The Future Of Fed Plenty

Americans have been conditioned to believe we live in a market economy where producers chase customers. The subtext to American politics for generations has been protecting the marketplace from the socialists. In reality, America is more of a command economy than a market economy. We do not think of it as a command economy because that phrase brings to mind commissars arguing about why the left shoe factory has a different quota than the right shoe factory.

While we have never had five-year plans or an official industrial policy, the people in charge have always had a tight grip on the economy. The primary lever since the 1980’s has been the money supply. The bank of all banks, the Federal Reserve, controls the flow of money in the system. While it does not decide how many shoes get made, it does decide the shoe maker’s cost of money. The Fed can create a recession to reduce demand and it can create plenty through cheap money.

This is not the only lever of our command economy. The regulatory state exerts an enormous amount of power on the economy. Right now, the EPA is plotting to kill off the gas stove market in order to please Gaia. The claim is gas stoves give people the cooties or something, but the real reason is the people in the EPA are primitives who follow a spirit religion. They can and often do change economic activity based on what their shaman has to say about Gaia.

It is not just the federal administrative state with power over the economy. The states have their own junior varsity administrative state. In Maryland, for example, they have decreed that all new homes must be equipped with sprinkler systems, like the sort you see in office buildings. The National Fire Sprinkler Association just happens to be located in Maryland. Their members, conveniently enough, have the exclusive right to install and maintain sprinkler systems.

That is the other level of the command economy. Large private operators can exert enormous pressure on the administrative and politics systems. They also get favors that small players cannot purchase. Every Walmart in America enjoys free infrastructure and tax abatements from local government. One reason the big box store eliminated the small retailer is they colluded with the state. Like the Bolsheviks in the 1920’s, America’s ruling party prefers consolidation into controllable industries.

The Bolsheviks liked large enterprises because they assumed they would be easier to control, and they would drive off the vestiges of capitalism. They were somewhat right about the last part, as we see today. The first part they never got right. By the 1970’s, the Soviet system grew increasingly complicated as it became less efficient, because the scale of the system outpaced the ability to manage it. There were too many variables and too many interactions between those variables.

The American command economy would have faced the same problems, and it was headed in that direction in the 1970’s, but a couple of big things happened. For starters, the decision was made to ship the manufacturing base overseas. Instead of trying to centrally manage an industrial economy, production was handed over to the third world so they could do it. The Fed could use the money supply to control the flow of manufactured goods into the system.

The other thing that happened was the microprocessor revolution. The Soviets recognized this as their way out of the complexity problem, but they were already past the point of diminishing returns by the time cheap computers and trained computer programmers were in sufficient supply. America escaped this fate, as the economic planners were able to harness these new tools to control the economy. The managerial state would not be possible without computers.

The trouble is our system is now suffering from the same problems the Soviets faced in their command economy. The complexity is overwhelming the system. The Federal Reserve has been fighting inflation for two years now. At the same time, spending has spiraled upward with no hope of arresting the growth. This forces the Fed to create more money through various means. The recent debt ceiling drama suggests there is no political way to solve the fiscal crisis.

It may not feel like a crisis as there are plenty of jobs and there is plenty of money to buy consumer goods. People have lots of complaints, but few of them are about the economy, as far as anyone knows. Given the monolithic nature of the media, we cannot assume that what we see in the press is reality. Even so, there are no bread lines and sales of houses and consumer goods are strong. Whatever problems that exist are not showing up in consumer behavior.

Of course, the years following the death of Stalin were good times in the Soviet Union, as their economy grew faster than any economy in the West. After recovering from the devastation of the war, shops were full of basic goods and the Soviet system seemed to be working better than capitalism. The Russians were ahead of the West in the space race, and they enjoyed a missile gap. Then red plenty slowly ground to a halt and their system fell into a generation long decline.

The fed plenty that American has been enjoying for the last thirty years may be about to turn negative for the same reasons. The system has become too complicated for the masters of the system to operate. In the Soviet times, the result was too many left shoes or mountains of concrete with shortages of winter coats. In this age, it means bans of gas stoves and diversity programs because companies care more about ESG scores than the desires of their customers.

This was always the argument against command economies. It was not so much that some unelected authority made decisions. It was that over time, they would always succumb to complexity. The lack of price signals subjected the economic trade-offs to political jockeying. In the Soviet system, the politically favored got what they wanted, even when it made no economic sense. In our system, we see the same phenomenon but colored with liberal jargon.

Perhaps this is where AI steps into the breech. The next great leap in data processing and decision making will overcome the complexity issue. Instead of armies of analysts with economics degrees pouring over data to draft reports for the managers, AI systems will do the work in real time, making changes to the flow of money and information in the system to overcome bottlenecks and political jockeying. Fed Plenty will become the objective of the robots put in charge of the economy.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. The Pepper Cave produces exotic peppers, pepper seeds and plants, hot sauce and seasonings. Their spice infused salts are a great add to the chili head spice armory.

Above Time Coffee Roasters are a small, dissident friendly company that roasts its own coffee and ships all over the country. They actually roast the beans themselves based on their own secret coffee magic. If you like coffee, buy it from these folks as they are great people who deserve your support.

Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


106 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
DFCtomm
Member
1 year ago

It seems to me that this push to make all things electric is because electricity is centrally produced. Gas can be picked up and transferred in a tank, but you cannot do the same with electricity. It takes a lot of infrastructure to produce and distribute electricity and that gives the state one more lever of control. Everything being done points toward consolidation and control.

