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The Positive-sum Fallacy

CarefulNow
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11/12/2013 1:18:37 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Adam Smith, writing before Darwin, can perhaps be excused for assuming that each acts for his own absolute gain, but the modern economic consensus has no such excuse. A choice is long overdue: science or superstition. Will we continue with the economic orthodoxy that sees other humans as only indirectly relevant to one's ends, or will we incorporate the fact that natural selection allows only ends that are relativistic: one's own gain relative to one's competitors'. The Israeli economists Jonathan Nitzan and Shimshon Bichler have developed a "power theory of value" (http://en.wikipedia.org...) that, unlike the utility theory value and its sister the labor theory of value, accommodates the theory of evolution.
DanT
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11/14/2013 10:39:06 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/12/2013 1:18:37 PM, CarefulNow wrote:
Adam Smith, writing before Darwin, can perhaps be excused for assuming that each acts for his own absolute gain, but the modern economic consensus has no such excuse. A choice is long overdue: science or superstition. Will we continue with the economic orthodoxy that sees other humans as only indirectly relevant to one's ends, or will we incorporate the fact that natural selection allows only ends that are relativistic: one's own gain relative to one's competitors'. The Israeli economists Jonathan Nitzan and Shimshon Bichler have developed a "power theory of value" (http://en.wikipedia.org...) that, unlike the utility theory value and its sister the labor theory of value, accommodates the theory of evolution.

If I have a surplus of food and a deficit of clothing, and you have a surplus of clothing and deficit of food, by trading my surplus supply for your surplus supply we both gain utility and eliminate waste. If I donated my surplus of food to you, you are the only one who benefits, and only half of the potential utility is actually utilized; your remaining surplus creates waste.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
slo1
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11/14/2013 11:52:13 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/14/2013 10:39:06 AM, DanT wrote:
If I donated my surplus of food to you, you are the only one who benefits, and only half of the potential utility is actually utilized; your remaining surplus creates waste.

Lest he has a gun and will take your potential utility and then some.
CarefulNow
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11/14/2013 12:38:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/14/2013 10:39:06 AM, DanT wrote:
At 11/12/2013 1:18:37 PM, CarefulNow wrote:
Adam Smith, writing before Darwin, can perhaps be excused for assuming that each acts for his own absolute gain, but the modern economic consensus has no such excuse. A choice is long overdue: science or superstition. Will we continue with the economic orthodoxy that sees other humans as only indirectly relevant to one's ends, or will we incorporate the fact that natural selection allows only ends that are relativistic: one's own gain relative to one's competitors'. The Israeli economists Jonathan Nitzan and Shimshon Bichler have developed a "power theory of value" (http://en.wikipedia.org...) that, unlike the utility theory value and its sister the labor theory of value, accommodates the theory of evolution.

If I have a surplus of food and a deficit of clothing, and you have a surplus of clothing and deficit of food, by trading my surplus supply for your surplus supply we both gain utility and eliminate waste. If I donated my surplus of food to you, you are the only one who benefits, and only half of the potential utility is actually utilized; your remaining surplus creates waste.

Regardless of the verity of your unkind assumption that I would not reciprocate your donation, arguing that trade is more useful than donation does not constitute a defense of the utility theory of value itself. What the power theory of value asserts is that economic agents act instead to increase their power, including some mutually destructive acts that contradict the utility theory of value (and non-positive-sum acts more generally). The power theory of value reverses the relationship between money and goods: money is not a means to an end, it (or at least the appearance of it) is the end; goods are either signals of money or fuel for money-makers (though not necessarily the consumers' themselves, as marketing can be parasitism). The power theory of value has the advantage of being consistent with the proven theory of natural selection, which the utility theory of value is not.
DanT
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11/14/2013 2:08:00 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/14/2013 12:38:11 PM, CarefulNow wrote:
At 11/14/2013 10:39:06 AM, DanT wrote:
At 11/12/2013 1:18:37 PM, CarefulNow wrote:
Adam Smith, writing before Darwin, can perhaps be excused for assuming that each acts for his own absolute gain, but the modern economic consensus has no such excuse. A choice is long overdue: science or superstition. Will we continue with the economic orthodoxy that sees other humans as only indirectly relevant to one's ends, or will we incorporate the fact that natural selection allows only ends that are relativistic: one's own gain relative to one's competitors'. The Israeli economists Jonathan Nitzan and Shimshon Bichler have developed a "power theory of value" (http://en.wikipedia.org...) that, unlike the utility theory value and its sister the labor theory of value, accommodates the theory of evolution.

If I have a surplus of food and a deficit of clothing, and you have a surplus of clothing and deficit of food, by trading my surplus supply for your surplus supply we both gain utility and eliminate waste. If I donated my surplus of food to you, you are the only one who benefits, and only half of the potential utility is actually utilized; your remaining surplus creates waste.

Regardless of the verity of your unkind assumption that I would not reciprocate your donation, arguing that trade is more useful than donation does not constitute a defense of the utility theory of value itself. What the power theory of value asserts is that economic agents act instead to increase their power, including some mutually destructive acts that contradict the utility theory of value (and non-positive-sum acts more generally). The power theory of value reverses the relationship between money and goods: money is not a means to an end, it (or at least the appearance of it) is the end; goods are either signals of money or fuel for money-makers (though not necessarily the consumers' themselves, as marketing can be parasitism). The power theory of value has the advantage of being consistent with the proven theory of natural selection, which the utility theory of value is not.

You have not refuted what I said, you are just appealing to a biological theory to disprove a sociological theory. Natural Selection, guides biological development, through extinction, while mutations drive biological development. Utility guides economic development through self-interest, while innovations drive economic development.

Money is nothing more than a medium of exchange. Under the Barter System the price was the exchange rate between 2 goods, and trade required the double coincidence of wants. In order to solve this problem societies began using widely desired goods as a standard for trade. Primitive commodity standards includes arrowheads, Wampum (shell beads), and koku (Rice). Precious metals were also widely used as a commodity standard by more developed nations, such as gold and/or silver in the form of coined bullion.

The problem with commodity standards is that there is not enough of the commodity to support an expanding economy Take a gold standard for instance; if 1 oz of gold = $, and there was only 1 billion oz of gold bullion, than economic growth is limited to 1 billion oz worth of gold bullion. A way to solve this issue is to establish a fiat currency, by eliminating the fixed exchange rate between gold and money. This turns money into a trade credit, backed by the entire economy rather than being limited to gold.

