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