Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Progress as a Function of Freedom

This blog entry is a brainstorm.  In other words...it's even less polished, organized and coherent than usual!  But I'm throwing it out there for the benefit of Mr. Kite.  I just looked that up.  Turns out that this is for the benefit of a long dead circus performer.  Sure...why not?

The topic of this high flying brainstorm is, as you can tell from the title, progress and freedom.  These two things are very much related.  Here's how I've very terribly illustrated this...




Freedom is the ability to allocate your resources differently.  The majority allocates their resources in one direction...and you can choose to allocate your resources in a different direction.

The perfect example is the story of Noah's ark.  Does it bother you that the story is fictitious?  It really shouldn't.  As the story goes...God informs Noah that he's going to destroy the world with a flood.  This information provides Noah with the incentive to use his resources to build a giant boat.  Even though he shares his partial knowledge with others...he's the only one who acts on it.  Everybody else laughs at him because they really doubt the business model.  The majority believes one thing and an extremely small minority believes another thing.  Both groups can't be right.  And in this case, neither can both groups be wrong.  Either the world will be destroyed by a flood...or it won't be.  Despite the fact that each group is certain that the other is wrong...there's no attempt to restrict each other's freedom.  Each group can allocate their resources differently.  The majority takes one path...and the minority takes another path.  It's a good thing that Noah's freedom was not restricted because it turns out that he chose the right path.

The moral of the story is that heterogeneous activity is essential.  Because the future is uncertain...we should hedge our bets by protecting individual freedom.  Doing so maximizes the variety of economic activity which maximizes discovery which maximizes progress.


Let's consider another story.  This one isn't from the Bible...it's from G. A. Cohen's Why Not Socialism?.  Well...I just answered that question.  Nevertheless, Cohen quite admirably articulated the case for socialism.  He made the wrong path seem really accessible and desirable...
Following a three-hour time-off-for-personal-exploration period, an excited Sylvia returns to the campsite and announces: "I've stumbled upon a huge apple tree, full of perfect apples." "Great," others exclaim, "now we can all have apple sauce, and apple pie, and apple strudel!" "Provided, of course," so Sylvia rejoins, "that you reduce my labour burden, and/or furnish me with more room in the tent, and/or with more bacon at breakfast." Her claim to (a kind of) ownership of the tree revolts the others. - G.A. Cohen, The Socialist’s Guide to Camping
Maybe it will help if I subject you yet again to my terrible illustration?  Ok...




The person on the right path is no longer Noah...now it's Sylvia.  If she had stayed with the group she wouldn't have discovered the apple tree loaded with huge, perfectly ripe, juicy, nutritious and delicious apples.  But she didn't stay with the group...she wandered off by herself.  Sylvia allocated her resources differently.

Let's test the intended intuition by tweaking the story a bit...
Following a three-hour time-off-for-personal-exploration period, an excited Sylvia returns to the campsite and announces: "I've stumbled upon a huge grizzly bear, full of sharp teeth and giant claws.  I took a risk venturing out alone and unarmed and my reward is that I've been horribly mauled.  I brought the bear back to camp so that you can all share in my reward!" "WTF!??," others exclaim, "you crazy bitch now the bear is going to maul us all!"   Her lack of claim to (a kind of) ownership of the reward revolts the others.
In my version of the story...Sylvia still allocates her resources differently...but she mistakenly chooses the wrong path.  Her risky divergence isn't rewarded by bushels of delicious and juicy apples...it's rewarded by being mauled by a grizzly bear.  Would she still have chosen the same path if she had known the outcome?  Probably not.

Nobody can know beforehand what the outcome of any allocation will be.  Nobody has a crystal ball, nobody is omniscient.  This means that every endeavor has a degree of risk.  Therefore, we should hedge our bets by protecting people's freedom to allocate their resources differently.

As a testament to how good Cohen is though...in Friendly Morality in G. A. Cohen’s Why Not Socialism?... Jason Kuznicki agrees with the intended intuition that it would be revolting for Sylvia to sell the apples that she discovered.  My version should hopefully reveal that Cohen's desired intuition is just the moral equivalent of a knee jerk reaction.  

When the reward is beneficial, the others are revolted by Sylvia's ownership claim.  But when the reward is detrimental, the others are revolted by Sylvia's lack of ownership claim.

