preconceived notion of that that should be, when context demands that you reconsider.

    It means they are currently fit to survive. Death or context redefinition is the impact of a broader or different context away.

    I disagree. I think that survival in modern human society differs from the animal version in that the modern human version is greatly abstract. Instead of dodging the boulder that almost beat fred, it's looking better than yoru competetor, or performing better at typing, or comprehending calculus more clearly, or superior creativity, blah blah blah. We have taken the struggle of nature in to the next dimension (the internal one), most literally as I see it.

    Exactly. Fascinating eh? Context is a trip. Consider the implications of either case, they are intricate and powerful I think. Do you see what I mean? For instance: How the shit is a bum fit to survive in the context of modern human society? The other humans, their emotional needs and the by-products of their material needs/indulgances allow conditions in which someone with no discernable economic contribution can survive for a long period of time. That is pretty damned intersting I think.

    Well yeah.

    I'm not sure if "managing to survive" is the same as conquering death.

    Maybe, but for now it's how I see it.

    Certainly, and if you take the vast saga of human survival in mind at this time, you see an intricate, fascinating struggle for survival in all of its perceived forms. That's what I've been looking to discuss for a paragraph or two.. perceived survival. Yes yes. Now consider if I take a huge concept like "survival", from the perspective of the mind attempting to do it. Now I slice a smidge off and put it towards "my hair style" or "the size of my check book" or "my contribution to society".. each ordeal in life that I deem "important" gets dashed with survival instinct and modifies my behavior accordingly. Instead of bolting out the door on the way to work, I stop in the mirror for a second to make sure I don't look any more stupid that I have to, such that I satisfy my perception of surviving in that context. It is exactly "my function" and all the stuff from that thread is what I mean here. I do what I think I need to do (whethere I admit it to me or your or not) to "survive", which actually entails so much more than just the biological meaning when applied to "modern human society".

    That is the exciting and interesting point! A mind does not suffer this (unless of course for whatever reason it is unfit or unmotived to do so) limitation. Minds can adapt to dynamic, inter-related systems can't they? Seems to me that's one of the reasons they are so successful as animals. Minds have allowed us to partially transcend the animal kingdom, into the abstract dimension within our selves.

    That's not true. Some systems are designed specifically to make things unstable. I think conservation is what you mean. A system conserves its energy? I get a little weird with the idea of "stable" when thinking of systems in general in the sense that from a certain (seemingly important to me) perspective, it seems that a system is always in perfect balance, even in the midst of what might appear to be total disarray. Why you ask? Because it is flawlessly performing its function. There is nothing "unstable" about a nuclear explosion if i project myself into the perspective of "the universe" which is simply performing the function that its configuration leaves it no choice but to perform. A circle is round because if it weren't round it wouldn't be a circle. Only from a broad perspective in time coupled with an agenda of survival (however it is implemented, be it abstract or fundamental (like in bacteria)) is the concept of stability meaningful. Shit that was horribly tangential. Pardon. I guess a "system" doesn't strive to be anything unless striving to be something is part of the function of the system.

    I think I sort of see what you're getting at, but I'm not sure it's entirely accurate in all cases, as the function of the system could contradict you right? what if it's a "contradict rosamagika" system? Surely then it contradicts you or it would be something different. With this exception in mind I keep getting distracted and it blurs what I might think you mean into something that well, makes it to where I'm not sure what you mean. Wait are you still going with the thing where it's static? LOL. I've typed so much bullshit and watched enough chappelle show between now and then that I forgot. LOL. Allergies tonight. Light headed and icky. Woo. Yeah okay well yeah then you can see what I mean I hope.

    I think I know what you mean but this is dependent upon an assumption I think I showed doesn't work from my perspective.

    I wholly agree.

    Yes and no. Systems change, energy dissipates and redistributes. In the now, you're correct in that "what is", is and thus could not be "what isn't".

    Impressions of Tao - I seek charcoal rubbings of the foundations of reality. In essence, maybe that really defines what I am (referring to a charcoal rubbing of my environment (the Tao), obviously the quality reflecting the skill of the artist? (not so good eh? LOL)) rather than what I seek. I do suppose I seek to be what I am though, so that's all equivalent.

