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wonderpup

Moneyweek- The Rise Of The Robots.

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No- at present violence is controlled by the existence of a state backed police force- you claim this is not required because the free market would do the job instead.

But if violence is to be influenced by market forces then it's clear that violence must exist in that free market.

A free market is based on free choice- so the right to choose between violence and non violence is what makes the market work. If you try to remove that choice you no longer have a free market- you have a coerced market where violence is suppressed by force- exactly the thing you claim to oppose.

As I said, you think that state taxation is a free market transaction and we live in a free market society.

I'm saying you're wrong, as violent trades (such as taxation) are not free market trades.

If you assert that violence is a free market trade, you are asserting that taxation is too, which is bonkers.

Yes but how?- that is my question. You don't want a state to control violence and you don't want the free market to control violence- what then do you want?

Simply parroting 'A free market is a market without violence' does not mean anything unless you can explain how it works- can you do that?

How is violence controlled in your proposed free market based society- by wishful thinking?

As I said:

I would allow the market - individuals in society - to deal with violence, btw. If they are successful, free market trades would replace the theft/violent market trades.

Which part of this do you not understand? Individuals in society resolve the problem of violence, until there is no violence - at which point you have a free market society.

I would happily go into details about how to ostracise violent people, However, as you seem to get stuck at the definition stage of what a free market society even is, it seems rather pointless to proceed to the next step of 'how will it be done'.

These are two distinct problems - definition and implementation. Conflating the latter with the former, when the former hasn't even been agreed on, is not useful.

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Okay, we've got two conflicting definitions of a free market:

(1) Wonderpup's definition of a "free-to-do-whatever-you-want" market which includes violence as a possibility, and so would rapidly have to evolve a set of rules and policy enforcers (or end up as complete anarchy).

(2) Traktion's definition of a "non-violent" market in which violence is never chosen as an option (and those that do chose violence are threatened with "we won't want to play with you anymore, and please don't come back and steal our stuff again tomorrow"), but it's okay to coerce a man dying of thirst into handing over his entire net worth for a glass of water.

Rather than arguing any further over semantics, my question is:

Why on earth whould I consider either of them as something to be held up as a model of how we should want things to be?

The reverse of the bit in bold, is to suggest that the man dying of thirst can enslave the water owner - to take his labour, as if it was their own.

If I were to replace 'man dying of thirst' to 'man in a hurry' and 'a glass of water' for 'a car', then you would see it differently. You would say that the man in a hurry had no right to take the man's car. It's only because of the extreme, zero time point, example which Wonderpup (intentionally) chose that a free market trade appears unfair - the logic is exactly the same though.

We've been over the water/desert man situation pages ago though. The chances are, the water man would be charitable. The chances are, the desert man would be blaming the sh*ts who left him in the desert. The chances are, if the water man wasn't charitable, society would judge him harshly. The chances are, in a statist society, the water man would do exactly the same thing as in a state free society, making the whole extreme example pointless (ie. it's an unrealistic lifeboat dilemma).

The reason you should consider free market transactions, is because both people gain from them. The alternative is one person gaining, at the other's expense - that isn't a trade they will ever wish to make freely and is usually called 'theft'.

Edited by Traktion

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I entirely agree with the logic of your point. I think Traktion is claiming that people are free to choose violence, but that (in order for his kind of free market to exist) no-one does choose violence because of the immense power of ostracism :rolleyes: and how it would be really-really mean of them to be violent to people.

So in short his idea of a free market is just a fairy story that can never actually exist in the real world (at least not until he comes up with some viable non-violent mechanism for persuading greedy selfish human beings not to resort to violence). I think Traktion sort of accepts this.

Yet what I really struggle to grasp is why he holds up this fantasy never-going-to-actually-work-in-the-real-world economic model (a model which will quite happily let African children starve because grain farmers can make more profit by selling their grain as cattle feed) as something we should aspire to?

If you're going to sling barbs, perhaps you would like to address me, rather than talking past me?

A free market trade is one without violence. Therefore, a free market society is one without violence. I advocate the former, with the hope that one day we will have the latter. How it could be done is a separate (and interesting) problem. We must define where we want to go, before we set out to get there.

As the state performs the most theft in the land, the obvious target for reducing violence, is to reduce the state. However, just going state free is not sufficient for providing free markets (see Somalia for details). Any violent people/organisations - including, but not exclusively, the state - prevent people from freely trading.

BTW, as we live in a largely pro-violence world, how is that working out for those starving African children? Not well at all, I would assert.

Edited by Traktion

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Which part of this do you not understand? Individuals in society resolve the problem of violence, until there is no violence - at which point you have a free market society.

I would happily go into details about how to ostracise violent people, However, as you seem to get stuck at the definition stage of what a free market society even is, it seems rather pointless to proceed to the next step of 'how will it be done'.

These are two distinct problems - definition and implementation. Conflating the latter with the former, when the former hasn't even been agreed on, is not useful.