If you have a gift-card for store X, you hold trade credit with a store X. This means you own a share of the output of store X equivalent in value to the trade credit. That trade credit is only valuable in stores that accept it; the only store accepting it being store X. Now let's say you expand the stores accepting the trade credit to Stores X, Y, and Z. You can now redeem your trade credit in either store X, store Y, or store Z. This is how fiat money works. The 1 USD is worth the equivalent in the aggregate output of the US economy, and is redeemable in at any US business simply by spending the USD. Unlike the commodity standard which has a fixed exchange rate to a standard commodity, fiat money has a floating exchange rate, so when the growth in currency does not reflect the growth in output there is inflation or deflation.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
DanT
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11/14/2013 6:42:59 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/12/2013 1:18:37 PM, CarefulNow wrote:
Adam Smith, writing before Darwin

This is your where you went wrong; you are confusing biology with social science.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
CarefulNow
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11/14/2013 9:52:54 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/14/2013 2:08:00 PM, DanT wrote:
You have not refuted what I said, you are just appealing to a biological theory to disprove a sociological theory. Natural Selection, guides biological development, through extinction, while mutations drive biological development. Utility guides economic development through self-interest, while innovations drive economic development.

Economic agents are ultimately biological, so you have first to explain how a utility-maximization mutation could have invaded a power-maximizing population to create Homo economicus in the first place. Then you must consider that natural selection is not a strictly biological mechanism; biology was just the field of its discovery. You've already cited innovation, analogy of mutation, but there is also a kind of "extinction" in liquidation.

Money is nothing more than a medium of exchange...

Ah, the obligatory Econ 101 lecture. Presumably, Professors Nitzan and Bichler, too, came across the functions of money at some point in their education (although medium of exchange was likely accompanied by unit of account and store of value). It would indeed be difficult to understand money as power without the knowledge that it can be exchanged for tax compliance or other socially-contrived necessaries such as tenancy. But while that is the function of money, the function of business is to accumulate money, which is consequently a quantification of power, and specifically to accumulate more of it than others.
DanT
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11/15/2013 6:04:14 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/14/2013 9:52:54 PM, CarefulNow wrote:
At 11/14/2013 2:08:00 PM, DanT wrote:
You have not refuted what I said, you are just appealing to a biological theory to disprove a sociological theory. Natural Selection, guides biological development, through extinction, while mutations drive biological development. Utility guides economic development through self-interest, while innovations drive economic development.

Economic agents are ultimately biological, so you have first to explain how a utility-maximization mutation could have invaded a power-maximizing population to create Homo economicus in the first place.

You literally made me LOL. Thank you for the chuckle.

Economics is not biological, and economics is not the result of a mutation. Furthermore, nothing in Darwin's theory of extinction aka natural selection, let alone evolution, supports an instinct to maximize power. Biologically we have a survival instinct not a power maximization instinct. The desire for power stems from the benefits of gaining power i.e. the utility of power.
The natural instincts to survive grants man 2 subsequent instincts; the instinct to be free, the instinct to acquire and collect property. If a man is not free, they are more likely to perish. The more food, tools, and other property a man possesses the more likely they will survive. These instincts are the basis of man's natural rights to life, liberty, and property.

Many people avoid obtaining power, because they see no benefit to it. Power seekers seek power only to derive the benefit from obtaining power; whether that is to subjugate people, or to promote their own interests and ideals, whatever they may be.

Social animals, that is to say pack animals like wolves and apes, form out of the necessity for survival. Prey form packs in order to protect themselves from predators, and predators form packs when food is scarce in order to maximize their catch. This is why the African lion is the only cat that hunts in packs; the American mountain lion is a loner, as is the tiger and jaguar. By working together to hunt and gather food, the entire group is able to collect more food per individual in less time, and thus increase the chances of survival. They are also able to protect their hunting grounds from outside predators. The purpose of society is not subjugation of the weak by the strong, but rather the survival of the group. The purpose of the alphamale is to ensure that protection, which is why wolves prefer a strong alphamale. In our closest living relatives, the chimpanzees, it is not the strongest who leads, but rather the male who is able to gain the most political support from within the community; thus by ensuring the greatest benefit to the most individuals within the group a chimp is able to gain political power.

Economics has nothing to do with mutations, and all to do with social interactions between individuals. When dealing with macroeconomics, instincts play a huge rule in economic models, but other social influences have an impact as well. You cannot group the entire human race together to form an accurate model without first looking at individuals as their influences. There is a reason for market segments in advertising.

Then you must consider that natural selection is not a strictly biological mechanism; biology was just the field of its discovery. You've already cited innovation, analogy of mutation, but there is also a kind of "extinction" in liquidation.

Analogy is a comparison between 2 separate ideas in order to provide an explanation or clarification of one of the topics. That does not mean economics has natural selection. Natural selection is by its nature a theory of extinction. In order to avoid extinction species adapt to survive. Utility is quite the opposite; in order to generate a greater utility, and thus a greater demand, firms invent new products and innovate old products. Utility is a positive, whereas Natural Selection is a Negative.

Money is nothing more than a medium of exchange...

Ah, the obligatory Econ 101 lecture. Presumably, Professors Nitzan and Bichler, too, came across the functions of money at some point in their education (although medium of exchange was likely accompanied by unit of account and store of value). It would indeed be difficult to understand money as power without the knowledge that it can be exchanged for tax compliance or other socially-contrived necessaries such as tenancy. But while that is the function of money, the function of business is to accumulate money, which is consequently a quantification of power, and specifically to accumulate more of it than others.

False. The goal of a business is to accumulate wealth for the owner or shareholders, and money serving as a medium of exchange is a representation of that wealth. In the same instance, the purpose of labor is to accumulate wealth. The customer is the employer of the firm, and the firm is the employer of the laborer. Power is only exerted when there is a surplus or deficit. During a surplus the employer (whether it be the customer or the firm) exerts power over the employee (whether it be the firm or the laborer), and during a deficit the employee exerts power over the employer. A business's success is not measure relative to competing businesses, but rather by their own progress within their own time-frame. Just because Corporation X is more wealthy does not mean Company Y is less successful in their endeavors, especially if corporation X has been in the game longer and is conducting trade in other regions.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
slo1
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11/15/2013 2:42:34 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I think you both need a moderator.

