adversarial argumentation

[From Bill Powers (2011.04.15.0840 MDT)]

[I'm not going to respond to much here. This is getting to be too much like adversarial legal proceedings, where each side is supposed to minimize points against it and emphasize anything it can find to suggest it is right. This is not a good way to find out how things really work or what really happened. Yet another reason to focus on modeling: models behave as they behave and there's nothing you can do about it but change the model if it doesn't behave like the real system. Models don't care who wins.]

ML: More babies is just one strategy, greater investment in few babies is another, the key is that they survive to reproduce.

No. That's turning a quantitative principle into a qualitative one. The actual key, according to the concept as defined and used, is that fitness is determined strictly by HOW MANY offspring one has, not what quality of life is the result. According to current wisdom, the poor are far more fit than the rich because there are so many of them.

BP earlier: The owners get something like 60% of the claim, the customers around 40%. It is that split that is the chief object of negotiation between management and labor. That split explains how a few people can end up with almost all the buying power.

ML: Very few businesses have a 60% margin, without some kind of government granted monopoly.

You see the result of adversarial argument. You have countered a point I didn't try to make, by talking about "margins" instead of "share" which was my subject. Companies have a certain total income after taxes, maintenance, and production and sales costs (excluding wages). That total is split 60% for the owners and management, 40% for labor costs (the split varies, but not a lot).

But I do worry about "let individuals be free and succeed and fail on their own merits." I can see that if they succeed, we can generously applaud and be happy for them. But what if they fail? Do they just become examples to spur others to try harder? Do we let them descend to the lowest levels of poverty and misery, while saying to the others, "See? See what will happen to you if you don't buckle down and do your work instead of complaining all the time?"

They usually try again and again. Most success stories involved multiple failures, and even credit what they learned from those failures for their success. One of the implications of evolution is that we are all descended from a long unbroken line of winners. Children are born to parents who successfully survived.

Now you're saying it's only survival that matters, not quality of life, which nullifies what you said above. Rich and poor, fat and starving, happy and despairing, we all survived, so you see, there's no difference, is there?

In my experience "nice guys" get ahead faster than the nerds. Popularity and the social intelligence required to achieve it is often as good a recipe for success as academic achievement. We've all been to high school reunions where the real estate agent or auto or insurance sales person has been the greatest success. Humans tend to both trust and cultivate reputation, just as a small percentage can get by through deceit, merely by having the appearance of it. Humans evolved an ability to detect deceit as well, it is an arms race of sorts.

So you're saying that those who get to the top are less corrupt than those who don't. I say the opposite. How do you think we might go about finding out which view is right? Obviously they can't both be right.

...

BP: Couldn't agree more. But we have to have that model, or this whole conversation will just be a lot of hot air.

There should be social values that people control for, honesty, reputation, trust, and detection of trustworthyness. loyalty to those they value, detection of vulnerability to exploitation in others, recognition of such opportunities, wanting to be part of a team, enjoying belonging and contributing, wanting to be a star or hero, want to support a star or hero, appreciating the beauty of good teamwork, honoring sacrifice and heroism, resenting cheaters, resenting unfairness, making the groups goals ones own with furvor and fanaticism, a willingness to sacrificially discipline those who don't conform, appreciating the unique contributions of the nonconformist. It is complex mileau, and people have these qualities in varying degrees. Every emotion has a genetic and biological based, but every emotion probably is subject to environmental pressures for enhancement, suppression or control. Populate your model PCT hierarchies well, validate your models by reproducing the range of individual behavior and emergent collective phenomena.

This is an odd collection for someone who claims to prize individualism. It's mostly about living your life to fit in with and please others, and applying whatever kinds of pressure are needed (including "sacrifical discipline", which sounds a bit grim) to force conformity. You say it's "complex," but it just looks to me as though it's full of contradictions and conflicts, like the first draft of an idea before any debugging. It seems, in fact, to have all the most despicable features that you ascribe to "government" (and that I ascribe to "corporations").

Anyway, that's enough of that. I'm sure you have just as much ability as I do to dream up counterarguments, and we could entertain each other, and bore the audience, until corporations start deciding what we can say on the internet, which they're currently trying to do.

With that inflammatory remark sinking slowly in the west, I recommend that we bid farewell to this idyllic Land of the Endless Argument and look for something better to do with our time.

Best,

Bill P.

