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Thread: Block vs Flow

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    Block vs Flow

    Discussion (context) on: 3 Things That Make Libertarian Heads Explode by Lynn Stuart Parramore

    **************************************************

    Xero

    Which is better?

    A. moving public goods over to the private sector
    B. creating a market in the public sector (pragmatarianism)

    ajaxthegreat

    I'd go with the second one if I had to choose, hands down. But I'm not quite sure just how pragmatic that would be in reality. And this is coming from a strong supporter of direct democracy.

    Xero

    How pragmatic is it for you to choose which articles you allocate your time to?

    Here we are, typing and typing away. What we type gets stored in a disqus database/server. More comments require more servers. More servers require more space.

    Your comments help determine how space in Timbuktu is used.

    1. You derive value from discussing this topic
    2. You sacrifice the less valuable uses of your time
    3. Space is allocated accordingly

    Basically, your input influences the output. If your input is somehow blocked...then the output will not reflect it. The supply will shift away from your preferences (demand). Shifting away from demand is the destruction of value. Shifting towards demand is the creation of value.

    So it's block vs flow.

    If you're an American environmentalist...and Brazil is going to vote on whether to conserve or develop its rainforest...should your vote flow accordingly...or should it be blocked? What if the Brazilian EPA (BEPA) is doing an excellent job protecting the rainforest...should your tax dollars flow accordingly...or should they be blocked?

    If any taxpayer in any country could freely flow their input (tax dollars) to the BEPA...how much influence would the BEPA have over how space was used in Brazil? Can you imagine BEPA having too much influence? What would that look like? They'd buy all the commercial property and restore it to its natural state? What's wrong with that? They wouldn't be taking the property...they would be buying it. If the owner of some property sold it then we have to surmise that it was a mutually beneficial exchange. What's really important to really appreciate is that it's a mutually beneficial exchange that wouldn't have occurred if the input of taxpayers had been blocked by arbitrary borders.

    Of course it's a given that sometimes people will enter the "wrong" input. But if you perceive that somebody is entering the wrong input...then it must be the case that you have some information that influences your perception. If you have pertinent information...then the responsibility is on you to share it. Because people can't be responsible for sharing information that they don't have.

    Right now, here I am sharing my information with you. Persuasion is a priceless process.

    Are there times when blocking is appropriate? Sure, killing people is block worthy. Why? Because killing people is the ultimate block. No input can flow from dead people. Just like no input can flow from marionettes. But every appropriate block has an optimal allocation. It clearly wouldn't be an optimal allocation for every individual in this world to have as much protection as the American president. So determining the optimal block requires free flow. People's input (tax dollars) should be able to freely flow to any police departments.

    The manufacturers first supply the neighbourhood, and afterwards, as their work improves and refines, more distant markets. - Adam Smith
    When the buyer goes to the market, he wants to find it abundantly supplied. He wants the seasons to be propitious for all the crops; more and more wonderful inventions to bring a greater number of products and satisfactions within his reach; time and labor to be saved; distances to be wiped out; - Frédéric Bastiat
    What would Bastiat say about today's distances? Yet, we still groan at the thought of "long" plane rides. Clearly we still have plenty of distance wiping to do.

    But it's really not distance that prevents me from giving my taxes to the Brazilian EPA...it's you...ajaxthegreat! Oh wait, it's not you...it's me...Xero! I'm the one with the information... which is why I'm sharing it with you. Does my work need to be refined and improved? Of course...there's always room for improvement.

    Where in the world are public goods being improved? Only in the US? The US has a monopoly on improvements? That makes as much sense as believing that elected representatives have a monopoly on identifying improvements. There's nothing pragmatic about nonsense.

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    Re: Block vs Flow

    So the fact that I'm the only one to respond, is that considered a "block"?

    Or, paradoxically, have I induced flow? I'm so confused...
    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary (or faith) depends upon his not understanding it.”

    "We don't see the world as it is, we see the world as we are".

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    Re: Block vs Flow

    Quote Originally Posted by csbrown28 View Post
    So the fact that I'm the only one to respond, is that considered a "block"?

    Or, paradoxically, have I induced flow? I'm so confused...
    Flow = facilitating input. I was free to post this thread...and everybody else is free to reply.

    Block = limiting input. If an admin had locked this thread then it would have prevented you and anybody else from replying to it.

    Previously, women and minorities were not allowed to vote. This was a block. It prevented them from sharing their input on issues that mattered to them. The block was removed and now their input can flow according to their preferences. Currently, children are not allowed to vote. This is a block. It's also the case that people cannot vote on matters in countries that they are not citizens of. This is also a block. If the Brazilian EPA is going to vote on whether to conserve or develop the rainforest...the votes of American environmentalists cannot flow accordingly.

