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If the econmy fails

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Re: If the econmy fails
Post by The E   » Mon Aug 29, 2016 10:33 am

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In this topic: People who have not yet realized that, although numbers and math play a big part in the study of Economics, Economics is a social science, not a physical one.
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Re: If the econmy fails
Post by umbrarchist   » Mon Aug 29, 2016 11:51 am

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The E wrote:In this topic: People who have not yet realized that, although numbers and math play a big part in the study of Economics, Economics is a social science, not a physical one.


To summarize: for most of human history a tiny tiny % of the people controlled virtually all of the wealth, a small middle class existed to serve them while the vast majority of humanity >90% lived in abject poverty. The economic theory is that this situation is the human norm and that deviations from the norm will always revert to it because those in power will rig the system to make it so.


This is a very interesting topic but it seems people's thinking is clouded by all sorts of biases. I am not trying to say I am not but that does color the discussion.

One common bias seems to be people believe that Capitalism is responsible for technology. There is no doubt that money motivated some inventors but the creation and implementation of technology are separate issues.

The year 1900 makes a good transition point. I recently read the book Black Beauty. It is one of those titles you hear a lot but never read. I read it because of the Great Horse Manure Crisis of 1894.

https://fee.org/articles/the-great-hors ... s-of-1894/

Black Beauty presents the perspective of the society and the technology of Victorian England. 1912 is the year that the number of motor vehicles exceeded the number of horses in New York City. Technology changed the economy and social BS mostly gets in the way. People want to play Economic Power Games so the technology is mostly not used to solve problems regardless of Capitalism, Communism or Socialism.

I find it curious that none of the 'isms advocate mandatory accounting in the schools.
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Re: If the econmy fails
Post by The E   » Mon Aug 29, 2016 1:23 pm

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umbrarchist wrote:I find it curious that none of the 'isms advocate mandatory accounting in the schools.


I dunno, basic accounting and bookkeeping is definitely mandatory around here. Not in primary education, but any sort of vocational training has to include it.
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Re: If the econmy fails
Post by DDHv   » Mon Aug 29, 2016 3:26 pm

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Rincewind wrote:
snip

I can remember reading an article in an engineering magazine my father used to get said that if engineers were as accurate as economists they would have been instantly dismissed.


From: "Human Action," by Ludwig von Mises

Gambling, engineering, and speculating are three different modes of dealing with the future.

The gambler snip All that he knows is the frequency of (class results) snip The engineer, on the other hand knows everything that is needed for a technologically satisfactory solution snip In the real world acting man is faced with the fact that there are fellow men acting on their own behalf as he himself acts. The necessity to adjust his actions to other people's actions makes him a speculator for whom success and failure depend on this greater of lesser ability to understand the future. snip

And even engineers working on a complex project use checklists (by several names.)

The book is heavy (881 pages ex index), but provides many insights. One is the difference between class probability (which an astute gambler knows) and case probability (as of a good doctor dealing with a particular patient's condition). Only one error of known fact has been found, not bad for a book copyrighted in 1949. Completely read, some things were surprising, so some things were learned.

Suggested reading for those wanting to get an idea of what parts of economics are solid, and which are guess-estimates (as of 1949)
:geek: level.

The treasure we have in public libraries, even when allowance is made for the large amounts of trash and error, is tremendous. Someone who knows he doesn't know, can learn
;)

The E wrote:I dunno, basic accounting and bookkeeping is definitely mandatory around here. Not in primary education, but any sort of vocational training has to include it.


Goody. Often, I wonder if the lawmakers in the US have ever studied these subjects! They aren't economics, but help to understand it. Sort of like using phonics to learn reading
:D

From: http://www.fool.com/investing/2016/08/1 ... about.aspx

If you tell people what they want to hear, you can be wrong indefinitely without penalty. This explains the careers of many pundits.

Could this explain why many things don't happen according to the expectations of accepted pundits
:?:
Last edited by DDHv on Tue Sep 27, 2016 6:49 am, edited 2 times in total.
Douglas Hvistendahl
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Dumb mistakes are very irritating.
Smart mistakes go on forever
Unless you test your assumptions!
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Re: If the econmy fails
Post by umbrarchist   » Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:51 am

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Where does engineering and economics mix?

Planned Obsolescence.

PO creates more work for engineers. But economists don't talk about Demand Side Depreciation. With more than One Billion cars on the planet, how much depreciation does that amount to every year?
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Re: If the econmy fails
Post by DDHv   » Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:15 pm

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umbrarchist wrote:Where does engineering and economics mix?

Planned Obsolescence.

PO creates more work for engineers. But economists don't talk about Demand Side Depreciation. With more than One Billion cars on the planet, how much depreciation does that amount to every year?

Work that isn't often useful!
Planned obsolescence is when the item is made obsolete, but not because something truly better was produced :shock: OTOH, I'm still using old designs of shovels, rakes, and spading forks in my backyard garden, and if you put the work under "exercise you don't need to pay for at the gym", the ROI on the amount we eat ourselves is great :!:

Worth Reading:

New Ideas from Dead Economists by Todd Bucholz

Above book wrote:Market competition leads a self-interested person to wake up in the morning, look outside at the Earth and produce from its raw material, not what he wants, but what others want.

:idea: The reason free economies work better than planned ones is that they put people's self interest into harness, and use it to pull the plows of creativity and entrepreneurship
8-)

PS, Our harvest is slowing down as days shorten and temperatures drop. BJ complains in harvest season about how hard it is to keep up, but fills the cupboards with preserved food anyway
;)

From: http://constitution.com/history-repeats ... a-tragedy/

How many people have to die before the world, including many Americans, realizes that socialism never works, always fails, and kills people?

and

Nonetheless, the solutions that Bernie offered lead us down the well-trod path of socialism. It’s not deadly at first, but it gets deadly when the state has to ensure that people will follow along with its edicts.


