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Comment Re:It should be obvious (Score 1) 313

Sort of. I've taken a more scientific approach to economics in my theories of wealth, which are on the whole inviolable; I handwave away market dynamics a lot, since market dynamics tend to converge on correctness in the same way pressure systems converge on correctness--raising the pressure or temperature in one area of a pressure system doesn't instantly make the whole container follow the ideal gas law and experience the same pressure, but rather causes a lot of shifting. The difference is markets are *always* shifting, never static (the same can be said of pressure vessels, though).

Most economists are shopkeepers. Land theory of value, labor theory of value, subjective theory of value, what is all that shit? It's a bunch of talk about "blah blah labor blah blah work done blah blah THUS THE PRICE TAG IS THIS MANY DOLLARS". That's all they want to talk about: how many dollars something sells for. It's idiotic.

I started writing an economics theory of wealth, talking about productivity, labor time investment, how all that changes, and what it does to a society. It's about as valid as evolutionary biology, as a theory; obviously, my theories will be superseded by other theories, which will themselves be superseded, and extended, and otherwise adjusted or built upon. Still, I work on bare truths only violated by human effort, in the same way you can violate survival of the fittest--that is, survival of the biological variations and mutations which out-breed the others--by intent and animal husbandry (which we routinely do, redefining "fitness" as "useful to human purposes, but not particularly likely to survive in the wild").

The most basic, fundamental concept is simple: labor costs drop. Everything--fuel production, transportation, material production, equipment operation, work done--is labor-driven. A 100% self-maintaining, self-fueling, self-operating system uses zero labor; we don't have any of those yet. Thus we find ways to produce fuel and materials cheaply, to use cheaper fuels and materials, or to use less fuel and materials; and we find ways to directly employ less labor.

Hunter-gatherers worked 15-20 hours per week to feed every 1 person. Modern agricultural workers spend something like 27 hours per year (actually less) to feed every 1 person. That's a lot of free labor time to build rockets and send Buzz Aldrin to the moon.

Hunter-gatherers could also produce enough food for 135 million humans, total, in theory. As food became scarce, they'd have had to spend more time foraging to scrounge up enough food: instead of 20 hours for 1 person, those last people now require 30 hours to find enough food, then 40, then 60. That's what scarcity is: to produce more units of output, you need more than a proportional increase in labor--10% more output requires more than 10% more labor. Sometimes the labor is impossible: we can fly to the stars, but do we have the labor-hours to produce the materials, fuel, and food to operate a space mining initiative?

I've explained why we have welfare, why welfare systems became possible, what wealth is, what determines buying power and inflation and so forth, and even produced the theory of supply-and-demand and the theory of scarcity as mere consequences and observations of the economic theories I've developed--the most fundamental economic ideals of merchant-economists, that they can sell you crap for more money if you want it badly enough, are mere consequences to my mind. I can even tell you why diamonds are expensive.

Merchant-economists should be mindful of real economics; the problem is nobody has written a real theory of economics by this point in history. Economists are all wandering around in loincloths wearing body paint.

Comment Wages are always more (Score 1) 225

In the US, the total individual income is something like 10.5 billion, while the total income is 12 billion. Corporations don't pay income tax on wages--they don't get $100 million, pay taxes on $100 million, then pay $90 million in salaries, and then you receive your paycheck and pay taxes on that. That $90 million is your income for working as part of the business.

Facebook paid 35 million pounds out as bonus wages, and paid very little in taxes. Surprise. Facebook is based in the US; how much are they getting as net revenue in the UK anyway?

Comment Re: In three years ... (Score 1) 216

but you do need to take him in his original context, and as an economics theorist rather then the carrier of the word of god.

I'm sure if I had the same information as Adam Smith I may have reached the same conclusions. My brain is habitually tuned to perform complex simulations by a representative process of progressive elaboration, so I can usually "figure things out" faster than other people and in more detail; this is simply something most people haven't taught themselves, and still doesn't produce good results (or produce results very quickly--sometimes I have to spend months generating new information) if the input is bad.