Let's take an example. I remember a story a few years back of this last hold out in Seattle that has a big lot of prime real estate. The city grew around him. His land was worth 100's of millions and he was getting plenty of offers, but would not sell.

Please explain this guys behavior with utility theory versus with power theory and why one is better than the other.
DanT
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11/15/2013 6:20:33 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/15/2013 2:42:34 PM, slo1 wrote:
I think you both need a moderator.

Let's take an example. I remember a story a few years back of this last hold out in Seattle that has a big lot of prime real estate. The city grew around him. His land was worth 100's of millions and he was getting plenty of offers, but would not sell.

Please explain this guys behavior with utility theory versus with power theory and why one is better than the other.

Utility is not just financial benefit. The house had sentimental value to him. Utility is the overall benefit gained, which includes sentimental benefits such as preserving memories. To this man, there was more benefit in keeping his house, not only financially (as better offers would surely be made), but also emotionally. If a high enough price was offered he would sell, but the price was not right. This is a microeconomic example of utility, because it deals with one individual. When compared to another individual the money might be enough to sell. When one makes a choice they weigh the marginal utility of both choices against each other. The opportunity cost is the cost of foregoing one of these choices for the other. By refusing the sale, the man suffered an opportunity cost of 100's of millions of dollars, but in his mind it was worth it due to the perceived utility of retaining his home.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
CarefulNow
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11/16/2013 12:08:31 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/15/2013 2:42:34 PM, slo1 wrote:
Please explain this guys behavior with utility theory versus with power theory and why one is better than the other.

If the offers were sufficiently high, his behavior contradicted both the utility theory of value (UTV) and the power theory of value (PTV); if they were sufficiently low, it satisfied both. But there is middle range in which it satisfied the PTV but not the UTV. That incomplete overlap of power and utility is, I think, the source of Dan's confusion. His understanding of natural selection as favoring survivors ignores the fact that survival is only selective when it's differential, to which end killing is as handy as surviving. So while power is often useful and utility often empowering, power is the end; hence, the mutually destructive (yet, crucially, more destructive of others than of oneself) behavior that requires unfalsifiable claims like "sentimental value" in order to jam it into the UTV hole.
InVinoVeritas
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11/16/2013 1:04:04 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
The power theory of value reverses the relationship between money and goods: money is not a means to an end, it (or at least the appearance of it) is the end; goods are either signals of money or fuel for money-makers (though not necessarily the consumers' themselves, as marketing can be parasitism).

I think it is important to note that the connection between capital accumulation and "power" is not arbitrary. Capital can be represented through its form (e.g., money), and it can be represented through its function--that is, the real-life applications of it. And we must remember that the form and function of capital are inextricably connected; the "symbolic" power of the form goes away when the function is removed, and the "real" power of capital's function goes away when the form is removed.

While Nitzan seems to think that capital accumulation ought to be analyzed in terms of a symbolic accumulation of power, one's saying that one is a millionaire is meaningless if the form of a million dollars is not tied with "real" functional power. Therefore, when people seek to acquire capital, they are reinforcing the form-function dynamic of capital and the symbolic-real dynamic of capital's power.

When you call "money" the end, you only account for half of the equation. Saying you have a million dollars is virtually meaningless if those million dollars, in form, cannot be connected to an explicit set of material functions (e.g., buying a large yacht.) Its symbolic power is derived from the real power that has been conventionally attached to it through market exchange.
DanT
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11/16/2013 4:17:16 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/16/2013 12:08:31 AM, CarefulNow wrote:
At 11/15/2013 2:42:34 PM, slo1 wrote:
Please explain this guys behavior with utility theory versus with power theory and why one is better than the other.

If the offers were sufficiently high, his behavior contradicted both the utility theory of value (UTV) and the power theory of value (PTV); if they were sufficiently low, it satisfied both. But there is middle range in which it satisfied the PTV but not the UTV. That incomplete overlap of power and utility is, I think, the source of Dan's confusion. His understanding of natural selection as favoring survivors ignores the fact that survival is only selective when it's differential, to which end killing is as handy as surviving. So while power is often useful and utility often empowering, power is the end; hence, the mutually destructive (yet, crucially, more destructive of others than of oneself) behavior that requires unfalsifiable claims like "sentimental value" in order to jam it into the UTV hole.

Way to dance around the question. Natural Selection is not only in play when there are 2 or more options. When a species are unable to adapt it dies regardless of whether or not there is a mutation available to save it from extinction. You seem to be ignorant of both economics and biology.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
CarefulNow
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11/17/2013 9:37:22 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/16/2013 4:17:16 AM, DanT wrote:
Way to dance around the question.

OK, I'll spell it out: the above "middle ground" is the range of prices for which some lower price would increase one's own profits (by increasing demand) but decrease the difference between one's own profits and average profits (by increasing buyers' profits, and the profits of their customers, etc.).

Natural Selection is not only in play when there are 2 or more options. When a species are unable to adapt it dies regardless of whether or not there is a mutation available to save it from extinction. You seem to be ignorant of both economics and biology.

No, I'm aware of the heterodox species-centered view of evolution; it's just that, like most evolutionary biologists, I don't subscribe to it. And as far as I know, even those who do subscribe to it don't make the absurd claim that utility-seeking is one of those species-intrinsic properties (i.e. that there are special constraints that prevent power-seeking mutations from occurring in the first place), much less that economics has similar constraints. Absent such constraints, power-seekers would replace utility-seekers even if it meant extinction. But of course it wouldn't mean extinction, for three reasons:

a) Utility-seeking, unlike altruism, would not confer enough of a special advantage to make up for that of other differences between species.

b) Power-seekers have a selective advantage over utility-seekers within competing species as well, so it's really power-seekers v. power-seekers, not power-seekers v. utility-seekers.

c) There really are no competing species, at least not species that compete with the speed and ferocity of organisms within species. Species occupy more or less fixed niches (other members of one's species are, by definition, one's only competition for mates and usually one's only competition for habitat, and of course only humans may own property), and their populations are consequently more or less self-stabilizing: if I cut the human population in half at the cost of one-quarter of my kin, the former will quickly (and even more quickly if I slaughter only males) rebound (as opposed to encroachment by zebras or pheasants or whatever you have in mind) and I'll have doubled my kin's frequency.
CarefulNow
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11/17/2013 3:04:09 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/16/2013 1:04:04 AM, InVinoVeritas wrote:
When you call "money" the end, you only account for half of the equation. Saying you have a million dollars is virtually meaningless if those million dollars, in form, cannot be connected to an explicit set of material functions (e.g., buying a large yacht.)