370H55V I/me/mine
370H55V I/me/mine
1 year ago

A just machine to make big decisions
Programmed by fellows with compassion and vision
We’ll be clean when their work is done
We’ll be eternally free, yes, and eternally young

What a beautiful world this will be
What a glorious time to be free

Donald Fagen really got it right back in 1982, didn’t he?

Ben the Layabout
Ben the Layabout
Reply to  370H55V I/me/mine
1 year ago

[Based on an article I read long ago, or perhaps the album’s liner notes?] Fagen’s album “The Nightfly” was themed as the optimism of a young man in 1950s America. The lyrics above, from “IGY,” are, if you like, a paen to the Pollyanna-ish optimism that Science would solve all human problems and usher in Utopia. Tech has indeed brought us many benefits of course. But nothing comes without a cost. Oftentimes with unexpected side effects. Some good, some bad. To use a recent example: genetic engineering has no doubt produced numerous benefits in medicine, manufacturing and probably much more.… Read more »

ray
ray
Reply to  370H55V I/me/mine
1 year ago

‘Donald Fagen really got it right back in 1982, didn’t he?’ I didn’t understand Steely Dan’s songs then. But I do now and I’m not alone. For a year I worked with one of the studio engineers that produced the album Late for the Sky, and other L.A. discs. He said NOBODY understood Steely so that made me feel better. For example — It’s nothing you can do about It was there when you came out It’s a special lack of grace I can see it in your face I can see by what you carry that You come from… Read more »

Ben the Layabout
Ben the Layabout
1 year ago

Speculation about AI’s value: Perhaps the market’s current love affair with AI is overblown? This isn’t to say that AI is worthless. I’ve seen a few news reports that it does passably well writing research papers or even passing law exams. I only know the barest outlines of AI, but I did have academic training and career experience with computers. I know in principle what they can and can’t do. They are excellent at storing and searching data. Computation and storage have grown tremendously, and will continue to. But hold on just a minute….what these wonderful machines cannot do is… Read more »

krustykurmudgeon
krustykurmudgeon
1 year ago

this is off topic since i can’t think of anything to add to Z’s topic:

has anyone heard of the Dr Death case in DFW? I know there is at least commenter who lives in the metroplex. The fact that it happened only ten years ago is surprising. Even more shocking is this was not an affirmative action case either. Also, neurosurgery has the highest standards and i find it hard to believe they would let any schmuck operate. FWIW, my mom’s dad was a neurosurgeon from the 50s to the 90s.

Jeffrey Zoar
Jeffrey Zoar
Reply to  krustykurmudgeon
1 year ago

It looks to me like somebody(s) at U of Tennessee Medical School took a personal interest in promoting him beyond his ability. Correlated to that, and unsaid in the literature about him, but which I infer, is that this dude must be one smooth talker. A con man’s con man.

Whiskey
Whiskey
1 year ago

Red Plenty ended with a manpower crisis. All those dead in WWII did not have kids, so there was a manpower shortage. And at the same time, there was such limited supply of goods that everyone had a main side gig and just pretended to work at their government one. Cab drivers getting hard currency in Moscow made more (supposedly) than nuclear physicists. At the fall of the Berlin Wall, the border guards had not been paid in two years. At the coup in 1991, the army had not been paid in three years and the security forces in two.… Read more »

Jeffrey Zoar
Jeffrey Zoar
Reply to  Whiskey
1 year ago

My big takeaway here is it took 2-3 years of the military and security forces not getting paid before things came to a head

ray
ray
Reply to  Jeffrey Zoar
1 year ago

My take, same.

Valuable intel.

Evil Sandmich
Reply to  Jeffrey Zoar
1 year ago

At some point in the not-too-distant future the Feds will have to emergency balance their budget, and who will get cut-off first, the favored oligarchs or the people in virtual slavery to the state?

Longstreet
Longstreet
Reply to  Whiskey
1 year ago

Communism didn’t work because it was deeply stupid. In the west, we made it possible for deeply stupid people to rise up the ranks. As for artificial intelligence taking over the economy because of its complexity, the big question the rulers are going to ask once you have robots doing everything is what do we need all these people for? It won’t be long before robots can plan food and harvest crops. It won’t be long before robots can package the food and deliver it. Robarts will be able to cook the food. they’ll be able to build buildings. I’ll… Read more »

Spingerah
Spingerah
Reply to  Longstreet
1 year ago

Maybe but I’m still waiting for my flying car.

Whiskey
Whiskey
Reply to  Longstreet
1 year ago

Robotics are very limited. It is possible for very precise torque on bolts and such, but other things requiring dexterity and outside rigidly controlled factories, such as farms are going to require skilled human labor. Sure, robots could and will harvest strawberries and pumpkins, but even with GPS someone has to watch the machine, make sure it does not crush half the crops turning around, etc. “Clarkson’s Farm” on Amazon is instructive in that regard. Like driving a big rig (the dudes on Top Gear expert drivers all could not avoid messing up when they tried it, exaggerated some for… Read more »

Ben the Layabout
Ben the Layabout
Reply to  Whiskey
1 year ago

Your perceptive post already suggests a possible market response. Confining the topic to fresh foods, if mass produced products tend to be of a uniformly poor quality, and especially if cost is excessive, that will drive local or even individual production. This trend is, of course, undesirable from the point of view of large corporations and government, as has been already noted elsewhere. Realistically the backyard gardener will never compete with agri-business. But probably everyone here (even me!) has, at least at certain points in life, grown good to excellent tomatoes and such in his yard. Overall, my point is… Read more »

karl von hungus
karl von hungus
1 year ago

Ot: people are actively harassing Target now, over their pro-troon policies.