So we agree that in a free market society violence would be an option- but you claim that it would not be chosen because 'market forces' in the form of ostracisation would persuade people to adopt non violent means.

This makes sense to me. But what does not make sense to me is your claim that violence and a free market society cannot co exist- because in your own terms they must co exist otherwise your mechanism for resolving violence cannot operate.

So my point is that a free market society is not a society in which violence is ruled out- it is a society in which the use of violence is subject to market forces in the form of ostracisation.

So- as a member of your free market based society you agree that I am free to use violence if I choose- but you will respond by ostracizing me.

Is this an accurate definition of how it works?

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I entirely agree with the logic of your point. I think Traktion is claiming that people are free to choose violence, but that (in order for his kind of free market to exist) no-one does choose violence because of the immense power of ostracism and how it would be really-really mean of them to be violent to people.

The problem is that he does not seem to accept that people are free to use violence in a free market- which means his proposed power of ostracism would never get the chance to work in the first place- after all you can only punish someone for the violence they commit-so his logic is basically broken on this point.

So in short his idea of a free market is just a fairy story that can never actually exist in the real world (at least not until he comes up with some viable non-violent mechanism for persuading greedy selfish human beings not to resort to violence). I think Traktion sort of accepts this.

The mechanism he proposes is that of social rejection- this is the free market solution.

Would it work in reality? I doubt it- because it is based on the idea that people are totally rational in their behaviour at all times. So in this model I would be about to commit some violent act in order to get what I wanted- then my rational mind would take over and I would realise that the short term gain I might achieve from my violence would be cancelled out by the long term pain of being ostracised.

In reality what happens is that some people will focus on the short term gain and do the violence anyway.

Yet what I really struggle to grasp is why he holds up this fantasy never-going-to-actually-work-in-the-real-world economic model (a model which will quite happily let African children starve because grain farmers can make more profit by selling their grain as cattle feed) as something we should aspire to?

The value system here is that liberty- individual freedom of choice- is the highest of all values- no other moral claim can trump this basic value.

Ironically however it would appear that this liberty presents one problem- if I am to be free to choose- and my freedom of choice is the paramount value- then I am also free to act violently if I choose to do so.

So the paradox then arises that in a society based on the freedom of the individual from the collective- the only way that Traktion suggests violence will be controlled is through the use of social exclusion by the collective. So he hasn't really abolished the tyranny of the majority- he's just given that tyranny a makeover.

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If you're going to sling barbs, perhaps you would like to address me, rather than talking past me?

A free market trade is one without violence. Therefore, a free market society is one without violence. I advocate the former, with the hope that one day we will have the latter. How it could be done is a separate (and interesting) problem. We must define where we want to go, before we set out to get there.

As the state performs the most theft in the land, the obvious target for reducing violence, is to reduce the state. However, just going state free is not sufficient for providing free markets (see Somalia for details). Any violent people/organisations - including, but not exclusively, the state - prevent people from freely trading.

BTW, as we live in a largely pro-violence world, how is that working out for those starving African children? Not well at all, I would assert.

Tracktion, can you explain the difference in your position between a free state being one without *violence*, to one without *rules*? Do you think that the two are synonymous? After all, all the person doing the threatening is doing, is imposing their 'rule' on others, and punishing them if they do not comply? The thirsty man, forcing others to give him water, would only be using 'rules' to make them do it?

Perhaps it is your use of the word 'violence' that is misleading...?

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The limit to this is the point where demand failure collapses the economy.

Every political pundit under the sun bleats on endlessly about the need to be competitive- but rarely mentions the fact that what we are all competing for is each others wages in the form of spending power.

Automating production is a technical challenge- automating consumption is an oxymoron.

But stroll through any large shopping centre on a Saturday and you'll see thousands of human automata, consuming. Robot customers couldn't do a better job of blind consumption than we are managing already.

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But stroll through any large shopping centre on a Saturday and you'll see thousands of human automata, consuming. Robot customers couldn't do a better job of blind consumption than we are managing already.

I take your point- but at the very least we can imagine there is some visceral pleasure being obtained.

The role of human agency in the process is quite hard to pin down but is central. I mean I can imagine a robot only civilisation in which there were millions of machines all performing highly specialised tasks- but would this qualify as an economy? Or would it be better described in terms of engineering efficiency? I don't think we could talk about such a civilisation as creating 'value'.

The concept of value seems to require a human involvement in some way- perhaps this is why the more we automate production, the less value the resulting products seem to have.

A single carving created painstakingly by a human artist can be imbued with great value- Michelangelo's David, for example. Now imagine a machine that could turn out carving's of equal quality by the truckload- the aesthetic is unchanged- but the value has been lost. And this holds true even if the machines carvings were unique designs of it's own.

A better example maybe is this very text you are reading now. Suppose you were to discover that I am in fact an advanced computer algorithm and not a human being? Would you engage with this post- or would you feel that there is no point in doing so?

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I take your point- but at the very least we can imagine there is some visceral pleasure being obtained.

