Equality

How should society be organised, if at all?

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Skepdick
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Re: Mannie

Post by Skepdick »

Gary Childress wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 11:04 am Well, technically aren't tenured professors supposed to be the ones who have already demonstrated enough value to the universities that they are offered tenure? In any case, I still don't follow why that is "backward" from my post saying what a waste it must be that professors have devoted their lives to the ideal of equality only to have Henry easily dismiss it. Apologies for my thick headedness.
Tenure is the epitome of "equality of opportunity", not "equality of outcome". Only 1 out of X people get tenure. For very good reasons.

The irony is in that if you are being paid to solve inequality for all of us, then I expect you to demonstrate the effectiveness of ANY solution you come up with by giving tenure to everybody.

It' the concept of dogfooding. If it works - implement it in your own organization first.
Gary Childress
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Re: Mannie

Post by Gary Childress »

Skepdick wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 11:08 am
Gary Childress wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 11:04 am Well, technically aren't tenured professors supposed to be the ones who have already demonstrated enough value to the universities that they are offered tenure? In any case, I still don't follow why that is "backward" from my post saying what a waste it must be that professors have devoted their lives to the ideal of equality only to have Henry easily dismiss it. Apologies for my thick headedness.
Tenure is the epitome of "equality of opportunity", not "equality of outcome". Only 1 out of X people get tenure. For very good reasons.

The irony is in that if you are being paid to solve inequality for all of us, then I expect you to demonstrate the effectiveness of ANY solution you come up with by giving tenure to everybody.

It' the concept of dogfooding. If it works - implement it in your own organization first.
I think maybe I see what you are saying. So there is a kind of hypocrisy in academics in tenured positions who devote their lives to solving the problem of inequality unless they extend their lifestyle more universally? Do I have your view correct here?
Skepdick
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Re: Mannie

Post by Skepdick »

Gary Childress wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 11:23 am I think maybe I see what you are saying. So there is a kind of hypocrisy in academics in tenured positions who devote their lives to solving the problem of inequality unless they extend their lifestyle more universally? Do I have your view correct here?
You have the gist of it - yes.

The fundamental disconnect (moral hazard) here is that "locking yourself in a room and thinking long and hard about a problem" is seen as being the same kind of activity as "problem solving". The asymmetry is that there's no downside to failing - it's not like you can be forced to pay back your tenure/funding. Tenured professors have no skin in the game.

In theory there's no difference between theory and practice of problem-solving, but in practice there is.
Gary Childress
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Re: Mannie

Post by Gary Childress »

Skepdick wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 11:38 am
Gary Childress wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 11:23 am I think maybe I see what you are saying. So there is a kind of hypocrisy in academics in tenured positions who devote their lives to solving the problem of inequality unless they extend their lifestyle more universally? Do I have your view correct here?
You have the gist of it - yes.

The fundamental disconnect here is that "locking yourself in a room and thinking hard about it" is seen as being the same kind of activity as "problem solving".

It's just false advertising.
I think I see what you are saying. Do you think such an arrangement (giving university professors tenure in order to think deeply about and "solve" the problem of inequality) maybe distorts their thinking on the subject in some way, due to the paradoxical nature of their situation?
Skepdick
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Re: Mannie

Post by Skepdick »

Gary Childress wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 11:04 am Well, technically aren't tenured professors supposed to be the ones who have already demonstrated enough value to the universities that they are offered tenure? In any case, I still don't follow why that is "backward" from my post saying what a waste it must be that professors have devoted their lives to the ideal of equality only to have Henry so easily dismiss it. Apologies for my thick headedness.
I don't really know if I have the answer, but I sure have at least one question prior to worrying about solving inequality.

Is inequality best solved top-down or bottom-up? And why do tenured professors keep coming up with top-down solutions?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top-down_ ... -up_design
Gary Childress
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Re: Mannie

Post by Gary Childress »

Skepdick wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:33 pm
Gary Childress wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 11:04 am Well, technically aren't tenured professors supposed to be the ones who have already demonstrated enough value to the universities that they are offered tenure? In any case, I still don't follow why that is "backward" from my post saying what a waste it must be that professors have devoted their lives to the ideal of equality only to have Henry so easily dismiss it. Apologies for my thick headedness.
I don't really know if I have the answer, but I sure have at least one question prior to worrying about solving inequality.

Is inequality best solved top-down or bottom-up? And why do tenured professors keep coming up with top-down solutions?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top-down_ ... -up_design
Would you call allowing a free market to solve the problem of inequality through "natural" processes (or whatever) a bottom-up solution? Or what are your thoughts on allowing a free market to "correct" the problem of inequality on its own?
Skepdick
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Re: Mannie

Post by Skepdick »

Gary Childress wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:39 pm Would you call allowing a free market to solve the problem of inequality through "natural" processes (or whatever) a bottom-up solution? Or what are your thoughts on allowing a free market to "correct" the problem of inequality on its own?
That kind of of question defaults to assuming control (given your use of the word "allow").

