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

    Universal Economics (something i'm under the impression i'm making up)

    Summary of title terms (my understanding):

    The anthropic principle:

    "things are the way they are because that's the only way they can be"


    "Survival of the fittest"


    "The strong survive, resources are scarce"

    I think all are expressions the same principle, which is "in the now (which is always subjective (a POV is requisite for a 'now' to be established)) remains what survived". Combined with the assumption "it is reasonable to be reasonable" and "an entitity performs its function (seeks the subjective good)", I believe you can formulate the closest possible model of "isness". It seems to me that any economic model you'd try to implement would include this foundation or it would be inherently flawed.

    Meh. Maybe I'm just stating the obvious. I was just thinking about this stuff and thought I'd put it out there to see where it goes. I think this is a summary of where my thoughts are with this stuff now and if this is invalid I want to try to push through it.

    Please discuss.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2004
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  3. 15ofthe19 35 year old virgin Registered Senior Member

    I don't see anything wrong with your theory. I believe competition is what makes us stronger. Without competition, we wouldn't evolve.

    I can't really identify myself as a Republican, Democrat, Buddhist, Zoroastrian, Communist, or anything like that, but if I had to pick a term it would be thus:


    I believe capitalism to be the main reason behind the meteoric rise to power of the U.S.A.
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  5. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    Economics are always in a state of flux. Right now there are at least 3 major economic theories that are driving the worlds economic engines, capitalism, socialism and communism are the three ways that economics are being handled in the majority of the world.That being said they are all trying to get what they can by any reasonable means possible for they are all symbionicly related to each other. They have to each find ways to cooporate not compete as much in todays economic world. True competion is there as to how good a product is made and its life expectancy.
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  7. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member


    Just a short response for the moment, because the early outlook indicates it's going to be a longer case to explain . . . .
    I'm a big advocate of this notion, but on a larger scale. The economics of the human institution slips through the grasp of such an idea merely because it is, in the big picture, an inconsequentially infinitesimal aspect of the Universe.

    I tend to look at it from the perspective that, Regardless of how we arrived at the present moment, this is the only way history could have gone, else it would have gone differently.

    Within that idea, we might look in history to any number of important nexus in history and speculate on what might have been, but the people who made the decisions, from an emperor to a general to a footsoldier tearing the unborn from the womb, these are the decisions they made and the actions they undertook; and here we are not considering history as a lie agreed upon, but the raw history, the untold history, the reality of what was.

    But the present is transitional, and I know that's splitting a hair, but I wish to look to the future and should not skip the present without at least acknowledging it. Because how things are, compared to how they were or will be, bears a special relationship to the past and future. The past is only connected to the future through the present. At the same time the past and future are joined by the common, overlapping moment of the present, so also are they separated by the natural barriers of the present.

    In that unique moment that is, we humans can transform what was into what will be.

    Things are the way they are because the past has gone the only way it could have; things are the way they are in the present because we do not actively choose to alter the course of how things are, or the image of what is. Thus, if the future appears to be much like the present, there is only so much we can blame on nature, as the rest is left to our remarkable human power to manipulate our environment and thus our relationship to the living factors it presents.

    And that relationship to the relevant, living factors presented by the environment that narrows the consideration from the broad generalization I do support despite the aspect of disagreement noted above. That narrowing is where the aspect, accounting for our differences, ceases to apply effectively.

    We may be victims of the past, but we are only victims of the future if we choose in the present to be so.
    I would assert in general that survival of the fittest is countersocial. We are social creatures, as evidenced by everything from kin and tribal relations on up to New York, Mexico City, Tokyo, &c. At some point, "survival of the fittest" becomes too individualized. Ask the New York Fire Department. Not all of the people who got out of the Towers, inasmuch as we apply natural selection, should have. And some who should have didn't. Even the very morality of the terrorist act gives way to a more neutralized ethical consideration which undermines our outrage as Americans of common identity or mere human beings in the world.
    This is actually the first thing that pinged me when I looked at the topic.

    In addition to the more abstract points above, I intend to argue that the assertion, "Resources are scarce," is a myth. However, I did not get any serious research done last night; I have to start from notions of limited wealth and resources in the European pre-American imperialist outlook. And then to tie in ideas of scale and applicability, such as the first section of my post; from there to wrap it in a progressive notion suggesting that we have seen in the transition to the industrial/capitalist era, the defeating of an old notion of fixed resources in the world, and that if we simply look off the planet, we'll see that there's plenty for everybody, and just as it was with the spice trade, it's a matter of getting resource A to destination B for use C.

