Complexity creates stability.

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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by JO 753 » Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:12 pm

Great map.
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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by Paul Anthony » Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:59 pm

When the Roman Empire collapsed, was it more complex or less complex than it had been before?
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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:40 am

Bobbo

Do you understand what 'empirical' means? Empirical study IS experimentation, and novel observations, as done by scientists. Nor is a mechanism required for something to be scientific. Discovering a mechanism is a goal of science, of course, but many scientific ideas operate with no mechanism being determined. For example, we do not have the faintest idea of the mechanism for quantum entanglement, but it is a very firm part of science.

Your favorite chart is actually of limited value, because the horizontal scale has no meaning except as a snapshot in time. Overall, it is meaningless.

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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:41 am

Sorry. Accidental double post.

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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by TJrandom » Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:46 am

Back to financial markets... efficiency and complexity go hand in hand. Remove all complexity by requiring each borrower deal directly with the capital owner - not very efficient, or permit layers of midlemen and various financial instruments to layer in between and you get complexity as a result. Complexity isn`t the goal. Efficiency is.

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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:49 am

TJrandom wrote:Back to financial markets... efficiency and complexity go hand in hand. Remove all complexity by requiring each borrower deal directly with the capital owner - not very efficient, or permit layers of midlemen and various financial instruments to layer in between and you get complexity as a result. Complexity isn`t the goal. Efficiency is.


Sounds like unfocused BS to me. Complexity in the financial market is to hide the fraud and the graft and the skimming. Efficiency? ........ pulease....

Here's my simple rule: 10 cents per stock fee on every trade.

Simple. Raise billions and avoid all that fraud. Impact on Efficiency? Indeterminate...as its a BS concept to begin with.
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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by TJrandom » Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:53 am

Had a bad day, have you? Please go to sleep so you won`t post such nonsense again. It is all about efficiency, risk measurement, and return on investment. Complexity is simply a result.

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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by Matthew Ellard » Mon Nov 28, 2016 3:09 am

Paul Anthony wrote:When the Roman Empire collapsed, was it more complex or less complex than it had been before?
Which Roman Empire? The Eastern or Western?

In theory, the last Eastern Emperor only died in 1453 AD.

(Constantine introduced the back up system for emperors with the Tetrarchy! )
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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by Matthew Ellard » Mon Nov 28, 2016 3:25 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:Complexity in the financial market is to hide the fraud and the graft and the skimming. Efficiency? ........ pulease....
That would suggest that every person in the financial markets is a crook, which is impossible. No one is forced to raise money through the stock exchange or money markets. However that's the most efficient way of doing it.

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:Here's my simple rule: 10 cents per stock fee on every trade.
So if a trader sells a tranche of a million shares he only gets 10 cents. Why would he do that?

I agree that the "factoring in" of risk management, in share trades is opaque and that some people make money out of it, unjustly. However no one is stopping the next trader from undercutting the first trader's commissions and that's exactly what happens. Eventually it reaches another complex equilibrium, where no new traders want to enter the market, because of poor returns.

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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by Balsamo » Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:38 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:

IF You look at history, you will see changes in societies, but no majorly complex economy has ever died. Even the ancient Romans, who lost their empire, never saw their economy die. The tradesmen kept right on making what they made, and merchants kept right on buying and selling. The new customers might be barbarian invaders, but they are still customers, and they keep the economy going.


Really? Who wrote the article you have read?
The Fall of Rome in the West was a disaster no one can even measure.
Rome had a population of 1.5 million people, probably the biggest city ever...not to be seen for another 1000 years.
In 650 AD, Rome had a population of 30.000.
Romans were importing goods from the far east, Europe would have then to wait for Marco Pollo to restore the trade.
Romans had the aqueduc a sewer system, Europe will live without water in their home and throwing their shits across the window for the next 1200 years or so.
The Pax Romana or Romanian peace brought the longest period without War Europe has ever known, over two centuries of peace...From our perspective, that is still 130 years to go to beat the record.
Rome had a system of public Justice who still inspires most of modern European ones, "international laws" so to speak, while when it fell, most of the codes were forgotten and Justice was local matter.
I could go on with the monetary system, and many more things.