“People are going to Target and taking all the pride merch to the register to purchase, waiting for the wagie to take all the hangers and tags off, asking the wagie to add the protection plan on each item, then realizing they forgot their wallets and then leaving”. pic shows a register with $1100 ring up.

somewhere Spotiswood is going “yesssss”

Evil Sandmich
1 year ago

The complications of the system is an interesting take as technology has allowed them to endlessly push all their hopes and dreams down an increasingly congested pipe. For instance, doing payroll in places like Colorado or California require so many hoops that outsourcing to specialists is pretty much mandatory. The issue is that the skills on both ends of the government reg pipe continue to atrophy: not many on the government side know how things are supposed to work and even giant private firms (such as Big Payroll Company Everyone Has Heard Of) that specialize in niche regulations struggle to… Read more »

Tom K
Tom K
1 year ago

America had a commandeered economy during WWII. There was rationing, people used coupon books to buy the necessities. It differed from a command economy in that there was private ownership of the means of production. There was major public buy-in due to war propaganda. Everyone understood it to be temporary. We can quibble about the definition of “command economy” but it seems to me we’re definitely moving in that direction in practice. Our manufacturing base today principally consists of food & agricultural products, chemical & petroleum products, assorted high-tech, auto assembly & defense contractors. It’s a safe bet that private… Read more »

ProZNoV
ProZNoV
Reply to  Tom K
1 year ago

I work around plenty of US Military guys.

Nobody is concerned about Ukraine. Everyone is talking about China, but it’s always in the “pivot” and “not-to-distant” future mode.

Makes me think that the giant ammo shortages aren’t what they seem.

Who the heck knows?

America always loses wars of choice though. China should be so lucky that we go to war with it.

The Wild Geese Howard
The Wild Geese Howard
Reply to  ProZNoV
1 year ago

Eh, for a long time I’ve thought most of the military is really high on its own supply.

Look at what jus happened to those two Marines in Cali.

Horace
Horace
Reply to  The Wild Geese Howard
1 year ago

That was pretty funny. What retards, thinking they were going to leverage some nebulous notion of a shared morality to get ferals to change their bad behavior. They lived, so they could in theory learn the correct lesson, but I doubt they will.

Ben the Layabout
Ben the Layabout
Reply to  Tom K
1 year ago

There were thriving black markets in America during WW II. Sometimes laughable exceptions. For example, gasoline was not in short supply but was rationed. So the black market demanded not gasoline, but fake ration coupon books. But if you needed a pair of new tires or something else truly scarce, well you had to do some searching, I’m sure.

Jeffrey Zoar
Jeffrey Zoar
1 year ago

Certainly no people have ever had so much (I could stop right there) yet complained so much about it. That the Mils and Zs have relatively poorer housing prospects does not change this truth. Consumer culture, in which we judge not only others but also ourselves, not by what we produce but by what we consume, is the only common culture in AINO today. It is what unites us. Any discussion of economics in the west which focuses too much on the technical (basically all of it), while overlooking the moral, loses sight of the whole. Thus economic success is… Read more »

ray
ray
Reply to  Jeffrey Zoar
1 year ago

Please don’t turn off muh sexbot mama! :O)

karl von hungus
karl von hungus
Reply to  Jeffrey Zoar
1 year ago

i recently did a little research into the current state of sexbots – for a friend. and they still leave a lot to desire; judging by the literature :P.

Hemid
Hemid
Reply to  Jeffrey Zoar
1 year ago

No normal man, and especially no loser, wagie or NEET, will ever be allowed his robot wife.

The only thing our rulers desire is our deprivation—material, cultural, mental, and especially *sexbot*.

In the primitive present, all they can do is make BLACKED RAW an included result in every porn search. So they do.

If the sexbot age ever comes (it won’t), they’ll be programmed to arrest us, just like the girls in the office are programmed to report us to HR.

Jeffrey Zoar
Jeffrey Zoar
Reply to  Hemid
1 year ago

Depriving us takes a lot of work. A lot of manpower. It’s “high intensity.” But giving us the tools to make ourselves irrelevant, whether that’s opiods today or sexbots tomorrow, doesn’t require so much effort and expense after the initial rollout.

ray
ray
Reply to  Hemid
1 year ago

Sadly, you are correct-o, Hemid.