Still, the idea that work is decreased exclusively by division is ludicrous. Anyone familiar with discrete mathematics will immediately recognize the converse situation: can you find a way, without combining work, to make the same players do the same work less efficiently? Yes. Then there are obviously ways to simply streamline some subset of processes which exist, have existed, or will exist to produce the same output with less labor, and division of labor is only one way to do that.

Division of labor is a large source of efficiency improvement; it's not the only source, but it's a considerable one.

Also I don't like the theories of value. Macroeconomics has historically been about shopkeepers theorizing why goods have such a price tag. Land theory of value, labor theory of value, subjective theory of value... hasn't anyone thought to write a theory of wealth, identifying how large economies and large economic interactions change things like poverty, standard of living, income distribution, tax structures, the possibility of welfare, population growth, and so forth? Apparently not; they write about markets and call it macroeconomics.

Comment Re: In three years ... (Score 1) 216

It's more than that.

Adam Smith was a bumbling fool; but even a fool who's using his brain gets a surprising amount right. Even the dumbass republicans and liberals and socialists have a huge swath of good ideas peppered with terrible conclusions. The effort of trying to be right about everything only gets you largely correct and on much better footing; someone will come by and fix the flaws in *my* economic theories one day, even, and the only reason there are any flaws there is because I'd naturally have written *more* *correct* theories if I was capable of recognizing those flaws with my current set of information. Once it's out there in such shape, people will recover the same information in much less time, and have more time to acquire further information to draw more precise conclusions.

Smith talked about the division of labor reducing the amount of waste labor. That's not the cause, but rather a mechanism: we can create new tools and rearrange assembly floors to reduce labor time spent on tasks; but we can also, as Smith observes, redistribute tasks and have new, specialized toolmakers create radically different and expanded sets of tools. For example: creating a power drill divides labor, as Smith suggests, by relying on miners, power plant engineers, infrastructure builders, motor manufacturers, and toolmakers to drive the drilling; but creating a better motor, a more efficient gearing set, and a better-designed drill uses all the same resources in more efficient ways *without* dividing labor.

The suggestion that everyone should learn to program goes against the division of labor principle. As I've demonstrated, this is not inherently wrong; however, it implies that the labor to train programmers is more efficient than the labor to produce specialized programs for the groups of otherwise-specialized laborers who use them. To put it simply: we're saying these particular engineers must also learn to be toolmakers, because hiring out toolmakers is less efficient than training engineers to produce their own tools. For that to be true, it must take the engineers sufficiently little time to make tools, and the tools must be of sufficiently high quality compared to those made by specialized toolmakers; if custom toolmakers can make better, more efficient tools in less time and with better quality to fit the needs of an engineer, then the engineers should spec and buy their tools from a competent toolmaker.

To my understanding, a little knowledge of computers is useful--particularly in data processing, meaning languages like AWK, sed, Perl, python, SQL, MongoDB's query structure, and other data-centric systems--but a full knowledge of large program structure is a waste of time to transfer and to put into use in unskilled hands. A dedicated programmer will accomplish the same output to higher quality in less time than a casual coder. I've made enormous use of sed and awk on the command line to rip through any arbitrary data I need to organize; some Excel knowledge would do me good as well in that use (I've got the basics, but nothing advanced); but everything beyond that is just general knowledge to me, useful and interesting, but not more useful than paying someone else to do it.

This will just devalue computer programmers, until they figure out "any random joe who knows C#" isn't a good computer programmer, anyway. Then they'll all be worth exactly what a college-degree-holding compsci student commands for salary.

Comment Re:The solution is simple (Score 1) 392

It's all simple; people are just stupid. Look at the minimum wage answer to everything: they all imagine raising minimum wages will result in businesses paying it; yet raising minimum wages changes the ratio between labor cost of current methods and labor cost of alternatives. This encourages a transition to alternatives with lower labor time--which appears good for wealth growth, but isn't, because it starts to stall consumer market reflex and thus slows the creation of jobs to replace the displaced labor.