To sum up, The Roman empire had reached such a level of complexity that no one knew how to rebuild it when it fell. Western Europe basically fell back into what is know as the "low Middle Age", statistics are lacking to even make an estimate of the population reduction that followed. This is why we call the XIII century...the "Renaissance" or "Rebirth"...but even then it was only partial.
Just to focus on that example: the Roman system had managed to make a city of 1.5 million sustainable, that is fully supplied with food, water, employment...This would not be achieved before the second half of the XIXth century.

Today, we all feel reassured seeing our Super Market store with plenty of food on a daily basis, so much that we feel it is a waste, well without supply, all what you see would feed the USA for 1 month or so...

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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:56 am

Balsamo

There was an article in New Scientist which looked at Social Complexity. Rome had a drop in this factor, which was a calculated number from over 70 factors gathered by the researchers, of about 10% relative to its increase. That is : the rise of the Roman Empire caused an increase in social complexity , and the fall was just 10% of the value of the rise.

I think a lot of what you said is definitely debatable, and I think you may have picked up some rather rose tinted ideas about Rome from popular literature.

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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by Balsamo » Wed Dec 07, 2016 3:04 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:Balsamo

There was an article in New Scientist which looked at Social Complexity. Rome had a drop in this factor, which was a calculated number from over 70 factors gathered by the researchers, of about 10% relative to its increase. That is : the rise of the Roman Empire caused an increase in social complexity , and the fall was just 10% of the value of the rise.

I think a lot of what you said is definitely debatable, and I think you may have picked up some rather rose tinted ideas about Rome from popular literature.


That is why i have asked for details on the article you are refering to? What were the time period under scrutiny? What were the criteria chosen.

I have never suggested that the Roman system collapsed over night. It collapsed piece by piece over a long period. And if we take the AD 1 as the peak of the Roman system, then its complexity did not guarantee its survival at all. If you had the chance to make two time travel to Rome, the first in let's say 23 AD and the second in 700 AD, you would not recognize the place at all. The place went from the most amazing city the world had ever seen to a town of 30.000 or so. This is a fact.
It is of course not like all those people left on the night of the 4th of September 476. Rome had already suffered a erosion of its urban population - about 2/3 - between the III and the VI century, it then will lose an additional 90% between the VI and the VIII century.
More globally, the world population actually declined around 25% between 1 AD and 500 AD...A a trend, big cities which can be identified as the summum of complexity - think about all the challenges required to make a city of million viable - well big cities just disappeared one after the other...It was a period of "des-urbanization", and actually the trend was to become less and less complex, as far as human structures are concerned. I speak over the long haul here.

As you might have guessed, i do not agree with your theory.
To take your example:
Imagine a small tribe, with one skilled tool maker. If he dies, the economy suffers dramatically. If he has no apprentice, the damage may be permanent. Then think of a modern city. No single person, or even group of 100 people, are that vital. The greater complexity of the city economy confers stability, and resistance to collapse.


The problem is that such a tribe does not exist and never did exist. There is no such thing as an economy, even local, organized around 1 individuals. If one invents premises that don't exist, one can prove anything.
History actually shows the opposite: as told above, the difference between the "Antiquity" and the "middle Ages" is precisely that the system ceased to be organized around Huge cities - like heart of Empire - the very concept of big cities will actually disappear for a millennium.
Athene had a population of hundreds of thousands when Jesus was born, but a population of 12.000 in 1832 !!!!!ç
Constantinople - once a city of 300.000 and more, had only 40 or 50.000 inhabitants when it fell in 1453.

The existence and the functioning a a city like New York requires an astonishing amount of conditions - hence it is complexity at its best - if any of them fails, the functioning and therefore its existence would be compromised. Just imagine New York without electric supply...

Now of course if the article you are referring to analyzes Rome between 450 and 500, you can get other results, but it would miss the big trend.

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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Wed Dec 07, 2016 6:37 pm

Balsamo

Of course cities grow and shrink. Nothing new about that. But they do not collapse due to economic complexity. My thesis is that complexity increases stability of economies.

