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Randomness thread, part two.

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  1. #23776
    OJ will probably be granted parole today. How about that?
  2. #23777
    I think he should run for governor.
  3. #23778
    Quote Originally Posted by Poopadoop View Post
    I think he should run for governor.
    He would lose, even if his opponent was a broken toaster.

    The sick part is, even against a legitimate opponent, he'd still get ~20% of the vote.

    Remember what I was saying earlier about euthanizing the stupid?
  4. #23779
    Jack Sawyer's Avatar
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    They had to rob a bank to save the bank from bankrobbers

    Interesting times we are living in

    http://haseebq.com/a-hacker-stole-31m-of-ether/
    My dream... is to fly... over the rainbow... so high...


    Cogito ergo sum

    VHS is like a book? and a book is like a stack of kindles.
    Hey, I'm in a movie!
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  5. #23780
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    ^^^^

    Oh and BTW, this is some crazy shit
    My dream... is to fly... over the rainbow... so high...


    Cogito ergo sum

    VHS is like a book? and a book is like a stack of kindles.
    Hey, I'm in a movie!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYdwe3ArFWA
  6. #23781
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    My mate potentially lost $40k in lost bitcoin returns by going on holiday. He's been forced to sit on his wallet rather than game the system. He might have turned a corner the last 48 hours, depends what he's been doing.

    I try to tell him it's like me thinking I could've won a huge pot if I hadn't sat out for a piss and played the 89o that would've crushed a set of aces. But really he's sat out for longer than a piss, and would've folded a fair few premium hands. So while his $40k figure is unrealistic, he certainly could've made significant returns.

    I'm not sure I'm cut out for this kind of thing.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  7. #23782
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    Holy shit. I don't even want to touch stuff like that. Like I almost put a couple k in bitcoin for some shady bitcoin poker sites after black friday. I would have made over 1000% on that money. I'd rather not even consider gambling like that. That shit will follow you. Fuck stocks and currencies.
    The strengh of a hero is defined by the weakness of his villains.
  8. #23783
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Sawyer View Post
    They had to rob a bank to save the bank from bankrobbers

    Interesting times we are living in

    http://haseebq.com/a-hacker-stole-31m-of-ether/
    "it was a vulnerability in the default smart contract code that the Parity client gives the user for deploying multi-signature wallets."

    I found the problem. Whoever thinks this isn't an oxymoron is the fault.
  9. #23784
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    I'm not interested in stocks and currencies from a short-term pov, but as a long term investment, I can see the appeal. You invest x amount, with a return of y amount in mind. It remains a risk, of course, but it's easier to not think about how much money potentially could've been earned with optimal trading.

    The problem with trading as an income is that without any knwoledge on what is actually causing the market fluctuations, essentially every time you buy or sell you're taking a 50-50 risk as to whether it's going to go up or down in the immediate future. Furthermore, you have the added question of when to buy/sell. The probability of optimal trading is ludicrously low, and if you're acting on pure faith or gut, it turns it into a lottery (quite literally).

    Seems like the same as mashing buttons in poker. I'm no poker expert, but I at least try to make +ev moves. If I were trading in bitcoin/ether/whatever, I'd be mashing buttons and basically would be lucky to make money.

    Long term though, well it's reasonable to think it's going to be a better investment than putting the money in the bank. I have enough confidence that cryptocurrencies will thrive over time that I'd risk a few k if I had it. It's just it would have to be money I could write off for 5 years or whatever my strategy is.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  10. #23785
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    Quote Originally Posted by mojo
    I found the problem. Whoever thinks this isn't an oxymoron is the fault.
    Smart isn't about not making mistakes, it's about making mistakes and learning from them.

    It's too early to argue it's not a smart system.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  11. #23786
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    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    Smart isn't about not making mistakes, it's about making mistakes and learning from them.

    It's too early to argue it's not a smart system.
    We're talking about internet security for banks against hackers.

    There is no "default" that will remain "smart," indefinitely. Therefore, the use of a phrase "default smart" is pretty stupid in this industry.
  12. #23787
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    Do actual humans do trades anymore? I thought the proliferation of the success stories where some nerd wrote an algorithm that made him loads of monies in micro-transactions was the game changer that would make human involvement nearly obsolete.

