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.

7 thoughts on “Sandpit

  1. Now that COP27 has started down the path to formulating a compensation fund, not one that any committee will race along at pace, it’s time to suggest possible ways to find the money for such a fund. My suggestion is a global universal customs levy on trade. It need not be a large levy. Something like 1.5% should be achievable. On global trade volumes of around $29 trillion a year (estimate only) that should collect over $400 billion annually for any climate damages fund. With most trade going through European and/or North American ports, this levy could be collected relatively quickly. But it would require both the Euro zone countries and the USA to support its collection. With Canada’s present position on climate action, the support of that country may be taken for granted. But no country is going to act alone.
    The next difficulty will be working out how such a fund will be managed. It may have to be a special UN agency but there may be another option. Whatever is set up must not be handed over to former politicians. Past failures by politicians running relief funds should be seen as a warning that such a fund must be carefully managed and supervised. I would suggest that auditors would have to be involved from Day One. If there is even a hint of corrupt practices, then the whole compensation fund system will collapse. Perhaps some judicial input from the International Court of Justice could be considered.

    The need for compensation for damages caused by greenhouse gas emitters seems to be established. The mechanics of any compensation needs to be worked out as a matter of urgency.

  2. JQ, please investigate AI Data Laundering. Both from an economic / market and future unforseen consequences, use and policy perspective.

    At this stage as you know, AI tools use images and text. With zero semantic or ethical abilities.

    At some point abstract and conceptual economic and ethical thought, rendered into mathematical formula by theoreticians such as yourself, may be scraped from academic works such as yours, and your collaborators and originators.

    As will be seen from the article below the current set of text and image AI tools are all predicated on information from the Commons.  And ending up as for profit and predictive policing. And bread and circus use by the masses who ironically gave up their data for free. Reparations in future?

    If my choices under uncertainty, my bounded rationality, and my prospects of lottery success are all able to be seen in real time, “understood”, prediicted and manipulated, then  eonomics, markets, finance and policy will be potentially able to disrupted.

    I would see such power used to coalese markets and restrict the Commons yet again. A new tool in need of regulations, continuing the ever ending dance of market power vs big and small government, not the new world of techno-topia we naively hope for.

    No, I don’t believe AI will become sentient or our rulers, just that small manipulation by power nodes within government, internet and corporations may create advantageous conditions – Chokepoint Capitalism gone awry –  with unforeseen consequences and ability for markets to manipulate. As is seen here;

    “AI Data Laundering: How Academic and Nonprofit Researchers Shield Tech Companies from Accountability


    “Yesterday, Meta’s AI Research Team announced Make-A-Video, a “state-of-the-art AI system that generates videos from text.”

    “I was happy to let people remix and reuse my photos for non-commercial use with attribution, but that’s not how they were used. Instead, academic researchers took the work of millions of people, stripped it of attribution against its license terms, and redistributed it to thousands of groups, including corporations, military agencies, and law enforcement.

    “In their analysis for, Adam Harvey and Jules LaPlace summarized the impact of the project:

          “[The] MegaFace face recognition dataset exploited the good intentions of Flickr users and the Creative Commons license system to advance facial recognition technologies around the world by companies including Alibaba, Amazon, Google, CyberLink, IntelliVision, N-TechLab (, Mitsubishi, Orion Star Technology, Philips, Samsung1, SenseTime, Sogou, Tencent, and Vision Semantics to name only a few. According to the press release from the University of Washington, “more than 300 research groups [were] working with MegaFace” as of 2016, including multiple law enforcement agencies.

    “That dataset was used to build the facial recognition AI models that now power surveillance tech companies like Clearview AI, in use by law enforcement agencies around the world, as well as the U.S. Army. The Chinese government has used it to train their surveillance systems. As the New York Times reported last year:

    At least consider JQ, asking a class you teach in 2023, to consider effects of using the commons for capital, which is as old as civilisation I assume.

    Just that now as with social media being a megaphone, yet also an echo chamber, so unforeseen and emergent behaviour is a potential to disrupt abstract economics and policy. AI may become a tool to render the abstract, economic and market, and policy for profit and power.