Rome became a lesser city for many reasons, and I do not think that historians have ever agreed on what those reasons really are. But the economy continued, even though spread. For example, there was a major movement from Rome to Constantinople. Even after 600 AD, when the empire shrank, the economy of Rome in Constantinople continued. When Islamic peoples took over that great city, it was a great economy. Under their rule, if anything, it grew.

Primitive economies have always existed. I used an extreme example to make a point, with one skilled toolmaker. Most tribes will have more than one, but hopefully you can see the point I was making. A small tribe, with a small economy, is far less stable than a big economy, because a small change can have great consequences.

Disasters happen, but not because an economy is complex. Mostly they happen because of the traditional problems of war, famine and disease.

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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:18 am

thanks Matt.

"
bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
Here's my simple rule: 10 cents per stock fee on every trade.


to be clear, the fee more often expressed as tenth's of cents per stock should have been " a fee of 10 cents per stock traded." The .o1 cents per stock is meant to discourage large machine trades that last only milliseconds as a glitch in the system allowing for arbitrage that only computers can do. Ten cents a share would discourage speculative stock trading.

I agree the ONLY PROPER FUNCTION of the stock market is to raise capital funds. Sadly......that doesn't even take place at IPO's. what proper functions do take place is an artifice evidently too small to quash by our overlords...and allows the good PR such as you express.
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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by Balsamo » Thu Dec 08, 2016 12:47 pm

Matthew Ellard wrote:
Paul Anthony wrote:When the Roman Empire collapsed, was it more complex or less complex than it had been before?
Which Roman Empire? The Eastern or Western?

In theory, the last Eastern Emperor only died in 1453 AD.

(Constantine introduced the back up system for emperors with the Tetrarchy! )
:D
tetrarchs.jpg


Wasn't that Diocletien who created the Tetrarchy?

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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by Balsamo » Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:40 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:Balsamo

Of course cities grow and shrink. Nothing new about that. But they do not collapse due to economic complexity. My thesis is that complexity increases stability of economies.

Rome became a lesser city for many reasons, and I do not think that historians have ever agreed on what those reasons really are. But the economy continued, even though spread. For example, there was a major movement from Rome to Constantinople. Even after 600 AD, when the empire shrank, the economy of Rome in Constantinople continued. When Islamic peoples took over that great city, it was a great economy. Under their rule, if anything, it grew.

Primitive economies have always existed. I used an extreme example to make a point, with one skilled toolmaker. Most tribes will have more than one, but hopefully you can see the point I was making. A small tribe, with a small economy, is far less stable than a big economy, because a small change can have great consequences.

Disasters happen, but not because an economy is complex. Mostly they happen because of the traditional problems of war, famine and disease.


It all depends on the definitions you want to use. What does "collapse" mean? Economic activities will never cease to exist, but when one take a ratio 100 and that numbers does to 50, i personally call this plunge a collapse. When the population of a major city whether Rome, Athene or Constantinople goes from 1.5 million to 30.000 or as your last example is Constantinople from over 300.000 to 40.000...I do speak of a collapse and it had obvious consequences on Europe's economy as a whole.

Along with the decline of the Antique Roman system, came the decline of means of communication, the famous "Roman Route" were neglected and disappeared, traveling long distance had become much more dangerous and insecure, the merchandise had to cross much more "borders", common laws also retreated, etc. All attempts to restore an Empire failed in the end and the result will be feudalism. And in the end the very nature of the economy changed completely, hence the disappearing of metropolis for 1000 years.
It does not mean that Economic activities disappeared completely, of course, just that "All Roads" were no longer "leading to Rome".

I guess the point here is not to debate about the reasons why the Roman Empire did not survive, but in the context of this discussion, one of the elements is that it went bankrupt.

Actually when the Arabs took over Constantinople, the city had only 40.000 people left (1/10th) and its population was miserable, bankrupted by the continuous wars the last Emperors had to wage. But Yes, the Arabs were good traders too, and new commercial links with the far east brought a new form of prosperity to the city, but not through the same system. The Christian businessmen actually ironically returned to Italy (hence the Renaissance there), Italy by then was a mosaic of city-States competing each others.