The role of human agency in the process is quite hard to pin down but is central. I mean I can imagine a robot only civilisation in which there were millions of machines all performing highly specialised tasks- but would this qualify as an economy? Or would it be better described in terms of engineering efficiency? I don't think we could talk about such a civilisation as creating 'value'.

The concept of value seems to require a human involvement in some way- perhaps this is why the more we automate production, the less value the resulting products seem to have.

A single carving created painstakingly by a human artist can be imbued with great value- Michelangelo's David, for example. Now imagine a machine that could turn out carving's of equal quality by the truckload- the aesthetic is unchanged- but the value has been lost. And this holds true even if the machines carvings were unique designs of it's own.

A better example maybe is this very text you are reading now. Suppose you were to discover that I am in fact an advanced computer algorithm and not a human being? Would you engage with this post- or would you feel that there is no point in doing so?

How do you, yourself, know this is not the case?

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If you're going to sling barbs, perhaps you would like to address me, rather than talking past me?

A free market trade is one without violence. Therefore, a free market society is one without violence. I advocate the former, with the hope that one day we will have the latter. How it could be done is a separate (and interesting) problem. We must define where we want to go, before we set out to get there.

As the state performs the most theft in the land, the obvious target for reducing violence, is to reduce the state. However, just going state free is not sufficient for providing free markets (see Somalia for details). Any violent people/organisations - including, but not exclusively, the state - prevent people from freely trading.

BTW, as we live in a largely pro-violence world, how is that working out for those starving African children? Not well at all, I would assert.

Apologies, I wasn't meaning to sling barbs at you personally, nor to talk past you (although I see how it could be interpreted that way). I had been contrasting yours and Wonderpup's definitions of "free market" and he was the one that replied.

My reason for thinking that your non-violent free market is a pipe dream is because history suggests that you either have state violence or where you have an absence of state violence the power void gets rapidly filled by local warlords.

History suggests that at least some humans will resort to violence (theft or whatever) to get what they want if (1) they want it badly enough and/or (2) they can get away with it. History also suggests that in the absence of a state backed threat of violence against wrongdoers, the violent tend to win over the non-violent. (Even when the stereotypical African dictator is overthrown, the person who replaces him is usually just the leader of the people who violently staged the coup)

I'm not saying violence is a good thing, but I am saying that in a world which has nasty people in it, then the option to use violence is necessary even if 99% of the time simply having the option is sufficient deterrent.

But I digress. You said:

We must define where we want to go, before we set out to get there.

My question is: if your free-market system would quite happily sell grain as cattle feed because it makes more money than selling it to starving children, why on earth would I want to go there?

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How do you, yourself, know this is not the case?

Well I know that I am not an algorithm- but I can't be absolutely certain about anyone else on the forum.

But the interesting question is would you continue to post on here if you discovered that every other poster were in fact nothing but a software programme? Would there be in your mind any point in carrying on?

The point being that the 'value' of the interaction would be the same-in terms of the content- but something quite hard to define would be lost I think.

It would seem strangely pointless to spend time interacting with a machine- no matter how 'human' that machine might seem.

This seems to suggest that the concept of 'value' is inextricably linked to human involvement- a conversation with a machine, no matter how engaging it was, would have no 'value'.

This implies that as we automate more and more of our production the 'value' of the products will decline. precisely because no human intervention was involved in their creation.

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Tracktion, can you explain the difference in your position between a free state being one without *violence*, to one without *rules*? Do you think that the two are synonymous? After all, all the person doing the threatening is doing, is imposing their 'rule' on others, and punishing them if they do not comply? The thirsty man, forcing others to give him water, would only be using 'rules' to make them do it?

Perhaps it is your use of the word 'violence' that is misleading...?

I would suggest that having 'rules' is the wrong approach in the first place. By having rules, you are implying there is a centralised rule maker, which is incompatible with a distributed system.

Even if you have competing codes of rules, you must still allow people to choose which rule creators (likely, arbiters of some sort) they wish to listen to. If an arbiter rules that stealing TVs is fine, it is unlikely people will respect other decisions made by that arbiter.

I would suggest that there should be positive benefits from doing what is socially acceptable. Whether this is credit black marks, social credit black marks, charity ratings or a whole raft of informal systems in place, isn't important - it is that everyone in society judges one another, one way or another.

You don't need me, nor the state, to tell you that murdering people isn't socially acceptable. Nor do you need me, or the state, to tell you that theft isn't socially acceptable. It is how you deal with those who commit such actions that is important.

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Apologies, I wasn't meaning to sling barbs at you personally, nor to talk past you (although I see how it could be interpreted that way). I had been contrasting yours and Wonderpup's definitions of "free market" and he was the one that replied.

No problem - thanks for the apology.

My reason for thinking that your non-violent free market is a pipe dream is because history suggests that you either have state violence or where you have an absence of state violence the power void gets rapidly filled by local warlords.

