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scepticus

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Everything posted by scepticus

  1. Stuff like this takes a long time to change, but it is changing. Asian economies, including china, all of which don't see much immigration are ageing rapidly and will fall off in population from mid century. All living systems, composed of living agents whether plan, animal or human always expand to fill their niche and to maximise the production of entropy - there is nothing magical or mysterious about this, it just means they will access and burn as much free energy as they can within their environment. Most living systems will level out when they hit maximum entropy production but som
  2. WFH changes to cultural norms is a huge deal. Not just in terms of economics etc. Think about the western cultural celebration of extroversion. There is no real opportunity for alpha male-ing people remotely. The tables are turning in favor of the quietly hard-working, diligent and well organised folks at the expense of the meet and greet type. I manage a team and have done for a long time, and when everyone is WFH I value the former type more than the latter, they get more done and need less maintenance because they are in their introverted element. Give them interesting stuff to do and
  3. Well maybe, but A.Steve's model uses assets which can be created, as far as I understood it. He gave an example of a painting of a turd...
  4. I think it matters whether it is outside or inside money. If its inside money, what is it backed by? Presumably, the very same alpha beta and gamma your players are using for their ponzi scheme? I guess your model assumes outside money? The stock of money is not useful in determining prices without a velocity factor to multiply the stock by, after all that is just GDP right? So your model could feature a steadily rising supply and a steadily falling velocity, which is exactly what we have seen the last 50 years, and your model would have no asset price rises. I agree, I ha
  5. indeed, similar to a pyramid scheme. That can go on forever if one posits an unlimited supply of credit supplied to new entrants. Of course no pyramid scheme runs forever. As you know my own view of the world is that something very similar to A.Steve's hypothesis has indeed been going on, but that it comes to a halt when the rate of return hits zero due to the income to menial work falling to such a low share that the dynamics change. I fail to see how the proposed model is much different to the Japanese property market (and related asset markets) prior to their big crash. The r
  6. Ooh, a theory, not one of mine this time! Your theory takes money as axiomatic, but does not state what properties said money needs to have. For example, does it matter whether the money is a safe asset, or not? Also, it seems the velocity component of money is rather important in your model, which is couched in terms of successive periods in which participants spend and re-invest proceeds of the previous period. If the values of alpha beta and gamma are going to consistently increase, as you suggest, what does your theory suggest about the supply of money, the supply of credit
  7. Nice troll by the mumsnetters 🤣 Hit the spot I would say.
  8. Right on time: https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/tax-hikes-coronavirus-cost-a4536186.html
  9. I'm on the side of the debate that sooner or later HMRC is going to come calling. The tabloids may have been baying for bailouts recently, but when the national bill becomes due and we've had a few documentaries about rampant fraud by immoral folks scamming covid handouts they'll change their tune right quick and will be baying for the blood of the greedy. Its what tabloids do, and the government of the day will be required to go after the fraud since they'll be putting taxes up on all the hard working families.
  10. The day that the folks on this forum capitulate will be the signal for the start of the crash. Sods law, innit.
  11. inflation is driven by adding more financial wealth to the private sector, when the economy has not grown proportionately. It doesn't really matter, in zirpworld, whether that wealth is in the form of new base money or in the form of government debt. What happens when the government issues a new 100 million of government debt? Assume that the existing stock of government debt plus base money (e.g. all public sector liabilities) is 10000 million, just for the sake of argument. The private sector gives the government 100 million pounds to buy the debt. Now private sector NET wealth is
  12. the quantity theory of money is not dead, but its far, far too simplistic. It needs updating to match reality.
  13. a lot more than that I reckon, the windows alone could be 20K. Looks like a "knocker-downer" to me.
  14. Yes that has been my point, achieving reform requires some effort to identify the tipping points etc rather than just dreaming and complaining - e.g. getting stuff done! Reformers - myself amongst them - need to have a sensible plan.
  15. I would also suggest Pinker's Enlightenment Now. I don't agree with everything in it but its a nice summary of human progress over millennia by an optimist, a nice antidote to all the doom and gloom.
  16. Yes I agree that welfare and redistribution can never make up for inequality in the ownership of production. Before we go any further, you seem to have marked my card as a "conservative". You should stop thinking like that since I am not one and you have already pigeonholed me based on a few opinions. I don't identify with left or right at all, my values are humanistic, although probably best described as quantitative humanism. After all we do live in a world ruled by numbers both actually and culturally. There is no biological determinism, people dealt a poor biological hand throu
  17. Zugzwang is right in his correction that phase transitions need topological mixing, its not just about initial conditions. Maths does limit the fairness of social arrangements, simply because in a large population there are many interactions and many configurations but some are much more likely than others - an initially highly fair configuration with equal distribution of resources will tend to evolve in an unfair direction, capitalism or not. Social reform and wealth transfers can be used to try and repeatedly swim against the tendency of society to evolve in this way but too much of th
  18. So Game Theory is just one example of maths relevant to large scale social science and politics. The maths of network theory and critical phase transitions is perhaps even more relevant, and also covered in Ball's Critical Mass book Iinked previously. Network theory in particular demonstrates why things will never be fair. In any network that evolves as a result of many interactions, some nodes (people, companies etc) will gain more connectivity than other nodes. The less connected nodes have an incentive to connect to those nodes which already have a large number of connections, because
  19. Sure. Basic primer: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoner's_dilemma That link gives examples of applying very basic game theory to diverse situations such as animal behaviour, sport, politics, climate change and economics. A set of overlapping and possibly competing local institutions would be faced with a similar set of choices. If this interests you, and it should, based on what you have posted, I cannot recommend this book highly enough: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Critical-Mass-Thing-Leads-Another/dp/0099457865/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=critical+mass+ball&qid=1
  20. I agree. But just because we may define better differently, does not mean that we should not strive to make things better according to our definition. As long as we are aware there is more than one definition of better. A good start would be to find what the minimal definition of better is that a reasonable majority of people can agree on and focus on that.
  21. The level of free will sapient being possess is very much up for debate; that said, like you, I'm on the side of those who believe we genuinely do have free will. Quite possible we are wrong about that though. Likewise the agency a group possesses IS constrained by the mathematics of the possible, no matter how lovely everyone is to one another. That's why we have well established branches of mathematics such as Game Theory, Statistics and Network Theory. These are all well established phenomena in our world, much better established than the potential utopia you are alluding too, which as
  22. The problem with these round about arguments about designing a better and more fairer society is that they generally amount to trying to re-engineer the human condition. Its a simple fact of life that: life in human society is not fair and never has been, and arguably cannot be. there is no consensus on what is fair and what isn't, or what is important and what isn't. large complex societies with many interacting individuals, whether a "free market" exists or not, will generate significant inequalities just due to network effects and the mathematics that governs many interact
  23. I think you are referring to a surplus, not savings. The surplus is that production which is not strictly required for the population to survive. There has been a surplus since the first hunter-gatherers began settling the land. That is not the same as savings, which is a monetary thing. The surplus has to be consumed as consumption or investment because the economic surplus of the economy cannot really be stored. Saving is a method of arranging a deal whereby you elect not to consume your share of the surplus now and let someone else have it on the basis that they reciprocate at some lat
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