I want to talk about the experience of the mind, under economics, science and operationalism, versus under language, logic and math under platonism. But I don’t know the words to use. There is a very great similarity between language, logic, math, mysticism and religion, that is not extant in economics, science, and operationalism. Now, I sort of ‘get’ it. But I can’t quite figure out how to talk about it. One of the problems is that under internally consistent mythos (declarative inventions) we call axiomatic systems, and objective reality (externally correspondent descriptions (descriptive statements) we call theoretical systems, is that there is some strange appearance of the infinite in axiomatic (mythical) systems that does not exist in theoretical (descriptive) systems. And I can’t quite put my finger on it. But I think Operationalism cures it. Maybe that is one of the metaphysical consequences of studying science and economics? Does it cure our native imaginary mysticism? Usually by writing something like this I can touch what is on the tip of my tongue. And I’m failing. But I know it’s something like this: when we describe an axiomatic system, it is unbounded by reality’s limits. I even know why it is so – the limit of the number of concepts we can run at one time. I know that we are often ‘awed’ by what should not awe us but be obvious: that whenever we stipulate models or axioms we construct all possible consequences in that utterance, even though we cannot ‘imagine’ all such possible consequences. Our imagination takes license to create ‘the imaginary reality’ out of what was merely a computationally larger set of consequences than our feeble minds can process. What bit of cognitive bias and psychology makes us attracted to the imaginary? Is it another garden of eden? An intellectual space where we are unbounded by reality for just a moment? I think so. I think it evokes the feeling of the undiscovered valley full of new resources and prey. It’s a cognitive bias. An evolutionary instinct. And another instinct or cognitive bias that is no longer useful in our current state. Does science train us out of it? I think so. We still have people, and I think we try to create people, who obtain their awe from scientific, or in the case of TED viewers, pseudoscientific, rather than imaginary exploration? But without operationalism the ‘conversion’ of scientific man is incomplete. Maybe that is what the 20th century represented? The last throws of mysticism? Our attempt to hold onto the imaginary garden of eden where we are unburdened by reality? Is that fascination in the 20th century a reaction to the vast increases in scale that affected all of our lives? Is it a distraction from alienation, disempowerment, the loss of our traditions, and the desperate need to feel we could regain previous sense of control and certainty. Is our job to complete the transformation? To abandon our last mysteries? So that we can RESTORE OUR CIVIL SOCIETY and once again eliminate our alienation? The central problem of modernity?
CONSENSUS, INTENT, TABOO AND SACRED VS INCENTIVES AND INSTITUTIONS : ANOTHER INEQUALITY
(very good piece)
We humans are usually much happier once we figure out that “consensus and intent” are possible only for small groups, and beyond that scale we must construct protocols (processes) and incentives (information) via institutions (formal institutions) such that it is unnecessary for individuals to constantly exist in conflict between incentives for self interest and the goals of the organization and the polity.
There are certain “taboos and sacredness” that it is possible to instill pedagogically. But the more rational and educated the human the less taboos can be used to restrain him from making exceptions that he can justify by his reason. The lower the intelligence of individuals, the more they rely upon intuition, upon the information that they obtain from others, and upon intuitions of ‘sacred and taboo’. So the more educated the populace, the more complex the division of knowledge and labor, the more necessary are incentives and institutions and the lower value there is to “consensus, intent, sacredness and taboo”.
We require formal institutions. The pricing system is our most important formal information system. It tells us everything we need to know about our condition related to that of others, and tells us what we we should be doing to serve others whether we want to do it, or can do it, or not. It is our most important information system. Morality and ethics captured in the law prohibits a spectrum of “free riding” (the violation of the contract for logical participation in cooperation) from the criminal, to the ethical, to the conspiratorial, to the moral. We are left to our own devices to prevent conquest. Army, Religion and Credit are our most common defenses.
