Math was constructed from, and must, of necessity, consist of a series of operations. And consequently, all mathematics is reducible to a few simple operations. (Which is why computers can calculate.) In practice. everything we can think of can be reduced to adding or removing one, and the test of equality.

(As an aside, this is why we can explain more possibilities with mathematics than the physical universe can demonstrate in reality: because the universe does not have this level of freedom due to the apparent complexity of its interacting forces.)

The act of adding and subtracting the symbols we call numerals and positional numbers, is an obvious and common example of creating symbols to replace what would be tedious and incomprehensible repetitions.

This necessity to use symbols to condense information into usable components (categories) is what our brains need to do. Imagine trying to do all operations by counting? It would be impossible. We could not function without these symbols.

Furthermore, describing mathematical equations and proofs as operations is both verbally and syntactically burdensome. And since these operations are largely simple, and can be accurately reduced to symbols (named functions) there is little value in articulating them as operations.

So mathematicians have developed a multitude of symbols and names for what are not extant objects, but names of functions (sets of operations) – just as every other discipline creates heavily loaded terms in order to allow informationally dense communication with fewer words.

Most ‘numbers’ are anything but: they are names, glyphs and symbols, for functions that consist of large numbers of operations. “The natural numbers exist in nature, but all else is the work of man.”

The reason for this complexity is that quantitative, and directional relationships are expressed as ratios, and while some ratios are reducible to numbers, others are not. Those that are not reducible must be expressed as functions. We have not invented a mathematical system that can circumvent this problem. It is possible such a thing cannot be done.

Now aside from the practical utility of creating symbols, that obscure the operations, there is a practical value in using these names by disconnecting these names from their operations and from correspondence with any given scale.

That is, that disconnection allows one to use the logic of mathematics independent of cause, correspondence and scale, to explore ONLY the properties of the relations between the entities in question. And this turns out to be extremely useful for deducing what causes we do not now.

And this extraordinary utility has been responsible for the fact that the discipline has laundered time, causality and scale (precision) from the discipline. But one cannot say that a mathematical statement is true without correspondence with the real world. We can say it is internally consistent (a proof), but not that it is true (descriptive of reality via correspondence).

Mathematics when ‘wrong’ most recently, with Cantor’s sets, in which he used imaginary objects, infinity, the excluded middle and the the axiom of choice, to preserve this syntactical convenience of names, and in doing so, completed the diversion of mathematics from a logic of truth (external correspondence), to one that is merely a logic of proof (internal consistency).

Cantor’s work came at the expense of correspondence, and by consequence at the expense of truth. ie: mathematics does not determine truths, only proofs, because all correspondence has been removed by these ‘contrivances’, whose initial purpose was convenience, but whose accumulated errors have led to such (frankly, absurd) debates, .

So the problem with mathematical platonism, which turns out to be fairly useful for the convenience of practitioners, is not so much a technical problem but a MORAL ONE. First, mathematicians, even the best, rarely grasp this concept. Second, since, because it is EASIER to construct mathematical proofs than any other form of logic, it is the gold standard for other forms of logic. And the envy of other disciplines. And as such mathematical platonism has ‘bled’ into other envious fields, the same way that Physics has bled into economics.

Worse, this multi-axial new mysticism has been adopted by philosophers from Kant to the Frankfurt school to the postmodernists, to contemporary totalitarian humanists as a vehicle for reinserting arational mysticism into political debate – as a means of obtaining power.

Quite contrary to academic opinion, all totalitarianism is, is catholicism restated in non-religious terms, with the academy replacing the church as the constructor of obscurant language.

I suspect this fairly significant error is what has plagued the physics community, but we have found no alternative to current approaches. Albeit, I expect, that if we retrained mathematicians, physicists, and economists to require operational language in the expression of mathematical relations, that whatever error we are making in our understanding of physics would emerge within a generation.

No infinity can exist. Because no operation can be performed infinitely. We can however, adjust the precision and scale of any proof to suit the context, since any mathematical expression, consists of ratios that, if correspond to reality, we can arbitrarily adjust for increasing precision.

Mathematics cannot claim truth without correspondence.
Correspondence in measures is a function of scale and the UTILITY of precision, in the CONTEXT of which the operation is calculated (limit).

A language of mathematics that is described independent of scale in given context, can be correctly stated. It need not be magian.

Fields can still be understood to be imaginary patterns.

But the entire reason that we find such things interesting, is a folly of the mind, no different from the illusion of movement in a film.

The real world exists. We are weak computers of property in pursuit of our reproduction and amusement. We developed many forms of instrumentalism to extend our weak abilities. We must use instruments and methods to reduce to analogies to experience, those things which we cannot directly do so.

It’s just that simple.

AGAINST THE PLATONIC (IMAGINARY) WORLD

Why must we support imaginary objects, as extant? Especially when the constructive argument (intuitionist) in operational language, can provide equal explanatory power?

Why must we rely on ZFC+AC when we have recursive math, or when we can explain all mathematics in operational language without loss of context, scale, precision and utility? Just ’cause it’s easier.

