Mitch SMith


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Should we trust the invisible hand?

James B Glattfelder outlines an emergent entity in his study of transnational company data.

Is this entity trustworthy?

Please state your reasons for trust or otherwise on the assumption that this emergent entity exists.

I'd also be interested in your opinion of whether the entity outlined in the math is essentially separate from the people who created it?

  • Feb 21 2013: Our five senses are imperfect. Our eyes can not see the true size or colour. We cannot even see a Pencil in its totality. Always some part or portion will be hidden from us. We cannot hear the actual sound because when sound travels from a source and reaches our ears , there will great loss. Do we receive what the sound started from the throat of a singing bird? Can our taste buds taste the real taste of a grain of a salt without some loss. Even our sixth sense is not perfect. All these leads to the fact that there is an invisible hand - may I call the invisible hand - the all powerful GOD
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      Feb 21 2013: I would argue that your "god" is no more than an invitation for us to go explore him to his destruction - he is a consumable - a resource that we must attack with the utmost agression and passion.

      In other words - your god is ignorance. And therefore imortal.

      we are mortals - god is no business of the living.

      Go eat your god - as I eat mine. This is a personal quest - the sharing of it is manipualtive and vain - Read Eclesiastes, then accept that there is nothing new under the sun and I will consume you on my way to the destruction of this falsity called god.

      Now, having gotten your personal ignorance killed, I can explain about perception.

      Are you up to it? Or are you happy to remain the victim of your own delusion?
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          Feb 21 2013: My god is the invitation to live.

          This thread is to explore an emergent entity which exists in economy - it also has been invited to live, as such it is a kind of peer.
          The exploration is to define what it is a bit better and to determine if it is healthy, and perhaps if it needs some healing.
          If we bring the deity into it, then the subject loses traction.
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          Feb 21 2013: The invisible hand of supply/demand economics is a system dynamic.

          What is curious about that is how it has self-organising limits.

          I'm not all that inclined to go into detail about the universal "god" which gives rise to all this, beyond saying that it's the invitation to live. And that all which manifests is saying "yes" to that invitation. I might add that there is a difference between awareness and consciousness - awareness does not require memory and needs only particiapate as an expression of "yes". As such, all is aware - from galaxy clusters to sub atomic particles.
          These are our peers - equal in our "yes-ness".

          As is the invisible hand of economy.

          Trust is another aspect.

          It could well be that our economy has a pathogen or an imbalance which might need healing. This is cogent to we who participate in it.
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          Feb 21 2013: A good conversation indeed!

          Our definitions are presented as gifts - not as weapons.
          However there is a point to this thread and a little hearding is in order.

          Certainly - every pair of humans creates a new language .. one tries to speak into the void of the internet with inclusive language, but it is doomed to exclude at some level.
          For instance, few will understand what is being said between Gilbert Schwob and myself - that particular exploration is a mapping between his world-view and my own using the models we have built - to do that, one has to fully comprehend these models. It is an exclusion, but the exploration takes precedence.
          As i have described elsewhere, the autobiographical part of a human is not one self but many - one pair for each relationship (self/other). These pairs are used for convergence (empathy). Empathy is non-linear, it can produce abundance or scarcity depending on collaberation/enmity and may result in compassion or agression.
          Things, of course, become complex when dealing with more than 2 participants. In such cases, convergence requires extrinsic symbols - and these have to be agreed before group convergence can occur.
          An outcome of this discussion is to refine the symbolic description of the invisible hand of economy.
          To that end - above and beyond this thread, I have enrolled in a course to help create a reliable model for this subject and others using a modeling tool called netlogo.
          Much of what i learn in this thread will contribute to that model.
          The result will be published as public domain (for what it's worth - hopefull it will be of value to some).
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          Feb 21 2013: PS - thanks for the link.

          It is known that the 20th century spelled the decline of the auto-didact.
          The internet is partially restoring this ballance.
          I suspect that the old dross of the Crowley stain was instrumental in the decline of knowledge through the self-justification of the wealthy. The disenfranchised were separated from the empirical knowledge they hunger for. It was an act of class war.
          I note that the property boom of the intellect is the same stain as propogated by De Sade and Crowley - the attempt to hoard the truth along with money and property.
          This is one reason i am keen to get exposed via this thread.
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    Feb 17 2013: There is an overlooked talk on TED about the complex system of traffic and its lessons applies here as well .
    Jonas Eliasson reveals how subtly nudging just a small percentage of the nodes in the system can create unexpected changes. The "few rules" are the nudges Glattfelder must be alluding to.
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      Feb 17 2013: Many thanks Theo!

      What Eliason demonstrates is a very powerful description of the difference between Stalanism and Capitalism.
      In the example, the Stalanist expects a government to micro-manage everything - the example of bread supply in Moscow. The capitalist in London replies that no one manages the bread supply - it organises itself. The hidden inference is that the rules of how supply of bread meets demend for bread is the sdomain of the Capitalist government.
      The analogy is a bit misleading - retailers do the management .. and they micro manage it far beyond the capacity of any government - I know because i was deeply involved in that micro-management.
      The difference being that a retailer was constrained by government in key areas - not poisoning the customers being one example, not allowing a retailer to seize monopoly control being another.
      Without constraint, a retailer would quickly become exactly like a Stalanist central planner. The common Capitalist tends to forget how Stalanist a corporation really is.
      Complex sytems are nearly always based on simple rules applied to elements in the system.
      Stephan Wolfram demonstrates this very nicely in "rule 30":
      The notion of "the invisible hand" in "free" markets suggests that an emergent entity exists in the conduct of those markets.
      Glattfelder suggests that other entities have formed-up in the market environment.
      Tweaking the rules might act to stabilise a system such as traffic congestion.
      I agree with your comments that the moderation of the core TNC "congestion" is beyond the jurisdiction of nation states.
      But I would argue that corporations were originally intended as parasites on the free market - and it is in the corporate definition that the virilence of core TNCs gets it's birth - and there is where the "nudges" need to be done.
  • Feb 16 2013: Adam Smith's Invisible hand is one aspect of the natural side of macroeconomics. The alternative is for a brave new world type of socialism to take over. Without the ability to compete for business we would be forced to purchace and consume only what the associated badly organized and run kind of totalitarian state might be able to offer.