A small tribe, with a small economy, is far less stable than a big economy, because a small change can have great consequences.


I still think this is a faulty premise.

Let's take another example: My first personal computer had 3 Ram, you had to update its power according to your need. Its functioning was pretty simple, problems were easily identifiable, and the system was very stable.
Today's computer needs tens of millions of Ram, and when shits start to appear, you basically need software to identify the problem, and the least one can say is that it did not bring more stability to systems.

The same goes with cars. I have a 39 years old Toyota Landcruiser (BJ40). When you open the hood, things are pretty simple, everyone with some basics in mechanic can fixed it, which is why they survive so long.
If you have a problem with a new car full of electronics, you need a computer to identify the problem. No computer, no fix. And even then a small problem can turn into a nightmare, because the malfunctioning of one circuit can affect another, etc.

The less complex the easier it is to identify and fix the problem.

As a rule, the more a system is complex, the more it needs energy. This higher need of energy in itself brings new challenges, often solved by more complexity, requiring...well energy. So things get exponential. (sorry, you might have guessed that i am not a native English speaker/writer). Of course, everything is fine as long as the yields are superior to the need of energy, that is as long as complexity leads to higher yields. Real problem starts when yields are decreasing while complexity still increases. And at some points, the cost of complexity will exceed the yields. (This is one of the elements for the fall of the Roman system, btw)
On additional problem is that complexity or "complexitization" is a dynamic which makes it very difficult to stop, while simplification is not. This is why complexity may persist even while the system is tumbling down.

To conclude i would say that both simple economy and complex one can equally derail, the main difference is that in simple economies, problems are easy to identify - and as a consequence, to fix, while this is not the case in complex ones. In those, the system can be broken long before we are able to even identify what is broken. Complexity will also lead to this problem to spead silently like a cancer does, and when the problem is finally identified, it is often too late. In modern economics, we speak of Systemic threats.

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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:16 pm

On cars.

I have owned cars over a period of 45 years. My first cars were simple, and crappy. They broke down all the damn time. My latest car is a Toyota Camry, with on board computer, multiple air bags, computer brakes, and a raft of complications. It is also the most reliable car, by far, that I have ever owned. Simplicity does not confer reliability. Reliability in cars comes from good design and strict quality controls in manufacturing.

As I said, my thesis is that economies gain stability from complexity. Sure, other kinds of disasters do happen. Rome collapsed for an ill defined reason, and I have seen numerous hypotheses put forward as to why. Not one of those hypotheses relates to economic complexity. As I also said, the New Scientist put forward a study that showed the fall of Rome involved a reduction in social complexity of only 10%.

I would dispute your phrase 'cost of complexity'. I have seen no evidence that it carries a cost. Quite the opposite.

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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by Balsamo » Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:05 pm

Last edited by Balsamo on Thu Dec 08, 2016 10:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:26 pm

Possibly

I could not access the paper from your reference, so I cannot be sure.

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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Thu Dec 08, 2016 9:12 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:Reliability in cars comes from good design and strict quality controls in manufacturing..
Yep.... required to overcome how complex they are.

Cars used to be designed to fall apart after three years. And they did.

I would love a simple car you could fix with a hammer. NOT the cars of today where if you get a pin prick hole in a vacuum hose the car won't start and you can't diagnose anything.

My first car needed a new cable from the battery to the alternator. I took one off a different model junk car and made it work. Last year...same cable function cost $450 to replace. It connected about 5 different items in the engine and took three hours to replace. Cars are more reliable, but so complex you can't work on them anymore. Progress?..... Like everything... depends.

I think as others have said you mostly are dealing with actual collapse but rapid restarts, redundancies in the system. When 3-4-10 factors affect an outcome and you make no distinction between them....you can say any of the 10 "caused" the effect you see. More interesting: how is the complexity we have generated maintained?

Logically, when a local society fails....does it become more or less complex? Wouldn't the failed status be the more stable one?
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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by Balsamo » Fri Dec 09, 2016 12:29 am

Lance:

I would dispute your phrase 'cost of complexity'. I have seen no evidence that it carries a cost. Quite the opposite.


Really?
Good luck if you want to prove that complexity comes "for free"...
Hard to explain the obvious, but you will agree that a 2 cells form of live requires less energy than a Human body, right?

To make it simple, i will take the example of a coal mine. There was a time when in some place you could just pick up the coal directly from the ground (the surface). No real complexity needed to get the coal = cheap energy.
The cheap coal will eventually dry up.
Obviously there is still more coal in the ground, behind the surface, so it is just a matter of digging in. Here is the start of complexity.
Now that you need to dig, you will need shovels, wood planks, nails...the deeper you go the more complex it gets, soon new needs arise: steel, rails, elevators, light...need to electrify the mine, you'll also need more and more miners to keep the productivity at level: All these things are not FREE, you have to invest.

As stated above, as long as the yields are greater than the investments (complexity), everyone is happy. Up to the point when the needs brought by the complexity of your mine is superior to its yield. In this case, the mine is closed.
Now, the same thing applies to society, it gets complex as a result of responding to challenges or in search of efficiency (administration), to increase productivity (economic), to increase education (Research/development),...Well all these things come with a cost, as unfortunately you have to pay civil servants, invest in Research, built infrastructure, new factories, new college...
And all those new needs contains their own requirements, issues and challenges...Hence the dynamical nature of the complexization. None of these things are FOR FREE.

Again, as long as the yields are compensating the costs, everything is ok. But there is always a point where the bureaucracy turns into a inefficient monster (administration), where the level of debts does not compensate the yields from investments (economic), and when there are just to many skilled students (devaluation of diplomas)...

If you read the news, you would have noticed that European States mainly are asked to adopt austerity measures to CUT COSTS which all involve reduction of public administration (that is to sack civil servants, to reduce public services and State involvement in these through "privatizations", to reinstate "numerus clausus" in Public Universities...regardless of the social consequences of those measures.

Now you can shut down a losing money coal mine, a company full of debts can get bankrupt, but you cannot shut down a society, right?

Lance:

As I said, my thesis is that economies gain stability from complexity.


I am sorry to say that i have not read anything like a "thesis" up to now, just some funny statements, and a reference to an unknown article. It is about time to corroborate your assertion with arguments, if you are interested in this discussion. Like sharing the points the article is making.

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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:40 am

To kibitz:

1. You missed the all important birth of the industrial revolution itself: the invention and use of steam engines to pump water out of those deeper mines.

2. disconcerting jump to devalued diplomas. From a remote discussion???

3. Start by defining what complexity even means? How it is measured?
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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Fri Dec 09, 2016 2:14 am

Bobbo and Balsamo

You have both been voicing a fallacy. I am not sure what this fallacy is called, but it is what happens when you rely on deduction rather than observing reality.

Bobbo. On cars.
When I was a kid in 1960, a crappy but brand new Morris 1000 car cost $NZ 2,000 which was (coincidentally) the average income here in NZ at the time. Today the average income is more like $ 50,000 and that would buy two brand new small cars, such as a Toyota Yaris, both vastly better than the crappy old Morris 1000. The Yaris is safer, more economical, faster, more acceleration, starts easier, has power steering, computer brakes, air bags, and lots more features that were not even pipe dreams in 1960. Note that the greater complexity did NOT result in greater price. Quite the reverse. You might have a great love of old sh*t, but give me a modern car any day. Your 'logic' is faulty.

Balsamo

You used the example of coal. Believe it or not, but your 'logic' is also faulty. Coal today, regardless of how much more complex it is to extract, is cheaper in inflation adjusted money than any other time in history. For example, 15 years ago, in the USA, coal sold at $US 40 per ton at the mine gate. Today, it is $US 40 per ton. Allowing for inflation, that is much cheaper. Complexity does not carry the kind of cost your crappy logic suggests.

Both examples show that adding complexity does not have to add cost. If you look at computers, and the history of price versus complexity, you will see a clear cut inverse relationship between cost and complexity over time. Of course, this does not mean that complexity cuts costs. But it does show that complexity does not have to increase costs, either. Cost is determined by many factors, rather than by complexity.

