Market Anarchy

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Glass Fractal
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Glass Fractal » Thu May 13, 2010 12:43 pm UTC

Vox Imperatoris wrote:
Glass Fractal wrote:
Vox Imperatoris wrote:Yes, which is why we try to prevent things like that from happening. We want to eliminate the rule by the stick because goes against the full, natural potential of mankind.


Eliminating rule by force is impossible once you have multiple people interacting (unless you've managed to brainwash them into lockstep adherence to one system of thought, but at that point any system will work). You also can't just declare that "rule by the stick ... goes against the full, natural potential of mankind" without taking time establish why that is true. If I want power over others then the only way to reach my "full, natural potential" is to use force to subjugate those around me.


Jesus Christ. Please don't make me repeat what I've already said at least three times before. Read my other posts, and the other threads which talk about natural rights and why they exist. But to refute you, if you "want power over others", that is irrational, and you should be stopped as an aggressor by force, exactly as I said (that's what the government is for). Your desire is an irrational whim because even if you did accomplish your goal of domination, you would not be as satisfied as if you had put that work towards productive ends.


You cannot prove that I will be happier if I put my work towards productive ends. You cannot define "productive ends" in the first place. Thus you cannot say that my desire is irrational.

Vox Imperatoris wrote:People's true interests are fundamentally in harmony, not conflict. This is the basic point statism gets wrong.


"People's true interests are fundamentally in conflict, not harmony. This is the basic point Objectivism gets wrong."

That was an easy argument to smash into tiny pieces. Let's move on.

Vox Imperatoris wrote:There is a big difference between rule from rational principles which is backed up by force (as all government must be) because it is right and rule by the biggest stick which states that something is right because it is backed up by force. Even snapshot182 is not saying that no force should ever be used (only idiotic intrinsicists, e.g. Jains, would assert that) ; he is saying that rights should be backed up by the private application of retaliatory force.


You're making a non-existent distinction. People who rule through force will always say they are inherently right, there's no meaningful difference between a person who claims "I am right and this gun enforces it" and the Objectivist who claims "nature says I am right and this gun enforces it" (except perhaps that the Objectvist is using the Appeal To Nature fallacy). You can say that if everyone agrees with the Objectivist then there is no conflict but then if everyone agrees with the other person there is no conflict.

Vox Imperatoris wrote:As I have also said repeatedly, the system does not require that everyone make fully informed, rational decisions. It merely says that rational actions taken on the basis of information which is, in fact, true are the means by which we sustain life, and that people therefore ought to be free to take them without interference. They can be irrational, but to the extent that they are, they will justly suffer for it, in the same way the smoker suffers from his irrationality yet is still able to function in society. Even so, there is nothing about the human constitution that fundamentally prevents us from being rational all the time; it is simply difficult. I am not calling for market anarchy, either: snapshot 182 is. I disagree with him.


But in order for your claim about objectively good actions to carry any merit at all there has to be someone with access to perfect information and perfect reason in order to decide what is objectively good. If there isn't then Objectivism is completely dead because no one has the ability to learn what is "good" by your system and the philosophy is useless at every level. Or rather it requires you to redefine "objective" to mean "subjective" and at that point you've either killed language or proven we already had a good term for Objectvism, relativism.

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Ixtellor
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Ixtellor » Thu May 13, 2010 1:18 pm UTC

Vox Imperatoris wrote:We want to eliminate the rule by the stick because goes against the full, natural potential of mankind.


Thanks for all the clarification. I suppose the only thing I am unclear about on your belief is if the government can still use 'the stick' or if your advocating evolving past that?

Vox Imperatoris wrote:my whole disagreement with him is that I think the government should by all means use retaliatory force to back up its guarantees of natural rights. (He believes in retaliatory force too, but handled by private entities.) Nobody is disputing that force is necessary to back up rights, but force must only be used against those who impede rational action through aggression.


I wonder if you will follow the path of soo many AnCaps who eventually arrive at the conclusion that if you really believe in market forces, it should also apply to the military and justice system as well. If I recall correctly Rothbard had that great awakening and wrote extensively about it.

I personally side with you on that disagreement due to my firm belief that in a society of free market armies for hire, eventually one of them will take over and start back at square one with a dictatorship. If the ultimate motivation is profit, nothing makes profit like a dictatorship.

snapshot182 wrote:I can guarantee you, that's[Violence] not how you or anyone you know functions.


I do not agree. I go to a store and buy a good. If the good is fradulant, or I am ripped off, I seek legal action, if they perp doesn't pay the damages or make good, he is threatened with jail, if he does not submit, he is threatened with violence, if he still does not submit, he experiences violence.

Many of our daily interactions are based on the premise that if one of the parties doesn't fulfill their part of some legal or social obligation, the ultimate result is violence. We are probably all "3 refusals to comply" away from a violent end. (See Ruby Ridge)

How many of your actions taken every day are the result of the threat of violence.

I totally concur with the founding fathers that man is inheriantly self interested, and main motivator in not living life by that driving force is the threat of violence.
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby snapshot182 » Thu May 13, 2010 6:53 pm UTC

Charlie! wrote:Bah, I note you didn't address the problem of externalities (basically the tragedy of the commons, which is also basically the prisoner's dilemma).

Oh well.

It seems like you're having trouble grokking reasoning from incomplete information. Reasoning from incomplete isn't an opinion any more than deciding whether an act violates someone's freedom is an opinion. Additionally, the choice itself doesn't change moral value as we learn more - it's unreasonable (literally) to assign negative moral value to doing the best you can with the information at hand.


I ignore externalities because arguing for beneficial externalities ignores whether you ought do something in the first place. Doing what is moral is not the same as doing something that is beneficial. Utilitarianism doesn't say whether you ought do or not do something in the first place. Opinion is the sole arbiter of utilitarian ethic, which is why it's an invalid moral reasoning tool. It's not even a tool; it's a justification for doing what you want despite what other people think and despite what actually may be moral or immoral. It essentially says all things are permissible and we'll see what happens.

Maybe an example would help? If it's moral to prescribe a medicine at one point, but then we learn that the medicine is dangerous, it's no longer moral to prescribe the medicine (ooh, by the way, there's another good example of a failure point of reasoning with absolutes - medical side effects).