    What is the role of a human broker these days? Assemble a portfolio upon which to run the computer program which buys and sells?
    Or is that pretty much automated, too?
  13. #23788
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    It's not a bank. It's decentralised, it's the polar opposite of a bank. /pedantry

    But yeah ok for some reason (even though you bolded "default smart") I thought you were saying "smart contract" was the oxymoron.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  14. #23789
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    Do actual humans do trades anymore? I thought the proliferation of the success stories where some nerd wrote an algorithm that made him loads of monies in micro-transactions was the game changer that would make human involvement nearly obsolete.

    What is the role of a human broker these days? Assemble a portfolio upon which to run the computer program which buys and sells?
    Or is that pretty much automated, too?
    I have no idea. My friend would be able to answer this.

    All I know is he buys and sells his currency. He needs to use the services of a third party, so yeah there's a "broker" in that regard.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  15. #23790
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    We're talking about internet security for banks against hackers.

    There is no "default" that will remain "smart," indefinitely. Therefore, the use of a phrase "default smart" is pretty stupid in this industry.
    While the UK wants to outlaw encryption LOL
    My dream... is to fly... over the rainbow... so high...


    Cogito ergo sum

    VHS is like a book? and a book is like a stack of kindles.
    Hey, I'm in a movie!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYdwe3ArFWA
  16. #23791
    As much as it shows how stupid lots of security checks are on systems where you're basically giving your details away to hackers who want it with the company thinking you're protecting your account more, does that not show how great hcakers are? How many times in history can you think of a bank being robbed and at the end they are just like "just did it for lulz guys, here's how you can improve security".
  17. #23792
    Jack Sawyer's Avatar
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    Netflix and Youtube @ 10Mbps and the Pai shill hasn't even overturned the law yet

    https://arstechnica.com/information-...deo-to-10mbps/

    Buhbye internet video streaming in the US without paying moar, been nice knowing ya


    Get ready for dat slo lane
    My dream... is to fly... over the rainbow... so high...


    Cogito ergo sum

    VHS is like a book? and a book is like a stack of kindles.
    Hey, I'm in a movie!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYdwe3ArFWA
  18. #23793
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savy View Post
    As much as it shows how stupid lots of security checks are on systems where you're basically giving your details away to hackers who want it with the company thinking you're protecting your account more, does that not show how great hcakers are? How many times in history can you think of a bank being robbed and at the end they are just like "just did it for lulz guys, here's how you can improve security".

    I got into IT because of that movie Swordfish
    My dream... is to fly... over the rainbow... so high...


    Cogito ergo sum

    VHS is like a book? and a book is like a stack of kindles.
    Hey, I'm in a movie!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYdwe3ArFWA
  19. #23794
    In other news, if I order twenty steaks, I should pay the same as the guy who orders one steak and I should get my twenty steaks at the same time too.
  20. #23795
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    In other news, if I order twenty steaks, I should pay the same as the guy who orders one steak and I should get my twenty steaks at the same time too.
    20 for the price of 1 is a pretty great deal.
  21. #23796
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    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    In other news, if I order twenty steaks, I should pay the same as the guy who orders one steak and I should get my twenty steaks at the same time too.

    steaks ≠ bandwidth


    I could compare a black hole to a dinosaur, but I know better
    My dream... is to fly... over the rainbow... so high...


    Cogito ergo sum

    VHS is like a book? and a book is like a stack of kindles.
    Hey, I'm in a movie!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYdwe3ArFWA
  22. #23797
    Jack Sawyer's Avatar
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    But I do see what is going on. You just accept whatever corporate line being thrown your way as unquestionable fact. The public is always wrong and they corporations are always good because they know what they are doing.

    And yet we just caught them lying. They are throttling and yet deny vehemently that it is happening. We, the public are all delusional, collectively.

    And these are the people you want to entrust with the future of American internet



    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    In other news, if I order twenty steaks, I should pay the same as the guy who orders one steak and I should get my twenty steaks at the same time too.

    Ah, the standard "but ... economics!" trope. I am dissapoint


    As I highlighted above, a ≠ b, almost insultingly so
    My dream... is to fly... over the rainbow... so high...


    Cogito ergo sum

    VHS is like a book? and a book is like a stack of kindles.
    Hey, I'm in a movie!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYdwe3ArFWA
  23. #23798
    So the ISPs charge more for more use for the lolz?
  24. #23799
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    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    So the ISPs charge more for more use for the lolz?
    They ALREADY charge more for more use. Want more speed? Pay more. Some bitchy ISPs also have data caps in place. I dunno if you've notices, but it's already there.

    They now want to double, triple and quadruple dip
    My dream... is to fly... over the rainbow... so high...


