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Comment Re:Economy is not a science. (Score 2) 290

Even if you don't allow them, one can, for example, study behavior without understanding the biology behind it just as one can study economics without understanding the psychology behind it.

Not if economics is only a sub-field of psychology and not actually a separate discipline. Since money is indeed a psychological phenomena they aren't independent.

This was well studied by followers of the subjective theory of monetary valuation. When a monetary exchange happens both buyer and seller are exchanging something they value less by something they value more. For a cheese seller your $5 is worth more than his piece of cheese; for you the piece of cheese is worth more than your $5; you exchange and both of you are better off after than you were before. End result: $5 is "worth" simultaneously more and less than that piece of cheese. Worse: it changes depending on how many they both have already exchanged and a plethora of other variables, most of them hidden and of an ordinal (1st, 2nd, 3rd...), not cardinal (1, 2, 3...) nature. Given this isn't quantum mechanics, good luck trying to use that "$" number as a hard unit of measurement then.

Comment Re:Don't take this the wrong way (Score 1) 290

to my mind, the post from PPalmgren is completely out of order.

I see your point, but I have reasons for liking reactions such as his, see his answer to my comment and my reply. Besides, without his comment we wouldn't have had this sub-thread and I wouldn't have learned these interesting details on comma usage patterns you provided. :-)

PPalmgren's post also provided me with an interesting challenge: to try writing with fewer commas. I'm already liking this. Having an artificial constraint such as this will help me improve until I can determine what my comma usage pattern should be not because that's what I'm used to do, but because I'll be able to select the best one for any piece of text I'll write. Once it becomes automatic it'll be a win-win all around.

Comment Re:2 are better than 1 - ancient wisdom (Score 1) 57

Only problem I see, as I skim the surface, is that I'm quite anti-Catholic. But, the philosophy looks good.

Yep. I like to make a distinction between "Catholicism the religion" and "Catholicism the philosophy". They overlap quite a bit but one can be taken without the other and the later is much more interesting and universally applicable than the former. I myself am not Catholic, but I do absorb quite a bit of their philosophy. After centuries of very serious intellectual development it acquired a "solidity" that most alternatives lack. As such, it's a joy to study for those so inclined, even if they disagree with it in many things (or specially when they disagree -- we in the humanities are weird like that).

Comment Re:Don't take this the wrong way (Score 1) 290

Your command of the english language is exceptional so I wouldn't have guessed you weren't a native English speaker.

Hehe, thank you. About taking criticisms with open arms, I usually do that for any subject but even more so when it comes to my use of language. I remember waaay back when I began learning English that the better I became more compliments I received, until at some point I started receiving criticisms for it not being good enough. In other words, I had switched from being perceived as a struggling non-native English speaker to being perceived as a bad native speaker. It was amusing and very encouraging.

I guess I've managed to gain another level since then, as now the perceived problems aren't in my usage of the language itself, but in the style. Yay! :-)

Comment Re:Don't take this the wrong way (Score 1) 290

Its very difficult for most to parse language the way a lawyer can so I wouldn't be surprised if I'm not the only one who got lost in your comma minefield.

Thanks for the positive criticism. English isn't my native language. Maybe in addition to typos and grammar errors I also use commas in non-standard ways when writing fast in English. I guess I'd remove some of them if I were to revise the text, something I rarely do for forum posts...

Comment Re:Eh mate? (Score 5, Insightful) 290

The roots of Austrian economics begin with Carl Menger, not Bohm-Bawerk.

You're right, thanks.

From your other note, if Austrian economics is non-scientific then mathematics is also non-scientific. IMO (as an economist and not a philosopher) Austrian econ can make an even stronger case than than math for being scientific because I'm satisfied that the action axiom is a priori true whereas the fundamental axioms of math are not. You can probably deduce that I don't believe 'science' is defined by induction :-)

The problem with this line of reasoning is that it confuses two meaning of "science". Since you mention math, let me use it as an example.