But that complexity is a defense against obscurantism and platonism. So it is merely a matter of cost.

I understand Popper as trying to solve a problem of meta ethics, rather than anything particularly scientific. And I see most of his work as doing the best he could for the purposes that I’ve stated.

Anyone who disagrees with me would have to disagree with my premies and my argument, not rely on the existence of platonist entities (magic) in order to win such an argument.

That this is impossible, is at least something that I understand if no one else yet does. I don’t so much need someone to agree with me as constantly improve my argument so that I can test and harden it until it is unassailable or defeated.

I think that defeating this argument is going to be very, very, difficult.

TIME AND OPERATIONS (ACTIONS) IN TIME

One cannot state that abstract ideas can be constructed independent of time, or even that they could be identified without changes in state over time. Or that thought can occur without the passage of time. Or consciousness can occur without the passage of time.

Whether I make one choice or another is not material. This question is not a matter of choice, it is a matter of possibility. I can make no choice without the passage of time.

I think that the only certain knowledge consists of negations, and that all the rest is conjecture. This is the only moral position to take. And it is the only moral position since argument exists for the purpose of persuasion, and persuasion for cooperation.

I keep seeing this sort of desire to promote the rather obvious idea that induction is nonsense – yet everyone uses it, as a tremendous diversion from the fact that induction is necessary for action in real time, whenever the cost of not acting is higher than the cost of acting.

Description, deduction, induction, abduction, guessing and intuitive choice are just descriptions of the processes we must use given the amount of information at our disposal. Science has no urgency, and life threatening emergencies do.

Popper (and CR-ists for that matter) seem to want to perpetuate either mysticism, or skepticism as religion, rather than make the very simple point that the demands for ‘truth’ increase and decrease given the necessity of acting in time.

I guess that I could take a psychological detour into why people would want to do this. But I suspect that I am correct (as I stated in one of these posts) that popper was, as part of his era, trying to react against the use of science and academia to replace the coercive power of the church. So he restated skepticism by establishing very high criteria for scientific truth.

And all the nonsense that continues to be written about his work seek to read into platonic tea leaves, when the facts are quite SIMPLE. (Back to Argumentation Ethics at this point.) The fact is that humans must act in real time and as the urgency of action increases so does the demand for truth. Conversely, as the demand for cooperation increases, the demand for truth increases. Finally at the top of the scale we have science, which in itself is an expensive pursuit, and as such one is forbidden to externalize costs to other scientists. (Although if we look at papers this doesn’t actually work that well except at the very top margin.)

THE QUESTION IS ONE OF COOPERATION

The problem is ECONOMIC AND COOPERATIVE AND MORAL, not scientific.

It’s just that simple. We cannot disconnect argument from cooperation without entering the platonic. We cannot disconnect math from context without entering the platonic. We cannot disconnect numbers from identity without entering the platonic.

Each form of logic constrains the other. But the logic that constrains them all, is action. Without action, we end up with the delusions we spend most of philosophical discourse on. It’s all nonsense.

I understand the difference between the real and the unreal, and the necessity of our various logics as instruments for the reduction of that which we cannot comprehend (sympathize with) to analogies to experience that we can comprehend ( sympathize with).

Which is profound if you grasp it.

THE PROBLEM OF SYMBOLS AND ECONOMY OF LANGUAGE

If you cannot describe something as human action, then you do not understand it. Operational language is the most important, and least articulated canon of science.

I do not argue against the economy of language. I argue against the loss of causality and correspondence that accompanies repeated use of economizing terms.

( I am pretty sure I put a bullet in this topic along with apriorism in economics. )

MORAL STANDARDS OF TRUTH
Requiring a higher standard of truth places a higher barrier on cooperation.

This is most important in matters of involuntary transfer, such as taxation or social and moral norms.

Religions place an impossible standard of truth. This is why they are used so effectively to resist the state. Religious doctrine reliant upon faith is argumentatively inviolable.

As such, no cooperation can be asked or offered outside of their established terms. … It’s brilliant really. Its why religious groups can resist the predation of the state.

I would prefer instead we relied upon a prohibition on obscurant language and the requisite illustration of involuntary transfers, such that exchanges were easily made possible, and discounts (thefts) made nearly impossible.

This is, the correct criteria for CR, not the platonic one that is assumed. In this light CR looks correct in practice if incorrect in argument.

(There. I did it. Took me a bit.)

Curt Doolittle

 

==DAVID MILLER==

Regarding theories:
–“they are nothing more than conjectures or guesses about the unknown state of the world.”–

–“the principal function of experience in science is to eliminate mistakes”–

–“The principal function of science in technology is again to eliminate mistakes.”–

–“Neither experience in science, nor science in technology, can determine that a problem has been solved in an ideal way. The best that they can tell us is that we could have done worse.”–

-David Miller

==COMMENT AND CRITICISM==

I want to state David Miller’s arguments somewhat differently, by converting them from the language of perception and experience, to the language of action and economics in time. The reason is that objective language assumes discounts that are the equivalent of something more than platonism and less than magic.