    Cogito ergo sum

    VHS is like a book? and a book is like a stack of kindles.
    Hey, I'm in a movie!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYdwe3ArFWA
  25. #23800
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Sawyer View Post
    But I do see what is going on. You just accept whatever corporate line being thrown your way as unquestionable fact. The public is always wrong and they corporations are always good because they know what they are doing.

    And yet we just caught them lying. They are throttling and yet deny vehemently that it is happening. We, the public are all delusional, collectively.

    And these are the people you want to entrust with the future of American internet






    Ah, the standard "but ... economics!" trope. I am dissapoint


    As I highlighted above, a ≠ b, almost insultingly so
    I get it, you know my motivations and you know that a field of study you know little about is bullshit.
  26. #23801
    Jack Sawyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    I get it, you know my motivations and you know that a field of study you know little about is bullshit.
    I just presented you with facts indicating these people are lying

    "Yeah but you have to pay moar! 1 steak is not 20 steaks!"

    Umm



    I don't, can't and won't ever trust PROVEN liars that want me to "believe in their models" "because economics". Also, they are under legal obligation not to bullshit their shareholders, and guess what

    https://arstechnica.com/information-...ps-themselves/

    The exact opposite as to what they spent $600B arguing FOR.



    They do, can and will bullshit the gullibles in the general public though
    My dream... is to fly... over the rainbow... so high...


    Cogito ergo sum

    VHS is like a book? and a book is like a stack of kindles.
    Hey, I'm in a movie!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYdwe3ArFWA
  27. #23802
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Sawyer View Post
    They ALREADY charge more for more use. Want more speed? Pay more. Some bitchy ISPs also have data caps in place. I dunno if you've notices, but it's already there.

    They now want to double, triple and quadruple dip
    And?

    That behavior is GOOD in an economy. All the great stuff you have in your life came from markets in which some companies did exactly that. Price discrimination is GOOD even when you don't understand why. The way in which it is a problem is when the market is monopolized. The question then is "why is it monopolized?" and then you solve for that. ISP is monopolized mostly due to municipal regulation. Fun fact: one of my professors is about as deeply populist progressive pro-government as it gets and even she acknowledged that the municipal regulations is the main problem causing lack of competition.
  28. #23803
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Sawyer View Post
    I just presented you with facts indicating these people are lying
    And?

    If their answer is "we charge you more because we want to nah nah boo boo" it's still GOOD for the economy in the long term. It is an important part of how markets correct and ultimately end up with higher quality and higher quantities at lower prices than otherwise.

    If the government regulates the market too much, then the described companies' behavior is feasibly bad (though not necessarily so) due to unforced error, self-imposed monopoly.
    Last edited by wufwugy; 07-22-2017 at 02:44 PM.
  29. #23804
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    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    And?

    That behavior is GOOD in an economy. All the great stuff you have in your life came from markets in which some companies did exactly that. Price discrimination is GOOD even when you don't understand why. The way in which it is a problem is when the market is monopolized. The question then is "why is it monopolized?" and then you solve for that.

    Solve for that first then come back to me.

    As is, it is incredibly difficult to enter this market and said barrier of entry keeps going up. I have already linked to an article detailing why, so here goes

    https://arstechnica.com/business/201...s-really-hard/


    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ISP is monopolized mostly due to municipal regulation. Fun fact: one of my professors is about as deeply populist progressive pro-government as it gets and even she acknowledged that the municipal regulations is the main problem causing lack of competition.
    Great, so solve that first then give free reign to the internet to all the newcomers. As stands, I cannot allow this much power in the hands of an oligopoly who will legally fight you for their rights to exist into oblivion with a now huge warchest.

    From the article:

    "I have never seen an independent… start up without having to fight the incumbent legally," Patten told Ars. "The incumbents are notorious for frivolous delay lawsuits. They know perfectly well they're frivolous, but it's a delay tactic. They have an army of lawyers and a budget to support lawsuits the size of Godzilla. That's one of their tactics, it always has been. It probably will continue to be so for many years yet to come."
    My dream... is to fly... over the rainbow... so high...


    Cogito ergo sum

    VHS is like a book? and a book is like a stack of kindles.
    Hey, I'm in a movie!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYdwe3ArFWA
  30. #23805
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    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    And?

    If their answer is "we charge you more because we want to nah nah boo boo" it's still GOOD for the economy in the long term. It is an important part of how markets correct and ultimately end up with higher quality and higher quantities at lower prices than otherwise.

    If the government regulates the market too much, then the described companies' behavior is feasibly bad (though not necessarily so) due to unforced error, self-imposed monopoly.
    I believe you are either underestimating or forgetting about lobbyists
    My dream... is to fly... over the rainbow... so high...


    Cogito ergo sum

    VHS is like a book? and a book is like a stack of kindles.
    Hey, I'm in a movie!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYdwe3ArFWA
  31. #23806
    Wuf, you seem to think that adding and subtracting government is like addition and subtraction. You may be right. But Jack is making a strong case that it is like multiplication and division, wherein order of operations is paramount to a desired end. You're not making a good argument for your assumption.
  32. #23807
    I got tickets to go see Dinosaur Jr, literally no one I've told seems excited in any way about it. It's like I've told them I'm going to see some unkown band (including someone I'm going with). Am I just going to get there and it be twaty people my age and 40 year olds?
  33. #23808
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    What's that movie about?
    My dream... is to fly... over the rainbow... so high...


    Cogito ergo sum

    VHS is like a book? and a book is like a stack of kindles.
    Hey, I'm in a movie!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYdwe3ArFWA
  34. #23809
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Sawyer View Post
    What's that movie about?
    Throttling 2018.
  35. #23810
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Sawyer View Post
    I believe you are either underestimating or forgetting about lobbyists
    The market correcting mechanism still works with the lobby. If incumbent ISPs increase prices such that they have increase profits then it incentivizes other firms to enter (and to lobby to do so) as well as incentivizes politicians to listen to those lobbyists more than the incumbent's lobbyists due to the addition of very angry voters.

    Some of the fundamental models taught in ECON 101 are about how the more profits in a market the more input from firms/entrepreneurs who want to enter the market (also incentives to produce/consume substitutes). In the short run this always looks painful and people really don't like it, but allowing the process to play out makes for a more robust market than otherwise. When the market is a monopoly, the government cant fix it by setting price controls. With price controls, the government can only entrench the monopolies and keep a stasis of quality, quantity, and price. Yet, in a growing population and a growing economy, this is negative growth. And the setting of price controls eliminates most of the incentive of additional firm/entrepreneur entry and substitution.

    It sounds like your view from your last two posts is that because we haven't done what solves the problem, we should instead do something else that doesn't solve the problem.
    Last edited by wufwugy; 07-23-2017 at 01:21 AM.
  36. #23811
    Quote Originally Posted by boost View Post
    Wuf, you seem to think that adding and subtracting government is like addition and subtraction. You may be right. But Jack is making a strong case that it is like multiplication and division, wherein order of operations is paramount to a desired end. You're not making a good argument for your assumption.
    It's probably addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

    Other than that, I'm not sure I understand your point. Can you clarify?
  37. #23812
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    It's probably addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

    Other than that, I'm not sure I understand your point. Can you clarify?
    You've made the claim that decreasing the reach of the government, despite in which order you decrease specific instances of its reach, is a good. I'd argue that even if we concede that reduced government is a good, there is likely an order of operations and ideal ratios which much be respected to see the outcomes you want.

    So, to be specific here, deregulating ISP's before dealing with their virtual monopoly is the wrong order of operations. Hell, for the sake of argument, I'll even concede that either order eventually gets us to where we want to be, but still the order matters in how long and how grueling the path ahead will be.
  38. #23813
    Quote Originally Posted by boost View Post
    You've made the claim that decreasing the reach of the government, despite in which order you decrease specific instances of its reach, is a good. I'd argue that even if we concede that reduced government is a good, there is likely an order of operations and ideal ratios which much be respected to see the outcomes you want.
    I completely agree.

    So, to be specific here, deregulating ISP's before dealing with their virtual monopoly is the wrong order of operations. Hell, for the sake of argument, I'll even concede that either order eventually gets us to where we want to be, but still the order matters in how long and how grueling the path ahead will be.
    I would agree if there was sufficient evidence that when bureaucracies gain power, that power doesn't stick around virtually without end. I don't want the FCC to set standards regarding the ISP because I believe it will nearly always do so from then on. If I can pull from Milton Friedman, when asked, he gave only one example of when he has seen government give up a power it had: the draft.