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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by Matthew Ellard » Fri Dec 09, 2016 2:25 am

Lance Kennedy wrote: The Yaris is safer, more economical, faster, more acceleration, starts easier, has power steering, computer brakes, air bags, and lots more features that were not even pipe dreams in 1960. .


Off Topic
I drive a Yaris. I love it.
:D

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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Fri Dec 09, 2016 2:30 am

A hoot owl and an earth worm both "observe reality." Humans observe reality and deduce causation and predict the future. Its ALL DEDUCTION.... with very little induction. Ha, ha......like when I observe you don't even know what you are doing.

As to cars: imagine a simple basic stripped carbeuretted car designed and made today. What would its cost and reliability be? And when needing repair, what would it cost. IE....I observe you missed the whole point regarding designed obsolescence.

................. I do not observe your definition of complexity. Humans have existed all the time they have existed. Where is lack of stability demonstrated?...was it caused by lack of complexity.... or HUNS coming across the river?
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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Fri Dec 09, 2016 2:33 am

Matthew.

Well done. Good, well informed choice of motor vehicle.

Just another example. Take food.
For most of our forum members, that is the USA. So let us look at food prices in the USA over 100 years.
Household incomes over that time have increased 4000%. Overall food prices have increased only 2000% in spite of a much greater tendency to eat away from home. So food is half the price. Yet the complexity of preparing food for sale, with modern food standards, packaging, presentation etc has increased dramatically. Again there is no financial cost from the greater complexity.

Bobbo
The stability I am talking about is economic. That is shown by steady economic growth, as opposed to violent swings up and down. There was a small swing in 2008, and the previous significant swing was 1928. Mostly our complex economies maintains steady growth with only occasional small hiccoughs.

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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:00 am

Thanks for the definition. Hmmmm....so...with the average American having no economic growth over the last 30 years and our kiddies facing a lower expectations as to jobs, security and life style and health, we have just tipped into ............ what?? Economies being distinct and separate from the people within those economies??? Seems like a meaningless exercise.

No....I think you are being impossibly vague in what stability or complexity even means, including how to measure it..... and for what insight?

Keep forgetting to say regarding just observing reality and deducing or not: how do you know its not stability that is creating complexity? Across cultures and time, that proposition seems more defensible..... however we decide to define those terms?
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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Fri Dec 09, 2016 4:55 am

Bobbo

The USA averages about 2% economic growth per year, though the last three months saw 1.4%, which is very good. The growth rate is quite consistent, meaning stability.

Is stability creating complexity?
I am sure there is a link. An obvious link is that stability in economic terms creates wealth, and wealth will expand the economy, thus creating complexity. However, I suspect this is a minor factor compared to others creating wealth.

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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:15 am

Lance: you've actually highlighted what I openned the door to: the difference between people/stability and economics.

I state that peoples lives here in USA are in retrograde. Working harder only to slowly lose ground. Its occurring in every issue I can think of. Jobs, homes, schools, healthcare, family life, getting married, dating......everything. But you, and too many others, counter this with some true but sadly irrelevant "economy" BS. YES...economy is growing....but who is stealing all its benefits? Those top 1%'ers thats who. While the bottom 99% shrinks by 4 % the top 1% is doubling and tripling. You call that stability and I call it america about to come undone at the seams.......hence the election of Trump.... a last gasp before outright revolution. but American will still be here after the deluge...so quite stable.

As I keep saying...the generality is a red herring. The "real" analysis is who is benefiting and who is being hurt. In this case, the 1% vs the Rest of Us.

You say yes there is a link. You are proposing CAUSATION... not links between this and that. Keep the subject vague, keep changing the metrics, use undefined terms........... and you can link anything to anything else. But what is the causation?

The more I vaguely think about it, its stability that causes complexity. but I'll grant you that there are links between stability and/or complexity and economic activity. Wait....is that what we are talking about???? Ha, ha.
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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Fri Dec 09, 2016 6:18 pm

Bobbo

I have always believed there was something very sick about the USA. You only have to look at the insanity surrounding guns! However, if you are going to suggest that the 2% per annum positive economic growth only affects the rich, you had better come up with some solid and credible references.

In the mean time, I will simply appreciate more and more the simple fact that I live in a sane country.

