Friday, December 31, 2010

What is truth?

Moral: Wherein we continue to ponder questions of truth. In business?

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Ah, is truth found in the accumulation of wealth?

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Well, folks, the truth is that what we know about the monetary system is much less than all of the daily clamor seems to indicate. We cannot even ask for an honest assessment that we might think is due to the populace nor can those, who are responsible for the task, perform to our expectations.

For one, the growing presence of computation makes the basis even more shaky than we might have allowed.

---

So, human cleverness will continue to win out. But, does it have to conclude with fat cats getting fatter to the detriment of the most?

Now, where is that class of people who will be effective and who will not exploit the situation? Yes, we will look at this further.

---

Big Ben, thanks for cow-towing to the fat cats while you ruin the savers, some of whom then get into trouble, unnecessarily.

Remarks:

05/25/2011 -- Lemons problem, dark pools, ... Oh, so much to look at!

01/01/2011 -- We have two last posts of December under our belt.

01/01/2011 -- The truth? Folks, those with the means have been allowed to rule the markets as if they can untangle themselves (and their money), and they did this mis-using mathematics and its computational basis. And, those who were to referee, like Big Ben, threw in the towel, for several reasons. Either they think that the big boys are the key (yet, the biggest part of the equation is consumption -- how can that be done without income (from jobs)?), or they play into the market economy (ca-pital-sino) thinking that Smith, et al, is behind them, or they're just into the role and its accruals, such as we saw with the partying King. Now, it is (can very well be) a fact that those with the proper views (such as, inclinations for simple living) are as smart as (perhaps, smarter than) the best and brightest and that they could help develop the framework for the future. This will be discussed further.

Modified 05/25/2011

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Who tells the truth?

Moral: Wherein we start to ponder the question in a couple of contexts, namely finance (a game of idiots who want to mostly trash us) and engineering.

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Well, Martin Weiss asks the question (Isn't there anyone left who'll just tell us THE @#$! TRUTH?). He lets Mike Larson remind us of many things, but here are a couple.
  • Yes, Big Ben has increased our basis of money by almost 1.2T (trillion!) over the past couple of years. Gosh, the weight of that is more than we can handle. Yet, he was re-appointed (anointed)?
  • Big Ben put the taxpayers on the line for 1T in toxic assets. They are still there, folks.
These finance guys do take us for idiots. Martin & Mike tell us that we have 2,000 banks on the s@#$!t list. Bank of America is one, thanks to the former head. What is behind all this new chatter of a 14,000 DOW?

Look, people, that whole financial thing just pushes around the same bit of bits. Big Ben just upped the set size, to allow greater returns (as in, increase of amounts that could be siphoned).

Did that really help what is the economic basis?

---

Now, in terms of technical issues, to whom does the public turn? There is no one, folks. Everyone seems to have an agenda, even within science. Except, now there is an effort to remove the political influences. It's nice to see 'integrity' used; let's hope that this is real.

Remarks:

06/11/2013 -- CDOs and tranching, once again.

03/11/2012 -- We need to update this, especially with a nod to Alan M. Turing.

05/25/2011 -- Lemons problem, dark pools, ... Oh, so much to look at!

01/01/2011 -- We have two last posts of December under our belt.

12/20/2010 -- Not only do we need to ask who tells the truth, we need consider what 'truth' might be. A recent New Yorker article is of essence: The truth wears off. The few sentences of the article says this: "Just because an idea is true doesn't mean it can be proved. And just because an idea can be proved doesn't mean that it's true. When the experiments are done, we still have to choose what to believe". I might add, whom to believe. A similar article appeared earlier in The Atlantic.

Then, that same issue of the New Yorker has an article about the hypocritical mantras of 'free markets' that we're subjected to (Enter the dragon).

Modified: 06/11/2013

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fragile, built on faith

Moral: Wherein we look at a missed opportunity that would have dampened high gains (greed), provided oversight to the best and brightest (Lordly Princes), and helped understand better some of the ideological problems of capitalism whose 'casino' is best evidence that this is not the way of reasonable folks, with all due respect for Adam Smith whose ideas have been used for building a Ca-pital-sino (the system migrates to inflationary schemes to the detriment of the people).

---

What was the missed opportunity? A chance to rein in the bankers.

Essentially, learning that the consequences of nationalizing the banks, at the time, may have been less severe than what we hear the experts argue. Why? The whole system seems to be for the fat cats.

Oh, now we learn that they are 'fragile' (chimera) and 'built on faith' (ours). Yet, pay, again, is coming forward as an issue (those fatties will continue their ways until we wake up).

It was said before, several times, that we missed a big opportunity.
  • Big Ben, again --Remarks, 11/02/2010. Such would allowed time to audit, analyze, pause, listen to the wailing of the fatties, and then restart. There is, folks, no sane argument that says that such an experiment would not have given us a big empirical boost in understanding better the current imbalances.
  • Suckers and sackers --Brief mention of what we might have learned.
  • Big Ben reigns --Thoughts on the subject around the time of the State of the Union speech.
  • Gravy train I -- Asking the question: how else can we get the sucking pumps to cease?
  • Ill-begotten gains -- Noting that what actually happened was a collection of returns gamed with our money.
  • Bankers III -- Since the current bosses showed their lack of clothing, why the hell are they allowed to keep playing their crooked game?
---

Now, to be aware of the ensuing discussions, what exactly is 'nationalizing' and how would it work? Well, there could have been many flavors. As we move away from the time of the lost opportunity, we can look back at what happened, rue the continuance of the shell games, and talk about possible re-fits that would make more sense.

Thankfully, the forums for this type of discussion are open. What is wrong and what to do about it are not easy issues. Yet, we need to stop and mourn the fact that we did not get to see any other way pursued than that already put into place by the fat cats (who have been given free reign, it seems, to influence the future through their monies).

Those at the top are the 'best' of humanity? Give us a break!

Big Ben got an audit. Isn't that nice?

Remarks:

12/06/2013 -- If only Ben would put a shot across the bow. He's helped the chimera unfold in unhealthy ways. He could, at least, say a mea culpa.

