Re: Predictability

From: John Conover <>
Subject: Re: Predictability
Date: 25 Dec 1998 18:40:51 GMT

Michael L. Coburn writes:
> What a crock:  The "free market" does not exist.  What exists is government
> control of privilege.  In the USA this control is somewhat moderated by the
> democratic process.  Government should be funded by a tax on natural resources
> and privilege.  Government should be employed to preserve and protect the
> environment from undue destruction.  THAT is a free market.  Russia is probably
> THE place to do this correctly.  Tell the bankers to stuff it and deliver oil,
> coal, and nuclear products to the rest of the world in trade for what you need,
> Russia.
> Benjamin Alarie wrote:
> > On 25 Dec 1998 05:45:43 GMT, (Frank Palmer) wrote:
> >
> > It is worth adding that economic models are only valuable for the
> > institutional framework for which they have been developed.  It is
> > likely that current day Russia is far enough from a relatively
> > kink-free capitalistic environment that models that are accepted as
> > nearly correct here do not hold nearly as well there.  There is too
> > much corruption, greed, monetary imprudence and political uncertainty
> > in Russia for anyone to predict reliably at the moment...
> >

There are epistemological issues with the concept of predictability.
If a system is predictable, then it is mechanistic. If it is
mechanistic, then there can be no free choice in the system. Any
choice, (ie., what stock to buy, at what price, and when-or what
candidate to vote for, etc.,) would be, in some sense, preordained.

One of NLDS's (ie., "chaotic systems,") greatest contributions to
modern science is that if a mechanistic system is sufficiently
complex, it will exhibit random characteristics, which will ultimately
lead to the system having a "choice" as to what state it is in.

A tossed six sided die is often cited as an example-certainly, its
characteristics are governed by F=MA, MV^2, relativistic principles,
etc. But its a pretty good random number generator, too.

So, does the die have a "choice"?



John Conover,,

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