    In fact the implied theorem of Adam Smith (with this hand, is that it is the most efficient way for the macroeconomy to function) is when the power of competition enables everyone to retain his/her right to choose. Thus we seem to have very little choice but to accept this invisible hand in our affairs unless there are drastic changes which have already been seen both in literature (brave new world, 1984, animal farm, atlas shrugged) and in practice (the fall of comunism in the USSR, the failure of kibbutz society to be economical) for us to come to any other conclusion.
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      Feb 17 2013: Hi David,

      Many thanks!

      Here is where I want to go.

      For my part I will offer that Stalanism is not socialism.

      Personally, I question the principle of competition - things were never that simple. It has a place, but reciprocity is not the only force of community. There is also communality and dominance. These are not clearly articulated by the reciprocal free market moderated by currency.

      I also have problems with currency - i tis, as the name suggests, the measure of current value. It assumes that stored surplus in the form of savings is invested in the trust of future surplus - but I observe that the inherent risk in trust drives hedging behaviours that are not risk mittigation, but risk displacement (aka - ponzi schemes). And that the institutionalisation of usury results in the concentrations of wealth identified by Glattfelder.

      Please be careful to resist political descriptions of systems - the most productive socialist community on planet Earth is the USA - has been since the founding fathers.

      (Edit: I think that Smith's work has been skewed by media somewhat - he was not talking about competition in the sense of dominance, but in the sense of reciprocity .. thanks very much! I think we have identified the infection in the hand! Currency does not operate on dominance - it operates on reciprocity - exactly like evolution! So who has injected this infection? I would look to the ponzi schemers - insurance - and to the usurers - central banks. Next .. the math .. but nt quite yet - there is another dros to pull from the forge: there is a BIG difference between dominance and leadership - consider the Greek Democracy - leaders were nominated and had to be forced onto the throne reluctantly)
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    Feb 14 2013: There is a tradition in economics at least since the early 20th century of distrusting concentrations of power of the kind Glattfelder identifies. Regardless of country, government units called things like the Bureau of Competition focus on analyzing concentrations of power, interlocking directorates and so forth. These bureaus are staffed by economists. Since economics has changed from being primarily a historical subject to primariy an analytical subject, many of these economists originally studied fields like mathematics and physics. So the point he raised in the comments that some have suggested that physicists stay out of economic inquiry seems quite peculiar to me.

    In the original formulations of these identities, and in the field of 'industrial organization" that encompassed these considerations, it was specifically the market share of the top few actors that triggered attention. This was replaced later in the century by other indices of concentration as well as an assessment of conditions for entry, as concentration matters when others cannot enter to challenge incumbent firms or can do so only at prohibitive cost.

    Once the conditions of atomistic sorts of market players do not hold and the situation in an industry swings strongly to the other end, even among the most traditional economists, game theory comes into play, considering the interactions of small numbers of actors.

    In terms of the emergent entity, I think results of interactions among actors combined in an entity could be thought of to have a life of its own, particularly with so many "decisions" and results coming unintentionally as a result of rules of thumb, some irrational or almost random actions, and so forth.

    This is a long way of saying that there is a solid history of distrust for market power, even among traditional economists. Many people's ideas of what professional economists believe are only a caricature.
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      Feb 15 2013: It seems to me that putting people in charge of the economy whose incompetence has been well demonstrated is quite peculiar, Bernanke and the Federal Reserve for instance.

      Many people's ideas of a regulated economy are only a caricature. Never connecting big evil business with crony capitalism.

      Why is it that the regulated economy can only exist where there is plenty of tax revenue from the free market to support it? In Calif for instance the worst state in country to business in.

      The players change as often as competition requires it, the assumption that it does not without regulation is a fallacy. Even GM would be gone if not for subsidy.

      The thing to think about in any area of knowledge is that each level of the pyramid of knowledge must encompass the lower levels of knowledge with a more general axiom. As I have stated elsewhere the top of the pyramid is survive, near the top is exchange, well covered by Matt Ridley, which is responsible for our current standard of living. Because of this regulation is well down on the pyramid and mostly superfluous.

      This is not to say some regulation is not necessary. But humans seeking to survive work inside of the monolith of government to build their own empire without market accountability similar to termites.

      The other thing that comes to mind is that if the market is controllable as you contend what is the batting average of someone like Paul Krugman?Although government interaction/regulation appears to create control it is really just a self fulfilling prophecy because of how it spends money. The closest thing I have seen to prediction/control is Praxeology because it studies human behavior which is somewhat predictable. This is the opposite of Keynesian propaganda.
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        Feb 15 2013: My point was a different one- only that traditional economics, including the most conservative variant symbolized by the Chicogo school) includes and considers the conditions under which there can be sustainable market power.

        Many people believe professional economics begins and ends with the assumption of atomistic, perfectly informed actors in conditions in which transactions are costless. This is not true.
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          Feb 15 2013: Ok, like the CBO.

          It defies the very definition of economics which is simply the study of scarce resources that have alternative uses. In other words they are not practicing economics and calling it economics.
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        Feb 15 2013: Most people who work in budget offices (I assume you mean the Congressional Budget Office) are not, I think, economists.

        But I agree with you that the label "economics" is attached to many things that are not economics, just as the word science is attached to many things that invoke some science vocabulary but are not science.
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          Feb 16 2013: Their conduct indicates they are not economists. And they do not account for human behavior.

