A new sandpit for long side discussions, conspiracy theories, idees fixes and so on.
To be clear, the sandpit is for regular commenters to pursue points that distract from regular discussion, including conspiracy-theoretic takes on the issues at hand. It’s not meant as a forum for visiting conspiracy theorists, or trolls posing as such.
21 thoughts on “Sandpit”
eliotness123 says: MAY 3, 2021 At 5:14 AM https://johnquiggin.com/2021/04/30/17752/comment-page-1/#comment-235602 commenting on Economic policy after the pandemic in response to Svante:
“Hi Svante. What was in the speech of Putin, the murderous dictator and thief that you wanted me to take note of?
Also, I didn’t get the reference to John Menadue you sent me. Was there a particular comment you wanted me to read?”
eliotness123? Is that you again Anti-Reagan? I linked the comment. Are you not literate in English? Even so there is no excuse in this context other than having ulterior motives for mistranslating a Russian idiom.
The article at Pearls and Wisdom that you or Anti-Reagan cited, “America’s place in the world under Biden: the omens betide no good”, by Joseph Camilleri mentions Putin by name four times. Here is one snippet:
Below the article some commentary corrects Dr Camilleri on the translation of the alleged Putin comment. One comment links the subtitled YT clip. Dr Camilleri accepts the corrections. Apparently even such scholars may be misled occasionally by piled on and popularised trashy propaganda.
The vid is clearly subtitled in ENGLISH in CAPITAL letters. There are extensive and verifiable confirmations and elaborations of the subtitled translation in the comments below the video in both excellent English and Russian. The short answer is to note the significantly inconvenient truth content of a ‘paraphrased’ Romans 2:1 quote directed at Biden and passed on by way of Putin’s own and additional multitudes and generations of Russian mothers’ milk as a Russian language proverb/idiom that is correctly translated by the English subtitles.
The video linked has accurate translation and edit continuity.
“”Putin says “he who said it, did it” after Biden calls Russian president a “killer”” [NB. distinct from the widely spread propaganda mistranslation of “it takes one to know one”]
1,432,808 views•Mar 19, 2021 Global News2.48M subscribers
Before posting I noted some other ostensibly similar yet very different short clips linked from that very YT page that have edited cuts, falsified translation, and glaringly obvious bogus continuity for the 5-eyes propaganda for dummies you seem happy to swallow or wish to live in ignorance of. These were soundbites or clips or the basis of deliberately false and misleading commentary and “news” that I personally was exposed to when published widely and repeatedly across Australian msm and I don’t doubt similar occurred in other 5-eyes dominions and and the dominated beyond. Many journalists are craven, many are willing liars, most are lazy… in fact there are few actual journalists of any repute. msm – monitor such meticulously.
ABC (US) with surprisingly fairly straight translation although chopped up and rearranged. Lost continuity for propaganda effect.
Putin fires back after Biden’s interview with George Stephanopoulos | WNT
364,352 views•Mar 19, 2021 ABC News 11.3M subscribers
GUARDIAN FAKE LEFT propaganda edit with the unwelcome inconvenient bit about PROJECTION cut out by an obvious amateurish clunky cut.
Putin hits back after Joe Biden ‘killer’ accusation: ‘Takes one to know one’
81,374 views•Mar 19, 2021 Guardian News 1.72M subscribers
Mudrake’s Sun with propaganda translation. Bent translation and omitted PROJECTION idiom.
Putin menacingly wishes Biden ‘good health’ after President’s ‘killer with no soul’ remarks
98,359 views•Mar 19, 2021 The Sun1.35M subscribers
Mudrake’s Fox propaganda sewer outlet. Bent translation and omitted quoted PROJECTION idiom.
Putin reportedly furious after Biden called him a ‘killer’
454,720 views•Mar 19, 2021 Fox News7.18M subscribers
Please do this proof check – for everything! I am not buying into debate, yet if you did this everyday, with a substack channel, you would probably earn a decent living.
The people who need to see this are unlikely to ever see it tho.
Somebody is ordering the killings. Somebody is carrying out the killings. I mean on all sides of the ideological divide. Russia kills people. China kills people. The USA kills people. For Putin to pretend he does not order people killed is quite ludicrous, just as it is ludicrous for the USA to deny it executes people with drones.