History suggests that at least some humans will resort to violence (theft or whatever) to get what they want if (1) they want it badly enough and/or (2) they can get away with it. History also suggests that in the absence of a state backed threat of violence against wrongdoers, the violent tend to win over the non-violent. (Even when the stereotypical African dictator is overthrown, the person who replaces him is usually just the leader of the people who violently staged the coup)

I'm not saying violence is a good thing, but I am saying that in a world which has nasty people in it, then the option to use violence is necessary even if 99% of the time simply having the option is sufficient deterrent.

This is skipping ahead to the 'how' - as I said, it's interesting, but let's discuss why first and then move on to how. The latter is a huge debate in itself, but if we can agree that using violence to get what you want isn't a good thing, we can then move on to how to get there.

You also have to accept that the state is just the warlord which 'won'. That doesn't mean we have to continue to concede our freedoms - I'd rather freely associate, than be forced to associate due to the result of some historical conflict. If enough other people think the same, then reject the legitimacy of the state, it will lose its power of influence.

BTW, I wouldn't confuse a collapsed state + warlords filling the vacuum with a voluntary disassociation from a functioning state. These are two very different scenarios.

But I digress. You said:

We must define where we want to go, before we set out to get there.

My question is: if your free-market system would quite happily sell grain as cattle feed because it makes more money than selling it to starving children, why on earth would I want to go there?

A free market is just people freely trading. The alternative is to steal stuff off people, to give it to others.

While it may be charitable to give others food, why should anyone else get to steal it from another with impunity, then give it to who they see fit? The owner laboured to grow it, so if you steal it, you have enslaved them. Do you think slavery is acceptable?

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I take your point- but at the very least we can imagine there is some visceral pleasure being obtained.

The role of human agency in the process is quite hard to pin down but is central. I mean I can imagine a robot only civilisation in which there were millions of machines all performing highly specialised tasks- but would this qualify as an economy? Or would it be better described in terms of engineering efficiency? I don't think we could talk about such a civilisation as creating 'value'.

The concept of value seems to require a human involvement in some way- perhaps this is why the more we automate production, the less value the resulting products seem to have.

A single carving created painstakingly by a human artist can be imbued with great value- Michelangelo's David, for example. Now imagine a machine that could turn out carving's of equal quality by the truckload- the aesthetic is unchanged- but the value has been lost. And this holds true even if the machines carvings were unique designs of it's own.

If a fantastic painting, brilliant carvings etc can be enjoyed in the homes of millions, rather than a handful, why do you think this is this a bad thing?

A better example maybe is this very text you are reading now. Suppose you were to discover that I am in fact an advanced computer algorithm and not a human being? Would you engage with this post- or would you feel that there is no point in doing so?

Sure, I would debate with a computer, if I felt like it was leading me to a useful conclusion. Much of understanding something, comes from being able to discuss it. Maybe a future version of Google will do just that?

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The problem is that he does not seem to accept that people are free to use violence in a free market- which means his proposed power of ostracism would never get the chance to work in the first place- after all you can only punish someone for the violence they commit-so his logic is basically broken on this point.

*Sigh*

Boiling water is no longer boiling, when you mix it with cold water. You are free to add cold water into boiling water, but at that point it is no longer boiling water - it is just non-boiling water.

Replace 'boiling water' with 'free market', 'cold water' with 'violence' and 'non-boiling water' with 'non-free market' (i.e. coerced/violent market).

The mechanism he proposes is that of social rejection- this is the free market solution.

Would it work in reality? I doubt it- because it is based on the idea that people are totally rational in their behaviour at all times. So in this model I would be about to commit some violent act in order to get what I wanted- then my rational mind would take over and I would realise that the short term gain I might achieve from my violence would be cancelled out by the long term pain of being ostracised.

In reality what happens is that some people will focus on the short term gain and do the violence anyway.

We're getting on to the 'how' again, before agreeing what the definition is. If we can't agree on the definition of what it is, explaining how it can be achieved isn't useful.

However, ostracism comes in many guises. I would like to discuss this further when we can get the central point agreed on.

The value system here is that liberty- individual freedom of choice- is the highest of all values- no other moral claim can trump this basic value.

Ironically however it would appear that this liberty presents one problem- if I am to be free to choose- and my freedom of choice is the paramount value- then I am also free to act violently if I choose to do so.

So the paradox then arises that in a society based on the freedom of the individual from the collective- the only way that Traktion suggests violence will be controlled is through the use of social exclusion by the collective. So he hasn't really abolished the tyranny of the majority- he's just given that tyranny a makeover.

You are free to choose violence, but when you do, you are not making a free trade. Therefore, it follows that a society which uses violence, is not a free market society.

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If a fantastic painting, brilliant carvings etc can be enjoyed in the homes of millions, rather than a handful, why do you think this is this a bad thing?

I didn't say it would be a bad thing- my point is that it would be a different thing. People might admire a unique carving produced in 30 seconds by a robot- but would they consider it to have the same artistic value as a Michelangelo?

Even if the robot was as 'skilled' as Michelangelo I suspect the value we would place on it's creations would be far lower.