    Exactly. That fits perfectly to me. You are currently unfit to survive getting squished by a bulldozer. If that's going to happen to you and you want to survive, perhaps you'd better adapt (roll yourself around in a protective something at the time (note how a mind adapted to a dynamic system)). If you can't see it coming, perhaps you won't survive. Such is the system performing its function. Nature doesn't dabble in blame except in (as far as is known) in the mind of man. Seriously, either nature will produce a species that can predict the future.... (please note that there is a profound observation there I think) or if the survival of the species is dependent on overcoming that obstacle of bulldozer survival, then there won't be a species and that is that is that. I find it entirely awe-inspiring that arguably the most successful species on earth at this time is indeed equipped to exactly predict the future, because it has the ability to remember, reflect/project and conceptualize (abstractificate (just wanted to bastardize some conjugation)). Predicting the future only be 100% accurate if your context was 100% of the universe. Since it is not and it is inherently subjective (as the definition of a POV dictates (though there are some interesting arguments to really tweak this idea into something more I think)), you can't predict the future 100% and so the chance of your survival due to environmental considerations decreases perhaps inversely proportionally? I gotta a little lost for a second there.

    Then you won't survive, no problem.

    I think you need to expand the scope of the thought. The individual is the source of demand for survival. If they are not fit, their demand will find supply quite short. I don't demand anything of human adaptation in this context. I'm trying to understand the mechanisms from how they behave, not how I want them to behave. It is arguably ultimately impossible to know if I'm actually doing it.

    As the function of the invidual in the most literal, simplistic and pervasive way possible. Like a the concept of a string (in the sense that the immense complexity of the entire universe is based on the idea of a one-dimensional pattern of vibration) is to string theory, "seeking the subjective good" is to matters of Life. It is pure function. Methods of implementation probably be finite I guess, but I'd guess them vast, extremely varied and expanding as we speak.

    The term cogs seems to imply they are not conscious. They are it, it is them. As far as I would argue at this time, we are the only part of it that actually reflects upon it. Reflects upon it. Interesting, I think perhaps literally true and logically requisite of somewhere for the idea or conception of the reflection to exist. Argh. I'm just trying to say that the whole mind thing makes the type of ... well, if you can consider yourself a 'cog' in an organization of humans I suppose that is the kind of cog that you really are, but that's not really a cog. "smart cogs" (LOL) maybe.

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    Just think of it as a Client/Server relationship. Does that make sense? From that angle, nature could consist of a whole shitload of weird, connected servers with clients acting as servers and server/clients and a realy complicated architechture all based on the singular premise "subjective good" strewn across a multitude of implementations of it.


    That is more clear for sure, and seems to be the same to me as "survival of the fittest". It was this that spawned my remark that you agree with me. Pardon if that was presumptuous, I was just a little jazzed at your post at the time, as I really enjoyed it because it gave me reason to think.

    I think I see exactly what you mean and I'm fine with however you'd like to word it, as for someone else we might have to reword it again, as it might not jive with their conceptual uhm.. interactions and inter-relationships.

    As you wish... *kowtow*

    Hey you were already thinking of it as a client/server thing. Damn the semantics! SIDEBAR: Is is the phenomenon of clashing semantics and what it directly infers regarding the configuration of minds as compared to one another and the resulting inherent limitations of communication that I was trying to get at with that "shape of language" stuff. As the concepts configured in your mind underlie and correlate with language to some extent.

    HA! That depends on if your judgement of my rebuttle.

    Exactly. The fish out of water drowns. Such is the way of things. The water is always changing. Maybe some fish can see the changes coming. Maybe not. If they don't, maybe it will cease to be an issue - like your idea of a system coming to be balanced.

    That depends on how you're analyzing it or trying to implement it. Maybe it's just the highly complicated interactions of an extremely simple premise. Maybe space-time is also expanding in dimensionality (maybe it's just a phenonenon (life) expanding in space-time.. Pardon that. I'm extremely spaced-out and kind of loopy right now.