You should not knowingly harm someone. This is why we don't (or shouldn't) hold toddlers accountable for their action. But that's where it ends. If you shouldn't knowingly harm someone, then it's inconsistent moral reasoning to say that we ought harm someone for some greater good. Harming people is either wrong or it isn't. If there's no way to say it's wrong in the first place, then there's no way to say someone shouldn't have acted. And since every situation is different, there's no objective way to say, "We know the consequences. You shouldn't do this." Again, it makes all things permissible, logically speaking. And even when dealing with emotions and opinion, which can lead you in the right direction in some cases, differing opinions are equally valid because they are only based upon people's preferences. Not to mention, the beneficial aspects of a given action are left up to opinion as well. This means it all comes back to: who has the right to decide whether there should be a government? Who has the right to initiate violence or to choose when it's OK and when it isn't. If you universalize your answers, everyone has the same right and no one does. If you make special exceptions, you're using opinion to decide who can and who can't decide who has the right to initiate violence.

Utilitarianism is not an objective ethical system. That's my main criticism of it. What you can see me doing in my critique is using an objective methodology for determining the validity of utilitarian moral arguments. If the argument cannot be traced back to first principles, but instead is traced back to mere opinion, then it is not an objective ethical argument. All utilitarian arguments are necessarily subjective as they all rely on personal definitions for what the greatest good means.

However, if you did understand that, it still proves that you can't have a government, at least one that is justified. If something is based on opinion, it cannot be objectively justified. Personal reasons are very different from objective reasons. If the basis of whether government ought exist rest upon personal reasons rather than morally objective reasoning, then my main point still stands. The government is unjustifiable. It also means that if you support government, you support the use of violence without justification.

Yeah, you still don't understand my point of view. Perhaps you really have no experience with utilitarianism? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utilitarianism
I have enough experience to know and to prove that it's not an objective ethical system, thereby invalidating any supposedly objective conclusions resulting from it. My opinion on what is moral can differ with another utilitarians opinion, and they would both, still, be valid moral arguments under utilitarianism if our opinions on what is most beneficial for society or humankind (or whatever the personal scope is that we're using to evaluate the consequences).

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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby snapshot182 » Thu May 13, 2010 6:59 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:
snapshot182 wrote:I can guarantee you, that's[Violence] not how you or anyone you know functions.


I do not agree. I go to a store and buy a good. If the good is fradulant, or I am ripped off, I seek legal action, if they perp doesn't pay the damages or make good, he is threatened with jail, if he does not submit, he is threatened with violence, if he still does not submit, he experiences violence.

Many of our daily interactions are based on the premise that if one of the parties doesn't fulfill their part of some legal or social obligation, the ultimate result is violence. We are probably all "3 refusals to comply" away from a violent end. (See Ruby Ridge)

The example is false because you've already introduced force and fraud into your scenario. Of course it's OK to defend yourself against force or fraud. The question is whether you use force or fraud in your every day life, which you don't. Of course you can defend yourself, but that's because it's wrong to use force or fraud. If you don't initiate force or fraud, you have nothing to worry about. There is no threat but from the person who initiates it.

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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby snapshot182 » Thu May 13, 2010 7:18 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:I personally side with you on that disagreement due to my firm belief that in a society of free market armies for hire, eventually one of them will take over and start back at square one with a dictatorship. If the ultimate motivation is profit, nothing makes profit like a dictatorship.

It only makes profit for the dictator and few other people.

In order to build an army, you have to have the resources in order to build it. So you have to have the means by which to acquire those resources. In market anarchy, no one is going to willingly give someone that ability without assurance that the resources won't be used against them. This can be done in numerous creative ways.

In a market scenario, you have thousands or millions or billions of people looking out for their self-interest. Therefore, if they want to maintain their freedom, they will be very wary of people who say they can offer them protection. A person with a private army is therefore a lot less likely to be successful than a company that can get the same job done for less money, with less man power, and consuming less resources, since it will be cheaper. The company without the private army might also say that anyone dealing with the private army is not allowed to transact with non-private army customers.

There's no reason for me to continue. There's just a thousand ways to prevent scenarios like private armies creating a dictatorship. A main one being, in a voluntary anarchic society, people will have given up on the idea that we need leaders anyway, or that population will be reduced to the point they can be ostracized from a stronger society.

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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Indon » Thu May 13, 2010 7:47 pm UTC

Hmm, privatized legislation?

So, basically, powerful individuals and companies barter for the passage of favorable laws that can get them personal advantage or profit over their peers or competitors?

I don't see how we don't already have that, and I should think it ultimately leads to a very powerful government as it strongly incentivizes the corporations making the laws to aggressively expand government power. That's a problem all government types face, but one that anarchocapitalism is going to fall for pretty much by default by virtue of having no way to stop the phenomenon.

Also, why are we calling it "market anarchy"? Last I checked, this was called anarchocapitalism.

Vox Imperatoris wrote:I'm not really following you here. The U.S. government currently owns an enormous amount of land, but there's no reason it has to. Certainly governments aren't considered to own everything in their jurisdiction. In a voluntary society, there would be no "public land" (the existence of a commons is precisely what causes the tragedy of the commons). Needless to say, it would not have the power of eminent domain. Now, as for the buildings like courthouses and legislatures, there's no reason the government couldn't just buy those with its voluntarily paid funds (alternatively, some people argue that the government should only lease, not own, real estate, which has some merit).

In your ideal society, who owns the land a military base is on?

Do you approve of the leverage such ownership would grant the owner over the force providers?
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Ixtellor » Thu May 13, 2010 8:00 pm UTC

snapshot182 wrote:In order to build an army, you have to have the resources in order to build it.


1) You start off as a quality, affordable protection service with good leadership skills. (Someone will fit that mold). Your motivation - Profit.

2) Then as word spread you do good work at a good price, you get more business. (See Walmart) And your organization grows in size.

3) You continue to provide a valued service at a good price, because competition requires it.

4) Then economies of scale kicks in, and you find the larger you get the cheaper you can offer your product/service.

5) As size grows, the potential to engage in monopolistic powers increases - at first used only against competitors to gain market share, all the while still being good to your customers.

6) When your size hits X, you realize its more profitable to just take over, with your massive private army to act as the means. Can use the motivation to profit, as a powerful tool to gain support/cooperation. (See HISTORY of the WORLD

snapshot182 wrote:A main one being, in a voluntary anarchic society, people will have given up on the idea that we need leaders anyway,
)

Thats absurd. The market will reward good skill sets. Leadership is a skillset that will be highly sought after. (See CEO)

snapshot182 wrote:or that population will be reduced to the point they can be ostracized from a stronger society.
.


