Thursday, February 2, 2012

The ideological errors of capitalism, VIII -- disingenuity

Moral: Wherein we continue the "ideological errors" with another post; ever wonder how economics, in terms of our beans (money), has gone so far awry?

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Did we not just look at illegality or mere stupidity as the motivator for errant-ness?

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There is much to look at, as a whole bunch of theory has been proposed the past century or so. We need to look at that; the idea is to not demean the old masters. That their followers idiotically mis-use great ideas is not a bad reflection on the master. If the master is not here to intervene, then who will? Besides, all of these ideas have a context that ought to be kept in mind.

Take Markov, for instance. His ideas are central to a whole lot of modern (such as, that of the quants) worldviews. He also plays heavily into decision processes in unknown ways which we'll bring out into the light. For one, we can ask: do we need to know how we got to our current dilemma in order to get things corrected and on their way again?

Say what?

Well, the answer would be no, but then yes. For the types of thinking that would say no, we could point to Andrey's ideas and extensions thereof. How many instances do we see now where decisions are made as if we can just cast off what has happened to date?

In fact, the illegal versus stupid thing says that we can use the latter for the bosses, in many cases. As in, stupidity is hard to legislate away (this is not cynicism, by the way). And, in many cases, the notion of 'to err is human' is applied, such as noone goes to jail. But, harming oneself through stupidity is one thing; bringing hard times to the multitudes is another.

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Aside: there have been subtle changes over the times since the 60s. We can talk two things. Take general aviation. I remember the arguments about dropping liability concerns which then opened up the field; have not many more planes been out and about on a daily basis? In fact, some wonder if that area just might be the one open to mis-deed at some point. Take computing. How many have had angst (more, measurable results from failures -- how many zeros after the $1 could one accumulate for all of the business costs related to software failure (no particular company in mind, I might add)?

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Of course, Andrey's take only works for particular decision types where we have information sufficient to build, and maintain, the decision chain. Now, overlaying human characteristics is where one type of issue comes to fore. The quants (mentioned above) bewail that people are not like particles whose states (though they may have unbounded properties) are far easier to handle by system thinking.

Take the modern corporate environment, for example, suppression of individuality is key to success; for all those, except for a favored few. In fact, off-shoring, in many cases, was motivated by the willingness (actually, their suitability for being exploited) of poor workers (in oppressive societies) to be amenable to doing unconscionable amounts of work for little to nothing (yes, Steve, what say you?). This suppression goes to the quick; talk to the top guy, he would love to have mindless automatons who follow orders (actually, they need to adore the guy or gal at the top).

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Economics goes wrong from loving abstraction too much, we have said. So, why is this dis-ingenuous? After all, how else does one get a Nobel?

Well, that love has led to a computational framework as if by necessity; then, that which is considered sufficient to "believe" the results of having this framework has been doctored such that we do not know what is what anymore. Yes, folks. But, we have to ask if it was any better before? Or, to put it another way, has it ever been what it ought to be? Well, no.

In fact, what is the 'it' being referred to here? What we need is a re-look that is constructive from an almost elemental sense. Some posts here have tried to do this, albeit somewhat cursorily (imperatives, knowledge, technology). The trouble is that we can't stop the world (as Buckley would have liked us to do, several times).

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Then, we'll need to show how the basis ought to be people. That is somewhat implied with the emphasis on the consumer (I, II, III) in the basic equation, however we need more (see rank and file).

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Expect more on this theme.

Remarks:

12/15/2012 -- Coase, on the subject.

03/15/2012 -- Okay, might have used incomputability in discussing quants (see post on Alan M. Turing) but stand by the context, the issues, and the need for resolutions. Wake up, quants (you, too, Ben).

02/04/2012 -- This trait adds to the potential fraud power.

Modified: 12/15/2012

1 comment:

  1. The issue is very simple. Our entire worldview has completely become detached from any sense of ethics and morality. This explains much incorrect analysis these days.
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