There is this curious correlation between perceived value and the human effort required to achieve it. Take this Picasso story:

Legend has it Picasso was in a café in Paris when an admirer approached him and asked if he would create a quick sketch for him on a paper napkin. Picasso politely agreed, creating a sketch and handed back the napkin, but asked for a large amount of money in return. The admirer was astonished: “How can you ask for so much? It took you a minute to draw this!” Picasso replied, “No, it took me 40 years.”

So the claim here is that the value of the drawing is in part derived from some intangible relationship between the creator and the creation- something that lies beyond the realm of mere utility. The notion being that the value of the work cannot be derived only from the gross mechanics of it's creation. Of course the admirer here is being disingenuous - they wanted the drawing because Picasso was it's creator- so it's value to them was also being measured by a metric that transcended the merely mechanical details of it's creation.

Sure, I would debate with a computer, if I felt like it was leading me to a useful conclusion. Much of understanding something, comes from being able to discuss it. Maybe a future version of Google will do just that?

I can see this working in terms of educational value- as a learning tool- but would you feel you were interacting with a genuine intelligence? Would there be a true 'mind' on the other end of the exchange? And if not- would that exchange have the same 'value' as one you might have with a human teacher?

Again- I would argue- that the value of that interaction in part would be derived from the fact that a real human being was involved. And if you were to suddenly discover- for instance- that I am not human but simply an algorithm being tested by it's creators to see if it could pass on line as human- would you feel a little cheated by this revelation? If so-why?

What would you think of a person whose only relationships were with algorithms? So the only conversations they ever had were of this type- would they be missing anything by not having conversations with humans? If so- what?

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*Sigh*

Boiling water is no longer boiling, when you mix it with cold water. You are free to add cold water into boiling water, but at that point it is no longer boiling water - it is just non-boiling water.

Replace 'boiling water' with 'free market', 'cold water' with 'violence' and 'non-boiling water' with 'non-free market' (i.e. coerced/violent market).

The problem is that you have failed so far to define what you mean by a free market society. Or more accurately you seem to have two incompatible versions of what you mean by a free market society.

In version one there is no violence- it's just gone. You don't explain how, or why it's gone you just sort assume that a magic fairy has waved her wand and all the violence in the world has been made to go away. This is the least convincing version.

In version two you seem to accept that violence exists in a free market- but claim that this violence would be controlled by socially excluding those who used such violence. This version makes sense to me even though I don't agree that it would work- I at least understand it.

But what you do next is to hop between version one and version two by insisting that although violence exists in a free market society-at the same time- there can be no free market if violence exists. So which is it? Has violence been magically removed or is it there but subject to market forces in the form of social exclusion?

We're getting on to the 'how' again, before agreeing what the definition is. If we can't agree on the definition of what it is, explaining how it can be achieved isn't useful.

However, ostracism comes in many guises. I would like to discuss this further when we can get the central point agreed on.

But you cannot explain why you would need ostracism in a free market- unless you first agree that violence is a choice one can make in a free market. How could the need to ostracise ever arise if violence were not an option?

Can you not see that by admitting the need for a means to control violence in a free market you have- by default- accepted that violence is one mode of action that can take place in a free market?

To suggest a cure is to accept the reality of the malady- why else would a cure be needed?

You are free to choose violence, but when you do, you are not making a free trade. Therefore, it follows that a society which uses violence, is not a free market society.

No so. I am free to choose violence because it is a free market society- because freedom of choice is the highest value in that society.

Or would you stop me using violence by force? If so then you are a statist- because you will need some kind of police force to do that.

What you must do- to be consistent- is to rely on the free market itself to stop me. Which is why you offer your ostracism theory. So we come back to the fact that you offer two versions of your free market society- a version where violence has simply been magically banished- and a second version where it's still there but subject to market forces via ostracism.

Can you state which of the two most closely approximates your thinking?

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Did anyone post this yet?

http://thearchdruidr...of-machine.html

Robots are just another bubble.

I think his point is that our entire civilisation is a bubble, riding on the finite supply of cheap fossil fuel.

Where I would disagree is with the idea that automation represents a simple exchange of human labour for machine labour- it's more subtle than that.

For example we never did create a machine that walked around the supermarket sticking those little price labels on all the packets and tins- we just created barcodes instead and eliminated the need for the labels.

So I would argue that technology does not simply replace human labour- it reconfigures the tasks themselves in unexpected ways that make that human labour no longer required.

Another example is that the 'factories' of the future might end up being in people's homes in the form of 3D printers than make things to order from downloaded data sets. In this case the entire factory/labour paradigm has been eliminated.

So technology is far too slippery to be described as a simple replacement for existing labour- it also transforms the society that deploys it in hard to predict ways.

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The problem is that you have failed so far to define what you mean by a free market society. Or more accurately you seem to have two incompatible versions of what you mean by a free market society.

In version one there is no violence- it's just gone. You don't explain how, or why it's gone you just sort assume that a magic fairy has waved her wand and all the violence in the world has been made to go away. This is the least convincing version.