    Why? If neither of them is fit to survive while headless and suddenly they find themselves headless, why should they survive? Certainly the impact is larger from a certain context, but all in all, it's one less human? I guess I don't see why you seem to pose this as an objection to what I've said. Why am I calculating deaths? To predict how the system will go? In that case, I'd examine the server side if you follow my meaning.

    Bleeding heart. *smirk* Yeah okay me too (wishing them well). Hey wait a second are you setting me up again? LOL. Didn't you get upset with PMT for wishing you the best? Don't backpedal damnit. *snicker* Yeah I know your claim with her was that it was habitual rather than a singular instance. I'll have you know I'll be counting. *giggle* Yeah okay I might not be but maybe.

    How about a "basis"?

    You're only looking at the biological use of "survival". Humans make that so much more complicated and you can't stop them from doing it. It's what they do. They couldn't stop if they wanted to without some serious genetic engineering or drugs or something major like species changing stuff and then I still doubt it.

    But the question of "fitnesss" is empty without context. Fitness for what? What is survival? I think with mind and society, it becomes extremely complicated (and biological survival is a boolean question really, whereas survival in a sea of meaning and resulting impact from actions modified by that meaning, that becomes very very interesting). The context of biological survial is 1 and 0, and the context of 'survival in modern human society' is the infinity of rational numbers in between - kind of.
    Hope it was at least interesting. I have no idea what I just said at this point, or if it made any sense to you. I assure you it does to me, but can't really tell you how to value that information.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2004
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  5. water the sea Registered Senior Member

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    No. Sometimes some things happen between two posts, and then the replier addresses just that thing that happened, and than the other replier is glad because it was a felicitous coincidence. Sometimes some things are really as simple as they seem.

    Is that a compliment? I hope so.

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    Yes, it is always the context. In this context of understanding "fittest",
    one needs to keep in mind that the context of this context is Wes. Was that
    contextualized enough?

    Anyhow, theories present the phenomena in a certain way as they see them
    arragned in the world -- they contextualize them on the level of
    observation, and they also contextualize them on a level of their
    philosophical approach -- they contextualize them on the level of theory.
    Both are of course inseparatable.
    It is practical to keep this in mind when communicating ...


    I agree with that, of course the modern human context is far more extended than the original natural one. I would even venture to say that it is not more abstract today as it was then: just the contents are different. In the earlier days, each person had to discern between dozens of kinds of plants, how to hunt which animal, how to heal wounds with natural medicine, how to tell the weather (and see if it is feasible to go on a longer hunting-gathering expedition), ... -- that's one big heap of knowledge that to many modern humans is the purest Greek!

    But that's not the thing I had in mind when I said that "survival of the fittest doesn't apply to modern human society".
    It applies in your way of understanding "fittest", of course.

    But: Modern human society seems to support members and institutions that live off of this support -- they would die without it. This is a negative trend.
    Like mentally ill and handicapped people, some African countries depend completely on humanitarian organizations -- withdraw that help, and they cease to be fit for survival.

    We are spending money on things that only create new problems. That is counterproductive.
    Systems that take up counterproductive actions, eventually collapse.

    Romans killed babies that didn't look healthy. This is a form of eugenics. Today, each baby that is born is regarded as worthy to be kept alive. How is human society regarded to be seen as fittest, if it allows people who would otherwise die -- to stay alive?

    Because other people need jobs, like nurses and doctors? And because factories that produce meds and all those products to keep those poor creatures alive need to stay functioning and producing, so that people have work, and buy things, so that other people have work etc., and the whole system of human economics can work?

    Something is rotten here.

    I'm not sure I see it.
    I do see that you seem to be implying that it is a useful characteristic in order to be one of the fittest -- if you have IQ 50. Have IQ 50 and you'll survive, you'll be one of the fittest, for your mental state is the prerequisite in this society to be regarded as needing help, and so this wonderful helping society will take care of you, and you'll be one of the fittest.

    No shit.

    I see that you understand "fittest" as the contemporary end result of someone's state, and so far, I can agree with that sense of "fittest".

    But I think that to be regarded as "fittest", some requirements have to be met, and that those requirements have something to do with that person's actual abilities and actions, something that consciously comes from the person -- and not something the person is entitled to from the side of society.
    There should be characteristics that ensure being fit for survival.

