Moulton Lava

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Gaming the System

Politicians, lawyers, and well-heeled lobbyists are uncommonly gifted at gaming the system.

To that list, you can add sheriffs, prosecutors, judges, and other local and state law enforcement officials.

The concept of gaming the system was put on a rigorous mathematical foundation in the 20th Century, with the development of Chaos Theory, Game Theory, and Drama Theory.

It's been more than a century since Henri Poincaré came up with his path-breaking results leading to the development of Chaos Theory. And it's been more than half a century since John von Neumann and his colleagues developed the Theory of Games.

Today anyone whose business involves the Rule of Law understands the art and practice of Gaming the System.

The Rule of Law has been thoroughly hacked and is now well past its sell-by date.

But while the Rule of Law is now kaput, the same 20th Century mathematics that trashed it also provides the model of the successor to the now obsolescent Rule of Law.

The Nobel Prize in Economics was awarded in 2007 to three researchers who developed a novel economic theory known as Mechanism Design.

Cheating is wrong.
Hackito Ergo Sum
Mechanism Design is a branch of Game Theory that investigates how to design economic systems which induce participants to play both optimally and ethically.

That is, in Mechanism Design, there is no advantage to Gaming the System.

Our existing legal system is manifestly not crafted in line with the principles of Mechanism Design. Indeed, it is ridiculously easy to game our conventional system of law.

In our present model, it is generally not illegal to game the system, but it is manifestly unethical because it clearly defeats the purpose of having a functional regulatory system in the first place.

Or to put it another way, we do not have a functional regulatory system. We don't even have anything close to one.

But it is theoretically possible to build one from the ground up, using 21st Century concepts in Systems Science, Cybernetics, and Mathematics.

11 Comments:

Blogger Unknown said...

So Barry,
If Fear, Power and Ignorance are your ingredients for Evil, how do you reconcile that with

Fearing for the disruption of your online community

because

you were Ignorant of the motives of someone who's comments you could not absorb

and hence

Using your POWER to exile them?

10:28 AM  
Blogger Moulton said...

You'll have to be more explicit, as I have no idea who you are, which community you are referring to, and what issue you are seeking to address.

11:17 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Barry, you just lost another member from the Problem Solving group out of his frustration with you.

And I'm surprised my Google ID doesn't come through, This is degsme.

12:03 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Oh. Karl.

Yeah, Tim actually withdrew from the Internet. He even closed his blog.

He had posted that he was gonna walk away from Facebook (and the Internet) if it was that easy for someone to seize control of his accounts.

I dunno if he figured out who was impersonating him. Obviously a troll of some sort, most likely someone who knew him personally.

He will be missed.

12:36 PM  
Blogger Higs; said...

I truly don't believe anyone was impersonating me or had hacked my logon. I think I had had too much to drink one night, while blathering on FB, and didn't realize one of my posts had come from my fingers. The reason I got out of FB, after that, was simply that FB bores me. I resent the advertising and the manipulation, the gathering of metadata, and the whole thing, I guess. Out of the couple hundred friends I had, most of them were females who've been in my classes. I suppose one shouldn't complain about that, except--what's the point? I mean, they'll get over me, right?

I killed my blog because it had no reason for being. Sooner or later I take a notion--every now and then--to cover my tracks and delete all the assorted tosh I accumulate on the internet. It's just something I do. Barry, I regret having made Swiss cheese of your blog, in that respect, but it's just something I do. And I was enraged that you didn't take my word for it that I was me. In any case, I never hold a grudge for any length of time.

6:15 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Between the assertion that someone else had posted under your name and my observation that the posts in question were out of character, I was left scratching my head regarding who was controlling your account.

I couldn't devise a reliable way to resolve my confusion.

7:04 PM  
Blogger Higs; said...

Taking my word for it, once I realized what my mistake was, might have been adequate. But I can see why you weren't inclined to do that.

