Thursday, May 16, 2013


Nice Thing
I've mentioned to a few people that if our Leaders had had any idea what it would mean to have a completely open, really robust computer network protocol available to everyone in the world for free, they never would have let DARPA make one.

Nobody I've said this to has disagreed.

by Jay Ackroyd (@jayackroyd) at 05:29

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Bruce Wilder 05.03.13 at 7:59 pm

john c. halasz @ 110

the “imperative” to maintain the value of the invested capital via maintaining or increasing the rate-of-profit. . . . a capitalist system is [not] necessarily optimal or sustainable, in terms of social welfare or environmental sustainability, in any adequate system of social cost or natural resource accounting, especially since the criteria of selection for technical innovation and development will be determined by the need to maintain profits, rather than any optimization of productive surpluses.

The core contradiction of existing capitalism boils down its “need” to perpetuate artificial “scarcity”: over-consumption for the sake of over-production.

I’m not sure Marx’s terms help with this, even when they can be applied to good effect. “Rate of profit” is wrong, or at least fatally confuses economic profit and interest on financial capital with economic rent. Hegelian contradictions are a dubious way to identify the paradoxes that reveal how far, and why and how, a decentralized market economy deviates from an ideal of just and rational organization. And, over-production is, at worst a peripheral symptom of pathological dysfunction — and an easy symptom to treat, by the way, as Keynes and Krugman would instruct us — not the core.

The key contradiction is the tension between public and private, the individual and the whole people and state, between private wealth and common wealth, the good of the dominus and the general good. Capitalism brings this contradiction into high relief, because, in contrast to preceding feudalism, capitalism offers the possibility that the dominating elite might serve a productive purpose, and be something more than the corrosive deadweight of violent drones extracting a paltry surplus to be spun into chainmail and trinkets.

In the Friedman mythos, based on the neoclassical economics of the marginal revolution, the market delivers justice, by paying every resource, its marginal product, delivers to the sovereign consumer, marginal value exactly equal to price, plus consumer surplus. In the more realistic classical economics, most progress tended to flow away into unearned economic rent. In the most optimistic scenario, the rentiers, rather than drones, became Adam Smith’s improving landlords, practicing an enlightened self-interest in augmenting the common wealth of their nation: the Duke of Bridgewater and his eponymous canal triggering the industrial revolution by cutting the price of coal at Manchester or the dissenting gentry of the Lunar Society nurturing Birmingham, or the recusant Duke of Norfolk underwriting Sheffield.

Friedman’s marginal product fairy tale doesn’t really work, because marginal product is conditioned on a sunk cost investment of capital claiming a quasi-rent residual, and it simply isn’t possible for many businesses, absent a considerable infrastructure of public goods — including effective, detailed regulation — to sustain themselves in a competitive marketplace. You cannot build a railroad and expect to make a profit on operating the railroad, selling transportation services. The benefits of the railroad will flow to adjacent business and property owners, so unless the railroad owns a lot of the adjacent land and businesses, it won’t sustain itself; so much for decentralized market capitalism. If you follow the logic out, the only way to capture all the benefits of innovation and use them to finance worthwhile investment rationally is to form a totalitarian state that owns everything and receives all rents, internalizes all externalities, but such a hierarchy of power is a disaster for other reasons, and an informational impossibility. Second-best is a mixed economy state that heavily taxes economic rents, and uses those taxes to finance investment in public goods, and compels capitalists to take risks with their capital.

Capitalism works reasonably well when there’s a balance of Schumpeterian entrepreneurs using creative destruction to steal the old guard’s rents to feed their own ambition, the threat of world war and global communism to motivate public spiritedness in the elite, and some mass-membership organization to oppose and divide the elites. Otherwise, not so much.