···

At 08:40 PM 4/14/2011 -0600, Martin Lewitt wrote:

[Martin Lewitt 16 Apr 2011 1823 MDT]

[From Bill Powers (2011.04.15.0840 MDT)]

[I'm not going to respond to much here. This is getting to be too much like adversarial legal proceedings, where each side is supposed to minimize points against it and emphasize anything it can find to suggest it is right. This is not a good way to find out how things really work or what really happened. Yet another reason to focus on modeling: models behave as they behave and there's nothing you can do about it but change the model if it doesn't behave like the real system. Models don't care who wins.]

ML: More babies is just one strategy, greater investment in few babies is another, the key is that they survive to reproduce.

No. That's turning a quantitative principle into a qualitative one. The actual key, according to the concept as defined and used, is that fitness is determined strictly by HOW MANY offspring one has, not what quality of life is the result. According to current wisdom, the poor are far more fit than the rich because there are so many of them.

No, the principle is not how many off spring one has, but how many survive to reproductive age.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reproduction#Reproductive_strategies

  You have been seduced into materialism. The educated supply chain manager with a brainy wife and 1.75 children may have won the materialism game, but the high school athete construction worker with a cheerleader wife and 5 children and beer and football on sundays will have won the evolutionary game, and might regret not having studied more in school, despite 60 remain years to go back to school if he really had changed his mind. The supply chain manager may have other regrets. Values are subjective, each may envy the life of the male bonobo.

BP earlier: The owners get something like 60% of the claim, the customers around 40%. It is that split that is the chief object of negotiation between management and labor. That split explains how a few people can end up with almost all the buying power.

ML: Very few businesses have a 60% margin, without some kind of government granted monopoly.

You see the result of adversarial argument. You have countered a point I didn't try to make, by talking about "margins" instead of "share" which was my subject. Companies have a certain total income after taxes, maintenance, and production and sales costs (excluding wages). That total is split 60% for the owners and management, 40% for labor costs (the split varies, but not a lot).

Perhaps the reason, it missed your point is that you were confused, can you rigorously define "share" at all? I guess it isn't margin, or profit. Labor costs usually exceed both of these unless the industry is particularly capital intensive. In this day and age, of double taxation of interest and dividends, the bondholders are often getting more than the owners and management, whether the industry is capital intensive or labor intensive. You at least grant that most of the production is for "consumers", whom you equated to "labor" to some extent. Presumably you would think it was worse if all that labor was producing goods for management and owners.

You are all over the place, and descend to an ad hominem attack labeling others as "adversarial". I'm surprised, that given your theories about the human nervous system and control hierarchies, that you haven't bothered to learn more that about the evolutionary baggage that comes with them. Humans do have a nature, and it is what it is whether you consider it contradictory or not. They are social animals and individuals. They compete individually and as families within groups and as part of collective identities against other groups. They value self-sacrifice and individual achievement, they envy the rich and powerful, and worship them and aspire to be like them, they resent them and the identify with them. They value conformity and creativity. All these may have looked different in the actual environment in which they evolved. Why do we have religious, ideology and natiional collective fanaticism and fervor? Do you really think human nature is a blank slate, and these are cultivated anew in the up bringing of each individual? How do you explain the putting aside of differences and coming together of groups when they are attacked, even if they have never been attacked before in living memory? Or the return of parochial and individual differences when the danger is past? There is a human individual nature that is social and selfish, and varies individually with perceived circumstances.

You are making a subjective judgment if you put one social attribute such as altruism and selfless valuing of the group higher in the hierarchy, because you like it, and punishment of nonconformity lower because you don't, both are part of our evolutionary heritage.

But I do worry about "let individuals be free and succeed and fail on their own merits." I can see that if they succeed, we can generously applaud and be happy for them. But what if they fail? Do they just become examples to spur others to try harder? Do we let them descend to the lowest levels of poverty and misery, while saying to the others, "See? See what will happen to you if you don't buckle down and do your work instead of complaining all the time?"

They usually try again and again. Most success stories involved multiple failures, and even credit what they learned from those failures for their success. One of the implications of evolution is that we are all descended from a long unbroken line of winners. Children are born to parents who successfully survived.

Now you're saying it's only survival that matters, not quality of life, which nullifies what you said above. Rich and poor, fat and starving, happy and despairing, we all survived, so you see, there's no difference, is there?