If you inadvertently stumble into a patch of poison oak...does everybody want a share of your itchy reward?  What if you inadvertently stumble into a swamp full of leeches?  Do your friends line up for their sucky share?  Do they revolt if you claim ownership of your leeches?  What if you inadvertently end up with the wrong kind of crabs?  Does your sexual partner revolt if you don't share your crabs with her?  Of course not, she revolts if you do share your crabs with her.  Not that I know from personal experience!  But you're certainly welcome to derive a bunch of utility from believing otherwise.  Eh, well, I fear that I've already protested too much.

Cohen wants you to believe that your immediate intuition, sharing is caring, is the correct one.  But in reality, the correct intuition is that recognizing and respecting ownership results in far greater abundance of the things that we value enough to sacrifice for.  Protecting ownership incentivizes people to choose the paths that others have positively valuated or might positively valuate.  If we, as consumers, want a greater abundance of apples...then we have to reward the producers who've chosen to grow apples.  This ties into the idea of value signals...




Here's a summary...
  1. Sylvia discovers a bunch of apples (risk)
  2. Others are willing to pay for her apples (valuation)
  3. If the value signal is bright enough, others will start supplying apples (incentive)
  4. The result is the optimum supply of apples (abundance)
This is the correct intuition...which Cohen's story certainly will not supply.  It should be painfully obvious that his story is a "few" ingredients short of an apple pie.  His story is missing risk, incentive and valuation.  The only thing his story has is the sugar...a moral knee jerk reaction.  This glaring absence of substance (realism) was the same critique (Fallibilism vs Fairness) that I leveled against Matt Zwolinski's story...What We Can Learn from Drowning Children.  It's probably not very surprising that I also had to point this out to another Bleeding Heart Libertarian...Kevin Vallier...The Essential Value of Incentives.  What is somewhat surprising though is that perhaps I need to point out the same thing, or some...thing, to Tyler Cowen.

Tyler Cowen recently wrote this piece for the New York Times...The Lack of Major Wars May Be Hurting Economic Growth.  It really does sound like he's ignoring Bastiat...and David Henderson over at EconLog certainly agrees... Tyler Cowen versus Frederic Bastiat.  Except, in a comment on Henderson's entry, Cowen stated that he's recently reread Bastiat.

What argument in favor of war preparations could Cowen possibly be making that doesn't ignore Bastiat's argument?  *racks brain*  Let's see...the opportunity cost of actually engaging in war is too high (Cowen agrees with Bastiat)...but preparing for war helps motivate the government to more efficiently allocate its resources?  Allocative efficiency requires a target to compare the "shots" to.  Otherwise, how can you discern which shot (allocation) is more superior (efficient)?  Is supplying a turkey sandwich better than supplying a tuna sandwich?  It depends on the preferences of the consumer ordering the sandwich.  So arguing that war preparations result in a more efficient allocation of resources would require that Cowen know the preferences of...everybody. Does Cowen believe that he's omniscient?  When he looks in the mirror does he see Paul Samuelson staring back at him?  

Perhaps preparing for war has positive externalities that help generate greater economic growth?  There are beneficial spillovers that wouldn't otherwise occur?

Maybe it would help if I broke Cowen's argument down...
  1. More threat of war leads to...
  2. More focused governments leads to...
  3. More investment in science and technology leads to...
  4. More innovations and inventions leads to...
  5. More economic growth
If we squint our eyes hard enough we can see a very vague resemblance to the value signal concept.  Let's compare...
Greater consumption due to an increase in population and growth of income heightens scarcity and induces price run-ups.  A higher price represents an opportunity that leads inventors and business-people to seek new ways to satisfy the shortages.  Some fail, at cost to themselves.  A few succeed, and the final result is that we end up better off than if the original shortage problems had never arisen.  That is, we need our problems, though this does not imply that we should purposely create additional problems for ourselves. - Julian Simon, The Ultimate Resource 2
The threat of war is certainly a problem.  It creates a shortage of safety/security/stability.  But is Cowen arguing that we should create additional problems for ourselves?  Would he snap his fingers if the outcome was the threat of war with China?  Probably not.  So we don't want to create the problem of potential war, but if it's already there, then solving it helps the economy.

Something's not quite right though.  There's a significant and fundamental disparity between Cohen's argument and Simon's argument.  Can you spot it?  Perhaps it will help if you take another look at my terrible illustration again.  Not the difference one...the value signal one...