03/11/2012 -- We'll use Alan more this year.

08/05/2011 -- In case there is a need to be more obvious (the meme: the chicken or the egg -- below), which is the oldest profession: head-butt or mate. Note, if you would, that the latter is usually preceded by the former, in many cases.

08/03/2011 -- There are several ways to ponder economics within an evolutionary framework. However, starting with the two (no, not one) 'oldest' professions might be of interest: head-butting (see Remarks 07/29/2011) and, then, that which is usually cast as the oldest. Which came first (the meme: the chicken or the egg)?

04/20/2011 -- Prof Black, UMKC School of law, on the immunity policy. If these guys' thing is so fragile, why the hell do they pull out (greedily - every bank, and financial type, ought to have to take an oath of simple living (proxy for a vow of poverty)) so much money in bonuses and other perks? Jamie, explain that to me, please! ... We'll get back to the nationalization bit, and what it might mean, as we expand the technical framework. After all, the whole definition of money is based upon a governmental view (as Big Ben will tell you). Pursuit of happiness by taking from others was not what the Founders meant (apropos since now the buck is the de facto standard, hence, our principles ought to weigh in).

03/22/2011 -- It's spring, and the garble uses gambling metaphors.

03/16/2011 -- On the rise of the professional politician (will there ever be the citizen polico? that is, those who do not salivate when a buck is passed beneath the nose) toward robber barony. The M & Ms are apropos. As well, need to bring in Schervish's viewpoint.

01/19/2011 -- For the most, things are dire, not by necessity.

01/01/2011 -- One basic problem is that systems are in place, and in development, whose consequences are not scrutinized beyond their ability to fill certain pockets. Oh, let the boys play. Is that the attitude? While, all around, our butts, and those of our progeny for generations, are sliding further into the mud. Way to go, smart guys and gals.

Modified: 12/06/2013

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Raj Patel

Moral: Wherein we consider another for whom the sirens, related to the big chimera, have no hold. These are the 'real' kings (as opposed to the interlopers, supposed the new royalty, who are ruining everyone's world) and who allow us to hope that we can develop the real backbone of the economy which is necessary for our future and that of our progeny.

---

This time it is Raj Patel who did get his Master's indoctrination at the London School of Economics.

It was a real treat to run across Raj's notions, albeit that I learned of his work via a recent New Yorker article. How did I miss out before?

Raj's take on matters, economic and otherwise, comes the closest to understanding the realness of 'near-zero' than any that I have seen so far.

The question of how we got into this mess is partly answerable. The solutions for improvement of our situation are not (cannot be) easily grasped.

But, becoming aware of the true state of the problems is the first step. So, hopefully Raj stays the course.

Remarks:

12/05/2010 --

Modified: 12/05/2010


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Recap of sorts

Moral: Wherein we pause to reflect a little since the blog's first year passed without comment.

Well, we're three months behind on that aspect. But, then things are different now than they were just a mere two weeks ago.

In parts of the country, there were very small blue islands within a vast sea of red. Gosh, what does all that mean? In terms of the viewpoint being expressed here, not much.

Let's, for now, just look at a few themes that will continue further.

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We can use some of the categories as a means to organize the material.
  • Ca-pital-sino -- it is obvious that some have taken Adam Smith's ideas too far. This we want to discuss further, as that tendency to the right has no stronger foundational basis than does any of the others. As already said, the gaming aspect needs some conditional limitations imposed. They are not going to be mathematical but will be social in flavor. How can this be?
  • Ideology -- it is quite visible that ideological gaming spawned ca-pital-sino. Why? Our intent is to lay out a framework with which to condition the gaming. To date, we have brought forth the reminder that we all have drives which are, for the most part, toward individuation and maturity. That latter means that we don't want meddling in our lives. Yet, we ought not meddle in others' lives either. As well, that the related decisions need to be knowledge based is obvious. Again, how is this to be?
  • Numeracy -- it is unfortunate that those who follow, to the limit, what we might learn by mathematization and algorithmization have imposed on the rest a type of bestial system. That this idiocy has gathered such strength is that fat cats have had their pockets filled to the detriment of the commonweal. How was this allowed to happen?
  • Underdetermination -- it is the fact that we are serious lapse in what we can and do know. Now, our maturity provides the basis for decisioning under the resulting uncertainty. That the computer has become a major player raises a whole bunch of issues. The main one is that the underlying framework is undecidable. Plenty have danced around this subject, but linear logic allows us to look at the problem more realistically.
  • Big Ben -- it is to our consternation that we see real-time, and less than insightful, experimentation with our selves and our monies by a handful of the best and brightest. There is only one thing to say. Sheesh!!! Well, we'll continue to discuss this problem and its potential resolution.
  • Jobs -- it is the case that the best and brightest, and the fat cats, have exported work, via out-housing and colonization, to cheaper areas (read, easier to be exploited); the American worker has been short-changed; too, initiatives, such as six sigma (a form of Quant'ification), have resulted in the degradation of the work experience so that everyone is on the proverbial treadmill without any relief in sight. And, those not on the treadmill envy the state of those who are. How did all of this come to be?
  • Consumption -- it is seen that without jobs that pay and without means for purchasing the populace must sink into a pit of debt with an unfathomable bottom. Yet, those who model the economy place the role of the consumer as primary, in size and importance. How can we see such continued inconsistency from the best and brightest?
---

The intent is to continue with the analysis and discussion of things dismal (meaning, of course, economic).

Remarks:

12/05/2010 -- Raj Patel has the proper grasp on the 'financial madness' that is threatening us.

11/26/2010 -- On the Greenspan Put (Rolling Stone).

11/24/2010 -- We need to list trading types that would not be possible without computational support for the associated markets, permissive legal structures, unaware populace, and more: gaming by options, ...

11/22/2010 -- Tranching, under the guise of securitization? Silly games.

11/18/2010 -- We'll be taking a closer look at the numer-ants (my terminology for those who think that numeracy is it, which is about most of the best and brightest in the western world and those of the eastern who are coming over here and eating our lunch) this next year. Why? That the quasi-empirical framework is without due attention is why. Now, numer-ants like systems. What is wrong with the systems view will take a whole lot of attention. How about some convoluted system, such as this one. Ever consider why these come about? It's easier to hide book cooking and its ilk.

