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James B. Glattfelder: Who controls the world?

James Glattfelder studies complexity: how an interconnected system -- say, a swarm of birds -- is more than the sum of its parts. And complexity theory, it turns out, can reveal a lot about how the economy works. Glattfelder shares a groundbreaking study of how control flows through the global economy, and how concentration of power in the hands of a shockingly small number leaves us all vulnerable.

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Call Me Stupid, But It Sounds Like An Explanation Of Fascism.

Honeybees live in colonies, if the Queen Bee dies or gets sick, the whole colony of 60,000 can die out.


Very lame

After von Mises' Human Action, this is like a second rate material anarchists strive for. Anarchists want to use the following principle: "while we cannot explain details and components of an anarchist society, the latter will miraculously work as a whole by itself, trust us."

Emergence principle is okay when we already understand the system as a whole. But according to von Mises, no understanding of the whole economy or society is possible - economy is a constant gamble, speculation and anticipation. Everything is in constant flux. Society itself is an abstraction that simply means a number of individuals, each with his/her own free will to think rationally or not, at every given moment. Anarchists are exposed, again.

What is lame is your assertions

I know I have made comments about this before, Voluntary mutual beneficial transactions occur every day, (call this the voluntaryist not anarchist if you want). These transactions take place because humans who are not sociopaths learn some simple rules of behavior and apply these rules in everyday life.

From following these rules emerges an aggregate behavior for all the individuals that make up a society.

No hand waving or asking for you to suspend disbelief is needed. We just need to amplify existing behavior by the good actors in society.

A voluntaryist society is not a phase change from what is current, We just need to remove roadblocks placed by the state. It is also a learning process, it doesn't spring into being like a jack in the box.

Me thinks you do not really understand emergent behavior or the study of it.

The inner workings of the individuals in society do not need to be determined and there are so many individuals that their workings are unknowable in a practical manner.

The idea is that the general progress of society can be deduced, Like how birds when they flock move from one place to another with many twists and turns but the general direction can be deduced and the birds following rules gradually damp their chaotic motion.

My take on the pretense of knowledge problem is that details can not be determined but the direction of progress can be deduced.

>>>no understanding of the whole economy or society is possible -
This is overstating the concept. We know from experience that the majority of the individuals will behave in their self interest, and this self interest is controlled by ethics and morals which tend to reinforce mutually beneficial behavior.

"I Pencil" shows that the Dixon pencil company does not have to know how to tap rubber trees to make the rubber for the eraser. The emergent behavior is ruled by the self interest of the individual actors and by the self reinforcing rules of ethical behavior . So rubber is produced and is eventually turned into erasers by this emergent behavior.

That is the wonder of it all, that no state or central pencil planners are needed, IE no rulers(everyday anarchy), just everyone transacting in mutually beneficial ways.
corrected 20130218

Somewhat Disapointing

James Glattfelder starts off talking about complexity and emergent behaviour being based on simple rules of interaction between actors in the complex situation. He makes a good point about analyzing the emegent behaviour is inherently a deductive process of determining necessary actions and rules that would produce the behaviour.

He then ignores what he said in the setup and just analyses owbnership using numbers and equations.This analysis does not lead to any determination of how owners interact, it just documents what exists. From this you may infer that some actors in the ownership network may have more sway than the majority of owners because of their concentration of ownership. He does not expose any a priori rules or use any rules to deduce how in aggregate the ownership network will behave.

This guy is hung up on using numbers and math ( maybe because he is a physicist).

I thought at first he was going to mention the Austrian School of Economics, but no, he said that no analysis or deductive reasoning had been applied to economics.

It's a good start

It's a good start


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Great lecture. Thanks for posting.

Combining ideas of physics, networking, and finance. A sign of high intelligence is to be able to apply knowledge from various subjects to create bridges to new understanding.

The final data

will be interesting.

I do love some

T.E.D. videos. They are some sharp mofo's. But what he doesn't get into is how the Fed prints up money in secrecy and chooses who to give it to. Surely that has an influence on this concentration of power. He also doesn't then get into the CFR, Bilderberg Grp, or Tri Latteral Commissions influence.