Batman, in this case, is the ultimate resource.  In my version of the story...the citizens of Gotham engage in civic crowdfunding in order to help Batman decide where he can do the most good.  Does my version sound iffy?  What's the alternative?  That somehow the mayor of Gotham is omniscient?  He knows exactly how much each and every citizen would be willing to pay/sacrifice/exchange/give up in order to have the Joker locked up?  Or perhaps, just as absurdly, every single villain presents an equal threat to the citizens of Gotham?  Tweedledum and Tweedledee are just as threatening as the Joker?  Maybe it's really realistic if we pretend that villains politely wait their turn to present their equally diabolical plans?

In the real world, no two villains are equally threatening...and it's the same thing with all problems...including wars.  With villains, at least in my version, we have crowd sponsored value signals to help batman prioritize.  Simon's version also has crowd sponsored value signals to help inventors and businesspeople prioritize.  What about Cowen's version?  Nope, there aren't any value signals.  The public can't directly participate in the prioritization of public problems.

Where's Herbert Spencer when you need him?  Oh, here he is...
Moreover, men's desires when left to achieve their own satisfactions, follow the order of decreasing intensity and importance: the essential ones being satisfied first. But when, instead of aggregates of desires spontaneously working for their ends, we get the judgments of governments, there is no guarantee that the order of relative importance will be followed, and there is abundant proof that it is not followed. - Herbert Spencer, An Autobiography 
How much progress can we truly make when we use society's limited resources to solve problems in the wrong order of importance?   Markets work because everybody can use their own money to help prioritize problems.  This essential element is missing from the public sector.  Yet, there's Cowen, with access to the NY Times...one of the loftiest platforms in the world...and he's neglecting to mention this "minor" detail.

Let's take another look at my breakdown of Cowen's argument...
  1. More threat of war leads to...
  2. More focused governments leads to...
  3. More investment in science and technology leads to...
  4. More innovations and inventions leads to...
  5. More economic growth
If we subtract the war part, then this is pretty much the same argument that Noah Smith has been making all along.  In case you haven't been faithfully reading Smith's blog for years hoping for some faint glimmer of economic enlightenment...let me note that it would be more efficient to ask Smith to make a list of things that the government shouldn't spend more money on.  It would be a really short list.  So I wasn't surprised when Smith wrote an article for BloombergView that highlighted Cowen's article...Make Good Government, Not War.  Smith also references an article that Alex Tabarrok wrote...The Innovation Nation vs. the Warfare-Welfare State.  

Tabarrok's article sure sounds like a rebuttal of Cowen's article...
But most defense R&D is for weapons research that is unlikely to generate significant spillovers to other areas of the economy. The basic and applied non-weapons research that has the best chance of creating beneficial spillovers is a small minority of defense R&D. DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, for example, helped to develop the Internet but DARPA's budget is only $3 billion. - Alex Tabarrok, The Innovation Nation vs. the Warfare-Welfare State
Tabarrok argues that we should spend less on warfare/welfare and more on public goods with positive externalities.  Errr...more greater positive externalities.  Except, Tabarrok wrote his article over a year before Cowen wrote his.  

Take a look at this government spending breakdown from Tabarrok's article...


...and then read this passage from Cowen's and Tabarrok's economics textbook...
Voting and other democratic procedures can help to produce information about the demand for public goods, but these processes are unlikely to work as well at providing the optimal amounts of public goods as do markets at providing the optimal amounts of private goods.  Thus, we have more confidence that the optimal amount of toothpaste is purchased every year ($2.3 billion worth in recent years) than the optimal amount of defense spending ($549 billion) or the optimal amount of asteroid deflection (close to $0).  In some cases, we could get too much of the public good with many people being forced riders and in other cases we could get too little of the public good. - Tyler Cowen, Alex Tabarrok, Modern Principles of Economics 
...and then read this passage from a recent blog entry by Tabarrok...
In other words, the Federal government spends more on preventing trade than on preventing murder, rape and theft. I call it the anti-nanny state. It’s hard to believe that this truly reflects the American public’s priorities. - Alex Tabarrok, The Anti-Nanny State
Again..."It’s hard to believe that this truly reflects the American public’s priorities."  I couldn't agree more.  The preference revelation problem is a real problem.  We don't know what the demand is for public goods.  We don't know which shortages of public goods are most pressing.  We don't know whether a public problem is a mountain or a molehill.  

