The magic of the market, and its genius, is simply that it is heuristic. At its best, it seeks multiple goals, such as improving community, the environment as well as personal well being. This was also the genius of Benjamin Franklin’s Junto.
The question, then, is about the goals the heuristic process seeks. Do they tend to work within the heuristics of the Constitution and the leading philosophies of the world to create something greater than the sum of the parts? Or are they in conflict with the majority of other belief systems and thus destructive?
The problem is that over the past decades the market’s goal seeking has been corrupted by greed and hubris which has badly distorted the results of “The Magic”. The market’s goal seeking has been reduced to too few goals, principally pushing the drugs of consumption and greed. When we correct this situation, we must be careful that we do not throw out the heuristic baby with the hubris, greed and consumption in the wash water.
Now it is interesting that the government is clearly far more algorithmic and prescriptive in its regulatory approaches. To wit, the FCC and spectrum: not goal seeking at all, but VERY prescriptive.
This creates a paradox. For example, the heuristic market, praised by so many, is currently enamored of the algorithmic FCC’s spectrum as scarce property model. To be consistent, the market should demand that spectrum be governed by a regulatory approach that is congruent with the market’s fundamental embrace of heuristics. If the market corrected itself and demanded a consistent heuristic regulatory approach, we would quickly move to a model of spectrum as abundant based on Open Spectrum approaches . Historically, the FCC tried to do this in the early 80s, but the algorithmic forces in the government and market killed the FCC’s innovative initiative. Today, we can see the price we are paying for this blind derailment of the evolutionary competitive process in the sad condition of our inadequate and over priced communications infrastructure when compared to many other nations. Our communications are becoming less and less competitive and competent every day. This is has the result of forcing innovation off-shore.
The consequence of this paradox is that we yo yo between governmental algorithmics in response to market failures and, at the other extreme, a market based on heurstics in response to government failures.
The answer to this internal inconsistency is neither “Communism” nor unregulated free market capitalism. It will have to be an internally consistent approach that mimics the emergent process driven by evolution. The goal of creating a continuously learning and adapting society: a resilient society, would be an improvement on the goals of consumption and greed. One of the great lessons is that the US Constitution, as much as it has survived the ravages of recent episodes of greed and hubris, is, in fact, a goal seeking heuristic document. The Constitution is not a rigidly prescriptive document.
This is the source of another deep problem. The Constitution’s goal seeking is bounded by a respect for equality, justice, limits, responsibilities and consequences The current market’s goal seeking has gone off the tracks seeking an end to limits, consequences, responsibilities and consequences. This has the effect of reducing the goal seeking to the single goal of “greed”. It also perverts the market into a fundamentally anti-constitutional force. As a result, we now see market behaviors that are lawless and without concern for truth — thus fundamentally tautological as well as anti-constitutional. This sad state of affairs has now spilled over into our government in proportion to its take over by errant market forces.
The answer to this is not to swing back to heavy duty prescriptive government, but to eliminate the internal contradictions and restore normative, multiple goal seeking within the Constitutional process with a respected system of checks and balances. In the end, nature has shown over the millennia that heuristic approaches are the most successful ways to deal the problems created by the universal state of imperfect knowledge.
Originally posted on Dewayne Hendricks’ list.