There is no big economic incentive to deal with something that doesn't impact you directly.
So people far away from the first rise of a dictator will not have the motivation to deal with it.

I forsee all anarchies devolving into a series of small fiefdoms later to be conquered by the most productive/best one. (See History of England)
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Vox Imperatoris » Thu May 13, 2010 9:37 pm UTC

Indon wrote:
Vox Imperatoris wrote:I'm not really following you here. The U.S. government currently owns an enormous amount of land, but there's no reason it has to. Certainly governments aren't considered to own everything in their jurisdiction. In a voluntary society, there would be no "public land" (the existence of a commons is precisely what causes the tragedy of the commons). Needless to say, it would not have the power of eminent domain. Now, as for the buildings like courthouses and legislatures, there's no reason the government couldn't just buy those with its voluntarily paid funds (alternatively, some people argue that the government should only lease, not own, real estate, which has some merit).

In your ideal society, who owns the land a military base is on?

Do you approve of the leverage such ownership would grant the owner over the force providers?


Sure, it would give that landowner a small amount of leverage over the government, enough to ensure that he gets acceptable payment in return for the use of his land. However, if the military were kicked off the base or charged an unreasonable price, they could almost certainly find someone else willing to lend them use of land. And if not, if they are so reviled as to be completely unable to find any takers, then that particular government probably deserves to fall.

But, as I said, I'm not totally sure of the relative merits of government owning land vs. leasing land. I'm not even sure how real estate property rights should be defined. The full Objectivist philosophy of law has yet to be written.
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby snapshot182 » Thu May 13, 2010 9:51 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:
snapshot182 wrote:In order to build an army, you have to have the resources in order to build it.


1) You start off as a quality, affordable protection service with good leadership skills. (Someone will fit that mold). Your motivation - Profit.

2) Then as word spread you do good work at a good price, you get more business. (See Walmart) And your organization grows in size.

3) You continue to provide a valued service at a good price, because competition requires it.

4) Then economies of scale kicks in, and you find the larger you get the cheaper you can offer your product/service.

5) As size grows, the potential to engage in monopolistic powers increases - at first used only against competitors to gain market share, all the while still being good to your customers.

6) When your size hits X, you realize its more profitable to just take over, with your massive private army to act as the means. Can use the motivation to profit, as a powerful tool to gain support/cooperation. (See HISTORY of the WORLD
Then maintain it. How? Raping and pillaging? Of course not. You can't get that kind of irrational activity out of people who have denounced nationalism for the sake anarchy. It's just barbaric. You need a way to support and maintain an army, and the only way you can do that is through a system of taxation, whereby the population is forcibly required to pay for the army. A standing army would last all of a few weeks, probably less, since you have to pay the mercenaries. And once everyone stops paying because you've let everyone know you're no longer in the business of voluntary transactions, you now have only as much money as you can pillage. Since this is the future and all accounts are electronic, and people would have foreseen a takeover of this magnitude (because trust me, you're not the first and you won't be the last to come up with this scenario), a mechanism will already be in place that will freeze the funds of all those in the military, so the only way they can interact with society would be to give up their military excursion.

It wouldn't be worth it. You'd lose more than you'd gain. You wouldn't gain control of society. Your troops would be killed by the armed civilians. Your troops would likely leave you if you decided to initiate force. You likely wouldn't grow to that size any way for the sole reason that no one wants you to grow to that size--so there would be intermediaries watching your growth and letting the public and other companies know about your capabilities and assets. You'd have incentive to avoid detection, but that would only lead to increased paranoia in the public, which would drive customers away.

In a market setting, people want specific services and they want to be guaranteed them. If you're some billionaire, would you really be willing to give it up in order to try to take over the world when failure is just as likely and the loss of millions of your own dollars, probably your entire life's work eminent? No, you're coming up with a scenario that would never happen, that you only think would occur because of your own anxieties about a free society, and even still, your scenario isn't justification for the initiation of violence against a population in order to start or maintain a government. You're just pushing scare stories that are essentially trying to prove something by saying, "What if?" I could go back and forth with you all day, giving you reasons why you're wrong, and you could likely come back with some good stuff too. It doesn't change the fact that the initiation of violence is required for there to be a government, making the existence of government wholly unjustified except in the minds of those whom prefer it.

snapshot182 wrote:A main one being, in a voluntary anarchic society, people will have given up on the idea that we need leaders anyway,
)

Thats absurd. The market will reward good skill sets. Leadership is a skillset that will be highly sought after. (See CEO)
There's a reason there's no such thing as a free market politician. We don't need political leaders because we don't need politics. A political leader is the type of leader I was talking about. The world would be better off without Obama and every other politician who bribes the public with their own purse in order to gain power.

snapshot182 wrote:or that population will be reduced to the point they can be ostracized from a stronger society.
.


There is no big economic incentive to deal with something that doesn't impact you directly.
So people far away from the first rise of a dictator will not have the motivation to deal with it.
You're right. I had no incentive to buy a cell phone when they first came out, and neither did millions of other people. But there are rich people who value their assets that start the economic activity which eventually trickles down.

I don't need to come up with a fantastic business plan for my new cell phone, and neither does 99.9999 percent of the population. That doesn't mean there won't be great cell phones at great prices--the products of rich people's labor trickles down.

I forsee all anarchies devolving into a series of small fiefdoms later to be conquered by the most productive/best one. (See History of England)

You're neglecting the present and future social evolution of human beings.

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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Charlie! » Thu May 13, 2010 11:28 pm UTC

snapshot182 wrote:
Charlie! wrote:Bah, I note you didn't address the problem of externalities (basically the tragedy of the commons, which is also basically the prisoner's dilemma).

Oh well.

It seems like you're having trouble grokking reasoning from incomplete information. Reasoning from incomplete isn't an opinion any more than deciding whether an act violates someone's freedom is an opinion. Additionally, the choice itself doesn't change moral value as we learn more - it's unreasonable (literally) to assign negative moral value to doing the best you can with the information at hand.


