Re: Teach the hungry (Was: Hollywood Economics)

J. Maxwell Legg (
Sat, 05 Sep 1998 15:06:44 +1200

Dan Fabulich wrote:

> >country became “healthier.” Indeed, every time there's a car accident or a
> newly
> >diagnosed cancer patient, whenever personal or societal catastrophies
> occur, the
> >GDP goes up and the economy.”
> America's GDP is affected by a lot of factors. Do you have any evidence
> that any of the above is true?

Only my gut feeling that 'national debt' results from the financing of an increased money supply. I doubt that the establishment has on display any evidence of this big picture, nor would it be permissible under capitalism to do so.

> >Consider:
> >
> >Walking, biking and mass transit contribute less to the GDP than using an
> >automobile. Trains contribute less than airplanes; an extra blanket or
> sweater
> >less than raising the thermostat; one-child families less than six-child
> >families; eating legumes less than eating beef; starting a vegetable
> garden less
> >than buying at the supermarket; staying home to raise your daughter less than
> >getting a part-time job at Wendy's.
> Here you make the mistake that other economists make of confusing current
> GDP for economic efficiency. Fortunately, responsible economists don't
> make this mistake.

I'm not debating the veracity of various economists. I'm calling for the wholesale uploading of the current economic system by proposing a viable initial hybridization based on AI.

> Let's look at some of these examples. Walking vs. driving, for example.
> For economists, if people want to drive then they're better off when
> they're able to drive. Now let's suppose that you're trying to choose
> between walking or driving when you can afford both. Well, if you choose
> to drive, you consume more. This increases current GDP through
> consumption: it increases demand for cars slightly, increasing the standard
> of living for those who make cars, etc.
> But what happens when you choose to save your money and walk? Do you just
> bury that wealth in a hole where it never comes out again? Obviously not.

Unfortunately humans consider transactional savings as a reduction in costs, which under competitive pressure currently translates into a lower selling price for their output. Because capitalism is very inefficient at working out how much a person needs to make it through life, in the end the trap is complete and the person without overheads ends up working for free. But I ask you to consider what happens when such a person creates for free the software that could upload the economy.

You might consider such a person to be a failure, but there is a growing army of such techno-failures just waiting for a broader based system. This mass of human flesh does not simply lay down and die but force feeds another kind amathematical logic back into the system to bend the status quo to their needs. As a potential uploader I faced this question early on and opted to fight erstwhile genocidal governments on their own terms.

No doubt my actions now will cause that quark thingy to busily stitch up all sorts of histories to disable my attack, on the other hand, if it's possible to upload a global economy into a neural net, it should be a snap to upload a human brain using similar software.

> >(Indeed, the GDP fails to assign any value at
> >all to unpaid or volunteer work. Work done by tens of millions of North
> Americans
> >simply does not show up on the radar. It's as if the work -- and the
> workers --
> >don't exist.)
> In volunteer work, money doesn't change hands. It's often unofficial. In
> fact, almost everything that's done voluntarily is unofficial. Economists
> couldn't even begin to measure the extent of volunteer work even if they
> wanted to. They can measure charity donations, however, and one thing we
> do notice is that, like all other forms of consumption, it increases as
> spending power rises.

Under my concept of a more efficient neural net than capitalism, one in which the system of grading scales is capable of creating feedback loops for all sorts of activities, be it for oil exploration or volunteer work, the effect will be to create a bigger net than capitalism is capable of on its own. It doesn't have to be all encompassing from the start but the potential is there and this is why such a net will initially use synthetic data to 'second guess' and flush out hidden elements.