Despite this extremely detrimental demand opacity, Alex Tabarrok, Tyler Cowen and certainly Noah Smith...have all argued that the government should spend more on technological/scientific research/development.  At first glance their recommendations appear innocuous enough.  But are they really?  Consider this passage from 1936...
However well balanced the general pattern of a nation's life ought to be, there must at particular times be certain disturbances of the balance at the expense of other less vital tasks. If we do not succeed in bringing the German army as rapidly as possible to the rank of premier army in the world...then Germany will be lost! - Adolf Hitler
Let's tweak it a bit...
However well balanced the general pattern of a nation's life ought to be, there must at particular times be certain disturbances of the balance at the expense of other less vital tasks. If we do not succeed in bringing the government as rapidly as possible to the rank of premier innovator in the world...then economic growth will suffer! 
Do you see the problem?  Maybe it will help to look at my illustration again...




There's nothing inherently wrong with Hitler or Tabarrok or Cowen or Smith saying what our national spending priorities should be.  It's perfectly permissible to persuade others to put their eggs in a certain basket...or their bets on a certain horse.  The problem occurs when people who disagree are not free to allocate their resources differently.  Centralization doesn't solve stagnation...it's the cause of it.

It's especially frustrating because Tabarrok and Cowen acknowledge that we don't know what the demand is for public goods...but then they toss this awareness out the window.  I'd love to interrogate... errr... interview them to figure out their rationale.  Why do they point out and then ignore the bull in the china shop?  Do they believe that the bull isn't doing much damage?  If so, then why point it out at all?  Or have they resigned themselves to the inevitability of the bull's existence?  Perhaps they can't see a solution to the problem...so they are simply being practical by not consistently bringing it to people's attention?

From my perspective, Tabarrok and Cowen are like fireflies.  They have these intermittent flashes of economic enlightenment.  They are firefly economists.  Tabarrok especially.  Here he is not so enlightened...and then here he is very enlightened...
Putting innovation at the center of our national vision is not simply about spending more money. An innovation nation would think about all problems differently. - Alex Tabarrok, The Innovation Nation vs. the Warfare-Welfare State
Yes!  But an innovation nation really doesn't mean government centralization.  It really doesn't mean top down prioritization.  On the contrary, it really means government decentralization.  If we want to maximize discovery, innovation and progress...if we want to clarify the demand for public goods...then it's imperative that we decentralize the government by allowing taxpayers to choose where their taxes go.  Are taxpayers going to think about all problems the same way?  Of course not.  Taxpayers are going to think about all problems differently...and they are going to allocate their taxes accordingly.  Sure there's going to be some overlap...but there's also going to be the maximum possible room for the Noahs and Sylvias to diverge from the herd.  When it comes to dogma, being free to diverge/doubt/dissent/divest/deviate is the true source of discovery and progress.

Let's consider this problem differently...
I sometimes remind people that, in the 1930s, the most scientifically and technologically advanced country in the world was Germany.  And we know what happened over the next two decades.  So there is no necessary connection between science and technology being advanced and moral or ethical behavior. - Michael Michaud 
That's a quote from a National Geographic documentary, "When Aliens Attack".  I recently watched it on Netflix.

Michael Michaud is the author of Contact with Alien Civilizations.  He's under the impression that chances are pretty good that alien visitors wouldn't have discovered that progress depends on freedom.  It shouldn't be a surprise though given that he himself hasn't made this discovery.

As I've argued in a few blog entries...
...contrary to Michaud, I believe that it's highly unlikely that extraterrestrial visitors wouldn't have figured out that progress depends on discovery...and discovery depends on doing things differently.  You're really not going to get different results by doing the exact same thing over and over.  Thinking otherwise is, according to Einstein, insane.

Regarding Michaud's specific example...as history clearly proves...a certain amount of progress can be made without understanding that progress depends on freedom.  This is because it's extremely difficult to completely eradicate freedom.  But if Hitler had successfully managed to conquer the world...would the rate of progress have increased or decreased?  The rate of progress would have plummeted because far fewer people would have been free to allocate their resources differently.

Right now there's an invisible countdown timer.  We don't know what the time currently is...but when it reaches zero we will have achieved the capability of intergalactic travel.  If Hitler had succeeded with his plan of world domination...the timer would have been set back by decades or maybe even centuries.  How could it not be the same for any civilization on any planet?

Again with the illustration...




The people in my illustration might as well be aliens.  How much progress could they make if Gaaarvort isn't free to take a different path?  How could the aliens avoid having their entire species wiped out by a flood or a volcano?  How could they discover their equivalent of apples?  How could they make the myriad of minor and major improvements that intergalactic space travel is based on?  How could they choose all the correct paths that have to be taken before a civilization can travel to other inhabited planets?  How many paths is that anyways?

Outer space is a natural barrier against economically unenlightened civilizations.  We can't reach the stars until we understand, as a species, that progress depends on difference.  And it's a good thing too!  Because can you imagine how horrible it would be if traveling to other inhabited planets was as easy as traveling to other inhabited countries?  Space would be filled with Hitlers, Genghis Khans and Alexander the Greats.  It would make for interesting reading...but certainly nothing you'd want to experience first hand.

Speaking of interesting reading...I recently finished The Origin Mystery by A.G. Riddle.  I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it to anybody who is a fan of Asimov, Herbert and Card.  Riddle isn't quite in their league...yet...but he's close enough to merit recommendation.  But part of the premise [spoiler alert] is based on ignorance of Xero's Rule...
They had come to believe that any race sufficiently advanced to reach deep into space must be civilized.  Standing on the bridge, staring at the massive fleet that loomed above the Atlantean ships, Ares knew how wrong and foolish they had been.  These were ships of war, of destruction, just as the sentinel spheres were.
So much science fiction is based on the premise of "uncivilized" species traveling to other inhabited planets.  What happens to science fiction when it's universally understood that space functions as a barrier against economically unenlightened species?  Perhaps the challenge will be to create credible exceptions to Xero's Rule?  Who knows?  It would be wonderful to find out within my lifetime.  But I'm not holding my breath.

It's not like I can call renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking and explain economics to him.  Can I?  Maybe I could e-mail him?  How many e-mails does he receive on a daily basis?  According to Hawking, "Advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they can reach."  To be honest, I don't think Hitler would have kept Hawking around.  And based on my banishment track record...Hitler definitely wouldn't have kept me around.

Last month I was banned from the Dark Enlightenment community on Reddit.  Here's the sequence of events...
  1. posted a link to Don Boudreaux's blog entry...Immigration and Culture.
  2. One of the moderators, Nemester, asked me why I posted the link.  
  3. Not satisfied with my answer, he removed the link from the group.
  4. Disturbed by his behavior...I posted my protest.
  5. Nemester banned me from the group.
Based on the comments in my protest thread, it seems as if I was banned from the group because I'm a liberal.  How did the moderator and most members come to this conclusion?  Because I posted a link to a blog entry by Don Boudreaux.  

Yes, Don Boudreaux is the Cathedral.  The Bazaar is anathema to Boudreaux.  Defending the Bazaar is the the very last thing that Boudreaux would do.  

Clearly Nemester is ignorant.  And so is the majority of the group.  Only a very small minority of group members knew that Boudreaux is one of the staunchest and best defenders of the Bazaar.  

Again with the illustration...




In this case I'm Noah.  I have the correct information.  I know that Boudreaux criticizes centralization and defends decentralization on a daily basis.  How did I come to have this correct information?  God didn't give it to me...I acquired it through the study of economics.  But the majority doesn't have this information.  They do, however, have a leader who ejected me, the person with the correct information, from the group.

Would you like another example of fallibilism of the majority?  Yes?  Ok.  The large majority of libertarians are wrong about rights.  My proof is this highly scientific FEE.org survey... Natural Rights: Spooner v. Bentham.  Bentham has only received 11% of the votes.

A "right", natural or otherwise, is simply a rule.  Parents impose various rules on their children.  If children question these rules...then parents often reply ..."it's just because I say so".

In the Garden of Eden...God gave Adam and Eve one simple rule...not to eat from the tree of knowledge.  God didn't justify this rule and Adam and Eve accepted it without question.  It was the serpent that planted the seed of doubt in Eve.  The serpent supplied some logic for the rule's existence.  There was a blank...and he helped fill it in.  He said that God created this rule because he knew that Adam and Even would become God-like if they ate the fruit.  Was this the real rationale?  Adam and Eve didn't know because God never provided any justification for the rule.  The rule existed but they didn't know why it existed.

If we want freedom to be protected...then rules/rights are clearly insufficient.  It's essential that we fill in the blank with the best possible logic.  It's not enough to say that freedom has to be protected...we can't simply impose it...we can't declare it by fiat...we have to justify it.  If we fail to construct freedom on the firmest foundation then it will surely be fleeting.  For example...
One of the oldest surviving political texts in the world, dating back to the 2360s B.C., makes just this point. In it, King Uru’inimgina (also known as Urukagina; reigned ca. 2380–2360 B.C.) of Lagash, in the south of what is now Iraq, proclaimed that he had “freed the inhabitants of Lagash from usury, burdensome controls, hunger, theft, murder, and seizure. He established freedom. The widow and the orphan were no longer at the mercy of the powerful: it was for them that Uru’inimgina made his covenant with [the god] Ningirsu.” Augustus could not have put it better. - Ian Morris, War! What is it good for?
Great, some king "established" freedom.  Yet here we are over 4000 years later...and people still can't choose where their taxes go.  People can't choose where their taxes go because they don't know how they could possibly benefit from the freedom to do so.  If people don't understand the value of freedom in the public sector...then they don't understand the value of freedom in the private sector.  This means that the freedom that we do have is on extremely thin ice.  We haven't developed immunity against future Hitlers.

If we want forever freedom, rather than fleeting freedom...then people have to see "natural rights" as the facade that it truly is.  If this "nonsense on stilts" continues to persist...then it will contribute to the mistaken belief that our freedom is somehow protected.  Truly enduring freedom requires that we clearly show people the relationship between progress and freedom.  We have to fill in the blank.  Like so...economic growth is a function of how resources are used...and how resources are used is a function of freedom.  So progress is a function of freedom.

What's the difference between "progress IS a function of freedom" and "progress AS a function of freedom"?  Well...the first is a statement while the second is a discussion.  Maybe?

Right now there are zero search results for "Progress as a Function of Freedom".  Except, that will no longer be true by the time you read this.  The proliferation of combinations is the logical consequence of giving people the freedom to choose how they allocate their resources.   Consider this combination of words...
It is hard to imagine any capital resource which by itself, operated by human labour but without the use of other capital resources, could turn out any output at all.  For most purposes capital goods have to be used jointly.  Complementarity is of the essence of capital use.  But the heterogeneous capital resources do not lend themselves to combination in any arbitrary fashion.  For any given number of them only certain modes of complementarity are technically possible, and only a few of these are economically significant.  It is among the latter that the entrepreneur has to find the 'optimum combination'.  The 'best' mode of complementarity is thus not a 'datum'.  It is in no way 'given' to the entrepreneur who, on the contrary, as a rule has to spend a good deal of time and effort in finding out what it is.  Even when he succeeds quickly he will not enjoy his achievement for long, as sooner or later circumstances will begin to change again. - Ludwig M. Lachmann, Capital and Its Structure
How many people have searched for "Progress as a Function of Freedom"?  Am I the only one?  When I searched for it...there wasn't a single search result.  Now if anybody searches for the same combination, instead of finding a dead end...they will find this post.

Even though this combination is entirely new, at least for the internet, other people have written about the same concept.  They just used different combinations of words.  Some examples...
  • "Progress is a function of freedom" - 2 results...same source.
  • "Progress depends on freedom" - 31 results
  • "Freedom is essential to progress" - 15 results
  • "Freedom is the engine of progress" - 6 results
  • "Freedom results in progress" - 1 result
  • "Freedom means progress" - 22 results
  • "Freedom promotes progress" - 5 results
  • "Freedom equals progress" - 14 results
  • "Freedom leads to progress" - 17 results
  • "Freedom is a perquisite of progress" - 
What happens if you want to receive a google alert as soon as there's a new search result for this topic?  You'd have to enter quite a few different search queries.  Maybe it would be nice (more efficient) to just enter one search term?  If you agree...then upvote this reddit post.

How was that for a brainstorm?  In retrospect, this entry is just as unpolished, disorganized and incoherent as the rest of my blog entries.  And it's not only for the benefit of Mr. Kite...it's for the benefit of everybody who wants a brighter future.

Per my SOP...I've collected a "few" relevant passages to share with you.  But rather than tack them on to the end of this already long post...I decided to give them their own page...

Uncertainty, Risk, Fallibilism, Tolerance, Diversify, Hedge, Discovery, Innovation, Progress

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Here's an update on some Reddit communities...


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