COSTS
Solving something an ‘ideal way’ cannot be stated without consideration of time and cost. As such, the ‘idea way’ that something can be done to satisfy a need is the ideal at that is available at the lowest cost at that moment in time.

Induction was a biological necessity given that costs for organisms competing in nature are extremely high, and kept high through competition, just as costs of time and opportunity are very high in the market due to competition.

But, induction tells us only about available opportunities for further action, neither about (a) the probability of expanding explanatory power, or about (b) the limit of utility in expanding explanatory power.

Induction as a statement of PROBABILITY is an example of the ludic fallacy. If we could determine probabilities that would mean the set of possible permutations would be finite. But given that we have no idea what the ideal solution is to most problems we cannot conduct probabilities. But this criticism is not the only one available. Since efficiency of any given figure action in any given future where we have more knowledge, is determined by the total cost of arriving at that minus the intermediate rewards of production. Further, there are points at which no further increase in precision (efficiency) provides a return that covers the cost of the investment, until we invent additional utility to be obtained from the investment that has been made to date.

However, for the purposes of action, our guesswork is informed by induction as a means of identifying opportunities for expansion of our efforts, and it does tell us what further actions are available for us to investigate, and test.

THE LOGICS AS INSTRUMENTATION
The principle function of the ‘logics’ and ‘methods’ is to reduce error through physical and logical instrumentation. That instrumentation allows us to test our imagination (or theories) against the real world, and limits our mind’s biases in the interpretation of those real world stimuli. This testing is made possible by reducing that which we could not sense without instrument and method, to analogy to experience which we can sense, perceive, compare and test given the help of symbol, measure, instrument and method.

CERTAINTY OF FALSEHOOD, UNCERTAINTY OF TRUTH
While we cannot prove that a general statement about the world are true, we can prove that specific instances of statements about the world are false. As such, we can say that science has demonstrated X to be false, but we cannot state that science has demonstrated X to be true. We can say however, that given our current knowledge the current candidates for truth available for further action are A, B and C. And we can also say that any further refinement of A,B or C would not sufficiently change the current argument about X, such that it would make any difference at this moment.

TRUTH CANNOT BE USED FOR ARGUMENT, ONLY FALSEHOOD
You cannot be sufficiently certain of anything such that you can use it in an argument to demand my agreement. You can only seek to obtain my consent by eliminating the possibility or desirability of my position in contrast to yours. This constrains science to voluntary consent, and does not allow science to override the contract for voluntary cooperation we enter when we enter into debate.

THE FALSE MYSTIQUE OF SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY.
**The difference between physical science and engineering, as between mathematics and computer science, is simply the UTILITARIAN VALUE we attach to either (a) the product of the test and (b) the extension of deductive power that results from the test. In either case the method is the the same.**

Scientific language is LOADED with these value judgements, and it is this LOADING of scientific language with VALUE JUDGEMENTS that generally distracts us (pretty much all of us) from the fact that there is no difference at all in our actions or methods no matter what theory we pursue, but there is a great difference in which products we value.

Science can be LOADED with this language because unlike other fields, science ignores costs in exchange for pursuing truths. Whereas, in all other disciplines, costs and utility are the equivalent of truth, since truth is time dependent for the purpose of satisfying human wants and desires.

***By failing to articulate our ideas in operational language we hide these incentives, and reasons from our discourse. And we are rapidly confused when we argue as if they are differences in fact, when they are but a difference in value.***

As such:
**As opportunity costs decrease, demand for truth increases.**
**As opportunity costs increase, demand for utility increases.**

This is the supply demand curve for truth and utility.

An individual who seeks to estimate his own costs and utility is different from another individual demanding costs from third parties regardless of utility.

A DIFFERENCE ONLY IN VALUE OF OUTPUTS
It is a subjective preference, but not a difference in method. All theorizing is the same. We may not make truth claims about our theories, but that does not mean that we cannot LOGICALLY choose how to act on them.

IGNORING COSTS AS CHEAP STATUS SIGNALING
I guess I should say more clearly that I see scientific pursuit of truth independent of opportunity cost, and necessity for production, as one of the ultimate signs of conspicuous consumption and privilege.

The same applies to progressives who ignore the cost of norms and treat them as non-existent, as a means of signaling their conspicuous consumption.

One of the externalities produced by western aristocratic philosophy, and its permanent placement in our values, is the demonstration of one’s independence from the market for norms, and the market for production, as the ultimate source of signaling their conspicuous consumption. This is the level that all artists, journalists, and public intellectuals all seek as well.

REWARDS FOR ORGANIZING PRODUCTION, INFORMATION, RENTS AND STATUS SEEKING

Unfortunately, the material rewards for ORGANIZING PRODUCTION in the private sector, and ORGANIZING EXTORTION in the private sector, are more materially rewarding, than organizing RENTS and STATUS SEEKING in the non-commercial sector.

Just as economists should be better trained as philosophers, most philosophers would better trained if they understood economics. And both would be better of if they understood all human behavior was in fact, economic: equilibrium exchanges in pursuit of signals, opportunities, alliances, and mates.