My leaving FB had nothing to do with your confusion, though. It had much more to do with wishing to distance myself from a number of people it was constantly bringing to my attention.

10:52 AM  
Blogger Moulton said...

I was thrown into a state of negative capability, entertaining two mutually incompatible hypotheses and lacking an obvious way to falsify either of them.

Per Raymond Smullyan's methods, I eventually worked out the most appropriate question to ask, but then I screwed up and worded it wrong.

What I meant to ask (on your blog) is "How do I falsify the hypothesis that you are an imposter who has usurped control of Tim's account."

Alas, I worded it clumsily, and failed at my objective. My bad.

11:20 AM  
Blogger Higs; said...

Not a problem at all. Again, just believing me would have been good, but then it was because you believed me in the first place that believing me in the second place was problematic. From my perspective, this is all to the point of your previous conclusion that nepenthe is worthless, that is to say worth less than nothing.

But I haven't quite attained to that highest state of nirvana awareness. I still think its worth fighting the good fight between penetration of the penetralium of mystery, even if only for furtive bouts of implicit awareness, and the subsequent recriminations (and discomfort, mainly) of the morning after.

I'll get over it. I was tea-total from the time I was 30 (when our children started being born) until I was about 60 (when our children had all moved out and were under their own steam, more or less--) when I decided to make up for lost time, I suppose one could say.

Not to worry, though. My wife is quite a bit younger than I am, and she won't be able to retire for at least five or six years, so I have an interim to get used to the flow of just "being a gentleman" as Joyce's Stephen Daedalus says of his father, when asked at public school what his father "is."

I a bit at loose ends, that is to say, at the moment, and your concern about me warms my heart, though it enraged me, as I've already said. I used to get pissed off at Archos, too, just because he was such a pain in the ass, cybernetically-speaking. There's a part of me that wants to be argumentative, irascible, irremediably reprobate, and just plain nasty--that never gets a chance to operate in the world, since I know better, in that context, and am able to stifle or repress it.

Hence, my frustration with internet liberty (as in libertine anarchy) that I know you've had your fair share of frustration with. I'm alienated by the Yiddish-sounding terminology you sometimes associate with it, but believe me I know what you're talking about with that sourkraut stuff. But it cuts close to home, for me, at times. I know I'm not as free from that as I would like to be. The need for--what is it you call it? kauderwelsh drama? I don't know why I want to get Welsh in there, maybe as a foil to the Yiddish, which I was versed in by the mothers of my two long lost loves of youth. As I told Stephanie of the Holy Grail Quest, my youth was spent being a Christian in love with Jewish girls. Not something I would wish on anybody, seriously. Still, it helped me be who I am, today. Well, not just helped, but rather insisted. . . .

Anyway, rest assured, if your puzzlement allows it, that I'm okay, and doing fine, in my own way. I promise I will keep in touch, through your molten lava, at least. I really want to write a book about Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter that hasn't yet been written, but I'm not sure I'm quite ready to tackle it.

3:21 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

There is a long story behind Kauderwelsch Heavy Industries and The Indigestible Kauderwelsch Forum.

Long before World Crossing, there was Café Utne, sponsored by the publisher of Utne Reader Magazine.

The site manager, Kai Hagen, was a bit of a Machiavellian Control Phreak and out of his element trying to manage a free-wheeling Internet discussion forum. I ended up playing Alice to his Queen of Hearts character.

I was a fairly prolific poster back in those days, and Kai characterized my contributions as "Boxcars of Gibberish."

Somewhere along the way, I threw that phrase into Google Translate where it came out Frachtwagens von Kauderwelsch in German.

The rest, as they say, is history.

9:10 PM  
Blogger Karl Jones said...

Properly, the "Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel".

"It is not one of the prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895, but instead was established 73 years later by Sweden's central bank, the Sveriges Riksbank, on the occasion of the bank's 300th anniversary with a donation to the Foundation."

Source: Wikipedia

4:49 PM  

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