Cheating Favors Extinction
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02-05-2013, 11:06 PM
RE: Cheating Favors Extinction
Ok Matt,

There are simply some things we will certainly differ on and some we agree on, its all good.

(02-05-2013 04:33 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Your distinction seems arbitrary and emotional. It's like saying we couldn't possibly compare cats and blue whales.

I got a good laugh from this, all I can think of is that your comparison seems arbitrary and emotional. Wink

(02-05-2013 04:33 PM)Ghost Wrote:  My issue with this is that mutualism has to do with the relationship of two different species. Like water buffalo and oxpecker birds have a mutualist symbiotic relationship.

Strictly speaking, parasitism occurs between two different species as well, but parasitism is about one taking from the other, or benefiting at the expense of the other. That's exactly what happens with exploitation. Exploitation is a form of institutionalised theft.

But this is exactly why its not parasitism. Slavery and serfdom might very well be called parasitism, but a paid employee, even if poorly paid, receives a benefit. It is therefore a mutualism, skewed as I said before, but mutualism nontheless.

(02-05-2013 02:35 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  Take a look at the results of these findings to see where I'm coming from-

(02-05-2013 04:33 PM)Ghost Wrote:  I checked it out, but I'm still confused by what you mean about "carry their own weight". I don't get it?

Semantics for producing a net gain to the society instead of a net loss.

(02-05-2013 04:33 PM)Ghost Wrote:  I suppose being sodomised ...

You have a way with imagery Matt Undecided

(02-05-2013 04:33 PM)Ghost Wrote:  The issue isn't how well or how poorly someone fares in the system, the problem is how the system functions.

I get that.

(02-05-2013 04:33 PM)Ghost Wrote:  I realise that I don't think I know who you're talking about when you say the 0.1%.

You mention billionaires. These are the real power brokers in our society. There are 442 in the US alone. The proportional difference between a guy with "just" one billion and a guy with a networth of one million is the same as this same guy with $1,000,000 and yet another guy with a paltry $1,000. Needless to say a person with billions is going to be heard.

(02-05-2013 04:33 PM)Ghost Wrote:  More importantly, I'm not calling exploitation cheating. I think that cheating can only happen when there is otherwise cooperation. Cheating involves defecting, or betraying those you cooperate with. In our system, people are just exploited. End of story. No cooperation. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Just to bring this all back to the OP now that it's percolated some, I think that the yeast study and it's findings make sense. I just think that there is a translation error when it comes to applying it to a full-blown hierarchical civilisation because there is no cooperation to begin with, only exploitation.

The cooperation happens when the doctor cures my diverticulitis and I provide an apatment for a tenant and the tenant, who is an auto mechanic, repairs the doctor's auto...etc ad infinitum. I say there is cooperation, maybe it just functions under an exploitative system. How about that? I thnk that makes some sense to me. Thumbsup

FC

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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03-05-2013, 12:49 AM (This post was last modified: 03-05-2013 12:56 AM by DeepThought.)
RE: Cheating Favors Extinction
Interesting topic, and lots of good points from both of you so I won't interupt.


Just wanted to add that we are living in interesting times now, where most of the stuff we need (basic needs like food, energy, clean water, waste management, medicine and shelter) can be provided by only a few percent of the population. As technology develops that percentage is getting smaller.

Many jobs from a pure production perspective may be seen as pointless. Eg: patent attorneys, or other jobs that exist only to create bullshit that justifies more bullshit. Not to derail the topic on the patent system... It's just an example. I would say we have some parasitic stuff going on in our society. Self perpetuating parasitic systems involving politics and many different kinds of jobs all intertwined making societal parasite DNA. It's all a matter of perspective I suppose.

“Forget Jesus, the stars died so you could be born.” - Lawrence M. Krauss
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03-05-2013, 07:26 AM
RE: Cheating Favors Extinction
Hey, Full.

The comparison of cats and blue whales is direct and the result of sound biology. It may seem counter intuitive but it is backed by fact. So it's neither arbitrary nor emotional.

Comparing slaves, serfs and employees might seem counterintuitive, but it's completely supported. Denying it is only supported by arbitrary distinctions (employees get paid more and have better rights) and emotional arguments (slavery sucks).