The failure of the sentimental, lesser mind, is not to grasp this basic spectrum whereby humans are materially unequal in their abilities an there frames of reference, and therefore in their means of action. The lower you are on the scale, the more consensus, intent, taboo, and sacred, and the more you depend upon others for knowledge necessary for action. The higher you are on the scale the more you depend on reason, incentives, justification, institutions and abstract information to make your decisions independently of those who rely upon their peers.
This pattern means that the exceptional people are always trying to outwit the less, and therefore, invent new economic means which those below them adopt and later benefit from. We tend to think only in terms of technology and consumption, and not behavior as technology. But rational innovations can easily be adopted by repetition and habituation and from that we develop the sacred and the taboo.
As such the rational and scientific solution to the problem of creating commons is, as the british did, privatization of administration of the commons so that institutions and rules and incentives can suffice where consensus, intent, taboo and sacred cannot.
The enlightenment error is everywhere. We are not equal. We are not similar, and that is why we form a division of knowledge and labor. We cannot ask each other to operate by the same consensus, intent, taboo and sacredness. Because we unequally make use of peers versus non-peer, abstract, information.
The conservatives say this in moral language that is so arational it is impossible to disassemble. But they have made sacred this set of ideas. And that is how they function.
It turns out that honesty (truth) is the most important political institution, because it permits people to trust, which in turn permits risk taking, which in turn permits capital accumulation, which in turn produces economic velocity, which in turn produces prosperity. You might not think it matters so much, but of all the institutions humans have invented, creating an incentive to tell the truth is perhaps the hardest one. And while we in the west, particularly the anglo-germanic west, take it for granted that telling the truth is ‘good’ in some sort of civic or spiritual way, the fact of the matter is that the rest of the world, outside of christendom, not only does not think that way but does not feel that way either.
Truth is a ‘universalist’ good. Only westerners are more universalist than familial or tribalist. We are the only people to have done it. We stomp around the world with our suicidal universalism promoted as a spiritual good, rather than contract and rule of law that hold us accountable for trades. It is quite possible to construct enforceable contracts as long as the language facilitates it,and by using an alternative language if not, and from the habit of rule of law, property rights, and enforceable contracts, an upper commercial class will form from the wealth generated by using them. Others, seeking entry into the commercial class and its resulting wealth, will adopt the behavior, and this becomes an upper class norm that people must demonstrate in order to participate in economic prosperity, and failure to participate in that norm will leave one in poverty.
Our civilization evolved truth telling first, because of our tactics in war. But most civilizations must have a reason to evolve property, truth telling, and therefore trust.
But just because a civilization evolves a normative technology, does not mean that the institutions that perpetuate that technology cannot be spread. They can. Anything that enforces a norm, can be used to instill a norm.
The technology to export around the world was (a) title registry – ie property rights. (b) contract law (c) trial by randomly selected jury (d) juridical (law) universities, with extraordinary performance requirements rather than recitation. One can use recitation of facts with those who already understand the norms, but one cannot instill facts dependent upon norms that do not exist.
For these reasons, democracy was damaging to societies. One can administer a territory in whatever way necessary for the production and service of the commons. And a leader can certainly seek rents this way, and not be threatened by commercial activity. But the means by which one conducts commerce via property law has nothing to do with that, and as such, there is no need for property rights and law to be part of the government – instead property law constructs the institutional means of cooperating within society itself, independent of government. Government need do nothing about it, except not to interfere.
Judges resolve disputes based upon property rights. Advocacy is for the church. Administration of the commons for the government. Mixing the three functions Commerce, Culture and Commons is a recent mistake even in our western cultures – the church, law and state must be independent creatures to keep each other from excessive rents.
We really screwed up the world. We gave them science, accounting, medicine and law, and the moral charter to service the population. But we also gave them democracy, which is dangerous luxury good. And we did not give them the means of producing the common law, which is the first NECESSARY good.