I ignore externalities because arguing for beneficial externalities ignores whether you ought do something in the first place.
This isn't really a good thing to ignore. It's kind of important. It demonstrates that reasoning with moral absolutes leads to conclusions that common sense would reject. I'll try yet another approach:

Assumption 1: People ought not to do anything that violates the rights of others.
Fact 1: Burning fuel causes air pollution, which harms others, thus violating their rights.
Conclusion: People ought not to burn fuel of any sort.


Maybe an example would help? If it's moral to prescribe a medicine at one point, but then we learn that the medicine is dangerous, it's no longer moral to prescribe the medicine (ooh, by the way, there's another good example of a failure point of reasoning with absolutes - medical side effects).

You should not knowingly harm someone. This is why we don't (or shouldn't) hold toddlers accountable for their action. But that's where it ends. If you shouldn't knowingly harm someone, then it's inconsistent moral reasoning to say that we ought harm someone for some greater good. Harming people is either wrong or it isn't. If there's no way to say it's wrong in the first place, then there's no way to say someone shouldn't have acted. And since every situation is different, there's no objective way to say, "We know the consequences. You shouldn't do this." Again, it makes all things permissible, logically speaking. And even when dealing with emotions and opinion, which can lead you in the right direction in some cases, differing opinions are equally valid because they are only based upon people's preferences. Not to mention, the beneficial aspects of a given action are left up to opinion as well. This means it all comes back to: who has the right to decide whether there should be a government? Who has the right to initiate violence or to choose when it's OK and when it isn't. If you universalize your answers, everyone has the same right and no one does. If you make special exceptions, you're using opinion to decide who can and who can't decide who has the right to initiate violence.

Utilitarianism is not an objective ethical system. That's my main criticism of it. What you can see me doing in my critique is using an objective methodology for determining the validity of utilitarian moral arguments. If the argument cannot be traced back to first principles, but instead is traced back to mere opinion, then it is not an objective ethical argument. All utilitarian arguments are necessarily subjective as they all rely on personal definitions for what the greatest good means.
No, what I can see you doing in your critique is repeating claims without any real justification for them.

It's possible that you're confusing the application of utility with the theoretical basis. It would be like me railing against the idea of freedom because there's no perfect judge to tell when freedom has been violated, so implementation in the real world will always be imperfect.

The basis of utilitarianism is that all people have a utility function (an objective description of what they really want) that shows through in their actions, and these can just be added together to give the utility function of any group of people. It also attaches moral value to maximizing utility.

However, if you did understand that, it still proves that you can't have a government, at least one that is justified. If something is based on opinion, it cannot be objectively justified. Personal reasons are very different from objective reasons. If the basis of whether government ought exist rest upon personal reasons rather than morally objective reasoning, then my main point still stands. The government is unjustifiable. It also means that if you support government, you support the use of violence without justification.

Yeah, you still don't understand my point of view. Perhaps you really have no experience with utilitarianism? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utilitarianism
I have enough experience to know and to prove that it's not an objective ethical system, thereby invalidating any supposedly objective conclusions resulting from it. My opinion on what is moral can differ with another utilitarians opinion, and they would both, still, be valid moral arguments under utilitarianism if our opinions on what is most beneficial for society or humankind (or whatever the personal scope is that we're using to evaluate the consequences).
Now you're back to Vox Imperatrix's argument. Just because two people disagree about something doesn't mean there's no objective truth. It is entirely possible for someone to be wrong, you know; it looks like you still don't understand. If I say the sky is blue and you say the sky is yellow, they're both valid arguments based on our (fallible) senses. But that doesn't mean the sky is yellow, or that the color of the sky is just an opinion - when reasoning from incomplete information, a valid argument can be wrong.
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Vox Imperatoris » Fri May 14, 2010 1:42 am UTC

Charlie! wrote:Now you're back to Vox Imperatrix's argument. Just because two people disagree about something doesn't mean there's no objective truth. It is entirely possible for someone to be wrong, you know; it looks like you still don't understand. If I say the sky is blue and you say the sky is yellow, they're both valid arguments based on our (fallible) senses. But that doesn't mean the sky is yellow, or that the color of the sky is just an opinion - when reasoning from incomplete information, a valid argument can be wrong.


Wait, are you saying I don't accept the concept of an objective truth? :lol:

Also, our senses are not fallible: they vary in the quantity and quality (i.e. kind, not "goodness") of the information they give us, but all of it is valid. It must be, because sensation is the interaction between objects in reality (light waves for sight) and our sense organs. A vision which is not of reality is not a sensation, but a hallucination or a dream, wherein our consciousness turns in on itself and projects things it has already become aware of through perception. If I say the sky is blue and you say it is yellow, our sensations are both valid because they represent one type of light wave's interaction with each of our sense faculties. The fact that one of us says "yellow" and the other "blue" makes no more difference when talking about that band of radiation than does one of us saying "blue" and the other "caerulus": we mean the same thing in reality (it would be quite unlikely for our senses to invert like this, though). Now, if you were somehow yellow-blue colorblind and unable to distinguish the two at all, your senses would give you less information than me, but what they gave you would not be false; you can use what you do have to gain the full conceptual knowledge anyone else has. Just like someone who does not know the difference between magenta and purple, you would simply have to use something other than color to distinguish objects that reflect yellow and blue light. It would, of course, still be possible for you to learn that the sun emits light of one spectral quality and the sky another, just like we can learn that it also emits infrared light that no one can see. To give another example, if we could see on the level of molecules, we would have no need for Atomic Theory because it would be as clear as anything we perceive, but the fact that we don't does not mean our senses deceive us.

Of course a valid, i.e. logically consistent, argument can be wrong. There's nothing wrong with the idea of a unicorn, except that there are none. When did I ever dispute that?
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Indon » Fri May 14, 2010 5:50 pm UTC

Vox Imperatoris wrote:Sure, it would give that landowner a small amount of leverage over the government, enough to ensure that he gets acceptable payment in return for the use of his land. However, if the military were kicked off the base or charged an unreasonable price, they could almost certainly find someone else willing to lend them use of land. And if not, if they are so reviled as to be completely unable to find any takers, then that particular government probably deserves to fall.

But, as I said, I'm not totally sure of the relative merits of government owning land vs. leasing land. I'm not even sure how real estate property rights should be defined. The full Objectivist philosophy of law has yet to be written.


The owner's ability to utilize leverage for wealth isn't of concern, here. What is of concern is the ability of the owner to utilize leverage for service.

With any other industry leveraging for service isn't necessarily bad. But leveraging for service in the force industry seems to present a game-breaker for such a system.