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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Fri Dec 09, 2016 9:54 pm

Of course "the economy" and its metrics affects everyone...... but not as you imply: equally.

thats why the metric measure has changed from individual wage earners who 40 years ago could afford a house, car, medical, education and kiddies..... while today it takes two working people to form a "household" to accomplish the same. But the "economy" is till growing every years. Can you see the issue?

As stated: working people/middle class real income flat or decreasing over time while top 1% income/wealth is going up in multiples.

As stated Lance: you miscomprehend some very basic "facts" about economics.

I don't know which is worse in America. The presence of too many guns, churches, or Republicans. Its a race to the bottom of the barrel. Too many people like you confusing economy with a whole slew of things: like people.
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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Fri Dec 09, 2016 10:44 pm

Bobbo

Poverty is a bit hard to define. Not being able to afford a house is not unusual. It has been the lot of every poorer person throughout history. Real estate is one of the few things that appreciate faster than inflation, though that is true only in some places, such as cities. As more and more people gravitate to live in cities, the land area does not grow, making house prices anywhere near the center become more expensive. But that is a choice. There are still plenty of places to live where houses are much cheaper. While my knowledge of real estate prices is not based on the USA, I am willing to bet that homes in rural areas are cheap enough for the average person to buy.

But, outside of city real estate prices, most things are actually becoming cheaper in real terms (inflation adjusted). If you avoid buying things with artificially raised prices (like designer label products), you can get pretty much anything for a lot less money in real terms compared to a few decades back.

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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by Balsamo » Sun Dec 11, 2016 12:04 am

Lance:
You used the example of coal. Believe it or not, but your 'logic' is also faulty. Coal today, regardless of how much more complex it is to extract, is cheaper in inflation adjusted money than any other time in history. For example, 15 years ago, in the USA, coal sold at $US 40 per ton at the mine gate. Today, it is $US 40 per ton. Allowing for inflation, that is much cheaper. Complexity does not carry the kind of cost your crappy logic suggests


LOL... Makes me wonder if you actually know what "logic" means.
If you keep changing criteria, mixing apples and oranges, chose to ignore every element that does not fit in your "logic"...Well, you can conclude whatever you want that makes you happy.
Market prices do fluctuate for various reasons that have nothing to do with complexity.

Both examples show that adding complexity does not have to add cost.


It always does add costs, it just can also have beneficial effects like production increase (access to previously inaccessible veins, reduction of manpower, etc). I have never suggested that complexity cannot be "cost efficient", just that as with any dynamic, there is a point where it ceases to have beneficial effects. Those additional costs of complexity, are called "investments" (sound ones) when they have beneficial effects.

You example with computers just ignore all the investments made by firms like Intel, AMD, Microsoft, IBM, etc. They have paid for the costs, but those costs were compensated by the benefits of making the PC more accessible. The Computer current price does not erase the price of achieving making it accessible to all (or almost).

For most of our forum members, that is the USA. So let us look at food prices in the USA over 100 years.
Household incomes over that time have increased 4000%. Overall food prices have increased only 2000% in spite of a much greater tendency to eat away from home. So food is half the price.


This is right, prices of basic foods have basically decreased in the USA...(this affirmation is wrong in Latin America, though), but it is certainly not due to "complexization". Quite the contrary, it is the result of mass production - and that involves the disappearance of small actors to the benefits of big corporations - you now have mono culture over hundreds thousands of acres, livestocks are raised in infamous gigantic ranch, etc.

Lance:
The stability I am talking about is economic.


It is not that obvious, Lance. Sometimes you mention "social complexity", sometimes economic complexity, and more recently market prices...
If you speak of 1929 or 2008 as small swings, i can only conclude that you missed completely what happened and only shows that you just do not understand the basic concepts that you are using.

You proudly point out steady growth...Do you know just how this growth is measured? Is you number the Nominal growth or the real one? For your information, real growth in the US for 2015 was 1.88%, and it is expected to slow to around 1.5% in 2016. And in order to get those numbers, you have to reduce inflation to a minimum - the most used practice being to organize a basket of goods which gives a nice place to product that are cheaper every year and to neutralize the "energy effect" - and here you have your CPI. If real inflation was used, it is highly probable that not much would be left of the Nominal growth you seem to refer to.