If I steal all of your money and give you back 1% of it, are you receiving a benefit from that relationship, or are you getting jacked?

If I serial rape women and then build a rape crisis centre, are they receiving benefit from that relationship?

The paltry income that any worker gets is in no way an equivalency to what their boss takes. Cooperation and mutualism both are about two organisms receiving equivalent benefit. The oxpecker gets food, the water buffalo gets cleaned of parasites. If someone is making forty times what you are, that's not cooperation.

If I had to give it a name, I'd call the relationship a form of kleptoparasitism.

I get that an employee with labour rights and minimum salary and health benefits has a better life than a black slave in the US. But better is not different. Those labour rights are not an inextricable part of being an employee. Just ask the people committing suicide at Foxconn.

Serfs and slaves both received an income. It's just shitty. So, by your rationale, a slave being fed even minimally is in a mutualistic relationship because they're receiving a benefit.

Quote:The cooperation happens when the doctor cures my diverticulitis and I provide an apatment for a tenant and the tenant, who is an auto mechanic, repairs the doctor's auto...etc ad infinitum. I say there is cooperation, maybe it just functions under an exploitative system. How about that? I thnk that makes some sense to me.

That's not cooperation. It's commerce.

To bring all of this back to the OP, in order for the yeast situation to be applicable to Our culture, we have to determine what the cooperation is, who the cooperators are and who the cheaters are. With the yeast, it's simple. Every single organism operates on the same level, they share a communal food source and the cheaters are those that consume the food but don't produce. In our system, organisms operate in a two-tiered system, we share next to nothing and we haven't identified the cheaters. It seems like a square peg, round hole issue to me.

The more cynical among us would point to welfare recipients as the cheaters. Nothing could be further from the truth. Poverty and homelessness are not problems of our system. They're features. The reason there has not been a single DAY, since the dawn of civilisation, that there have been no poor and no homeless, is because they are a necessary result of the system. To call them a problem is to call carbon dioxide a problem of breathing. It's not. The system doesn't function without it. Moreover, while I'm sure that some people prefer to be on welfare, it's hardly the free ride that the yeast cheaters enjoy and in the vast majority of cases, it is imposed rather than selected. Defection is only defection if it's a choice.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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03-05-2013, 09:05 AM
RE: Cheating Favors Extinction
(03-05-2013 12:49 AM)DeepThought Wrote:  Interesting topic, and lots of good points from both of you so I won't interupt.


Just wanted to add that we are living in interesting times now, where most of the stuff we need (basic needs like food, energy, clean water, waste management, medicine and shelter) can be provided by only a few percent of the population. As technology develops that percentage is getting smaller.

Many jobs from a pure production perspective may be seen as pointless. Eg: patent attorneys, or other jobs that exist only to create bullshit that justifies more bullshit. Not to derail the topic on the patent system... It's just an example. I would say we have some parasitic stuff going on in our society. Self perpetuating parasitic systems involving politics and many different kinds of jobs all intertwined making societal parasite DNA. It's all a matter of perspective I suppose.

Hey Deep,

I've often thought about something similar and its consequences. What would happen to me if tomorrow I woke up in a world where all of the infrastructure was gone, could I survive and what would it look like?

I certainly wouldn't need a patent attorney or a money manager or a travel agent or a realtor etc. I'd need someone who knows how to hunt and grow food and suture my injuries and build shelters. But that is a very Maslow-ish view of our basic survival needs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hi...y_of_needs

Off topic: I've daydreamed of being transported back in time and sitting with Galileo while trying to explain to him what a computer was and how the internet worked and about satellites and jet planes...and I would fail miserably Weeping I certainly could not produce any of them, wouldn't know how.

As our society has become more complex "creating needs" we didn't know we had only a few years ago (think IT security Engineer and your example of patent attorney) it distances itself from the bottom of the Maslow pyramid and is skewed towards the top of it toward such things as creativity and problem solving.

As you say we live in interesting times, for the first time in human history a few can mass produce food so that we are freed to persue the higher ends of the pyramid. It is both liberating and frightening.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
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03-05-2013, 10:21 AM
RE: Cheating Favors Extinction
Hey Matt,

I have to gather my thoughts here, you bring up some challenging points and its hurting my head. Blink

This may be a tangent so bear with me.

