RE: No Singularity?

Billy Brown (
Tue, 16 Nov 1999 13:45:21 -0600

Dan Fabulich wrote:
> 'What is your name?' 'Billy Brown.' 'IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT

Any Vorlon who tries that interrogation routine on me is going to be forcibly reminded that he isn't bulletproof. Unlike Delen, I'm not silly enough to worship a race that has had technology for a million years and hasn't managed to do anything with it.

> Hmmm. Actually, this theory is lacking, too, unless you're merely
> asserting that total quantity of human effort is just ONE of the things on
> which the cost of a product depends. Indeed, your theory reminds me of
> Marx's "labor theory" of value, which leads one into serious problems,
> IMO.
> At any rate, there's at least two more factors at work which you don't
> take into account here. The first one is (surprise!) demand. If demand
> is low, or even better, if you've got a monopsony on the market under
> consideration, the cost of the product will be lower, despite the fact
> that the total labor required to create the good is the same.

'Cost' and 'Value are two very different quantities. The cost of producing something is proportional to the total human effort that was required to make it. The market value of the same item is a completely different thing, and it is influenced by all sorts of other factors (as you correctly point out). The two quantities are related only in the obvious sense that products whose cost is higher than their value will not be produced.

Perhaps I should use the term 'Production Cost' instead?

Billy Brown, MCSE+I