Modified: 12/05/2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Big Ben, again

Moral: Wherein we consider that Big Ben's role is part of the problem; so too says the Vienna School.

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Big Ben bought trashy, toxic assets before. He's going to again open up a landfill?

Big Ben seems to be getting to the star-role that Alan had for a long time. That he continues to sack the savers shows that something is awry with the current model.
---

We looked at money before (Money 1, Money 2). Right now, it has a basis not unlike some
game. 'Whose to blame' would be a set of large cardinality, yet we need to look at this before the buck dies (year old, yet it applies).

There are better ways. We have to hope for such though a lot of ink has been spent trying to define the way. If there is a better way, can we get there from here? Who would bear the brunt of the pain? Ah, something to discuss there.

---

von Mises, who has a lot more to offer to the middle position than he allowed himself to think, weighed in on how to get sound money. The trouble is that 'gold' is only one of many possible foundational elements. Also, gold has age-old, cultural problems (in use a long time; its extraction and processing is problematic to those who expend the labor; its storage is costly; ...).

It is solid. Trying to base a monetary system on something that is gas would give us what we have now: FED-aerated nonsense. So, we need something of substance that is beyond the arbitrary decision by committee, nowadays bolstered by advances in mathematics and computation, as the basis for money.

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What might that basis be? Is it not worth discussing? Perhaps, a start might be to itemize the attempts, to date. We mentioned one earlier, a heterodox approach based upon energy. Trouble is, this method relies heavily on that which is suspect, heavy use of abstraction (and its main problem) and an elite (would this be problematic to Ludwig followers?) set for guiding all of the others.

Remarks:

03/23/2012 -- Ben is doing a series of four lectures on his, and the FED's, role.

01/27/2012 -- Ben will continue to sack the savers; he must love the ca-pital-sino. Ah, guy!

12/02/2010 -- Banking is a utility (but we also need plumbers - a few, not an army).

11/26/2010 -- Continues the Greenspan Put (Rolling Stone).

11/21/2010 -- Need to remember John and Friedrich.

11/12/2010 -- Poor Big Ben, the world is beating on his clueless self.

11/08/2010 -- Big Ben, the basis that you learned in school, propagated as a professor, and are now trying to demonstrate as a wizard is suspect. You need to know this. Linear logic, et al, can help us discuss the issues. Are you really a proponent of capitalism or ca-pital-sino?

11/05/2010 -- Early on, Ben blinked. Some thought that he was out of ammo. Is he tearing apart the structure in order to have something to throw at the target (chimera that it is)? Gosh, Ben, consider infrastructural issues, please. It's a house of cards. Trying to get the whole thing to collapse (note: the former collapse was because those who game money know what creeps that they deal with -- they only have to look in the mirror -- and, knowing this, they threw in the towel -- meanwhile, expecting (and receiving) their bonuses)?

11/04/2010 -- Oops. Does Big Ben consider possible negative effects that may ensue from his real-time experimentation with the systematics of what can be called 'the economy' as he ought? Or, does he know that he can have us bail out the situation, per usual?

11/03/2010 -- Fed's big gamble.

11/03/2010 -- The cost of safely moving products? Was this considered or did the model assume an ideal, and unrealistic, situation? Making it at home will become more feasible when the true costs are considered. Now, the goal? Define an economic model based upon all considerations required. Pure profit motives, and extreme cost cutting, has always been suspect and led to the current mode of colonialistic thinking. Ah, those CEO kings do want their unlimited kingdom and unfathomable bankrolls.

11/02/2010 -- One has to wonder how things would be now if Obama had just nationalized the banks when he took office. Why? It would have afforded a chance to look at the books, closely. Too, everyone would have paused. Those getting oodles of bucks would have screamed louder than they did (remember, bonuses?). The public has a short memory; just two years back it was the order of the day to rake in via trashy finance and then get a big reward. Yet, now the etiology of that expectation by the best-and-brightest has been lost sight of.

A related topic is the current state of the out-house'd, colonialistic framework of capitalism. That is, cargo coming into this country is wide-open, it seems, to mis-use. Wait! Was this not cost'd by the market as these methods were pushed out everywhere? No? Sheesh, is capitalism to always be short-sighted like this? That is, the pain is pushed to the hapless; and, pocket picking is not the only pain, folks.

What does that mean? Well, if you cannot guarantee safe delivery from across half of the world without expending money for security (which would then raise price, lower profit), then would not local development and delivery look more appealing? To think, the 'free' market people would evidently just let things run without security (how would the Libertarian handle security for other than themselves?).

Modified: 03/23/2012

Monday, November 1, 2010

Von Mises and friends

Moral: Wherein having mentioned, several times, the Vienna School (also, known as the Austrian School) which is continental, how could we avoid specific reference to Ludwig (and John and Friedrich)?

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As in Ludwig Von Mises and his prolific writings. Reading 'The Elite Under Capitalism' would be a good start (we looked at his money work earlier).

I like how he calls the elite to task; yet, one has to look at several things. For instance, what would be 'elite' (as in, best-and-brightest? -- they offer the masses a preferred moral code?). What are these ideals to which the elite would lead us (greed? massive accumulations -- $1B house (as in Mumbai) looming over a vast expanse of slums -- or, gigantic yacht of immense proportions that is for anything but show?)?

Wait! do I smell big T-issues looming? Perhaps not, as we can be reasonable for a little while, can we not?

---

When we brought in the Vienna School, there was one main factor. They do know what lies behind the mathematical facade. Why facade? What we see now is a large system, built upon the quaking basis of computation (we'll get to Church-Turing, in a bit).

Then, upon this shaky framework, we want to built an automated economy (virtual money, to boot, printable ad infinitum) that is wide-spread in many, and disparate, directions using colonialistic mindsets without regard to the neighbors in ones' own locale?