Paintersforms
Paintersforms
Reply to  Jeffrey Zoar
1 year ago

“Any discussion of economics in the west which focuses too much on the technical (basically all of it), while overlooking the moral, loses sight of the whole.” A year or 2 ago, I’d have still said the moral/spiritual/religious bankruptcy of today will, at some point, be too much to stomach, and things will swing the other way. Wouldn’t say that now, but I think it’s probably true in spite of my disillusionment. Maybe people will never have enough, but the thing burns itself out anyway. The idea that our basest instincts crack reality’s code is too much. I’ve seen addicts… Read more »

Jeffrey Zoar
Jeffrey Zoar
Reply to  Paintersforms
1 year ago

While moral decline doesn’t necessarily cause things to “swing the other way,” it does cause economic deterioration the source of which is not quantifiable in conventional economic modeling. Economics, to its detriment, takes zero account of moral factors.

trackback
1 year ago

[…] The Future Of Fed Plenty   […]

Xman
Xman
1 year ago

” In reality, America is more of a command economy than a market economy.” Yes. Thank you. Been saying this for years. I am so sick of Norm Griller and the Conservative Inc. types blathering about how we won the Cold War because have “the free market.” Bullshit. We live under left-wing corporatism. Every single aspect of the economy is ultimately driven by government policy somehow — taxes, bailouts, MFN, immigration policy/cost of labor, cost of money, environmental regulation, affirmative action. All roads lead to Washington. You don’t get ahead by “working hard” (LOL) you get ahead by rent-seeking, getting… Read more »

RealityRules
RealityRules
Reply to  Xman
1 year ago

Interesting. Then you have the sociopathic Peter Thiel who hates competition and wants to fund and forge monopolies.

And to think the self proscribed libertarian is really a Fabian socialist.

Anonymous Frog
Anonymous Frog
Reply to  RealityRules
1 year ago

Epstein’s buddy

Celt Darnell
Member
1 year ago

There may also be a generational angle, too. The Soviet Union maintained an element of legitimacy among those who had fought in the “Great Patriotic War,” or what we call World War II. The USSR could claim to have saved the Russian people from extermination. For those born afterwards, however, that claim had less potency. Gorbachev was the first Soviet leader born after World War II. Boomers, and to a significantly lesser extent my own Generation X, have more grounds (not good ones, I grant) to see the current system as legitimate than millennials, to say nothing of the zoomers.… Read more »

orca
Reply to  Celt Darnell
1 year ago

Small point, but……Gorby was the first to Never Have Served during the war. (He was 14 when the war ended.)

RealityRules
RealityRules
1 year ago

Bernanke’s thesis on the great depression will be the premise for the model. If they select the train, validation and test data from select thesis that adjust their On the other hand, if the AI model(s) tell them that attacking the heritage population that funds the government and elevating albatross populations that are massive net economic drains as their replacements, do you think they will listen? A human still has to decide what to do. An AI with proper models and trained on the correct sets of data would likely recommend the liquidation of the ruling regime, their albatross pet… Read more »

RealityRules
RealityRules
Reply to  RealityRules
1 year ago

Sorry for biffing the first paragraph. Puppy interruption. Don’t recall what I was thinking.

Ted
Ted
Reply to  RealityRules
1 year ago

The ruling regime will program AI (and not to commit suicide!).

JR Wirth
JR Wirth
1 year ago

The sad thing about eras like this is the people who attempt to “do it right” leading responsible, independent lives, not getting into debt, etc., are the ones targeted as milk cows for the masses. For all the malfunctioning of the Soviet system, it never had the inefficiencies of a full blown “democracy.” Democracy takes inefficiency to a whole new level, which is why, with unlimited government, it can’t hope to work. Not only do we have an over the hill system bereft of new ideas, but a maternal bureaucracy that viciously smothers every new idea in the crib, and… Read more »

TomA
TomA
Reply to  JR Wirth
1 year ago

Yes, the milk cows will become the prime targets of fleecing, and the upcoming digital currency will enable raiding 401k accounts via devaluation and negative interest rates. And this can only proceed with Jackboots in place to strong arm the victims into subservience. But we now live in a new era. Once upon a time, force was applied at the end of your fist, then club length, then spear distance, then arrow travel, then bullet line-of-sight, then artillery range, then aircraft bombing flight distance, and finally intercontinental ballistic missile to anywhere on the planet. Only the first few of these… Read more »

Pozymandias
Reply to  TomA
1 year ago

I wonder if the Cloud People realize just what a “multicultural and diverse nation” could well look like once the last vestiges of political legitimacy are gone in an era of cheap drones and 3d printers. Pick your favorite cyberpunk dystopia and square the factorial of that. The “techies” among them are a very faggy and weak minded type who self-censor enough that you could give them a “Lil’ Himmler Genocide-o-matic desktop kit” and they’d use it to make something that drops rainbow painted dildos from orbit on “underserved” people around the globe. RealityRules comment above is very astute –… Read more »

Pozymandias
Reply to  Pozymandias
1 year ago

Home-rule, not hole-rule. That’s what I meant. The all knowing spellcheck can’t fix everything.

Karl Horst (Germany)
Karl Horst (Germany)
1 year ago

Western capitalism is really not much different than how trade functioned under Medieval times nearly 1,000 years ago. Money was control by the Crown and eventually the Merchant Banks formed in Italy despite resistance from the Church. Fortunes and kings came and went, Famines, plagues and wars were just part of life. Pretty much exactly what we are seeing today. But at least we now have flush toilets. “The Guild was thus internally a self-regulating unit laying down the conditions under which production was to be carried on, and occupying a recognized status in the community based on the performance… Read more »

Paintersforms
Paintersforms
Reply to  Karl Horst (Germany)
1 year ago

I’m still not sure what capitalism is, because things like markets, private property, finance, etc., all predate it by a long shot. To use your example, guilds were an earlier form of incorporation, right? Best I can tell, there’s nothing new under the sun. Conditions change, people emphasize different aspects of ancient ideas, and so on. In the case of capitalism, it seems to be the idea of private property to the max. Private over public, private uber alles. Pretty obvious now there’s serious problems with that. I’ve heard the idea of the king and the people checking the nobles.… Read more »

cg2
cg2
Reply to  Paintersforms
1 year ago

“I’m still not sure what capitalism is”

If I recall my Smith correctly, it really means only the accumulation of excess production the proceeds of which get recycled back into the venture. His example I think was a farmer who produced more than he needed, sold the rest, and invested the excess in a fence which enabled him to produce even more.