Edit:
snapshot182 wrote:You're right. I had no incentive to buy a cell phone when they first came out, and neither did millions of other people. But there are rich people who value their assets that start the economic activity which eventually trickles down.

I don't need to come up with a fantastic business plan for my new cell phone, and neither does 99.9999 percent of the population. That doesn't mean there won't be great cell phones at great prices--the products of rich people's labor trickles down.


Since when are most engineers rich people?
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Vox Imperatoris » Fri May 14, 2010 7:48 pm UTC

Indon wrote:
Vox Imperatoris wrote:Sure, it would give that landowner a small amount of leverage over the government, enough to ensure that he gets acceptable payment in return for the use of his land. However, if the military were kicked off the base or charged an unreasonable price, they could almost certainly find someone else willing to lend them use of land. And if not, if they are so reviled as to be completely unable to find any takers, then that particular government probably deserves to fall.

But, as I said, I'm not totally sure of the relative merits of government owning land vs. leasing land. I'm not even sure how real estate property rights should be defined. The full Objectivist philosophy of law has yet to be written.


The owner's ability to utilize leverage for wealth isn't of concern, here. What is of concern is the ability of the owner to utilize leverage for service.

With any other industry leveraging for service isn't necessarily bad. But leveraging for service in the force industry seems to present a game-breaker for such a system.


What are you implying? That the military is going to invade Mexico because the guy who owns one military base tells them to? Or that they're going to start being his personal men-at-arms? Sure, if the guy controlled 70% of the government, that might be possible, but the idea is that no one person would have enough leverage to accomplish that.

Now, it would be a problem is there were public lands and resources that the government could lend him (Teapot Dome, anyone?) or favors that could be granted, but there would be neither of these things.
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Indon » Fri May 14, 2010 7:52 pm UTC

Vox Imperatoris wrote:What are you implying? That the military is going to invade Mexico because the guy who owns one military base tells them to? Or that they're going to start being his personal men-at-arms? Sure, if the guy controlled 70% of the government, that might be possible, but the idea is that no one person would have enough leverage to accomplish that.

Someone doesn't need the entire army at their command. Just the ability to obtain quid pro quo use of force in exchange for, for instance, reducing rent.

He doesn't need to invade Mexico - just maybe a business competitor, or hell, a guy he doesn't like.

Vox Imperatoris wrote:Now, it would be a problem is there were public lands and resources that the government could lend him (Teapot Dome, anyone?) or favors that could be granted, but there would be neither of these things.


Military resources, in addition to obviously being useful for use of force, are also frequently useful in the civilian world.

Exclusive access to military technology, for instance.
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Charlie! » Fri May 14, 2010 7:55 pm UTC

Vox Imperatoris wrote:
Charlie! wrote:Now you're back to Vox Imperatrix's argument. Just because two people disagree about something doesn't mean there's no objective truth. It is entirely possible for someone to be wrong, you know; it looks like you still don't understand. If I say the sky is blue and you say the sky is yellow, they're both valid arguments based on our (fallible) senses. But that doesn't mean the sky is yellow, or that the color of the sky is just an opinion - when reasoning from incomplete information, a valid argument can be wrong.

Wait, are you saying I don't accept the concept of an objective truth? :lol:
I'm saying you proved that utilitarianism wasn't objective by first assuming that it wasn't objective, making the argument circular and applicable to all sorts of fun stuff, like the sky.

Also, our senses are not fallible [...] A vision which is not of reality is not a sensation, but a hallucination or a dream.
Fine, we can explicitly put the fallibility in the brain, rather than in the generic "senses." *shrug*
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Vox Imperatoris » Fri May 14, 2010 8:52 pm UTC

Indon wrote:
Vox Imperatoris wrote:What are you implying? That the military is going to invade Mexico because the guy who owns one military base tells them to? Or that they're going to start being his personal men-at-arms? Sure, if the guy controlled 70% of the government, that might be possible, but the idea is that no one person would have enough leverage to accomplish that.

Someone doesn't need the entire army at their command. Just the ability to obtain quid pro quo use of force in exchange for, for instance, reducing rent.

He doesn't need to invade Mexico - just maybe a business competitor, or hell, a guy he doesn't like.

Vox Imperatoris wrote:Now, it would be a problem is there were public lands and resources that the government could lend him (Teapot Dome, anyone?) or favors that could be granted, but there would be neither of these things.


Military resources, in addition to obviously being useful for use of force, are also frequently useful in the civilian world.

Exclusive access to military technology, for instance.


You're assuming that there is no national government checking local military/police bases from turning into feudal counties. On that basis do you do that? Where is Congress in all this? Where is the President? Their specific interest is to stop this kind of thing, or else their authority collapses. Our local politicians are often corrupt, but we don't see the Seattle police turning into Bill Gates's personal army (and you certainly wouldn't argue that Gates doesn't have enough "leverage" via his wealth to theoretically bribe all the police and National Guard leaders in the state of Washington, would you?) because we have structural limitations in place that allow politicians to check each other's power. Besides, you're ignoring the influence of civil society, which is not a controversial concept in political science. The main reason we don't see this kind of thing happening is that no one would stand for it: Gates wouldn't give the bribes, the officials wouldn't take them, and the people would fight back if they did. The actual structural limitations are mostly a formality. That's why we can't just transplant American democracy to Afghanistan and why a minimal state couldn't be brought in tomorrow: civil society would not support it.

Charlie! wrote:I'm saying you proved that utilitarianism wasn't objective by first assuming that it wasn't objective, making the argument circular and applicable to all sorts of fun stuff, like the sky.


I did not assume it wasn't objective. It's not objective because the standard which it bases itself on, "the greatest good for the greatest number", is subjective because it refers to no observable quality that people can agree on. A valid theory of ethics is based on something like life, which is an observable quality that people can agree on. The problem with pragmatism in general is that it says we should do what "works" before we clearly define "works for what?" You can say that the purpose of a political system is to provide the greatest good for the greatest number, given that you have a clear idea of what the good advances, but that, in itself, is no standard at all.
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Charlie! » Sat May 15, 2010 1:28 pm UTC

Vox Imperatoris wrote:
Charlie! wrote:I'm saying you proved that utilitarianism wasn't objective by first assuming that it wasn't objective, making the argument circular and applicable to all sorts of fun stuff, like the sky.