A recently read comment (which means I forgot who wrote it) said that ANY centralized economy puts too much burden on the bureaucrat who has to decide the price for item X. He must either set it too low, which produces shortages, set it too high, which produces too much inventory, or set it just right, which never lasts for long. :lol:

This is correct. In any really free economy, excesses are reduced by sales; shortages are reduced by higher prices (which also brings entrepreneurs into the supply chain for item X), and there just isn't the frozen brittleness of centralization. A central planner causes much more damage than an entrepreneur when there is a mistake! Ski resorts prevent damaging avalanches by setting off sticks of dynamite after heavy snows to produce many harmless ones. Large forest fires happen when the dead wood accumulates, which small fires prevent. Properly designed logging helps also with this. 8-)

Chaos theory explains this in some detail
:!:
Last edited by DDHv on Tue Sep 27, 2016 6:53 am, edited 3 times in total.
Douglas Hvistendahl
Retired technical nerd

Dumb mistakes are very irritating.
Smart mistakes go on forever
Unless you test your assumptions!
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Re: If the econmy fails
Post by umbrarchist   » Sat Sep 24, 2016 1:32 pm

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DDHv wrote:Planned obsolescence is when the item is made obsolete, but not because something truly better was produced :shock: OTOH, I'm still using old designs of shovels, rakes, and spading forks in my backyard garden, and if you put the work under "exercise you don't need to pay for at the gym", the ROI on the amount we eat ourselves is great :!:


And what is truly better? I used to repair stereo equipment in the '70s before I switched to compters. Suppose there were 10 changes in a model line from one year to the next. Maybe 3 would be technological improvements, 5 would be useles variations in styling and 2 would be cheaper construction.

So how much qualifies as PO?
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Re: If the econmy fails
Post by DDHv   » Tue Sep 27, 2016 6:58 am

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umbrarchist wrote:
DDHv wrote:Planned obsolescence is when the item is made obsolete, but not because something truly better was produced :shock: OTOH, I'm still using old designs of shovels, rakes, and spading forks in my backyard garden, and if you put the work under "exercise you don't need to pay for at the gym", the ROI on the amount we eat ourselves is great :!:


And what is truly better? I used to repair stereo equipment in the '70s before I switched to compters. Suppose there were 10 changes in a model line from one year to the next. Maybe 3 would be technological improvements, 5 would be useles variations in styling and 2 would be cheaper construction.

So how much qualifies as PO?

A very good question! Another, often neglected, is how we get poor deciders out of controlling the decisions. In a really free and honest economy, they eventually go broke, solving that problem. Bureaus are notorious for not firing people no matter how poorly they do
:evil:

From: http://constitution.com/american-hero-w ... oppressed/

I’ve been to third world countries and seen REAL oppression. Where 4-year-old kids were homeless, smoking cigarettes, begging for food and water with no hope for a future, education, a home, running water, income, etc. etc., that’s oppression!

When living in the city, I suggest to some unemployed youngsters that they put some food plants into nearby vacant lots. They looked at me as if they couldn't understand that at all
:cry:
Douglas Hvistendahl
Retired technical nerd

Dumb mistakes are very irritating.
Smart mistakes go on forever
Unless you test your assumptions!
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Re: If the econmy fails
Post by umbrarchist   » Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:17 am

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DDHv wrote:When living in the city, I suggest to some unemployed youngsters that they put some food plants into nearby vacant lots. They looked at me as if they couldn't understand that at all
:cry:


We are indoctrinated into this pseudo-civilized city box. That was the straange thing about starting to read SF in 4th grade. At first it was just fun, but after a couple of years there developed this huge cognitive disonance between ideas from school and ideas out of SF books. That led me to reading stuff that was non-fiction based on words and info from SF.

I came to the conclusion that school was mostly stupid.

Schools produce brainwashed workers and TV produces brainwashed consumers.

Oh no, it's The Space Merchants from 1952. LOL
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Re: If the econmy fails
Post by DDHv   » Fri Oct 21, 2016 9:20 am

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umbrarchist wrote:
DDHv wrote:When living in the city, I suggest to some unemployed youngsters that they put some food plants into nearby vacant lots. They looked at me as if they couldn't understand that at all
:cry:


We are indoctrinated into this pseudo-civilized city box. That was the straange thing about starting to read SF in 4th grade. At first it was just fun, but after a couple of years there developed this huge cognitive disonance between ideas from school and ideas out of SF books. That led me to reading stuff that was non-fiction based on words and info from SF.

I came to the conclusion that school was mostly stupid.

Schools produce brainwashed workers and TV produces brainwashed consumers.

Oh no, it's The Space Merchants from 1952. LOL

I enjoyed that one also, still have a PB somewhere. It reminds me of Jon Swift's "Gulliver's travels" in its satire and the resemblance to some parts of society.

When China decided to build big cities, they should have required rooftop and vertical wall gardens as a standard feature
:idea:
These are being experimented with in various places, I've not read a history of them yet
:|

Have you noted that our recent improvements in cross communication reduce the influence of publisher and other "gatekeepers" about our access to information
:?:

Unfortunately, the needed emphasis on observation, rather than theory, seems to be often missing
:cry:
Douglas Hvistendahl
Retired technical nerd

Dumb mistakes are very irritating.
Smart mistakes go on forever
Unless you test your assumptions!
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