Yes, institutional economics has traditionally treated production (whose end is more typically and more immediately pecuniary) and consumption (whose end is more typically and more immediately material) separately, but that's not the essential difference between the power and utility theories of value. So while a yacht-buyer's end isn't necessarily money (though it certainly can be, in resale value and in R&R's restoration of the money-maker himself), there is also power in the signaling of money (or ability, in the case of yacht-racing), which yachts are particularly good at.
DanT
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11/18/2013 9:01:48 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/17/2013 9:37:22 AM, CarefulNow wrote:
At 11/16/2013 4:17:16 AM, DanT wrote:
Way to dance around the question.

OK, I'll spell it out: the above "middle ground" is the range of prices for which some lower price would increase one's own profits (by increasing demand) but decrease the difference between one's own profits and average profits (by increasing buyers' profits, and the profits of their customers, etc.).

You are still dancing around the question. Please explain how the home owner is being motivated by power.
Natural Selection is not only in play when there are 2 or more options. When a species are unable to adapt it dies regardless of whether or not there is a mutation available to save it from extinction. You seem to be ignorant of both economics and biology.

No, I'm aware of the heterodox species-centered view of evolution; it's just that, like most evolutionary biologists, I don't subscribe to it.
A.) that is an appeal to the masses
B.) So now you are a biologist
C.) Nothing I said was heterodox
D.) So according to you most biologists believe that there are never any evolutionary dead ends. Species never go extinct they just evolve. That is BS. Mutations are not guaranteed to show up, and when they don't the species cannot survive. Those that don't adapt die, and when the entire species cannot adapt it goes extinct. Just because a sub-population didn't develop a mutation to survive the threat does not mean the entire population is miraculously immune to the threat.

And as far as I know, even those who do subscribe to it don't make the absurd claim that utility-seeking is one of those species-intrinsic properties (i.e. that there are special constraints that prevent power-seeking mutations from occurring in the first place), much less that economics has similar constraints. Absent such constraints, power-seekers would replace utility-seekers even if it meant extinction. But of course it wouldn't mean extinction, for three reasons:

A.) Nice Strawman. I never said there are mutations that prevent power seeking. I said power is sought because of the utility of seeking power; power does not have value within itself.
B.) Power-seekers would not replace utility-seekers in a survival test. Utility seekers are those looking for ways to survive, whereas power-seekers are those looking for a way to subjugate others. Power-seekers pit themselves against the rest of the population, while utility-seekers do what ever they can to survive.
a) Utility-seeking, unlike altruism, would not confer enough of a special advantage to make up for that of other differences between species.

What the F*** are you spouting off about now?
b) Power-seekers have a selective advantage over utility-seekers within competing species as well, so it's really power-seekers v. power-seekers, not power-seekers v. utility-seekers.

Again, this is just an assertion of a theory, not a rationalization of that theory. Please show how you got from a to b.
c) There really are no competing species, at least not species that compete with the speed and ferocity of organisms within species. Species occupy more or less fixed niches (other members of one's species are, by definition, one's only competition for mates and usually one's only competition for habitat, and of course only humans may own property), and their populations are consequently more or less self-stabilizing: if I cut the human population in half at the cost of one-quarter of my kin, the former will quickly (and even more quickly if I slaughter only males) rebound (as opposed to encroachment by zebras or pheasants or whatever you have in mind) and I'll have doubled my kin's frequency.

Really, you think species don't compete? LMAO. Predators compete for prey, regardless of whether or not they are the same species; likewise, prey also compete for limited resources.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
CarefulNow
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11/18/2013 11:03:26 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/18/2013 9:01:48 AM, DanT wrote:
You are still dancing around the question. Please explain how the home owner is being motivated by power.

Homeowner? The only information we were given was that the property was worth $100 million. If that's a home, it's an exquisite one indeed! Anyway, what is home but a roof over the power-seeker's head, a protector of the power-seeker from the elements, and, certainly in the case of $100 million homes, a signaler of the power-seeker's wealth?

A.) that is an appeal to the masses

The evolutionary biological consensus is hardly "the masses". It is educated men like Richard Dawkins who, unlike the so-called social scientists, reject faith.

B.) So now you are a biologist

No, as I said, my position is simply in agreement with mainstream evolutionary biology. If I meant to imply that I myself were an accredited evolutionary biologist, I would have used the modifier "other".

C.) Nothing I said was heterodox

I'm afraid it was. You explicitly appealed to extinction of species, whereas mainstream evolutionary biology rejects that macroevolutionary approach.

D.) So according to you most biologists believe that there are never any evolutionary dead ends. Species never go extinct they just evolve. That is BS. Mutations are not guaranteed to show up, and when they don't the species cannot survive. Those that don't adapt die, and when the entire species cannot adapt it goes extinct. Just because a sub-population didn't develop a mutation to survive the threat does not mean the entire population is miraculously immune to the threat.

Evolution of species requires more than that a mutation show up; it requires that the mutation invade the population, and you've not advanced a theory of how a utility-seeking mutation could invade a population of power-seekers. For example, perhaps utility-seeking mutations showed up in warm-blooded species, and perhaps they didn't; the only thing we're sure of is that they failed to invade said species, and that the differential survival of warm-blooded species was due to warm-bloodedness, not utility-seeking. Warm-bloodedness was able to invade said species in the first place because it did not confer an intra-species disadvantage, which utility-seeking would have.

A.) Nice Strawman. I never said there are mutations that prevent power seeking. I said power is sought because of the utility of seeking power; power does not have value within itself.

Of course it does: it has the value of differential survival, which is the definition of natural selection; unlike absolute survival, which is only valuable as a factor of differential survival.

B.) Power-seekers would not replace utility-seekers in a survival test. Utility seekers are those looking for ways to survive, whereas power-seekers are those looking for a way to subjugate others. Power-seekers pit themselves against the rest of the population, while utility-seekers do what ever they can to survive.