I did not assume it wasn't objective. It's not objective because the standard which it bases itself on, "the greatest good for the greatest number", is subjective because it refers to no observable quality that people can agree on. A valid theory of ethics is based on something like life, which is an observable quality that people can agree on. The problem with pragmatism in general is that it says we should do what "works" before we clearly define "works for what?" You can say that the purpose of a political system is to provide the greatest good for the greatest number, given that you have a clear idea of what the good advances, but that, in itself, is no standard at all.

Hm, perhaps it should be classified as a strawman argument then - you're arguing against something that is not quite utilitarianism. But it's very close to circularity, because you can see I could apply the same argument to the color of the sky with very little modification, and that requires a circular argument.

Utility is not quite unmeasurable, though it is only measurable one comparison at a time, through what people do. I agree that it would be unreasonable to base a system off of something that had no interaction with the world at all. But just because something is hard to measure doesn't make it the wrong thing to think about. In fact, it looks like you're making a pragmatic argument against pragmatism, which is fun.

"The problem with non-pragmatism is that it says we should use a moral system that "works" before we clearly define "works for what?"" :D
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Vaniver » Sat May 15, 2010 11:29 pm UTC

Charlie! wrote:Utility is not quite unmeasurable, though it is only measurable one comparison at a time, through what people do. I agree that it would be unreasonable to base a system off of something that had no interaction with the world at all. But just because something is hard to measure doesn't make it the wrong thing to think about. In fact, it looks like you're making a pragmatic argument against pragmatism, which is fun.
That is necessary but insufficient. Utility must be able to be aggregated for utilitarianism to give you an actual number to compare, and there are significant objections to that. My favorite example is the Utility Monster.
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Charlie! » Sun May 16, 2010 2:22 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:
Charlie! wrote:Utility is not quite unmeasurable, though it is only measurable one comparison at a time, through what people do. I agree that it would be unreasonable to base a system off of something that had no interaction with the world at all. But just because something is hard to measure doesn't make it the wrong thing to think about. In fact, it looks like you're making a pragmatic argument against pragmatism, which is fun.
That is necessary but insufficient. Utility must be able to be aggregated for utilitarianism to give you an actual number to compare, and there are significant objections to that. My favorite example is the Utility Monster.

Yeah, it's a big problem. A good starting point is just to weight everyone equally, because there are a few good reasons to do it that way (I'm sure snapshot would like the universality, for instance) and even fewer reasons not to. I don't know, how do you think people should be weighted? (EDIT: no cheating and saying you would never weight people. You have to give it a fair go)

In regards to the utility monster, I think the best argument (aside from the obvious problem of weighting people, which you already brought up) is that means as well as ends have moral value, and that the negative utility of consuming the universe would impose an external diminishing return an a monster even if it had no internal diminishing returns. Interestingly, that seems to suggest an intuitive "theory of relativity" for utility: the existence of an upper limit on how much stuff there is implies that you can't just blow through the limit unimpeded. It also might rule out a utility monster entirely (by putting a limit on utility and therefore not allowing something to simply be defined to always have larger utility), but that would largely be a matter of what assumptions you made.

I feel like I should mention here that utility doesn't actually exist, because people are irrational. It's just fun to think about, and I like playing devil's advocate.
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Ixtellor » Mon May 17, 2010 1:18 pm UTC

snapshot182 wrote:There's a reason there's no such thing as a free market politician


Thats totally inaccurate. There are many corporate jobs, whose occupants got there by being political and giving the impression they are valuable and 'improve the situation of the company'.

snapshot182 wrote:You need a way to support and maintain an army, and the only way you can do that is through a system of taxation, whereby the population is forcibly required to pay for the army.


Correct. Its amazing how quickly people are willing to pay taxes when faced with death. (See History of Civilization)

snapshot182 wrote:Since this is the future and all accounts are electronic, and people would have foreseen a takeover of this magnitude (because trust me, you're not the first and you won't be the last to come up with this scenario), a mechanism will already be in place that will freeze the funds of all those in the military, so the only way they can interact with society would be to give up their military excursion.


When you have guns, you don't need money.
Tangible assets are more valuble than electronic money in an anarchy society.
Bartering is an easy away around the lack of electronic funds.

Oh, there is a mechanism to prevent monopolies. Its called the government and they limit the freedom of corporations through aggression to prevent them.

Other than that, you scenario relies on some magic solution from the future. But thousands of years of human history has taught us exactly what to expect when people have private armies.
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Indon » Mon May 17, 2010 1:40 pm UTC

Vox Imperatoris wrote:You're assuming that there is no national government checking local military/police bases from turning into feudal counties. On that basis do you do that? Where is Congress in all this? Where is the President? Their specific interest is to stop this kind of thing, or else their authority collapses.

That just raises the bar for corruption, assuming the system functions exactly as designed.

Considering that someone in this system is going to own the White House, legislative buildings, presidential memorials, etc, that still leaves you with some people capable of pulling strings at that level.

And lower-level corruption doesn't break down authority on high levels - did the Abu Ghraib scandal break down the authority of the US Army?

It seems to me that the ethical problem of conflict of interest remains between a government and people who would own that government's real assets, and the system as you describe it doesn't seem to have a way to deal with that.
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby snapshot182 » Mon May 17, 2010 8:26 pm UTC

When you have guns, you don't need money.
And when you have guns, you don't need an argument. Drop the guns, and get an actual argument.

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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Ixtellor » Mon May 17, 2010 8:47 pm UTC

snapshot182 wrote:
When you have guns, you don't need money.
And when you have guns, you don't need an argument. Drop the guns, and get an actual argument.


You answered it for me.

People with guns makes the rules. (See Human society, ALL of History)

This isn't going to magically change in an AnCap society, no matter how much you wish it away.
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Vaniver » Tue May 18, 2010 6:13 pm UTC

Charlie! wrote:I don't know, how do you think people should be weighted? (EDIT: no cheating and saying you would never weight people. You have to give it a fair go)
How is maintaining my previous position cheating? I don't think you can adequately aggregate utility between people.
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Charlie! » Wed May 19, 2010 1:22 am UTC

Because it's an interesting problem and it's boring to resolve a problem by claiming it's impossible to even start.

Would you agree that weighting people equally is a better way to do things than giving consideration only to the needs of people born on the 29th of February? Well then, we have a starting point. Are you familiar with Zorn's lemma?