One of the ideas that I believe needs to be clarified is that of looking at a corporation as a single entity (the Borg Collective). It can be viewed this way or it can be viewed, which is to say the way I look at it, as a cooperative with labor divided into specialization (it just occurs to me that society can also be looked at in this way).

So when I say, for instance, that Monsanto http://www.monsanto.com/whoweare/Pages/default.aspx
controls much of our food production I'm talking about a 21,000 person cooperative and not just the CEO.

(03-05-2013 07:26 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Comparing slaves, serfs and employees might seem counterintuitive, but it's completely supported. Denying it is only supported by arbitrary distinctions (employees get paid more and have better rights) and emotional arguments (slavery sucks).


Completely supported by...?

(03-05-2013 07:26 AM)Ghost Wrote:  If I steal all of your money and give you back 1% of it, are you receiving a benefit from that relationship, or are you getting jacked?

I am sure this is an exaggeration for illustrative purposes. Since we are not an egaletarian society and instead are driven by our personal needs...

Wait, here is a visual that just hit me. Take the Maslow pyramid on the hyperlink, visualize it. A perfectly egaletarian society, such as our little friends the fully functioning yeasties that started this whole thread, has exactly one pyramid and all individuals work as a single unit with a common purpose. There is no discernable individuality.

Us, on the other hand, all 7 billion of us, have our own pyramid we carry around. In many instances a collection of the pyramids overlap in such cases as say self-defense in a grand scale or Monsanto's 21,000 individuals (I'm intentionally not calling them employees in the example) etc.

And herein lies the rub, because of what we humans are, we cannot work as a perfectly egaletarain society because of our individualistic survival needs. I am not inclined to give up my life or persuit of happines for a stranger any more than that stranger would be inclined to do the same for me. Sure you could point out a few anecdotal instances where it may happen but by and large it is not the norm.

(03-05-2013 07:26 AM)Ghost Wrote:  If I serial rape women and then build a rape crisis centre, are they receiving benefit from that relationship?

No comment, too far in left field for me to contemplate.

(03-05-2013 07:26 AM)Ghost Wrote:  The paltry income that any worker gets is in no way an equivalency to what their boss takes. Cooperation and mutualism both are about two organisms receiving equivalent benefit. The oxpecker gets food, the water buffalo gets cleaned of parasites. If someone is making forty times what you are, that's not cooperation.

I suppose we could argue who gets the "most" benefit from this particular mutualism. It certainly isn't Obligate Mutualism where neither could live without the other (coral and algea is an example). The buffalo would not starve and neither would the oxpecker. I'd say this would be more of an example of Facultative Mutualism. In this example we cannot know if the benefits are 50/50 or some other ratio.

(03-05-2013 07:26 AM)Ghost Wrote:  If I had to give it a name, I'd call the relationship a form of kleptoparasitism.

Brilliant coinage.

(03-05-2013 07:26 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Serfs and slaves both received an income. It's just shitty. So, by your rationale, a slave being fed even minimally is in a mutualistic relationship because they're receiving a benefit.

Ugh. While perhaps technically so, the slave is there against their free will, but at the moment I don't know how that effects the relationship. I'll get back to this.

Quote:The cooperation happens when the doctor cures my diverticulitis and I provide an apatment for a tenant and the tenant, who is an auto mechanic, repairs the doctor's auto...etc ad infinitum. I say there is cooperation, maybe it just functions under an exploitative system. How about that? I thnk that makes some sense to me.

(03-05-2013 07:26 AM)Ghost Wrote:  That's not cooperation. It's commerce.

The distinction escapes me.

(03-05-2013 07:26 AM)Ghost Wrote:  To bring all of this back to the OP, in order for the yeast situation to be applicable to Our culture, we have to determine what the cooperation is, who the cooperators are and who the cheaters are.

OK, do you want to give it a shot or shall I?

(03-05-2013 07:26 AM)Ghost Wrote:  The more cynical among us would point to welfare recipients as the cheaters. Nothing could be further from the truth. Poverty and homelessness are not problems of our system. They're features.