Exactly. Utility-seekers will increase their own survival rates even if it means increasing their competitors' survival rates by a greater margin; on the other hand, they'll refrain from decreasing their own survival rates even if it's the cost of decreasing their competitors' survival rates by a greater margin. Clearly, the power-seeking individual, which is to say the individual concerned with differential survival, would increase his representation in such a population of half-altruists.

What the F*** are you spouting off about now?

For example, if warm-blooded species were power-seekers and cold-blooded species were somehow intrinsic utility-seekers, that advantage wouldn't have been enough to save the cold-blooded species from the impact winter, because the difference between utility-seeking and power-seeking is nothing compared to the difference between cold-bloodedness and warm-bloodedness.

Again, this is just an assertion of a theory, not a rationalization of that theory. Please show how you got from a to b.

I didn't. a and b were two separate points.

Really, you think species don't compete? LMAO. Predators compete for prey, regardless of whether or not they are the same species; likewise, prey also compete for limited resources.

That's why I said "more or less" (though, again, competition for mates is, by definition, exclusively intra-specific, a fact you conveniently ignore). But inter-species competition varies, and in the case of humans it's virtually nil. The last real competition humans had was probably wolves, and we developed a symbiotic/dominant relationship with them at least 10,000 years ago.
DanT
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11/18/2013 8:35:57 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/18/2013 11:03:26 AM, CarefulNow wrote:
At 11/18/2013 9:01:48 AM, DanT wrote:
You are still dancing around the question. Please explain how the home owner is being motivated by power.

Homeowner? The only information we were given was that the property was worth $100 million. If that's a home, it's an exquisite one indeed!

That was not the only info we were given. The the demand for real estate in Seattle went up as the city grew around the man, and the man refused to sell his real-estate despite a wave of offers. The offers were $100's of millions of dollars. Clearly from this info the man was a homeowner who refused to sell his home as the city developed.
Anyway, what is home but a roof over the power-seeker's head, a protector of the power-seeker from the elements, and, certainly in the case of $100 million homes, a signaler of the power-seeker's wealth?
It was not the home that was worth allot it was the location it sat on. This man was not concerned with wealth, he was only concerned about keeping house.
A.) that is an appeal to the masses

The evolutionary biological consensus is hardly "the masses".
It is still an appeal to the masses, regardless of your semantics.
It is educated men like Richard Dawkins who, unlike the so-called social scientists, reject faith.

A.) Social Scientists are not pro-faith
B.) Scientists in general are not anti-faith; many scientists including biologists are religious.

B.) So now you are a biologist

No, as I said, my position is simply in agreement with mainstream evolutionary biology. If I meant to imply that I myself were an accredited evolutionary biologist, I would have used the modifier "other".

Obviously you are not a biologist. If you were you should demand your tuition back.
C.) Nothing I said was heterodox

I'm afraid it was. You explicitly appealed to extinction of species, whereas mainstream evolutionary biology rejects that macroevolutionary approach.

I wasn't advocating macroevolution you moronic dope. If giraffes are only found in Africa, and due to some natural disaster there were no trees in africa, the giraffes would go extinct because there would be no mutation to survive.

There is no power play involved in evolution. Random mutations occur, and the mutations are passed on through breeding. These mutations cause diversity in the population. Natural selection causes some of these variations to go extinct, thereby guiding the direction of the population by eliminating other possible outcomes. The mutations drive evolution, and natural selection guides it by reducing diversity. It has nothing to do with power.

D.) So according to you most biologists believe that there are never any evolutionary dead ends. Species never go extinct they just evolve. That is BS. Mutations are not guaranteed to show up, and when they don't the species cannot survive. Those that don't adapt die, and when the entire species cannot adapt it goes extinct. Just because a sub-population didn't develop a mutation to survive the threat does not mean the entire population is miraculously immune to the threat.

Evolution of species requires more than that a mutation show up; it requires that the mutation invade the population, and you've not advanced a theory of how a utility-seeking mutation could invade a population of power-seekers. For example, perhaps utility-seeking mutations showed up in warm-blooded species, and perhaps they didn't; the only thing we're sure of is that they failed to invade said species, and that the differential survival of warm-blooded species was due to warm-bloodedness, not utility-seeking. Warm-bloodedness was able to invade said species in the first place because it did not confer an intra-species disadvantage, which utility-seeking would have.

A.) Nice Strawman. I never said there are mutations that prevent power seeking. I said power is sought because of the utility of seeking power; power does not have value within itself.

Of course it does: it has the value of differential survival, which is the definition of natural selection; unlike absolute survival, which is only valuable as a factor of differential survival.

B.) Power-seekers would not replace utility-seekers in a survival test. Utility seekers are those looking for ways to survive, whereas power-seekers are those looking for a way to subjugate others. Power-seekers pit themselves against the rest of the population, while utility-seekers do what ever they can to survive.

Exactly. Utility-seekers will increase their own survival rates even if it means increasing their competitors' survival rates by a greater margin; on the other hand, they'll refrain from decreasing their own survival rates even if it's the cost of decreasing their competitors' survival rates by a greater margin. Clearly, the power-seeking individual, which is to say the individual concerned with differential survival, would increase his representation in such a population of half-altruists.

What the F*** are you spouting off about now?

For example, if warm-blooded species were power-seekers and cold-blooded species were somehow intrinsic utility-seekers, that advantage wouldn't have been enough to save the cold-blooded species from the impact winter, because the difference between utility-seeking and power-seeking is nothing compared to the difference between cold-bloodedness and warm-bloodedness.

Again, this is just an assertion of a theory, not a rationalization of that theory. Please show how you got from a to b.

I didn't. a and b were two separate points.

Really, you think species don't compete? LMAO. Predators compete for prey, regardless of whether or not they are the same species; likewise, prey also compete for limited resources.

That's why I said "more or less" (though, again, competition for mates is, by definition, exclusively intra-specific, a fact you conveniently ignore). But inter-species competition varies, and in the case of humans it's virtually nil. The last real competition humans had was probably wolves, and we developed a symbiotic/dominant relationship with them at least 10,000 years ago.

