[ExI] General comment about all this quasi-libertarianism discussion

Richard Loosemore rpwl at lightlink.com
Sun Feb 27 16:10:03 UTC 2011

Ben Zaiboc wrote:
> Richard Loosemore <rpwl at lightlink.com> suggested:
>> I mean that literally.  Where are your system simulations, which
>> show that society will remain stable when, for example, most 
>> government funded institutions are abolished?  Where are your 
>> simulations...?
> What would it take to create and run a series of simulation
> experiments, that we can visit, like Second Life or more likely Sim
> City, that contains lots of agents representing all kinds of v.1.0
> humans, living in a particular society for long enough to get a good
> idea of the direction the society was going in?  This could be run
> many times, with different scenarios, and test out some of these
> ideas that are being bruited about here?
> I'm sure this list has enough relevant talent and resources to give
> something like this a decent try.
> Possibly a game environment would be a good basis, but run as a sim,
> not a game, i.e. the majority of the action would be carried out by
> software agents, not game players.

I am not so sure a game version would work, because of the computing 
requirements.  I envisaged a purely abstract system of agents + 
constraints, but in that kind of simulation the detail is what matters: 
  realistic detail in modeling both agents and constraints.  I supposed 
the simulation could be interaced to the existing Second Life engine, 
though....   Not sure about that, I have to say.

What I do not think would work at all, would be an idealized parameter 
model, in which there were no entities representing indvidual agents and 
constraints, but only parameters representing populations of agents, 
with equations that encoded what some economist *believed* was the 
relationship between the parameters.  Brittle.  Limited scope.  I am 
guessing it was THIS type of economics-and-politics model that allowed 
the U.S. intelligence agencies to predict the Middle East revolutions 
ahead of time (NOT). ;-)

These last two approaches represent the difference between 
complex-system economics and classical economics.  I am very much a 
proponent of the former school.

And having said all of that, we do have something like the required 
simulations already:  game theory.  Libertarianism is something close to 
an "all defection, all the time" strategy ;-), and I believe those don't 
do very well....

Richard Loosemore

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