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

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