    Also, I think that FCC setting standards and prices in the ISP market will have a further deleterious effect on firm entry and innovation regardless of the municipal regulatory situation. Firm entry, production increase, an increase in the supply curve -- come from investors and producers seeing the potential for profits in the market. Each marginal increase in profit in a monopoly market sends a less powerful signal than in the other more competitive market types, but it still sends the signal. Government setting prices in that market mostly eradicates the profit signal and thus entrenches the monopoly. The harder we make it for ISPs to profit, then the harder we make it for firms to enter the market and compete, resulting in being stuck with the same shitty ISPs for a long time.
  39. #23814
    I forgot to add that the more firm entry you get into a monopolistic market, the more competitive it becomes. The government disallowing ISPs to charge more money based on what they want can be the difference between being stuck with a monopoly ISP market vs. getting actual competition and choices and ultimately having price reduction and quality/quantity increase.
  40. #23815
    Ok, so are the ISP's (the two of them), ignorant of the fact that they're pushing for their downfall? Shouldn't they want to preserve the status quo, or even better for them, increase government overreach, thereby keeping the crowds out of the neighborhood?

    If what you say is true, their actions seem terribly misaligned with their incentives.
  41. #23816
    Quote Originally Posted by boost View Post
    Ok, so are the ISP's (the two of them), ignorant of the fact that they're pushing for their downfall? Shouldn't they want to preserve the status quo, or even better for them, increase government overreach, thereby keeping the crowds out of the neighborhood?

    If what you say is true, their actions seem terribly misaligned with their incentives.
    That's a great question. It's one I've thought some on. I've not seen the idea addressed specifically in economics and I don't think anybody knows the answer.

    My idea for what's going on is that nobody knows how to quantify it. The more variables and the longer projected time, the more models fall apart. Smart companies certainly are not relying on models to determine how they should act now due to what they think will happen in 10, 20, 30 years*. The time value of money really throws this through a loop. For example, even if investors think that a gain of 1% profits today will result in a loss of 2% profits in 20 years, they make much more if they take the 1% gain now (because interest). Also, a company that makes more money now gets better at what it does, can expand more, can diversify more, and can innovate more. For example, if Comcast has some investment ideas that require a tremendous amount of capital but fundamentally change/strengthen the company, increasing profits now to make that happen can have a net positive result even if their initial business sees a decrease in profits later because of it.

    Illustration of the above: if I invent the shovel and hire people to shovel things for customers, I make some sweet profits. But if I add to my business manufacturing of shovels and sell them to many more customers so they can shovel themselves, I make way more profits despite it decimating my original shovel-laborer-for-hire business.

    On a more philosophical level, a decrease in profits due to how the market changes due to the profit-increasing behavior of companies is more an unintended consequence in the view of those companies. As we see in other markets, the consequence isn't enough such that the initial increase in profits is a net negative. If that was the case, profits would actually be losses.

    *That's not to say that market prices don't reflect what the markets currently think about what will happen 10, 20, 30 years from now. It's common to think that markets only think in short term, but I estimate that is not true. The efficient market hypothesis (which is the standard used today) posits that current market prices do reflect what people think about any time in the future. An example to make it obvious: if we all thought that aliens are going to invade and try to wipe us out in 2075, market prices would be much different today than they are.
    Last edited by wufwugy; 07-24-2017 at 03:13 PM.
  42. #23817
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    Smart companies certainly are not relying on models to determine how they should act now due to what they think will happen in 10, 20, 30 years*.
    I should rephrase this. They do use models, just when things are simple. For example, if they have two projects that are projected to take 20 years, wherein they can only do one, if they have sufficient quantitative knowledge of the costs and payoffs of the projects, there are financial models that can tell them which project to do. The stuff we're discussing is much more complex than that though. Nobody knows how to approximate Google Fiber's response to a change in behavior from Comcast.
    Last edited by wufwugy; 07-24-2017 at 10:29 PM.
  43. #23818
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    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    The efficient market hypothesis (which is the standard used today) posits that current market prices do reflect what people think about any time in the future. An example to make it obvious: if we all thought that aliens are going to invade and try to wipe us out in 2075, market prices would be much different today than they are.
    This is all fine and dandy and with perfect information it would work pretty well, then only stupidity and manipulation attempts would skew the results. I think it's needless to say that people suck at predicting, I see no good reason to think that masses of people would be significantly better. The market isn't a Who Wants To Be A Millionaire audience full of trivia geeks. Have there been even any attempts to measure how accurately these market predictions work, are they better than a random guess?
    Our brains have just one scale, and we resize our experiences to fit.

    You wake me up early in the morning to tell me that I'm right? Please wait until I'm wrong.

  44. #23819
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    That's a great question. It's one I've thought some on. I've not seen the idea addressed specifically in economics and I don't think anybody knows the answer.

