25 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2022
  2. Jul 2022
    1. experiments in laboratories by the economistVernon Smith and his colleagues have long confirmed thatmarkets in goods and services for immediate consum ption -haircuts and hamburgers - work so well that it is hard to designthem so they fail to deliver efficiency and innovation; whilemarkets in assets are so automatically prone to bubbles andcrashes that it is hard to design them so they work at all.
  3. Dec 2021
    1. if they were princes there's 00:20:20 one famous example from Liguria which archeologists you know I feel just love to give names to things so they call this particular burial deeply G Bay and now if he really was prince in the 00:20:34 Machiavellian sense then presumably he would have got people to do more on his behalf than just make very elaborate headdresses out of small shells he would have had them you know for little armies

      Il Principe, a dwarf with elaborate headdress made out of small seashells.

      What if this were a mnemonic device used to encode cultural knowledge which only this person had possession of? Burying it with him would make sense as it wouldn't have the same sort of intrinsic value to his friends or relatives who would either have had their own or potentially passed them down.

      This would particularly have been the case if he was younger and hadn't had the time to have an apprentice or been able to pass the knowledge on otherwise.

      From a "royal burial" perspective, it would have been a highly valuable grave good because of the information attached to it and not because of the time and effort or beauty it possessed.

      Pursue this train of thought further...

    1. 3. The fish farming story from my Non-Libertarian FAQ 2.0: As a thought experiment, let’s consider aquaculture (fish farming) in a lake. Imagine a lake with a thousand identical fish farms owned by a thousand competing companies. Each fish farm earns a profit of $1000/month. For a while, all is well. But each fish farm produces waste, which fouls the water in the lake. Let’s say each fish farm produces enough pollution to lower productivity in the lake by $1/month. A thousand fish farms produce enough waste to lower productivity by $1000/month, meaning none of the fish farms are making any money. Capitalism to the rescue: someone invents a complex filtering system that removes waste products. It costs $300/month to operate. All fish farms voluntarily install it, the pollution ends, and the fish farms are now making a profit of $700/month – still a respectable sum. But one farmer (let’s call him Steve) gets tired of spending the money to operate his filter. Now one fish farm worth of waste is polluting the lake, lowering productivity by $1. Steve earns $999 profit, and everyone else earns $699 profit. Everyone else sees Steve is much more profitable than they are, because he’s not spending the maintenance costs on his filter. They disconnect their filters too. Once four hundred people disconnect their filters, Steve is earning $600/month – less than he would be if he and everyone else had kept their filters on! And the poor virtuous filter users are only making $300. Steve goes around to everyone, saying “Wait! We all need to make a voluntary pact to use filters! Otherwise, everyone’s productivity goes down.” Everyone agrees with him, and they all sign the Filter Pact, except one person who is sort of a jerk. Let’s call him Mike. Now everyone is back using filters again, except Mike. Mike earns $999/month, and everyone else earns $699/month. Slowly, people start thinking they too should be getting big bucks like Mike, and disconnect their filter for $300 extra profit… A self-interested person never has any incentive to use a filter. A self-interested person has some incentive to sign a pact to make everyone use a filter, but in many cases has a stronger incentive to wait for everyone else to sign such a pact but opt out himself. This can lead to an undesirable equilibrium in which no one will sign such a pact. The more I think about it, the more I feel like this is the core of my objection to libertarianism, and that Non-Libertarian FAQ 3.0 will just be this one example copy-pasted two hundred times. From a god’s-eye-view, we can say that polluting the lake leads to bad consequences. From within the system, no individual can prevent the lake from being polluted, and buying a filter might not be such a good idea.

      Wow, ok so he is telling me that basic free-rider problem with some probability of defection is why he gets libertarianism doesn't work ... Great, that was easy.

      Basically it's as simple as waving a big sign saying "public goods".

  4. Nov 2021
    1. 2021 has heralded the dawn of a new form of hyper-carbon-intensive luxury travel, space tourism, in which hundreds of tonnes of carbon can be burned in just a ten-minute flight for around four passengers.28

      These should be identified.

    2. Gösling and Humpe found that no more than 1% of the world population likely accounts for half of aviation emissions.30

      Wow! Will carbon neutral fuels be greenwashing or real solutions? Will carbon neutral SpaceX flights be greenwashing, or real carbon neutrality?

  5. Oct 2021
    1. A common good (CG) process begins with an initiator proposing the production of a common good. Then, during the predefined lifetime of the process, funders who care about this common good may pledge funds for its production, being reassured that their money will only be used retroactively, had the common good been eventually produced — no risk taken. Executors who wish to produce the common good may do so, being reassured that they will be compensated by the pledged funds had they been successful. And profit-seeking investors may buy a portion of the potential reward from executors (in the form of per-executor tokens that are made redeemable against the future reward had they been successful), and by that provide them with liquid funding for operation. Finally, if and when executors achieve the desired outcome, as decreed by a predefined judge, the pledged funds are released as a reward to the successful executors and the investors who bought their tokens. If no success has been reached after some predefined limit of time, the funds go back to the funders who provided them. Executors and investors only see profit, and funders only spend it, if and only when the common good is produced.