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As an aside, Ron Paul is featured in The Atlantic as saying that he was epiphany'd by the writings of Hayek who was a disciple of von Mises. That epiphany was a while ago. Now, the tea party, and other perturbers, have taken ahold of the guy's ideas thanks to Glenn Beck's reference to Friedrich (see 'The Road to Serfdom', for one).

No one wants a top-down power structure to be there for all aspects of life. The military life is top-down, yet those who rise come through the ranks. And, no one at the top tries to run things in a micro-managed sense, as if driving robots. That was tried in the past a few time enough for us to know its failings.

Yet, how do you keep free agency from devolving into anarchy? That is, what is there that would keep things under civil limits? The big question for libertarians.

A parallel in project/program management has been mentioned in this blog, and in related blogs, namely middle-out. Business is top-down, as we see the King CEO. Too, though, what CEO actually does any real work?

Not!! Good companies try to elicit good work from happy employees. How many succeed?

Yes, these are not easy issues, folks, but we'll continue in our own vein and time to discuss the underlying factors with the idea to eventually fruit results.

---

As you see, what is the middle-out for the economy? Not Adam's 'hand' and not Stalin's 'fist' and not Big Ben's chimera and ...

Do you think that the Tea Party really has resolved the issues in their pullback in abhorrence from anything Keynesian? Of course, John Maynard came from the Neville line; nice of him to think so fondly of the little people. At least, he wasn't greed'd out as we see with the modern capitalists (in name only).

---

So, we'll look at Ludwig's thinking as we go along. And, we'll look at him with a kind eye, probably kinder than he would has cast'd at the viewpoint being developed here.
  • von Mises in a letter to Ayn Rand (emphasis mine): You have the courage to tell the masses what no politician told them: you are inferior and all the improvements in your conditions which you simply take for granted you owe to the efforts of men who are better than you.
  • You want to know the irony? Listen up, CEOs, et al. This is how your working class, especially those of highly advanced education, think of you and your infantilish idiocies.
Gosh, was that fun or what?

Remarks:

03/23/2012 -- Renewal of the idea (and related energies) via Cooper and CiE.






04/03/2011 -- Need to look at some background. Too, tranche and trash.






11/21/2010 -- Three years ago, it was said: Computational foci raise miraculous need. Still applies.

11/03/2010 -- A big oops is emerging from the decimation of proper economic thinking through appeal to the higher-order thinking of the elites.

Modified: 03/23/2012

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The real basis for capitalism, II -- knowledge

Moral: Wherein we continue the slow trek toward a defensible position in regard to that which we all hope is fair, thereby, hoping to honor Adam Smith and other thinkers.

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This topic will take some time as 'knowledge' includes science and engineering, as we would all expect. Too, there is that which has been seriously misconstrued, namely agents and what they (can, think that they, ...) know. We started to look at some issues related to analytics and will get back to that due to its importance and growing presence (ah, that overlord of the mindful).

However, there is another: philosophy. Ah! In the modern age? Well, consider David Hume who was mentioned before as an example, but we'll get back to him.

---

The New Yorker's review of a book about Adam's work (the review mentions Hume) is worth a read. Notice that Adam knew that 'free markets' lead to the type of state that we see now: a few very large critters owning a very big percentage of the goods (or, in other words, fat cats of small cardinality (LT 0.1%) have their fat hands on the majority of the goods (GT 99.9%) whilst the remainder of us split a very small piece). Adam actually suggested that government has the role of keeping the playing field level.

Free men may gravitate toward markets, yet 'free' markets are not such, for long.

That is, folks, the ca-pital-sino that chases after trains that leave the station is not what we need. Nor is it something that Adam would want us to endure. No, what we see is a gravy train for some.

---

Consider an old Chinese thought that is the inspiration (basis?) for lazy fare that is so appealing to some. How is such a wonderful, and subtle, idea turned into that twisted idea of those libertarians who want to mangle the works for everyone but themselves?

---

One thing of note, that will be discussed in depth, is agent as a member of a system. Now, Adam was right to focus on the roles of the agent. Take his example of the coat and all that went into its creation and use. Namely, he stressed that the 'invisible hand' comes about from the actions of the many, mostly with them following the urges of their own self interest. This is a bottom-up view.

But, as we know from science and engineering (middle out), we need top-down. From whence this? Well, the system provides that. And, just how is this defined? Adam would probably say that it's the government's role (however government is defined).

We already talked about how some capitalists think of Adam as the Prophet of their religion of greed. This, folks, is a degradation of that great mind. Let's set things straight, shall we? The fat cats invisible hand is really in a raking mode, from the hapless who are the many to the pockets of the few.

Who has looked at the 'system' aspect? It'll need metaphysics (yes!) as well as neurophysiology, and we'll get there (in our own time).

Remarks:

09/21/2011 -- On Wealth and the CEO MVP.

04/20/2011 -- Simple living (see Remarks 04/15/2011 - game theory), as opposed to greediness.

04/03/2011 -- Need to look at some background. Too, tranche and trash.

01/03/2011 -- Ah, how timely, a Roadmap for Growth. Yes, the golden people demand. Where is our Magna Carta to protect ourselves against these folks?

12/02/2010 -- Banking is a utility (but we also need plumbers - a few, not an army).

11/08/2010 -- Big Ben, the basis that you learned in school, propagated as a professor, and are now trying to demonstrate as a wizard is suspect. You need to know this. Linear logic, et al, can help us discuss the issues. Are you really a proponent of capitalism or ca-pital-sino

?11/03/2010 -- A big oops is emerging.

11/02/2010 --Ludwig, being a product of his time and locality, seems to have thought that the 'elite' would lead the way. Oh, guy, did you really think that? Do we not see that the best-and-brightest are more couple with perdition than not?

10/29/2010 -- Bookstaber on Reich's book. Wonderful commentary, to boot.

10/28/2010 -- Warning, train wreck ahead. What train, I had asked? Yes, there is already a wreck, despite the inflated market (those who lost big are still behind).

10/27/2010 -- Well, we're not the least corrupt, thanks to the screwed up capitalistic framework that has been imposed over the past half century.

10/26/2010 -- One way to know, the media.