    And that's just the start. I have no idea what it's going to transform into when I put it together the first time, but the scarcity of resources is either outright myth or else mere perceptive error, which is only a more neutralized way of saying it's a myth.

    Depending on the sample I used, a high school probability experiment showed that a quarter will flip heads either 72% (18/25) or 100% (17/17) of the time. Neither of these predictions, we know, are accurate. Extending twenty-five coin flips to 12 experiments, we got pretty close, around 51-49 over a total of 300 coin flips. That prediction is a little more accurate.

    At best, the perception that resources are a myth is a matter of limited data sample; at worst, it's a myth perpetuated consciously by some who feel they have a stake. Now, Wes, this does not necessarily mean you or I or 15ofthe19. Rather, if we look back in history, resource needs play a huge role in human warfare, such as can be found in an assertion appearing in Pramoedya Ananta Toer's article on a 19th-century novel:
    In the meantime, I'm left scrounging for an obscure socio-economic idea permeating history, but apparently either rarely quantified, or else described in different terms. I'll get back to you on that point when I find it, as it's the centerpiece of my response to the asserted scarcity of resources.

    (Crap ... textbooks ... where the hell are the old textbooks? College US history classes gloss over this point as part of the "precolonial" period somehow defined by the colonization of the American eastern seaboard.)
  8. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member


    the scarcity of resources is more of a statement of the effort required to process them into useful goods. a resource is scarce because it is not readily available. you have to do something to acquire it.

    i had the same objection as you when I first heard the terminology, but after playing with the idea for a while I think the term "scarce" is quite valid. even this conversation requires the expenditure of will, which is a valuable commodity as you know.

    I agree wholly that "survival of the fittest" is at least antisocial at face value... but well:

    - it's really a restatement of the anthropic principle.
    - those that are fit for survival, do
    - humans are social creatures, which are collectively fit to survive. so really it's counterintuitive I realize, but it is the fact that they are social creatures that makes them fit, so it is not anti-social. if at the level of the individual, this same realization is present, it is pro-social. note the bit about the "subjective good"
  9. guthrie paradox generator Registered Senior Member

    HHMM, could we get an evolutionary biologist in on this?

    ""things are the way they are because that's the only way they can be""

    A book in itself, as Tiassa has started. Why not just say "we are here, so....."

    ""Survival of the fittest""

    In what environment? There is the purely "natural" one, and the myriad ones created by humans. Someone who survives well in a slum might well not survive well in a technocratic utopia. At the moment the world is a mix of many different environments, social, physical and economic.

    ""The strong survive, resources are scarce""

    Sort of. But also, the economic system thrives by reducing scarcity, at least in the short term. Merely saying the strong survive is too individualistic, strong also covers social groups, families, etc, and strength is a relative term. Which means you have to include the idea of cooperation and friendship and "altruism" etc. Remember also that if you have a hunter gatherer type lifestyle, minimal technology etc, you have most of the resources you need to hand and they replenish themselves.

    Oh aye, final thing:
    *shoots 15 of the 19*
  10. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

    The thread "As it should be" (which I started) is my expression (and rewording) of this principle.

    Any. Those that are fit for environment X, thrive in environment X.

    Reducing scarcity? Hehe.. I would have said "increacing efficiency". Interesting. I think that increasing efficiency is imperative in both the long and short term. Crappy efficiency = wasted resources.

    I both agree and disagree, I think it is a statement that covers all possible configurations as long as you take into account that part about the profit function being dependent upon "the subjective good".

    Which is all encompassed by the subjective good.

    Yes but do you survive? You're right in small numbers, but try to put the current populous (all of them) into a hunter/gatherer scenario and I'd bet you'd lose half in under 5 years.
  11. 15ofthe19 35 year old virgin Registered Senior Member

    You can't say that "scarcity of resources" is a myth without qualifying your statement with "as long as we aren't talking about economic viability in the present context". Sure, the universe is full of everything we need, but who cares if it's too expensive to retrieve said resources?