      A trustless conditional reward model for production of common goods.

  6. Sep 2021
    1. y. Already, in 1796, the trade was complaining at the competition of French and Swiss watches; the complaints continue to grow in the early years of the nineteenth century. The Clockmakers' Company alleged in 1813 that the smuggling of cheap gold watches has assumed major proportions, and that these were sold by jewellers, haberdashers, milliners, dressmakers, French toy-shops, perfumers, etc., "almost entirely for the use of the upper classes of society".

      I wonder at the history of counterfeit goods. At what point in a market does it typically begin to happen? Is there some level of profit margin which kicks in due to lack of competition? What are the effects of brand within the space of fashion?

    1. What happens to this graph when we overlay pure capitalism instead of a mixed economy? What if this spectrum was put on a different axis altogether? What does the current climate of the United states look like when graphed out on it. Which parts have diminished over the past 50 years with the decrease in regulation?

      four quadrant diagram of market goods, club goods, common goods, and public goods graphed along the axes of excludability and rivalry

      Some of these areas benefit heavily by government intervention and regulation.

      We need the ability to better protect both common and public goods.


      • rivalry: does use by one person physically preclude use by others?
      • excludability: do laws prohibit access to these goods?
  7. Aug 2021
  8. Apr 2021
    1. also in these mountains, there is an abundance of bread, wine, oil and all kinds of good fruits.

      Because of an abundance of such luxury goods, trade also followed and therefore was a valuabe part for economics especially when trade was booming. Because it specialized in luxury things like oil and wine, this area likely carried great wealth. One hardship of trying to trade in this area are the mountains itself, with travel technology dim it could take weeks or months to get through mountains.

  9. Mar 2021
  10. Oct 2020
    1. With shrinking budgets and outrageous prices, libraries are unable to provide all the ebooks users want, or to get a good handle on wait times. As a result, users see the library as being out-of-touch with reader needs, so they don’t fight for more funding. So funding gets cut more, so libraries can provide even less and are seen as even more out-of-touch and the cycle continues.

      The viscous circle of putting public libraries out of business.

    1. Think about fundamental tools for thought such as writing and the number system. Obviously, it’s good that those spread throughout society, unencumbered by IP concerns! More broadly, many tools of thought become more valuable for society as they become more ubiquitous.

      Metcalfe's Law at work here.

    2. Is it possible to avoid the public goods problem altogether?

      As Lynne Kelly indicates, knowledge is a broad public good, so it is kept by higher priests and only transferred in private ceremonies to the initiated in indigenous cultures. In many senses, we've brought the value of specific information down dramatically, but there's also so much of it now, even with writing and better dissemination, it's become more valuable again.

      I should revisit the economics of these ideas and create a model/graph of this idea over history with knowledge, value, and time on various axes.

    3. The net result is that in gaming, clever new interface ideas can be distinguishing features which become a game’s primary advantage in the marketplace.

      Innovation in the video game industry helps it solve the public goods problem. Tweaking the economics helps the high upfront development cost be recouped.

    4. Put another way, many tools for thought are public goods. They often cost a lot to develop initially, but it’s easy for others to duplicate and improve on them, free riding on the initial investment. While such duplication and improvement is good for our society as a whole, it’s bad for the companies that make that initial investment. And so such tools for thought suffer the fate of many public goods: our society collectively underinvests in them, relative to the benefits they provide
  11. Aug 2020
  12. Jun 2020
  13. Dec 2019
    1. I think that the preservation of these documents could be seen as providing pure public good. We value that these have been preserved for posterity even if we don't visit the Magna Carta ourselves. What do you think?

  14. Feb 2014
    1. MINTURN, J. The plaintiff occupied the position of a special police officer, in Atlantic City, and incidentally was identified with the work of the prosecutor of the pleas of the county. He possessed knowledge concerning the theft of certain diamonds and jewelry from the possession of the defendant, who had advertised a reward for the recovery of the property. In this situation he claims to have entered into a verbal contract with defendant, whereby she agreed to pay him $500 if he could procure for her the names and addresses of the thieves. As a result of his meditation with the police authorities the diamonds and jewelry were recovered, and plaintiff brought this suit to recover the promised reward.
      • Plaintiff makes a verbal contract with defendant. In return for $500, plaintiff will find defendant's stolen jewels.
      • Plaintiff had knowledge of whereabouts of jewels at contract formation.
      • Plaintiff is a special police officer and has dealings with prosecutor's office.
      • Defendant published advertisement for reward.
      • Plaintiff finds stolen goods and arranges return.