The difference is subjective, do you want the cheerleader, or the brain? Perhaps one during the day and the other at night? Who are you to judge their quality of life? Do you think the fat are happy? Obesity has a higher heritability than homosexuality, why don't you look down on that? A male might have the knowledge and skill to sexually satisfy you better than a female, which sex do you choose and why? Do you have a nature or were you born a blank slate?

In my experience "nice guys" get ahead faster than the nerds. Popularity and the social intelligence required to achieve it is often as good a recipe for success as academic achievement. We've all been to high school reunions where the real estate agent or auto or insurance sales person has been the greatest success. Humans tend to both trust and cultivate reputation, just as a small percentage can get by through deceit, merely by having the appearance of it. Humans evolved an ability to detect deceit as well, it is an arms race of sorts.

So you're saying that those who get to the top are less corrupt than those who don't. I say the opposite. How do you think we might go about finding out which view is right? Obviously they can't both be right.

I say that those who get to the top in coercive regimes are more likely to be corrupt and those who get to the top in voluntary merit based organizations are more likely to actually be honest and skilled. In a democratic regime, we find a mixture, human nature is vulnerable to the demagogue who demonizes and highlights fears and dangers. Clinton was attractive despite his lack of principles, and Kerry with the same lack of principles wasn't. People were attracted to the equally intelligent (by all objective standards) but more trustworthy principled approach of G.W. Bush. But much of the rest of the world is far more corrupt than the US, offices are used for personal gain through bribes and nepotism. Relief supplies are stolen to support the regimes.

...

BP: Couldn't agree more. But we have to have that model, or this whole conversation will just be a lot of hot air.

There should be social values that people control for, honesty, reputation, trust, and detection of trustworthyness. loyalty to those they value, detection of vulnerability to exploitation in others, recognition of such opportunities, wanting to be part of a team, enjoying belonging and contributing, wanting to be a star or hero, want to support a star or hero, appreciating the beauty of good teamwork, honoring sacrifice and heroism, resenting cheaters, resenting unfairness, making the groups goals ones own with furvor and fanaticism, a willingness to sacrificially discipline those who don't conform, appreciating the unique contributions of the nonconformist. It is complex mileau, and people have these qualities in varying degrees. Every emotion has a genetic and biological based, but every emotion probably is subject to environmental pressures for enhancement, suppression or control. Populate your model PCT hierarchies well, validate your models by reproducing the range of individual behavior and emergent collective phenomena.

This is an odd collection for someone who claims to prize individualism. It's mostly about living your life to fit in with and please others, and applying whatever kinds of pressure are needed (including "sacrifical discipline", which sounds a bit grim) to force conformity. You say it's "complex," but it just looks to me as though it's full of contradictions and conflicts, like the first draft of an idea before any debugging. It seems, in fact, to have all the most despicable features that you ascribe to "government" (and that I ascribe to "corporations").

Who said populating the PCT hierarchy with real control variables would be easy? I didn't think you needed a littany of the selfish components of human nature, you seem to be able to recite those yourself and suspect them behind every motive. Be sure to include those in your hierarchy as well.

Anyway, that's enough of that. I'm sure you have just as much ability as I do to dream up counterarguments, and we could entertain each other, and bore the audience, until corporations start deciding what we can say on the internet, which they're currently trying to do.

Do they have much hope of doing so without the help of government?

With that inflammatory remark sinking slowly in the west, I recommend that we bid farewell to this idyllic Land of the Endless Argument and look for something better to do with our time.

How is bowing out early different that putting one's head in the sand?

regards,
     Martin L.

···

On 4/15/2011 9:44 AM, Bill Powers wrote:

At 08:40 PM 4/14/2011 -0600, Martin Lewitt wrote:

Best,

Bill P.

(Gavin Ritz 2011.04.18.9.26NZT)

[Martin Lewitt 16 Apr 2011 1823 MDT]

[From Bill Powers
(2011.04.15.0840 MDT)]

I say that those who get to the top in coercive
regimes are more likely

to be corrupt and those who get to the top in
voluntary merit based

organizations are more likely to actually be honest
and skilled. In a

democratic regime, we find a mixture, human nature is
vulnerable to the

demagogue who demonizes and highlights fears and
dangers. Clinton was

attractive despite his lack of principles, and Kerry
with the same lack

of principles wasn’t. > …

That’s my whole
point about an energetic approach, Martin.