    I don't see how someone who needs to be taken care of his whole life -- how IQ 50 should be regarded as a characteristic that ensures one to be fit for survival. You can see it as such, but that's screwed, IMO.

    Set up that kind of standards and people will abuse them -- and they do! Which eventually leads to a lesser quality of life for the whole society.

    Seeing a bum and someone with IQ 50 as fit for survival won't bring you to a society where the basic level of needs is ensured for everyone.

    You have to set up standards that say something like: it is the people's actions that render them fit. If you work better and more, you can earn more money.

    If you wish to see fitness in the broadest extent, this also means that you are in for a version of socialism. If everyone who is alive is also fittest, then everyone is equal, and everyone can get the same.
    I'm looking forward to see how you refute that.

    Obviously, modern humany society has so much overproduction that it enables people with virtually no money and no work to survive.
    And I mean overproduction both in the sense of making more than is needed at the moment, as well as overpoduction in the sense that we make things that we can't and don't completely use ("under-use") -- we throw away things that can be used some more or recycled.

    What impact does such overproduction have?

    It cannot be good. If you take something somewhere, it is missed there. Maybe human economics can afford wide stretches of such overproduction, but eventually, such systems collapse. We get wars, and then they reset the whole system.


    You said it: Bill may be fit in the economical sense, but he can't take a bullet.


    Me: You said "You set up a system, and those who best adapt to it, thrive
    within it. That's what I mean by "the strong survive"."

    Does this mean that the weak *don't* survive?


    Oh, I assumed we're talking about this kind of *wholesome and complex* survival anyway ... That's what I had in mind all long. Otherwise I could not come to those priorities under B and explain your not excelling in contest-fit English the way I did.

    I can see though that you seemed to be all into this biological *vs.* psychological+sociological kind of thing.

    It does suffer from it. One gets fundamentally shaped by early up-bringing and all that, and then the mind runs by the principles learned and tuned in then.
    The big difference with the body is, that the mind seems more flexible than the body, and it can take less time to change the mind than it takes to change the body.

    But then again, the mind has to have contiuity, or it gets confused, hence changes can happen so slowly, and adaptation is slow to.

    I was just thinking today: What if we *just think* that the mind is something so darn special? What if this what we call the mind *is* those chemicals exactly? What if those chemicals ARE our thoughts and our consciousness? What if we just think that the mind is something abstract? Ah, anyway, we still have the cocepts of "abstract" and "concrete", and then we arrange and designate them somehow.


    Yes, of course it is always stable. But at some point, when we *step into the system to describe it*, we have to *recognize* this basic principle of striving to be stable, to be in perfect balance.
    Ever since The Great Master set the Universes in motion, things are in perfect balance -- but *this balance is a process*, not a finite thing, or so it seems. Atoms, when in an instable form, seek to become a stable form. And then they do, and by some super magic cause that some other atoms become unstable, and then they ... and so I am writing this and you are reading.

    Pure adaptation would be only if you would introduce something totally new to the system -- which, so far, doesn't happen. This is why I was against the idea of "those who *adapt* best ...". 'Adapt' seems such a static term -- in the sense that it suggests that that new element comes from god knows where and then it adapts to the system it comes into.

    We can say that it is function of a living system to strive for balance/stability, and it achieves this stability by striving for it.

    Anyhow, the whole problem with the stability of the system came up for me when you said you want to model it, as a contemprary, freeze-frame-like model. In that sense, the system is perceived as static, as just 'is there', and we have to simply postulate what dynamic characteristics this system supposedly has, as they are not visible in the freeze-frame picture. Only so we can answer the why's and the how's.

    I'm not sure I understand.
    1. Take a parasyte [change] and introduce it to a living organism [system]. If that organism does nothing, the parasyte will eventually kill it. If the organism wishes to survive, it has to respond to the parasyte by fighting it, making defence cells, whatever it can to get rid of the parasyte.
    2. Take an office [system], and a 5 new workers [change], brilliant and everything are hired. Of course the other workers will try to keep the level of efficieny they maintained so far, they don't wish the newbies to raise the standards. But if the newbies are really effective, they could endanger the older team, and the older team could get fired. So the older team has to do something to prevent to get fired: they either sabotage the newbies, or work harder. But either way, they have to do something, because they eventually could lose their positions because of the effective newbies.