I don't see why they cannot be both a feature and a problem.

(03-05-2013 07:26 AM)Ghost Wrote:  The reason there has not been a single DAY, since the dawn of civilisation, that there have been no poor and no homeless, is because they are a necessary result of the system.

Call it a by-product and not a neccesity and I'll agree.

(03-05-2013 07:26 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Defection is only defection if it's a choice.
Consider

So far this has been a very stimulating conversation, thanks! The main point you have challanged my thinking on has to be that "all workers are exploited to one degree or another". The more I think about the more sense it makes. The reasoning is immaterial why this is, commerce, free-market etc.

On my end I have crystallized some nebulous concepts of humans and society I already had such as the overlapping individual Maslow pyramids where they come together then drift apart then come together differently ad infinitum.

FC

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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04-05-2013, 01:22 PM
RE: Cheating Favors Extinction
Hey, Full.

Quote:I have to gather my thoughts here, you bring up some challenging points and its hurting my head.

Ain't it cool Cool

Quote:One of the ideas that I believe needs to be clarified is that of looking at a corporation as a single entity (the Borg Collective). It can be viewed this way or it can be viewed, which is to say the way I look at it, as a cooperative with labor divided into specialization (it just occurs to me that society can also be looked at in this way).

The issue is that cooperation is not a synonym for an organisation of humans, meaning that the fact that they ARE together does not mean cooperation, and that cooperation and hierarchy are two completely DISTINCT and INCOMPATIBLE organisational models.

Your above statement is the equivalent of, "If we look at circles as squares, then they're square."

Coopearatives and hierarchies are single entities. They are human systems. Human systems are comprised on interdependent parts; most notably, individual human beings. But, despite the fact that a corporation is a legal human being, the corporation or cooperative cannot DO anything because it is not corporeal.

So a corporation is most certainly not a cooperative any more than the US Armed Forces are. They are both STRICT hierarchies.

SOME societies can be viewed as cooperative, but only those that are cooperatives. Our society must be viewed as a hierarchy because that is what it is.

Quote:So when I say, for instance, that Monsanto http://www.monsanto.com/whoweare/Pages/default.aspx
controls much of our food production I'm talking about a 21,000 person cooperative and not just the CEO.

Now, here's where things get counterintuitive and seemingly contradictory.

A corporation cannot DO anything. That being said, they can.

The POINT of organising human beings is coordinated action. The individuals in a human system share goals. They can work in concert towards the accomplishing of those goals or objectives.

It is entirely reasonable to say that the US Armed Forces invaded and occupied Iraq, not because some abstract entity did something, but because a human system, made up of individuals pursuing the same objective, worked in concert to achieve that shared objective.

So when we say, Monstanto controls much of our food production, that is true. Because that human system controls assets like patents and factories and distribution networks, that allow them to control a high degree of the market share.

The confused part comes from decision making because it's not so cut and dry. The CEO of Monsanto makes lots of decisions, but he is still answerable to a board and to his employees as well. Also, decisions are being made at every level of the hierarchy. Noam Choamsky has a very good take on it in the UTTERLY BRILLIANT DOCUMENTARY CALLED THE CORPORATION! Which if you haven't seen, you simply MUST.








Quote: Comparing slaves, serfs and employees might seem counterintuitive, but it's completely supported. Denying it is only supported by arbitrary distinctions (employees get paid more and have better rights) and emotional arguments (slavery sucks).

Completely supported by...?

Economic theory.

Slaves, serfs and employees serve the EXACT same economic function; labour power. They do the work. Whether one is owned or free is irrelevant in terms of their economic role.

When you compare the Feudal mode of production, the slave economy mode of production, the capitalist mode of production, the corporatist mode of production and the communist mode of production, their DNA is identical. There is one class of people that own and control the means of production; the monarchs, the slave owners, the capitalists, the corporations and the central committee respectively. There are workers that sell their labour to those owners in return for income; serfs, slaves, workers, employees, proletarians, professionals, etc... There are laws in place that state unequivocally that the owners of the means of production have the right to that ownership and that they own the sum total of products produced.