So as far as I can tell, the scientific method is a continuous one independent of any form of problems solving, and argument to the contrary is the use of obscurant language to ridicule others for the fact that they must pay costs in time, and that scientists can signal their privilege of acting independently in time – and nothing else.

Science may be useful for signaling purposes, but we should not let our signaling purposes interfere with our understanding that all theoretical processes work the same, and must work that way, and that the criticism that we make of one another is over the ECONOMICS of using knowledge for the purpose of persuasion and signaling.

As such, the output of any process can be easily categorized as (a) amusement, (b) production (transformation), (c ) knowledge and (d) signal , – or some combination of all four, in exchange for material and/or opportunity costs in real time. But truth, and honesty, and ethics dictate that we understand that any process we follow consist in the value we attach to each output and who benefits from each output at the cost of whom?

— Curt Doolittle

 

ON POPPER’S POSITION VS ACTION AND INSTRUMENTATION

(reposted from cr page for archiving)

All we can say is x set of recipes have y properties in common, and all known recipes have z properties in common, and therefore we will likely find new recipes that share z properties.

Logic is one of the instruments we use to construct recipes. Logic is a technology. Just as are the narrative, numbers, arithmetic, math, physics, and cooperation.

These are all instrumental technologies or we would not need them and could perform the same operations without them.

Science, as in the ‘method’ of science, is a recipe for employing those instruments ‘technologies’. Science is a technology. It is external to our intuitions, and we must use it like any other technology, in order to extend our sense, perception, memory, calculation, and planning.

So I simply view ‘fuzzy language’ as what it is. And statements reducible to operational language as the only representation of scientific discourse.

Theory means nothing different from fantasy without recording, instrument, operations, repetition, and falsification. A theory is a fantasy, a bit of imagination, and the recipes that survive are what remains of that fantasy once all human cognitive bias and limitation is laundered by our ‘technologies’.

Recipes are unit of commensurability against which we can calculate differences, to further extend and refine our imaginary fantasies.

Just as we test each individual action in a recipe against objective reality, we test each new fantasy against the accumulated properties stated in our recipes.

From those tests of fantasy against our accumulated recipes, we observe in ourselves changes in our own instruments of logic. Extensions of our perception, memory, calculation – knowledge – is the collection of general instruments that apply in smaller numbers, to increasingly large categories of problems. (This is the reason Flynn suspects, for the Flynn effect as well as our tendency to improve upon tests.)

It is these general principles (like the scientific method) that we can state are ‘knowledge’ in the sense of ‘knowledge of what’ versus ‘knowledge of how’ (See Gifts of Athena). Recipes are knowledge of ‘what’. General principles of how the universe functions are knowledge of ‘how’. Popper failed to make the distinction of dividing the problem into classes and instrumentation.

And he did so because, as I have stated, he was overly fascinated with words, and under-fascinated with actions. And while I can only hypothesize why he is, like many of his peers, pseudo-scientifically fascinated with words, rather than scientifically fascinated with actions, the fact remains, that he was. And he, like Mises and Hayek and their followers, failed to produce a theory of the social sciences.

CR is the best moral prescription for knowledge because it logically forbids the use of science to make claims of certainty sufficient to deprive people of voluntary choice.

Popper justified skepticism and prohibited involuntary transfer by way of scientific argument. A necessary idea for his time. In science, he prohibited a return to mysticism by reliance on science equal to faith in god.

But that is his achievement. He was the intellectual linebacker of the 20th century. He denied the opposition the field.

But prohibition was not in itself an answer.

Instrumentalism is necessary. Calculation is necessary. Reduction of the imperceptible to analogy to experience is necessary. Morality consists of the prevention of thefts and discounts. Actions that produce predictable outcomes, not states of imagination.

That is the answer.

 

Is nearly all of philosophy then, outside of logic, an artful construct for the purpose of justifying theft?

One can justify suppression of, prevention of, and restitution for, the taking of discounts. (thefts)

One can justify the selection of one priority of investment over another. But one cannot argue for the necessity of a monopoly of investments. Nor the mandatory enforcement of participation in investments, other than the suppression of free riding.

One can argue the necessity for a homogeneity – monopoly – of property rights for the purpose of logically resolving disputes over property and contract – albeit, private property solves that problem, and articulated shareholder rights, retains that ability even under complexity.

But once a monopoly of property rights exists, one cannot argue the necessity for a monopoly of law making. In fact, logic and evidence suggest precisely the opposite is true: that laws evolve and evolve best under the common law, since they must be interpreted by ordinary citizens, and are open to constant revision without external approval as the world evolves.

The failure of the common law was (a) its usurpation by the state, and (b) failure to define property rights sufficiently in the face of industrialization. (c) its use by the middle class to dispossess the aristocracy, and consequential use by the proletarians and feminists to dispossess the middle classes.

Philosophy is quite simple really. It’s only complicated if you’re trying to lie. And theft requires lying. And lying is best covered by obscurity.

Cheers.

 

My definition of Truth under Scientific Realism, is that any notion of Truth can only exist if we say it is a) Performative, consisting of b) Correspondence and c) Coherence (internal consistency). And that all other statements are analogies to some subset of these properties.