    My idea for what's going on is that nobody knows how to quantify it. The more variables and the longer projected time, the more models fall apart. Smart companies certainly are not relying on models to determine how they should act now due to what they think will happen in 10, 20, 30 years*. The time value of money really throws this through a loop. For example, even if investors think that a gain of 1% profits today will result in a loss of 2% profits in 20 years, they make much more if they take the 1% gain now (because interest). Also, a company that makes more money now gets better at what it does, can expand more, can diversify more, and can innovate more. For example, if Comcast has some investment ideas that require a tremendous amount of capital but fundamentally change/strengthen the company, increasing profits now to make that happen can have a net positive result even if their initial business sees a decrease in profits later because of it.

    Illustration of the above: if I invent the shovel and hire people to shovel things for customers, I make some sweet profits. But if I add to my business manufacturing of shovels and sell them to many more customers so they can shovel themselves, I make way more profits despite it decimating my original shovel-laborer-for-hire business.

    On a more philosophical level, a decrease in profits due to how the market changes due to the profit-increasing behavior of companies is more an unintended consequence in the view of those companies. As we see in other markets, the consequence isn't enough such that the initial increase in profits is a net negative. If that was the case, profits would actually be losses.

    *That's not to say that market prices don't reflect what the markets currently think about what will happen 10, 20, 30 years from now. It's common to think that markets only think in short term, but I estimate that is not true. The efficient market hypothesis (which is the standard used today) posits that current market prices do reflect what people think about any time in the future. An example to make it obvious: if we all thought that aliens are going to invade and try to wipe us out in 2075, market prices would be much different today than they are.
    This is all well and interesting, but it doesn't plug the huge plot hole. Your whole argument on the issue hinges on either this being true or the big ISPs being incompetent irrational actors. You don't provide enough support for the former to argue so forcefully against net neutrality.
  45. #23820
    ISPs just think it's a great way for them to make money in the short term, that's what they care about. In a market so monopolised maybe them all goofing off will allow others to enter but it's more likely that everyone just gets worse service for a quite a while.
  46. #23821
    Quote Originally Posted by CoccoBill View Post
    This is all fine and dandy and with perfect information it would work pretty well, then only stupidity and manipulation attempts would skew the results. I think it's needless to say that people suck at predicting, I see no good reason to think that masses of people would be significantly better. The market isn't a Who Wants To Be A Millionaire audience full of trivia geeks. Have there been even any attempts to measure how accurately these market predictions work, are they better than a random guess?
    What I was discussing isn't the market making predictions, but a reflection of prediction. Markets don't tell us what the future looks like but they do tell us what people think the future looks like.
  47. #23822
    Quote Originally Posted by boost View Post
    This is all well and interesting, but it doesn't plug the huge plot hole. Your whole argument on the issue hinges on either this being true or the big ISPs being incompetent irrational actors. You don't provide enough support for the former to argue so forcefully against net neutrality.
    My argument hinges on the supply and demand model. It's quite a robust model.

    The discipline may be best thought of as having at its foundation in a few ceteris paribus models and some principles that usefully describe the evidence. Beyond that, scientific demonstration comes with too many confounding variables and even the most simple questions in economics have not been answered "by science". Economics is derivation from the aforementioned models and principles and behavior.

    Regarding the topics we've been discussing, what we almost certainly know to be true is that increases in profits incentivize firm entry, that firm entry increases supply, and that a supply increase reduces price. What we don't know is everything else*. We just try to be as consistent and coherent in our logical derivations from what we know to describe generalities about what we on average expect to see happen in markets.

    *There are some less direct but relevant things we also know. Like how a price increase decreases quantity demanded (how much depends on elasticity), decreases demand for complements, and increases demand for substitutes.
  48. #23823
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    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    My argument hinges on the supply and demand model. It's quite a robust model.
    -.-

    I don't want to go round this circle with you again, wuf.

    Can we just agree that that's not what robust means when you "almost" certainly know [broad generalities] and "not everything else?"
  49. #23824
    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    -.-

    I don't want to go round this circle with you again, wuf.

    Can we just agree that that's not what robust means when you "almost" certainly know [broad generalities] and "not everything else?"
    Supply and demand models function very well under widely variable conditions. I say we "almost certainly know" the things that supply and demand models say ceteris paribus because they're still just models of reality instead of actual reality.

    If that doesn't address your point, please clarify.
  50. #23825
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    As I understand it, the most we can say, is that supply and demand curves are relatively stable when looked at over long time periods, and accounting for large-scale financial buffers and man-power to smooth out adjustment periods.

    Supply and demand curves are hypothetical. They are not based on measurements, and when used, the plots don't have labeled axes. It's merely a qualitative description that makes sense, under certain assumptions (assumptions which you and I strongly disagree about, i.e. whether rational actors exist).

    They are good descriptors in retrospect, when the "actual" pressures of supply and demand are known. However, they fail at any present-tense descriptive power, because they can only, at most, describe the current state of supply and demand. Those curves are not static over time. The lines move as market adjustments are made.

    Next, they are better and better descriptors of economic situations the more abstract their subject matter is. Supply and demand can be a rather stable long-term predictor of highly amalgamated economic sectors, like looking at the entire food industry. Broadly, supply and demand curves can be rather stable predictors of how the food industry's supplies and demands will find equilibrium.

    However, if we zoom in on a mom-and-pop shop and try to quantify the exact supply pressures and exact demand pressures at any given moment, we're dead in the water. That's before we ask what the curves will look like next week, or maybe in the morning vs. in the afternoon.

    The model fails at specifics, which is why I think calling it "robust" is a mistake. It gives a warm, pleasant feeling of describing things when we abstract those things further and further away from human decisions, but the more we try to apply the model to guide our decisions, the more it fails.

    This isn't even discussing whether or not those business owners are capable of acting in their best interest, which is the fundamental assumption behind supply and demand, and which I think any observation of human activity shows the folly of.
  51. #23826
    Your characterization of supply and demand is correct regarding how it is taught regarding goods/services markets and how elasticity of the curves can change, yet we see the framework in specific ways too. For example, the model fits how stock prices adjust.

    Regarding the rational thing, I don't disagree with you. "Rational" is a very misleading word economists chose to use. Within the economics framework, even acting against your own "best interests" is rational. To an economist, an choice in itself is rational. List any choice that looks irrational to a normal person and an economist will call it rational. It's because the word means something different to economists than to us normal folk.
  52. #23827
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    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    Your characterization of supply and demand is correct regarding how it is taught regarding goods/services markets and how elasticity of the curves can change, yet we see the framework in specific ways too. For example, the model fits how stock prices have adjusted.
    FYP
  53. #23828
    Yeah, so I still think your case is less than compelling. Theoretically things should be better-- but how long it takes for the industry to settle is not clear, and how damaging a temporary, unregulated ISP monopoly could be is unknown. Five years of this could set us back fifty years. So many points can be conceded to you, and it's still not a rosy picture.
  54. #23829
    Got offered a place on a maths teaching course.
  55. #23830
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savy View Post
    Got offered a place on a maths teaching course.
  56. #23831
    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    FYP
    Also how they will adjust.

    Nobody's running around with any model that says an increase in demand reduces price. Is the supply and demand model not robust because we don't use it to get exact quantities?
  57. #23832
    Quote Originally Posted by boost View Post
    Yeah, so I still think your case is less than compelling. Theoretically things should be better-- but how long it takes for the industry to settle is not clear, and how damaging a temporary, unregulated ISP monopoly could be is unknown. Five years of this could set us back fifty years. So many points can be conceded to you, and it's still not a rosy picture.
    I'm not making the case that it *would* be better to let an ISP to set prices however it wants. I am making the case that economic theory says allowing that is how things have a higher likelihood of getting better in the long term. Economic theory also says that if you want a monopoly to get better in the short term, regulate their prices. Keep in mind that every bit of "damage" the ISPs cause, the greater the incentive for producers to offer their services and for consumers to substitute. This "damage" is so to speak what we've been talking about the whole time. Economics is largely about asking "what's the effect of that, and the effect of that effect, and the effect of that effect of that effect?" One of the effects in the chain is that the more "damage" the ISPs cause (from increasing prices), the greater the incentive to subvert them. In a free-ish market economy (which is what we have), this is part of the Invisible Hand (the observation that started it all).

    If it sounded like I was claiming that a price increase is good, I never intended that. I've been trying to discuss how the effects of that are different than thought outside the field of economics. The ability to set prices however you want is of the utmost importance to a functioning economy. What I've been trying to say isn't that it would be better for Comcast to raise its prices, but that if it does, it's not bad for the economy the way popular discussion would have us believe.
  58. #23833
    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    Will be funny when nothing comes through and I realise the guy was just trolling.
  59. #23834
    Good to hear you may be teaching multiple math courses. Hope it works out.
  60. #23835
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    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    Also how they will adjust.
    Well... not really, no.
    It can say things like, stock prices are expected to [...], but it can't say, "GM stock will rise by 3 points today due to the combined pressures of supply and demand as they play out in the next 24 hours."

    So we're back to this: Supply and Demand is a hypothetical model which seems to describe broad trends in a widely congealed market of many actors. It gains more and more power the further it is abstracted away from human decisions. It loses all power when it is used to describe any specific, human-decision based outcomes.

    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    Is the supply and demand model not robust because we don't use it to get exact quantities?
    Partially, yes, but not the biggest reason, no.

    The biggest reason is the abstraction argument. The model seems more and more useful the less pinned down by IRL facts it is. Its predictive power is not uniformly understood among credible economists, who will use the same model to formulate different predictions. This is because the abstraction isn't well-defined. The loose terminology of the model is understood differently by different economists, who are therefore not using the same model, despite using the same words.

    If a model can explain an outcome and its antithesis outcome using the same inputs and mechanisms of the model, then the model is absurd.
  61. #23836
    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    Well... not really, no.
    It can say things like, stock prices are expected to [...], but it can't say, "GM stock will rise by 3 points today due to the combined pressures of supply and demand as they play out in the next 24 hours."

    So we're back to this: Supply and Demand is a hypothetical model which seems to describe broad trends in a widely congealed market of many actors. It gains more and more power the further it is abstracted away from human decisions. It loses all power when it is used to describe any specific, human-decision based outcomes.


    Partially, yes, but not the biggest reason, no.

    The biggest reason is the abstraction argument. The model seems more and more useful the less pinned down by IRL facts it is. Its predictive power is not uniformly understood among credible economists, who will use the same model to formulate different predictions. This is because the abstraction isn't well-defined. The loose terminology of the model is understood differently by different economists, who are therefore not using the same model, despite using the same words.

    If a model can explain an outcome and its antithesis outcome using the same inputs and mechanisms of the model, then the model is absurd.
    It's important to distinguish between ceteris paribus and not. Economists don't disagree on the ceteris paribus effect. Disagreements come when extrapolating. You are correct that supply and demand doesn't tell us what will happen in the real world to GM stock due to a change in demand because what happens in the real world isn't ceteris paribus. An increase in demand for GM stock does push up its stock price (to the best of our knowledge), BUT a whole host of other stuff also happens, which can yield a lower price.

    You're definitely right that we don't use S&D to tell us what a price/quantity will be, because S&D is ceteris paribus and the world is never ceteris paribus. Observations have been that over time the ceteris paribus effect holds directionally and on average.
  62. #23837
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    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    S&D is ceteris paribus and the world is never ceteris paribus.
    This is exactly my point. (Now that you made me google ceteris paribus.)

    I'm fine with all else*, but it can't be considered robust under this condition.

    I mean, my other criticisms dissolve as meaningless if the theory is not considered robust.
    Last edited by MadMojoMonkey; Today at 03:25 PM.
  63. #23838
    Make a law that says that anybody named MadMojoMonkey who post on FTR must be paid $200/hour by any employer, and the S&D forecast would be a decline of quantity of MadMojoMonkeys employed. This forecast would be extremely effective in this new and unique situation, because (if I may use my crystal ball) employment of MadMojoMonkeys would quite reliably fall to around zero. Does this not show robustness of the supply and demand model?
    Last edited by wufwugy; Today at 03:41 PM.
  64. #23839
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    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    Does this not show robustness of the supply and demand model?
    It does not. For I am employed.

    Citing a hypothetical to convince me that what I called a hypothetical model is really real was pretty meta, though.
    I can give you credit for that.
  65. #23840
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    Oh, and these finally exist. At least for one guy for now.

  66. #23841
    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    It does not. For I am employed.

    Citing a hypothetical to convince me that what I called a hypothetical model is really real was pretty meta, though.
    I can give you credit for that.
    Assume the law gets passed and you are no longer employed. Would that show robustness?
  67. #23842
    Here's a better question. If you could address this I would be grateful.

    A line from something I'm reading on robustness in economics regarding robust business finance models:

    "traders analyze a security’s price data using technical analysis to forecast price movements that result from disparities in the security’s supply and demand of the moment."

    Given that the robust technical analysis forecast depends on the consistency and effectiveness of the supply and demand model, does this not mean that supply and demand is a robust model? Or am I using the term wrongly? The law of supply and demand is a thing. Are laws not robust?

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