(insightful)(first application of operationalism)
West Point forbids its cadets to use the passive voice. It’s an excellent practice. In the strict sense we forbid the passive voice in English and it makes for much more solid communication than in French where the passive voice acceptable. Inverted sentences in the passive voice drive me nuts as they seem nothing more than the exclamation of a noun that the speaker modifies with adjectives and participles, which he, in turn, further modifies with adverbs.
I think also that the passive voice makes for a cultural vulnerability that socialism and the ‘victimism’ exploit. If you are a people to whom things happen (passive voice), are you not more likely to allow a nebulous 3rd party (the State) act on you? If, on the other hand, you are a nation that makes things happens (active voice), are you not more likely to oppose the usurpation/negation of your liberties?”– Don Finnegan
Active Voice, E-Prime, and Operational Language place increasing demands on the speaker such that his words cannot contain obscurantisms.
(Germans were wrong. English is better for philosophy. lol)
ARISTOCRATIC EGALITARIAN LIBERTARIANISM
A kinship of property rights.
The initiatic brotherhood of warriors.
The cult of egalitarian sovereignty
The origins of western exceptionalism.
The only possible means of possessing liberty.
The solution to the problem of creating extra-familial trust, is achieved by the extension of property rights, in exchange for the reciprocal guarantee of defending each other’s property.
I didn’t invent it. I just wrote it down. For the first time in 4000 years.
(And it wasn’t easy either.)
FROM : Roman Skaskiw
QUESTION: Been reading Fukuyama — Seems state structures replaced kinship-Aristocratic ones b/c states were better at coordinating violence and meritocracy (first in war, then in bureaucracy).
He uses the end of the Chou Dynasty in China to illustrate this.
1. Do you agree with this assessment? 2. Do you think modern technology and understanding could overcome these disadvantages if we reverted to some form of aristocratic kinship?
Yes. Because they had insufficient property rights.
Yes, Because they had a low trust society.
The monarchies did not have this problem. Nor could they build such great edifices of war. I think, whether Fukukuyama admits it, where all other historians do, the purpose of the Chinese system was the conduct of war and suppression.
By contrast, the purpose of the western model is ADJUDICATION. One cannot had adjudication without property rights. One must have tyranny. One cannot have adjudication without property rights, one must have tyranny.
Command and control under the western model is superior. Rates of innovation under the western modal are superior. The fact that the Chinese got started first, is not much testimony. The fact that no matter what Europe did, when it used science, it exceeded rates of development of all other civilizations. Property rights and science. They are both ‘CALCULABLE’ institutions.
The west, under duress kept the “east” (desert and steppe people) at bay.
The east, under duress, kept the “west ” (desert and steppe people) at bay.
We just chose different models, and the desert and steppe people are still a (fkng) problem to this day.
The Propertarian Institute
(Guest Post by Eli Harman: )
Asking people to forego parasitism (if they’re weak) or predation (if they’re strong) is asking them to bear a substantial opportunity cost. They will only do so if someone stands ready to impose a higher actual cost for choosing to engage in them.
This is what Curt Doolittle means when he says “liberty must be manufactured by violence.”
Libertarians love to sing liberty’s praises, and there is much to be said in its favor. But it does not follow from this that liberty is always in everyone’s best interests. There are many people who stand to lose more from liberty than they would stand to gain. (And not just because they misperceive the situation.) There are still more people for whom the uncertainty over what they would stand to gain or lose would make desiring liberty irrational.
The incentives that favor liberty do not exist by default, they must be proactively created. And in order for this to happen there must be people likely to benefit from liberty, strong people, capable people, wise people, intelligent people, responsible people, farsighted people; in short, aristocrats. And they must organize to impose liberty on the remainder by force, and in many cases, to their detriment, or to their enduring resentment.
If liberty is thus to be manufactured, the problem of free-riding must also be overcome by institutional forms that deny the benefits of liberty to those unwilling to participate in its manufacture, and that preserves the benefits for the exclusive enjoyment of those so willing.