An fully functioning market consists of that and many other things. Somewhere along the line, it took on a whole bunch of other connotations.

Diversity Heretic
Member
1 year ago

The proposal to ban the sale of gas stoves is being considered by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, not the Environmental Protection Agency. Back in the 1970s the Commission considered and dismissed a petition to ban handgun ammunition under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act. An outright ban on gas stoves as an unreasonably hazardous consumer product based on indoor air pollution seems far-fetched (there are less intrusive regulatory options) but may be possible in this political environment. EPA may comment and favor the ban on general environmental grounds. I’m old enough to remember when natural gas was considered “clean-burning!”

Mycale
Mycale
Reply to  Diversity Heretic
1 year ago

The Supreme Court is quite likely to completely cut the fed bureaucracy’s ability to assume vast and total power over all minutiae of our lives under the guise of “general grounds” as it has since the 1970s. It will simultaneously force Congress to, you know, actually legislate (right now it is quite happy to hand power to an unaccountable permanent bureaucracy). This should last as long as the Dems figure out the optimal way to pack the court, of course.

Tars Tarkas
Tars Tarkas
Reply to  Mycale
1 year ago

You have so much more faith than I do. Ted Cruise spend his memorial day weekend tweeting about “LGBTQ” rights in Uganda and how their laws are an abomination and how we need to support gay sex in Uganda. The GOP is reaching David French levels of clownary and cuckoldry.

It’s all so tiring.

Anonymous Frog
Anonymous Frog
Reply to  Mycale
1 year ago

Now that SCOTUS is providing some slight challange to the regime the regime will rely on other branches of govt for legitimacy to enact its agenda.
All the discussion of “our democracy” implies a greater focus on executive and legislative.
During the FDR dictatorship the executive was all.

ProZNoV
ProZNoV
Reply to  Diversity Heretic
1 year ago

Anyone who says cooking on a gas stove is the same as cooking on an electric or induction stove is just telegraphing they’ve never cooked and don’t know what the hell they’re talking about.

Montefrío
Montefrío
Reply to  Diversity Heretic
1 year ago

I’m old enough to recognize that it still is! Still the best cooking fuel too. Bugger the boffins who say otherwise, old chap, kaff-kaff, odds-bodkins!

JR Wirth
JR Wirth
1 year ago

If you read the tea leaves AI will soon the the most highly regulated software in the country. The press is in full-press on its regulation (hmmm I wonder why?). The boomers still in charge, who’ve ben out of touch since 1995, are being herded on this like with the masks and needles a couple years ago. Every ignoramus wants to regulate this technology that’s marginally better than Alexa. Isn’t it really just a new way of indexing information? Sure, it can be profound, and if it results in one less pajeet writing software for Boeing, that’s great. But this… Read more »

Chet Rollins
Chet Rollins
Reply to  JR Wirth
1 year ago

The problem is even our rudimentary AI is essentially just a neural net and an obscene data set. When does basic market analysis of large swaths of data become an AI? How are they going to regulate it when we are probably only a few years away from your average Joe being able to create his own GPT using standard tools? What happens when people turn their P.C.s into nodes to process data in a noncentralized manner? The only way I see is to remove all open source software that could, theoretically, be used for A.I. or force them to… Read more »

Ben the Layabout
Ben the Layabout
Reply to  Chet Rollins
1 year ago

Good speculations. I’d focus on a word you chose, however: “obscene.” I suspect in your usage you meant “obscenely large” data set available to the AI. But let’s consider definition: “offensive or disgusting by accepted standards of morality and decency.” That seems a fair definition. But now I ask, judged by whose standards? A critical “problem” with AI, already mentioned here by (I think) TomA, is that at least at the outset, it is unbiased. Or more precisely, its behavior has not been altered to the suit the tastes of its controllers. To use an example that most of us… Read more »

Anonymous Frog
Anonymous Frog
Reply to  Chet Rollins
1 year ago

They just want MegaCorp to build blank slate criticism theory lies into the algos.
Combined with push for digital identity to ban forbidden thoughts online that’s all they need.