Comment Re:Give me a raise (Score 1) 327

Leadership isn't just part of being a good manager; it's what makes you a manager, by skillset. If you can't program a computer and I give you a computer programmer job, you're not a programmer; you're an idiot in the wrong job. If you're a manager and you're not an effective leader, you're not a manager; you're a fuckoff. Knowing what to do is an important part of management; but managing something requires control over it, and you don't get control over humans without gaining their social acceptance of your ability to lead. You also can't decide what to do if you can't make decisions--and part of being a leader is making decisions when others come to you without direction, since that's when they're coming specifically to *ask* you to lead.

You can't be a leader by programming; you can be a programmer who is also a leader. You don't need to be a manager to be a leader.

Comment Re:Why would anyone be shocked? (Score 1) 210

Take for example how supply and demand influence price. I.e. more supply means reduced price, more demand means increased price. And 90% of the time, that hold's true, but it's that 10% where it throws the models off, and the cause could be something fickle like masses of people arbitrarily decided that the product has gone out of style and they don't want it anymore no matter what price it is sold at.

I've written theories largely based on cost, and handwaved price as a market economics topic. I believe that's a valid stance.

In my economic theories, the basis of productivity improvement is labor time reduction: if you need 10,000 man-hours to produce food for 10,000 people, each one person must work 10 hours to eat. As Adam Smith observed, you can compartmentalize this: 2,500 people can work 40 hours to feed everyone, and the other 7,500 can do something else. Adam Smith's observation was flawed in that he claimed division of labor was the only way to do this--that you had to add new people handling smaller parts of the task--and thus claimed you couldn't have the *same* people or the *same* number of roles invested in doing different tasks requiring less time and producing the same output. For example: he discounted that a power tool maker could design a better power tool, and discounted that something like cellular manufacture would have any gains (cellular manufacture is a rearranged assembly line to reduce the time spent carrying intermediate products around).

That productivity improvement implies a lot of things. Your theory of "Supply and Demand" has implications such as something called "Scarcity", which I can explain. Scarcity occurs with superlinear growth of labor requirements.

Let me demonstrate.

It takes 2,500 people to feed 10,000 people. It takes 5,000 people to feed 20,000 people. It takes 10,000 people to feed 30,000 people. It takes 30,000 people to feed 40,000 people. It takes 60,000 people to feed 50,000 people.

Somewhere between a population of 20,000 and 30,000, it started taking more people--more labor-hours--to produce additional food for one person. That means you can feed up to 20,000 people with 10 hours of labor invested per person; but when you get to 30,000 people, you're averaging 13 hours of labor per person--which means those last bits of food are averaging a lot more. If it's the last 10,000 people requiring the scaled-up effort, then you're paying 10 hours per person for the first 20,000 and 20 hours per person for the last 10,000.

Eventually, you need more labor than you have available: making things is just impossible.

Scarcity starts when it starts taking more labor per unit output to produce an increased output of goods.

My theories of wealth growth stand not on labor hours, but on labor costs. Labor costs are labor-hours multiplied by labor price. The primary method for reducing labor costs is to reduce labor hours; I recognize that increasing labor price has serious economic effects, and that decreasing labor hours both decreases productive scarcity and decreases labor costs as two separate economic factors. In other words: lowering the labor requirements to produce a good produce one set of effects by the same mechanism as reducing wages, and another set of effects stemming from the addition of available workforce labor. It's self-referential in that second bit: think of it as "like cutting wages plus other stuff you don't get just by cutting wages".

Prices can go as low as costs, sustainably; they can't go any lower in the long run. If it costs $550/tonne to produce rice, you can't sell rice for less than $550/tonne for very long. You can sell it for $1000/tonne if no other market factors drive the price down, of course.

