Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id CAA01284 (8.6.9/5.3[ref firstname.lastname@example.org] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from email@example.com); Fri, 15 Dec 2000 02:52:47 GMT Message-Id: <200012150252.CAA01284@alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk> Errors-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Precedence: bulk Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org To: CAMREC list members <email@example.com> From: the Campaign for Real Economics <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 18:49:57 -0800 (PST) Subject: Re: CAMREC: Egalitarianism in a world of power-law distributions
I knew this was coming. Ok, lets dig into it ;-)
> >As to the synthesis you speak of that should be
> >"pretty simple" in terms of evolutionary approaches
> >(not social darwinist or sociobiology) to
> >diversity (should go together with inequality) ->
> >selection according to characteristics of
> >socio-economic system -> adaptation; change
> >new cycle,
maybe I should have spoken of a round or step here
overall result sth like progress based
> >differences the process of which is associated by
> >necessity with different income/wealth.
> I'm not sure I catch your meaning.
> Here is my guess:
> Diversity measured against chaotic selection
> measures produce system
> adaptation over time (gene pools adapt, monetary
> pools adapt?)
chaotioc selection is an interesting case in itself, I
wonder there would be some useful results coming out
of that - the thing that I know about that comes
"closest" is sth like oscillatory selection described
by Jonathan Weiner in his book about the Grants'
research into Darwin's finches, what I meant was
certainly not a chaotic selection measure - the thing
about evolution is that there is a fairly stable
"environment" and some entities changing (or not) in
it, and maybe from time too time a disruptive change
in the enviroment (which is evolving at low rate as
with respect to financial markets I would talk about
mental representations (models) about what is going on
wrt specific currencies, economies, shares,industries,
If you like one could (try to) make a link to Dawkin's
Chaos can come out of Lotka - Volterra equations used
to describe ecologicla (and economic) systems, is
therefore maybe a result of evolutionary processes but
not a condition (as far as I know)
> > then comes a
> >welfare evaluation trying to figure out optimal
> >of change and/or diversity values and you are done.
> Welfare, that's easy to agree upon in general, hard
> to agree upon in
Sure, just pick one - lot's of discussion necessity +
lot's of papers ;-)))
Well, prime target would be to keep the thing going...
In general a tough call, from what we know about
evolution you might want to have an open - ended
process, so you don't want to go below a minimum
degree of diversity, minimum no of participants
(evolving entities), minimum resource level of course
and some other points I'm too tired to think of right
after all its 3 in the morning
> Long term welfare? Short term welfare?
We economists usually don't make these decisions
-that's up to politicians/voters ;-)
Not a very satisfaying answer, I know. So try this
Presently the socio-economic system seems to favor
short-term "solutions" otherwise you could not explain
why so many "entrepreneurs" can get away with pretty
shortsighted business-ideas. The issue is that there
seems to be an implicit "welfare judgement" in the
system's operation and what it "selects"/let's you get
away with... this is related to entrepreneurial and
investor characteristics, knowledge, political and
economic conditions of course. This implicit judgement
is ,I guess, subject to change (people learn after
loosing a lot of money...). Lot's of self-reference
here. Even reflexitivity? (Back to the discussion with
Stauffer we are here actually) Maybe enough to claim
that the system controls itself, so you wouldn't need
What you are probably interested in is some external
judgement that an uninvolved scientist could make.
Don't know whether that's possible at all in the long
run, because people do listen to scientists earlier or
later (esp. people investing there money and looking
for a nice theory to base it on) and then their mental
model will be updated and they take account of that
A good (or at least interesting) set of welfare (?)
evaluation criteria might be those that don't affect
the process in the manner just described - but what's
the process precisely? So what can we do and what not?
Maybe we economists should turn Buddhist... (that
would still leave plenty of room for different schools
and discussion so we could carry on our scholarly
The real answer is different though: it all depends on
the system definition, our goal of analysis and how
much time we have to give an answer.
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