OK I have work tomorrow morning, and I have college tonight. I am not going to waste my time answering all your mindless dribble. Read a book, and than try again. Economics has nothing to do with evolution, and if you want to rant about evolution (another subject which you are clearly ignorant of), you should do so in the science or history section.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
CarefulNow
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11/19/2013 1:28:31 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/18/2013 8:35:57 PM, DanT wrote:
That was not the only info we were given. The the demand for real estate in Seattle went up as the city grew around the man, and the man refused to sell his real-estate despite a wave of offers. The offers were $100's of millions of dollars. Clearly from this info the man was a homeowner who refused to sell his home as the city developed.

Only if you interpret "a lot of prime real estate" as, literally, a single lot. But a lot more frequently means a great deal, which is more consistent with speculation than owner occupancy, as is the $100 million+ price tag.

It was not the home that was worth allot it was the location it sat on. This man was not concerned with wealth, he was only concerned about keeping house.

That's precisely what you're trying to prove, but so far your only evidence is the unfalsifiable dummy utility "sentimental value".

It is still an appeal to the masses, regardless of your semantics.

If you don't appreciate the difference between an expert and the man on the street, that explains a lot.

A.) Social Scientists are not pro-faith

Some aren't, but certainly those who believe in the unobservable and logically inconsistent "util" are.

B.) Scientists in general are not anti-faith; many scientists including biologists are religious.

Biologists and particularly evolutionary biologists are far less likely to be religious than so-called social scientists, for obvious reasons. Those that are "religious" are basically deists; unlike the "util", their god doesn't interfere with their work.

I wasn't advocating macroevolution you moronic dope. If giraffes are only found in Africa, and due to some natural disaster there were no trees in africa, the giraffes would go extinct because there would be no mutation to survive.

When you resort to name-calling, you make it impossible to admit your mistakes, a prerequisite to learning, without great embarrassment. As for your hypothetical tree blight, what is its relevance to the topic at hand? Are you suggesting that there was some natural disaster that killed off power-seekers and prevented them from returning? If not, I urge you to turn back from your tangent.

There is no power play involved in evolution. Random mutations occur, and the mutations are passed on through breeding. These mutations cause diversity in the population. Natural selection causes some of these variations to go extinct, thereby guiding the direction of the population by eliminating other possible outcomes. The mutations drive evolution, and natural selection guides it by reducing diversity. It has nothing to do with power.

What it has to do with power is that such a mechanism favors power-seeking traits, same as it favors selfishness in general. We need to know about trees in order to predict that giraffes will come about, but we only need to know about natural selection itself in order to predict that evolutionary unit will be selfish and power-seeking in particular.

OK I have work tomorrow morning, and I have college tonight. I am not going to waste my time answering all your mindless dribble. Read a book, and than try again. Economics has nothing to do with evolution, and if you want to rant about evolution (another subject which you are clearly ignorant of), you should do so in the science or history section.

Of course you want to keep science and history out of economics; facts and reason are inconvenient to your ideology. But I will apply the scientific method to any field I choose, and if you don't like it that's tough. Likewise, if you don't understand that evolution is applicable to any system of inheritance with imperfect fidelity, not just DNA, and that modern humans (your "economic agents") are in any case the product of genetic evolution, you have my pity but not my compliance.
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11/19/2013 4:58:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/19/2013 1:28:31 PM, CarefulNow wrote:
At 11/18/2013 8:35:57 PM, DanT wrote:
That was not the only info we were given. The the demand for real estate in Seattle went up as the city grew around the man, and the man refused to sell his real-estate despite a wave of offers. The offers were $100's of millions of dollars. Clearly from this info the man was a homeowner who refused to sell his home as the city developed.

Only if you interpret "a [big] lot of prime real estate" as, literally, a single lot. But a lot more frequently means a great deal, which is more consistent with speculation than owner occupancy, as is the $100 million+ price tag.

He said "a big lot" not "a lot".... I know it your illiteracy may make answering the question a challenge, but please try to keep up.

It was not the home that was worth allot it was the location it sat on. This man was not concerned with wealth, he was only concerned about keeping house.

That's precisely what you're trying to prove, but so far your only evidence is the unfalsifiable dummy utility "sentimental value".

Meanwhile you have no explanation, so you are resorting to straw-manning slo.

It is still an appeal to the masses, regardless of your semantics.

If you don't appreciate the difference between an expert and the man on the street, that explains a lot.

Now you are appealing to authority. You just keep piling those logical fallacies on, aren't you?
Darwin was actually just a man from the street. He dropped out of Edinburgh Medical School, and than received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Cambridge so that he could become an Anglican parson. While at Christ Cambridge he studied Natural Theology, which is basically religious propaganda.

When he visited the Galapagos islands aboard a Navy vessel, he was disorganized and ignorant. He basically just bagged what ever he thought looked cool. It was not until later on that he put the pieces together and wrote a book about what he found.

Many scientific advancements were achieved by laymen, and were contrary to the prevailing views at the time.

A.) Social Scientists are not pro-faith

Some aren't, but certainly those who believe in the unobservable and logically inconsistent "util" are.

That is total BS. Utility has nothing to do with religion.
B.) Scientists in general are not anti-faith; many scientists including biologists are religious.

Biologists and particularly evolutionary biologists are far less likely to be religious than so-called social scientists, for obvious reasons. Those that are "religious" are basically deists; unlike the "util", their god doesn't interfere with their work.

>.< What the F*** do you think a Util is? Just curious. You seem to be in your own little world. A "util" is no different than an "hour" or a "meter"; it is simply a standard of measurement.
I wasn't advocating macroevolution you moronic dope. If giraffes are only found in Africa, and due to some natural disaster there were no trees in africa, the giraffes would go extinct because there would be no mutation to survive.

When you resort to name-calling, you make it impossible to admit your mistakes, a prerequisite to learning, without great embarrassment.
When you resort to strawmen you make it impossible to hold a consistent discussion.
As for your hypothetical tree blight, what is its relevance to the topic at hand? Are you suggesting that there was some natural disaster that killed off power-seekers and prevented them from returning? If not, I urge you to turn back from your tangent.

OMFG. For the last time, the world is not divided between power seekers and utility seekers. I am not claiming that power seekers are extinct, or that some mutation has made people seek utility over power. The two overlap, people seek power in order to obtain the benefits aka utility of having power. Those who seek power for no benefit other than having power are wasting their time. People survive by seeking opportunities that benefit their survival, not by seeking opportunities that subjugate others. If you you had to choose between an option that allowed you to subjugate others and an option that maximized your chances of surviving, if you chose to subjugate others you would be less likely to survive than if you sought the option of maximizing your chances of surviving.