Sometimes, like an idiot savant, Trump told the unvarnished truth:
“I think our country does plenty of killing also… There’s a lot of stuff going on in the world right now, Joe. A lot of killing going on and a lot of stupidity and that’s the way it is.”
Unfortunately, he was justifying and accepting this status quo. For democracy and the rule of democratic law to mean anything, we have to attempt to be a bit better than that. It’s actually good business being better. Being violent and destructive is very, very costly.
Just read in the FINANCIAL TIMES the most bizarre headline I have read in fifty years. It was an article by Imani Moise out of the New York financial affairs stream. The headline read as follows:
“Cash-rich banks keen to reduce clients’ deposits” (FINANCIAL TIMES http://www.ft.com )
Moise goes on to detail instances where some of the largest merchant banks in New York are reviewing corporate clients’ demands to accommodate huge cash reserves. JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup are mentioned by name. Moise points out that in March the US Federal Reserve ended looser capital rules for banks that had been pandemic emergency measures. Later in the article, Moise stated that deposits held by the largest US banks by assets – the three above already mentioned- climbed by $US243 billion in the first quarter of 2021, after a four quarter rise in 2020 of $US1 trillion. As a sign of pre-pandemic normality, Moise stated that for all of 2019, deposits held by the big three only rose by $US92 billion.
Now leaving the problems of the big banks aside, the existence of this “flood” of cash reserves into deposit accounts suggests hoarding by corporate America. If these large corporations are parking so much money at a time of historically low interest rates, then Biden’s proposed corporate tax rise is more than timely. Hoarding can undermine economic recovery and set back medium term economic growth. Worst of all it hinders the governments attempts to reduce unemployment. With unemployment being the single most important cause of poverty, the greed of corporate America is prolonging the plight of millions of poor people in the USA.
Biden may not be the savior of democracy, as has been portrayed in certain Democratic Party propaganda, but he is at least on the right path to reduce poverty levels in the USA.
Ikon, I was unable to answer the question below. I just thought you might like to excersize your philosophy muscle with…
“Intro to Moral Accounting for Philosophers
“Philosophers, especially moral philosophers, play a crucial role in moral accounting, so I’m hoping to find some who are willing to comment or collaborate. In this post, I lay out what philosophers need to know about moral accounting (not too much!), as background for this and other posts that lay out specific questions and challenges. Most of my points summarize or elaborate on my draft monograph, The MAP: Moral Accounting Principles for Moral Accounting Engagements.
“So you know where we are headed, here is my first question for moral philosophers:
“Moral accounting treats everyone as a steward acting on behalf of society, with moral assets that are perfectly balanced by moral obligations. Does this treatment rule out any moral philosophies?
“What is Moral Accounting? “…
List of moral philosophers;
And one for ???
“What Should We Agree on about the Repugnant Conclusion?
“Late in his career, Parfit revised his prior arguments regarding the Repugnant Conclusion, calling his prior reasoning a “mistake” on the grounds that “We cannot justifiably reject strong arguments merely by claiming that their conclusions are implausible” (Parfit 2017: 154). Parfit might never have agreed with our claims 1, 2, and 3, but we agree with him that conclusions that appear implausible are sometimes true.
“Ethical arguments are widely used in public debate, everyday decision-making, and policy-making. For example, ethical arguments against social inequality and discrimination are common – although not universal, not always successful, and not always correct. Many public decisions affect the world’s future population. Population ethics is therefore an essential foundation for making these decisions properly. It is not simply an academic exercise, and we should not let it be governed by undue attention to one consideration. Perhaps someday the correct approach to axiology, social welfare, or population ethics will be agreed upon among experts. If so, we do not know whether the approach used will entail the Repugnant Conclusion. We should keep our minds open.”
What are they smoking, AstraZeneca politics, part 100: The optimum distance between AstraZeneca Vaccinations is 12 weeks. In addition, the protection from one dose is pretty good during most of those 12 weeks. Now we could all think, great we can give as many people as possible the first dose, as the UK did. Not Jens Spahn, apparently. His logic is very different: Since only the fully vaccinated enjoy exceptions from covid restriction, we can’t let people wait so long. Let’s just give them the second shot in 4 weeks, so all the newly AstraZeneca vaccinated are ready in time for the summer holidays. Based on the data, if anything, Spahn should have simply suggested to lift restrictions 3 weeks after the first dose for two dose vaccines that are already relatively efficient after the first shot (read AstraZeneca).