    Guthrie, I'm wearing my super-terrific-fantastic body armor. I shall meet you in the street at high noon to settle this affair. Prepare to be smote good sir.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

  12. guthrie paradox generator Registered Senior Member

    Hey, I shot you first. *nips off to ""*

    "Reducing scarcity? Hehe.. I would have said "increacing efficiency". Interesting. I think that increasing efficiency is imperative in both the long and short term. Crappy efficiency = wasted resources."

    Well, we have howked more resources out of the earth over the past 100 years than all our ancestors put together. Both increased efficiency and better techniques for exploitation, ie more material in circulation, so I think scarcity is perhaps a better way of looking at it in this case. And I do agree with 15ofthe19 about retrieval costs.

    "Yes but do you survive? You're right in small numbers, but try to put the current populous (all of them) into a hunter/gatherer scenario and I'd bet you'd lose half in under 5 years."

    Precisely. Except that we'd probably lose more like 90% i think.

    "as long as you take into account that part about the profit function being dependent upon "the subjective good"."

    Fair enough. Then we get into economics and politics, see all the other damn threads for information.
  13. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

  14. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    And if the present context is itself a myth?
    If we look to the idea that the present context is a myth, we see in the concerns about scarcity of resources evidence of that myth.

    Yes, resource extraction and implementation is an issue, but human economy depends to a certain degree on inefficiency. If you cut away to the basic industries of life--providing for needs and even some luxury--there are certain ways the resources can be transformed to goods and delivered to the people. Beyond that, though, most of "civilized," "first-world," "modern" economy is based around larding up those processes.

    A Buddhist sage whose name escapes me at present once made the point that, while he could not say war was immoral, he did find it supremely inefficient as a means of dealing with suffering and desire and ignorance.

    And that's just the thing. Anyone remember the "middle management purge" of the 1990s, as the economy refocused and moved into the Clinton era? While the purge was in search of profits, the fact remains that most of these people were extraneous.

    A certain amount of bureaucracy is required, but can we pretend that people haven't been complaining about red tape in America since before I was born?

    The efficient retrieval and implementation of extraterrestrial resources is a bit of a challenge, but the rewards are huge. Furthermore, the challenge is complicated by extraneous issues. I look to 15ofthe19's point about expense and would respond, "Ask me again when the human species decides to get serious about the issue."

    But that's still a while into the future. The planet can support ten times the population we have if we manage our resources correctly. How "Hotel Tokyo" life would look at that point, how megapolitan, how bland?

    It's all a matter of what we choose. Scarcity of resources, even on an earthbound scale, is still a product of our own choosing as human beings.

    There's no reason to cram sixty billion people onto the planet before we get off this rock, but in the meantime, feeding six billion is well within our reach.
  15. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

    It's one of the hardest things for me to hear or see someone believing so strongly in something that I think it is extremely probably that they have no real knowledge about that which they speak.
    The context is "everything". Everything which is lent value by a human psyche, or is of intrinsic value to the survival of something that is alive (in certain cases, these two are at odds, the percieved value and the intrinsic value (the case of the suicidal man)), is a resource. Lending it value, or the "isness" of its value establishes it as a resource. Note that value can only be established from a perspective - even if that of an individual bacteria.

    My initial thought was that you are wrong here because of the way I read your statement. However after reading it a few times, I see no evidence that you restricted the definition of "economic". With that consideration, I don't think your comment contradicts mine above. I think economics is relevant to everything. It regards the interaction of value and the omnipresent quest for subjective goodness. Even a suicidal man is acting in what he perceives to be his own best interest.

    The application of the concept of "economics" can be expanded as broadly as one wishes. IMO, economics is the study of how resources are allocated and the associated interactions. I view "anything of subjective value" (edit: i just noticed that 'subjective' and 'value' are really pretty much redundant) as a resource. Are you asserting that "subjective value" is a myth?

    In the context that I've established, I don't they the term "myth" is at all applicable (unless you're asserting you don't agree that it's reasonable to be reasonable, in which case debate is rather pointless). Given that I don't know if I understand what you mean, I'll drop it here until you clarify the point I asked about above, as the rest of your post seems to rest on this assertion.
  16. 15ofthe19 35 year old virgin Registered Senior Member

    You lost me Wes. Are you saying that it's wrong to contain your original question within the "present context"?
  17. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

    Hehe, and you lost me with your question.