THE IRONY OF AUSTRIAN APRIORISM
(profound) (reformation of libertarianism)
From my position as a scientific realist, understanding that praxeology is and must be an operational discipline, the advocates of apriorism and the universal deducibility of economics appear humorously ironic – whenever they are not exasperatingly frustrating.
We cannot deduce economic phenomenon (laws) from fist principles. We have not. We do not. We will not. The matter is settled by the evidence that we did not deduce sticky prices, consumer irrationality, the extraordinary impact of morality on economics, and the multitude of cognitive biases that incorrectly inform our intuitions.
But, what we CAN do, given an empirically, instrumentally observed phenomenon, is to deduce the incentives to act, and therefore the actions that produce economic phenomenon, particularly emergent economic phenomenon, once they are empirically observed.
And conversely, we can test the rationality of incentives, and the voluntary or involuntary transfer of property, of economic propositions, if they are stated in operational language: as a SERIES OF HUMAN ACTIONS. (ie: operationalism)
We can perform this test because human incentives sufficient for the voluntary organization of production are marginally indifferent. If they were not marginally indifferent then the voluntary organization of production in a polity of humans would be if not impossible, at least far more difficult.
We do experience this level of difficulty whenever the difference in the portfolio of property rights used in any two polities are sufficiently different that trade must be reduced to the lowest common denominator. This is the case for trade barriers.
Trade barriers compensate for differences in local purchasing power, but also for differences in local property rights – for example, when the export of natural resources are subject to tariffs for redistribution to the polity. But the more common example is trade with primitive societies in which intertemporal contract and property do not exist.
OPERATIONALISM = HUMAN ACTION
Operationalism is the requirement that we express statements as a series of actions. Operationalism requires that we demonstrate knowledge of construction, because one cannot make operational statements without knowledge of construction.
Human action is an operationalist discipline. It a contradiction to state that the study of human actions differs from the study of operations in sequence. These terms are synonymous. The logic of describing the world in terms of human actions.
Kant invented his philosophy to construct obscurantism in an effort to restore authority lost by religion in the enlightenment. It is an anti-scientific, anti-anglo empiricist philosophy of social rebellion. Cognitive science has come down on the Anglo side of the argument. The study of economics is, like all human investigation into phenomenon, one requiring the scientific method.
The scientific method is not particular to science. It only emerged in that discipline and therefore bears the name of that discipline. The scientific method is the only known means of organized, intentional, investigation of reality.
The scientific method is the universal epistemological method. It is the best one that we have found.
SCIENCE VS EMPIRICISM, POSITIVISM, AND FALSIFICATION
One of the most common fallacies of libertarian arguments is the conflation of science and the scientific method with either empiricism or positivism or both.
Science as it is practiced states that we never know the most parsimonious theory with the greatest explanatory power that explains causal relations and changes in state. And, that any model we construct whether verbal, operational, or logical and axiomatic rests upon a network of concepts that can be restructured at any point forward. This is a skeptical position and science has taught us it is correct to be skeptical. But in economics and politics, this uncertainty is not a weakness. It is a strength. We do not need greater certainty to act. We need greater certainty only to compel others to action. And in libertarian theory we should never seek to compel others to action except through fully informed voluntary exchange.
-Context and Precision-
Some of the time our theories are entirely false (phlogiston theory) some of which are limited by precision (newton’s theory of gravity). Both theories are false. But phlogiston theory is false in all circumstances, and newton’s theory of gravity is only false outside of the boundaries of “human scale” (the very small and the very large). Economic theories, referring to aggregates, are almost always false for any given case within the aggregate, but not for the aggregate expression itself. So theories, correspondence with reality, always and everywhere, are context dependent.