In version two you seem to accept that violence exists in a free market- but claim that this violence would be controlled by socially excluding those who used such violence. This version makes sense to me even though I don't agree that it would work- I at least understand it.

But what you do next is to hop between version one and version two by insisting that although violence exists in a free market society-at the same time- there can be no free market if violence exists. So which is it? Has violence been magically removed or is it there but subject to market forces in the form of social exclusion?

But you cannot explain why you would need ostracism in a free market- unless you first agree that violence is a choice one can make in a free market. How could the need to ostracise ever arise if violence were not an option?

I have defined it many times, but you seem to be unable to comprehend it. I can keep trying to explain it, but you need to try super hard to digest it, or we will keep going round in circles.

There aren't two versions. This is a misunderstanding on your part.

A free market transaction is one without external force influencing it, be it the state or another band of thugs. It is where two people make an exchange, without violence, where both parties gain. It follows that a free market society must have these same traits.

How a free market society is achieved is separate to the definition. If I can't boil water because I don't have fire, it doesn't mean that the definition of boiling water is invalid - it is still 100C water. In the same way, how to achieve a free market society is separate to how it can become a reality.

Similarly, boiling water is a state of water. It becomes a reality when you heat cool water up to 100C. If you then add cool water into the boiling water, it then changes state again - it becomes non-boiling (cool/warm etc) water.

A free market society is a state of society. It becomes a reality when you remove all violent trades. If you then add violent trades into the free market society, it then changes state again - it becomes a non-free market (violent/coercive) society.

You can't have a ice cold boiling water any more than you can have a violent free market society - it's an oxymoron. They are alternative and mutually exclusive states.

However, I can't stop you pouring cold water into a pot of boiling water, any more than I can stop you using violence to influence trade. In the former case, you will no longer have boiling water. In the latter case, you will no longer have a free market society.

Can you not see that by admitting the need for a means to control violence in a free market you have- by default- accepted that violence is one mode of action that can take place in a free market?

To suggest a cure is to accept the reality of the malady- why else would a cure be needed?

I didn't suggest how it could be achieved at any length at all. We're only at the definition stage here (still, unfortunately!).

As soon as you use violence, you no longer have a free market. Whether or not people choose to use violence is irrelevant to this definition.

No so. I am free to choose violence because it is a free market society- because freedom of choice is the highest value in that society.

If you use violence, you no longer have a free market society. You have a violent/coercive market society.

Or would you stop me using violence by force? If so then you are a statist- because you will need some kind of police force to do that.

You've moved to the 'how' again. A definition does not require a 'how'.

If you use violence, you no longer have a free market society. That is all.

What you must do- to be consistent- is to rely on the free market itself to stop me. Which is why you offer your ostracism theory. So we come back to the fact that you offer two versions of your free market society- a version where violence has simply been magically banished- and a second version where it's still there but subject to market forces via ostracism.

Can you state which of the two most closely approximates your thinking?

I didn't say that the free market would stop you being violent. I just defined that a free market society is one where peaceful, non-violent, trades occur. If people use violence to take what they want, then there will no longer be a free market society - the state will have changed from 'free' to 'violent/coercive'.

Ostracism is a non-violent mechanism to discourage people from using violence to take what they want. If we want to achieve a free market society, then such mechanisms need to be considered.

Edited by Traktion

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A free market transaction is one without external force influencing it, be it the state or another band of thugs. It is where two people make an exchange, without violence, where both parties gain. It follows that a free market society must have these same traits.

You say 'without violence'- but this is an attempt on your part to act as an external force influencing the transaction. So while you claim to support the idea that people should be free to act- you really mean that they should act as you demand they act.

Because you personally disapprove of violence you want to limit my freedom to act violently. This is not giving me free choice- this is you imposing arbitrary limits of my freedom.

In a true free market society the choice to use or not use violence would be determined by the market- not some arbitrary rule you happen to want to impose.

Choosing to use or not use violence in a free market society is the same as choosing what brand of toothpaste to buy- both are free choices, both are the outcome of individual cost–benefit analysis.

So you don't want a free market- you want a market that follows rules that you have decided on.

Why not let the market decide? Instead of making up rules about how free people should behave?

A free market society is a state of society. It becomes a reality when you remove all violent trades.

Remove them- how-by force? You can't 'remove' choice without interfering in the free market. In a free market violence can not be 'removed'- it will always remain a free choice- unless a statist like you comes along and tries to remove it by force of course.

You can't have a ice cold boiling water any more than you can have a violent free market society - it's an oxymoron. They are alternative and mutually exclusive states.

Only in your mind. In reality it's obvious that freedom to choose must include freedom to choose violence- how indeed could you 'remove' this choice without becoming the very external force you say should not exist?

However, I can't stop you pouring cold water into a pot of boiling water, any more than I can stop you using violence to influence trade. In the former case, you will no longer have boiling water. In the latter case, you will no longer have a free market society.