    I was saying that when I read your qualification:

    - the first time I thought you were talking about economics as in limited to greenspan's type of concerns. With the combination of the three terms as suggested in the title of the thread, I'm expanding the scope of 'economics' to include the definition I posted in the post preceding this one:

    So I thought you'd placed a limit on the considerations of economics with your commented quoted above, but then I realized you hadn't explicitely done that, so your words aren't necessarily contradictory to my own.
  18. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    I'll start here again, since I was so wonderfully vague the first time around.

    The present context of economic viability is what I find mythical in a certain sense. Remember the idea of the consent of the governed; just because there is no state does not mean we do not consent to the madness. Remember that nobody on the face of the planet can tell you what a dollar is worth at any given moment; you need a computer to do it, if at all.

    Albert O. Hirschmann opens the first chapter of his book, The Passions and the Interests: Political Arguments for Capitalism Before Its Triumph with a very simple idea:
    For my purposes in this discussion, Hirschmann (and Weber; how do you like the natural double-punch of that citation?) might as well be asking, How did the myth of labor and economy transform from one set of virtues to another? How is the pagan sanctified; the tragic become laughable; the demon dwindled to a clockwork toy?

    And from that consideration, we might see a bit of the myth exposed. The constant reshaping of a now that becomes then is, on the one hand, exactly how we move from there to here. But it is also purely a cooperative convention despite the amount of friction it brings.

    Viewed from a certain degree of removal, it looks a bit like a mosh pit. You can stand safely back in the bar and watch the show from there, or you can wander out onto the floor and risk spilling your drink.

    We might look at it with a simple comparison:

    Then - Slay the dragon, save the maiden, get the glory.
    Now - Why slay the dragon when you can trollop through the forest gathering fewments and sell them for their weight in gold?
    Someday? - Are the aphrodisiac qualities alleged of fewments really worth a war?

    Part of what's happening in the United States today is directly related to this idea. Coming out of the 1980s, almost anything was for sale. And at some point, Joe Q. Businessman realized that just because he could evict his own mother didn't mean he should. Somewhere in the 90s, people began to tire of serving their economy, though the price of style and prosperity--constant debt--didn't fall completely out of fashion. Instead of reexamining the superficial desires that compel Americans to work so damn hard, people (rightly, nonetheless) looked to the corporate heads--what were the executives doing that interfered with the fulfillment of superficial desire? (As we saw in the Enron instance and others, there were also some vital necessities sacked for the big game.)

    So in the now, people look at the then and say, "No, not again." And, of course, they'll do it anyway, but that's beside the point for the moment.

    In terms of the scarcity of resources, we might look at the resource challenges that made Arabia such a fierce region. We might also consider the near-genocidal "taming" of the United States in the name of "Manifest Destiny." Obviously, resources were plentiful in the pioneer days, unlike a desert in Arabia, but implementation challenges made the resources expensive, as such.

    In an abstract consideration, the idea of harvesting minerals from space certainly does fall under the "expensive" category, but it serves well as an example because it is the future and not the past. In the past, it was the spice trade, and now it's the energy trade.

    What is the confusion between the dog-eat-dog ideas of the world and the cooperative human endeavor? Born under the bad sign of Nixon, awakening at the transition from Carter to Reagan, I grew up on the idea that human beings are in competition with one another. And watching that dynamic between people reveals much about the miseries of the world.

    We're a cooperative collective bent on internecine competition; one of my favorite taglines is that "Nature should be enough." Weather and climate, geology, microbiology--shouldn't drought and earthquake and flood and the eventual comet or asteroid be enough? HIV, ebloa, cancer? What about the question of whether humanity is obliged to deal with a certain baseline percentage of pedophiles and predators?

    In the meantime, we might remember how much of our economy is based in things breaking. I'm not just talking about your auto mechanics and vending machine and copier servicepeople, but also your friendly Microsoft tech support department. These days, software is released well before it's ready. How many recalls would you accept for your car? Of course, our lives and safety on the road is more important to us than the frustration of a collapsed OS, so in a certain way that's understandable. But we also know what that frustration does. (Look at how much "economy" the Y2K scare created.)

    Are we the same nation today as we would have been, as we were, for having abandoned the gold standard?

    What would happen if we stopped one night and gave every person on the face of the planet a million dollars?

    • We'd run out of money? Says who? And why?
    • Markets would collapse? For what reason?