Modified: 09/21/2011

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Suckers and sackers

Moral: Wherein we suspend, briefly, the slow trek toward a defensible position in regard to that which stinks. Our goal of honoring Adam Smith and other thinkers will be delayed a little.

---

After all, we have things like the ergodic hypothesis, and a lot more, to discuss.

---

In its current mode, capitalism is for the sackers. And, Big Ben, your sacking of the savers plays right into the pockets of the takers. The consequence is that we have a whole slew of new kings (and royalty) who are more problematic than good.

Then, we have the hapless. Suckers, in other words. Those who are led into indentured servitude for themselves and their families for generations.

---

Wait, is not that what we're doing for the US economy as a whole?

Sackers need an endless supply of suckers to play their game. Why else Wall Street (yes, Ben, and you do know that you play the fiddle for these people?)?

Now, some who were suckered once are really smart and will not allow this again. In the past, cards have generally been stacked for those who are early and get the system made to their liking.

---

Wait, again, isn't the wild web just full of this? Yes, Zuckerberg (Look, guy, you may not want such but give me a bunch of smart people who can take a simple living oath, and we'll set the economy straight, for ourselves, our children, and their offspring) and a whole lot more.

Be that as it may, let's go to the foreclosure issue. Daily Finance lists what could happen from the current mess. It is worth a read.

However, embedded is a link to talk about a middle class revolt. Now, to hear some who argue for capitalism, they want 'free' markets, almost to the point of anarchy. But, no, not quite that far. Just far enough to push things into their favor and their pockets.

To hear the middle class talk of revolt is troublesome as they (not the fat cats) are the basis for the economy, especially the capitalistic variety. Somehow, we have lost the way.

---

Capitalism, people, is the best means for us to have a just economy. But, and I repeat, but, 'capitalism' is still to be defined. That is our task.

The pain with the realizations of late results from the fact that some of us thought that the US would be the best environment for this type of economy to happen. Well, people, interlopers have usurped 'of, by, and for' thereby confusing the issues.

---

A lot of good people have thought about these things and have tried to help matters. But, that we have let the genie out of the bottle with technology needs more attention. Those who are best and brightest, by their nature, want to screw the rest (unless they are simple livers - yes, I can define this). Then, they get the legal eagles on their side, including the courts.

---

Unfortunately, we may find that last year Obama ought to have nationalized the banks, stopped the high bonuses that were paid, halted the markets, did a full audit, ... (a lot more), ..., and then built up to start afresh. Is it too late?


Remarks:

10/03/2013 -- Oh, yes, two posts (Fed-aerated and 7oops7), but no mention of savers being slapped silly. Notice in the savers post that an image says no bullets left. Ah, yes, Ben panicked and used up his ammo. But, has he not shown all of us (and the world) that there was a whole lot of other maneuvering possible? But, too, does he know that he's cowboy'ed us into a corner?

07/31/2013 -- Ben cannot unwind or taper downhe has too many Doves. We'll have to get back to the king thing (yes, the divine rights of the CEO) and dampening of these types by a new outlook (Magna-Carta'√≠sh).

02/12/2013 -- We ought to have nationalized these guys' playground.

12/22/2012 -- Fair and open actually used in a WSJ article.

11/15/2012 -- SumZero, and more.

09/13/2012 -- Ben, and his cronies, continue to sack the savers

05/09/2011 -- Savers are suckers?

04/03/2011 -- Need to look at some background. Too, tranche and trash.

04/01/2011 -- The last man wants the old days back.

03/16/2011 -- On the rise of the professional politician (will there ever be the citizen polico? that is, those who do not salivate when a buck is passed beneath the nose) toward robber barony. The M & Ms are apropos. As well, need to bring in Schervish's viewpoint.

01/19/2011 -- For the most, things are dire, not by necessity.

10/28/2010 -- Warning, train wreck ahead. What train, I had asked? Yes, there is already a wreck, despite the inflated market (those who lost big are still behind).

10/26/2010 -- Adam knew the failings of 'free markets' quite well.

10/22/2010 -- We need more Orwells and Tolstoys and Perelmans.

10/15/2010 -- How do we get back the 'of', 'by', and 'for the people' in all ways, including the economic system? Perhaps, if we could get Zuckerberg (Facebook), et al, to agree to 'simple living' and we could place trust (engineered, of course, as necessary), then computational assistance could help us all rise out of the morass (especially, that associated with politicos - those who salivate when a buck is passed beneath their noses - somehow, evolution has selected for these types?). To date, the promise of the cyber-physical, especially that represented by the web, has mostly pulled us further into a worse situation.

Modified: 10/03/2013

Friday, October 8, 2010

Ergodic hypothesis

Moral: Wherein we start the slow trek toward a defensible position in regard to that which stinks and, thereby, honor Adam Smith and other thinkers.

---

Ah, did we ever say that we have the answers?

Last time, we were looking at a constructive basis for capitalism; that goal is still there. However, a couple of concepts ought to be introduced into the argument. These are the ergodic hypothesis and fixed point issues.
  • Ergodic hypothesis -- We mentioned this as a comment earlier, while talking about the problems brought on by misuse of mathematics by the 'quants' view. As the article said, Samuelson noted that bringing in this principle was needed to make economics more scientific. That is, we can solve the game of risk, it is thought.
  • Fixed point -- Deep with the thinking that would apply the ergodic principle is some notion about convergence that may be stronger than warranted. In the large, we do not see much that is really divergent. The sun rises. The car runs down the road that is usually passable, without overly large potholes, and so forth. But, in the small, convergence relies on equivalence.
Now, given that we mentioned equivalence, please note that this is not an easy problem. And, I'm not talking about what 'is' is. You see, any equivalence decision will have been set up within a predefined framework supported by axioms, and other assumptions, in an operational sense. Yet, in order to attain an equivalent choice, all sorts of, supposedly, unimportant properties are thrown out or trivialized into a type of norm.

What do I mean when I say that 'equivalence' is hard. Firstly, the problem is NP of some sort. We looked at that earlier. Secondly, there are undecidable issues involved related to the context.