          But influence the economy greatly because politicians use them to further their agendas.
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    Feb 27 2013: If it ever existed it no longer does since, we now live in socialist/capitalism society. Where business get more hand out then the people. I think this has to do with how lincoln freed property
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      Feb 28 2013: Hmm .. how does that work?
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        Feb 28 2013: The 13th amendment freed property not people. The year it was drafted like 5 black Americans applied for their freedom, were as 104 companies filed for there's, its why business can own property.
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        Feb 28 2013: Sorry my mind went invisible hand of the market...i must of read it wrong
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          Feb 28 2013: No - it's all good.

          I'll check the 13th amendment. Modern economy works exclusively on property - one cannot trade what one has not "got".

          "Having" something infers the means to keep it.
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          Feb 28 2013: "Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."

          I'm not a constitutional lawyer - it would be a clever trick to apply this outside of Black's definitions of natural persons - to be applied to legal-persons.
          As i understand it, it is only very recently that the status of legal-persons became equal to natural persons.
          The legal person is contracted into existence and ruled by the contract between the natural persons signed to the contract - surely this is voluntary servitude on the part of the legal person?

          There must be some other definition there which equates persons with inanimate things .. perhaps the original definition of "incorporation" - but one would have to prove the incorporation of objects (including land)?

          I still can't see the trick.

          What i CAN see is the loophole imbedded in the reservation for state violence.
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    Feb 26 2013: Quoting Adam Smith:
    "As if by an invisible hand, England would be saved from the ravages of global markets."

    He was speaking of the danger that national industrialists would off-shore their cost exposures to their own benefit but at the cost of England. His invisible hand referred to national market protectionist intervention by the inherent government of mutual regard. A thing he called "localism" - the bias to support one's own countrymen.

    Do we understand this in the 21st century?

    The invisible hand which I explore here is a global creature. Does Smith's vision extend that far?

    I would also like to remind everyone who has created a corporation to remember why you did it:
    It was to subvert the civil law and put one's operation beyond accountability through the device of "limited liability".
    Certainly - that is the reason I created my own corporations.
    It is also the reason why I had to dismantle them - they were antithetical to honest trading.

    So. This 21st century global invisible hand - can it be honest?
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    Feb 21 2013: Supply is still based off of demand, even if the wants are falsidied the actual demand is what the market is beased of wether it is directly or indirecly.
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      Feb 21 2013: Thanks Zman - this is helpful!

      So then - from what you say, the supply/demand balance becomes inverted when the supply is seen as the available spend.

      What would happen then if the consumer was educated to understand that the money in his/her pocket is a supply?
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        Feb 22 2013: his or her demand is what porducers base the supply on so if everyone was aware of thier power to act as chooses then the market will bend towards what they want.
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          Feb 22 2013: OK - that is an atratcor.
          What is the trajectory of that?
          Do you have a number that defines the delineation of need from want?
          I only have to ask because "need" defines whether you have executive over your current resource against the surpuls that can be committed aginst "want".
          So .. then . whsat if I get you addicted to cocain? And it passes from your want to your need?

          This is pretty cogent - all lawyers I have met have raging coke habits. This runs into the millions applied to your legal action bills.

          If you don't believe me about this - ask the nearest lawer if he has a line he'd be willing to share with you - or more cogently if the judge resonds to coke or single-malt (century-old woudl be preferable - crate-full gets results in my experience)?

          If you get deviation from this prediction, I'd be happy to update my data .. this stuff is hard to find outside of personal sample(anecdotal) .. and I woulld probably pay for it - that's buying advantage - if I can get a couple orders of magnitude, it becomes statistically significant - aka money in the bank .. willing to do percantage and make it scaleable as a consultancy for others who need/want that advantage .. got kids you know .. ;)

          Keep them ignorant if you can!
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      Feb 21 2013: Yes.

      I have read the Black Swan and have a good idea what Taleb means by "convexity" in statistical analysis.

      But what Taleb explores is the scalar propensity of finance - not the inbuilt attractors of economy.

      It is partly this blind acceptance of scalar returns which influences my research here.

      The emergent entity identified by Glattfelder is part economy, part finance. What Taleb represents may very well be the parasite I am hunting - he would not agree with my intention, because when i find it I will seek to heal it while he seeks to harness it.

      Scalar wealth seems to be something that the west regards as birthright. If the world is to survive the detritus caused by this attitude, we will need to know the truth of it - or there will be no way forward.
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          Feb 23 2013: Hi Don,

          There is no affection lost - you must know that you own a great deal of my affection - enough for absolute honesty - my best.

          I am feeling somewhat streatched.

          I set off this question. It was not just to the TED community - it was also to myself .. and now .. I have a demand to get the sufficiency to answer my own question! And this is quilte difficult given the absolutley brilliant responses that have flooded from teh good people here!

          I thought the invisible hand was .. a no-brainer .. but then I realized that my assumption was shallow.

          SO what do you do?

          So I accept enrolment in an online course in nonlinear systems so that I can actually communicate what I feel in a way that can be verified for everyone here.

          It's .. it's a community command - and, even though it reduces my monthly income, I have to do it for my people.

          Who are my people?

          My people are those who ask the questions that define me.

          I would hope that I am up to the question - but I will not shrink from the question - as you know - and as you actually do.

          So I am a bit thin. .. it's kinda like a wave - ..

          But be assured, I have delayed a visit to my own mother who is dying fast to get done what I need to get done for my grandchildren and the grand children of my brother, and the great grandchildren of my mother.

          Please pray for my mum .. she has had to adapt to a colostomy, and my great goal befpore anything else is to allow her enough time to complete a couple of paintings that she asked to do on what could have been her death bed.

          At a distance, i have to work the hands of my brother who cares for her in the same house. He is not very reliable ..hey ho .. we work with the clay .. He hasn't done too bd . and I know if I audit him .. he will fail.

          Last time I went there, he was failing as he always did .. there's reasons for that .. gotta have compassion .. but gotta get results ...