    The nearest I can figure is that "the rich" would panic at the offset of their comparative wealth. If you have a ten million dollars to Joe's ten-thousand, you have a thousand times more money than he does. But if you have eleven million dollars to Joe's million and change, you're only ten or eleven times richer than Joe. That really seems to be what it's about, and why Star Trek aims toward an ideology in which money is a useless concept.

    Think of the days when we get off this rock and start mining the asteroid belts; will we see a replay of American expansion? A new Manifest Destiny? New robber-barons aiming to create a serfdom out of an allegedly free society? Why would we have to? Are we incapable of learning or unwilling to learn? And whether I embrace the world, seek to conquer it, or hide from it in a cave somewhere, while I cannot control what circumstances have come before me, I certainly am responsible for my decisions in response to the relevant factors, as well as being responsible for the internal priorities that make the relevant factors important to begin with. It's easy enough when the process is "duck, someone's shooting!" But when it's how to accommodate a suicidal reliving memories of rape, it's a different story entirely. And it's not exactly a clearly-defined issue when we inflate it to a scale that encompasses humanity and all its quirks.

    But the constraints and processes which define the present context of economic viability are as much mythic as patriotism or religion. Certainly, we must deal with the circumstances, but we might look to Martin Luther, Martin Luther King Jr., and, in his own right, George W. Bush. Each of them, in working with the circumstances put before them, chose to invoke new paradigms and strive toward the fulfillment of a new convention among people: Protestantism, civil rights, a new American hegemony.

    Economy? Well, Marx had an idea. I like Wilde's take on socialism. But people (Americans, for instance) don't believe in these ideas. They believe in competition, in winners and losers, and choose division and comparison.

    But they can choose the cooperative and communitarian any time, and suddenly the scarcity of resources is seen as an opportunity and not a challenge; survival of the fittest becomes about species and not about individuals; and suddenly the way things are is considerably different from the way things were--a new context is chosen and established.

    Which all adds up to approximately why I don't think it necessary to qualify the statement that scarcity of resources is a myth according economic viability in the present context.

    Or am I on the wrong vein again?
  19. 15ofthe19 35 year old virgin Registered Senior Member

    We've been competing for thousands of years. It's in our most primal nature. To deny it is to deny our very dna itself. Man acheives his highest levels of performance because of competition. Without it, we aren't where we sit today.
  20. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

    We are probably here because we are cooperating. Our complex social structure is probably largely behind our big brain. Not because we were competing with our neighbour.

    'survival of the fittest' is a phrase generally used by people who do not understand evolution.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2004
  21. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

    I think it's a mutually beneficial competition though. I mean, I've lived 34 years and I'm generally healthy and very happy because of society allowing me a place to thrive. Seems pretty cooperative to me, even though it includes competition.
  22. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

    Well, the intent of this thread is to discuss fundamentals of economics. I think I've come up with a generalized model that is applicable regardless of the details. I'll try to demonstrate why with the rest of your post.

    Well okay I would try on that but I have no idea of the relevance. I'm not sure what you mean. Obviously, there is a state.

    That is entirely wrong. You seem to think there is some objective value floating around in the aether somewhere? Sure someone might try to calculate it, but the value of a dollar is so easy to see that you've completely overlooked it. Did your dollar get you a pack of smokes? Subjective value is the only value there is. A dollar is as meaningful as any individual thinks it is. It's that simple.

    Whatever he says, that's fine. Capitalism underlies any purported economic model, regardless of labels. Can you see why? Ultimately, the strong survive - regardless of what they call themselves, regardless of the label of the system they create for themselves. If this conversation were a discussion of the merits of capitalism (which is not the intent, but to discuss the merits of the model), I would say that true capitalism is absolute best possible means to distribute resources so long as each member is cognizant of the following fact: My neighbors satisfaction is in my best interest, second to my own, but an important consideration regarding my profit function. This can be derived from the simple "we seek what is subjectively good" if you define good in a way that really makes sense. Obviously however, no one is really accountable to that definition, so we see a lot of shallow instead of healthy greed. I think shallow greed makes me want to get the most from you, regardless of the consequences to you. I think healthy greed makes me want to make sure that we both get what we want from any situation, since we can help each other get what we want again in the future - thereby increasing our mutual chance for survival.