Besides, I suspect that your moral system is not 100.0% libertarian, so you probably have use for a method of weighting people as well. By that I mean that if you saw someone hanging onto a cliff, you would say it was the "right thing" to help them and the "wrong thing" to let them die. So if you saw two people hanging onto a cliff and the one you helped first would have the highest chance of survival, who would you help first?

Or even if you were a perfect libertarian, you may hold the view that those who have violated the rights of others do not deserve full protection of their rights, which weighting people. And of course the principle of universality that snapshot likes is equivalent to weighting people equally.

So generally it's an interesting thing to think about rather than something to be dismissed with "clearly impossible."
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Vaniver » Wed May 19, 2010 2:34 am UTC

Charlie! wrote:Would you agree that weighting people equally is a better way to do things than giving consideration only to the needs of people born on the 29th of February?
What do you mean by weighting people? People aren't numbers that you can multiply and add together. What is .5*Bob+.5*Sue?

Charlie! wrote:By that I mean that if you saw someone hanging onto a cliff, you would say it was the "right thing" to help them and the "wrong thing" to let them die. So if you saw two people hanging onto a cliff and the one you helped first would have the highest chance of survival, who would you help first?
"Who do you care more about keeping alive?" is a very different problem from "how do you make happiness tradeoffs between people?". You have one ticket to see a show which both you, your spouse, and your mother desire to see. How do you decide who goes to the show?

Now, extend that problem to everyone alive for everything.
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby nitePhyyre » Wed May 19, 2010 8:57 am UTC

Movie A will net me 30 points of happiness, my wife 5 and my mom zero.
Movie B will net me 7, my wife 8, my mom 7.
Movie C will net me -5, my wife 25 and my mom 25.

A = 35
B = 22
C = 45
We are going to movie C. Now this can lead to a gladiator scenario. One way to handle that though is by taking into account projected future happiness points vs fleeting happiness.

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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Vaniver » Wed May 19, 2010 11:59 am UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:How did I do?
Well, you answered a different question and assumed you already had an answer to the hard part of the question. That's like having your problem-solving algorithm be "1. Have the answer. 2. Write down the answer."

How would the three of you come up with those numbers? Should we be worried that your happiness range is wider than theirs (35 vs. 20 vs. 25)?
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Indon » Wed May 19, 2010 3:12 pm UTC

Okay, here's an amusing thought on that thread:

Say human beings gain the ability to self-engineer themselves. What's the utility of redesigning our own utility metrics to always produce higher outcomes (say, a genetic predisposition to always be happy)?

Personally, I generally get my people in bulk, but still.
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Zamfir » Wed May 19, 2010 4:27 pm UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:Movie A will net me 30 points of happiness, my wife 5 and my mom zero.
Movie B will net me 7, my wife 8, my mom 7.
Movie C will net me -5, my wife 25 and my mom 25.

A = 35
B = 22
C = 45
We are going to movie C. Now this can lead to a gladiator scenario. One way to handle that though is by taking into account projected future happiness points vs fleeting happiness.

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As Vanver above points out, the hard question is how to determine such numbers. For the example you give, this is presumably possiblepossible: you, your wife and your mother presumably wish each other well and are not trying to push through your own choice at other's expense, so you have no reason to lie (even to yourself). You know each other well, so you can communicate your preferences using shared experiences: if you point out for example that a movie is based on a book by your favourite author, the others will know how much that means to you. if you say 'that movie reminds me of that other movie', people will know what you mean.So the three of you can probably come to some agreement on what to see.

On the other hand, just me and my partner alone sometimes have trouble finding out what we would both like to watch, because it can be hard to communicate exactly how much 'I don't really dislike watching Jane Austen movies but wouldn't want to see too much of them in a given period of time' . A friend of mine works for an electonics company, and her main job is trying out formats to help group choose a movie. It's apparently a cutting-edge R&D topic within the firm. For groups that are larger than 2 or 3, it's easy to screw up and to end up with a movie no one is really happy to see at all, just through complicated group dynamics.

Now imagine the hard questions of actual politics, with millions of involved people, who do only care for each other in a vague and distant sense and sometimes not at all, where people do have every reason and opportunity to play games, hide their intentions, lie about their preferences, make coalitions, put pressure on others, make deals and god knows what.

That's where you really need to distil utility numbers from, and that's not going to happen in any sort of objectively correct way.

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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Vaniver » Thu May 20, 2010 2:19 am UTC

Indon wrote:Okay, here's an amusing thought on that thread:

Say human beings gain the ability to self-engineer themselves. What's the utility of redesigning our own utility metrics to always produce higher outcomes (say, a genetic predisposition to always be happy)?

Personally, I generally get my people in bulk, but still.
I suspect that you're better off being cheery than content, and content than depressed- but even then there are many benefits to mild anxiety and moderate stress. Another interesting question besides adjusting set points is adjusting ranges- I personally am rather hard to budge up or down from content, while some people vary wildly. It seems like a smaller range might be preferable- if you're almost always cheery, and don't get that much cheerier, then you don't have to put much effort into maintaining your mood. But if you're generally worried or anxious, then the ability to shoot up to content or cheerful is probably necessary for long-term health.

For decision-making, your set point doesn't matter- you can see that the conclusion of nitePhyyre's example would be the same if he added 1000 to his wife's utility in all situations. But ranges are critical- do you weight his mother the same as him, so she matters a bit more than half as much as he does, or do you normalize them so that everyone matters equally? Generally, the amount people care about an issue is relevant information that should be part of the computation, but how do you put the limit on it? There's a pretty strong incentive to overreport how much you care about things.

Note that this is what markets do: they use a unified currency across almost everything so that people can signal how much they care about any issue, in units of all other issues, and an individual's ability to care about any particular issue is constrained by their production / savings and how much they care about other issues.
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Indon » Thu May 20, 2010 12:45 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:I suspect that you're better off being cheery than content, and content than depressed- but even then there are many benefits to mild anxiety and moderate stress. Another interesting question besides adjusting set points is adjusting ranges- I personally am rather hard to budge up or down from content, while some people vary wildly. It seems like a smaller range might be preferable- if you're almost always cheery, and don't get that much cheerier, then you don't have to put much effort into maintaining your mood. But if you're generally worried or anxious, then the ability to shoot up to content or cheerful is probably necessary for long-term health.