There is no power play involved in evolution. Random mutations occur, and the mutations are passed on through breeding. These mutations cause diversity in the population. Natural selection causes some of these variations to go extinct, thereby guiding the direction of the population by eliminating other possible outcomes. The mutations drive evolution, and natural selection guides it by reducing diversity. It has nothing to do with power.

What it has to do with power is that such a mechanism favors power-seeking traits, same as it favors selfishness in general. We need to know about trees in order to predict that giraffes will come about, but we only need to know about natural selection itself in order to predict that evolutionary unit will be selfish and power-seeking in particular.

All people seek to maximize utility, not all people seek power, but some people seek power in order to maximize their utility. You have a very limited view of what drives people.

OK I have work tomorrow morning, and I have college tonight. I am not going to waste my time answering all your mindless dribble. Read a book, and than try again. Economics has nothing to do with evolution, and if you want to rant about evolution (another subject which you are clearly ignorant of), you should do so in the science or history section.

Of course you want to keep science and history out of economics;
Not what I f***ing said. I said if you want to talk about biology go to the science or history section. Economics is a science, and economics deals with historical events. Economics is not biological science, and economics has nothing to do with natural selection.

facts and reason are inconvenient to your ideology. But I will apply the scientific method to any field I choose, and if you don't like it that's tough.
What you call "science" is nothing more than ideological dribble, and what you call "facts" is nothing more than assumptions.
Likewise, if you don't understand that evolution is applicable to any system of inheritance with imperfect fidelity, not just DNA, and that modern humans (your "economic agents") are in any case the product of genetic evolution, you have my pity but not my compliance.

Yes humans have evolved traits, but personality is not just genetics. Personality has allot to do with one's environment. I have an identical twin, with identical DNA, yet our personality, goals, logic, and decision making methods are complete opposites.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
DanT
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11/20/2013 7:36:18 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/20/2013 12:09:15 AM, AnDoctuir wrote:
DanT, you're dumb bro.

Ad hominem
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
CarefulNow
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11/20/2013 10:04:17 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/19/2013 4:58:10 PM, DanT wrote:
At 11/19/2013 1:28:31 PM, CarefulNow wrote:
That's precisely what you're trying to prove, but so far your only evidence is the unfalsifiable dummy utility "sentimental value".

Meanwhile you have no explanation, so you are resorting to straw-manning slo.

I've given my explanation: capital strives to increase the difference between its own rate of profit and the average, and the offers so far made (of which we know nothing about: slo said the property was worth hundreds of millions, not that hundreds of millions were offered, though clearly your missing that does not make you illiterate), which would not be unusual if they were orders of magnitude less than the developed value, don't necessarily do that for the landowner, especially when rejecting them now does not preclude him from agreeing to them or indeed higher offers in the future. As for straw-manning slo, that's ridiculous: he didn't even give an opinion, so there's nothing to straw-man; I simply missed the word "big", and thank you for pointing that out. I have work to do, so I'll respond to the rest later.
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11/20/2013 10:38:57 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/20/2013 10:04:17 AM, CarefulNow wrote:
At 11/19/2013 4:58:10 PM, DanT wrote:
At 11/19/2013 1:28:31 PM, CarefulNow wrote:
That's precisely what you're trying to prove, but so far your only evidence is the unfalsifiable dummy utility "sentimental value".

Meanwhile you have no explanation, so you are resorting to straw-manning slo.

I've given my explanation: capital strives to increase the difference between its own rate of profit and the average, and the offers so far made (of which we know nothing about: slo said the property was worth hundreds of millions, not that hundreds of millions were offered, though clearly your missing that does not make you illiterate), which would not be unusual if they were orders of magnitude less than the developed value, don't necessarily do that for the landowner, especially when rejecting them now does not preclude him from agreeing to them or indeed higher offers in the future.

Yeah, the land was worth 100's of millions because that is what was being offered for it. That is how you determine the worth of a piece of real estate; the highest rate that someone is willing to pay for it.

There is no equilibrium price for the property, because there was no transaction, so there is no equilibrium worth. The worth is therefore determined by the offers made, ie the demand for the real-estate. The highest offer, or the highest price demanded, is the worth of the property if the owner so chooses to liquidate. The owner chose not to liquidate because he valued the property more than the seller; his perceived personal benefit of keeping the property outweighed his perceived personal benefit of selling the property. The people making an offer do not value the property as much as he does, because their perceived personal benefit of obtaining the property for the minimum price the home owner is willing to accept is less than their perceived personal benefit of spending that money elsewhere.

Value is derived from utility, not from power, and you have yet to prove otherwise.

As for straw-manning slo, that's ridiculous: he didn't even give an opinion, so there's nothing to straw-man; I simply missed the word "big", and thank you for pointing that out. I have work to do, so I'll respond to the rest later.

You are straw-manning his question not his "opinion".
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
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11/20/2013 1:31:19 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/20/2013 10:38:57 AM, DanT wrote:
Yeah, the land was worth 100's of millions because that is what was being offered for it. That is how you determine the worth of a piece of real estate; the highest rate that someone is willing to pay for it.

Then how does that someone know what to offer? He must have another way of determining worth, namely the expected developed value of the land (which is hardly a secret), and making an offer equal to that determination would defeat the whole purpose.

Value is derived from utility, not from power, and you have yet to prove otherwise.

I've shown through simple logic that only a power theory of value is consistent with natural selection, and your response has been to deny that natural selection has anything to do with economics. There is also ample empirical evidence that capital seeks no other "personal benefit" than differential accumulation, some of it referenced in the book linked to in this thread, which I welcome you to take a break and read before you continue criticizing.

You are straw-manning his question not his "opinion".

A question cannot be straw-manned. I insist that the word you're looking for is "misreading".
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11/20/2013 4:17:20 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/20/2013 1:31:19 PM, CarefulNow wrote:
At 11/20/2013 10:38:57 AM, DanT wrote:
Yeah, the land was worth 100's of millions because that is what was being offered for it. That is how you determine the worth of a piece of real estate; the highest rate that someone is willing to pay for it.