In a free market society the freedom to use violence is a given- try to to impose your mad ideas of non violence and you will need a gang of thugs to do so.

As soon as you use violence, you no longer have a free market. Whether or not people choose to use violence is irrelevant to this definition.

Right- so now freedom of choice is irrelevant- even the statists don't go this far.

If you use violence, you no longer have a free market society. You have a violent/coercive market society.

If you define a free market as one in which individual choice is paramount then I will be free to choose violence- unless- that is- you and your gang of thugs are going to take the freedom from me.

If you use violence, you no longer have a free market society. That is all.

This is a classic statist 'argument'- no attempt to explain- just pure assertion backed by nothing.

I didn't say that the free market would stop you being violent. I just defined that a free market society is one where peaceful, non-violent, trades occur. If people use violence to take what they want, then there will no longer be a free market society - the state will have changed from 'free' to 'violent/coercive'.

And the statist's define a free society as one in which everyone obeys their rules- so what is the difference? You have this 'non violence' issue but instead of letting the free market operate you want to impose your rules.

Ostracism is a non-violent mechanism to discourage people from using violence to take what they want. If we want to achieve a free market society, then such mechanisms need to be considered.

This is correct- a free market society would not 'remove' violence as you seem to want- it would treat violence the same way it treats any other choice in a free market- it would allow the market to operate.

What you want is freedom with conditions- and that is what the statists want too. True freedom includes the freedom to act in ways that you don't personally approve of- and that seems to be an idea you find impossible to accept.

If you wish to put free choice at the apex of your value pyramid then you cannot at the same time impose your own personal rules on how this freedom is used- if you do then you are in conflict with your own values.

A free market society would be one in which the choice to be violent or non violent would be determined by the market- not by you making up some arbitrary rules against violence- that not a free market, that's you imposing your views on everyone else- which is what the statists do.

Edited by wonderpup

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Who said anything about subsistence farming? A cheap house and some land to put it on would be good enough for most people... but then the state won't let you do that either.

I'm sure with some patent free robots to build the parts and some patent free vehicles to help plug it together, you would be housed for very little. Some cheap, patent free robot grown food would make day to day life pretty cheap too.

This. I posted a thread a few months back about a giant 3d printer which can build a house, complete with wiring and plumbing in under 24 hours.

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You say 'without violence'- but this is an attempt on your part to act as an external force influencing the transaction. So while you claim to support the idea that people should be free to act- you really mean that they should act as you demand they act.

Nope - I didn't discuss 'how', I just asserted what it 'is'.

People are free to act as they wish. If they use violence, then you don't have a free market society. Simple.

Because you personally disapprove of violence you want to limit my freedom to act violently. This is not giving me free choice- this is you imposing arbitrary limits of my freedom.

In a true free market society the choice to use or not use violence would be determined by the market- not some arbitrary rule you happen to want to impose.

Choosing to use or not use violence in a free market society is the same as choosing what brand of toothpaste to buy- both are free choices, both are the outcome of individual cost–benefit analysis.

Nope. You can act violently if you wish in a free society, stealing and raping as you go, but then you won't have a free market society.

So you don't want a free market- you want a market that follows rules that you have decided on.

Why not let the market decide? Instead of making up rules about how free people should behave?

I'm not making any rules up. I'm just asserting that if you use violence, you don't have a free market society (is there an echo in here?).

You can let the market decide that violence is fine, but don't pretend they are free trades - they are not. If they were, taxation would be a free trade, with statism providing a free market society, which is clearly nonsense.

Remove them- how-by force? You can't 'remove' choice without interfering in the free market. In a free market violence can not be 'removed'- it will always remain a free choice- unless a statist like you comes along and tries to remove it by force of course.

How it is achieved is irrelevant to the definition. I don't need to tell you how to boil water, in order to define what boiling water is.

Only in your mind. In reality it's obvious that freedom to choose must include freedom to choose violence- how indeed could you 'remove' this choice without becoming the very external force you say should not exist?

You're free to choose violence, but when you do, you don't have a free market society.

In a free market society the freedom to use violence is a given- try to to impose your mad ideas of non violence and you will need a gang of thugs to do so.

Nope. This is an oxymoron.

Right- so now freedom of choice is irrelevant- even the statists don't go this far.

Nope. We're defining what a free market society is - how it is achieved is irrelevant. Try reading everything twice, if it helps you to comprehend it.

This is a classic statist 'argument'- no attempt to explain- just pure assertion backed by nothing.

Pure nonsense.

And the statist's define a free society as one in which everyone obeys their rules- so what is the difference? You have this 'non violence' issue but instead of letting the free market operate you want to impose your rules.

A free society is different from a free market society. The latter is something specific - trades free from violence. Feel free to define what a 'free society' is though.

This is correct- a free market society would not 'remove' violence as you seem to want- it would treat violence the same way it treats any other choice in a free market- it would allow the market to operate.