Anyway, our societies are not adapted for such anemic growth, and the worse is to observe what is currently needed to maintained this mockery of "stable growth"... Huge and insane monetary intensives, insane tax breaks, and the sacrifice of the basic concept of "public wealth". States are broke. Budget's deficit is twice as high as your growth, and public debt is now over 19 trillion $, that is 102% of GDP, and it keeps growing every second. Those 19.000.000.000.000 USD are upon the shoulders of every US citizens...

Maybe you should plan a travel to Greece, it is beautiful, and you not only will see what real poverty can look like in a Western country - how it was affected by one of those "little swing" of their economy, where pensions had been cut by a 1/3, or in Cyprus where all bank accounts over 150.000 or so have been confiscated. In Portugal, the minimum wage has been reduced to 450 euros, that is not even 500$ a month!

Actually, i even start to doubt that you understood the article of New Scientist you are referring to, as i just found a another article by Deborah Mackenzie that contradicts most if not all your certainties.

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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Sun Dec 11, 2016 1:57 am

I am pleased you admit complexity does not add costs. Of course complexity can make things more efficient. The thing though, which adds or reduces costs, more than anything else, is how smart the people are who design and make stuff. There are other factors, like competition. Complexity is not the problem.

The fact that the USA is technically broke, but continues to do business, and supply a pretty good standard of living to its people, shows that economic vulnerability is less than you think.

An

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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sun Dec 11, 2016 2:57 am

Its hard to find a subject with as much undefined bloviating nonsense as this one......

I could go from bottom to top, but I'll just take the last sentence for an instance:

The fact that the USA is technically broke, /// "technically broke"...that can't mean penniless.... I see lots of pennies. It could mean bankrupt in some undefined hyperbollic way but it can't mean technically bankrupt because technically a Sovereign cannot go bankrupt....it just goes into a bout of insane inflation until the currency is reset........... you know......... "technically."

but continues to do business, /// yes, the very opposite of bankrupt as in "failure to meet obligations" ....... you know ........ technically

and supply a pretty good standard of living to its people, //// confusing your own status with the mean, mode, median declining over time does not show any insight at all ........... you know .......... not even technically.

shows that economic vulnerability is less than you think. //// You mean like a dam with a crack in it while the water keeps building up behind it that it is less vulnerable than you think? That kind of thinking? ..... you know ......... technically?
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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Sun Dec 11, 2016 6:46 am

Bobbo


The dam with a crack in it metaphor is quite inappropriate. The USA has been technically broke for a long time, and keeps right on keeping on. Its economy is not about to collapse.

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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by Balsamo » Sun Dec 11, 2016 9:03 pm

Lance Kennedy:

I am pleased you admit complexity does not add costs.


Thank you for confirming that you do have a "reading comprehension" problem.
Actually, that explains a lot.

Image

Image

I am done with it, and to conclude with some humor, that is for you:

[ytube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rY-HOYTz-rs[/ytube]

It was a pleasure to chat with you, King Arnulf, oups sorry, Lance Kennedy...

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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Sun Dec 11, 2016 9:21 pm

Balsamo

Reading comprehension requires first and foremost, written material that is clear and unambiguous.

IF I fail to understand what you have written, then your first rational act is to take a look at what you have written and discover YOUR error, that makes your message ambiguous.

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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by Balsamo » Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:23 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:Balsamo

Reading comprehension requires first and foremost, written material that is clear and unambiguous.

IF I fail to understand what you have written, then your first rational act is to take a look at what you have written and discover YOUR error, that makes your message ambiguous.


:lol:

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Re: Complexity creates stability.

Post by OlegTheBatty » Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:28 pm

Balsamo wrote:Well all these things come with a cost, as unfortunately you have to pay civil servants, invest in Research, built infrastructure, new factories, new college...
And all those new needs contains their own requirements, issues and challenges...Hence the dynamical nature of the complexization. None of these things are FOR FREE.


Lance Kennedy wrote:I am pleased you admit complexity does not add costs.


:scratch:
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