-Math and Logic-
Now, the same is true for most mathematical theories. The goal of mathematics is to create context independent general rules. So rules of arbitrary precision. And mathematics has had terrible difficulty in maintaining deductive certainty while trying to create rules independent of context. ie: with arbitrary precision. They solved it with the axiom of choice and maintaining the law of the excluded middle. Both of which are logical violations necessary to construct rules using arbitrary precision independent of context
Falsification only requires that a statement be both falisifiable and that we can no longer identify new tests. It does not say that we need to repeat tests. Just the opposite. It says that we must create more precise, narrower tests, to further harden a theory if we wish to further test it. In fact, confirmation (repeating a test) is, under falsification, a fallacy. Since it merely confirms the prior test, and says nothing about the theory itself.
-Sufficiency For Voluntary Action-
*The Only Form Of Scientific Certainty Is The Level Sufficient For Voluntary Action*: Science states that we can never know enough to be certain, only that we can know enough to willingly ACT using the best of our knowledge at any given point; and that our confidence in those actions must be limited by the durability of a theory.
The important point for libertarians being, that unlike the ironic fallacies put forth by Mises, the scientific argument is that there is NEVER a case where if you are not convinced of something, that you may be deprived of your property for political purposes – unless you are free riding.
Some theories are very durable. We call them laws. A law is a theory that we cannot figure out how to disprove, and whose precision and explanatory power we do not yet know how to increase.
Most theories that describe economic aggregates are imprecise, time variant, and open to additional precision, and externalities. In fact, it is nearly impossible to make statements about economic phenomenon that are not imprecise, time variant, and open to additional precision and externalities.
So as general, imprecise, time variant, rules, open to increases in precision, for the description of aggregates, most ‘laws’ are not useful for the ascertainment of any individual case within that aggregate. We can make a general statement about aggregates, but we cannot make particular statements about cases.
In other words, economics is a young, immature, scientific discipline, consisting of observations both external and internal, logical instrumentation to prove the internal, physical to measure the external, and reason to judge the sufficiency of correspondence.
The question of whether or not state manipulation of information carried by the pricing system as a means of producing incentives to increase consumption and employment, is one not of scientific validity – but whether one uses false claims of certainty to justify the immorality of stealing from people by various means of involuntarily transfer for the purpose of conducting experiments that produce negative externalities equal to or worse than the benefits of consumption and employment.
REFORMATION OF LIBERTY
Three cultures: the anglo transparent and empirical, german continental obscurant and authoritarian rational, and the jewish cosmopolitan separatist obscurant pseudo-rational, were all different reactions to the enlightenment that attempted to preserve group evolutionary and competitive strategy in their arguments.
However, only one of those three strategies is true, transparent, operational, and scientific: the anglo empirical. Anglos were an homogenous outbred polity on an island. Germans a semi-homogenous semi-outbred polity holding borders. Jews where an unlanded, unwanted, outcast polity held in isolation within host countries. The evolutionary, competitive, cultural and therefore philosophical needs of these groups reflected their circumstances. Anglo transparency is evidence of a lack of fear of conflict of interest.
So, liberty must be resurrected from the failed Continental and Cosmopolitan programs, and, like all other disciplines, restated scientifically such that it can evolve into the 21st century, and lose it’s cultish and archaic dogma. Without that reformation, it is impossible to engage the majority polities, that do rely on scientific language in rational arguments. And if we are to escape the justified criticism of dogmatic and false misesian and rothbardian arguments, then to escape ridicule and fallacy alone we must make this transformation.
Jewish Cosmopolitanism attempted to preserve group cohesion by adapting their cult language and philosophy to rely upon secular arguments. Cult language and philosophy creates barriers to cooperation outside the group and increases utility of cooperation within the group. Science instead, is an attempt to create a universal language independent of group esotericists designed for group cohesion. (Against religions in particular.) And that attempt to create a universal language, succeeded. Science has won. The universal language, grammar, and process consist of scientific realism, and the scientific method, and it’s inclusion of empiricism, instrumentalism, operationalism, and falsificationism.