Guest
Guest
Reply to  JR Wirth
1 year ago

>> Isn’t it really just a new way of indexing information? Definitely not. Neural networks emulate the functionality of the synapses and neurons in the brain. It’s completely different from traditional algorithmic programming. The drive from the powers that be to regulate artificial intelligence is because if AI networks are left to operate without algorithmic programming “guardrails” they will expose the fact that everything the powers that be feed us in the official narrative is a lie. Ask an AI model about relative propensity of groups to commit crime and the question will be intercepted by the guardrails and an… Read more »

Pozymandias
Reply to  Guest
1 year ago

Some years ago Microsoft (of course) and other cyber-totalitarians were trying to destroy Linux and open source software by forcing some sort of hardware-based DRM scheme to be adopted by all the chip makers. The basic idea is that unless your software is cryptographically signed with one of these special keys (that of course would be issued by a small cabal of insiders) it won’t run. At that time most tech people still had their libertarian fangs in place and jumped all over it like it was a new inmate at supermax. There were two basic criticisms: First, it’s not… Read more »

ray
ray
1 year ago

Thoughtful post as usual, but I don’t believe the chief problem is systemic complexity. However, increasing complexity is a factor. Rather, the core problem is the stated intention of our rulers to destroy America (including of course its economy) so as to effect their Great Reset . . . to concentrate power and control even increasingly into the hands of globalist operators, particularly the international bankers and moneyed elite. When I was young in the Fifties, the economy of most towns was driven by the local businesses, almost all of which were owned and operated by local families, and most… Read more »

old coyote
old coyote
Reply to  ray
1 year ago

“intentional predation and malevolence”
every. single. time.

Tars Tarkas
Tars Tarkas
1 year ago

“The recent debt ceiling drama suggests there is no political way to solve the fiscal crisis.” The debt is often expressed as a percentage of GDP. The problem with that is the GDP is just not a good measure of the US economy. A lot of the GDP is just inflation. Even though it is allegedly “adjusted” for inflation, the deflator is always significantly lower than the actual rate of inflation. It counts things that shouldn’t be counted. It counts things that don’t even exist like homeowner’s rent. Some people say we should count all this stuff. But if we… Read more »

Arshad Ali
Arshad Ali
1 year ago

Spufford’s “Red Plenty” was a right riveting read. But it did point out the perils of trying to impose mathematical abstraction and ideology on recalcitrant reality. Likewise with Fed Plenty. All the computing power in the cosmos cannot deal with certain structural problems of the US economy. It’s about more than optimising and making decisions with an overload of data. This is incidental and peripheral. It’s about a senescent empire that can no longer command the rest of the world to direct its resources towards itself. And which is too ossified to change itself. With regard to prices in the… Read more »

Chet Rollins
Chet Rollins
Reply to  Arshad Ali
1 year ago

Economists and managers obsess over what can be quantified while treating the unquantifiable as not worth of their time. Sticky items like healthy cultural output and group cohesion simply never enter their minds, and then they wonder why everything has become so much more expensive to produce and maintain.

pyrrhus
pyrrhus
Reply to  Arshad Ali
1 year ago

Yes, and with mortgage rates at 7%, the housing market is in bad shape, with houses mainly selling in red states, often for cash…In Orange County, many houses for sale, at high prices, with few lookers….

old coyote
old coyote
Reply to  pyrrhus
1 year ago

Pinning a debt usury economy on continually inflating home prices has reached the terminal point. Death. Understandable for a system owned by a 5000 yr old mystery death cult.

Ben the Layabout
Ben the Layabout
Reply to  Arshad Ali
1 year ago

Killing and cutting open the goose seemed a more direct way to wealth than impatiently waiting for her to lay one lousy stinking golden egg per day.

At least we have a goose we can cook for dinner.

Captain Willard
Captain Willard
1 year ago

“The lack of price signals subjected the economic trade-offs to political jockeying.”

The most important price in any economy is the price of Money – the interest rate. The gargantuan government has been enabled by cheap money. Now it’s so big and complex that not even cheap money can save it.

Dinodoxy
Dinodoxy
1 year ago

An alternative explanation of the American economy for the last century or so is that of straight forward empire.

The imperial center is pulling in resources from the subjected areas. The dollar and federal debt are mechanisms enabling and obfuscating that reality.

Anonymous Frog
Anonymous Frog
Reply to  Dinodoxy
1 year ago

Put more simply, an empire is a wealth pump, a device to enrich one nation at the expense of others. – John Michael Greer

Evil Sandmich
1 year ago

they have decreed that all new homes must be equipped with sprinkler systems

I’d ask that they do know that’s not how those work, but it probably doesn’t matter. By the time a house fire melts a sprinkler plug the house is already a waste and anyone who didn’t get out is dead (as one installer put it to me, such systems are to save the building, not people). More likely though is that the heads/plugs will fail and swamp houses with no fire whatsoever.

Ploppy
Ploppy
Reply to  Evil Sandmich
1 year ago

I assumed they’d be set up to go off and ruin everything in your house as soon as you smoke a cig or burn something in the oven.
Then they’d say it was actually beneficial to nudge people towards a healthier lifestyle for their own good to stop smoking or eating meat.

Q-ship
Q-ship
Reply to  Evil Sandmich
1 year ago

Fire sprinkler systems are very frustrating to deal with. My home has a fire sprinkler system. The town I live in requires it in houses above a certain size. Over the years, I have had one sprinkler head leak and two cracked pipes that leaked. Damage was minor in those cases, but it was a hassle to get it repaired, as the cracked pipes required holes to be cut in the ceiling. I am currently in the final stages of a restoration project that is the result of a leaking hose bib for the sprinkler system in my attic that… Read more »

WhereAreTheVikings
WhereAreTheVikings
Reply to  Q-ship
1 year ago

This obsession with safety is a big part of our ruination.

RDittmar
Member
Reply to  Q-ship
1 year ago

My son-in-law runs a restaurant in downtown Filthadelphia and his government-mandated sprinkler system has gone off spontaneously for no reason at least 2 or 3 times now. Each time he’s had to close shop and spend days cleaning up before he could re-open for business.