Nowadays it's an accepted matter that you can select basically any set of axioms you wish, and from those you'll be able to fully develop an entire math from them. So, if I want, I can, let's say, determine that the division by 0 has a finite result, and as long as I follow rigorous a logical reasoning, I'll get a consistent, with-division-by-0 math. Some other things will work differently from what we're used, but that's about it.

Now, for us to go from math as a whole, which includes the set of all possible combinations of all possible arbitrarily chosen non-contradictory axioms, to that specific subset that applies to the real world and in turn can be used to describe it, we need a non-a priori component, in that we must observe the actual world and find what of those axioms apply here.

Praxeology doesn't do that for its own axioms. It defines with extreme precision what it understands by "action", and derive lots of conclusions from it, which for the sake of argument we can assume are valid. But it doesn't come and actually prove empirically that what specific thing it calls "action" is the only one at play in economic relations. So, since we're assuming the conclusions from the axiom, if 100% of economics is built upon "action", then praxeology describes all of economics. But this hasn't been proven. It could be that the actual number is 99.999%, or 50%, or 0.001%, or even that the percentage varies given changing factors.

Thus, even with praxeology being valid from one extreme to the other, we still need to actually look into the world to find how much of it actually applies. There's no way around it.

Additionally, the logic upon which deductions from the action axiom are obtained can itself be challenged. It's for the most part classic logic with Kantian additions. What does happen if we were to start deducing with, let's say, para-consistent logic instead? Would it work better or worse in the real world? This, too, is a matter that can only be solved with experimentation.

And so on and so forth. Nothing in this is as straightforward as Austrian economists make it to be.

Comment Re:Eh mate? (Score 5, Informative) 290

When did we go from talking about Australian to Austrian?

Just wondering?

I think you're joking, but if not, "Austrian" is the name of a school of economic thinking. It's called that because, different from Marxism (from Marx's name), Keynesianism (from Keynes') etc., it had more than a single founding economist, and most of them where from Austria. I guess it could be named "Bawerkism" from its very first economist (Eugen von Bohm-Bawerk), but that's not how it went. Besides, although Bohm-Bawerk was the first, the most famous were Ludwig von Mises and Friefrich von Hayek, so that you do find people talking about "Misesian" and "Hayekian" when focusing on particular ideas from either. So, we're stuck with calling it "Austrian Economics". What, admittedly, is a source of confusion.

Comment Re:2 are better than 1 - ancient wisdom (Score 1) 57

God's way is what? Capitalism? I don't think so. If God subscribed to any ism's, communism would be as likely as any.

Actually, a ton of Christian philosophers, economists etc. have tried to answer that. The best result of their attempts, as far as I know at least, is that of what we'd call a "3rd way", called "Distributism".

Distributists agree with communists in the centrality of the means of production, and that it shouldn't be in the hands of a few for them to use it to exploit the masses. Contrary to communists, however, they also don't think it should be in the hands of a single one (the state), but rather spread among as many owners as possible. Thus, they also agree with capitalists in the you must have and preserve private property. But goes against it in that the state should prevent such private ownerships from aggregating into monopolies. They also place a strong focus on small communities, and think that social security must be provided locally, by the well of members of a community to the less well of, thus going against both liberals, who think it must be provided by a centralized state, and conservatives, who think it must be provided by the individual alone. And they think the concept of employment as practiced today is fundamentally flawed, preferring cooperatives of free workers who own their own means of productions to that of employees (who don't) working for someone else (who does).

The best analogy I can think to this is of a world composed of unions who are also companies and who provide social security for their members. In other words, the ideal social model of Christianity would be a world of professional guilds.

The Distributist Magazine offers lots of information. See also the Wikipedia page.

Comment Re:Economy is not a science. (Score 5, Insightful) 290

A major part of the problem is that the thing that macro-economists study, the economy of the world, changes its behavior in response to the reported observations of the economists.

It's worse than that, at least according to Austrian economics. For them, the theoretical basis of macro-economics, or at least of almost all of them, namely, the assumption what money (as a measurement unit) is what matters, is simply false. So, all the models starting from it will suffer no matter what.