Oh, here comes part 99, shortly before:
One would think general practitioners should vaccinate mainly with AstraZeneca, since their main goal group are the elderly who are too immobile or to paranoid to get vaccinated anywhere other than their doctor around the corner. Those are also the ones, for which AstraZeneca is recommended due to the non-existing risk of a deadly immune overreaction in that age cohort. Plus its easiest to store, thus better for small scale operations.
Not so. The doctors get Pfizer of course! Why you ask? First and most convincing: Because they want to, and who would disagree with the doctors’ association, no matter how often the Aparatschikies proof they are a bunch of greedy anti-scientific know nothing’s. Second: Because the doctor’s association thinks it is far too much to ask doctors to talks the paranoid elderlies out of AstraZenneca scare at a rate of 20€ a shot*. No joke, the doctors association head said the vaccine is great, it is just too much work to convince people, so we deserve the Pfizer one, let the government run vaccination centres do the heavy lifting.
*Our neighbour already complained about the low payment before the scare started, One really has to wonder how much doctors make in the 3 minutes a vaccination takes otherwise.
In my opinion, Parfit’s conclusion as stated is logically incoherent. The quotes I have seen do not state the proposition clearly.
“For any possible population of at least ten billion people, all with a very high quality of life, there must be some much larger imaginable population whose existence, if other things are equal, would be better even though its members have lives that are barely worth living” (Parfit 1984).
Why does the population have to be at least ten billion? How could their existence be better if the members have lives that are barely worth living? As stated, the proposition is logically incoherent. I assume he is referring to the area under the bar graph. A 100 people each with 100 units of happiness presumably have a total of 10,000 units of happiness. But 10,000 people each with 2 units of happiness would be individually quite miserable but would have 20,000 units of total happiness. This seems to be the “sic” interpretation of the Parfit’s proposition. I am astonished that people get (kind of) famous and quoted by writing such rubbish.
Parfit’s conclusion is a mere instance (and one poorly expressed at that) of the “Mere Addition Paradox” which really in such cases should be termed “The Mere Addition Fallacy”. It is a not a paradox but a fallacy created by false (illogical) reasoning. There’s enough discussion in the Wikipedia entry to show that Parfit’s conclusion is nonsense. There is no repugnant conclusion just a failure to note the illogic generated by the mere addition fallacy.
Specifically, the first problem lies in the assumption that the “better than” relation is transitive in the proposed case. In pure mathematics the “greater than” relation IS transitive:
whenever x > y and y > z, then also x > z
Here, we are talking of pure quantities without scientific or real dimensions.
If we add real dimensions (as defined in the SI) the transitive relation holds
whenever x meters > y meters and y meters > z meters, then also x meters > z meters.
We can reverse the operation by cancelling out all the meters and return to the original equation.
However, when we are talking of subjective dimensions like “happiness” the problem is that “happinesses” are not equatable, addable and subtractable like meters. There is no objective measuing stick of the nultiple kinds of happinesses and unhappinesses possible. It involves what I woudl call “The fallacy of quantification in a subjective dimension”.
There is another problem. The whole proposition falls afoul of the fallacy of composition. A society of X persons with a certain amount of happiness each (on average if we could even quantify it) may well be a functional society, A society of 10X persons with “lives barely worth living” is hardly likely to be a functional and sustainable society. Interactions would rapidly spin out of control into rebellion, repression, violence, cruelty, deaths and collapse. The amount of happiness around would rapidly plummet to widespread misery.
So, in summary the proposition is absurd: a logic game refutable by proper logic and of no practical empirical application whatsoever unless it be perhaps a (fallacious) rhetorical argument harnessed to argue for endless population growth.
As I say, I am astonished that people get (kind of) famous and quoted by writing such easily refutable rubbish.
Addendum to the above:
There appears to be a better expression of the proposition.
“For any perfectly equal Population with very high positive welfare, there is a population with very low positive welfare which is better, other things being equal.”
I have introduced the term “happiness” which is not present in either proposition form. This is a blogging mistake on my part: a mistake one makes when writing quickly. The proposition forms respectively use the terms “high quality of life” and “welfare”.
