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Author Topic: What does a Free Market mean to you?  (Read 5478 times)
JoelKatz
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August 16, 2011, 05:42:14 PM
 #101

If you do not have the affirmative belief that a free market will make pollution worse, then I have no quarrel with you.
That would depend...don't we need to have similar ideas of the term "pollution" and "worse" before I can agree or disagree to that statement? or at least don't I need to understand your usages of those terms?  Right now I'd guess that either you are deliberately attempting to keep your definitions hidden or you simply do not know what you mean.
Again, if that's your position, we have no disagreement. If you think those terms are ambiguous or unclear, then you aren't the person I have a quarrel with. The person I have a quarrel with is the person who claims it's clear that a free market will make pollution worse. If you don't think that's a well-formed claim, then you and I are on the same side. It's madness for us to argue over whether or not a position is well-formed when nobody is taking that position. It's crazy for me to precisely define a position with which I disagree -- let someone who holds the position do that.

However, I will add your argument to my arsenal. The next time someone claims a free market makes pollution worse, I'll just insist they precisely define "pollution" and "worse" and they'll probably get so annoyed and frustrated they drop their claim and then I can claim I won! Won't that be a fine day!

I love techniques that allow me to avoid actual substantive arguments. This one is almost as good as "That's what you think!"

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August 16, 2011, 06:35:41 PM
 #102

If you do not have the affirmative belief that a free market will make pollution worse, then I have no quarrel with you.
That would depend...don't we need to have similar ideas of the term "pollution" and "worse" before I can agree or disagree to that statement? or at least don't I need to understand your usages of those terms?  Right now I'd guess that either you are deliberately attempting to keep your definitions hidden or you simply do not know what you mean.
Again, if that's your position, we have no disagreement.

Yawn.  You realize that YOU made the statement: "nothing about a free market need make pollution problems any worse" and this is the one I'm trying to clarify.   So unless you have no useful definition of those terms then you can not state with any degree of accuracy that we have no disagreement.  However if you are admitting that you have no useful definition of those terms then you can't rationally hold the position you asserted.

Let me know which one it is.

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It's crazy for me to precisely define a position with which I disagree -- let someone who holds the position do that.
Except that you can't disagree with a statement which you recognize as not well formed enough to draw a conclusion on.  Not to mention you have asserted that "nothing about a free market need make pollution problems any worse".   Which would also require definitions of those terms.  Perhaps you've been caught lying here?

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However, I will add your argument to my arsenal.  The next time someone claims a free market makes pollution worse, I'll just insist they precisely define "pollution" and "worse" and they'll probably get so annoyed and frustrated they drop their claim and then I can claim I won! Won't that be a fine day!  I love techniques that allow me to avoid actual substantive arguments. This one is almost as good as "That's what you think!"
Yes, yes.  You're angry.  Try to be a bit more rational about it. Okay?

Let's recap. You used words that were pretty important to the discussion (i.e. pollution, optimal, etc...) in pretty non-standard ways (for example you seem to absolutely refuse to recognize that "optimal" requires in the context you were using it - an external qualifier of some kind) and then either could not or would not provide an even mildly better definitions.  Now you want to claim that somehow my efforts to figure out what you mean is avoiding substantive arguments?!  Really?  So you can have a substantive argument even if both people have radically different ideas of what the terms mean?  If not, then don't substantive arguments depend on some kind of mutual understanding of terms?  Doesn't that make your assertion sort of...wrong?

Look man, I really have no idea who you are or why you're acting like a baby about this but I really have no agenda here.  I'm perfectly happy believing whatever conforms to a reasonable standard of evidence.  I find some assertions interesting because they appear on the surface to be false (as opposed to assertions that appear to be trivially true) and those are the ones I invite dialogue on.  If you don't want to talk about your beliefs or heck if you simply don't want to think about what you mean when you say something like "pollution" or "optimal".  Go ahead.  No skin off my banana.  However rather than pretending your situation is the result of something *I* did.  Perhaps you could take some ownership of your own decisions?  That would *seem* like a Libertarian ideal to me - not really knowing about such things of course.  Grin

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JoelKatz
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August 16, 2011, 07:06:27 PM
 #103

Not to mention you have asserted that "nothing about a free market need make pollution problems any worse".   Which would also require definitions of those terms.  Perhaps you've been caught lying here?
No, not at all. This is not a refutation of any one particular claim. Let me clarify, I am not saying this:

There is a very specific definition of "pollution" and a very specific definition of "worse", and for those definitions, a free market will not make pollution worse.

That would be an incredibly weak claim, that would not respond to the very point I was trying to respond to when I made that claim. In fact, I am making a much stronger claim. More specifically, it goes something like this:

For any sensible definition of "pollution" and for any sensible definition of "worse", a free market does not make pollution worse.