    Previously, in many countries (China, Russia, etc), citizens were not allowed to shop for themselves. This was a block. It prevented their resources (money) from flowing to the goods that matched their preferences. The block was removed and now their input can flow accordingly. Currently, citizens cannot shop for themselves in public sectors. You're not permitted to shop in America's public sector or Brazil's public sector or any other country's public sector. This is a block. Your money cannot flow to the public goods that match your preferences. If the Brazilian EPA is doing an excellent job protecting the rainforest...the taxes of American environmentalists cannot flow accordingly.

    What about discrimination? What if the owner of a restaurant didn't want to serve Canadians? If he was forced to serve Canadians then it would be a block. His input wouldn't be able to flow according to his preferences. Same thing with arranged marriages. Forcing exchanges is block. Facilitating exchanges is flow.

    When are blocks appropriate?

    1. In response to blocks. If I steal from people (block) then I should be blocked.

    2. In response to impaired judgement. If your friend is drunk and wants to drive...then you should be free to block him. If kids wants to engage in dangerous activity...then parents should be free to block them.

    Have I cleared things up?

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    Re: Block vs Flow

    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    Flow = facilitating input. I was free to post this thread...and everybody else is free to reply.

    Block = limiting input. If an admin had locked this thread then it would have prevented you and anybody else from replying to it.

    Previously, women and minorities were not allowed to vote. This was a block. It prevented them from sharing their input on issues that mattered to them. The block was removed and now their input can flow according to their preferences. Currently, children are not allowed to vote. This is a block. It's also the case that people cannot vote on matters in countries that they are not citizens of. This is also a block. If the Brazilian EPA is going to vote on whether to conserve or develop the rainforest...the votes of American environmentalists cannot flow accordingly.

    Previously, in many countries (China, Russia, etc), citizens were not allowed to shop for themselves. This was a block. It prevented their resources (money) from flowing to the goods that matched their preferences. The block was removed and now their input can flow accordingly. Currently, citizens cannot shop for themselves in public sectors. You're not permitted to shop in America's public sector or Brazil's public sector or any other country's public sector. This is a block. Your money cannot flow to the public goods that match your preferences. If the Brazilian EPA is doing an excellent job protecting the rainforest...the taxes of American environmentalists cannot flow accordingly.

    What about discrimination? What if the owner of a restaurant didn't want to serve Canadians? If he was forced to serve Canadians then it would be a block. His input wouldn't be able to flow according to his preferences. Same thing with arranged marriages. Forcing exchanges is block. Facilitating exchanges is flow.

    When are blocks appropriate?

    1. In response to blocks. If I steal from people (block) then I should be blocked.

    2. In response to impaired judgement. If your friend is drunk and wants to drive...then you should be free to block him. If kids wants to engage in dangerous activity...then parents should be free to block them.

    Have I cleared things up?
    This is nonsense, what you consider a Block or a flow Depends on Your assumptions.

    For example,

    Private property over land is a Block since it prevents People from accessing it ... There we og.

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    Re: Block vs Flow

    Quote Originally Posted by RGacky3 View Post
    This is nonsense, what you consider a Block or a flow Depends on Your assumptions.

    For example,

    Private property over land is a Block since it prevents People from accessing it ... There we og.
    What largely prevents people from breaking into my house isn't Hercules or locks or my dog...it's the knowledge that they will be blocked if caught. Should they be blocked if caught? Should somebody be blocked if they take your kidneys?

    What's important to understand is that appropriate blocks have optimal allocations...and optimal allocations can only be determined by flow. So if we want the optimal amount of appropriate block then input should flow accordingly.

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    Re: Block vs Flow

    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    What largely prevents people from breaking into my house isn't Hercules or locks or my dog...it's the knowledge that they will be blocked if caught. Should they be blocked if caught? Should somebody be blocked if they take your kidneys?

    What's important to understand is that appropriate blocks have optimal allocations...and optimal allocations can only be determined by flow. So if we want the optimal amount of appropriate block then input should flow accordingly.
    My Kidneys are my person, property is arbitrary and created by the state, the kidneys being part of my body is nature.

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    Re: Block vs Flow

    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    What largely prevents people from breaking into my house isn't Hercules or locks or my dog...it's the knowledge that they will be blocked if caught. Should they be blocked if caught? Should somebody be blocked if they take your kidneys?