“Happiness” is an interpolated substitute for these terms and I ought to refine my argument. However, I think my basic argument stands. “Happiness” is qualitative and “high quality of life” is qualitative by self definition. Thus far my argument would stand. “Welfare” would need a definition. What is the economic (or philsophical) definition of welfare? I assume It could have both quantitative and qualitative terms. As an additive (or multiplicative) value it will possess an inescapable qualitative dimension. I think my argument stands.
Hi Ikon. I thought Svante might comment on the “Repugnant Conclusion”, and you on moral accounting. Your comment is nicely encapsulated – I think – in the Wikipedia article below “the “Mere addition paradox” article tab “Alternative usage” “by Hassoun in 2010”.
In the article “What Should We Agree on about the Repugnant Conclusion?”, I did react to the 10bn.
– Yet, it states that the Repugnant Conclusion was important for the ‘pioneering’ stage of population ethics. And as the original contains “possible population” and “imaginable population”
– I thought it was a thought experiment by Parfit. And “catalysing and inspiring” for population ethics philosophy.
– And also it states “”It may be unrealistic that the much larger population in the Repugnant Conclusion could ever exist.”
“This conclusion has been the subject of several formal proofs of incompatibility in the literature (Ng 1989; Arrhenius 2000, forthcoming) and has been an enduring focus of population ethics.
“The Repugnant Conclusion served an important purpose in catalyzing and inspiring the pioneering stage of population ethics research. We believe, however, that the Repugnant Conclusion now receives too much focus.”
In a Wikipedia article “Mere addition paradox” it says… “this would be a population in which every member is leading a life barely worth living. Parfit claims that it is Z that is the repugnant conclusion.”
It reminded me of the “better off test” in reverse.
And reading the “Mere addition paradox” article tab “Alternative usage” says:
“An alternative use of the term mere addition paradox was presented in a paper by Hassoun in 2010. It identifies paradoxical reasoning that occurs when certain statistical measures are used to calculate results over a population.”…
All of which is shedding light on lies, damned lies & statstics. Important for population ethics.
You said “There is no objective measuing stick of the nultiple kinds of happinesses and unhappinesses possible. It involves what I woudl call “The fallacy of quantification in a subjective dimension”.
So I searched for “The fallacy of quantification in a subjective dimension”. Sounded reasonable and I appreciated you were able to abstract into an ‘Ikon-ic Fallacy”.
Daniel Bonevac may be interesting.
“- First, ontological considerations have figured in philosophical discussion at least since the time of Plato; figures throughout philosophical history have debated questions of ontological commitment without using those words.
– Second, Quine [1939; 1951; 1960] treats his thesis that to be is to be a value of a variable as a substantive claim, not as a stipulative definition.
– Third, as Szabo emphasizes, it is not clear that ordinary language existential expressions are univocal, a point already emphasized in Parsons .
(last on page)
“Fictionalism,” in Andrew Irvine (ed.), Handbook of the Philosophy of Mathematics, Volume 4 of Dov M. Gabbay, Paul Thagard, and John Woods (eds), Handbook of the Philosophy of Science. Amsterdam: Elsevier/North- Holland, 2008, 345-394.
“A History of Quantification,” in Dov Gabbay and John Woods (ed.),
Handbook of the History of Logic, Volume 11 (Amsterdam: Elsevier North Holland, 2012), 63-126
Ikonoclast, The mere addition paradox applies to average utilitarianism. The repugnance conclusion to total utilitarianism.
If I have a country with 100 people earning utility 1000 and they import 100 new people who previously got 100 units of utility but now get 200. Suppose the original people get extra utility 1050 because they can employ the new people to wipe their baby’s butts. So everyone is better off when the new people join the original citizens. But the average utility of the new total population is (100*1050 + 100*200)/200 which is 100*1250/200 or 625. Thus if you evaluated the effects of the increase in population using the average utility criterion you would disallow it because average utility inclusive of the newcomers falls compared to that of the original people. This is the “mere addition paradox”. It suggests you should not use (newcomer-inclusive) measures of GDP to assess whether you want extra people because it will deny changes where everyone derives advantage,
The “repugnance conclusion” is harder. It assesses population change using total utility measures. It would support the previous population change since total utility there rises from 100,000 to 120500. But it also suggests that a country would be indifferent between a population of 100 getting utility 1000 and a population of 100,000 getting utility 1 since both yield the same total utility. This is tricky. The outcome does seem repugnant but provided the people getting utility 1 don’t wish to suicide – their existence adds to total utility – the argument goes through.
I know people working in the population economics area who endorse total utilitarianism. They simply put as a side condition that people don’t want to top themselves. Suppose people don’t wish to top themselves unless their utility falls below 2. Then the maximum population you might want in the above example is 50,000 each getting 2.
Of course, all this ignores the value of non-human life. Accounting for that leads to optimal populations that are much lower than those yielded by unadjusted average or total utilities. Indeed I think we should not regard the environment as an input we use but as a part of the world we share. Then you get really small total populations which I do approve of.
As you point out, the “repugnance conclusion” ignores global or biospheric utility for all organisms. I think it also falls to the fallacy of composition as I outlined above. In addition there is, I think, the economic reification fallacy of quantifying and comparing a host of incommensurate real utilities in a single imaginary dimension, that of the numeraire, better known as money. The reification fallacy consists in treating the imaginary dimension (money) as a real dimension i.e. as a shared dimension in which we can measure multiple things. I do not believe we would talk so glibly of “utility” if we did not think we could quantify utilities in money amounts. However, that is a long and difficult argument and I do not pretend that I have sorted it out myself. Suffice it to say here, my suspicion is that there is an ontological fallacy at the heart of all conventional economics. It says something exists which does not. It says something can exist which cannot… at least no sustainable. To put is simply I do not believe in conventional or capitalist economics but I find myself unequal to inventing an alternative.
The biosphere will “invent” (evolve or emerge) an “alternative” to capitalist economics. It will do this by collapsing and destroying capitalist economies and emerging-evolving something else or maybe nothing at all, meaning collapse and extinction.
Ikon & Harry, thanks.
Reading JQ’s mmt linked post:
“Modern Monetary Theory: Neither modern, nor monetary, nor (mainly) theoretical ?”
… I came across a classic comment:
“Andrew Strang says:
JUNE 7, 2020 AT 7:17 PM
“In Ikonoklast’s defence, I’ve always seen him freely concede errors in discussion, but have never seen him write as a condescending snob.”
Well said Andrew S. And thanks Ikon … carry on as before. ☺
KT2 and Andrew Strang,
Thanks. I like to believe that I acknowledge errors when I can be led to understand my errors. I don’t claim that I can be led to understand all my errors, all the time. I can at times sail too close to the wind re being a condescending snob but hopefully I eventually notice that I am luffing or even in irons and thus bear off. Luffing and being in irons can be taken as the sailing version of not gaining traction. It’s sign that one needs to go off on another tack.
Had to post this.
Rowe with 1,000 words.
Debt & Deficit in sunset years. Joshie pushing alzheimer’s effected Scomo past debt & deficit on the “Path to Recovery”, past the “in living meory” joe hockey memorial bench. Scomo’s security relies on his wheelchairs foot board – “Budget”.
Debt says ” Who was that?
Deficit replies ” Someone we used to know”.
Gotye – Somebody That I Used To Know (feat. Kimbra)
Speaking of being wrong: I was wrong about travel with a strict hotel quarantine as a safety measure being ok. Just not working reliable enough considering the potential costs in a covid free country it seems: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/may/16/lockdowns-and-panic-buying-in-taiwan-as-covid-cases-rise
When you apply mainly for 20 hour jobs that pay 25% less on the public sector pay scale than your formal qualification level is usually good for, even for the crappy temporary contracts, often with according dull tasks and get told you have too high expectations, …. GRRRRR
Any public sector job is very low paid compared to the standard private sector jobs I’d be a candidate for without my mental health record and CV gaps, at least without a pandemic in the first place.
It seems the entire nominal support system regarding the labour market integration for people with such problems here in Germany is only stereotyping the worst way instead of helping.
Quite a few people with perfect health records had similar long times periods of not getting a job after graduation due to the pandemic. But for me the logic goes: If the only jobs I can realistically get are jobs where I’m better than my boss on many scales of competence, it is my personal deficit (personality disorder or whatever the implication there*) when I’m sometimes unable to conceal that state during stupid questions in the job interview, which should be fixed by applying for even less qualified jobs?
Frankly, my best working hypothesis is that even so yes I think I do less than perfect during job interviews (a state that can only be inferred by my own recollection of the situation), that should rarely if ever even be the major determining factor for not getting the job in the first place. Some just invite me to avoid potential legal troubles with anti discrimination laws, with no intention whatsoever to ever hire a disabled candidate. Others simply interview more than two people (all that is), some of which might just be genuinely be better for the job, pretty crappy labour market these days, and it’s not like I do great on all scales of job competence.
*Considering the way the Musks and Trumps of this world are celebrated, which quite visibly do have a lot more baggage in that particular regard, one also has to ask just how random the application of those concepts are.
All comes down to: Wherever you are in life it must be your own fault or merit, pretending there is no such thing is randomness or discrimination, or family connections or just ugh, general bad labour market conditions. GRRRRRRR RRRRR
That is no way to run government financed “support”. In this case, it was not the employment agency. Instead, the culprit was the local mental health clinic which has quite a huge machine of labour market oriented how shall we say, guess officially they are considered medical treatments.
There also seems to be an implicit assumption that jobs which require less formal qualification and/or pay less are automatically also easier to do for a person that has a higher formal qualification level, which would make it less of a problem to keep working during more severe depressive episodes or similar.
Not sure how that is supposed to work. Don’t think there is much empiric backup for that either. On the contrary, higher ranking and higher qualified jobs tend to cut a lot more slack regarding eccentric personality, task autonomy and all that.
Driving a package delivery truck (which was in all seriousness the one example of a low qualified job I was told to consider) seems to me a lot more difficult and frankly outright dangerous to anybody on the road once some concentration deficit or outright cognitive impairment kick in than any office job. The days of jobs that require only muscles and zero brains are over since a long time in all social strata.
I too was one of those persons who interviewed relatively poorly. I also worked better on individual projects rather than on teams. The requirement that everyone be a “team player” is utter nonsense. There are some people who are most useful in other ways. They prefer to beaver away alone and they can do very useful work in that mode. In large organizations there are places and tasks for such people. An intelligent manager knows how to utilize them. The problem is that intelligent managers are often thin on the ground. It seems that selecting people who interview well does not guarantee people who actually think well and think flexibly. That’s because interviews are often designed to select people who are just going to be obedient corporate robots, even, or especially, in line management and middle management. The corporate human robot system of late stage, neoliberal capitalism has given us imminent global collapse (climate change etc.). Being adapted to a maladaptive system is not a good thing in the final analysis.
Interviews are a poor way of determining the suitability of candidates for jobs. I think that’s true pretty much across the board. But for the time being they seem to be what we’re stuck with.
I concur 100%.
hix said “…seems to me a lot more difficult and frankly outright dangerous to anybody on the road once some concentration deficit or outright cognitive impairment kick in than any office job.”
J-D said “I concur 100%.” and so do I.
As mentioned previously I have supported a ptsd sufferer.
And they have the same reaction as you hix, to any interview now ” I’m sometimes unable to conceal that state during stupid questions in the job interview, “.
At the height of sufferer’s stress, even whilst driving, awareness was absorbed by hypervigilance. Scary being in passenger seat.
5yrs in from initial diagnosis the government -Centrelink GRRRRR – finally awarded a Disability pension. But still no psych support. Even though in group where 5% suicide
If the money spent on avoiding / not assisting / delaying support was instead spent upfront (not even after a child held and a kidnap) – 5yrs later – it is my considered envelope calculation that we would have saved money. And not allowed a scared stressed rabbit to wonder aimlessly inicting damage personally and to all social & support networks.
I initiated an investigation into local community mental health as they were either dumping people back onto street or secure mental health hospital. Nothing in between. Nor appropriate services or medicos within 200kms.
Almost no government agency was either trauma aware and less so trained for managing such people.
I even spoke with Pat McGorry to assist. His reply ” I cannot help” in the current system & political climate.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_McGorry. That was a depressing day.
This person worked for 40yrs, paid tax and has been dumped by both government and private, even tho a fantastic academic and work record.
Cure for interviews as I am sure you are all aware: