[FoRK] Godless

Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> on Fri May 11 17:01:44 PDT 2007

On May 11, 2007, at 6:09 PM, <strata at virtual.net> wrote:

> Honestly, Jeff, knock it off on the religion stuff.
>
> The way some of you folks express your belief in the absolute  
> superiority of
> capitalism and the 'invisible hand' of the marketplace, in light of  
> numerous
> evidence to the contrary, is just as 'nutso' (as you so tactfully  
> put it).

I'm not going to knock it off on the religion stuff --- see aside,  
below --- but I'm going to knock it off (or at least ease off a bit)  
on the perfect-market stuff.  I've seen the light.  There are several  
fundamental problems with the brand of Capitalizm (tm) I was peddling  
a while back.  These include the following:  markets have a different  
characteristic rhythm and interval than human lifetimes, and doesn't  
correct quickly enough to avoid massive human suffering;  w/o  
supplementary coercive corrective means it cannot prevent certain  
undesirable kinds of de-optimizing interactions;

I *do* believe that in a world where agents were in fact rational,  
even if they had divergent interests, and where they had longer-term  
time horizons and / or where the population and hence the  
transactional flow was more balanced to the individual agent's time  
horizons and lifecycle --- yes, in that perfect, idealized world,  
unfettered free markets are the ideal means of allocating resources  
and achieving Pareto optimal-distribution of wealth, satisfaction, etc.

This isn't that world, but even so capitalism IN GENERAL is better  
than the alternatives.  The point is, you need a hoard of loud,  
angry, annoying activists behind each cause to balance out the fact  
that most market participants are completely uninformed.  Fuck the  
village;  it takes a mob (to make the market run right.)

(PS - I wasn't striving for tact in using the term "nutso."  And to  
be precise, I think I used the term "bug-fuck nutso."  I like that;   
it's more descriptive.)

>
> Anybody who is so determined to classify others as crackpot-unsanes  
> is either
> afraid of someone doing it to them first, or might be one  
> themselves.  Live and
> let live, for Christ/Buddha/HaShem/theFlyingSpaghettiMonster/ 
> theFreeMarket's
> sake, will ya?

Aside:

Couple of weeks ago I was in London on business and got an e-mail  
from my wife back here in Austin.  Some religious nut planted a well- 
engineered anti-personnel IED at a women's clinic here in Austin.   
Fine, you say, happens somewhere every day.  Problem was, that clinic  
was just across a parking lot from where my wife works in a genetics  
lab.

Your little story of the poet and the sage is nice.  I like it.

But no, I will not knock off "the religion stuff" -- i.e. being a  
vocal critic.  I didn't light the fuse on this one, if you recall.   
It's way past time to call it like it is.  Taking a hard line against  
religious tolerance isn't going to stop nuts like the asshole that  
endangered my wife for the cause of his Invisible Friend;  but if  
enough people did it for long enough to just slightly shift the  
direction the memes seem to be headed these days, then it might help  
eliminate at least the culture media in which virulent idiots like  
that germinate.

jb




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