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A bag of [random, scattered] quasi-principles for commentaries

Here is a collection of "quasi-principles", none of them "true", that are a handy reference for review commentaries, presented in a [simple, terse] manner. These clearly do not comprise a [complete, coherent] set, but are mainly intended as "contervailing opinions", rather than as a repetition of "politically-correct thinking" and "truths of the day". Their main advantage may be to assist people to break their believe systems, and to open up their thinking. These are DEFINITLY intended to be objectionable!

While these ideas have floated aroung my [webSite, email, note]s for a long time, I first put them together to provide a colleecon of ideas for the review of John Tamny 2021 "When politicians panicked: The new corona virus, expert opinion, and a tragic lapse of reason".



Table of Contents




[political, economic, financial, legal, market] systems are irrelevant?

This is a very interesting theme for me. While my natural instinct is to say "hog wash", several things argue in favour for the theme.

Alfredo Pareto, Benoit Mandelebrot - The "wealth gap" is always the same function irrespective of the [[polital, economic] system, time, cuture, religion] :
This isn't what they actually said (Pareto first, decades later confirmed by Mandelbrot), so I am taking liberties with my statement. However, stated as such, it is a stunning refutation of the basis of one of the key concepts underlying policy for sociology and political science. Author John Tamny (see references below) understood part of the deeper meaning of wealth poverty, but fell short of "the important benefits of poverty" that I have alluded to.

Technical analysis of financial markets - all [concept, theory, technique, analysis]s fail - Technical analysis is most often applied to short term [day, week, month] analysis, but is also applied to long term [decade, century] analysis. Some of the best technical analysts that I follow on TradingView Mar2020-Jan2022, even state that it is a mistake to pay too much attention to the news! I can't do that myself, but they have a point - watch the data! If you are following the news, remember that you are following after the big boys have already taken that into account ("buy on rumor, sell on news"). My own impression from decades ago was that the news used to explain maret moves was simply not credible, and was often contradictory, i.e. the same reason is often used to explain why the markets went up as why they went down, with no conditional to help explain. This is shown, with data and graphs, very well by Robert Prechter's "Socionomics"-related books. In a sense, it is distantly related to David Wolpert's (I think) "no free lunch" theorem for Evolutionary Computation.

David Fischer's "The Great Wave" book - While the two examples above have very [limit, specialize]ed application, it seems to me that David Fischer's analysis of "price [revolution, equilibrium] waves" is very [broad, general]. In the end, in spite of the HUGE diversity of [[polital, economic] system, time, cuture, religion] systems, they all seem to [experience, act] in the same ways right across history in the most profound ways!??

They must have said the same thing back in the Neolithic

Often, when reading a modern-day "new" [thought, concept, theory, belief], I can't believe that they didn't say the same thing in ancient [Tigris-Euphrates, Nile, Indus] civilisations, and possibly in much earlier civilisations, like Gobekli-Tepe of the Turkish Anatolian plateau (?). Note that the latter have long been dis-alowed by incredibly ""turbic thinking" of archaeologists (all of them). It's one thing to say there's no evidence, it's another to say it can't be, it's yet another to lie about the evidence there is. But the icing on the cake is that this often ends the same way : once "sort of proven out", the ideas are stolen by academics who often were the critics, who then magically become the inventors. Rare science fiction writers must sometimes feel that this has happened to them.

The real issue is often "turbic thinking", and not the subject at hand

The real issue isn't so much the scientific [concept, theory]s under consideration. The real issue is the occasional, but often long-enduring, failure of [rational, logical, scientific] reasoning by essentially ALL [government, academic] scientists. This often occurs with theories that are a main impediment to reserach progress in an area. Careful - this is not about a difficult search for the truth, it is only about glaring failures of reasoning, often at the most [simple, introductory] level, that become truths enduring for [year, decade, century, millenium]s. Essentially none of the scientists seem capable of [see, correct]ing these problems, so they continue to build on top of them. Descriptions above are based on over-simplistic dichotomies. there are better ways to describe this...

non-[rational, logical, scientific] modes of thinking

[rational, logical, scientific] modes of thinking were certainly NOT invented by science, unless one looks at special forms such as Isaac Newton's "Prinicipia". Much of it dates at least as far back as religions, and I wonder if the great ages of mythology (eg 10-12kyBP (kilo-years Before Present) also had this even before formal writing systems. For me, questions about the effectiveness and general applicability of logic have always been an issue. The same applies to statistics, especially Bayes Theorem and other popular approaches. My priority hobby since 1988 is Neural Networks, which for perhaps 2 decades has been classed as part of the "Computational Intelligence" (CI) area, allong with Evolutionary Computation, Fuzzy Systems, and many related concepts. Stories of the "dark winter" of CI from ~1967-1996 are perhaps exaggerrated (or not). This was a period when the older and more tractable "Artifical Intelligence" (AI) dominated, and was perhaps not so accomodative of CI approaches. While even CI experts now use the AI lable for their work, I still maintain the very important distinction between them. I do not use the misty "machine learning" phrasing, as that is even less illustrious.

Perceptions are a [dystopian, dysfunctional] reality

Of course perceptions influence [plan, action]s, and their effect in the real world this must be taken into account. However, it is rarely emphasized [how, why] these perceptions are so often [dysfunctional, divorced from reality], ergo so are the actions and their negative impacts on society. Science is a perefect area to study this! A most interesttea is how perception manage to affect the actions of others. [War, espionage, consumer behaviou are great examples, as is the awesome effectiness of [French, German, Russian, Chinese] socialism in "capitalist" countries over the last 200+ years from French revolution onward. In financial markets, dysfunctional perceptions are instay of "contrarian" investors, who wrealize that if everybody believes something, it's likely that they are wrong!

Moral Hazard - an oft-missing truism

Perhaps best-known in the insurance, and best-avoided on government policy, at some point policies promote the very behaviours that we seek to suppress, including self-destructive behaviour. It seems that only the rare intellectual has a deep understanding of the implications of [belief, policy]s. Typically with most intellectuals, and as with the "precautionary principle", it tends to be one-way only, not a high-dimensional tensor.

Perhaps this will end up as a tombstone comment for modern sociology?

Consumed by monsters of our own creation

The theme arose from my reading of general history, and the oft-commented long persecution and tribulations of the Jews : from their escape from Egypt (was this the Amelikites, possibly the [famous, brutal] Hyksos regime, as noted by Immanuel Velikovsky?), to the diaspora aftermath of the 167–160 BC Maccabean_Revolt, to their [torture, slaughter] for "causing" the black death, to the [Soviet, Nazi] death camps. (Apparently, Stalin was well under prepar goulags for a jewish purge, but died before initiating it? His NKVD apparently returned Jews who had escaped from Germany to East to a Gestapo, whom the Soviets had trained in the [construction, operation] of goulags?) But this though struck me first with respect to the oft-[mistaken, exaggerated] belief of a core role of Jews in the [development, progress, success] of [Soviet, Nazi] socialism d the [terror, destruction, death] that ensued. I suspect that every culture goes through challenges such as these.

But there are different aspects to persecution, and I suspect that [jeolosy, hatred] harboured by [invading, host] populations for a successful sub-culture may be a big part of the story, as it has been with socialism since the French revolution.

Perhaps a key, more severe form of this might arise from a combination of : In any case, With time, it became apparent that the theme "Consumed by monsters of our own creation" is perhaps very generally applicable to [individual, organisation, culture, nation, civilisation]s. Sometimes, we can be our own worst enemy, even when we are doing the "right" things?

Conclusions-driven science

It seems to me that the massive [policy, science, health] profit-complex is much [larger, more dangerous] than Eisenhower's military-industry complex. Most people will object to my use of the word "profit" when discussin what are all essentially government systems (including private practicioners in nations with wide health care coverage - and the USA is much of the way there as well even with private health insurance) funded by taxes. However, this is a giant [secret, lie] of socialism - "profit" may be inferred from wages (~100%), the allocation of excess resources to captial that is needed to build the systems.

In any case, the un-neccesary drive to over-achieve [uniform, centralized, the-one-true-answer, optimal plan] policy, is destined to produce the same diseases and blindness in science, as it does everywhere else. It is amplified by the inability of essentially_all scientists to think outside of their externally-programmed belief, and beliefs last [year, decade, century, millenium]s.

