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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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'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?

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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