          I would hope that the harm I create is less than the good.

          This is the quest for us all.
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      Feb 21 2013: Perhaps.
      Maybe the payment will be better than money.
      It all depends on what I find attached to the invisble hand ;)

      As for the devil - well, perhaps a system dynamic might identify how that works, and it may well be part of the hidden hand of economy.
      As for movie straw-men, I would argue that law cannot be used to defeat law.
      The prophets have had a few things to say about lawyers which may be cogent to the discussion.
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          Feb 23 2013: Don - you already know this!

          The juice is love.

          The invitation to be alive ;)
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    Feb 21 2013: This is a question best answered through thought, if everyone wants something at a price then there is a demand for that thing at a price and eventually we will all get it. This simple observation of supply and demand implies the invisible hands existence because that each persons each person’s selfishness and demand will lead to a helping other selfish demand and promote an almost universal achievable of demand.

    So should we trust in the invisible hand existence? Yes

    Why, well because peoples pursuit to satisfy one’s own demand will most likely help others in their own pursuit if their own demand. This is because we all mostly want the same things.
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      Feb 21 2013: And what when demand is manufactured?
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        Feb 21 2013: What?
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          Feb 21 2013: Well, the principles of supply and demand work really well when demand is based on individual needs and wants.
          But what happens when these needs and wants are falsified by the supplier?
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    Feb 21 2013: Are we too far away? No one else seems interested by such conversation.
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      Feb 21 2013: This line of thinking is not easy.

      Comprehending non-linearity is usually not profitable - in the short term, all lines look straight.

      The participants of TED conversations are usually deep-thinkers, but still humans. If we were talking about an emotional topic, the buttons would all be pressed and participation would be high.

      I am pleased with the participation so far.
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      Feb 21 2013: Here's an insight for you:

      I'm preparing to do a market demand model in netlogo, so I'm looking at adaptive mutation models for prep, and I've noticed something hat has not been remarked (to my knowledge)

      An upswing in a chart might represent it's own dynamic - but it might also represent the onset of a modulation being induced by an impacting system - which will ultimately de-stabilse the outcome.
      Thus apparent gains can often be the symptoms of impending crash.

      I will develop this notion into my model .. might take a few weeks.
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        Feb 22 2013: Keep me aware of it. Very interesting.
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          Feb 22 2013: Yes. will do.

          I have marked your address - might be an idea to obscure your adress to prevent bots collecting it onto spam-lists.

          Another thing has occured to me - the principle of diminishing returns appears in the Logistic map. I'm quite excitred about this observation.

          Before today, I had a concept of diminishing returns, but I had a separate concept of the "ghost in the machine". Today I realise they are one in the same.

          If you extrapolate the Logistic map into chaos, you will see the "ghost-lines". The Logistic is really easy to plot it is just algebra and describes population levels over a given carrying capacity with the Y axis on reproduction rate. it is Xthis = Reproduction rate times (Xlast-(Xlastsquared)). THis expresses population level as a fraction of carrying capacity. It's quite famous .. what it does is track the "attractor" as it progresses from fixed-point to oscillating to "strange"(chaotic).
          But it is far from stochastic - the ghost-lines persist to track the trajectory of the attractor itself. If you mapped a strategy of the prevailing trend, it would be accurate in a diminishing degree until the system actually settles into a stability that will include the prediction - at that point, the prediction would join all other predictions as part of the period that has resolved.
          This infers an equal wrongness/rightness of "justifications". Thus protagonists of obsolete predictions will be on equal footing for equally wrong justifications - making history and all things based upon it invalid without comprehending the underlying causality.
          So. from that I invalidate the axiom: "those who do not learn the lessons of the past are destined to repeat it".
          This is false. History provides only historical trends - no arguement based on history is valid in the present beyond contradictory justifications.
          The phase shift back into chaos precipitates the new paradigm.
          And then that paradigm will suffer the fate of the ones before it until the next phase.
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          Feb 22 2013: Here - wiki (as always) has the greatest quality of this subject:

          So .. look at the real-time animated graph - but, mostly, look at the bifurcation map - if you look at this, you will see the "ghosts" that I refer to.

          I mapped this thing constantly on my little computer back in the 1980s and O zoomed-in to the ghost lines .. asking to myself: "what is this?"
          And in fact - i can see it any time - I just light the end of a cigarette and watch the rising plumex through a slit of sunlight cast through my curtains and see the logistic being done right before my eyes.
          And I see it in the expression of tradition in folk music.
          I see it in the sound that is produced in the flutes I make - and I go hunting for a return that has not been diminished.
          If I can get a policy formula for this kind of success - it will be my gift of this time. After that, better men than me will produce paradigms that we cannot know - except that they will come when they are due.

          How does this map against your chart?
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          Feb 22 2013: Chaos is with us right now.

          All we ever knew is wrong - and getting wronger in every milisecond.

          Prepare to change - nothing you have ever experienced is relevant to what you see.

          Look to the young, stop teaching them and be taught.

          Failure is a necessary death.

          But that is more than OK - would you live if living meant the death of your child?

          We are humans! We are not afraid of fear!

          We will die for our children - and that is our ultimate power!

          (edit: look around you .. the fearful are already dead - their death cannot be murder.. abandon your guilt - it was never yours)
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    Feb 21 2013: Again agreed. However with one reserve: if brains are disrupted, the thinking still seems "normal" to the brain issuing it.

    Did you heard about the miniRNA which appears some 2-300,000 years ago and make the difference between a monkey (ape) and a human being?

    I got the report in French but maybe there is an English link.

    I mention this because if a miniRNA into a gene can change drastically the brain system, we may face a new human in few centuries from now.
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      Feb 21 2013:

      Is this it?

