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  1. #201

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Really? Then the free market is the ideal, and the only option...?

    Funny that it doesn't seem to have been the standard over the last 50,000 years. Things advance, things change, understanding changes.
    You know, your understanding of the universe may have changed, but the fundamental principles that govern complex systems have NOT changed.

  2. #202
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robespierre View Post
    You know, your understanding of the universe may have changed, but the fundamental principles that govern complex systems have NOT changed.
    A shocking concept, but you'll note that I'm asking why our understanding now is the pinnacle of achievement, and why continued social change, attitude change, technology change and so forth do not indicate improvements can be made.

    Principles are rooted in physics. Between them and the eventual dynamics they create are near-infinite amounts of interactions that lead to complex systems beyond our understanding. Arguing fundamental principles is pointless - they are so far removed from the dynamics they create as to hold no true meaning.

    The most common example is the marginal zero-cost for each additional electronic copy. Things do, indeed, change.

  3. #203
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Really? Then the free market is the ideal, and the only option...?
    There are other options, they're just worse.

    Funny that it doesn't seem to have been the standard over the last 50,000 years. Things advance, things change, understanding changes.
    What doesn't seem to be the standard? The free market or mankind's lack of the ability to manage itself?
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  4. #204
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    What doesn't seem to be the standard? The free market or mankind's lack of the ability to manage itself?
    Either or. We've managed to get here - we've managed to progress. The same principle applies to both - everything is transient, and we do continue to grow.

  5. #205

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    The most common example is the marginal zero-cost for each additional electronic copy. Things do, indeed, change.
    That is hardly an example of change. The words to a song have always had a marginal cost of zero to copy. If you walk into a concert, hear the lyrics, then sing the song on your own, or play it on your piano, whatever, you may then reproduce that work. This is why rational people do not consider ideas to be property. Something that is not scarce(meaning zero marginal cost to reproduce), can hardly be considered property.


    And regarding an understanding of complex systems and their proximate causes, you are misunderstanding something basic. I am not claiming to be able to predict the exact outcomes of specific cases. I am saying that there are basic axioms which we can grasp, which allow an analysis of the macro-conditions in an economy. We can state that the printing of paper money, all else being equal, always leads to inflation. This inflation has a distorting effect on the market, it shifts production away from productive ends and towards ends near the source of the inflation.

    You may wish to read:
    Human Action Homepage

  6. #206
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    For some time now it has been obvious that capitalism is the best financial system, while democracy is the best governing system. They are both based on human greed. Capitalism is about having some and making more of it. Democracy is about protecting your personal interests.
    Greed is not the same as self-interest and no system can be based on something that changes depending on who you ask. Please educate yourself on the difference between opinion and reality and then come back to us.
    I don't wanna!

  7. #207
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robespierre View Post
    That is hardly an example of change. The words to a song have always had a marginal cost of zero to copy. If you walk into a concert, hear the lyrics, then sing the song on your own, or play it on your piano, whatever, you may then reproduce that work. This is why rational people do not consider ideas to be property. Something that is not scarce(meaning zero marginal cost to reproduce), can hardly be considered property.
    And taking the concert with you? Their performances? The games? How about 3d modelling software, which I'm using? How about movies? How about books - knowledge? How about the free courses from MIT, or otherwise?

    Things change. Some offer an entirely different method of production (open source, industrial revolution as a whole...?). Some offer an entirely different method of distribution (information age)? Society will change with it. Family dynamics change. Governance changes. The scale of production, of transportation... In the future, perhaps immortality will be possible; what axioms are the discount rates based on? Would time mean the same thing? Would saving for retirement?

    If you must take a historical concept; consider the change that "money" had over bartering, and the concept of fiat currency below.

    We can state that the printing of paper money, all else being equal, always leads to inflation. This inflation has a distorting effect on the market, it shifts production away from productive ends and towards ends near the source of the inflation.
    We can say that using a commodity will be limit bound by the effort put in, and the demand for it will fluctuate with long lead times and end up distorting the market.

    The printing of paper money will only inflate the money supply at a rate equal to its printing; just as mining gold would inflate the money supply at a rate equal to its mining. Both have equal distortion in that regard.

    The only problem is in the nature of issuance of fiat currency, often by governments, not the actual use of it. That's not to mention the advantages of having a monetary policy offers, either.

    I know, I know. The market allocates perfectly. Not surprisingly, I lack the faith you have in the axioms that you subscribe to.

  8. #208
    Senior Member htb's Avatar
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    Capitalism distinguishes itself from other systems insofar as money changes hands voluntarily.

    I'll take it as the best of options.

  9. #209
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    Life is a "greed based system", is it not?

  10. #210
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    Quote Originally Posted by LostInNerSpace View Post
    Life is a "greed based system", is it not?
    God, thank you. The amount of egotistical self righteousness I've seen is absurd. Every god damn thing you do as a human being is a CALCULATION of how you can benefit. Whether it's scratching your ass in the morning to remove that itch, lying to your mother about those low grades you got in school, or telling your fat boss that she looks beautiful. EVERYTHING you do is for your own benefit. THAT is a fundamental unchanged quality of human consciousness, and that consciousness will never give birth to anything that goes against that. To sit there and think that you are somehow different enough to come up with something that'd contradict that in any way, or that the general populace would ever concede to it is ludicrous.

    Not to say that altruism cant exist in human beings, just that it does not take precedence in our thinking. What you are trying to do is come up with a "greed free" altruistic system, from the perspective of one being who is just as selfish as any other "greedy" capitalist.

    I believe it was Einstein who said "Problems cannot be solved with the same level of consciousness that created them."

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