----

The basic problem that needs attention is that concepts, like Arrow-Debreu equilibrium, furthers the delusions brought on by mathematization via computation. But, perhaps, that was inevitable; the latter progresses so the former would try to make use of the new facilities.

In short, though, not only do we not have 20-20 foresight (and hindsight) due to undecidability (and more), some things cannot be computed which begs the question of the Church hypothesis which will have to be addressed, to boot.

Remarks:

02/02/2012 -- This post's subject motivated the Ideology series.


04/02/2011 -- Weierstrass did not banish the motivations behind Berkeley's concerns.




10/14/2010 -- Capitalism, as known now, requires an endless supply of suckers.

10/13/2010 -- We'll get back to our itemization, soon. But, cannot resist mentioning that the foreclosure mess is indicative of the types of problems that 'capitalism' will face, especially as it facilitates movement of money from the pockets of the hapless to that of the fat cats. As well, analysis of Paulson, and how he benefited Goldman Sachs - who were rolling in the dough while others lost their livelihoods -- with his actions, and inactions, pertains to the next Remark.

10/07/2010 -- You know what is funny? Those who tend to ca-pital-sino laugh about State planning, to wit the failure of the USSR, etc. You see, these people claim, models, like the Input-output model, are touted as the means for that type of planning. Who can think of handling all that is necessary? But, then these same people see 'the market' as the means (look at the Arrow-Debreu view) based upon what (as in, what the hell is that? the money-sucking methods of Wall Street?)? The invisible hand?

Wait! What's the answer? Well we're getting there, albeit without any compunction about when.

Modified: 02/02/2012

Friday, September 24, 2010

The real basis for capitalism, I -- imperatives

Moral: Wherein we turn away from belaboring the error of ways and start to honor Adam Smith by having another look at the appeal, of capitalism's message, even to those who, currently, are exploited by the ideas.

---

For one, we all know that top-down does not work. We saw it in the family. How often was your mom or pop able to get your little behind to behave? Always? Oh wait, many were angels from the get-go!

We saw with certain 20th century experiments, that state planning does not work. For the most part. And, many took great pleasure in that. But, hey, capitalists, show me something of yours that has endured, other than exploitation of labor (see Image).

You see, the ravages of improper handling of undecidables, plus the fact that decisions are not made EVER with 20-20 foresight (despite the ASSumption by economists of rational (hah!) agents with perfect knowledge; that is beyond words - we cannot fathom such idiotic thinking) makes things fuzzy (at best).

Also, some have taken a firm hold on private property, and individual motivation, to support their laissez faire ideology, but that is not as strong as these think.

Adam and David might have been concerned about motivations (Keynes, I ought to use John to be consistent, used a metaphor of animal spirits). Yet, this, too, can be misconstrued. Perhaps, an update, using modern existential verities, might be a good way to start.

Hence, imperatives. However, we're not starting categorically though, at some point, this may be of interest. Way to go, Immanuel!

---

No, we can start with imperatives in a biological sense, yet with a human orientation. Every live entity subsumes its own piece of space, has its own metabolism, and such. Though, we may come to see parasites as something of interest to the discussion.

So, individuation is one concept that applies within all sorts of contexts. Independent agents, in other words. Yet, how many workers, especially those under the cloud of indentured slavery that is the modern corporate experience, consider themselves independent? Hey, if you take exception to that, look at any non-disclosure agreement forced upon the workforce and tell me that it is otherwise.

----

Yet, there is also the team requirement, in more than the military or athletic context. That is, no one is John Galt or Atlas, for that matter. In other words, the degree of individuation, economically (as in other domains), would be a spectrum. You have those who are bound into some type of group (by the way, how many of those high-class families could provide someone who could endure the enlisted man's burdens?)

Then, there are those who are free. Mind you, we think of this as the monied state in the capitalistic world. Yet, those who live simply are free, to boot.

That is, what is required to meet imperatives? You know, eat, sleep, ... Where in the list does one find this: have a huge mansion, with countless servants, in an area of utmost wealth, and such?

Aside: just as some cried over missed bonus money (even when their actions led others to states of extreme deprivation), all through history, we have had the takers and the doers. We'll be talking more about those on the take and those who actually do useful things.

----

If you had not seen it coming, we contend that capitalism is the way for us to have a more just society. But, not for the reasons put forth by those under the influence of the libertarian world view.

Let's get back to individuation and motivation (from biological imperatives and their social superpositions). You see, the former is one source for the arguments about private property. Oh, yes, accumulation to the max. But, just like the deleterious effects of too much fat on our bodies, there is a bad side of too much accumulation economically (oh? you might ask, why so? - ah, we'll get to that, too). Actually, near-zero is the concept for us to discuss here.

Now, given that property acquisition comes up, is it the key motivator? Well, that may be for some. What about doing a good job (the lowly worker who puts his heart and soul into performing well for a heartless company run by a soulless slob) which can be psychologically pleasant (actually, it's related to neurotransmitters - yet, a simple accomplishment can be as effective, in this manner, as the accumulation of billions of bucks - remember, near-zero)? There are other motivators, including those related to big-T issues.

---

Actually, it looks like accumulation is part of a measuring scheme which itself will bring in some type of palpable benefits. Is accumulation there by necessity? If you look at the majority, in the capitalistic sense, the accruals have some future goal. For many, just simple desires for a healthy and happy retirement.

To wit, though, we have to look at how many of those simple goals were trampled under given our present capitalistic makeup.

----

The following list of future topics is not a complete.
  • labor, it's a role, folks, not a class, and consumers must have some resources
  • we'll take a re-look at markets, as necessary, unfortunately we have only seen ca-pital-sino, so far -- not what is needed
  • private versus public needs some more attention - public goods may be handled by private hands (with caveats and by those who live simply) but ought not be privatized (someone will own the earth? hah! they don't own their own shadow!)
Remarks:

12/13/2011 -- Pavlov and dogs. May seem appropriate, yet dogs eat mostly to live (that is, we're talking about Pavlov frustrating a biological imperative). We, on the other hand, do not need the ca-pital-sino (invisible hand? -- fantasy).

09/21/2011 -- On Wealth and the CEO MVP.