    And we paid for academics and data used to generate this scenario. Without recompense or control of our selves.

    And UQ needs to reconsider policies in relation to intellectual property generated by you and others, now.

  3. Above comment
    …inspired and informed by;

    “Import AI 304: Reality collapse thanks to Facebook; open source speech rec; AI culture wars.

    “Facebook shows the future of AI-generated videos – and it is delightful and terrifying:

    “Things that inspired this story: Superintelligence and deception; game design; reinforcement learning and planning and human feedback; the gullibility of even the most intelligent among us; hubris and arrogance; theft.”

    “Loab is showing us the unimaginable future of artificial intelligence”

  4. Harry. Irony alert “Why the worry? Markets will sort out the viable coal producers if demand contracts.”.

    Fair enough. Many times on this blog irony is mistaken for opinion.

    Yet your form Harry renwages & inflation, never explicitly acknowledged to my recollection, even after the UBS report re “60% inflation due to profits” provide a background to my lack of irony in your comment referenced above.

    Ill even give you leeway to acknowledge profit increasing interest rates over and post pandemic and so may return to baseline r>g.

    As to the further issue of AGW vs authoritarian increase after storms on islands, was not responded to you. A market failure or just geopolitics?

    So. Market information will fix everything. In time. If prodded. Lack of irony.

  5. Harry, any i4ony in this quote if yours;

    Harry Clarke says:
    November 27, 2022 at 1:56 pm

    “I cannot take seriously John’s claim that in a contracting market incumbents must be given preference over new entrants. Why would you? Thus in some way you must establish a case that the potential entrants are deluding themselves with unwarranted optimism and that government needs to intervene to save their unfortunate shareholders from this deluded entrepreneurial bravery. I don’t buy that. Maybe John doesn’t believe that the planned ending of reliance on coal will occur and that the lower prices engendered by new entry would slow this retreat from coal further.”

  6. For and on behalf of Ikonoclast.
    Blair Fix – “I discuss the many problems of using ‘real’ monetary value as the dimension of analysis.”

    Hope you are well Ikon.

    Fix, ‘The Aggregation Problem: Implications for Ecological and Biophysical Economics’

    January 4, 2019

    “This paper discusses the dimension problem in economic aggregation, as it relates to ecological and biophysical economics.

    “The dimension problem consists of a simple dilemma: when we aggregate, the observer must choose the dimension of analysis.

    “The dilemma is that this choice affects the resulting measurement. This means that aggregate measurements are dependent on one’s goals, and on underlying theory.

    “I explore the consequences of this predicament for ecological and biophysical economics. I discuss the many problems of using ‘real’ monetary value as the dimension of analysis.

    “And I highlight how the dimension problem undermines the practice of seeking ‘optimal’ policy.

    “Although there are no solutions, I discuss ways that ecological and biophysical economists can deal with the dimension problem.

    The Aggregation Problem: Implications for Ecological and Biophysical Economics

    Fix, Blair. (2019). BioPhysical Economics and Resource Quality. Vol. 4. No. 1. January. pp. 1-15.

    Download PDF

    Click to access 20190100_fix_the_aggregation_problem_bpearq_preprint.pdf

  7. KT2,

    Yes thanks, I am still around and well. Hope you are well too. 🙂

    Yes, I pushed Fix’s article quite a while ago.

    I continue my self-enforced sabbatical from debating economics and from debating science points with science denialists of various persuasions. My social media use is less but not nil.

    Why do I avoid debating economics any more? To me now it’s a flawed framing. Too many unfounded ontological assumptions about the fundamental objects (existents) of the discipline.

    In my view there’s really no point debating conventional theoretical and applied economics. It and its world are about to self-destruct. The interesting (though difficult) time will be the reformation afterwards (unless we completely self-destruct). New ideas will become thinkable again. Currently everything theoretical and political is sclerotically seized up, ossified, even as the real systems collapse. Quite bizarre to observe.

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