Evonomics – Social justice and economics

Leading Libertarian Says Social Justice Is a Cause and Effect of the Great Enrichment

Solving the deepest puzzle of the social sciences

This article is quite good as far as it goes, but (as others have noted) it leaves out far more than it includes, and what was left out needs mentioning, at least in passing.

Sure cooperation/social justice – and there is a games theory perspective on that, and a nested set of evolutionary contexts both genetic and cultural that at many levels have attendant “cheat prevention” strategies (some of which are detailed above). Games theory demonstrates that raw cooperation is always vulnerable to exploitation by cheating strategies, and requires attendant strategies to deliver effective countermeasures against cheats – which develops into something of a multi-level strategic arms race.

Every individual has base level survival needs that must be met if they are to be at all open to cooperation. Throughout history all sorts of events have interfered with meeting those needs. The frequency of destabilising events (human, geological, biological, meterological) is an important factor. Famine, pandemic, earthquake, storm, invasion, etc all tend to force individuals from cooperative to competitive modalities.

A far more useful and realistic view of societies is as an n dimensional landscape of probabilities where groups of people tend to collect in the dips, but the whole dimensional landscape is constantly evolving – it is not a static thing, and it has a certain dynamic relationship to John Maynard-Smith’s Multiple Stable State equilibria concept (except with dimensional conditions that are complex {in the complexity theory sense},.and constantly changing).

Another factor is the size of stable groups and the size of group networks leading to stability. Being able to create and maintain trust and value networks across time and space – very important to stability.

In the context above, hitting the stochastic sweet spots has been important, to many level of evolution.

Perhaps the greatest single thing, which links back into all of those mentioned above, is the exponential growth in information and technology.
It seems that evolution originally started out as basically a random walk through the available possibility spaces, and in a sense it still does that, and along the way it has evolved systems that all it to direct evolution along paths that have proven fruitful in the past. So at every level, evolution has this recursive ability to evolve more rapidly into areas that are more productive, until we get to the idea of intelligence (which continues the trick of recursively looking at itself and optimising).
And even with intelligence, what we get to see is very much a function of the distinction sets we have available to us, most of which we adopt from culture and some of which we learn from more or less unique experiences. The youtube video “Pouff – Grocery Trip” ( https://youtu.be/DgPaCWJL7XI ) is created from DeepDream in conjunction with Samim’s DeepDreamAnim. DeepDream is a computer vision program created by Google which uses a convolutional neural network to find and enhance patterns in images. This one was trained with images of animals from the internet – mostly dogs and cats (being the internet). And it is definitely “over the top” and it does give a very clear feel for just how much what we “see” is defined by the experience of our neural networks.

Another major aspect is the sources of energy for production. Animals, fire, water, slaves, wood, coal/steam, oil etc. Now efficiently and exponentially moving into direct solar, and energy abundance beyond anything in our past.

Another aspect is relaxation of the many levels of authoritarian views (the curse of being “right”). These come in many flavours, religious, intellectual, political, cultural, logical.
Wolfram has clearly shown in NKS that there are many classes of process (many common to life) that are maximally computationally complex – which means there is no shortcut to finding out what they will do other that letting them do it and seeing what happens. That wasn’t supposed to be how the world works. Science was supposed by many (from Plato onward) to be able to tell us what would happen. Even Wolfram – who accepts that reality is completely causal, has concluded that even though causal, it is not predictable in many important aspects. Some like me go one step further, and see in the evidence available very strong indications that reality is fundamentally stochastic within probability distributions at the lowest levels, and only in the vast numbers that we humans normally deal with do those things display a very close approximation to hard causality.

Then there is the power of money as a glue, to hold interests in other places, and thus build complex networks of intersecting interests that, in domains of real scarcity, do act as a force for peace and cooperation and prosperity. It’s just that once technology gives us the technical ability to deliver a large and expanding set of goods and services in universal abundance, money and markets start delivering really perverse incentives that become a serious danger to everyone.

Then there is the disruptive aspect of money, as it tends to centralise benefits, leaving a disenfranchised mass to rebel at many different levels.

Evolution starts as a stochastic random walk through the infinitely dimensional landscape of possibilities, and evolves ever higher levels of sorting and directionality to the exploratory tool-sets available in different contexts. Evolution is really complex. It starts simple, and as a fundamentally recursive process, rapidly becomes anything but simple.

So I like the idea in the article of hybrid systems.

Let’s try and forget money for an instant.

Ask people what they actually want.

It’s relatively simple to ensure every person has access to a smart phone capable of using a tool like SenseMaker – so that they can answer questions in real time (or someone who can read who knows them can answer on their behalf – children are great at that – Afghanistan proved that).

Ask everyone what they actually most need and want.

Devote half of the productive output of society to that (not as measured by money, but as measured by energy consumption). Survival needs taking priority.

Repeat at least once a month, and more frequently if there are any changes of situation (like tornado, earthquake, volcanism, pandemic, etc).

Let individuals rankings count. Make fresh air and clean water and wholesome food and sanitation the highest priorities universally – with half the world’s productive capacity, would take less than a year to sort out.

Followed closely by education and communication.

The other half of our societal output can be unequally distributed, on a wide range of systems, economic, social rank, ability, etc.

Everyone gets to keep at least half of what they make, to use or give away as they see fit.

That would be something different.

Not equality. I’m not interested in that.
Humans aren’t equal. We’re all different. We want different things.

Let’s just try giving people real freedom, and see what sort of diversity results.

Anyone who, in the face of all the evidence above, thinks they can control this mess, is an idiot!!!

We are all in this together.

Let’s try a little freedom, a little use of these world wide information networks.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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