And that d) formal theories of truth (the ‘logics’) are each subsets of Coherence, which test certain properties of any “True” and therefore Performative, Correspondent and Coherent statement.

And that e) property and involuntary transfer constitute a missing logic of cooperation, that renders all transfers open to analysis and criticism.

And that f) praxeology constitutes a missing logic of the rationality of decisions and incentives, that renders all actions open to subjective testing. But because humans are marginally indifferent in their rationality and incentives, such subjective, SYMPATHETIC testing functions as an objective test of the rationality of incentives.

And that: g) Constructive (meaning socially constructive, including Consensus theories) and Pragmatic theories of truth are failed attempts at obscurant coercion (theft) by adherents to enlightenment democratic equalitarianism, socialists, postmodernists, and totalitarian humanists. Just as the Rawlsian veil is yet another attempt at obscuring involuntary transfers, while relying on the impossibility of human judgement to make such decisions as would be required to achieve the abstract concept of ‘justice’.

As such I view truth as Performative (attestation) constrained by and consisting of {
i) Correspondent (with reality);
ii) Cohesive (internally consistent and formal);
iii) Identitarian (categories, properties and names)
iv) Propertarian (cooperative moral action);
v) Praxeological (rational action)
} properties – each subset set of properties requiring separate logics for the isolation and analysis of each subset.

Conversely, no ‘complete attest-able truth’ can be constructed in any subset without consideration of all. It may be (as in the case of any of the formal logics) that no external dependency is present (although I cannot think of one). But I am unaware of any formal logic without external dependency.

This is a non contradictory, fully explanatory theory of the criteria for truth. And so far I am unable to formalize a criticism of CR, because for all intents and purposes that I can imagine, the CR definition of truth is platonic and non existent, and impossible. Since the only truth that can exist is attestation: the constant reduction in our own errors as we try to describe the properties of the universe.

We can know what is false. That is our only certainty. But we can never know a platonic truth other than a tautology, because only tautological statements are complete. A complete statement is not open to attestation. If any statement is not tautological, and therefore incomplete, it is open to attestation. But how can we say an attestation is meaningful if it’s tautological?

We are, with the concept of truth, improving our attestations about the universe. This is what we improve. That is the purpose and function of truth. Since only by improving our attestations and constantly testing them can we improve our actions, and by our actions, continue to increasingly outwit the deterministic processes in the universe by constructing minor alterations to that universe such that we can make use of the universe as we will.

If I am to defend the claim that obscurantism must be prohibited from political speech (argument), then I cannot make this claim on irrefutable terms, without at least addressing the relationship between the logical disciplines, and the very nature of philosophy, as a moral endeavor.

No man is an island.

No argument in any sub discipline is either.

 

(draft of the correction of a priorism in economics, politics and ethics.) (important)

Exchanges are unique. Every one. Marginalism alone renders all exchanges unique – even before we consider the uneven distribution of resources and ability, and the vagaries of nature, and the shifting wants and signals of human beings.

As such, each exchange is unique, and even aggregate measures of inputs, operations and outputs in similar exchanges are dependent upon Patterns of Sustainable Specialization and Trade; which while sticky, are no guarantee of future exchanges under similar conditions. Constancy is an illusion. Businesses continuously adjust to conditions. So, no relations are constant in economics, even if in the aggregate, in short time periods, they appear so.

If no relations are constant in economics, that means that we cannot organize production on the assumption of constant relations. This criticism stands alone, even prior to either the problem of calculation without money and prices, or the problem of incentives independent of rewards.

However, we cannot organize any form of production under the assumption of constant relations without the incentives of multitudinous individuals to produce.

This is the correct criticism of the socialist method of production.

1) calculation
2) inconstancy of relations
3) impossibility of organization
4) impossibility of incentives.

The reason capitalists and executives of all kinds cost more than labor and are rewarded more than labor, is because labor has little to no value in production; and what value it has in production, constantly decreases with mechanization. So, the problem remains how to organize labor whether human, computational or mechanical.

And while we might argue that middle management has very little value in the organization of labor, organizing the production of goods using labor, using prices and payments as rules, limits and incentives, is the highest contribution to the value of the goods, since the alignment of incentives – what we call ‘execution’ : organizing humans into production – is the art.

And that is the scarcity that the market rewards.

THE PROBLEM OF THE A PRIORI ARGUMENT

If there are no constant relations in economics, but mathematics is the logic of constant relations, and further we attempt to use mathematics to justify intervention in the market for goods and services, then doing is logically impossible. The logical of constant relations, entirely dependent upon constant categories, cannot be used to describe economic conditions and apply them to the future. All we can do with mathematics is mine the recent data for descriptions of what has happened in the existing patterns of sustainable specialization and trade.

So, if the socialist method of production was impossible, and measurement of the economy at all but the aggregate level is impossible, and measurement at the aggregate level does not capture changes in human, social and moral capital, then it becomes very difficult to suggest that governments can do much except (a) limited trade policy, (b) limited industrial policy, and (c) limited education and health policy (d) defend the rule of law and the common law (e) provide a means for the resolution of disputes.