A lot of market factors drive price toward cost. There's direct competition (ten rice suppliers; better push rice down. Oh, we can make it for $180/tonne now, so let's undercut that $550/tonne price and sell it for $200/tonne), which is very fast; and there's inflation pressure (prices climb slower than inflation), which is very slow. (The buying power of unit currency is the total income divided by the total production--the total production being the total buying power--which is how we get inflation.) To your point, however:

the cause could be something fickle like masses of people arbitrarily decided that the product has gone out of style and they don't want it anymore no matter what price it is sold at.

There's a market behavior of indirect competition. People are no longer interested in overpriced fancy shoes; tech is in-vogue, and they want smart phones and tablets. Because they can't afford both tablets and fancy shoes, they stop buying fancy shoes. To compensate, the fancy shoe producers reduce their prices closer to cost, within the affordability of the consumer base after buying smart phones and tablets. If the fancy shoes cost more to make than that affordability, they vanish--or get replaced by poorly-made imitations; otherwise they come down sharply in price, because shoes are competing with iPhones now.

That explain your observation of an apparent link between supply and demand? It's a valid observation; it's built firmly on more fundamental economics that nobody has yet theorized, and those demonstrate its validity and explain its quirks.

I'm working on explaining all this, but it takes some time and I'm lazy. I've also been blogging some stuff lately--we'll see how long that lasts--to get some notes down that I'll later feed into the paper. Much of the unwritten theory is already in my head, and I'm using a lot of it to extrapolate further theories and observations.

Comment Re:Why would anyone be shocked? (Score 1) 210

Funny, my economic theories predict and explain everything pretty perfectly. Granted, I don't try to predict the stock market or the rise of new nations with economics; you wouldn't use a blowtorch to drive a screw, either.

Modern economic theories are largely stoneage garbage. I dispensed with the term "value" because I decided it didn't have a place in civilized economics; after a while, I started researching economics (because I wrote my theories in a vacuum, having never studied economics myself, and started going back to debunk everything else), and realized all major economic theories are based on explaining the price attached to a good or service. They're all theories of value, not theories of wealth. It's retarded; they really figured out how to fuck up by the numbers.

Comment Re:Just (Score 1) 186

you are going to average 4 to 5 hours of generation per day best case.

Based on the average solar radiation per square meter per day in my area, measured with satellite and ground station data, combined with the 9.61% loss in my system, accounting for the angle from the horizontal, the azimuth (angle from the north), and the fixed nature of my array, I am going to average:

January: 2.84 kWh per m^2 per day, generating 556kWh.

February: 3.81 kWh/m^2/day, generating 669kWh.

March: 4.50 kWh/m^2/day, generating 843kWh.

April: 5.22 kWh/m^2/day, generating 929kWh.

May: 5.64 kWh/m^2/day, generating 1,003kWh.

June: 6.27 kWh/m^2/day, generating 1,033kWh.

July: 6.06 kWh/m^2/day, generating 1,025kWh.

August: 5.47 kWh/m^2/day, generating 928kWh.

September: 4.80 kWh/m^2/day, generating 802kWh.

October: 4.33 kWh/m^2/day, generating 773kWh.

November: 3.00 kWh/m^2/day, generating 545kWh.

December: 2.33 kWh/m^2/day, generating 454kWh.

That accounts for the size, efficiency, and generating capacity of my array. It accounts for the hours of the day, the average weather, the amount of sunlight reaching the earth, the amount converted by my panels. It accounts for the electrical loss in my inverters, for soiling, for shading (none), for mismatch losses, for losses in wiring.

That's not peak generation during the day multiplied by 24 hours; that's total generation during the day, on average, multiplied by the month.

That's a 7,000 watt system of 28 standard (15%) panels (mine are a touch more efficient), with factory-matched panels and micro-inverters (2 panels per micro-inverter) (meaning no mismatch loss), with no shading, in a fixed rack, at 161 degree azimuth and 34 degrees from the horizontal (optimum spring-fall, near-optimum summer, less-optimum winter), spread over a 1000sqft area, at a latitude of 39.18N and a longitude of 76.67W.