      Genetic encoding is not as trait-specific as people generally assume.
      What genes do is to create systems - these systems will have varying degrees of interaction with environmental signals - much of this adaptive range is unknown because it codes for capacity - not specificity.
      We can talk about FOXP2 as teh gene for language, but it will not produce language unless the envoronmental trigger for language also exists.
      Humans and great apes diverged more than 500,000 years ago - this was the branch point of Neanderthal, who also had FOXP2 - as did Denisovan.

      One very interesting thing:
      The Blue Mountains funnelweb spider has toxin specific to 22 species of insect.
      It is also toxic to humans and chimpanzees, but no other primate or mamal.
      It is ranked as teh most toxic spider in the world and lives near my house.
      We are careful - the males come into the house when looking for mates, and the male is far more toxic than the female.
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        Feb 22 2013: Not exactly. I will research the scientific name of the miniNRA. However it is a new discovery from the University of Edimburgh (Scotland) and was published some 3-4 days ago.
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          Feb 22 2013: As I understand it, the RNA is a downstream protien carrier signal from specific DNA codons. But I might have that very wrong. If the encoding mechanism of RNA is different, then the DNA will be expressed very differently.
          I'd love to visit the specific paper!
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      Feb 21 2013: OK I think this is the one:

      The CMP-sialic hydroxylase is mutated - this affects how cell wall sugars operate.
      "Our group recently discovered a human-specific inactivating mutation in the CMP-sialic acid hydroxylase gene, which results in the loss of expression of a common mammalian cell-surface sugar throughout all cells in the human body" (Gagneux P, Varki A.)

      I note that the full paper is on the other side of a pay-wall and therefore part of teh intellectual property market bubble.
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    Feb 21 2013: Indeed. And this way they "issue" money against central banks.(knowledge).
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      Feb 21 2013: You see,
      If you don't use the "reply" button, the PcF is interupted and reduces grain of context - i.e. shortens the existential loop.
      I can only respond to this text box within its own context.
      Which is an OK thought experiment, but it does not expand the FcP - which is necessary for granular development.

      So for instance, i can ask: which "they" are we talking about?
      But the answer will nto be forthcoming because the PcF loop is disconneceted and the attempt to answer will be thrown into a sea of unconnected concepts - meaningless in themselves without context.
      On the other hand, I can impose grain by forcing my own "they" as an expression of agressive agenda.

      I can say: "they" are power-cell consprators who work tirelesly to assure our conformity and corruption"

      But this is just fatuous rubbish - as is most political assertion .. very common on the internet - the failure of contextual grain.

      Knowing this, I can make an industry of it - Alex Jones is a great exaple of exploiting missalignment of context for finanacial advantage.

      I'd rather explore the theme within its evolving context - the quest for truth is a process of expanding granularity - extending the reach of the existential loop.
      (sense-->percieve-->compare-->update-->evaluate-->act-->repeat) the Bayesian absolute of self organisation results in expanded granularity - the temporal span of the existential loop.
  • Feb 20 2013: No, never.
    But, we should heed the invisible finger.
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    Feb 20 2013: Indeed. But "intangible" is not yet providing a "choice"!

    "Credibility" creates, indeed, the Debt based on future unknown expectations. It is a projection of what one side would like the other side to be. Where lies the accountability? On the side who would like to deserve the credit or on the side who would like to extend the credit in order to enslave the other side?

    Rationality is the projection of a Past into a Future: shrinking the GDP should shrink the Debt but in reality it increases the Debt on expectations of a better GDP after the shrinking. No one can correct the Past and this is true for any FcP.

    Comparing the Housekeeper budget to the National one reduces the capacities of the latter while its isolate the country. Isolation means no exchange and no exchange means no communication: the dynasaur is dying for eating its own tail.

    We are in agreement.
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      Feb 20 2013: I can only speak about corporate project budgets.
      Intangibles will not be recognised - nor will contingency.
      One has to hide contingency in false project modules which get folded after the budget is approved - very tricky. Another place to hide such modules is in the risk mittigation section - but if it looks too large the tangible cost benefit may be affected. This makes it very hard to carry forward benefits to future projects and prevents continuous improvement strategies.
      Credibility falls into the category of arse-covering - it is the risk deferal method used by CEO's and board members. Most corporate projects spend 1000% of true project cost on credibility in the form of consultancy fees. Both corporations and goverments indulge in this practice.
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    Feb 20 2013: To this point we agree 100%. It seems obvious to me that super-magnets could change the way the the electric part of the brain works. Essentially if this happens continouosly.
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      Feb 20 2013: Hi Gilbert,

      Can you use the "reply" option - the conversation is losing sequence :)

      Yes - magenetic fields do affect barins .. so far I've only seen general supressive affects directed at specific brain areas. I have not seen any sophisticated targeting - it would be almost impossible to do that to someone covertly. The affects of high frequency radiation from phones and devices is not well understood - but known to be generally disruptive.
      The problem with specific analysis is that the synaptic topology is the medium of thought - the system of anlysis would need to have many times more nodes than a brain (about 1 trillion), and each node would need to have near-analogue resolution. Most practical method is to use another brain. For now, propaganda is the best mind-control - it targets "world view" and you can, for instance, induce false objects .. simply by naming them and talling stories about them. This affects only the autobiographical self, core and proto selves are only affected by direct field of perception.
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    Feb 20 2013: Please be tolerant: English is just my 3rd language and sometimes I have some problems understanding exactly what you mean. However I do like this ways facing the social problem mostly created by a quite incomplete and wrongly based economics: GDP include positively what is in fact a cost and issued money is out of control due to ignored speculations and transactions.
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      Feb 20 2013: yes.

      Most people put assets on the wrong side of the ledger .. it is the boundary of social capital - which is not counted .. we call it "intangible" .. hey ho - and don't you dare include contingency in your project budget application!!!

      Most money is spent on "credibility" it is a creature that can eat more money than people can create!

      This suggests animals that reside in FcP and PcF .. we are not well aware of them because we are stuck in C-C1 for all our substantive planing together .. we had best find a more succesful way to do business.

