The Barefoot Bum

The Barefoot Bum


252 comments posted · 238 followers · following 2

14 years ago @ A Division by Zer0 - Bumming Mutualism · 2 replies · +1 points

Larry is generally sharp when it comes to these sorts of issues...

You're too kind. ;-)

15 years ago @ THE ATHEIST JEW - Troubling: Atheist Blo... · 0 replies · +1 points

Don't blame me; I'm a communist, and I've been slamming Obama since before the election.

15 years ago @ A Division by Zer0 - Why the Free Markets c... · 0 replies · +1 points

I hadn't read that comment before. Great minds truly do think alike.

15 years ago @ A Division by Zer0 - Why the Free Markets c... · 2 replies · +2 points

For any scientific theory, it is not the premises but the conclusions that are typically subject to empirical verification. A theory predicts the results of observations and experiments: if the theory's predictions do not match the actual observations, then the theory fails to accurately describe reality.

Which brings up, of course, a more important point (that you correctly note): All scientific theories are descriptive, not normative. It is impossible to establish a normative proposition by the scientific method, since any non-trivial normative proposition is in principle unfalsifiable by experiment in any theoretical context.

There are substantial problems with free market economics from a purely theoretical level.

First, free market economics do indeed entail Pareto efficiency, but this result begs the question as to whether we actually want a Pareto-efficient economy and more importantly which Pareto efficient solution we want to achieve: many different patterns of distribution are Pareto-efficient.

More importantly, free market economics entails that all individuals seek the local Nash equilibrium for individual economic decisions. This entails that any "Prisoner's Dilemma" economic situations are always resolved by mutual defection. Therefore, free market economics (as well as purely anarchist economics) structurally fails to achieve available mutual benefits. (Note that all outcomes of PD games are Pareto efficient, when different decision-sets are considered as alternative benefit distributions.)

Third, there is the observation that free market economics has absolutely nothing to do with actually existing political economies. Free market economics specifically requires (on close examination) that property rights be limited (with only trivial exceptions) to ownership by physical possession. Ownership of capital is necessarily abstract, abstract ownership is by definition an externality, and free market economics assumes no externalities. To attempt to describe a capitalist political economy in terms of free market economics is as pointless and stupid as trying to describe aerodynamics in terms of gravitation in a vacuum.

15 years ago @ Exsisto Sane - Moral Relativism · 0 replies · +1 points

You might enjoy my series on Meta-Ethical Subjective Relativism a.k.a. Constructivism.

15 years ago @ Exsisto Sane - Moral Relativism · 4 replies · +1 points

Harris states that he believes there is an absolute moral right and wrong and that the claim that morality must be relative is itself an absolute statement about morality and so moral relativism is therefore self-contradictory.

Harris commits an obvious fallacy of type. The statement, "All morals are relative" is (in the relevant sense) an absolute statement, but significantly it is not itself a moral statement; it is a metamoral (or metaethical) statement. It is thus not self-referential and does not entail any self-referential paradoxes.

In just the same sense, consider the obviously true statement:

(1) The value of the sum of an arithmetic addition is relative to the values of the operands

Clearly (1) states a relation in absolute terms, but it is not an arithmetical statement, it is a statement about arithmetic, a meta-arithmetical statement.

15 years ago @ Stochastic Scribbles - Torture may not have b... · 1 reply · +1 points

It’s beginning to sound like false confessions were exactly what they wanted.

You are surprised?

15 years ago @ Evolved and Rational - Fucking RRRAAAGGGEEE! · 1 reply · +1 points

The current system spills the blood of civilians too. I'm not going to *make* anyone else fight, but I myself am not content to go down without fighting.

15 years ago @ Evolved and Rational - Fucking RRRAAAGGGEEE! · 1 reply · +1 points

I've read a lot of things. But I'm a communist, not an anarchist.

15 years ago @ The Antichristian Phen... - 10 Answers from an Ant... · 0 replies · +3 points

Damn, Lea, fucking idiots like you are even more tiresome, jumping wildly to conclusions. I was pointing out an additional flaw in the Bible, not in db0's analysis. Get a fucking clue: the phrase "missed a trick" means that an opportunity to score additional points was missed.