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What I'm doing is telling you that your model assumes perfect information. For instance, that from the outset you know reliably what the total amount of reserves is.

I also don't understand what's wrong with logistic growth. Unless you have perfect information you can't do much better than that.

What is wrong is overshoot and collapse. If yeast achieves logistic growth, it's pretty smart. Probably smarter than humans. Though I don't think yeast achieves logistic growth either.

You've also (or was it DeAnander?) in the past claimed that even the Lotka-Volterra model (prey = renewable resource, predator = us) is "a wrong model". I don't see how it fails to represent human collective behaviour, as far as the hypotheses go. It also predicts overshoot and collapse.

I don't believe in master planning, be it theological, capitalist or socialist. Do you?

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jul 13th, 2007 at 05:30:46 AM EST
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You don't believe master planning happens, or you don't believe its (ever) a good thing?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Jul 13th, 2007 at 05:33:28 AM EST
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it's a good thing.

I'm having a bad run on that this week.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Jul 13th, 2007 at 05:34:02 AM EST
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Everyone runs around trying to imagine what they would do if they had perfect information, and then they go and apply their conclusions to the real world and wonder why it didn't work.

So, I believe it happens all the time, and I believe it can never work.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jul 13th, 2007 at 05:37:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just what any mathematician knows, before pulling out a calculator ;)  

Too much to ask, right?  

In our case, all resources are finite.  So you know you will run into trouble in ten years, or ten million years.  Which is it?  You watch and see.  Well before it happens you should be making your plans to recognize it and switch out when you need to.  

But really, everything we are arguing about was predicted decades ago, sometimes centuries.  That's why I used the word "willful."  

To be specific, the troubles we are in right now were perfectly plain by the 1970s.  We did not seek to switch out, even then:  We raced at the cliff.  

If yeast do that, that is their problem.  But when WE do that, it is OUR problem.  

Now I am not arguing you are wrong--or at least, not always wrong, but since there certainly are peoples who did not follow our path it would be good to know how they did it--what their mind was.  

You can certainly do better than logistic growth--if it leads to destruction--by anticipating that.  You do not have to limit yourself to responding to first derivatives, and then discovering afterward that you have walked into a dead-end box.  

I don't see how it fails to represent human collective behaviour  

Well, it predicts some human behavior, particularly OUR human behavior, but since we are destroying ourselves perhaps the model is fine as a description of us but very bad as advice.  That is, it describes well precisely what we should not do.  We should do something else.  

It would be better to follow a model that does not lead to self-destruction, even if self-destruction can be modeled very well.  

I don't believe in master planning,  

Anyone who does not do their own master planning is courting trouble--this is true for individuals and groups.  Plans have to be flexible to work.  But if they do not exist, they certainly don't work.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Fri Jul 13th, 2007 at 05:57:45 AM EST
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I claim logistic growth does not describe destruction. You get overshoot and collapse when you couple the logistic equation with delayed feedback.
To be specific, the troubles we are in right now were perfectly plain by the 1970s.  We did not seek to switch out, even then:  We raced at the cliff.
Well, yes, I wonder if Dennis Meadows will live long enough to get the Nobel Prize in Economics for The Limits to Growth.

Anyway, can we agree that these logistic or predator-prey models approximately describe the way our civilisation currectly functions?

The questions are: how else could it function? [I still haven't seen a simple model of that, can you provide one? Use however many derivatives you like, and delayed feedback]; how do we get there from here?; how many people can be sustained?

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jul 13th, 2007 at 06:11:42 AM EST
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You forgot the last question, though it might be implicit: how does the new system protect itself from change? One of the strengths of the existing system, from its point of view, is that it's very resistant to change because the short-term interests of many people depend on its not changing.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Jul 13th, 2007 at 06:14:54 AM EST
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I think I have a partial idea of how to get there from here, though: guarantee everyone a living income (say, above relative poverty level: 60% of median). Rewards those who do work but let people not work if they don't feel like they need more income than the guaranteed minimum. Share work by limiting the working week. If the absolute living standard starts to sag, more people will be motivated to work to make up the difference. If anyone rants about the protestant work ethic, lock them in an insane asylum.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jul 13th, 2007 at 06:22:41 AM EST
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Oh, and tax wealth (property).

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jul 13th, 2007 at 06:23:15 AM EST
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