In relation to resource limits, preserving rents motivates one part of the rentier elite to champion a past best dead and buried, while finance capitalism seeks rents from parasitism of usury and Ponzi schemes. The key pathology, though, is, paradoxically, the unregulated capitalist impulse to externalize risk and cost, to split economic rents into good and bad tranches, and visit the bad tranches on people with no risk-bearing capacity or power to resist. So, better and cheaper to adapt to global warming than to stop it; if Bangladesh drowns, well, the poor can’t afford to adapt — their bad, the losers. Welcome to neo-feudalism.

The record of capitalism in extinction events and the exhaustion of depletable resources is not encouraging, but the folks, who think reputation effects can save us from frauds and food poisoning will no doubt have rationales. Otherwise, what’s a Tim Worstall for?

Friday, May 03, 2013

Stolen from Chateau Heartiste:

Fatter, Wimpier, More Pathetic

May 2, 2013 by CH

Behold your modern White man of the West. Honored descendant of great warriors:

…brilliant thinkers:

… and sturdy yeomen:

Fatter, wimpier, more pathetic. Bequeathed a noble heritage that perhaps surpasses every other culture’s heritage come before or since, the modern Western White man disgraces his forebears in all manner, by every measure. His disgrace and capitulation to pampered weakness is so complete, the great men of his lineage would scarcely recognize him as human, let alone as a child of their righteous loins.

He submits to the raping of his countries’ largesse by invading foreigners and citizen subversives. He excuses the actions of those who would sooner wipe him from the face of the earth, and whips himself into a fervid masochistic spectacle for imagined sins purged on the altar of social standing. He spits on his brothers for a pittance and he salts the soil from which his dwindling posterity must grow. He amuses himself with parlor games and slick sophistry, while he hypocritically runs from the very heart of his words to outpost gardens that shelter his sermonizing from scrutiny. He has let his women run wild, appeasing their last whim, and in return has been rewarded with their total disrespect for his pleasure, for his dignity, for his presumption. He indulges in stupefying drugs of the belly and the mind, concentrated by his soft-pedal puppeteers for maximum potency, and loses himself in petty pop culture distractions so perfectly crafted to sedate any spark of fighting spirit or any glimmer of awareness at his decrepit prospects. He licks the boots of his self-assumed betters and endures their debt-propped credentialist servitude in hopes of a place at the shrinking table, or he denies betterment and retreats to a spiteful underculture of crass gluttony and exhilarating dysfunction. He dutifully mouths ruling class slogans as he bristles incoherently within a maze of diverse strangeness and under the gaze of cold surveillance. He wars with his masculine essence, surrendering to caricature or to simulated castration.

He farms gold, he uploads, he downloads, he pants loads, he MGTOWs, he cube codes, he Insta-chodes, he’s friendzoned, he faps alone, he dates low, he marries old, he’s sorta ‘mo (he’s proud to show), he cornholes, he corn sows, he’s a cuddle pro, he tucks a micro, he’s equality yo, he’s a harmless bro, he fucks slow (first licks her hole), no means no (as he well knows), he’s wow just wow (brash scares him so), he’s status quo, he’s a quota goat, his girlfriend’s gross (he won’t tell her though), he nuzzles cows, he scrapes and bows, he’s a cog-to-go, he luvs a ho, his titties grow, he’s GIRL YOU GO!, his ex-wife’s boyfriend spends his dough, his girlfriend fucked an asshole…

…he knows no home to call his own.

The modern Western White man is one fat fold away from watching forlornly as his scepter and orbs of manly pride dip below a tragic horizon, forever out of sight.

But, hey, those smartphones are nifty, right? You can use them to call for help when another fat feminist or ingrate racial huckster shits in your face for fun and profit.

Something to this I think.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

derringer dicks says:
May 1, 2013 at 3:41 pm

Why should I give a crap about your guns? So far they and you are totally useless to ameliorate the real problem of all the connected criminals who are above the law: war criminals, torturers, criminal aggressors, top-echelon bankers who steal billions by fraud and extortion, oilmen who poison a coast. The law won’t touch em. It’s up to you patriots and freedom fighters. But all you do is whine. So what do I care if they take your guns? They’re worth jack shit to me.

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