Aphorisms June 2014

Which Price the Market?

Market fanatics claim the markets give the best price. They don’t like taxes, nor government intervention in the “market”. They don’t even understand that it is the government that creates the market, that there is no market without government.

Externalities are incentives with a minus sign. The fossil fuel industry, overall, is destroying the biosphere. How much is that worth?

***

Bhutan has a national happiness policy:

If one is unhappy with it, one gets kicked out. You see there are ethnic groups in Bhutan, for example Bhutan born citizens of Nepalese ethnicity (Nepal being next door, although not exactly contiguous). They make Bhutanese authorities unhappy.

“Citizen” is not exactly the word, as non-Buddhist, non-Gzonkha  speakers are not viewed as Bhutanese (even if their ancestors had lived in Bhutan for centuries). 100,000 refugees out of Bhutan from a total population of 700,000.

Morality: Buddha was just a man. Only Human Rights provide a religion for all men.

Having A Strong Currency Means Being Independent:

Financial crisis (European or not): People such as Paul Krugman have not achieved yet the understanding that the European currency did not cause the 2008 financial crisis. It is irresponsible to accuse the Euro. What was even more irresponsible was to bail-out all the bad actors, using and abusing, average taxpayers, who had been themselves victims of the crisis.

It is this bailing-out of the bad actor, without retribution, that caused the European sovereign debt crisis.

As in Bhutan, a deliberately bad analysis of what constitute happiness in the USA (king dollar) results in an aggressive mien towards innocent Europeans. It’s a policy at the New York Times, as a thoroughly negative article on Lithuania joining the Eurozone shows. (Now all the Baltic republic ex-Soviet occupied, have joined Finland, itself partly annexed by Stalin, in the Eurozone.)

***

Reflection Without Inclination Is No Option

Once I met a huge wolf in the wild, from 3 meters away. I had interrupted his hunt by accident. Where he expected the fleeing chamois, a primate ran into him. I will never forget it. He had complete capability to look at me in the eye, and he indulged in it thoroughly. He was immensely intelligent, more like a baboon than like a dog. We read each other’s eyes. Complete understanding of the situation at hand was achieved on both sides, silently, and efficiently.

So I do think that what is deficient in the wolf is not the capability, to look in a human eye (as some researchers have claimed recently). Instead, wolves do not have the inclination to look in human eyes, in normal circumstances.

In the situation the wolf found himself in with me, he was highly motivated to try to understand why, so late in the day, far above timberline, somehow the antelope he was chasing (who had just passed by me, close enough to touch) had transformed itself in the apex predator.

So I am careful with the concept of “socialization” in wolves, and other animals. The behavior space of wolves is much bigger than that of dogs. Thus they are less inclined to look to men as gods as dogs are. But that does not mean that, if properly motivated, they cannot throw a hard, analytic look at humans.

A wolf will never become as “familiar” with humans as a dog is. It’s, basically, below the dignity of the wolf. He has better things to think about.

The same sort of differences appears when comparing dogs and cats, or in general, when comparing intellectual performances of variegated species. A chimp can perform much less well than a border collie, on some tests. Because the latter is anxious to please, and the other has different things to do, plus very bad character, if demeaned, and the ability to destroy any unarmed human in seconds.

Tamarinds monkeys, submitted to experiments on fairness, got so angry with the experimenters, that they refused to go on with the experiments, opting instead to throw projectiles to their tormenters.

Pure intellectual performance does not exist. Nor does pure emotional performance. They are always entangled.

Patrice Aymé

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3 Responses to “Aphorisms June 2014”

  1. Paul Handover Says:

    Must challenge a couple of things.

    First, all the available evidence indicates that hunter/gatherer man did befriend the wolf, albeit gradually over many centuries. It was that man-wolf relationship that assisted man’s evolution to farming. Genetically, the domesticated dog is a direct descendant of the wolf.

    Secondly, while some markets may be made by Governments, to imply that all markets are is simply wrong.

    • gmax Says:

      @ Paul, I do not think dogs have anything to do with wheat. Cats, yes.
      That markets are sandboxes, playgrounds of governments is one of Patrice’s major ideas, I am sure she will fire back.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Thanks for the challenging comments, Paul:
      The fact that EUROPEAN wolves were Evolved into dogs, I mentioned all over. I even claim this is evidence NEANDERTHALS did it. I explained why it is so chronologically.

      Farming evolved in the Middle East, Fertile Crescent. At least 25,000 years after dog INVENTION. As GMax said, no connection. Cats, though, indeed, watch over grains and seeds…

      It depends what you mean by “MADE”. No government, no army, no peace, no regulation, no market.

      Let me repeat the tweet:
      No government, no army, no peace, no regulation, no market.
      So much for “liberals” and “libertarians”. Governmentalism is precondition 2 all

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