The main criticism Austrian economists throw at macro-economics, econometrics etc. is that money isn't an objective unit, it's just a representation of subjective preferences that very from person to person, and within a single person from instant to instant, only resembling something minimally solid, and thus as a fake unit, as a kind of surface effect. Thus, the same way that a sociology divorced of any concept of human psychology is bogus, so is any macro-economics that doesn't base itself entirely on that small subset of human psychology that is micro-economics. True economics is at best a sub-field of psychology, and macro economics is at most a sub-field of sociology.

Austrian economists only do math after they manages to understood reasonably well the psychological mechanisms behind a set of atomic exchanges (not necessarily involving money), provided it shows itself as something that can have calculations done, which most often than not isn't the case.

Mainstream economics doesn't like this, at all. Keynesians, marxists, econometrists etc. all believe they have a unit of measurement, and that they can turn this unit and its measurement into a hard science. They cannot. It's wishful thinking, if not outright bullshit. But it's a bullshit so full of technobabble, so enchanting in its seeming seriousness, that the self-deception simply proceeds, unchecked.

Now, that doesn't means Austrian economics isn't full of bullshit too. It's own model of human psychology they call praxeology is extremely flawed, since it's based on philosophical assumptions more than on actual psychological research. Much of it is quite useful, or at least inspiring, but non-scientific anyway. But what they do very well, and the reason I keep reading them, is their debunking of mainstream economics pseudoscientific assumptions. They are at the top of their game when they take a macro-economics equation, break it down in its main components, and proceed to show analytically how what it describes is pure, glorified nonsense.

So, here's what must be done to really turn economics into the mostly scientific discipline it can ever be: take Austrian criticism of macro-economics, add the state of the art in cognitive sciences, develop an actually valid psychology-based micro-economics from both (it won't be Austrian's praxeology), and then, by way of reductionist thinking, build from then, step by step and floor-by-floor, a bottom-up macro-economics that's based on something actually relevant and universally valid (which "money" most definitely isn't).

Then, and only then, at least a semblance of actually working models.

Comment Re:Ha Ha (Score 1) 227

Why not just find a quiet spot for an hour or two, then sit down and learn it?

That's not the problem. I already figured the commands I need to use "right know" to have things moving. That isn't the same as understanding what's going on, much less understanding the principles behind git's process and why they are as they are. When it comes to development tools, being an end user doesn't work for me. I want to fully grok them, not merely go with the motions. And so far git has eluded me. Using it in this way is like "knowing" an equation by rote memorization alone, without any real understanding of why the result is what it is or what it means. And this is just... wrong.

Comment Re:Ha Ha (Score 1) 227

I've got two older female UX designers using GIT to manage their XML based wireframes. they create repos, add existing files, setup a dev branch, make changes, create feature branches in GITflow, merge features into dev, resolve conflicts, merge to dev, tag, create release branches, tag, merge to trunk.

This. What I'd love would be to see a week of this on paper (well, screen), no step excluded, even if without any explanation of the commands, as I could look them upon elsewhere.

Comment Re:Ha Ha (Score 1) 227

You should really take a look at the Pro Git book. http://git-scm.com/book It assumes very little, and should be able to take any developer worth their salt from "lolwhat's source control?" to proficiency fairly quickly.

I did. It's one of the books I'm reading, and one I find very weak. It's all abstract concepts and toy examples, not git solving real problems for a real developer trying to do some real stuff.

My ideal git book would show git being added to an existing project, then used to develop it a little, then to test alternate features, then merge those that worked, going through the whole process of resolving a set of conflicts (real code conflicts, with a real solution, on the real project, step-by-step, not "foo.bar here differs from foo.bar there, solve it and mark as solved then commit" or the some other such generality), setting stable versions, doing stuff on those etc., with extensive discussion of what was going on behind the scenes, at the file system level, of all the people involved, for every high-level activity.

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