      For my part, i am resolved to disolve the myth of rationality. Life works better than rationality - there is much more to learn than we would wish.
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    Feb 20 2013: Nowadays risk is being refused (at the least in its larger share) as the risk is insured through the well-known "derivatives of derivatives" plus a very few driving the markets. On my chart it is located in the area (O - D - C' - E). The risk taken is equal to the (added) national debts despite that money is not in use but being created on future market estimated values.

    Worse, These financial transactions are being "capitalized", often even off-shore in order to avoid taxes.

    Exclusively people nearer to the right extreme of knowledgeable segment C - C' are in a position to achieve this kind of investments and for it, they have to be aware of the near future development (Steve Jobs) who could take profit providing the info to the "dream" (iPad1) and 3 months later launching iPad2 as a complete tool.

    On step 1 he provided the info (light computer) and on step 2, having created the market, he provides the completed tooling. On position 1 he created the market already aware of what is coming out in position 2.
    He appears alike a genius because he was already aware of iPad2 incoming and most people would not have been confident if iPad1 would not show that this was possible as it happened to the fully integrated first Apple computer.

    In short, responding to people dreams is far not sufficient to set a market but providing confidence is the aim.
    Once people has confidence, then one may set the market (and pricing). All of it in a relatively near future. When my company provided me with the first computer (1983) reluctance was based on implied change. My staff, reluctant, was quite angry and still today we have sometime to face the "computer error" but the computer is far more reliable than human mind! The info has been provided but still not completely accepted.

    Indeed absenteeism shows personal disatisfaction but health care system implies the risk of being checked.
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      Feb 20 2013: hmmm I agree with most of that.

      But I will point out that in the first hours I worked for a Telco, I noticed people whith mobile phone clamped on one ear, landline clamped on the other - both with hands-free to allow real-time computer interaction.
      My boss and good friend who I first saw doing that had cancer of the jaw-bone within 12 months - and he is now facing supreme court action on suspected imbezlement which is a spurious action based on the fact that law is a money thing - the one with greatest money buys the law, and my friend is being financially destroyed because of a personal disagreement with someone who had more money.

      There is only anarchy.

      I am inclined at this point to become a pirate - we are entering a world of absolute piracy, and the first entrants will have advantage. But they'd better be real good pirates .. the species depends now on the skillful cull - and the pathway to the exit of the cull.
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    Feb 19 2013: Long term decisions (if any) are located in the (L'+1- C' - l'+1) area. Any investment could be qualified of sponsorship.It could be productive on the long term as a Van Gogh painting. However it implies disagreement with social present uses and feelings. It only means that for such an individual, the "choice" made is "out" of social actual knowledge (C- C'). It "may" become available to all (no French revolution without the transfer of knowledgeable people AND a society fed upwith "past" and therefore "opened" to new information.

    I use "information" in its real meaning as "change of format".As you stated, long term includes too many unexpected events.
  • Feb 19 2013: Nope. The invisible hand ends up buying everything and everyone in the end, the only way to deal with it is to intervene.

    The modern videogame industry is essentially criminally corrupt because capitalism has conquered democratic governments the world over so the laws are made by lobbyists and corporate think tanks.

    Just because things "emerge" and "happen naturally" doesn't mean the institutions are dealing fairly in anyway. There are so many industries getting away with massive crimes against their customers.
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      Feb 19 2013: Hi Bob,

      It looks that way.

      The viodeogame industry seems to be a result of a real-estate bubble in intellectual property.
      The notion of property always seems to result in the entrance of parasitic entities.
      Property has 2 forms: compassion and violence.
      Property defended by compassion remains true to purpose.
      Property defended by violence is vulnerable to parasites which divert the purpose.
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    Feb 19 2013: (2nd part)
    A system exists only if there is an exchange between issuer and receiver. It could exist for some people and not for others. Just try to talk about the Big Bang to a "creationist".

    To be opened to a system (or to the environment) means to be able to simultaneously and alternatively be issuer and receiver, to be able to use both the semantic and semiologic waves: If I would stop responding you, communication would be severed. If we can't use the TED system, communication would be severed. If I wouldn't write in English, communication would be severed. Our system exists because we respond each other.

    I will have to think about several statements of yours regarding economics and were we "may" agree is that taxes should be the interface between economy (wealth for everyone) and finance (wealth for a few). I use to say these balls work alike the Gauss ones.

    However on percentages as risks, if I could agree, I see it more as a fake figure because it avoids showing what it can't consider: Absenteeism costs 11% of the annual wages. If there is universal health coverage how much will a corporation save?
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      Feb 19 2013: Yes.

      But the communication is not strictly transactional (reciprocal). Theory of mind tells us that this is a public transaction and words are chosen to also include signal-flow to the audience. As such, this communication is both information transaction (exchange of perception) and theatre.
      In face-to-face communiction the element of theatre is more starkly defined - with nodes of passive participation at higher levels. Most notably, the 3-way perception-transaction system has particular strength. Beyond 3-way, there may be passive nodes recieving perceptions of advantage/dissadvantage in a chaotic manner - with any number of network intermediaries - limited only by signal strength or noise/signal ratio.

      Risk is only tractable if it is accepted. Hedging practices turn investment risk loadings into usury. So, if a risk is aproximately applied to cost of money, the result of risk-collapse will equal total loadings over time. If usury is hidden in the spread (as is done by paypal on currency exchange) then it is back to scalar loads applied to finite current-value. This can also be seen in the case of paypal with the value extracted through spread-usury being expended on rocket engines in Spacex - ways to destroy value in the fastest most spectacular ways for the visceral comfort of a few.
      (edit: absenteeism is probably more alligned with personal dissatisfaction with a "job" - this will be more than genuine health problems - and may in fact bleed-over into bad health - despite social health insurance).
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    Feb 19 2013: I had some times this discussion about C-C1 segment. Many people states, as you are doing, that "knowledge" is factor of people ability to absorb knowledge as if knowledge could be accepted or not.

