Thursday, November 29, 2012

It's Not the Static Capital, Stupid! It's the Net SUM of (static + dynamic) Capital.

commentary by Roger Erickson

There's a reason I feel like I've been talking to a brick wall all my life.

My entire culture IS a freaking brick wall.

As just one example, orthodox capitalists are toxically confused over a fundamentally simple feature of all social species.

Every culture is, by definition, a brick wall. It's always been this way. The latent capabilities are always stacked out the Wazoo. They can be unleashed only by group practice. People who understand this innately are typically the youngest child in a large family. From the onset they get to observe team activity at work, well before they get immersed in it, and lost in defined roles. It's rather like the coaches kid sitting on the bench for years, before even being eligible to play.

One lesson it's faster to learn by observing vs being on a team is that any team member or citizen seeking credentials or prizes is, by definition, a "toxic" team player. Alfred Nobel should never have endowed the Nobel Prizes, since they promote and reward totally academic endeavors and misely perspectives, at the expense of operational practice.  If we traded every Nobel Prize winner in history for a double dose of Walter Shewhart, W.E. Deming and John Boyd, we as a country would be far ahead for the trade.  Academic prizes weren't necessary through 3.5 billion years of evolution, and aren't necessary now, unless taking our eyes off the prize has become our suicidal goal.

In adaptive systems, component and system dynamics are always in both competition and cooperation.  Net benefit accrues to the extent that they optimize the combination of local and group initiative, not either alone. Dynamic return on coordination swamps both team-only and individual-only strategies, by far. To say it formally, it's simple, 2-stage optimization in real-time, that expands via successive layers of increasingly distributed autocatalysis. However, you don't even need to say it formally. It's obvious to little kids sitting on the bench, watching, seeing many possible combinations of individual and team outcomes, while waiting for their chance to join and/or change the game, or imagine inventing totally new ones.

Orthodox capitalists are toxically confused over this fundamentally simple feature of all social species. How is it that we invented both calculus and capitalism ~500 years ago, and the two have never met! (At least not where it mattered most.  The two fields use one another shamelessly, but have never formally met.) You couldn't make this up.

For those with the opportunity to watch and recognize a system before joining, endless opportunities to tweak - or replace - the entire process are easier to see. Few immersed in arbitrarily specific roles (e.g., seeking "prizes") in any version of any game are as likely to see the spectrum of options for changing the whole game.

It's not the static capital, stupid! It's the dynamic, net sum of distributed (static + dynamic) capital. We are ALWAYS in the process of completely changing the entire game, OVER the objections of all the Luddites working harder at specific things they learned how to do yesterday. It's the infinitely nested Degrees of Freedom, Stupid! NOT any subset of them whatsoever. By mathematics alone, there are ALWAYS more options awaiting than we can possibly imagine. Go do something to enlarge your imagination, rather than leaving it where it is today. Ditto for your culture. Do something to trigger bigger challenges worth going after, and achievable only through complete indirection. Otherwise, we're leaving our latent capabilities unemployed. For what reason? Eating more twinkies? Get real, or get extinct.

How many people today would rewrite the entire US Constitution? Or invent something radically different, and even better? Why not? We did it once before. Are you seeking prizes in the current game, or willing to design games involving an order of magnitude more imagination.

Which sound more satisfying, and more fun?

Forget Paris.  How ya gonna keep people down in a role, once they've seen "gaym" systems?

The orthodox among you will be too inhibited to see the value in that degenerate statement.  Try exploring it in a virtual game first, then imagine selecting from some of the more interesting options that crop up.  The ones you haven't thought of yet, and can't even imagine.   They're out there.


Matt Franko said...

"In adaptive systems, component and system dynamics are always in both competition and cooperation."

Is this equivalent to "fight or flight" in human cognition?


Roger Erickson said...

"Is this equivalent to "fight or flight" in human cognition?"

No. Completely orthogonal.

It's Hermit vs Culture, which unleashes endless, dynamic interdependencies that Libertarians tend to always see as unnecessary complications.

Austrians pretend they can pesonally calculate the infinite interdependencies in real-time, and claim they can build real cultures via Cargo Cult rituals.