Thus, the prior generations argued that we must both not supplant the market means of dynamically organizing unique instances of production, nor interfere with it, and that we may only rely upon deduction and guesswork, and simply leave the market alone.

However, this is either mistaken – or it is ill said. We can deduce almost nothing of consequence from human action.

First, we can however, TEST any set of statements to determine whether they are rational and what incentives that they produce. But we cannot deduce much of anything at all – we can only test statements and hypotheses to determine likely human action.

Second, when we understand that the problem of production is not labor, nor resources, but ORGANIZING production, what we can do is increasingly expand the means by which groups can cooperate on disparate means.

The most effective way to assist groups in cooperating on means, even if they have disparate or even irreconcilable ends, which we cannot choose between because of the inability to forecast into a kaleidic future, other than value inferences we obtain from existing patterns of specialization and trade, is to suppress all risks OTHER than those of forecasting.

Namely, the suppression of ‘discounts’. Then more discounts we suppress, the more human action that must be pressed into the market for goods and services, entirely upon the price, quality and distribution of those goods in time. (And independent of schemes.)

So, if we understand that the production we organize, is the ability for others to frictionlessly organize production, in a world of constant invention and change, it is not entirely true that we can take little action. It is not the production of goods and services that we assist in producing with our governments, but it is the rules by which we dynamically organize production by the suppression of all discounts, everywhere, such than the only possible actions that remain, are to take risks on one’s forecast of the future within one’s patterns of specialization and trade.

RATHER THAN THE A PRIORI ERROR – WE STATE THIS INSTEAD:

Economics then, consists of:
The near universal human ability to test rationality of incentives.
The near universal human desire to seek discounts.
The use of organized violence to suppress all discounts.
The resulting pressure of all human action into the market.
The construction of institutions to suppress discounting.
The use of empirical measures to gain short term insight into the patterns of trade.
The use of such information to inform participants in the ongoing adjustment of such patterns.

Institutions required are:
1) Articulated Property Rights and Obligations.
2) The common law.
3) An independent Judiciary.
4) Universal standing so that any individual can seek restitution from any other individual for taking discounts, no matter what the accused’s function in society.
5) A body of people with the ability to construct contracts on behalf of larger groups, to produce goods that the market cannot organize to produce because of arbitrariness of the choices, or the openness of such contractual investments to free riding, privatization, and socialization or other discounts.
6) A means for the collection of dividends and choosing between the expenditure on further investments and distribution of proceeds to shareholders.

We do not need much government. What government we do need, need not be a monopoly. What investments we need need not be decided by majority rule – a monopoly. And those services and goods we need, need not be provided by a monopoly bureaucracy.

Even if it may be true that the INITIAL CONSTRUCTION of property rights requires the imposition of a monopoly of those rights, and a total prohibition on discounts, that is the limit of such a monopoly. Which is why corporations of separate interests in creating such a system is superior to monopoly of interests in creating such a system, since no member of such a polycentric order would tolerate the usurpation of his rights by another.

Such a government is a government of unbreakable rules which we call ‘laws’, not a government of people with capacity for decision making, or coercion, or the ability to make laws.

And our defense against that monopoly government and all forms of abuse, is the training of a near-priesthood called judges who adjudicate differences according to private property rights, and the voluntary agreements that we enter into, and the prohibitions against free riding on the goods produced by those agreements we chose NOT to enter into.

And to construct as such, that those judges possess only the incentives to use those laws in the fulfillment of their roles.

We can reduce all of this to the simple assertion, that no man can know the future sufficiently to force others to obey his direction on the use of their minds, bodies, time and property. However, it is quite possible for each of us to judge incentives and for men with training to judge whether property rights were respected or not.

That is all we need.

 

(profound)

From Property to Private Property, High Trust Private Property, and Anarchic High Trust Private Property.

1. Community Property is the result of the partial suppression of discounts
1.1 Violence (asymmetry of force)

2. Private property is the result of additional suppression of indirect discounts
2.1 Theft (asymmetry of control)
2.2 Fraud (false information)
2.3 Free Riding (using externalities for self benefit)

3. High Trust Private Property is the RESULT of total Suppression of Personal Discounts.
3.1 Omission (Omitting information)
3.2 Obscurantism (Obscuring information)
3.3 Obstruction (Inhibiting someone else’s transaction)
3.4 Externalization (externalizing costs of any transaction)
3.5 Socializing Losses (externalization to commons)
3.6 Privatizing Gains (appropriation of commons)

4. Anarchic High Trust Private Property is Result of the total suppression of organized discounts
4.1 Rent Seeking (organizational free riding)
4.2 Corruption ( organized rent seeking)
4.3 Conspiracy (organized indirect theft)
4.4 Extortion (Organized direct theft)
4.5 War (organized violence)

(Note: almost there. I am trying to tie property rights to trust (velocity) )

 

 

“Mises’s contention came in setting the context for Human Action by explaining why people have had such a hard time accepting the validity of (Austrian) economics as a field of knowledge–it does not fit in with anything else.” – Konrad

Love you man, but I want to clean this up a bit. And I hope you will forgive me for using your statements as a jumping off point to articulate this subject a little more clearly than is usual in our field.

2) The first is your statements (a) “put into context” and (b) “human action”.

Praxeologically speaking, any statement regarding human action, not stated as human action, is untestable by praxeological analysis. As such, if you can’t say something in operational terms, then it is possible that you are mistaken, or misled, since only such operational language opens any statement to praxeological testing.

Mises was trying to refute socialism.
He was frustrated because there was not empirical means of demonstrating that it wouldn’t work. So he had to rely on rational deduction. He was attempting to show (as was popper by very different means) how socialism was impossible – particularly, the socialist method of production. Praxeology was his attempt to use the very clear, irrefutable, sympathetic test of the rational incentives of actors given their need to act in real time, to refute the theory that humans would act by the same means without money and prices. Without money and prices, and the incentives that they make possible, humans cannot rationally act. He suggested, and argued poorly, that humans literally could not think, in the same way that we would be radically impaired in our thinking, without the use of numbers, numeric operations, ratios, measurements, and the syllogism.

As such, if people cannot cooperate rationally using property, money, prices and time, then in fact, no science of economics is therefore possible. We cannot conduct a science predicated on a unit of measure dependent upon property and prices, if neither property nor prices no voluntary cooperation exist. That is non-logical.

We should note that this is an argument, now proven, both logically and by evidence, that the socialist method of production does not work, precisely as Mises predicted, because Calculation and it’s obverse, Incentives, are impossible.

But this is a limited criticism. We must understand that the limit of Misesian criticism, is the socialist mode of production.

It does not mean that progressive taxation, especially by simply increasing transaction costs at the high end, and redistributing the fees on those costs to consumers, or investing them into infrastructure violate the ability of people to think, plan, and coordinate their actions. The science of economics can in fact exist, if the logical method of measurement that it depends upon: voluntary cooperation using property, money and prices, does exist/

So the Misesian critique of economics as a discipline dependent upon human action is a refutation of the socialist mode of production, but it is not a refutation of the democratic socialist redistributive method of production.

(Although I am not sure anyone else has said so this clearly. I haven’t run across it if so. Caplans ‘Why I am not..” is an obscurant, and meaningless argument which he later took the teeth out of himself : there is no difference between economic calculation and incentives. They are mutually dependent concepts. An argument which I forgive him for, and attribute to the folly of his youth. )

2) The second problem you put forth is that people have a problem understanding Austrian Economics. And I’m afraid that’s just not demonstrably true.

(a) the argument from the mainstream economics profession is that the insights of the Austrians have been fully integrated into mainstream economics.

(b) The only remaining dispute that separates Austrian economists from mainstream economists today, is the theory of the business cycle, where by continuous distortions of the money supply, while long term neutral in affect on price, are non-neutral on the Sustainable Patters Of Specialization and Trade – largely due to little more than the fact that humans due to the process of youth, maturity, reproduction, decline in learning capacity (or increase in required repetitions), as well as normal aging, mean that not only are prices, and contracts ‘sticky’ but so are human lives and relations. And while we may ameliorate the problems caused by the stickiness of prices,we appear to have very little control over contracts, and the accumulated impact on individuals in the business cycle means that such cycles, the longer that they are perpetuated, force their members to become increasingly sticky, and if more than four years to nine years in duration, that it is no longer possible for individuals to transition at anywhere near the same quality of life. This may in fact be another argument against immigration which only exacerbates this problem severely.

The last argument, and the one made by conservative advocates of Austrian economics, is not just the utility of the lost human capital, but the loss of moral capital, and the increase in demand for the state as insurer, now that the individual citizens have been placed at risk by the use of credit and insurance by the state, rathe than allowing the natural, and frequent cycle of PSST to discourage people from over-investing in any given pattern, and instead, developing dynamic risk protection given the constant reordering of such patterns.

3) The point being the one I articulated in my first response to your post: that the Austrian method makes visible the involuntary transfer of property, and the behavior of individuals within patterns of sustainable specialization and trade IF WE MEASURE patterns of sustainable specialization and trade as our category of measurement. (industry networks are the highest level of meaningful aggregation). And investment in trade policy and industrial policy should outweigh any interest in monetary policy. If only because those policies have been in use since the dawn of human cities, and appear to have worked well. Whereas, the use of Keynesian aggregates and monetary policy does not localize distortions and those distortions that are caused by such policy are not measured, or even measurable.

Just as Einstein did not invent relativity(actually, constancy), Keynes did not invent his ideas either – he adapted them from Marx, and cut out the references to prevent criticism of what he had accomplished via even greater obscurant language than Marx: the forcible involuntary transfer of wealth and the consequential empowerment of the government as the vehicle for such transfer. All of which was justified as a means of decreasing unemployment.

The sacrifice of the west for reduction of unemployment and facilitation of the expansion of the reproduction of the lower classes that had been held in check by private property and manorialism for more than 2500 years.

The great weakness of human reason is our inability to disentangle multiple axis of complex relations.

Only analysis of the voluntary transfer of property allows us to disentangle heavily loaded propositions and reduce what appears to be many competing and overlapping axes of causality to one simple factor: whether property, which is the necessary device for cooperation, has been voluntarily expropriated or voluntarily exchanged.

CLOSING
This is probably worth sharing or saving for later reference.

Affections
Curt Doolittle
The Propertarian Institute
Kiev

 

 

Praxeological analysis, and Austrian economics, are important because they make visible all transfers, and whether or not they are against the desires of those from whom property is transferred. Aggregate macro economics and Keynesian economics are important because they obscure the transfer of goods against the desires of those from whom property is transferred.

But, both of these methods: Aggregate Keynesian and Austrian Micro, are actually moral forms of analysis, more so than they are different sciences. If one subscribes to the proposition that all property is and must be private, then moral decisions are a function of voluntary or involuntary transfer of property. If one subscribes to the proposition that all property is owned communally and we all rent it and gain commissions on its use for the benefit of all (as under democratic socialism) , then the distribution of proceeds from the rentals is more important to the moral code than ownership and right to such proceeds.

The collectivist proposition is that all property is owned communally and that we merely lease it from the commons, and gain some portions of our commissions on it. The libertarian proposition is that all property is privately owned, and we voluntarily contribute to commons at our own discretion.

Any rational analysis of the evidence of economic inquiry from either the communal or private spectrum will illustrate that both forms of research have largely approached the same answers and discoveries of the increasingly complex properties of economic activity, over time.

The difference remains the choice of moral bias determined by the allocation of property rights in a collective body under the same territorial monopoly of property definitions and means of dispute resolution.

The scientific method is likewise a moral discipline. It prevents the use of a wide variety of errors and misrepresentations.  This moral discipline will over time, because of the competition of ideas, suppress errors and fraud. Just as the market, over time, will suppress errors and fraud. The simplistic means by which the scientific method succeeds in this moral objective, is the requirement for operational language.  That is, a set of observable actions open to confirmation and falsification.

Praxeology, likewise implicitly mandates the moral requirement that we can express any action in observable, empirical form.  It is likewise a requirement for operational language. Both the physical sciences, and praxeological science, place a requirement for operational language on all scientific and economic statements.

This requirement for EMPIRICISM is what renders praxeology a moral science. As such:

(a) Human moral intuitions, instincts, and norms are universally, a set of prescriptions enumerating the uses and non uses of property.
(b) We can only make visible whether any action is moral or not, by operational language: determination of whether any transfer of property was voluntary.
(c) The reason that we can perform a test of voluntary transfer is that as human beings we are marginally indifferent, and can through subjective experience, objectively determine whether transfers are rational for the actor.

All the logical disciplines are moral disciplines, and all are instrumental methods, and we not only desire, but require these instrumental methods, because we in fact do argue and must argue, and must rely upon these methods, because those methods determine the use of property – firstly the property of our minds, bodies and time.

We require property – albeit the distribution of property rights between individuals, families and commons varies greatly depending upon the structure of production and the structure of the family, and the homogeneity or diversity of the  population in all of the above. But regardless of the distribution of normative, or descriptive ownership in property between the collective and the individual,

This is the appropriate and defensible argument in favor of praxeology.

Mises intuited it. Rothbard artfully defended it. But they had to because they lacked the knowledge that we have today. And instead, unfortunately, they relied upon a priori, deductive certainty. A reliance which doomed praxeology to failure in broader economic circles – by simple virtue of the fact that all of economics cannot be deduced from the axiom of action without empirical support.

Very little can be deduced from it. Quite the opposite. But, while we can deduce very little, we can TEST ANY ECONOMIC STATEMENT praxeologically for rationality and voluntary transfer.  As such praxeology is in fact, an empirical science, which we test by sympathy, not a rational one one.

They got it wrong. Sorry.  Don’t hang onto whether they were right or not. Revel in the fact that we now have the ability to understand that praxeology is a means of measuring and TESTING all human action for whether or not it is voluntary and rational (moral) or involuntary and non-rational (immoral).

 

(There we go. Today was a milestone.)

Universally descriptive, universally commensurable logic of ethics. We no longer must rely on moral or rational argument in advocacy of moral, ethical or political preference. We can rely on ratio-scientific argument under which illustrates the multitude of thefts, or suppression of thefts, being conducted in any action.

Propertarianism, the logic of property, is the formal logic of cooperation.

  • Terminology
  • Grammar
  • Compactness
  • Explanatory power
  • Testability and Falsifiability (via Praxeology)

Praxeology, when corrected under Propertarianism by the enumeration of all types of property demonstrated by human action, is scientific because it consists in the universal, test of rationality of incentives, by means of sympathetic experience.

Private Property as the result of the suppression of discounts.
The suppression of discounts leaves the only possible human cooperation as fully informed, warranted, voluntary exchange. And the only possible means of competition, the quality and price of the production of goods and services.

Cause. Private property is a consequence of the organized application of violence for the purpose of suppressing all discounts, in all human action, regardless of sphere.

 
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