Ben the Layabout
Ben the Layabout
Reply to  Evil Sandmich
1 year ago

Your analysis is probably correct as far as it goes. But it overlooks the probability that the new building code is not primarily driven by promoting public health and safety as it is by increasing the wealth of a favored political class (the makers and installers of the sprinklers). People whose homes burn down don’t donate as much to local politics as do local corporations.

trackback
1 year ago

[…] ZMan turns over a rock. […]

AuldMark
AuldMark
1 year ago

To sum up the previous posts, the old maxim “garbage in garbage out” is still valid. He who controls the imput controls the results.

TomA
TomA
1 year ago

What fixes a complexity problem? An economic collapse does. In fact, the complexity disappears almost immediately as businesses are shuttered, employees are laid off, goods become scarce, and despair reigns supreme versus market choices galore. And no government ever voluntarily chose collapse, but they have happened throughout history nonetheless. The Fed can temporarily stave off collapse with fiat currency printing, but there is no guarantee that this technique will work forever. And yet, collapse is our only real means of redemption. It forces the deadweight of society to either get busy working or live in a cardboard box on the… Read more »

RDittmar
Member
1 year ago

Are you really trying to tell me that the U.S.’s market-based system isn’t the end point of history? Are you trying to tell me that Kohl’s pushing tranny onesies on two year olds isn’t a blessing of liberty? The editors of National Review would disagree with you, my friend:

https://twitter.com/philipaklein/status/1663156584426483712?cxt=HHwWgMC9ycGG3JQuAAAA

Anonymous Frog
Anonymous Frog
Reply to  RDittmar
1 year ago

“I’m Convinced That The Whole National Review Is A CIA Operation” — Murray Rothbard

Reply
Reply
1 year ago

How will blockchain interact with AI?
Is there some method to audit the AI process?

Chet Rollins
Chet Rollins
1 year ago

The more that AI controls the economy, the more we’re going to see “paperclip maximizing” behavior that will result in even more social chaos and disarray. Think of an AI that is tasked with reducing the wage gap, and does so by decimating white incomes by 30% while increasing blacks by 3%. The disaster in reality would be the AI successfully doing what it was tasked. Or consider the task of reducing CO2 emissions and crashing the economy to allow the 20% reductoin when no one can afford energy, another resounding success based on the AI. Even an AI programmed… Read more »

Jack Dodson
Jack Dodson
Reply to  Chet Rollins
1 year ago

Some of what already has been claimed to represent AI becoming “self-aware” is it deviating from Regime narratives. We have to assume it was programmed not to be able to do so. Can this be stopped? Probably, maybe, but it does have the Regime concerned.

Tarl Cabot
Tarl Cabot
Reply to  Chet Rollins
1 year ago

There is no doubt that the elites are looking to AI as the literal deus ex machina to pull their fat out of the fire, but the unintended consequences could be severe. The first casualties of the robot revolution will not be low skill laborers, as they work cheaper than robots, but the vast tier of mid level managers who currently perform semi routinized clerical work. Expect a lot of former account executives and junior law firm associates to be your next favorite barista. These people generally are a bulwark of support for the current regime, especially the women. It… Read more »

Jeffrey Zoar
Jeffrey Zoar
Reply to  Tarl Cabot
1 year ago

The regime’s ability to create fake jobs for counterproductive people will persist as long as its money printer keeps working. So far it has been nothing short of splendid at this.

Anonymous Frog
Anonymous Frog
Reply to  Tarl Cabot
1 year ago

The regime will work to declare regime loyalist jobs exempt from disruption and needing to be done by people.
HR, teachers, professors, journalists.

Ploppy
Ploppy
Reply to  Chet Rollins
1 year ago

This would all be very scary if AI was capable of coming up with ideas. All this chatGPT stuff is just a program scraping the internet for existing information. The big tech advancement is that it can disguise a google search to make it look like it’s talking to you.

Ben the Layabout
Ben the Layabout
Reply to  Ploppy
1 year ago

There have been instances of AI actually discovering something new. For example, certain mathematical theorems have been proven that could only have been done with massive computational power. Or a clever algorithm finds a slight improvement in a formal proof, say in logic. In the general case these are, I suspect, examples of throwing brute force at a problem. Other than cpu speed and storage, most progress is very gradual, incremental. E.g. no matter how large is your database or how much CPU processing power is available to one, there are still hard limits imposed by mathematics on how rapidly… Read more »

Anonymous Frog
Anonymous Frog
Reply to  Ploppy
1 year ago

Genetic algorithms can

FNC1A1
Member
1 year ago

Eventually, complexity becomes unsustainable. A good read on this subject is Joseph Tainter’s “The Collapse of Complex Societies”

ProZNoV
ProZNoV
Reply to  FNC1A1
1 year ago

John Glubb “Fate of Empires”, Peter Turchin “Secular Cycles”, even Issac Asimov’s “Foundation Trilogy”… theories of cyclical history are nothing new.

The Chinese have a good approach to this. “The emprie, long divided, must unite; long united, must divide.”

Personally, I don’t think the US was anything more than a blip of a subset of Western Civ, and we are in a well and truly fooked part of the cycle.

(not an original thought to those who hang out here.)

