Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The real basis for capitalism, III -- technology

Moral: Wherein we continue the slow trek toward a position that is reasonable, and well-founded (knowledge, imperatives) with regard to that which everyone would hope is fair and just; we do this in order to honor Adam Smith and other thinkers.


As with knowledge, there is much to look at with respect to technology and economics. Going from an assumption that capitalism and democratic principles have an almost visceral connection to human nature will give a very broad basis indeed for us to work with.


However, for starters, let's look at a list, albeit seemingly disjoint, of topics of interest to the topic.
  • We all know what has happened since the US DOD let TCP/IP loose upon the world in terms of an explosive growth toward ubiquitous communicating and computing, with one recently emergent player (relatively - in time) now having hundreds of millions of registered users. The success of that realm, related to virtual spaces, helped spawn outhousing, new ideas, idiotic notions that lead toward zombies (those to whom cyberspace is more real than their own butts), and much more. That metric properties would be interesting ought to have been foreseen. Such numbered looks have a life of their own, somewhat. But, they can be more fun than that hype which the market information (these tell us little about value, see Remarks 02/01/2011) systems spin out daily. Even with its huge user base, Facebook is not number one. Yet. Right now, Google accounts for several Top Sites entries.
  • Now, we have users, and we have developers. Many in the former camp (for the latter, see next bullet) have no clue about what is going on under the hood; nor, is there any apparent way to generate any interest (surmised by usage patterns of the many). Yet, 'code as reality' (and this is from an old guy here who has done computational mathematics for a few decades upon the ever-changing technical frameworks that evolved during the period) suggests that some modicum of interest will be required (truth engineering). That is why educational efforts will (ought to) be of interest. Phil Greenspun's report on his database class is an example. Besides the technical issues, Phil considers related matters, such as the NoSQL concept (mentioned solely for the fact that no technical topic is without some type of controversy - ah, human nature, again). And, Phil's ideas about economic problems will be used to add to the discussion.
  • Now, for the second class (developers), not all are out for finding the 'killer app' or for oodles of monies (frankly, simple living, mentioned here before, needs some attention), though effort ought to have some reward that is measurable renumeration'ly. So, who are developers? At one time, they were nerds mainly. That has changed (and can further). So, we have many types. But, let's take Quants (please do) who are they who help 'fat cat' old guys screw the public (yes, let's discuss that, you guys and gals). Now, this old guy has taken some comfort in the fact that undecidable (via the difficulties related to entailment in the real world) walls are not possible to climb. But, from time to time, there are steps forward, such as Karmarkar's work. Yet, those with huge problems still had to be creative in trying to find efficient methods. Then, there is the SOS approach that looks to overcome a whole lot of problems involved with complexity. Of course, the wall hasn't tumbled (unlike the one at Berlin, this is wall is not of human origin). But, hopefully, this work can be used to improve the outlook for both the user and the developer.
  • Using Phil again, and applying some metaphoric link twixt planes and economies, we have this argument related to software flying planes. In case you haven't heard, boys and girls, the capitalists want to have lights out everywhere (factory, cockpit, ...). What are we mere humans to do to support ourselves, be consumers, have a family, etc.? Or, to put it bluntly, the economy is really our's, not their's. Anyway, planes fly by control. People usually make the decisions about those controls in order to effect some purpose. And, planes, while being a system of complicated pieces and not for the novice (lots of training and practice required), are less complex than an economy (or even pieces of an economy). We try to control things economic; how well does that work, Big Ben? Too, though, with things economic we have seat-of-the-pants operations (or is it fly-by-night?) to complicate matters. Where can there be any scientific, and engineering, effort (consider this rhetorical, but please try to think about sandboxes and their necessity)?
  • ... 

07/30/2013 -- The future: economy and technology.

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

06/05/2013 -- Singularities (understanding how and why these arise, how to manage) will be of extreme importance. Hint: related to computability but concerned more with what might be termed "vertigo" (subtle, yet not).

05/28/2013 -- Discussion will continue under cosmology of business. This has been a popular post, of late. It is an open subject that will be looked at again and again.  

11/15/2012 -- SumZero, and more.

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.

02/26/2011 -- Technology will be important. But, for the benefit of people.

02/01/2011 -- Note, we'll get to comparative advantage (See Comments at Phil's post on Ford's giddy investors), to boot. Here is an on-line book about theory of trade.

Modified: 07/30/2013

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