    I see your point, but I don't think "viability" is the issue here. Viability is a fleeting condition of the summation of all the players, the rules of the system, blah blah. Here I'm discussing the foundation. I think I've summarized a basic nuetral model, which could be utilized (with development for particular scenarios/conditions) for determining the potential viability of any set of parameters. I broke it down damnit. I did. LOL. Okay well it seems that way to me. I suppose viability might be at issue, but only the viability of the model, not the viability of the current economy. That is another thread.

    This is nature, what do you expect? Actually, I think there is a problem if you have expectations, as you will taint your analysis. You have to really understand a system before you can attempt to modify it to your expectation. Some systems are of such integration (interconnectedness?) that they are highly sensitive to minute changes.

    Fewments? I don't see the pertinence of your comparison, nor do I see what you're driving at as it stands on it's own.

    What? I'm not saying you're wrong, but it seems like you're just making shit up. How do you reach this conclusion? As far as I can tell, there is always a mixing swirling interaction of education, bad greed, good greed, blah blah. I'm saying at a given time there are some people like Joe Q. Businessman before his realization, som like him after, some who do a wholly different thing... some who do both depending on their mood... on and on. Every iteration of players can be found within the system. I see that you're just making generalizations about the system at a given time, but I don't see their validity. That doesn't mean they're wrong of course.

    That is so wholly dependent on timing and circumstance that I don't see the validity. You're right that some people do that, but to make it a generalization doesn't hold water to me, as there are so many different configurations of mindset. Could be that I'm not paying as close of attention as I think I am.

    Oh, so you're criticizing governments. Yeah okay then. That's not really what this was intended to be about, but as you wish.

    Resources are only as plentiful as your ability to attain and utilize them. (scarce, see)

    No tiassa, at the moment it falls under the "impossible" category. It will become possible over time at least within the next 100 years or so I'd imagine.

    Well, that is a thread in and of itself. Coorporations behave the way they do for good reason I think. Sounds like a good conversation. If you start a thread, please provide a link. My opinion is that corporations often sell-out to the bottom line in cash only evaluation because there is no broader profit function to go by. Their investors generally invest to make money, not to improve the world, so the board of the corporation feels responsible to providing exactly that - cash profit. I think that is wholly short-sighted, but hard to avoid without intervention or proper education.

    So you think the bum on the street has survived as long as he has because of this horrific escalation of competition?

    You completely ignore that what is "good" is wholly subjective. Some people surely think that my death would/will be good. I beg to differ. This subjective inherently introduces friction into the system, and is exactly part of nature. I suppose there are aspects of "good" that are general. Like that which benefits us as organisms for the most part, it's good to fix a broken leg or you won't be able to walk, etc. I think most things that affect the overall value of "i think this is worth that" however, is wholly subjective. Rather, just because it's valuable to everyone, that doesn't mean that is really more than the subjective value. It's just that most people have a few subjective things in common... like being people for instance.

    Oh I see you've taken it under consideration sort of at least. Hmm.. yes what about that indeed? Best possible solution is to reach a consensus on acceptable behavior and attempt to maintain accountability for said behavior.

    Don't see the relevance.

    I dunno.

    The individual would see the value of what other people consider a dollar to be worth, plummet hugely.

    You can print as much money as you want, doesn't mean shit if people don't value it. Markets would collapes because people would lose confidence in their ability to gauge value. They'd likely recover in some time once they absorbed the new value estimates, but all in all you'd end up with about the same scenario as when you started. See the antropic principle.

    You've pitched this idea before. Found yourself a pulpit eh? As you wish. Let's think about it some then shall we? Okay: Everyone gets a million dollars - prices on everything shoot up through the roof overnight. The foundation of the value of money is totally shot - your cigarettes are of different value to the person who sold them to you yesterday. Everything is of different monetary value than it was the day before, so like I said, the markets go crazy because the established cash value of everything goes to shit. Eventually, the fray settles down... cash value is re-established and everyone still has to work, because we have to attain and utlize the resources to provide things that people value. So your idea is nothing but forced wealth re-distribution, which I think is redundant to a healthy economy.

    I see, you're still on the premise of limitless resources. Nice, but wrong. Note that star trek is a fantasy. Love the show, love the idea, but it's entirely impractical as value exists today. Your resources would have to be actually limitless as a foundation for such a society, and I don't think you'd like what would happen if resources were actually limitless. At this point, negative greed is limited by means. This would not be the case if resources were not fundamentally scarce.

    Probably (sadly).

    Depends on if it is allowed, under what terms - and the values of the individuals undertaking the endeavor.

    You speak as if your expectation is relevant. I don't mean that as rude, I mean that your expecation is irrelevant. One can either change the system not to allow it or hope things work out. The ideal scenario is that you motivate people to help their brothers rather than trod on them. You motivate people to trod on them and trod they will - at least some of them. Expectation be damned.

    Figure out a way to motivate people to improve each other, rather than destroy each other, then instill that into the system. You do end up with a bit of a problem though, in that whole "subjective good" thing. If you for instance, think I am improved by learning macrame and I disagree, we have a bit of an impass eh? How do we resolve it? According to your perspective, we should "learn" from it eh? Who is supposed to learn what? Who says what is "good"? Should we all turn to you for our lessons? Are you sure they are good? What if my good disagrees with yours? Should you just scold me into thinking your good is good? You think that's gonna work? Isn't that a violation of what you just said about learning? The only possible way is to motivate me to understand that what I've considered to be good up till now, can be left by the wayside.. and give me reason to adopt a new good. Give me something irrifutable, something beautiful (as I see it) and I'll follow. Scold me and I'll just kick you in the nutz. At least that's a generalization of how I see psychology playing into this.

    Saying it doesn't mean anything. Do it and you're making progress. Be careful though, that you're not unwittingly working to the detriment of that which you value.

    You seem to think they should. What if the ideas are just wrong (I don't know what wilde's take on anything is, so I have no idea)? Maybe they're right, but people can't relate to them. If people can't relate to them, why would they believe them? Personally, I think socialism is a horrible, terrible, sick thing, founded it idealistic retardation. Healthy capitalism, where your satisfaction is part of my profit function is the only viable economic foundation in my opinion... rather, it's inherently most efficient. Healthy competition is the thing. It allows the most satisfaction for the least cost, as people are free to pursue what they want and are motivated not to pursue it if they turn out to be bad at it. That keeps people who are good at doing what they do, doing what they do, which is generally what they want to do - because they're good at it. Basically, if you don't know how to cook a pizza, step aside and I'll show you, if you still can't figure it out, or if you spend all of your pizza money on cocaine, you really shouldn't be in the pizza business. Get out so someone else can give it a go. That is competition, and that is freakin beautiful from my perspective.

    So now you've abandoned your theory that resources aren't scarce? It could be that I've misunderstood some of what you've said.

    The statement is simply false to begin with, so qualification is unnecessary.

    You have basically said that resources are limitless, which is in total disregard to having been corrected as follows:

    - You have not at all IMO shown that you understand this, or addressed it.

    A resource is not scarce if I can think of it, it appears immediately before me and that is the entire deal. Otherwise, someone has to jack with it. That person has a limited amount of time (x hours per day for their adult working life) in which to jack with aquiring it. What is their motivation to do it? Do you think you'll be more motivated if I offer you a bigger sandwich for lunch? What about a steak dinner? A house? Are you gonna be my friend if I help you out? What if I don't like you nor want your friendship? That should be enough? Why don't you get the resources yourself? Oh you don't know how? Well I do, so how are you gonna motivate me to action? I might be motivated if you're gonna die if I don't act, but are you gonna die if you don't get your smokes? Eh? You think socialism solves this problem?

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    IMO, it just makes it worse.


    Because socialism tries to pretend there is "good" that everyone agrees upon, rather than letting the system come to it's own balance. Why? Because value is subjective.

    Well, I'm talking in generalization above really. A tinge of socialism is desirable, depending on how you define it. It's my belief that for a society to consider itself "modern" or "responsible", the basics should be accessible to anyone in need of them. food, shelter, clothing and medical attention should be available to anyone who needs them (of course all of them excepting medical attention being wholly modest accomodations). Less than that is barbaric. If you note, that is basically the way things are right now though some people refuse it due to mental illness or whatever. Lots of paranoids on the street you know, mostly because their condition makes them wholly unreasonable, even in seeking medical treatment. The point here was that anything more than the basics, you should earn.

    Crap I'm rambling and I have to get some work done.
  23. 15ofthe19 35 year old virgin Registered Senior Member

    North Korea vs South Korea.

    One country has a thriving, vibrant economy and has hosted the Olympics in recent memory.

    The other cannot feed its citizenry.

    Competition is bad?

    When are the asshats of the world going to get the memo?

    Capitalism works. Communism failed.

    I love being succint.

Share This Page