Gloom and Doom for Oz Thread

Discussion in 'Markets & Economies' started by JulieW, Jul 27, 2015.

  1. leo25

    leo25 Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    So essentially the theory is pointless. It just says people will do stuff, sometimes beneficial and sometimes harmful. Can someone explain why people need to get paid to describe this? :confused:
     
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  2. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Depends which theories (schools) you are talking about. Economics is an attempt to explain human behaviour. It shines a mirror on our behaviour and theorises why humans behave in the manner they do, and more importantly, why some rational behaviours have positive outcomes eg wealth is enhanced and why some rational behaviours have negative outcomes eg wealth is destroyed. It then goes about explaining what is the best environment for the creation of wealth, and what are scenarios we should be trying to avoid.

    Yep pretty much. But more importantly it says that individuals have reasons known only to themselves for acting economically and further, in general, we act in our best interest with the available knowledge and skills we possess at the time. Of course that doesn’t ignore the fact that many people are stupid, or don’t do dumb things, that’s just life. But it’s from this acceptance that individuals act rationally that we arrive at the next step ie that others can't be sure what is in our own best interest all the time, therefore it fruitless and even destructive attempting to design economic outcomes with the best interest of the public in mind, simply because these central planners don’t know or haven’t met most of the public.

    Edit to add: economics is not rocket science. If it was, i wouldn’t understand it.
     
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  3. leo25

    leo25 Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    I would think Neuroscience covers this area, as they go down to a more fundamental level. Economics seems to be more superficial.

    That starts to sound like central planning, where someone else influences an individuals decision. Something i know you are very much against.
     
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  4. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Neuroscience is more about how the brain functions etc, economics is about how we satisfy our needs as we interact with others. If I wanted to understand marginal utility I wouldn’t do a study of axons and dendrites.

    The great economists tend to be philosophers as well, which makes sense as economics is really just about the meaning of life and just quietly, I know what the meaning of life is. I’ll let you know if you ask. :D


    If the economist has the monopolistic State behind him, then yes, that’s central planning. If the economist argues that the best way to meet the needs of everyone is for the State to get out of the way - then that’s not central planning. It’s advice.
     
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  5. leo25

    leo25 Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    But it's the brain function that leads us to why we have those needs :) Choice is a very interesting thing and can seem like a paradox.

    How much Bitcoin will it cost me? :p
     
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  6. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    It goes further than that. Animals also have brains, but they don’t exercise free will. They are not “economical” creatures. Only humans are, we exercise reason. From a philosopher/economist:

    Nothing. I’ll PM you.
     
  7. leo25

    leo25 Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    I disagree with that. Some animals exercise free will as shown in different personalities. Also it has also been observed some animals engaging in economical activity. Doing actions to gain specific outcomes.
     
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  8. bordsilver

    bordsilver Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    As a professional economist, I dream for the day when our current institutions are reformed in such a way that the majority of my job is made redundant. A lot of the stuff I do adds value in a second best world but is completely meaningless in a first best world.
     
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  9. bordsilver

    bordsilver Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    All animals act purposefully. Humans just have a significantly greater ability to undertake complex thinking with long term planning.

    RE Free will. I'm with Hawkeye (and probably yourself) where it is primarily an illusion (albeit a pleasant illusion).

    Edit: Link to the free will thread from a few years ago.
     
  10. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    So you’re saying that my new guppies are capable of volitional consciousness?
     
  11. bordsilver

    bordsilver Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    ...and in reality, the biggest benefit of economics is understanding the fact of opportunity cost and that incentives matter. Engineers/scientists/etc who do pseudo-economics tend to ignore these things and believe that they can design the economy like they can design a factory.
     
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  12. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Animals merely react to stimuli, just like I do when I go to a strip club. I act with volitional consciousness when I decide to go to the strip club instead of my Bible meeting.
     
  13. bordsilver

    bordsilver Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    I said purposeful.

    Technically, even guppies are conscious in that they are aware of their surroundings and respond to them and technically their brain also undertakes a process by which an action is purposely undertaken. Hence, Yes, I guess you could say that they are capable of "volitional consciousness" ;)

    More seriously though, I think we are hitting a current boundary of the English language in describing what we really mean as I think the area we are talking about has many shades of "volitional consciousness". We need new words here. Like mudita, schadenfreude or Upeksha which have such brilliant shades of meaning.
     
  14. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    I was thinking of you when I wrote this but didn’t want to dump your personal details all over the forum.

    How does an Austrian economist successfully make peace working in the field of professional economics?
     
  15. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    My definition of purposeful would be to act with intent. My definition of intent is to act with purpose. From this position I can twist myself into a nice semantic circle. :p

    Edit to add: I can then roll in whatever direction my volitional consciousness takes me. Wait a minute? That’s not acting with free will!
     
  16. leo25

    leo25 Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Are we able to move out recent discussions to a new thread? As we have moved away from the original topic. Plus I think this is a very interesting topic and would be good to have it in its own area and discussed further.
     
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  17. bordsilver

    bordsilver Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    I've spent the past few minutes rereading the Free will thread. It's got some brilliant material in it. I'd support moving this tangent to there (but only after reading what's already there).
     
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  18. bordsilver

    bordsilver Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Quite easily. First,in our current 2nd-best world, the majority of what I do is still useful even if it is only to tick some box in a bureaucrats form. There are many, many people who would do a far worse job of ticking that box, hence I should do it and try to move people toward eliminating said box altogether as it is a burden on society rather than a benefit.

    Second, I try to avoid working for the Government who has a greater tendency towards commissioning work for the sake of keeping their own jobs (or expanding their power base) rather than helping Australians in general.
     
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  19. leo25

    leo25 Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    I did a search for it but couldn't find it. Can you please link it.

    --update-- found it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
  20. House

    House Administrator Staff Member

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    It’s an embedded link on the sentence “Link to the free will thread”. If you look closely you’ll see it’s a very faint blue.
     
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