I was questioning the use of happiness as a utility metric in the first place, really.

I think a good test for if you have a good utility metric is that, if you can freely adjust the source of the metric, you win. In this case, since our utility metric is one over civilization, free control of it means you should win at civilization.

Happiness as a utility metric means that we can just set everyone's baseline to max and variance to zero, and now we don't need to do anything else - happiness utility has been solved. If that's actually what we envision as the end of civilization, then it's a good utility metric. If it's not what we envision, then it's probably not.

Thus, I would go with something more power-oriented - what are the resources that your civilization harnesses? That's the utility metric I would use, because by that test, the end of civilization, free control over the amount of resources we control, makes us god-people, capable of achieving anything, transcending any boundary, etc (thus, 'in bulk', heh). With sufficient power, we can achieve the goals of any and all of our secondary metrics such as happiness.

Vaniver wrote:Note that this is what markets do: they use a unified currency across almost everything so that people can signal how much they care about any issue, in units of all other issues, and an individual's ability to care about any particular issue is constrained by their production / savings and how much they care about other issues.

But markets still rely on a happiness utility metric - they just use tools to facilitate measurement (and not perfect tools, either, just ones that work a bit better than not having any). The markets represent a set of secondary metrics designed to allow the expression of the primary metric of happiness.

But I don't think happiness is an appropriate primary metric - it's just a secondary metric that in turn allows the expression of a leverage/energy metric (is there really even a proper word for that?), and it's as flawed in that as money is in expressing happiness.
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Zamfir » Thu May 20, 2010 5:16 pm UTC

Indon wrote:But I don't think happiness is an appropriate primary metric - it's just a secondary metric that in turn allows the expression of a leverage/energy metric (is there really even a proper word for that?),


I am not sure what you are trying to say, but good old 'power' seems to be close to 'leverage/energy'

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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Indon » Thu May 20, 2010 5:41 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:I am not sure what you are trying to say, but good old 'power' seems to be close to 'leverage/energy'


I'd considered that, but I'm thinking of more than just raw power - more the ability to utilize available resources in order to accomplish a very wide range of potential goals. The greater the range of goals that can be accomplished using the available resources, the higher this metric scores.
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Zamfir
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Zamfir » Thu May 20, 2010 6:59 pm UTC

Indon wrote:
Zamfir wrote:I am not sure what you are trying to say, but good old 'power' seems to be close to 'leverage/energy'


I'd considered that, but I'm thinking of more than just raw power - more the ability to utilize available resources in order to accomplish a very wide range of potential goals. The greater the range of goals that can be accomplished using the available resources, the higher this metric scores.

I'd say that is a very accurate definition of power?

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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Indon » Thu May 20, 2010 7:19 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:I'd say that is a very accurate definition of power?


I view power more as the resource to be used in and of itself - I guess a more physics-based conceptualization.

"Work", heh.
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Zamfir
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Zamfir » Thu May 20, 2010 7:45 pm UTC

Indon wrote:
Zamfir wrote:I'd say that is a very accurate definition of power?


I view power more as the resource to be used in and of itself - I guess a more physics-based conceptualization.

"Work", heh.

I think I see the problem. In Dutch, "energy per time period" is a different word, so "power" as in "ability to shape or control the world to your wishes" has for me no physics connotation.

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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Vaniver » Fri May 21, 2010 2:05 am UTC

Indon wrote:But markets still rely on a happiness utility metric - they just use tools to facilitate measurement (and not perfect tools, either, just ones that work a bit better than not having any). The markets represent a set of secondary metrics designed to allow the expression of the primary metric of happiness.

But I don't think happiness is an appropriate primary metric - it's just a secondary metric that in turn allows the expression of a leverage/energy metric (is there really even a proper word for that?), and it's as flawed in that as money is in expressing happiness.
Not entirely- someone who is unhappy but productive gets more resources, and thus more power, than someone who is happy but unproductive. I would argue that if you want to allow people to simultaneously pursue personal happiness and grander goals, markets are the way to go. If you just want to pursue one particular goal, then you can find better substitutes than markets for much of it- but getting everyone to agree on a goal is nontrivial and possibly impossible, as evidenced by the warring grander goals already present.
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snapshot182
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby snapshot182 » Fri May 21, 2010 5:43 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:
snapshot182 wrote:
When you have guns, you don't need money.
And when you have guns, you don't need an argument. Drop the guns, and get an actual argument.


You answered it for me.

People with guns makes the rules. (See Human society, ALL of History)

This isn't going to magically change in an AnCap society, no matter how much you wish it away.

Do you call having conversations and learning more about human psychology and history "magic"?

Do you consider trying to better yourself "magic"?

If you think everything that we are doing here is "magic" then you are engaging in "magic" too.

I never once suggested just overthrowing government and everything will be OK. I also never suggested anything "magical." I'm saying, logically, government is unjustified. Government is violence. If you support that, fine. But violence and threats of violence are not arguments. They don't make you right.

If you want to be logically correct and on a firm philosophical basis, agree with me. If you want to attempt to control things with violence--or even worse, bow to those who do, as though there was any dignity in that--be my guest. You haven't proved me wrong. You've only disheartened me by your own unwillingness to accept the truth.

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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby snapshot182 » Fri May 21, 2010 5:51 pm UTC

Charlie! wrote:Besides, I suspect that your moral system is not 100.0% libertarian, so you probably have use for a method of weighting people as well. By that I mean that if you saw someone hanging onto a cliff, you would say it was the "right thing" to help them and the "wrong thing" to let them die. So if you saw two people hanging onto a cliff and the one you helped first would have the highest chance of survival, who would you help first?
Morality depends on the opportunity of choice. Whether you help on person or the other, the morality of helping one person or the other is irrelevant.

Or even if you were a perfect libertarian, you may hold the view that those who have violated the rights of others do not deserve full protection of their rights, which weighting people. And of course the principle of universality that snapshot likes is equivalent to weighting people equally.
I don't weight people. Morality deals with arguments and the substance of those arguments. Opinion has nothing to do with arguments. Weighting who is a better person or a worse people has nothing to do with whether proposition A is valid and proposition B is invalid.

What I do is view an argument and see if it is logically consistent with the principles being assumed, applied, or accepted. That's how one can judge whether an argument is valid. It has to be universally consistent, in that it applied to all people in all places at all times, and it is logically consistent with the propositions required to make the argument.


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