Now, this is the ordinary meaning of words anyway. This should be default interpretation. Normally people do not make claims that rely on ultra-specific definitions of words. They apply broadly to the cluster of concepts the word indicates. I am here using those terms in the normal way. By "pollution", I mean the entire cluster of concepts pointed to by that word. By "worse", I too mean the entire cluster of concepts pointed to by that word.

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August 16, 2011, 08:09:57 PM
 #104

A free market is one where I am free to kill my competitors......
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August 17, 2011, 12:32:14 PM
 #105

A free market is one where I am free to kill my competitors......
hmm. no?

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August 17, 2011, 04:15:05 PM
 #106

Not to mention you have asserted that "nothing about a free market need make pollution problems any worse".   Which would also require definitions of those terms.  Perhaps you've been caught lying here?
No, not at all. This is not a refutation of any one particular claim. Let me clarify, I am not saying this:

There is a very specific definition of "pollution" and a very specific definition of "worse", and for those definitions, a free market will not make pollution worse.

That would be an incredibly weak claim
Depends on what you mean.  If you mean that in the sense that it makes fewer predictions (ala "Weak Anthropic Principle") it's irrelevant and possibly incorrect.  "weakness" in terms of induction usually means an argument needs much larger assumption to cover the gap.  So by that standard more well-defined arguments tend to be considered strong.

It's worth noting that your usage of "specific" only applies to anything we're talking about if the sense is "lacking ambiguity". 

, that would not respond to the very point I was trying to respond to when I made that claim. In fact, I am making a much stronger claim. More specifically, it goes something like this:

For any sensible definition of "pollution" and for any sensible definition of "worse", a free market does not make pollution worse.
Isn't this just shifting your argument to defining what constitutes a "sensible definition of pollution"?  Doesn't it still leave you requiring a definition of "worse" (or "optimal" if that's still in the game somewhere or are you trying to sweep that one under the rug  Grin).  In which case I'd say that doesn't advance your argument any further as practically the same issues apply.  Oh and just so you know this isn't some kind of infinite regression of definitions I'm asking for here but rather pointing out that just sticking the word "sensible" in front doesn't add much in the way of informing me as what your point is.   In fact I'd wonder if you haven't made things harder on yourself here.

You also seem to be implying that "very specific" and "sensible" are non-trivially mutually exclusive here.  What keeps a specific definition of "pollution" from being "sensible"?

Normally people do not make claims that rely on ultra-specific definitions of words.

Strawman and possibly a fallacy of prejudicial language.  Nobody has asked you for an "ultra-specific" definition. So far just a definition which is more than the term itself.   One could argue easily that is normally expected of people.  Try again.
By "pollution", I mean the entire cluster of concepts pointed to by that word. By "worse", I too mean the entire cluster of concepts pointed to by that word.
You really think this line of reasoning is going to be helpful?  Oh well. Well on one level you're probably wrong.   Unless you can list the entire cluster of concepts (which would qualify as a definition) then you can't really *mean* that.   As I'd take the word "mean" to require intent - how do you "intend" to do something that you didn't know?  Secondly how could you verify that your conclusion is forced for something that you didn't intend to include?   Not to mention it's hard to figure out how this fits with your seeming exclusion of "specific" definitions.  Aren't specific definitions part of the "cluster of concepts"?

What might be a better way of looking at things is that while the complete definition of a word might contain a large and possibly indistinct set of ideas.   It is silly and incorrect to pretend that you are arguing them all at once.  Instead try to pick a definition that covers some important cases i.e. most common cases, cases that contribute most significantly to the event, etc...  From there make your argument.  Sometimes you have to use several definitions to cover enough cases to give your argument significant weight.  Mine you even an outside case can be useful if there is good data to back it up.

Otherwise it seems like you are intending for your point to be unfalsifiable.

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August 17, 2011, 10:00:37 PM
 #107

A free market is one where I am free to kill my competitors......
hmm. no?

hmm yes .
Why not ?

The law ?
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August 18, 2011, 12:05:13 AM
 #108

Depends on what you mean.
It's worth noting that your usage of "specific" only applies to anything we're talking about if the sense is "lacking ambiguity". 
Isn't this just shifting your argument to defining what constitutes a "sensible definition of pollution"?
Doesn't it still leave you requiring a definition of "worse"?
What keeps a specific definition of "pollution" from being "sensible"?
As I'd take the word "mean" to require intent - how do you "intend" to do something that you didn't know?
Secondly how could you verify that your conclusion is forced for something that you didn't intend to include?
Aren't specific definitions part of the "cluster of concepts"?

Wow.  I did not see this coming at all.

I'm going to set a reminder to come back and check this thread in a few months.  I predict that one of the participants will still be arguing about the definitions of common words.