What you want is freedom with conditions- and that is what the statists want too. True freedom includes the freedom to act in ways that you don't personally approve of- and that seems to be an idea you find impossible to accept.

If you wish to put free choice at the apex of your value pyramid then you cannot at the same time impose your own personal rules on how this freedom is used- if you do then you are in conflict with your own values.

A free market society would be one in which the choice to be violent or non violent would be determined by the market- not by you making up some arbitrary rules against violence- that not a free market, that's you imposing your views on everyone else- which is what the statists do.

More nonsense and waffle.

I never asserted that a free market society would 'remove violence'. This is just another one of your many straw men you throw up.

A free market society is one where free trades - trades without violence - occur. This is a definition. It isn't a guide of how to get there. This isn't a 'demand' for people not to use violence. It is just what a free market society is.

I don't need to explain how to boil water, in order to define that cool water changes state into boiling water at 100C. I don't need to explain how to prevent people throwing cold water in it, in order to define what boiling water is either.

You seem to have a very muddled mind and are incapable of separating the definition from the implementation. I'm sorry this is the case, but you could just admit that you don't understand, rather than endlessly jumping to incorrect conclusions.

Edited by Traktion

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Nope. You can act violently if you wish in a free society, stealing and raping as you go, but then you won't have a free market society.

You seem to be conflating two similar, but different, ideas there.

Stealing and raping are not free market trades - it is a one-sided transaction. you are taking something, and not offering something else in return.

If you threaten someone, and they comply with your demand, they are you *are* trading somethig - the threatee is walking away with their life / big toe / whatever, in exchange for their wallet / watch / jewellery.

A trade needs two people - offer, and aceptance (as you know!). breaking into someones house and taking stuff therefore isn't a trade.

Threatening violence, the person not accepting, and carrying out the violence, is not trade.

Threatening violence, the person accepting, and receiving their wallet, is a trade. Not a nice trade, and a coerced trade, but a trade none the less.

All trades are coerced, to some extent. just the threat of violence is an extreme example.

That is then why you need a morality enforcement agency - be that a gang of thugs, peer pressure, ostracism, the law courts, whatever.

Imagine a scenario where someone just comes up to you and asks you for your wallet - depending on my appearance, and your nervousness, you might just accept and hand it over, without violence ever having been implied or suggested.

In principal, it's no different to someone with a charity box asking you for money.

In principal, it's no different to someone offering you a silly nominal sum in exchange for your wallet.

In principal, it's no different to someone offering you huge sum in exchange for your wallet, because they really like it.

All, of course, as long as the violence does not occur. Because as soon as it does, it means that your free choice has been denied.

It's an important distinction.

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Nope. You can act violently if you wish in a free society, stealing and raping as you go, but then you won't have a free market society.

You seem to be conflating two similar, but different, ideas there.

Stealing and raping are not free market trades - it is a one-sided transaction. you are taking something, and not offering something else in return.

If you threaten someone, and they comply with your demand, they are you *are* trading somethig - the threatee is walking away with their life / big toe / whatever, in exchange for their wallet / watch / jewellery.

A trade needs two people - offer, and aceptance (as you know!). breaking into someones house and taking stuff therefore isn't a trade.

Threatening violence, the person not accepting, and carrying out the violence, is not trade.

Threatening violence, the person accepting, and receiving their wallet, is a trade. Not a nice trade, and a coerced trade, but a trade none the less.

I agree with the above, which is why I've suggested many times in this thread, that such an exchange is a violent/coerced trade. It is a 'trade' in a 'market' in the broadest sense, but it isn't a free trade.

You may have a free (for all) society, where violent/coerced trades are common. You wouldn't call it a free market society though, as this implies that violent/coerced trades do not take place.

I'm not sure if that was clear in the quoted text, but I attempted to highlight the important difference. I think we agree here?

All trades are coerced, to some extent. just the threat of violence is an extreme example.

I reject that assertion - swapping a pen for a pencil, because you prefer the way the writing looks with the latter, is not a coerced trade.

I would also assert that coercion is something more severe than just the act of influence; it is seen as a duress crime, which is usually categorised as the threat/use of violence, to influence another. I would accept that many trades have various influences, but to call them coercion is a mis-categorisation, IMO.

That is then why you need a morality enforcement agency - be that a gang of thugs, peer pressure, ostracism, the law courts, whatever.

Imagine a scenario where someone just comes up to you and asks you for your wallet - depending on my appearance, and your nervousness, you might just accept and hand it over, without violence ever having been implied or suggested.

You would be fearing/expecting violence, as otherwise you wouldn't hand your wallet over. You would tell them it is yours and that they should kindly ask someone else for money.

In principal, it's no different to someone with a charity box asking you for money.

In principal, it's no different to someone offering you a silly nominal sum in exchange for your wallet.

In principal, it's no different to someone offering you huge sum in exchange for your wallet, because they really like it.

All, of course, as long as the violence does not occur. Because as soon as it does, it means that your free choice has been denied.

It's an important distinction.

I agree with all of the above too.

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  • 294 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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