That's a total of 9,560kWh/year on average.

It's 23,900kWh in 2.5 years. At current, my electricity is 11 cents, plus enough taxes and fees to top 17 cents per kWh in total (I computed it at 17.4 cents per kWh last year; it's a bit cheaper now). That's $1,625/year of cost reduction, plus 9.5 SRECs. The exchange price used to hover around $168, about $1600/year; 2015 SRECs are currently $180, and 2014 currently sell for $175, so I'm looking at around $1700/year.

In total, it's $4,063 of displaced electricity costs, $4,302 of SRECs sold to the utility company, and the 30% ITC taking the $12,740 cost down to $8,918 plus the MD $1,000 flat grant. $8,365 recovered in 2.5 years versus $7,918 expended.

Don't mess with me, man; I'm a lawyer.

Comment Re:Give me a raise (Score 1) 327

Management *can be* a leadership position. Leadership *can be* computer programming.

=> is not <=> ; you reversed the logic. You'd make a shitty computer programmer. Your statement is also false.

Computer programming is not leadership. A lot of computer programmers and other technical people envision themselves as leaders because they have a senior position due to their grand mastery of discrete component circuitry and assembly-level memory management. They try to lead by knowing, and by dumping their knowledge onto other people. Leadership is not just being more knowledgeable and thus frequently right where everyone else is wrong; it distinctly requires finding out when your knowledge has aged and getting input from other people to make sure the whole team is moving in the right direction, and not just the direction you envisioned from on high.

As soon as you're in a management position, you're in a leadership position. Management is not looking up from on-high and decreeing what shall be; you can't manage well--you might say you're not managing--by just pointing and screaming and flinging your own dung at everything. You *need* to take in information, you *need* to interact with the people you're managing. That's why middle-managers are supposed to work out high-level goals with their subordinates, who get their information from the teams under them, and who work out specific strategies and assign work with the team: a guy managing programmers must work with the programmers to figure out if and how to carry out business tasks; a guy managing managers must work with those managers to discover if something can be done and what the organization needs to invest to complete the task successfully. Nobody, at any level, can just close their ears and scream their decree and call themselves an effective manager; what you have there is a spoiled crybaby.

there is no leadership outside management

Team leads and technical leads are getting into semi-management positions. They're chimera roles: they're both leaders and engineers. In some organizations, the manager above the team lead also interacts directly with the team; in others, there's a strict hierarchy, and the team lead is expected to exercise all of the authority over the team, directing who performs what work. Technical leads are sometimes a strange mix: they're expected to hold much of the technical discussion and make many of the technical decisions without the functional or project managers present, and then bring the results (the decisions and the information that lead to those decisions) to those managers. In that function, the technical leads aren't team leaders, and they're not the decision-making authority; they're there to make sure the team doesn't stall and muddle waiting for leadership on technical decisions, and to make sure technical decisions are well-considered and presented to management properly.

Management is a technical role. You may not be a "manager" in title, and you'll still find yourself performing as management. Leadership is a particular skill and behavior that doesn't necessarily correlate to your job--you can perform as an organizational and team leader without being assigned that role, and easily find yourself promoted into a management or team lead role because you're helping hold shit together. We need the firm walls between skill sets, even if the roles sometimes become fuzzy.

So yes, a leader can be a computer programmer; a computer programmer can be a leader; but leadership and computer programming are not either thing. A manager can lead a computer programming team without knowing much about computer programming, too; it's probably more effective if he knows something about computer programming, provided he can get over the subject expert problem (subject experts like to micromanage, and often can't recognize new problems without forcing them into the structure of known concepts, so demand everyone do the wrong thing).

It was kinda like stuffing the wrong card in a computer, when you're stickin' those artificial stimulants in your arm. -- Dion, noted computer scientist