As a colleague of mine
says directly relating to the energetic approach “not all that happens in
this universe is constructive and not all constructive manifestations are just.
There are also many destructive activities taking place.”

“The more complex
our creations become the more entropy has to be produced, the more free energy
it requires and the more time
it takes”

···

At 08:40 PM 4/14/2011 -0600, Martin Lewitt wrote:

[Martin Lewitt 17 Apr 2011 2002 MDT]

(Gavin Ritz
2011.04.18.9.26NZT)

[Martin Lewitt 16 Apr 2011 1823 MDT]

[From Bill Powers
(2011.04.15.0840 MDT)]

          I say that those who

get to the top in coercive
regimes are more likely

          to be corrupt and

those who get to the top in
voluntary merit based

          organizations are

more likely to actually be honest
and skilled. In a

          democratic regime,

we find a mixture, human nature is
vulnerable to the

          demagogue who

demonizes and highlights fears and
dangers. Clinton was

          attractive despite

his lack of principles, and Kerry
with the same lack

          of principles

wasn’t. > …

          That’s my whole

point about an energetic approach, Martin.

          As a colleague of mine

says directly relating to the energetic approach “not all
that happens in
this universe is constructive and not all constructive
manifestations are just.
There are also many destructive activities taking place.”

          “The more complex

our creations become the more entropy has to be produced,
the more free energy
it requires and the more tim e
it takes”

This usage of energy I understand, but most of your uses lack any

differentiation for me. Everything is energy, matter is just
another form, the formula for equivilence is E = mc^2. Since you
aren’t making distinctions or paying attention to what we actually
know about neural signaling, reducing everything to energy, ends up
being sematically empty. The energy impinging on our senses,
doesn’t contribute in any significant way to the energy we use to
transmit signals, understand our sensory information, or maintain
our metabolism. Perhaps thinking in terms of energy makes you think
you have a profound insight to share, but you aren’t sharing it
unless you can do a better job of translating that insight using
terms in their usual sense.

regards,

     Martin L
···

On 4/17/2011 3:35 PM, Gavin Ritz wrote:

          > At 08:40 PM > 4/14/2011 -0600, Martin Lewitt wrote:

(Gavin Ritz 2011.04.18.15.07NZT)

[ Martin Lewitt
17 Apr 2011 2002 MDT]

(Gavin Ritz
2011.04.18.9.26NZT)

[Martin Lewitt 16 Apr 2011 1823
MDT]

[From Bill Powers (2011.04.15.0840 MDT)]

I say that those
who get to the top in coercive regimes are more likely

to be corrupt and
those who get to the top in voluntary merit based

organizations are
more likely to actually be honest and skilled. In a

democratic regime,
we find a mixture, human nature is vulnerable to the

demagogue who
demonizes and highlights fears and dangers. Clinton was

attractive despite
his lack of principles, and Kerry with the same lack

of principles
wasn’t. > …

That’s my whole point about an energetic approach, Martin.

As a colleague of mine says directly relating to the energetic
approach “not all that happens in this universe is constructive and not
all constructive manifestations are just. There are also many destructive
activities taking place.”

“The more complex our creations become the more entropy has
to be produced, the more free energy it requires and the more time it
takes”

This usage of energy I understand, but most of your uses lack any differentiation
for me.

I went through in some details how the 3
laws of energy work with equations and a practical example.

Everything is energy,
matter is just another form, the formula for equivilence is E = mc^2.
Since you aren’t making distinctions or paying attention to what we actually
know about neural signaling, reducing everything to energy, ends up being
sematically empty.

I wrote a 5 page email on this list to Adam last week going through
in great details about energy and the balancing equations.

I made clear distinctions between every single
sensing organ and the energy balancing equations. What the degrees of freedom
are?

The energy impinging on
our senses, doesn’t contribute in any significant way to the energy we use to
transmit signals, understand our sensory information, or maintain our
metabolism. Perhaps thinking in terms of energy makes you think you have
a profound insight to share, but you aren’t sharing it unless you can do a
better job of translating that insight using terms in their usual sense.

Not sure how I can share it any better. It
was with drawings and long explanations.

I showed how the controlled variable links
to the energy equations.

Regards

Gavin

regards,

 Martin L
···

On 4/17/2011 3:35 PM, Gavin Ritz wrote:

At 08:40 PM 4/14/2011 -0600, Martin Lewitt wrote: