Malazan Empire: Azath Vitr (D'ivers - Viewing Profile - Malazan Empire

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07-February 16
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First Sword
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  1. 'The Resurrection of the Best Fantasy Writer You’ve Never Read'

    16 November 2019 - 06:18 AM

    John M. Ford.

    The lowest price for The Dragon Waiting on Amazon is currently $100.67... for a used paperback.
  2. Source of Wu's Name

    06 November 2019 - 02:09 AM

    [Edit: Real source at bottom] 'As a military campaigner, Emperor Wu led Han China through its greatest expansion.

    [...] Emperor Wu is considered one of the greatest emperors in Chinese history, due to his effective governance which made the Han dynasty one of the most powerful nations in the world.[4] Michael Loewe called the reign of Emperor Wu the "high point" of "Modernist" (classically justified Legalist) policies, looking back to "adapt ideas from the pre-Han period." [...] However, despite establishing an autocratic and centralised state, Emperor Wu adopted the principles of Confucianism as the state philosophy and code of ethics for his empire and started a school to teach future administrators the Confucian classics. These reforms had an enduring effect throughout the existence of imperial China and an enormous influence on neighbouring civilizations.'


    It could also refer to (Mandarin ), probably best known outside China in the context of wu-wei (wu meaning 'no' or 'non', wei meaning 'to do', but in some contexts more accurately translated as 'effortless action'---though there are others, like certain Daoists and 'Legalists' like Han Feizi, who treat it more literally):

    [Edit: Apparently just a coincidence. From Erikson's blog:

    'Our gaming had always been accompanied by a lot of music, and we were both fans of Steely Dan. More to the point, Ian’s original version of Kellanved was riffed from that song’s title: Dr. Wu. Lastly, everything in that song’s title conveyed my view on what remained possible.'


    'Are you with me Doctor Wu
    Are you really just a shadow
    Of the man that I once knew
    Are you crazy are you high'
  3. Algorithms and automation

    08 July 2019 - 11:25 PM

    View PostGrief, on 08 July 2019 - 06:27 PM, said:

    View PostAzath Vitr (D, on 08 July 2019 - 05:51 PM, said:

    Tax the whole professional sports enterprise, or at least the most exorbitantly and unnecessarily overpriced aspects of it (with tax incentives for making meaningful improvements). Taxes (or charities) should effectively be returning that value to the people. It then becomes a selective tax on people who spend money on professional sports. (Amateur, participatory sports are a social good, promoting exercise, teamwork, sociability, etc. (though exercise is counterbalanced by injuries, sociability by aggression and hostility, etc.); but highly exclusionary and absurdly expensive pro sports tickets are not a social good. Pro sports encourage people to sit around watching other people play sports instead of exercising; and while they may reinforce community bonds, they do so by encouraging hostility towards other communities.)

    Sure, you could selectively tax people for spending on that particular hobby. Though personally I would tend towards simply taxing the higher-wealth brackets far more. Professional athletes are far from the least deserving of their wealthy peers.

    View PostAzath Vitr (D, on 08 July 2019 - 05:51 PM, said:

    Technology has made this much easier. (While it also makes hacking or sophisticated schemes a possibility, they're almost certainly only minor issues that wouldn't affect most of the volume.) In a lottery system, a simple option would be to require the name on the ticket to match the name on government-issued ID or a passport (could that get conservatives on board? realistically though, none of this will happen in the United States in the near future).

    It has. Then you get into a debate over what the "correct" value of a ticket should be since it's not being set by a market but rather by a central authority. In the event where this money is taken from the athletes, you're essentially removing wages from the worker to give to the consumer. Which feels somewhat debatable in terms of morality. Watching professional sports isn't particularly more productive than playing them, after all.

    View PostAzath Vitr (D, on 08 July 2019 - 05:51 PM, said:

    The main advantages of capitalism---quickly and reliably matching supply to demand, providing motivation, etc.---will plausibly be superseded by ubiquitous real-time personal data collection, AI, the internet of things, and the administrative surveillance state. It's perhaps too bad that this will probably first be achieved in China, given their severe restrictions on intellectual freedom (among other things...).

    If anything this makes the problem worse. Rather than superseding capitalism, the system you're describing is essentially hyper-capitalist. Algorithmic pricing discrimination works to more accurately gauge exactly what a consumer is willing to pay on the market (i.e, where on the demand curve they fall). What you're describing seems more like optimizing market-economics than superseding it, to me. It's a technological way to ensure that companies maximise their surplus while giving the minimum they can to the customer (i.e, selling at exactly the price point where consumers will buy, rather than customers being able to find bargains where the product costs less than they would pay).

    Indeed, the potential for social harm and anti-competitive behaviour that is facilitated by algorithmic pricing has been a pretty hot topic in policy circles for the last few years (for one example see the OECD, Algorithms and Collusion: Competition Policy in the Digital Age).

    View Postworry, on 08 July 2019 - 05:53 PM, said:

    Grief is right (until we abolish capitalism).

    Oh hello new sig quote it's been a while.

    I was referring to the traditional advantages of capitalism over managed economies (for example, actually existing forms of communism, which relied on a top-down approach to data science that generally proved less effective, even though they tried to collect and process vast amounts of information with the tools then available; but advances in data collection and AI are now making a more bottom-up, real-time approach, with vastly more data and much better predictive models, seem feasible in the near future), and to using these tools in the context of a (primarily or fully) managed economy. In a way it would still maximize a sort of abstract 'capital' in the form of measures of efficiency, adapting the main positive aspects of capitalism. But the equivalent of 'corporate profit' would go to the general welfare, and motivation for human performance (to whatever extent human or transhuman labor it hasn't yet been automated away) would be based on fine-grained, data-driven scientific approaches to what actually motivates the individuals in question most effectively (that can also be ethically implemented, perhaps with virtual proxies---if people want power, for example, or prestige, or whatever 'wealth' in a post-money world might be abstracted into---human brains almost certainly didn't evolve to want 'money', or even to hoard gold, but what money provides, symbolizes, or allows).

    But hypercapitalism of the sort you're referring to is already helping to create most of the information processing infrastructure necessary for a managed economy to replace capitalism.

    Similarly, labor is increasingly going to be replaced by automation, including intellectual and even creative labor, rendering labor for capital superfluous. (The idea of labor as an intrinsic good is contrary to what major thinkers and authors in the western tradition believed until just the last few centuries. Aside from the potential for meditation (as an accidental consequence of interacting with human physiology, not logical necessity in the transhuman context), labor is odious. The idea that it's otherwise (not counting activities like self-perfection or cultivation), that work in itself is a positive, is an odious ideological tool for manipulating people to labor.


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    Azath Vitr (D'ivers 

    14 Aug 2019 - 21:23
  2. Photo


    14 Aug 2019 - 07:51
    Damn, dude. Where the heck are you???
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