    The system per se knows about the system and the people can accept or refuse to absorb knowledge and therefore "adapt themselves" to an existing system: rare earths existed in 2003 as a scientific fact. It is not the system which sold it to China but the people unable to figure out what they had in hands.

    If the governement, or any banker, etc. refuses to fund a new discovery (as per example the magnetic pill for fighting cancer, the system exists but the haman paranoia (and ignorance) impedes the funding.

    If we keep shrinking R&D, it is not the new discoveries which are not yet granted but the people which are not knowledgeable enough as to finance the future..

    It is easier for one person to imagine oneself living early 1800s. Communication was slow enough so an event can take place changing positions in its area while people keep ignoring it. The reverse being true as well: the same large amount of money changes hands, in average, nowadays, about 30 times a day. About half a Century ago it was just 17 times. This is not anymore due to the communication speed but to the fact that the profits become significant only on larger amounts.

    Sometimes one has "premonition" of a fact to take place: this is due to the fact that he/she knows instinctively what could happen IF this would happen.

    As far as our ability to absorb, I mean be aware, analyze and integrate any new idea, item or whatsoever, is not a system qualification but of the receiver open to it. If you take a working computer, the system exists. If you dismantle it, the system still exist but is not responding any more and if you rebuild it without following an understanded way, an absorbed way, the system still exist even if the computer will not be working.
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      Feb 19 2013: Ah yes - I see what you mean.

      This seems more a property of a self than of the systems that self participates in.

      For instance, perception in a neural network is an associative sortation system. It creates static-object and dynamic-causal maps which then also accumulate into corelation groups. The group will "fire" on stimulus, but only one action group will result. This action group (governed by a mirror neuron) will present as an "option" along with other groups which may present themselves. The optimal is chosen for agency according to whether the action increases comfort or reduces discomfort.
      As you can see, the notion of rational-agent is not present because rationality has little to do with short-term visceral comfort.
      Long term rationality has 3 problems: 1. all long term decisions can be seen as both wrong and right depending on who/what recieves the forecast benefit. 2. Long term forecast is statistically unstable in chaotic enviroments. 3. Long term rationality is not rewarded by being right - it is rewarded by a self-image which gains advantage by looking "clever" or giving the impression of strong leadership.
      The uptake of new technology or oportunity can only happen by accident - the appearance of rationality is an illusion re-enforced by selective measure of results (claiming wins, ignoring failures).
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    Feb 18 2013: Many thanks Mitch for your interest.

    I ude to write (mostly comments) under However, for good order sake, I posted some chapters about the work I achieved years ago in French witha friend of mine and I gave some lectures about it.

    I did it for my grand-kids if ever they turn to be economists.

    Out of the 7 published in chapters, I believe these are the chapters showing pretty well how the charts work. In order to be able to apply the Pythagoras scheme, each abscissa represents the distance the light covers during 1 second (coordinate).

    If you would be interested into the other chapters - however maybe they will drive you to different conclusions - I'm pretty sure that under my Gather's name (Gilbert S.) you will be able to achieve a better analyzis.

    Any way I remain at your disposal and you may feel free to use these charts as you like, while mentioning my name. If you have any type of different feeling, I will be glad to discuss it with you.

    The foreseeable future depends on our knowledge of the universe, that is to say virtually nil. So we must enjoy the present.
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      Feb 19 2013: Many thanks Gilbert!

      Might take me a while to fully comprehend the notions of FcP and PcF.
      You are talking about reaction times rather than the speed of light per se.
      I suppose this is the C-C1 segment?

      This is good for system behaviours, but does not identify the emergent dynamic which produces the system.

      If we are to assume an emergent system (self) then it will have several fields:
      1. Field of senses (data aquisition)
      2. Field of perception (data sortation)
      3. Field of agency (potential decision)
      4. Field of adaptation (potential self-change)

      I note that field of perception is subject to network topology that can extend beyond the "self". This makes it fractal.
      Field of agency includes potentail advantage and potential disadvantage.
      Field of adaptation sets limits to dynamic shock which modulates field of agency.
      The fractal capacity of perception is best demonstrated by theory of mind - it modulates the whole structure and produces a deeply fractal topology.

      The economic model in use today accepts scalar shock in the form of percentages. While percentage can be used a an expression of risk, it should not be applied to the expression of value - i.e. usury.
      The scaling of usury allows for infinite capacity for shock - and this will always exceed the field of adaptability. Hence, banks should be allowed only operating fees above and beyond the cost of money - not retail interest.
      Similarly, taxation should not be treated as automatic public funding, but as a stabilizing conter-balance against currency. Inflation could be controled by increased budgetary surplus with deflation controled by surplus reduction with no need to use deficit - eliminating the need for economic growth. This is the reponsibility of the issuer of currency. The issuer of currency has absolute power and should not be let into the hands of private control.
      If a public ownership of the power of currency is deemed "destructive collectivism", then there should be no currency at all.
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    Feb 17 2013: Here's a thing to think about:

    The active and passive are not so simple - consider this image:

    Imagine your left hand as "output" and your right hand as "input"

    Now let's apply the notions of active/passive to these hands - we get 4 hands:
    Active output
    Passive output
    Active input
    Passive input

    We have words for these - respectively:

    Now - look at interaction in 4 dimensions - not 2.

    The free market excludes force and rape.

    Now. Talk about competition intelligently?
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    Feb 17 2013: Just to kick things along a bit.

    As you probably can tell - this is a thread concerning the invisible hand of the natural market - first recognised by Adam Smith. It might help those contributing here to visit Smith's work - at least in precis.