    What's important to understand is that appropriate blocks have optimal allocations...and optimal allocations can only be determined by flow. So if we want the optimal amount of appropriate block then input should flow accordingly.
    Are you claiming that in all instances there is an objective standard by which "block and flow" can be determined?
    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary (or faith) depends upon his not understanding it.”

    "We don't see the world as it is, we see the world as we are".

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    Re: Block vs Flow

    Quote Originally Posted by RGacky3 View Post
    My Kidneys are my person, property is arbitrary and created by the state, the kidneys being part of my body is nature.
    What if you sell your kidneys and buy a car? Then is it ok if I steal your car? What if you work your fingers to the bone and buy some land? Then is it ok if I steal your land? What if you trade your sweat for a gold medal? Then is it ok if I steal your medal? What if God gives you a pony in exchange for your tears? Then is it ok if I steal your pony? What if the Red Cross gives you a lollypop for your blood? Then is it ok if I steal your lollypop?

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    Re: Block vs Flow

    Quote Originally Posted by csbrown28 View Post
    Are you claiming that in all instances there is an objective standard by which "block and flow" can be determined?
    Not sure if I understand your question. "Block and flow" can be used to evaluate any given action. Every action either facilitates or limits input to some degree.

    Making it illegal for women to shop. Block or flow? Clearly block. It would limit input.

    Slavery. Block or flow? Clearly block. It would limit input.

    Allowing people to comment on articles. Block or flow? Clearly flow. It would facilitate input.

    Allowing children to vote. Block or flow? Clearly flow. It would facilitate input.

    Block makes people more like marionettes...flow helps cut the strings.

    Input is information about people's preferences, values and circumstances. If input is limited...then less information will be used to allocate society's limited resources.

    "Leaping without looking" means to allocate a significant amount of resources without any information. That's what block does. Block prevents people from sharing their information. Without this information...it's a given that the puppet master will misallocate society's resources. As a society we will zig when we should have zagged. We will waste our blood, sweat and tears barking up the wrong trees. We will go on wild goose chases. We will tilt at windmills.

    As I said in the OP...block shifts the supply (how society's limited resources are used) away from demand. This results in the destruction of value. The waiter serves you a knuckle sandwich when your preference was for a turkey sandwich. Flow shifts the supply closer to demand. This results in the creation of value.

    Like I also said in the OP...it's a given that people will sometimes enter the wrong input. Nobody has perfect information. But if you perceive that society is going to enter the wrong input...then the responsibility falls on you to disseminate the right information. "Hey society, this is why we need to zag rather than zig."

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    Re: Block vs Flow

    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    Not sure if I understand your question. "Block and flow" can be used to evaluate any given action. Every action either facilitates or limits input to some degree.

    Making it illegal for women to shop. Block or flow? Clearly block. It would limit input.

    Slavery. Block or flow? Clearly block. It would limit input.

    Allowing people to comment on articles. Block or flow? Clearly flow. It would facilitate input.

    Allowing children to vote. Block or flow? Clearly flow. It would facilitate input.

    Block makes people more like marionettes...flow helps cut the strings.

    Input is information about people's preferences, values and circumstances. If input is limited...then less information will be used to allocate society's limited resources.

    "Leaping without looking" means to allocate a significant amount of resources without any information. That's what block does. Block prevents people from sharing their information. Without this information...it's a given that the puppet master will misallocate society's resources. As a society we will zig when we should have zagged. We will waste our blood, sweat and tears barking up the wrong trees. We will go on wild goose chases. We will tilt at windmills.

    As I said in the OP...block shifts the supply (how society's limited resources are used) away from demand. This results in the destruction of value. The waiter serves you a knuckle sandwich when your preference was for a turkey sandwich. Flow shifts the supply closer to demand. This results in the creation of value.

    Like I also said in the OP...it's a given that people will sometimes enter the wrong input. Nobody has perfect information. But if you perceive that society is going to enter the wrong input...then the responsibility falls on you to disseminate the right information. "Hey society, this is why we need to zag rather than zig."
    Most of the instances you cite are simple and intuitive, but the world is much more complicated. You attempt to reduce things down to simple, easy to swallow bite sided morsels of common sense, but I suspect that if we dig deeper that there are a significant number of instances that will be much harder to swallow.

    With that, I offer this question.....Is there ever as point in which a small group of people in the position of governance, be it the Federal, state, local governments, or even the board of directors in a government neighborhood ever have the authority (or should be given the authority) to block something that the majority clearly wants?
    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary (or faith) depends upon his not understanding it.”

    "We don't see the world as it is, we see the world as we are".

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