Re: Extropian Principles 3.0: Final (?) version now up

J. Maxwell Legg (
Tue, 27 Oct 1998 12:59:58 +1300

Robin Hanson wrote:
> Investment capital does not imply "money." Capital is anything
> that aids in production. Investment is using capital to make
> more capital, rather than helping people to "consume." The
> supply of investment capital is capital that those who control
> it are willing use to invest, rather than consume. The demand
> for capital is the investment projects that are available.
> We can say that there won't be much investment if those who
> control capital insist it all be used to help consumption.
> Similarly, investment won't do much good if there aren't
> projects available which have a decent change of producing
> more capital. We can say these things and more without
> invoking concepts of money, markets, or prices.
> >Nigel says:
> >... heralding a new transaction-
> >based economic system managed by a bevy of global
> >artificial intelligence engines.
> If those AI engines help us produce more, they are
> "capital."

Robin, until other mechanisms for managing the flow of information are produced then all measurements of capital become hostage to the current accounting concepts of capitalism, i.e., orders, invoices, statements, profit & loss, balance sheets, etc. There is no escaping this and no amount of hiding behind behind text books will convince me that your terms are anything but obfuscation. The only way to break this hold over terminology is to explicitly deny the case for double entry bookkeeping and start a new information paradigm with a new set of terms.

I understand your goodwill in trying to divorce investment capital from money but you don't stress any alternative to a zero based money system. For example under my concept of a public AI the data spaces that would be allocated to create meaning would not be arbitrarily managed so as to restrict the supply of meaningful fractal relationships.
There also would not be a form of trading data spaces so that certain meanings would get more space at the expense of others. This trading is implicit in your definition of investment capital.