What you are suggesting is that the degree of freedom and the level of income that the worker enjoys and receives makes them incomparable. Intuitively, we look at a black US slave and someone with a cushy desk job at Oracle and think, well, obviously they're completely different. But when you look at their role, it becomes clear that they serve the exact same function and that their rights and income are a result of class struggle.

Those that control the means of production are always trying to maximise profit and decrease the rights and income of their workers. The workers are always trying to maximise freedom and increase their rights and income. The objective of each class is in a perpetual state of conflict. The "bar" is always in motion and constantly changes position over the course of history. Where it is today, where it was during South African apartheid, where it was during the Feudal era and where it was in the time of Imperial Rome, is historically contingent and contingent upon the mode of production in use.

Quote:I am sure this is an exaggeration for illustrative purposes.

For sure Cool

Quote:Wait, here is a visual that just hit me. Take the Maslow pyramid on the hyperlink, visualize it. A perfectly egaletarian society, such as our little friends the fully functioning yeasties that started this whole thread, has exactly one pyramid and all individuals work as a single unit with a common purpose. There is no discernable individuality.

Us, on the other hand, all 7 billion of us, have our own pyramid we carry around. In many instances a collection of the pyramids overlap in such cases as say self-defense in a grand scale or Monsanto's 21,000 individuals (I'm intentionally not calling them employees in the example) etc.

And herein lies the rub, because of what we humans are, we cannot work as a perfectly egaletarain society because of our individualistic survival needs. I am not inclined to give up my life or persuit of happines for a stranger any more than that stranger would be inclined to do the same for me. Sure you could point out a few anecdotal instances where it may happen but by and large it is not the norm.

I don't think this is a good application of Maslow's theory.

His argument is that there is a superstructure upon which infrastructure can be built and that you cannot deal with the next degree of infrastructure without first negotiating the previous. Ie, I cannot become self-actualised if I'm not safe.

The overlap thing seems very wonky to me; however, I will grant that the members of a human system work in concert towards the satisfaction of the different levels of Maslow's hierarchy. For example, they work towards producing food.

The idea that humans cannot exist in an egalitarian society is demonstrably false. We have anthropological, archeological and historical evidence to the contrary and there are egalitarian societies alive today.

Altruism IS the norm. It's WHY humans form societies.

Quote:I suppose we could argue who gets the "most" benefit from this particular mutualism. It certainly isn't Obligate Mutualism where neither could live without the other (coral and algea is an example). The buffalo would not starve and neither would the oxpecker. I'd say this would be more of an example of Facultative Mutualism. In this example we cannot know if the benefits are 50/50 or some other ratio.

Mostly sure. But we could also argue that if the oxpecker's food supply was removed and the water buffalo was overrun with parasites, it might very well be fatal to both.

Quote:Brilliant coinage.

Cannot take credit for it. It's an accepted term.

Quote: Ugh. While perhaps technically so, the slave is there against their free will, but at the moment I don't know how that effects the relationship. I'll get back to this.

Serfs could not leave their lord's land. That was punishable by death. Now tell me, as a citizen of your country, do you have the right to just up and move to any other country in the world in order to make a living, or is that tightly regulated with a system of passports and visas that you must obtain from your government and the destination government?

Many differences only SEEM like differences.

Quote:The distinction escapes me.

One is an organising principle, the other is trade.

Quote: I don't see why they cannot be both a feature and a problem.

I feel you, but a problem can be fixed. A feature cannot. A feature of life is that it ends. You can look at that as a problem if you like, but you can't change it. It's hardwired into the system.

Quote:Call it a by-product and not a neccesity and I'll agree.

Again, I feel you, but the system actually REQUIRES them. It cannot function without them.

Quote:So far this has been a very stimulating conversation, thanks!

Indeed it has. It's great talking to you.

I'm passionate about this sort of thing and I feel that I have a breadth of knowledge that I enjoy sharing. I recognise that I've been contradicting you a lot in this thread. I hope I'm not making you feel trampled.

Quote:The main point you have challanged my thinking on has to be that "all workers are exploited to one degree or another". The more I think about the more sense it makes.