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JoelKatz
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August 18, 2011, 01:02:42 AM
 #109

You really think this line of reasoning is going to be helpful?  Oh well. Well on one level you're probably wrong.   Unless you can list the entire cluster of concepts (which would qualify as a definition) then you can't really *mean* that.   As I'd take the word "mean" to require intent - how do you "intend" to do something that you didn't know?  Secondly how could you verify that your conclusion is forced for something that you didn't intend to include?   Not to mention it's hard to figure out how this fits with your seeming exclusion of "specific" definitions.  Aren't specific definitions part of the "cluster of concepts"?
It's not worth the effort of educating you on the relationships between words and concepts just to make a point about pollution and the free market. Should you at any time stop pretending not to understand how language works, I'll be happy to try to have an intelligent conversation with you.

I am an employee of Ripple.
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August 18, 2011, 04:38:23 AM
 #110

It means man owning himself. It means innovation and construction without limits. It means man realizing his full potential.
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August 18, 2011, 03:33:25 PM
 #111

You really think this line of reasoning is going to be helpful?  Oh well. Well on one level you're probably wrong.   Unless you can list the entire cluster of concepts (which would qualify as a definition) then you can't really *mean* that.   As I'd take the word "mean" to require intent - how do you "intend" to do something that you didn't know?  Secondly how could you verify that your conclusion is forced for something that you didn't intend to include?   Not to mention it's hard to figure out how this fits with your seeming exclusion of "specific" definitions.  Aren't specific definitions part of the "cluster of concepts"?
It's not worth the effort of educating you on the relationships between words and concepts just to make a point about pollution and the free market. Should you at any time stop pretending not to understand how language works, I'll be happy to try to have an intelligent conversation with you.
Wait.  Did you just pull a "That's what you think!"  Grin

Anyway, I get it. You've been shut down and one good way to avoid cognitive dissonance is to make some blanket assertion without any argument or justification.  

Well, since I'm posting already I'll see if I can guess your counter-argument.

For example, you might think you are saying something along the lines of:

"There exists, no X that is Y".  i.e. There exists no ratio which expresses all the digits of sqrt(2).  You could assume that there is some say set of definitions about your various terms.  For example Tn represents the set of definitions for a particular term.   Given the sentence "nothing about a free market need make pollution problems any worse" you could claim that there exists no set S consisting of T1...Tn which is invalid.  As a special addition you also seem to implicitly assert that the size of any particular Tn can't be known.

The problem with this position, is as I mentioned.  Validation.  How would you validate this statement?  Well you could construct every permute of...whoops.  You can't do that.  You don't know the size of any particular Tn. Now one might think that this *can* be disproved.  That is, for a "there exists no" a "there exists one" is disproof.  However clearly one could construct a trivial definition in which that would be the case.   So the set of sets T1 ...Tn isn't what we are looking at.   What we are looking at is some subset of that group.  So we need a transformation which maps from the set of sets T to the set of sets T' representing "sensible" definitions.  What's the transformation?...JoelKatz doesn't know.  Thus his idea is unfalsifiable.
 
What does that mean?  Well for starters its irrational to assert it...

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I predict that one of the participants will still be arguing about the definitions of common words.
What if the words are common but someone is using an uncommon definition? Oh wait...you didn't think about that!  Cheesy
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It means man owning himself. It means innovation and construction without limits. It means man realizing his full potential.
Seems like you don't need it.  You've already achieved your full potential - sadly that it's mostly posturing.  Grin

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JoelKatz
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August 18, 2011, 06:03:21 PM
 #112

I guess it depends on what the meaning of the word "is" is.

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August 18, 2011, 06:38:28 PM
 #113

I guess it depends on what the meaning of the word "is" is.
We can just substitute for an operator if you like.  We can define that from set theory.  Grin


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August 18, 2011, 07:30:41 PM
 #114

I guess it depends on what the meaning of the word "is" is.

I laughed for 45 seconds!   Cheesy

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August 24, 2011, 04:38:14 AM
 #115

Free market is a meaningless construct. I'll call it a set of regulations that maximizes long run economic growth per capita. China appears to have an effective free market by my definition.

Is it their pegged currency or capital controls that you see as 'free market' with regard to China?


I'll keep my politics out of your economics if you keep your economics out of my politics.

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August 24, 2011, 04:38:39 AM
 #116

A free market is an impossible ideal, a system with no checks and balances to keep things stable. No society in the history of the world has ever had a successful free market-based economy and I don't think that's likely to change.

+1  For awareness of reality.

I'll keep my politics out of your economics if you keep your economics out of my politics.

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August 24, 2011, 11:52:08 PM
 #117

It means man owning himself. It means innovation and construction without limits. It means man realizing his full potential.

It means a series of trite statements that have no real world implications.

I'll keep my politics out of your economics if you keep your economics out of my politics.

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