I came to being a libertarian because of the math. I started with the idea that if we start with microeconomics, game theory, and then formally aggregate a group of individuals we can come to macro economics. I did this by mirroring Gibbs approach to deriving statistical mechanics. Translated into econo-jargon, a society is just a bunch of people added together. Thus statistical economics was born. When I explored the consequences of this framework in environmental ethics, I saw I had no choice other than to accept libertarian principles. There is more that needs to be done, and so here we go. Continue reading
Russell Brand made an audacious call for revolution in his New Statesman editorial. I share many of his concerns for the current state of affairs and see that if unchecked we will unfortunately have a revolution. However, I do not see his proposed solution as an effective one. It will lead to a greater tragedy within any society that adopts his well intentioned action. His interview with Jeremy Paxman is informative and entertaining to watch.
I am in the process of reading John Rawls’ A Theory of Justice. What strikes me is his assumption of the world being fixed. That individuals do not change with time as they grow and experience more. His distribution of wealth is similarly fixed in time and is bequeathed by random chance. The purpose of his conception of justice is to nullify “the accidents of natural endowment.”
In a statistical economic framework, individuals maximize their entropy-freedom, based upon the constraints that they are given. When we look at the society from a wider veil of ignorance, one where we as the framers of the society are unable to uniquely identify the individual members, we treat those individuals the same. They have different knowledge, characteristics, and allotment of resources. They act with their full knowledge, the sort that Hayek calls practical knowledge. What is uniform is our ignorance of their specific and uniquely identifiable features. This is very different from Rawls. He assumed that we ignored our ability. We are here allowing it, not denying it. This has some fundamental impacts on the outcome. Continue reading