We'll make a Marxist out of you yet Cool

Quote: To bring all of this back to the OP, in order for the yeast situation to be applicable to Our culture, we have to determine what the cooperation is, who the cooperators are and who the cheaters are.

OK, do you want to give it a shot or shall I?

I don't think that it can be done on a macro level because on a macro level, we have hierarchy. I think it can be done on a micro level, within the scope of a family or a small cooperative business though.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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04-05-2013, 03:52 PM (This post was last modified: 04-05-2013 04:29 PM by Full Circle.)
RE: Cheating Favors Extinction
Hey Matt,

I'm going to go brush up on my Marxism and when I do I'll respond. Unless, of course, this isn't what you're basing your arguments on. It'll save me much reading if this is NOT the case. Thumbsup

FC

Edit: This is what I'm reading at the moment

http://socialsciences.arts.unsw.edu.au/tsw/Marx.html

and just from the first few paragraphs it seems that you are approaching our "yeast" discussion from a Marxist point of view, is this not so?

2nd Edit: Oh boy Shocking we could discuss and argue Marxism v Capitalism till the end of time. We could take every idea on this treatsie and dissect it to come up with pros and cons for each system.
In some ways I have, on other threads, argued against the end-game of capitalism, which is odd since I think of myself as a capitalist; i.e. concentrated wealth and power in too few hands. On the other hand I see much good in a capitalistic society, the paper touches on some of the benefits.

Don't know where to take our discussion from here unless you want to take bite sized pieces of the M vs C argument and see if we both find it worthwhile.

Kind regards, FC

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04-05-2013, 10:06 PM
RE: Cheating Favors Extinction
Hey, Full.

I'll save you some time. Marx was a brilliant economic theorist. Just like Adam Smith. Marx's understanding of the situation (economics) was brilliant. Just like Rachel Carson (who wrote Silent Spring, a book about ecology). But Marx's solutions, like Carson's, were poop. The fact that their solutions were poop (communism for Marx and environmentalism for Carson) does not in any way take away from their outstanding understanding of their chosen fields.

In short, just glancing at that article, pay attention to 1 and forget about 2.

We could debate the pros and cons of free market capitalism versus the centralised Soviet economy, but that'd be like discussing which was better; being kicked in the nuts with steel toed boots or having someone swing a 2x4s into your nuts.

Communism and capitalism share the same central feature. They require a hierarchy in which one class of people control the means of production and another class does not.

Quote:and just from the first few paragraphs it seems that
you are approaching our "yeast" discussion from a
Marxist point of view, is this not so?

I'm gonna say... Yes and no.

I'm using some Marxist theory in my discussion of the nature of exploitative hierarchy. But my point is that the yeast are cooperative and we are not BECAUSE we are an exploitative hierarchy where they are a cooperative in organisation as well as being cooperative symbionts. I recognise and fully accept the findings of the original argument and understand why too many cheaters would make the system vulnerable to collapse and few cheaters would make the system robust. It's just difficult to apply to us because our system functions differently.

If we do go further into Marxism, we should probably relocate to the philosophy forum.

In terms of the OP, I think that it's reasonable to say that if too few people are producing, we're vulnerable and when we're firing on all four cylinders, our robust production keeps us safe. The issue is that the reasons that people cheat, ie, are simply consuming and not producing, are different in both systems. Among the yeast, it's pretty much a form of lazyness. They basically choose not to produce and just reap the benefits. In our system, production and employment levels are almost never the decision of the individual and most often they are foisted on a disempowered populace. Furthermore, it's far more difficult to sit back and reap the rewards.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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05-05-2013, 04:54 PM
RE: Cheating Favors Extinction
(04-05-2013 10:06 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Full.

I'll save you some time. Marx was a brilliant economic theorist. Just like Adam Smith. Marx's understanding of the situation (economics) was brilliant. Just like Rachel Carson (who wrote Silent Spring, a book about ecology). But Marx's solutions, like Carson's, were poop. The fact that their solutions were poop (communism for Marx and environmentalism for Carson) does not in any way take away from their outstanding understanding of their chosen fields.

In short, just glancing at that article, pay attention to 1 and forget about 2.