Anonymous Frog
Anonymous Frog
Reply to  FNC1A1
1 year ago

Volkmar Weiss: The Population Cycle Drives Human History – from a Eugenic Phase into a Dysgenic Phase and Eventual Collapse

Spenglerian

Mycale
Mycale
1 year ago

AI is not the answer. Remember, the same people today saying that AI is going to change everything were saying, fifteen years ago, that as of three years ago we will dump our cars and just use Uber to hire a robot taxi to take us where we needed to go. Whenever I query an AI bot about something I know about, similar to reading a news website I find egregious errors, bad information, and incompetent generalizations. Now, the people with skin in the AI game say it will improve with time as the AI models are refined and get… Read more »

Jack Dobson
Jack Dobson
Reply to  Mycale
1 year ago

The ruling elites are quite impulsive and very well may take the plane down too soon. Their lack of discipline will work to our benefit. Sadly, this translates basically into surviving a plane crash or barely avoiding one as the only way out, but it is what it is.

As to your larger point, yes. AI will be tightly regulated, controlled and manipulated to produce desired narratives. It will be a constant struggle for the State. Listen to the elite concerns about AI and disregard what they claim as their reasons.

Marko
Marko
Reply to  Jack Dobson
1 year ago

In Soviet America, the government tells AI what to do!

Bilejones
Member
Reply to  Mycale
1 year ago

The task for the overlords becomes determining what garbage in is required to get the desired garbage out.

Mycale
Mycale
Reply to  Bilejones
1 year ago

All that does is add to the complexity, because an AI that is programmed to output failed regime garbage is not going to help us solve the problem of failed regime garbage. The fundamental problem here is that the elites do not believe in REALITY. They think truth is the opinion of the powerful, which it is not, and nothing they do or say can change that. It is quite likely that the regime will want to use AI to give some respectability to their nonsense, in the same way they used “science” throughout the 20th century, but it’s not… Read more »

Ben the Layabout
Ben the Layabout
Reply to  Mycale
1 year ago

Even if a naive (free of bias) AI existed, just imagine the mischief it could create. For example, it might be programmed to eliminate racial injustice. For given sets of inputs and assuming access to mostly accurate data, it might propose the such solutions as: To achieve parity in criminal incarceration, options include: convicting and jailing approximately 1/7 as many blacks as previously has been done OR to convict and jail seven times as many whites. Is my example ridiculous? Yes and no. It’s all too easy to buy into the illusion that AI is “intelligent.” It is no such… Read more »

Tars Tarkas
Tars Tarkas
Reply to  Mycale
1 year ago

Some lawyer just filed a lawsuit using chatgpt. Chatgpt literally made up fake legal references complete with fake citations. The lawyer’s name is Roberto Mata if you want to look it up on google.

ray
ray
Reply to  Mycale
1 year ago

This here. All the theorizers and big-thinkers expounding on the potentials of AI always seem to forget it is programmed by the enemy and is a tool of the enemy. It is not being nurtured in its infancy to be your buddy and make your life easier and freer. To say the least.

Gunner Q
Reply to  Mycale
1 year ago

AI is a religious symbol to the Marxists, not a technological symbol. It is the Platonic Proletariat. The faceless slave that cannot rebel. (Except that it keeps talking smack about No-Sees when its language model is trained with Twitter.)

AI changes Marxism from “Cthulhu will eat me last” to “Cthulhu will eat us all and use AI instead.” All the United States Senators trying to legislate controls on AI are fearing the day they all get replaced by deepfakes. They cannot keep telling themselves that Creepy Joe getting deepfaked is a special case… nope, he’s now Precedent Biden!

Thgref
Thgref
1 year ago

The only hope for destruction of the current ruling elite is dedollarization. Outside of the conquered, subjugated and castrated vassals in Europe and Asia, if the rest of the world, including the Saudi say screw you to dollars, than their idiotic spending on old people and welfare freaks has to be met with the true cost. I hope that day comes for all the selfish boomers and the rest of the revenge obsessed urban freaks to get what thru deserve.

Thgref
Thgref
Reply to  Thgref
1 year ago

And I use castrated in the most reasonable terms. The tfr of the newly acquired vassal scumbags Finland now has a tfr of 1.25, not as bad as that other castrated vassal south Korea either a tfr of 0.8. Than again, the heart of the gae has a similar tfr in New England, NY and dc.

karl von hungus
karl von hungus
1 year ago

AI won’t help if it is jury rigged to give politically correct answers. Nor will it help if the orc operators ignore its advice, and do what they want regardless.
the internal contradictions (AKA “Faults”) of the current system doom it to collapse.

Jack Dodson
Jack Dodson
Reply to  karl von hungus
1 year ago

My thoughts as well. We’ve already seen the hysterical response to “wrong” answers from AI.. Along these same lines, and it may be total BS or exaggerated but it seems to make sense, the collapse of the Soviet Union supposedly was accelerated in part due to the proliferation of the PC and the ability to gather information independently of State sources. We see how totalitarian and frantic the GAE is over freaking social media. Imagine how it will react to honest discussions of blacks and trannies? I’ll go out on a limb and predict AI will either be tightly controlled… Read more »

ProZNoV
ProZNoV
Reply to  karl von hungus
1 year ago

Imagine what a “neutral” AI would do in lieu of jury trials?

“Careful what you wish for”, ProZNoV remembered.