Re: The Extropian Principles (Spontaneous Order)

Max More (
Mon, 29 Jul 1996 13:16:39 -0700 (MST)

At 03:51 PM 7/29/96 +0800, Ben Goertzel wrote:
>Economic theory is just now emerging from a century or more of linear
>thinking. If we accept that the economy is best modeled as a nonlinear
>system (a complex system) then we have to accept that there may be
>MANY DIFFERENT SOLUTIONS to problems such as
> -- pricing a given collection of goods in a given society
> -- organizing a society to as to maximize productivity,
> opportunity, standard of living [fill in your favorite
> goals here]
>And we have to ask: are the solutions that happen to get converged to
>necessarily the BEST ones? To assume that they are, which seems to be
>the line of John Clark and some others on this listserver, is just a
>variation on Pangloss with his "This is the best of all possible worlds."
>What you are saying is "In a complex system, whatever attractor we happen
>to sink into most often is the best one." WHY? WHY? WHY?

I don't think that's what John said, and it's not what I said. Free markets
may not choose the *best* result, but they do choose results that are better
than will be chosen by any other known system. Furthermore, I don't see any
way of determining what a good result is other than through the free choices
of individuals contracting with one another.

Since you are not proposing centralized control, what exactly are you
proposing as an alternative? Things like better informed and more rational
consumers and producers certainly would make the market work better, but
that is not an *alternative* to spontaneous order/free markets.

Upward and Outward!


Max More, Ph.D.
President Extropy Institute (ExI)
Editor Extropy