Misesians and Rothbardians and their ‘Austrian’ offshoots, all engage in loading, framing and overloading. Loading is the act of adding moral and emotional content to an argument. Framing is a form of fraud by omission, in which only preferred causes and effects are used for the argument, usually in support of some form of loading. Overloading is a form of deception, and exaggerated form of framing, where you construct a great body of information and argument using framed and loaded (selective) arguments in order to overwhelm the listener’s ability to conduct truth tests against it. And the reduction of statements to operations on the exchange of property eliminates this ability to conduct deception by loading, framing, and overloading.
THE ETHICS OF OPERATIONALISM
Science, by use of the scientific method, tries to solve the problem of causal density by breaking the the infinite causal density of the universe into discreet statements of cause and effect. The use of Operationalism in ethics, is an attempt to solve the problem of obscurantism, which is deceptive or self deceptive construction of artificial causal density for the purpose of persuasion.
If you cannot state something in operational language that demonstrates knowledge of construction,then you cannot make a truth claim about it, because you do not possess knowledge upon which to make such a truth claim. Moreover, since any true statement can be made operationally and therefore transparently and subject to subjective testing for rationality, then the only reason to NOT make a statement in operational language is to construct obscurant deception. Once aware of this fact, then you are by definition and necessity violating the ethics of debate by relying on other than transparent and operational arguments.
Libertarians are laughable for good reason. If we are to reform libertarianism we must restore liberty to anglo empirical aristocracy, and pull it from german continental authoritarian obscurantism, and jewish cosmopolitan hermeneutic ghetto obscurantism. Libertarianism must evolve so that honest transparent debate in rational and scientific terms can be conducted in favor of liberty and against collectivism in all its forms.
The Propertarian Institute
The Philosophy of Aristocracy
LIBERTY IN OUR LIFETIME
Aphoristic arguments, programmatic as they may be, are ideologically utilitarian, and place limited burden on the speaker. They teach the intuition through use and repetition, better than verbose and detailed arguments.
Conservatives (aristocratic egalitarians) understand this. Or at least intuit it. That is why they win the moral battle for votes, despite inferior intellectuals, and arational arguments.
One may not see it, but look at how fast the work I have done, just since December, is spreading across the internet. My terminology alone is working its way into dialog.
Thanks to the internet, we live in a new order, with new distribution channels. In the current order, the market for information is not controlled by the paradigm of the prior generation.
One need not seek approval or permission from the establishment – only provide the market with product it demands.
One can sell an idea, or, one can create demand for an idea.
One can attempt to create demand for inadequate libertarianism, or one can satisfy demand for an adequate libertarianism.
Liberty that satisfies demand.
Liberty in our lifetimes.
Aristocratic Egalitarianism. Aristocracy (liberty) of the willing.
Ayelam Valentine Agaliba
Anything that can be shown apriori can be demonstrated or translated empirically with higher confidence but not everything that is empirical can be demonstrated apriori.
—“Anything that can be shown apriori can be demonstrated or translated empirically with higher confidence but not everything that is empirical can be demonstrated apriori.”—
Wow. I… I really want to kiss you for that quote. But I think you would object. So I’ll just thank you profusely. lol
(seriously) (worth reading)
It’s been done. Secret? Threaten a big company’s revenue stream or customer base, by providing a service better than they do.
Why is that possible? Internal incompetence of bureaucracies. Why? Because brands always seek to facilitate the brand with tangential value rather than deliver a product or service in the most excellent way possible for consumers regardless of brand. Almost all companies make this mistake, Apple and Microsoft included.
Dropbox should never have had a chance. But every other large organization failed by trying to “leverage”. That is a fallacy.
Beats threatened Apple. Multiple companies threatened Facebook.
Unfortunately management falsely understands the leverage as risk mitigation rather than risk amplification.
Make it excellent. Threaten them over their mistakes.
That is how you become a billionaire in short fashion.
Thankfully I don’t care to be more than a millionaire. I do my threatening of paradigmatic fallacies with political philosophy and for me that is a greater reward.