We could debate the pros and cons of free market capitalism versus the centralised Soviet economy, but that'd be like discussing which was better; being kicked in the nuts with steel toed boots or having someone swing a 2x4s into your nuts.

Communism and capitalism share the same central feature. They require a hierarchy in which one class of people control the means of production and another class does not.

Quote:and just from the first few paragraphs it seems that
you are approaching our "yeast" discussion from a
Marxist point of view, is this not so?

I'm gonna say... Yes and no.

I'm using some Marxist theory in my discussion of the nature of exploitative hierarchy. But my point is that the yeast are cooperative and we are not BECAUSE we are an exploitative hierarchy where they are a cooperative in organisation as well as being cooperative symbionts. I recognise and fully accept the findings of the original argument and understand why too many cheaters would make the system vulnerable to collapse and few cheaters would make the system robust. It's just difficult to apply to us because our system functions differently.

If we do go further into Marxism, we should probably relocate to the philosophy forum.

In terms of the OP, I think that it's reasonable to say that if too few people are producing, we're vulnerable and when we're firing on all four cylinders, our robust production keeps us safe. The issue is that the reasons that people cheat, ie, are simply consuming and not producing, are different in both systems. Among the yeast, it's pretty much a form of lazyness. They basically choose not to produce and just reap the benefits. In our system, production and employment levels are almost never the decision of the individual and most often they are foisted on a disempowered populace. Furthermore, it's far more difficult to sit back and reap the rewards.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Hey Matt,

I've read Carson but not Smith.

It took me by surprise your conclusion that Marx's solutions were "poop" Big Grin
But is his prediction for the final outcome of capitalism also hogwash?

You say our system is "exploitative hierarchy", if you'd like to discuss further and what this means and are there modifications to our existing system that would make it better we could continue this in Philosophy but I'll be honest and say I don't know what I could add to the conversation.

As for our yeast friends they were programmed NOT to produce as opposed to being lazy as you say.

As for a disempowered populace aren't they the ones who create the demand that drives the decision to produce that drives employment that drives demand...?

FC

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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05-05-2013, 08:03 PM
RE: Cheating Favors Extinction
Hey, Full.

I'm too lazy to start a new thread and there's just enough to warrant posting here Cool

Marx's solutions were poop. See what happens when you assume Cool

Quote: But is his prediction for the final outcome of capitalism also hogwash?

That I don't know.

The continuing concentration of power that he talks about is certainly occurring as we speak. Corporations keep working together and merging. More and more market share and wealth gets concentrated into fewer and fewer hands. And that is a direct result of how the system functions. So his analysis there is sound.

But will there be a violent socialist uprising? I have no idea. But even if there is, it's a shitty idea. Because a centralised economy, like the one we saw in the Soviet Union, is just as hierarchical, just as class-based and just as exploitative as Capitalism. It's a shitty solution because it's the same shit, different pile.

Quote:You say our system is "exploitative hierarchy", if you'd like to discuss further and what this means and are there modifications to our existing system that would make it better we could continue this in Philosophy but I'll be honest and say I don't know what I could add to the conversation.

I think I've been pretty clear so far about what I mean by exploitative hierarchy.

Removing exploitation and hierarchy from our system would be like removing the bones and organs from a human being. Those are the things that make the system work. And even if it was possible to change them without collapsing the system (which I doubt with near total certainty) it would change the system to such a degree that it would make it something other than it is.

It will require the adoption of an entirely new system.

Quote: As for our yeast friends they were programmed NOT to produce as opposed to being lazy as you say.

Oh. Didn't catch that... That's kinda fucked up.

Quote: As for a disempowered populace aren't they the ones who create the demand that drives the decision to produce that drives employment that drives demand...?

It's a positive feedback loop.

Humans need to consume in order to survive. That's the one variable that cannot be removed from this system. We've built a system that ALWAYS produces a surplus. Supply creates its own demand. So the population is always chewing further and further into that surplus (either with more individuals or a higher standard of living). And the economy demands continual growth. So the population rarely, if ever, catches up with the surplus. It just continues to grow.

That's a systemic issue.

What I meant was that they do not have the power to dictate what is being produced and who is getting hired. That's foisted upon them.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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