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Some company has a formal verification engineer job opening and of course they're a defence contractor.

Makes one think: are there medical devices companies doing formal verification of, say, things like pacemakers and insulin pumps?

Seems that there's all the money in the world for making killing machines better...

@sajith How much funding you can obtain always depends upon how close you are to the center of power. This is why relatively low skilled executives whose main skill set consists of shouting and the ability to play Candy Crush are paid orders of magnitude more than highly skilled workers.

afaik I don't think many medical devices are formally verified, although that might apply to things like heart pacemakers.

@bob Do you think this is a problem that could be solved by a truly free market?

Seems to me that having such centres of power is a problem.

@sajith I'm not a market fundamentalist, so no I don't think so. Markets can be useful, but they're not a universal solution to all social problems.

@bob Mmm. Even Adam Smith seems to agree that free market alone cannot fund all public goods. (I haven't read Wealth of Nations, I remember Milton Friedman quoting Smith in "Free to Choose". I don't have the exact words handy.)

That said, do you think less powerful centers of power could be a solution to the problem of low-skilled low-effort (but presumably high-effect?) execs getting paid more than skilled workers? Or is this just the nature of things?

@sajith I think people should be in control of production processes. This means things like worker control of factories and agriculture. People occasionally deciding what and how much to produce. Job rotation to avoid monopolization of "empowering work". Each person would have an irrevocable stake in the produce, so that they can't simply sell out.
@bob @sajith if done on a voluntary basis, I would be pleased to see adoption of such ideas. I like cooperatives. However, when it comes to compensation of those who contribute capital and not simply labor, I hope that you don't imply that their stake is unjustly appropriated.
@hector @sajith I'd prefer a situation in which what Marx called "fictitious Capital" just doesn't matter anymore and has no influence over the production process. The power of bosses and oligarchs vanishes like a dissipating smog.
@bob @sajith is a loan or bond fictitious capital? So under this system, if one contributes funds to a new venture, they have no claim or collateral on which to secure it? What you are saying is essentially that all modern forms of finance will be dispensed with despite their usefulness in solving real problems with the allocation of scarce resources.
@hector @sajith Merely changing a number in a bank database wouldn't entitle you to anything, but providing labor or services or organizing power would be useful forms of capital. That is, actual personal engagement with the production process and decisions around it.

It would mean an end to free riding on capital income.

@hector @bob In some ways, money, markets, nation states, borders -- these are all fiction we all have agreed upon, so that we can better co-operate as a species. :-)

I don't think they're necessarily dispensable fiction. We'll be just replacing them with new fiction.

(I read "Sapiens" recently and I am showing off my book-learnin'. 🤓)

@sajith @bob here's the thing. Allocation of resources has to happen somehow. I would prefer it be done on a purely voluntary basis. And in a voluntary society, why would people choose not to use some type of investment system that allows contributions of capital input in exchange for a share of the output, the same as for labor input? Unless you get rid of property entirely, in which case the one who provides labor has no more claim on the output than anyone else, which is contrary to Bob's suggestion.

Money is a very useful abstraction for solving the coincidence of wants problem, and I have trouble seeing what might solve it by other means. Fiat currency has many issues, so a sound cryptocurrency would probably serve best. Property interests would be protected by noncoercive means. That's how I envision a better economic system.

@hector @bob The Communist/Marxist solutions have led to authoritarianism and great misery, at least as far as we have seen.

I have lived in India before liberalization of markets (our "socialist" era) and after. I very much prefer the latter.

@sajith @hector State communist or state capitalism leads to immiseration for the same reasons as at present. Under those systems there is no democratic control over production. People don't have a stake in decisions which affect them, and production is decided by a centralized committee of politicians or bankers.

@bob @hector That should be OK, as long as politicians and bankers know what they're doing, and don't become too greedy. I agree that what we have in the US today isn't ideal.

My father, a postal worker, protested liberalization in the 90s, with his union. He didn't know back then that the changes will lead to a better life for himself and his children and the country. Had they been left to to make policy decisions, we'd have stayed with more state control and failed socialism and poverty.

@sajith @hector The state and parliaments aren't really the solution to anything. They only provide illusory "solutions" coincidentally beneficial to the rich.

Bankers and politicians are never all that smart, so relying upon them to know and orchestrate everything was never realistic. It's an information problem not too dissimilar to the fediverse verses Twitter.

Twitter is like a state. Its head honcho, Jack, decides what goes and sets the rules. Everyone else is supposed to fall in line, no matter whether it makes sense or not. There are purges and undesirable outcomes from chasing the dragon's tail called "engagement" to the exclusion of other factors. Nobody can really question Jack. It's his state and he's going to run it. Into the ground, if necessary.

In the fediverse power is more dispersed. As an admin you might run your instance like a head of state, but people can leave and join other instances and make their own decisions. They're not dependent only on one admin and can even block bad admins if they arise.
@sajith @bob @hector  "What we have been seeing worldwide, from India to the UK to the US, is the rebellion against the inner circle of no-skin-in-the-game policymaking “clerks” and journalists-insiders, that class of paternalistic semi-intellectual experts with some Ivy league, Oxford-Cambridge, or similar label-driven education who are telling the rest of us 1) what to do, 2) what to eat, 3) how to speak, 4) how to think… and 5) who to vote for." https://medium.com/incerto/the-intellectual-yet-idiot-13211e2d0577

@js290 @bob @hector Ah, so this is how Taleb does a "bro, do you even lift?" :-)

Surely there are influential IYI people like that, and there should be revolt against them.

However I feel like we've lost some nuance here, and even mastodon is not the right place for patient and nuanced discourse. :-)

@sajith @bob @hector  Taleb is a big proponent of the deadlift which engages all muscles. “Strength Training is Learning from Tail Events” https://medium.com/@nntaleb/strength-training-is-learning-from-tail-events-7aa2c074569d

@js290 @bob @hector Yes, he describes his lifting habits at great length in "Antifragile", as a way of illustrating how "antifragility" works in strengthening muscles.

I've felt that his ideas would be a lot more palpable if he weren't so smug about himself and so contemptuous of other people.

@bob Sounds something like a worker-owned co-operative?

Seems to me that we're in the age of specialization and automation. Developing specialized skills (becoming a better programmer, or a better manager) takes time, sometimes a lifetime. Some people just won't want to do some jobs. (I for one don't care for managerial roles.)

How will job rotation work here?

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