In engineering there's a saying - defining the problem is half the solution. I haven't seen an adequate conception of "the problem of inequality" and I haven't seen anybody come up with a lever (variables) that we can reasonably control to produce a desirable outcome.

Governments, universities and all social institutions/structures are products of the free market. People incorporate freely. For me to dictate how it should be would make me guilty of top-down thinking. That's a prime example of the illusion of control.
Gary Childress
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Re: Mannie

Post by Gary Childress »

Skepdick wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:58 pm
Gary Childress wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:39 pm Would you call allowing a free market to solve the problem of inequality through "natural" processes (or whatever) a bottom-up solution? Or what are your thoughts on allowing a free market to "correct" the problem of inequality on its own?
That kind of of question defaults to assuming control (given your use of the word "allow").

In engineering there's a saying - defining the problem is half the solution. I haven't seen an adequate conception of "the problem of inequality" and I haven't seen anybody come up with a lever (variables) that we can reasonably control to produce a desirable outcome.

Governments, universities and all social institutions/structures are products of the free market. People incorporate freely. For me to dictate how it should be would make me guilty of top-down thinking. That's a prime example of the illusion of control.
Since there is currently government interference in the economy, by "allow" I mean no longer interfere. If the government steps aside and doesn't interfere with the market, do you think the market has a natural tendency to correct for inequalities? And would non-interference count as a bottom-up solution?
Skepdick
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Re: Mannie

Post by Skepdick »

Gary Childress wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 1:11 pm Since there is currently government interference in the economy, by "allow" I mean no longer interfere. If the government steps aside and doesn't interfere with the market, do you think the market has a natural tendency to correct for inequalities? And would non-interference count as a bottom-up solution?
Again. I don't understand the question because I don't understand your mental model of how you view the world. The market has a tendency to produce that which the market tends to value.

You seem to think that "the government" and 'the economy' are separate entities? In my head the "free market" roughly corresponds to global society. Together with its 8 billion people, its 200 or so governments, thousands of institutions and millions of businesses.

The free market is people doing things. Which includes "people incorporating governments and interfering in other people's affairs ". If you an others think that inequality needs fixing, then you will work towards fixing it using whatever instruments (capital, institutions, strategies).

You can try fix inequality via re-distribution of existing wealth (which is the solution people in power like a lot because it's easy)
You can ty fix inequality via creation/efficient distribution of new wealth (which is the solution people not in power prefer because it's the only they have).

There are many ways to skin a cat and I think all methods work to some degree, which is why all parties who claim to be tackling inequality ultimately move the needle in some way so they end up self-congratulating themselves for a job well done.

Self-organization (bottom up) is how the world actually works. Top-down is how humans think the world OUGHT to work. It's where the "God" idea comes from - ultimate authority.
Last edited by Skepdick on Sat Aug 08, 2020 1:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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henry quirk
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Re: Mannie

Post by henry quirk »

Henry manages to dismiss it all in a few sentences.

yep
Gary Childress
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Re: Mannie

Post by Gary Childress »

Skepdick wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 1:24 pm
Gary Childress wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 1:11 pm Since there is currently government interference in the economy, by "allow" I mean no longer interfere. If the government steps aside and doesn't interfere with the market, do you think the market has a natural tendency to correct for inequalities? And would non-interference count as a bottom-up solution?
Again. I don't understand the question because I don't understand your mental model of how you view the world. The market has a tendency to produce that which the market tends to value.

You seem to think that "the government" and 'the economy' are separate entities? In my head the "free market" roughly corresponds to global society. Together with its 8 billion people, its 200 or so governments, thousands of institutions and millions of businesses.

The free market is people doing things. Which includes "people incorporating governments and interfering in other people's affairs ". If you an others think that inequality needs fixing, then you will work towards fixing it using whatever instruments (capital, institutions, strategies).

You can try fix inequality via re-distribution of existing wealth (which is the solution people in power like a lot because it's easy)
You can ty fix inequality via creation/efficient distribution of new wealth (which is the solution people not in power prefer because it's the only they have).

There are many ways to skin a cat and I think all methods work to some degree, which is why all parties who claim to be tackling inequality ultimately move the needle in some way so they end up self-congratulating themselves for a job well done.

Self-organization (bottom up) is how the world actually works. Top-down is how humans think the world OUGHT to work. It's where the "God" idea comes from - ultimate authority.
I would think the redistribution of existing wealth is not something that people in power like a lot, assuming that the people in power tend to have great wealth and visa versa (that great wealth tends to put one into a position of power). A market is certainly people doing things and "incorporating governments and interfering in other people's affairs", however, a "free market" as some economists envision it is the lack of government regulation and the bare minimum of government agencies, etc. In other words, a "free market" is where most things are run by private citizens, including the post office, schools, etc, instead of being run by the government. That is usually what is meant by "free market". Do you subscribe to the belief that a free market can successfully correct inequalities? Or do you think addressing inequality is a thing that civic organizations are best left to address, perhaps at the grass roots level?
Age
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Re: Equality

Post by Age »

henry quirk wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:08 pm Equality of opportunities.

Agreed. NOT "equality of outcome."

neither

there can be no guarantee of outcome or opportunity for some without regulatin' the outcomes or opportunities of all

no, equality is only meaningful as created equal

that is: Joe, the crippled idiot is no less a person than Stan, the vigorous smarty-pants

in other words: you don't have to hire Joe, but you don't get to pack him in a cattle car and send him to the camp just cuz he is a crippled idiot
How are these two, supposedly, 'created equal' when one is, so called, a "vigorous smarty-pants" and the other is a, so called, "crippled idiot"?

If they are both 'created equal', then they would BOTH be the exact same equal 'thing', which TOTALLY CONTRADICTS what you say they ARE.

If one is, and as such created as a, "crippled idiot" and the other is, and as such created as a, "vigorous smarty pants", then HOW EXACTLY are they, supposedly, 'created equal'?
Age
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Re: Mannie

Post by Age »

Gary Childress wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 2:09 pm
Skepdick wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 1:24 pm
Gary Childress wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 1:11 pm Since there is currently government interference in the economy, by "allow" I mean no longer interfere. If the government steps aside and doesn't interfere with the market, do you think the market has a natural tendency to correct for inequalities? And would non-interference count as a bottom-up solution?
Again. I don't understand the question because I don't understand your mental model of how you view the world. The market has a tendency to produce that which the market tends to value.

You seem to think that "the government" and 'the economy' are separate entities? In my head the "free market" roughly corresponds to global society. Together with its 8 billion people, its 200 or so governments, thousands of institutions and millions of businesses.

The free market is people doing things. Which includes "people incorporating governments and interfering in other people's affairs ". If you an others think that inequality needs fixing, then you will work towards fixing it using whatever instruments (capital, institutions, strategies).

You can try fix inequality via re-distribution of existing wealth (which is the solution people in power like a lot because it's easy)
You can ty fix inequality via creation/efficient distribution of new wealth (which is the solution people not in power prefer because it's the only they have).

There are many ways to skin a cat and I think all methods work to some degree, which is why all parties who claim to be tackling inequality ultimately move the needle in some way so they end up self-congratulating themselves for a job well done.

Self-organization (bottom up) is how the world actually works. Top-down is how humans think the world OUGHT to work. It's where the "God" idea comes from - ultimate authority.
I would think the redistribution of existing wealth is not something that people in power like a lot, assuming that the people in power tend to have great wealth and visa versa (that great wealth tends to put one into a position of power). A market is certainly people doing things and "incorporating governments and interfering in other people's affairs", however, a "free market" as some economists envision it is the lack of government regulation and the bare minimum of government agencies, etc. In other words, a "free market" is where most things are run by private citizens, including the post office, schools, etc, instead of being run by the government. That is usually what is meant by "free market". Do you subscribe to the belief that a free market can successfully correct inequalities? Or do you think addressing inequality is a thing that civic organizations are best left to address, perhaps at the grass roots level?
Solving the, so called, "inequality problem" is EXTREMELY simple AND easy.

Also, what has money or wealth got to do with 'equality' at all?

Money is NOT even a 'needed' thing in ANY society, and bringing in a thing, which is part of the cause of inequality in some form does NOT help in any way, shape, nor form.
Age
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Re: Mannie

Post by Age »

Skepdick wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:58 pm
Gary Childress wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:39 pm Would you call allowing a free market to solve the problem of inequality through "natural" processes (or whatever) a bottom-up solution? Or what are your thoughts on allowing a free market to "correct" the problem of inequality on its own?
That kind of of question defaults to assuming control (given your use of the word "allow").

In engineering there's a saying - defining the problem is half the solution.
There is a very simple and easy reason and explanation for WHY this is so True.
Skepdick wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:58 pm I haven't seen an adequate conception of "the problem of inequality" and I haven't seen anybody come up with a lever (variables) that we can reasonably control to produce a desirable outcome.

Governments, universities and all social institutions/structures are products of the free market. People incorporate freely. For me to dictate how it should be would make me guilty of top-down thinking. That's a prime example of the illusion of control.
Gary Childress
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Re: Mannie

Post by Gary Childress »

Age wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 2:21 pm Also, what has money or wealth got to do with 'equality' at all?
Well, presumably having equal economic opportunity, as well as equal economic outcome (if people want to go that far), involves wealth redistribution. In the end it sort of boils down to money. If someone has a lot more money than another person, then they aren't very equal. OTOH, if you're talking about equality before the law, then theoretically, no, money shouldn't play a role, however, in practice wealth tends to pay for better lawyers.
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