    The other thing worth looking at is this link provided by Theodore A. Hoppe.
    It is a crash-course on complexity theory. It includes units on Chaos theory, Network theory, and what are called "self organising systems" - such as the invisible hand of natural markets.
    I highly recommend this - it is a basis of a 21st century language distinct from the new renaissance syntax of communication.
    The goal is to get everyone literate in the symbols relevant to what is actually hapening all around us right now -

    and an invitation to actually participate.
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    Feb 16 2013: The simple answer, one that Glattfelder points out, "The high degree of interconnectivity of the top players in the core could pose a significant systemic risk to the global economy"
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      Feb 16 2013: That is not true unless those players are the governments but even then governments eventually have to give way to the Invisible Hand. Unfortunately when the U.S. falls it will take the rest of the world with it. Think of the dark ages, all of the technology existed that created the Roman Empire in the dark ages but none of it was implemented. In modern times it will be more like Mad Max?
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        Feb 16 2013: Truth is relative. We don't know truth we share a perceptive of it. If you're saying, in your opinion this isn't true, my reply is that it's insufficient to make unsubstantiated claims such as yours (and you know this already).
        The quote is from Glattfelder's talk. If you can present an intelligent and supported argument to counter Glattfelder's research my all ears.
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          Feb 16 2013: My points are empirical and objective, I submit as substantiation, of which is only available to those wishing to Look...
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        Feb 16 2013: If you would like to learn about ComplexityTheory there is still a change to enroll in this online class at the Santa Fe Institue.

        I just wanted to send a quick note to everyone letting you know that it's not too late to enroll in the course, you can enroll anytime during course. If you have not done so already please visit and press the "Enroll in the Course" button to begin. Please respond to if you have any questions.

        Juniper Lovato
        Program Coordinator
        Education and Outreach
        Santa Fe Institute
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          Feb 17 2013: Thanx Theo - enrolled.

          I was resisting a download of netlogo .. I know I'll dissapear down a rabit hole for years. Back in the early 90's I had to program my own netlogo, but it robbed so much of my time I had to let it go .. that, and a study I was doing on erosion/redeposition slow topology.
          but I suppose these things are inevitable and resistance is futile .. the Vogon of topology!
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        Feb 16 2013: Your points are based on a limited understanding of what is under discussion.
        "Glattfelder says we may need global anti-trust rules, which now exist only at national level, to limit over-connection among TNCs. Bar-Yam says the analysis suggests one possible solution: firms should be taxed for excess interconnectivity to discourage this risk."

        Here is the research paper. Most of the reference papers have links. (for the benefit of others)
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          Feb 17 2013: I scanned the link and get the concept. I just disagree, the speaker does not understand the power of the free market. The only way this is going to be a problem is through crony capitalism which is not likely to happen to any degree. When in history has this been a problem for any length of time?
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        Feb 16 2013: Hi Pat,

        We are looking - this is why I submitted this question. Any data or links are welcome!

        @ Theo I'll have a look at your links. Many thanks!

        Just generally, it might be a good start to have a look at the invisible hand from the ground-zero of Adam Smith's discovery.
        I am absolutely sure that, had Smith access to computers, he would have delivered a lot more to his analysis.
        I am sure theh Smith calculations have been submitted to computer modelling a few times.
        I suppose I'd better round up a few so we can observe the etymology of these ideas.
        Might take a day or 2.
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      Feb 17 2013: Reply to Theo's original contribution:

      Yes, but is Glattfelder talking about Smith's invisible hand?
      Or is he talking about an infection of the invisible entity attached to that hand?
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        Feb 17 2013: I wrote a reply and then reread this entire thread to be sure I was understanding the question you're asking.
        If you're asking me to speculate about Smith's idea of markets and the "invisible hand" as he was suggestion it, Glattfelder says he see emergence in the system, the structure is the result of self organization, so the high degree of interconnectivity, is probably not the result of a top-down approach like a global conspiracy." Is the question then, whether there is a self regulating behavior in this TNC marketplace? My answer would be "No" and hence the need for "a few simple rules" as Glattfeder puts it, global regulations not just national one which are ineffective with TNCs.

        Does this answer it Mitch? Smith's invisible hand metaphor addresses a much simpler market of buyer and sellers.

        BTW, you will have some catching you to do in the course, but you know Netlogo so you have an edge.
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    Feb 15 2013: When superposing 3 Herman Minkovski charts it appears clearly the relativity of our choices driven by the knowledgeable: the large the latter, the larger the incoming profit is. But this "incoming profit" needs often huge investments which may not provide immediate profit.

    Small entities (and individuals) cannot make such speculations and die absorbed by past; large concerns can face such speculations (better if they could manage for the possible loss to be repaid by taxpayer) but can "absorb" past driven corporations to enhance future ones they own or manage.

    The superposition shows clearly 12 different positions (and choice abilities) out of which only 3 are interesting as far as investments are concerned. However their surface is driven by knowledge.
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      Feb 16 2013: Many thanks Gilbert!

      Do you have a link to demonstrate the imposition of 3 Minkovski charts?

      At one time I was developing supply chain systems and had to devise a separation of natural and promoted demand. Promotion deeply alters the at-rest supply/demand topology - this skews forecast outcomes across the product range and affects acuracy (service levels). It reduces service levels over-all, but is very handy as a tool to manipulate supply. I found that it was possible to forecast promotional skews by forecasting promotion as a product. The Minkovski approach might make this a lot more tractable.
      Or, perhaps, if we were to find a clear visualisation, we would know whether or not to trust the invisible hand - and indeed, if there are obvious parts which should be decapitated.

      I tell the joke that the invisible hand is attached to a moron .. if we could get a close look at him, we might be able to cure his malaise.
  • Feb 15 2013: As Sgt. Schultz said
    "trust no one." Also, there are always bubbles and greed. Consider the Yahoo land deal, Enron, the S&L crisis, the civil war, etc. etc. There are memes, fashions, etc. etc. Reread Charles Mckay Extraordinary popular delusions and the Madness of Crowds. On the last item there are always leaders and followers.