Re: Apologies, and some loose ends

From: Jeff Bone (
Date: Tue Apr 03 2001 - 20:56:32 PDT

> - W != E - C ... That's delta(W). W += E - C ...

I had defined W as the delta, a sort of "instantaneous rate of (basis for)
wealth accumulation." (Even that's a poor way to explain it.) Strictly, I
needed a better symbol, but I think our semantics agree. Damn ASCII for not
providing a reasonable delta. ;-)

> The census provides us with decent figures tying consumption
> to income, and workable figures tying income to wealth. Why
> not just evaluate systems based upon neutrality with respect
> to the empirical data?

Strictly, because the empirical data is a result of the raw numbers processed
through the existing system of gov't induced incentives and disincentives.
Easier to analyze influence-free toy quantities in generating proof statements
of particular systems. If something is true of the toy proof, then it should
be true in principle; if it's false in the toy proof, it should be false in

> * I might've made the same decision; it would have depended upon
> what I thought of CMGi's volatility**. Warren Buffet, both as
> a student of Graham and Dodd and as someone who experienced the
> Depression, probably wouldn't have.

I dunno, Dave --- when faced with a stock that, in 1999, was considered both
best of breed in its class *and* had been one of the top 5 performing stocks
of the 90s (the others being Dell, EMC, AOL, and MSFT) I doubt even Warren
would've passed. He didn't generate all that wealth by avoiding *all* risk.
I'm also willing to bet heavily that his risk profile has changed dramatically
over his investing lifetime; it's a lot easier to be a lot more risk-averse
as one accumulates wealth. Risk aversion and initial accumulation of wealth
are, AFAICT, somewhat contradictory.

> Some thoughts for the very long term (in which we cishumanists
> are all dead):
> What is expected probability of a random walk returning to zero?

Very phase space dependent, right? Interesting question though; tangential
comment. I'm currently reading a book called What Is Random? : Chance and
Order in Mathematics and Life
by Edward J. Beltrami. One of the best math-oriented books I've read this
year, second probably only to Greg Chaitin's books. Jeff Bob sez check it

> If we are not in a random walk, why is half the world not owned by
> Sumerian investment bankers?



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