    I see now: it's a problem of defining what is a system and what is a change. The POV.
    The change is a system too, of course. The parasyte and the 5 newbies are also systems. And as such, they do have to respond to the change: the parasyte to the new environment that produces chemicals that wish to repell him, and the newbies to the maneuvers of the older team.

    Anyhow, the point is that BOTH parties have to do something: the bigger system and the smaller system that acts like a change in the bigger one.

    Or, as I can see that you are consequent, "those who best adapt to it" means that this goes for *both* parties, and what I said before is just a re-run of what you meant anyway, and I was just wasting your time and I apologize for that.

    Of course I do. Do you not think that I can read you mind?

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  7. water the sea Registered Senior Member

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    Part 2

    You do what you are, and you are what you do. Tao-tao.

    Predicting the future? I see it as making it. Having an idea, and then making it real. Self-fulfilling prophecies. Self-perpetuating systems. It is because it is impossible to know a living system 100%; and this is why there are always factors we cannot account for when making the idea -- and this is why the realization of the idea is something else than the idea. Hih, I just repeated what you said, I think.

    Math is a 100% known system (at least algebra), this is why we can make predictions there, and what comes out is exactly what we had in mind.

    Do tweak the idea of POV into something more!

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    Yeah, and when you're dead you won't think of your pension or try to get learn some bulldozer-avoiding skills. How wonderful.

    I see that. But for this, some more neutral terms are needed, I think.

    Also, there is this problem earlier most justly introduced by Tiassa: Do you want to describe the system on a synchronical POV or on a diachronical POV?

    The synchronical POV is the POV of description that is horizontal in time, the freeze-frame. Here, you actually cannot ask Why? and How? and try to find answers within your description.
    Here it is just a description, static and a "just is". It is the result, and you don't have the preceeding equation to it.
    Strict synchronism is rare, as it doesn't make much sense. But it is needed, as it provides a corpus of phenomena.
    Usually, synchronical thinking goes a certain depth, but this is not to be confused with diachronical thinking.

    From the diachronical POV, you try to figure out the How? and the Why?, the equation that leads to a certain result. This is the vertical in time. You take that corpus of phenomena and try to figure out how these phenomena are connected, based on how they have developed.

    In the end, only a panchronical POV, the synthesis of synchronical and diachronical, renders the whole thing meaning.

    Not separating the three can lead to big misunderstandings. From a synchronical POV, any desire is good and real, but from the diachronical, some can be mythical, invented.


    We have to differentiate between the system and its elements at some point, even though this differentiation is only on paper. Because perceiving the thing as a system seems to be most revarding right now, in terms of our ability to describe this social phenomena. So we have to deal with the tasks of description that the tool "system theory" gives us.

    We could also choose a non-systemic approach, but systems are hip right now.

    I do agree, I just wanted to see what exactly it is that I agree with.


    Does me proud.

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    Basically I said the same as you, I only tried to put it the most neutral way possible I know so far.
    As you can se, "fittest" can have many connotations, side-thoughts, second-thoughts, it can be understood as a very rude thing and all that.

    I don't mean to be insultive, but I keep noticing this with your definitions: you present a definition or an explanation, in which you explain both the thing AND your evaluation of this thing.

    Like: "By the mandate of your existence, at any given time you do what is best for you in the way you've learned and currently think is the way that works best for you to do it."
    This is made of:
    Neutral statement: By the mandate of your existence, at any given time you do what is maximum for you in the way that you've learned and currently think is the way that works maximum for you to do it.
    Attitude: This is good so.

    Of course, best = maximum; but "maximum" is a neutral term, while "best" also has the positive meaning of 'good'.
    Maybe I misunderstood, but that was one of the sources of the misunderstanding you had with Fountainhed then.


    No, it's more than that. It is not just a matter of communication. If anything, it is a matter of world models that we have in our minds, and they don't really have that much to do with the actual language that we use. We have different theories, different world models -- but we use *the same words*. And these words then have *different referents*.

    Like when I take a book by Chomsky, the term "ideal speaker" means something else as when "ideal speaker" is used in a book by Austin or DeSaussure. Meaning, I know these linguists and I know their theories, and the way they make their systems. I have to know *who* said something, and I have to *know* this person and their theories, and then I can understand *what* they mean.

    Or take the word "reason": almost each philosopher uses it, and almost each philosopher understands something else by it. If it's Kant, then "reason" is one thing, if it's Descartes, then "reason" is something else etc.

    What we are doing right now is trying to figure out eachother's world models, by comparing them: and we compare them by using the same word, and seeing what response it triggers at the other person. We are trying to figure out in what configuration the individual terms are with eachother. If they fit, we have understanding and comparable world models, if they don't, then we don't. It also depends on how long we are willing to play this game.

    Anyhow, this is why it is so useful to belong to a certain established theory, and be able to say: My understanding of systems is based on the works of XY. And from this platform, I would like to present my idea of economics. Then it is easy, as everyone who also knows XY's works, can easily follow you through your idea of economics and make meaningful comments.

    Otherwise, we are trying to figure out the platform for basic terms ...

    Like in

    No, they are both equally human, but their impact on the system of economics is vastly different. And we are talking about the system of economics here, aren't we?

    I first didn't understand what exactly you meant by "fittest". I first figured that "fittest" necessarily has something to do with the positive *abilities and characteristics* of an entity. And this is what Tiassa thought too, with the people dying in the Towers. The way you presented "fittest" then looked as if it was their *fault* and *unfitness* that they got killed.

    So I introduced this death rate and handicaps as an example of where the entity has no control of, is rendered unfit by external factors. To see what you'll say. Either way, these deaths and handicaps have to be accounted for somehow, it's the server side alright, and not the client side.

    Also, not all unnatural deaths fall into this category: suicidals, people murdered by hitmen, the mafia or angry spouses: I figured you could interpret this as "screwed up contexts", as something the murdered person helped cause, actually.

    So I thought: either you come up with a statistically relevant number of those unnatural deaths and handicaps where the said person had no control of, and incorporate this number into your system of "fittest".
    Or you set up such an explanation of "fittest" where these deaths and handicaps are organically interlaced in, without actually being the fault of the dead person.


    I got upset as it *later* turned out that by that "best wishes, as always" she actually meant 'you ruffled something, but I'll let it go'. How the hell was I supposed to know that saying "best wishes, as always" actually means 'you ruffled something, but I'll let it go'??!


    Okie dokie.

    No, I was looking at it in an economical sense, well, and a part of it is also that one usually needs to be alive in order to perform one's economic function.
    Of course we are complicated.

    Which leads me to another important consideration: Economics is a system in human society. As a system, it is interrelating and interacting with other systems, like education, politics, morals, health care, entertainment, philosophy, ...
    Somehow, we have to account for these relations and actions too, and place the system of economics into the broad system of society, so that economics can receive its meaning.


    I'm not sure. Aren't systems that are sets within sets holographic -- the same basic rules go on all levels? But then again: biology, economics, education, etc. aren't just sets within the set of society, are they? If we're talking about systems as integrative parts of other systems, then ...


    I thank you for your extended and elaborated reply.
    In mine, I tried to stick to the things I thought most important in one way or another. If I omitted something that you think we should consider, then please remind me.
    I had to leave out some things, as this post is already one of the longest I have ever written.
    Thank you for your time and I hope it was useful to you and that it makes sense to you.

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  8. water the sea Registered Senior Member

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    Gosh, I just read my posts again, and I feel like such an idiot, so cold and heartless. I really hate myself for that.

    I don't want to leave the impression that I am the chicken trying to teach the hen (that's a saying we have in my native language), even though I know I often come across like that.

    I hope you are not offended.

    I didn't mean to be offensive. I just acted in accordance with my tweaked imagination which renders me a good many services, but also plays me a great many tricks.

    I hope my contribution is meaningful in some way, even if it serves as an example of how things should not be. My bad.

    I apologize if I was preposterous.
     
  9. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

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    well, I enjoyed your posts... I'll get back to them as soon as I can. stupid real life tears me from my sci.

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  10. Roman Banned Banned

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    Alright, I read the first two pages of post, and skimmed the seventh and 12th pages.

    Here's what I saw: a well understood, though not complete application of "survival of the fittest"

    and

    the ability to feed the world vs. the not doing so (again).

    Wesmorris, I'm curious as to what your premise was– there was a lot of jargon, and I'm not much of an economist.

    I would like to address the environmental side of this thread that has been glanced over, as well as an incongruency in several opinions stated by Wes.

    I shall use a syllogistic approach to this, and try not to jump to conclusions.
    In the "now" sense fo things, resources are limited. There is a finite supply of oil, space, and things to pollute. I won't go into the "birds and bees" and the necessity of a functioning ecosystem to support agriculture.
    However, times change, needs and wants change, therefore, resources change. So, as I understood, it is for this reason that there is no resource scarcity.
    Therefore, how can economics be concerned with the "isness" and "nowness" when in the future it won't matter? Does economics matter at all? Resources are not scarce, people act out of selfish reason, everyone dies, and over time people want different stuff.

    Why bother with economics at all?

    Damn, that was rather non sequiter. I hope you understood where I was driving.

    Also, I believe if one is to apply the truest form of "survival of the fittest," not only is it how well can one survive in one's environment, but if they reproduce. So, if the bum doesn't have kids (or his kids do not reproduce), he isn't surviving– his genes are lost from the gene pool.
     
  11. Roman Banned Banned

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    11,560
    After doing some more reading of posts (thanks for the explicitly clear rosamagika), I think I understand the "myth of scarcity."

    So it's agreable that there is plenty of air. There's even plenty of water. Hell, there's plenty of food. I think Wesmorris made a very good case of the "we can't feed the world because there is not any infrastructure, nor incentive to do so" idea. (see the can't feed the world thread by wes)

    Then the problem lies not in raw material, but the ability to produce what we need. We need green plants to photosynthesize 02. It's a systems issue. Wes pointed that out, too, but there was a lack of emphasis on it.

    With the loss of incredibly complex living systems, there is no way to replace them. If pollinators go extinct, we can mine the moon for as much ore as we want, but that's not going to help the wheat pollinate. I can come up with many living systems that we need, but take for granted. There are not any suitable replacements for the living systems (yet).

    Also, desire is as deadly as need, if not more so. All the gluttons want to drive an SUV, requiring more fuel to be extracted, which funds state sponsored terrorism. What about cocaine and it's ties to terrorism? [ok, so this was irrevalent tangent. sorry.]

    Desire for sugar and coffee has led to irreplaceable destruction of tropical rainforests. I don't like plugging shamelssly for environmentalism, but the truth is, we need the natural environment.

    In ecology, there are two general schemes of population growth. The first is to rapidly consume all the resources in a system before crashing. Think bacteria in a petri dish.These are r-selected species. They have many offspring, short lifespans and aren't very intelligent. If time and population are graphed, the curve is concave up– practically an
    x squared equation.

    The other option is a slow growing population that eventually stops growing. It's a concave down graph, basically the sqaure root of x.

    To get an idea of what I'm talking about, you can pop x squared and the square root of x into a graphing program. Put # of individuals along the x-axis and time against the y-axis.

    Humans are an r-slected species. Our ingenuity has repeatedly staved off systemic crashes. Fire allowed us to access energy from things we could not eat and saved us the time of having to evovle fur. There are heaps of examples. I'm sure you can find more.

    Therefore, despite all your fancy economic theories, we will inevitably hit our carrying capacity and crash.
     
  12. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

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    you are a very interesting young person Roman (sorry but I noticed you were born the year i graduated high school and felt very old all of the sudden

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    ). i appreciate your input and will attempt to respond. i'm still stuck in the middle of a response to T and i owe Rosa too. T just wore me out on the topic for a bit. I thought I'd let my forehead heal a little before going back to banging my head and such.
     

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