01/03/2011 -- Ah, how timely, a Roadmap for Growth. Yes, the golden people demand. Where is our Magna Carta to protect ourselves against these folks?

11/08/2010 -- Big Ben, the basis that you learned in school, propagated as a professor, and are now trying to demonstrate as a wizard is suspect. You need to know this. Linear logic, et al, can help us discuss the issues. Are you really a proponent of capitalism or ca-pital-sino

11/03/2010 -- A big oops is emerging.

10/26/2010 -- Adam knew the failings of 'free markets' quite well.

10/22/2010 -- We need more Orwells and Tolstoys and Perelmans.

10/14/2010 -- Capitalism, as known now, requires an endless supply of suckers.

10/13/2010 -- A couple of recent items were talked about here several times. For one, foreclosures are under scrutiny, again. Now, that some legal processes were less than sound and true is coming out. Perhaps, 'real capitalism' does not need any legal intervention. (See Remarks) Secondly, Paulson, from Goldman Sachs, helping GS with his decisions. Ah, love it!!

10/07/2010 -- Several principles need to be explored, such as the ergodic one.

Modified: 12/13/2011

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The ideological errors of capitalism, VI -- classism

Moral: Wherein we consider that the ideological problems, namely, ill cultured-ness, abounding of absconders, prevalence of shell games, unconscionable exploitation of Adam Smith, and the Ca-pital-sino are not sufficient. We need to look at its classist's basis. Image: see Carnot on Motive Power (capitalism's view of labor?).

--

And, how do we address such a complicated subject? Well, let's start with a few remarks that are disjoint, yet potentially coherent, looks at themes which can then be discussed more later.

---


It was almost inevitable given the framework in which the ideas developed. At the time, there was little relationships between the upper and lower classes. In fact, the middle class was always squeezed.

Oh wait, the lowers had no rights (until the Magna Carta) and were basically exploited. That continues to this day.

Too, those who might have been lucky to ascend from out of the lower realms mostly quickly forgot, by design, their origins. Looking at this might be interesting but distracting.

---

The modern conceptual frameworks, that were not available at the time of Adam Smith, can refresh the capitalistic outlook. For one, rather than class, there would be roles as the focus. That is, take labor. The current situation allows serious exploitation of those in this role, as we've seen with the colonization that outsourcing is.

Jobs? Ah, many are without. How can there be offerings of roles that would allow people to take care of themselves and their families? Consumerism, in the sense of 'c' being the largest part of the macro equation, demands this.

---

'capital' itself needs to have another look. Now, it seems to be more analogous to crown jewels than not (to be discussed). Ah, how many kings can this poor world, and its miserable masses (nope, not Marxist), support?

---

Private ownership? We need to look at this in a more enlightened fashion. Given the current vogue, one could very well imagine someone 'thinking' that they own the planet. Oh wait! Was not a lot of the conflict on the poor suffering earth just to show who was boss?

As well, given the advent of mutli-national firms, especially those who have a heavy footprint on the cyber part of our cyber-physical existence, we see ownership that does encompass something that is world-wide.

Ownership, in terms of roles, denotes responsibilities. Unfortunately, what we have seen has been efforts, albeit successful to some extent, to shirk responsibility.

Mind you, did we not just see, up close, privatization of gain and socialization of loss running rampant? Those dynamics still exist, and in more than just the issues related to the toxic assets that we have laying around like mines in a field.

---

What is private? Ought what is a 'pubic good' (a long list, arbitrage, etc.) be put out to the private realm (whatever it is?)?

Many roles, that are not of necessity (we can drive an equitable economy with those who live a simple life and who do not succumb to piggishness), currently milk the system filling the pockets of a small set. It has to be small, as only a few can exploit the situation.

And, any glorification of the role as being the essence of capitalism really ought to wake up the the ca-pital-sino and its emergence. Yes, this was accelerated with improved computational prowess.

---

Management. Ah, the lords and their royal-ness. Consider that computational frameworks could provide 90% of what is required by that role. However, that said, there would still need to be sufficient human involvement to cover undecidable issues (below).

---

One almost hears rings of empiricism (realism) as a major attribute of the capitalistic heart. That is, science and capitalism go together. Somewhat.

Actually, we could probably scientifically show that 'greed' is the larger essence.

Why did evolution produce these types except to support the first wave of capitalism? Is it not time to re-address this issue?

---

Too, innovation has been associated with capitalism. Yes. But, have we not seen bad effects of this along with the good? Science, and its reality, would help temper this, folks.

We could start by putting the markets on a more sound basis.

---

The way that finance, and markets, exist now, there is no science. Rather, we see real-time experimentation and recovery. Oops following oops.

That undecidability is not a prevalent notion needs to be addressed. In short, this notion could be said to just denote that no one has perfect foresight. The truth? Who has perfect hindsight?

How did you answer? Well, do not forget underdetermination, please. What we see in economic affairs is that capitalism handles these issues a little better than do other ways.

Yet, there are many downfalls that we need to fix for sustainability.

Remarks:

09/01/2015 -- This was written five years ago. That was before QE infinity. Back then, any one who had gone through this before was looking for an unwind. But, that did not happen. The Fed doubled down, then tripled, down, then ... So, the addicts ran things to an inflated state (yes, appropriate usage). When Ben did mention some taper, they had a tantrum. ... So, here we are, in a corner, into which we have been painted. What will be the end result? Meaning, when things finally unwind? ... What we know is that Main Street did not benefit to the extent as did the pampered of Wall Street. Too, we see that computation is being exploited by idiots. The WSJ, on Saturday, mentioned one area. But, who is talking anything about moral hazards, these days? Well, you did read it here and ought to know that we have not forgotten its meaning.

05/11/2012 -- Rick getting grief from quoting Marx.

01/13/2012 -- We'll go more into why the need for the Magna Charta, this year.

10/07/2011 -- Magna Charta, the celebration thereof.

09/27/2011 -- Recover the image.

03/16/2011 -- On the rise of the professional politician (will there ever be the citizen polico? that is, those who do not salivate when a buck is passed beneath the nose) toward robber barony. The M & Ms are apropos. As well, need to bring in Schervish's viewpoint.

03/11/2011 -- Wired asks, ought we care? About I-Phone suicides

.01/03/2011 -- Ah yes, now there are demands. The question remains: what growth other than the pockets of these types

?12/05/2010 -- Raj Patel has the proper grasp on the 'financial madness' that is threatening us.

10/28/2010 -- Warning, train wreck ahead. What train, I had asked? Yes, there is already a wreck, despite the inflated market (those who lost big are still behind). Adam knew the failings of 'free markets' quite well.

10/22/2010 -- We need more Orwells and Tolstoys and Perelmans.

10/14/2010 -- Capitalism, as known now, requires an endless supply of suckers.

09/24/2010 -- Capitalism is for the good of us, let's bring that forward.

09/19/2010 -- England is in the dumper due to its assumption of the aristocratic notion that people who do are not of any use. Hah! God, how many royal pabodies are we expected to kiss what with these people who wander after abstraction (error) or who somehow think that they are the best class (and worthy? - ah, please give us a break)?

Modified: 09/01/2015

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The ideological errors of capitalism, V -- culture

Moral: Wherein we consider that the ideological problems, namely absconders, shell games, unconscionable exploitation of Adam Smith, and the Ca-pital-sino are not sufficient. Culture, and the lack of a Magna Carta, need attention.

---

Yes, culture has run amok. Capitalism grew up in an environment that stressed gaming since players (serfs) feed their earnings to the lords (fat cats). Then, when the computational came more to fore, machinations that are counter to a sustainable future got more reward than did reasonable considerations about issues, such as undecidability, or did honest labor.

What? We need to look at 'must and may' in this context.

Yes, it's time to bite the bullet and discuss how overlaying our realities with models, abetted by our beasts, is problematic from the get go.

We like to think in musts, as in things being true or false. Gamers bring in 'may' from one particular world view. Thinkers note that the world is more gray than black and white.

One 'must' is what drives arbitrage's necessity. This ought to be a public good, not privatized (as we see with this example).

That we have to manage the 'may' aspects, and agree on the 'musts' set, is paramount. But, under what framework is this to be done?

Where did this 'must' and 'may' come from?

----

ACM published an article in its Communications that struck a chord (Intro, Article). The topic seemed to offer ways and means for discussing some of the issues related to undecidability. The concept was brought up earlier in the context of discussing the Vienna position relative to the mathematization of some markets.

Now, mind you, while reading on, consider how the issues related to programming might be considered in the small as opposed to what we as humans face daily. However, we are overlaying computation on reality and making decisions thereby. In a sense, we're limiting the larger world to what the computational model can handle. Also, if there are problems in the small world of programming of the computer, cannot these suggest that those larger world problems might, in some cases, learn from what we know of computation and, too, ought we learn how to know about the 'undecidable' analogs? It's that latter part that is some troublesome, mostly since people more easily adopt comfortably closed world views than not (case closed).

The article talks about the three main issues. Firstly, there is language. Of course, on the computer side, we still talk semantics. But, closure is easier to impose. What problems do we see from our big set of natural languages? Needless to say, right from the get-go, there is a big thing looming. Secondly, we see a bow to the notion that a duck test is about all that we can do in many cases (especially, politics - joke). But, the larger issue is that dynamic states are what we deal with more than any type of limiting static analysis. Does that not complicate things? Thirdly, we need to make decisions using our language, properties assigned to entities within the frame of reference, and some type of reasoning.

Now, for all of these, the problems in the small on the computer are much more amenable to solutions (to wit, the internet, et al - though, to be fair, you don't have to go far to see failures). In the large, things are much more complex. One benefit of computational modeling is that we can learn how to identify problems and put them into some mode for being solved. Computation, in that sense, is only a continuation of the western mind's orderly (oh, wait, not so orderly) progression along the axis of improvement (ah, arguable, too).

But, the article shows that, even in the small, things are not as easily handled as many think, especially the young (yes, you, Microsoft, for one, -- gosh, I argued with some of those young whippersnappers way back in the early 90s, ..., oh well). You can think of the 'must' and 'may' sets as depicting those things that must follow (either true or false) and then that big thing of unknowns and their may'ness (neither true nor false). Of course, the idea is to have a strong set of musts and an ordered set of mays, these latter, it is desired, being more prevalent to those almost 'must' but not quite.


The point, here, is that we'll continue to use the concepts in trying to lay out why capitalism stinks, in its current form, for everyone but those who are on the taking side (0.2% taking more than 99.9% of the income or some such inequitable, and non-sustainable, number). Too, some fields, such as those related to systems engineering and operations management, are looking at how to do things better (and Lean is a chimera, in some cases, which I intend to show). But, those fields tend toward increasing the overlay. I say, to those folks, hey wait, in the small is loaded with problems. It's to be willy-nilly imposed on us?

Ah, yes, the miracle of superposition.

Remarks:

09/01/2015 -- This was written five years ago. That was before QE infinity. Back then, any one who had gone through this before was looking for an unwind. But, that did not happen. The Fed doubled down, then tripled, down, then ... So, the addicts ran things to an inflated state (yes, appropriate usage). When Ben did mention some taper, they had a tantrum. ... So, here we are, in a corner, into which we have been painted. What will be the end result? Meaning, when things finally unwind? ... What we know is that Main Street did not benefit to the extent as did the pampered of Wall Street. Too, we see that computation is being exploited by idiots. The WSJ, on Saturday, mentioned one area. But, who is talking anything about moral hazards, these days? Well, you did read it here and ought to know that we have not forgotten its meaning.

03/16/2015 -- Let them eat cake.

07/28/2011 -- Cambridge non-commoners.

03/11/2011 -- Wired asks, ought we care? About I-Phone suicides.

10/26/2010 -- Adam knew the failings of 'free markets' quite well.

10/14/2010 -- Capitalism, as known now, requires an endless supply of suckers.

09/27/2010 -- Capitalism is for the good of us, let's bring that forward.

09/16/2010 -- So, ill-cultured-ness came from the classist's basis.

Modified: 09/01/2015