This is a disease afflictig all areas of science, sometimes policy-driven, sometimes the progression of science [fashion -> cult -> religion].

Economically competitive cognitive thresholds, No-work lives

With respect to cognition, machines will likely drive the threshold up quickly, and in some cases are well beyond human already. So how doe the human hybridize with them?

Already social welfare programs have given rise to multi-generational no-work families. Will this become some kind of norm for a substantial part of the population, with perhaps make-work programs to build pyramids or something? How far have we already come - has science been a ajor area for this?

Stupidity is the most powerful force in the human universe

Stupidity is the most powerful force in the human universe, and we all do it. Obviously, this is kind of a ridiculous theme, but it is far less extreme and damaging than the usual posturing to claim truth, and the destruction of the [careers, personal lives] of those who think differently.

Fools and cowards muist be conquered, it is immoral and unethical NOT to do so

Hah! This is NOT a quote from [Genghis Khan, Tammerlane, Joseph Stalin, etc], as they couldn't speak English . However, I wonder if they sometimes thought about this. In any case, it may apply somewhat generally to competitive situations, including modern businesses and organisational politics within civil serives, etc.
16Jan2022 I don't time to elaborate this dark theme...

The cancer that is modern democracy?

Multiple conflicting hypothesis

This is my own self-imposed practice, to avoid becoming a tool of theories, instead of the other way around. It is explained elsewhere on my webSite (somewhere...).

Free [individual, market] versus [centralised, academic]

John Tamny's "When politicians panicked" makes may [great, insightful] comments that contrast the usual [failure, limitation]s of [academic, policy] cart [analysis, plan]s to the richness of a huge diversity of individual [decisions, action]s. The latter are brilliant options that are perhaps the "normal" way for people to think, more so in the current era than during some other periods. He adds the tremendous insight that free decisions provide a huge range of actual data that [unified [analysis, action]s cannot, belying their very justification unless it is a [standard, well-known challenge]with a great deal of experience from the past.


Similar impacts of [fears, terrorism]

Common saying, perverted by I : "... It is NOT the acts of terrorism itself that cause the greatest damage. It is the reactions of cowards, and whether they get away with their cowardice. ..." (eg 11Sep2001 and the reactions of colleagues at work, Tamny's book on civid-19).

Has modern society made this much worse? Has an ongoing "natural cull of the brave" been somehow addressed in the past, not primarily by [child-raise, teach, train]ing, but by a combination "spoils to the brave" and a "cull of cowards"? Has "bullying" always been necessary, and usually far more deadly than today? Are the pariahs of today the heros of the past? ...the [coward, traitor]s now the heros?

In WWII, the huge Red Army was no joke, but behind the lines was the far better equipped and staffed NKVD army, whose main purpose was to put [loyalty, courage] into the hearts of the front line,or to use them as examples for others when that didn't work.

NKVD [resistance, sabateurs] throughout German occupied areas are now referenced as [poor, abused] peasants by Western historians. But as with modern [terrorist, guerilla fighter]s, agents organised resistance, hid within the populations. Given established Soviet practices, its possible that they murdered non-compliant traitors, and occasionally patriots, all of which was useful propaganda against the Germans. Naturally, Germans had to respond somehow, but had been well prepared for this by pre-war training from :

Dichotomies are almost always "lazy lies" - most useful for pedagogy and propaganda

I have a deep mistrust for dichotomies, even though I [lazy, frequent]ly use them. In even modestly complex systems, it is unusual to be effective with only a zero-dimensional perspective (one or the other). However, biological systems often have [linear, radial, fractal] symmetry, which is an important counter-example.


Scientists and engineers, at some point you must abandon your theories, as they all fail. At that point you must go with the data

This was a war cry of Vladimir Vapnik, during his Plenary talk at IJCNN ?2003 Portland Oregon. Vapnik is kown as the "father of statistical learning theory", of which Support Vector Machines are perhaps best known. Colleague Hava Sieglemann is well known as the first to provid a theoretical prrof that recurrent neural networks can be "Super Turing machines".



References beyond the norm


16Jan2022 initial posting (draft)
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