Software modeling of economic systems

So, while there’s much shouting back and forth and wrending of garments on the subject of whether collectivism is good or bad, whether the time has come for socialism, and how much damage being a member of the 1% does, I’m curious – we all have strong opinions, and obviously we’ve all got reasons for them, but has anyone done any software modeling on this?

It should be possible to, by looking at recorded data for the many hundreds of countries and thousands of industries and the like, create software models for various types of collectivism and capitalism and any other systems we’ve got records for, and determine what the best answer is. While right-wingers may feel firmly convinced that collectivist attempts are doomed, and certain aspects of the left that socialism will cure all our woes, I’m not really all that convinced that anyone who has never modelled the problem actually has any idea at all what will and won’t work.

Clearly capitalism comes with some advantages re: competition, but also clearly as we move into the age of automation we’re going to have to do UBI or *something* or we’ll have no jobs left and people will be forced to starve to death because they’re more expensive than machines. I guess one question that we should probably start with is, can we agree why we’re here? Can we at least agree it’s not to starve to death?

If we can, could we perhaps model some of these things? Maybe try to determine how much collectivism hurts initiative and innovation, figure out whether we could even successfully run as a collectivist system at all when measuring in real resource costs rather than in stupid-fiat-dollars?

I grant you that modelling this problem would not be a insignificant challenge – after all we’re not talking about the Glooper here – but I imagine we’d have a lot better luck with it than we would with modelling the weather, especially if we look at it as a problem in probabilistic behavior and determine based on pre-existing data what likely probabilities are.

Then again, it may be that some members on both sides are so firmly programmed that they couldn’t accept the output of a software modelling problem in the area of collectivism if it were run. I do often wonder, if we weren’t all being programmed by the left & right medias and our peer groups / bubbles in what exactly we’re supposed to think, what *would* we think? There have got to be *some* people who recognize the sheer folly of the idea that the other side must be completely and totally wrong. Yes, I’ve chosen my side, but I like to think the people on the other side are not idiots and I also like to think that one of these days we will stop shouting at each other and start devising some scientific methods to ascertain what the truth really is.

Of course the problem with this is there’s a chunk of people out there convinced that some God who has made no attempt in recent memory to get in touch with us and is quite possibly a work of fiction comprised by various unsavory elements of our past culture in a attempt to achieve some form of social control is actually completely in control and if science says something other than what they expect to see from God, then science must be wrong. Have faith even in the face of hard data, or you’re a bad $RELIGIOUS_NUT.

Ah, the human condition. Full of so many interesting miseries and contradictions.

2 Responses to “Software modeling of economic systems”

  1. bunne Says:

    Wait, you mean utilize actual, comparative analysis to arrive at useful solutions? How the hell is anybody gonna make a few billion off of that? Societal management constructs exist to serve two ends. Keep Group A spewing vitriol at Group B, hopefully while creating 289347598327 subgroups and to keep currency, which has no intrinsic value, flowing. Preferably up the chain. Cause when the music stops, we already know who’s gonna have a chair and who isn’t. But hey, if we sew THIS patch on our sleeves, juuuuuust maybe we’ll get a seat in the getaway car. Delusional thinking isn’t just advocated, it’s enforced. Fix things? *Actually* fix things? That there’s just another sneaky way of saying “wearers of patch A are more important than wearers of patch B, and dadgummit, that won’t do!”

  2. Alderin Says:

    It should be done. In fact, part of me thinks that it may have been done, but not published or not publicized. Like bunne said.

    The question of what would we think were we not constantly exposed to the programming intentions of extremists is a major question that is unresolved when it comes to AI and the possibility of a human-NN-sized ANN. We really don’t know, and it is VERY hard not to anthropomorphize when considering it. What concepts will it internalize? How will it be educated? Who will educate it? Will we build subnets for various utilities first and set them read-only before incorporation into the larger network? (“instinct”) How will it communicate?

    Knowing that we don’t know is both exciting and exhausting. The waiting for answers to questions only recently asked, the thought that maybe I could contribute something…

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