Then how does that someone know what to offer? He must have another way of determining worth, namely the expected developed value of the land (which is hardly a secret),

You mean the utility of the land? Yes I agree.
and making an offer equal to that determination would defeat the whole purpose.
No he must make an offer less than the derived profit, which the seller finds acceptable. The utility of keeping the money offeredhas to be less than the utility of buying the land with the money offered. The seller and the buyer negotiate in order to determine the equilibrium. If the minimum price the seller is willing to accept is greater than the maximum price the buyer is willing to pay, than the exchange cannot take place.

Value is derived from utility, not from power, and you have yet to prove otherwise.

I've shown through simple logic that only a power theory of value is consistent with natural selection, and your response has been to deny that natural selection has anything to do with economics.
You have not shown anything. Your "logic" is essentially A therefore A, A and C is related, so C therefore C. What you call "logic" is nothing more than a bunch of disorganized assertions.

There is also ample empirical evidence that capital seeks no other "personal benefit" than differential accumulation, some of it referenced in the book linked to in this thread, which I welcome you to take a break and read before you continue criticizing.

You are straw-manning his question not his "opinion".

A question cannot be straw-manned. I insist that the word you're looking for is "misreading".

A straw-man is when someone misrepresents what was said by someone-else, usually to discredit the opponent's position without addressing the position, but it can also be used to dodge a question by answering things that were not asked.

Both of the following are straw men, only formatted differently;

"How tall is the Pine Tree?"
"The Oak Tree is 20 feet tall"

"The Pine Tree is 10 feet tall"
"No the Oak Tree is 20 feet tall"
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
CarefulNow
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11/20/2013 7:44:29 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/19/2013 4:58:10 PM, DanT wrote:
Now you are appealing to authority. You just keep piling those logical fallacies on, aren't you?

I was appealing to authority in the first place! But I did explain its logic, and you've even made feeble attempts to challenge it, so it's a little late for that itchy fallacy-calling finger.

Many scientific advancements were achieved by laymen, and were contrary to the prevailing views at the time.

Sooo...are you putting yourself in that category, or would you like to point me in the direction of this layman who questions the relativity of biological fitness?

That is total BS. Utility has nothing to do with religion.

God is not the only thing one can have faith in. And what I deny is the existence of the "util", as in the utility theory of value, not the trivial fact that things have utility.

>.< What the F*** do you think a Util is? Just curious. You seem to be in your own little world. A "util" is no different than an "hour" or a "meter"; it is simply a standard of measurement.

OK, then name something that's one util. Because I can name any number of things that are one hour or one meter.

OMFG. For the last time, the world is not divided between power seekers and utility seekers. I am not claiming that power seekers are extinct, or that some mutation has made people seek utility over power. The two overlap, people seek power in order to obtain the benefits aka utility of having power. Those who seek power for no benefit other than having power are wasting their time. People survive by seeking opportunities that benefit their survival, not by seeking opportunities that subjugate others. If you you had to choose between an option that allowed you to subjugate others and an option that maximized your chances of surviving, if you chose to subjugate others you would be less likely to survive than if you sought the option of maximizing your chances of surviving.

Of course, but http://en.wikipedia.org... is a process of change via "differential reproductive success", not absolute reproductive success. If I have the power to prevent others from surviving, that is as relevant to differential reproductive success as my own survival.

All people seek to maximize utility, not all people seek power, but some people seek power in order to maximize their utility. You have a very limited view of what drives people.

Now that's a straw man! I've already talked about utility in service to power; you prefer to think of power as in service to utility. Our views are equally rich conceptually, the only difference being that I have them the right way around.

Not what I f***ing said. I said if you want to talk about biology go to the science or history section. Economics is a science, and economics deals with historical events. Economics is not biological science, and economics has nothing to do with natural selection.

Again, as economic agents, known to biology as Homo sapiens, are a product of biological natural selection, I must insist that natural selection would be relevant even if it were an exclusively biological concept.

Yes humans have evolved traits, but personality is not just genetics. Personality has allot to do with one's environment. I have an identical twin, with identical DNA, yet our personality, goals, logic, and decision making methods are complete opposites.

So his goal is disutility? Obviously you're exaggerating, but such differences if anything undermine (but in fact have no bearing on) your assumption of general utility-seeking behavior. If it's the environment, fine: what about the environment do you propose favors utility-seeking?
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11/20/2013 8:09:19 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/20/2013 4:17:20 PM, DanT wrote:
At 11/20/2013 1:31:19 PM, CarefulNow wrote:
At 11/20/2013 10:38:57 AM, DanT wrote:
You are straw-manning his question not his "opinion".

A question cannot be straw-manned. I insist that the word you're looking for is "misreading".

A straw-man is when someone misrepresents what was said by someone-else, usually to discredit the opponent's position without addressing the position, but it can also be used to dodge a question by answering things that were not asked.

Source please. http://www.merriam-webster.com...: "a weak or imaginary argument or opponent that is set up to be easily defeated". It was a question, not an argument; a moderator, not an opponent; and a dodge (or, as I see it, an honest mistake), not a defeat. You see, the whole point of the straw man metaphor is that a straw man is easy to attack, as in the old training dummies.
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11/20/2013 10:49:12 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/20/2013 8:09:19 PM, CarefulNow wrote:
At 11/20/2013 4:17:20 PM, DanT wrote:
At 11/20/2013 1:31:19 PM, CarefulNow wrote:
At 11/20/2013 10:38:57 AM, DanT wrote:
You are straw-manning his question not his "opinion".

A question cannot be straw-manned. I insist that the word you're looking for is "misreading".

A straw-man is when someone misrepresents what was said by someone-else, usually to discredit the opponent's position without addressing the position, but it can also be used to dodge a question by answering things that were not asked.

Source please. http://www.merriam-webster.com...: "a weak or imaginary argument or opponent that is set up to be easily defeated". It was a question, not an argument; a moderator, not an opponent; and a dodge (or, as I see it, an honest mistake), not a defeat. You see, the whole point of the straw man metaphor is that a straw man is easy to attack, as in the old training dummies.

A.) that not a legitimate dictionary
B.) fallacies are not defined in sentence format, like words in a dictionary.
C.) The term "strawman" refers to the military practice of using straw targets, either for practice or as a diversion against enemy fire. Arguing "strawman" simply means you are avoiding the point, by creating a new target to knock down in its place. It is irrelevant whether or not that point is your opponent's argument, or the moderator's question to both you and your opponent.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle