Khaiy

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About Khaiy

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  1. When you were starting out...

    I don't have much to add to the above, but I agree that memorization is wildly overrated in programming (and most other fields as well). It's impressive to be able to rattle a variety of  complicated things off from memory, but memorization is hard, time-consuming, and in the end you only get marginally (at best) faster code entry into whatever you're working on. On the other hand, learning to look things up efficiently gives you prompt access to everything which can be looked up (which is pretty much everything there is).   Keeping a well-organized collection of references is much better than trying to memorize.
  2. Serious Problems with computer

    You mentioned that the crashes are more frequent now. Is there an average (even a rough guess at one) up time your machine has between crashes? If it's reliably a couple of hours you can index the files on your hard drive (a powershell script would do it just fine, and quickly) and then set up a schedule to compress/upload/copy-to-thumb-drive pre-sized chunks of data in order of importance. It would suck to be in the middle of backing something up and then have your computer do a hard restart and corrupting your backup.
  3. Damn it, I [i]just[/i] bought one of these last week for $1680.99! I should've known the price would go down. Frankly, I thought that $1680.99 was a bit expensive.
  4. Death battle Link vs Cloud Round 2?

    If Link and Cloud swapped universes would they also swap number of games in which they featured? Link has been in way more games and each one provides new gear (if not new abilities) which, in total, are on par with Cloud getting the weapons, limit breaks, and other special characteristics from the other FF7 characters. If we limited Link's gear to what can be found in a [i]comparable[/i] set of games to what Cloud's been in the comparisons might be different.   That aside, there's another consideration: nearly all of what the OP credits to Link in a Cloud vs. Link fight is due to [i]stuff Link has[/i], not things he knows how to do or anything or things innate to him or anything like that. It's not even stuff Link made, it's nearly all stuff that he found. It seems like a big assumption that Link will have all that stuff on him and will be able to fight effectively while carrying it. In Zelda games he has a neatly organized menu that pauses the game while he digs through it to find what he needs. Cloud's ATB battle system won't wait while he checks his inventory system. Not to mention that if Link's edge come from his possessions they could conceivably be taken from him and then they become Cloud's advantages.   For an example, consider: Cloud uses Mug and successfully steals Link's Magic Cape (from LttP). The fight is now essentially over: Link can never hit Cloud while Cloud is wearing the cape, and Cloud can have a lot of Magic Points to spend while using the cape (boosts to MP capacity from materia), can "stockpile" more MP (up to 99 ether per stack, plus other MP-replenishing items, to Link's maximum 4 jars of blue(?) potion), and Cloud can siphon MP from Link at a net gain (Drain spell). That doesn't even get into Cloud's own advantages, like chaining Last Act and Phoenix materia to become all but immortal.   So, in conclusion, anyone [i]could[/i] win, especially when we make convenient assumptions. But I think that examining who the competitors are and what they can do, rather than things they might have, is the right way to approach the question in an equipment-agnostic way. If you insist on including the equipment then there should be a definite method for deciding what each competitor gets to bring to the fight.
  5. Since we mostly agree I don't want to spiral down into nitpicking. I'm definitely not saying that the Steam market is perfect (or even necessarily that good), or that there aren't real problems with race-to-the-bottom price competition, or anything to minimize the issues we're talking about. I'm really just saying three things, which you may or may not agree with to varying degrees:   1. Price controls are hard to get right, and getting them wrong doesn't necessarily result in a better situation than what you were trying to fix in the first place 2. The problems we are talking about are real, but likely have other solutions than price controls 3. Given (1) and (2) a price floor seems, to me, unlikely to be the best choice
  6. @Gian-Reto:       It's definitely possible that some devs might make poor decisions in response to the pricing patterns that are common now.       For the first section, that is correct (though I would still say that the price is conveying information, just that the information it conveys is imprecise and indirect with respect to game quality). I do infer things about a game based on its price. For example, a $1 game is, to me, a game that almost certainly doesn't offer an experience that I like-- it's the cost of a mobile game I would maybe play instead of standing in line for something, doing nothing at all. On Steam, it's an almost guaranteed non-buy for me.   For the second part, I would believe that there is a price level for a video game where I become indifferent (so I don't think differently of a $2 and a $4, for example). Like you said, below that point we aren't talking about substituting one game for another so much as (potentially) buying more or fewer games.       I don't think that it's a question of extremes (though that is almost certainly the case for some, especially on the developer side). It's not that customers will go broke buying games with a price floor in place. It's that inefficiencies in information about game quality currently favor consumers (through any rock-bottom price trends) at the expense of developers. Using a price floor reverses that and favors developers (at least somewhat) over consumers. If a game is worth $10 (assume for argument's sake that there is some reliable way of getting that measure) and is priced at $5, then my buying it is a good value for me and a poor deal for the developer. But the developer could have set a higher price. If the game is priced at $10, then everyone is happy. If the game is priced at $20 the developer will get more money from a sale but I will feel that I got a poor value for my money. If all games are priced at a minimum of $20 (or whatever price level you want to set) then I will view every game priced at the lower end of the allowed scale with suspicion and I will make fewer purchases. It's not necessarily the case that the lost revenue from fewer sales will overshadow the increased revenue from higher prices, but there are almost certainly a lot of configurations of minimum price level and consumer price sensitivity that result in net revenue loss for the developers you want to help.     I think we agree, at least broadly. But again, the result of more expensive games, on average, will mean I buy fewer games. If games are priced levelly at launch but the prices can adjust afterwards, then that just guarantees that I will pretty much never buy a title at launch but will wait until I see if the price will adjust or not.   Again, we see the same problems in the Steam pricing trend. I just don't think that a minimum price is the right solution because it 1.) doesn't necessarily solve the problem at issue, 2.) causes other problems which I'm not sure are less severe, and 3.) is probably not the best available solution.
  7. @Gian-Reto: Thank you for your replies. I think that our positions are closer together than it might appear at first glance.   Sure, it's great to have some place to go with price reductions as demand for a game shifts whether that's due to poor quality, time passing after release, or whatever. But nothing prevents devs from releasing games at a higher price than $2-$5, unless Valve's negotiating strategy is way worse than I'm imagining.   I didn't mean to imply that screenshots and videos aren't sources of information about a game. What I was trying to express is that they aren't [i]great[/i] sources of information about it with regard to quality or fun. If there are 10, 20, or 30 screenshots you can bet that those are the most appealing 10, 20, or 30 screenshots the devs could find-- they are meant to cast the game in the best possible light, not necessarily to accurately convey the game (though they may do that also). A game that I find obviously unappealing based on screenshots is an easy case, but one that looks OK could be anything from an incredible find to a total dud. Reviews are a much, much better source of information.   That's not what I'm describing; of course price isn't the ultimate indicator of game quality. What I'm trying to describe is that if, based on other available information, I can't tell the difference between a game I'll thinks is worth $50 and one that is worth $2 I will be [i]more likely to buy[/i] at a lower price than a higher one. It's easier for a game to be worth (to a buyer) at least $15 than it is to be worth at least $80. It's a marginal decision. The price won't ever perfectly match everyone's willingness to pay with a nominal price approach, and with across-the-board low prices the mismatch will benefit buyers and hurt sellers. I'm not sure that the reverse situation, where a mismatch between price and my willingness to pay benefits sellers and hurts me, is [i]necessarily[/i] better for everyone. You are focusing on developers producing fewer games because they can't afford to do so while I am focusing more on buyers purchasing fewer games because it's a worse value for them (and at some point, less affordable). Explicitly favoring the developers' side may or may not be better for the market as a whole, but I'm not ready to conclude that right now. Especially when developers have a lot of scope to set the price.   I don't disagree, but raising prices arbitrarily doesn't (necessarily) increase sales or enlarge the pool of customers and instead applies pressure in the other direction. I also agree that giving developers more tools to demonstrate the quality of their games to buyers, and especially improving the community reviews, would be [i]way[/i] more valuable than allowing prices to approach $0. But I don't agree that destroying whatever limited information price can convey while also raising the average price of games will automatically improve the market.   Instead of making the crappiest games on Steam cost the same as a decent game I would rather invest effort in persuading developers to set prices at a level closer to the revenue-maximizing price, not to chase increasingly meaningless unit sales in a race to the bottom.
  8.   I do think that prices are based on game quality, in part and indirectly. Developers set prices based on what they think will maximize revenue (or achieve some other goal, like building a good reputation for a studio), and it's not unreasonable to think that a "good" game will be popular, generate hype, and persuade people to buy it at a higher price rather than a lower one. We've all seen "bad" AAA games released at the normal price point and then quickly and steeply discounted soon after launch.   I agree that player feedback, screenshots, and gameplay vids are far more important than price in my buying decisions. But 10 pictures and 3 minutes of video, while better than nothing, aren't too informative either. What I'm trying to say is that game buyers are in a situation where we are lacking information about the quality of a game before playing it, and its hard for a particular game to demonstrate its quality before purchase. If the buyer is skeptical that it's worth $X, and the game can't improve on that perception before the sale happens, then the price has to drop.   I bolded sections where I think we're saying the same thing. When deciding whether or not to buy, price is a factor (though not necessarily a decisive one). My point being that a game can definitely be priced [i]too high[/i] for its perceived quality. In the $120 case for you, from your quote, it's a question of whether or not any game could be worth that and your answer is no. If [b]all[/b] games were priced at $120, how many would you buy? I would buy, maybe, one per year at that price because I've played few games that I feel gave me $120s' worth of enjoyment.   If that's true then why is there such savage competition driving prices down, and why would a price floor help things? Whether you think that price is a meaningful factor in game-buying decisions or not, I still think that the solution will involve conveying more information about the game to buyers, not just making games arbitrarily more expensive.
  9. How much does price influence your purchasing decisions when it comes to video games? I have two tracks that usually come in to play for me: I'm either looking for a specific game, or I'm looking to see if something catches my eye. In the former case a high price might persuade me not to buy it [i]right now[/i], and a sale or a low base price is a bonus. In the latter case I may or may not buy a given game but if I'm on the fence I'm more likely to click "buy" if the price is low. It's not necessarily a choice the dev has between a higher price or a lower price, it's a choice between making 1 sale or 0 sales.   With the really cheap games, in the $2 to $15 range for base prices, it's an information problem. Steam is [i]flooded[/i] with games and unless it's one that has a lot of press I have no idea at all what I'll get out of any of them. If a dev (or publisher or whomever) wants me to buy a specific game they can persuade me that it's worth my money. It's hard for a game to differentiate itself well through the Steam platform alone, and that leaves price as the only thing to entice me. If there were a mandatory minimum price for games the main result, for me, would be that I would buy fewer of them.   Rather than an information-destroying policy like price floors I would rather see an approach that gives me more information about whether or not a game might be worth my buying it. Steam has tried a bit of this with their customer reviews, customized recommendations, curated game lists, and return policy. Maybe those aren't enough to avoid some Pyrrhic price competition but there will always be some games that flat-out aren't worth $X. Making it even harder to identify such a game could very easily reduce sales enough to offset the extra revenue from a higher price, leaving indie devs even worse off.
  10. Future of economics, Step 1

    I said that I wasn't asking for a chart specifically, not that I wouldn't accept one. But it's long been clear that I'm not going to get anything close to data from you anyhow.         No it isn't. The point is for you to substantiate your claims in some way. Any way. You haven't.         Not at all. I'm discussing a specific set of mechanisms (money creation, debt, money supply, inflation, and deflation) that you presented as inherently operating in a particular manner and leading to a particular result. Morality was not brought up when you presented your position upthread. If you have argumentation that explains why morality is a factor in these mechanisms, then great. Present that too. If not, then defend your assertions about the mechanisms you've put forward.         No, you must be thinking of yourself. You've provided zero evidence to support any of your claims, repeatedly refused to address counterarguments, and are still somehow utterly convinced of the perfection of your conclusion. I don't see how morality or some imputed moral quality of specific money have anything to do with there existing a supply of money unconnected to bank loans, or the repayment of a debt means that that debt ceases to exist, or how creating new money without destroying any expands the money supply and does not create deflation. You could, conceivably, advance an argument explaining those relationships. But you haven't. You either can't or won't. You are asking for people to engage in faith based economics by accepting your conclusion despite your total refusal to support it.         I already see "it". "It" is just that you are incorrect. If I loan you $10, and charge $1 interest, then you owe me a total of $11. If you pay me $11, then the debt no longer exists. Feel free to explain why this isn't the case if you have such an explanation. If not, then you have ceded the point.       I don't know what to make of this. It doesn't appear to be a response to anything related to deflation, or to anything else I've said. People do need money to participate in commerce, but they don't need loans to access it.       I'm not pretending anything, and have been hoping for a serious response from you. This is a total non-response, as has been your typical behavior in this thread. I care why the world is as it is, and how it is, which is why I've made the effort to find out why you believe it to be different from what I understand it to be. If you are sincere in believing what you've posted here, and are actually concerned about humanity and society, you might consider developing and honing real responses to the arguments which you've thus far ignored, working to present them clearly, and practicing argumentation and logic. You are doing your position a disservice.     Altogether, that's probably it for me in this thread. It doesn't appear that there will be any new information from you, and you have refused to address any argumentation that is inconvenient for your conclusion. You are a troll, a poor debater, a fool, or some combination of those. Regardless of which of those is the case, corresponding with you here is tedious and it is clear that you've already shown everything you have to offer, so there is nothing to gain from my continuing. Best of luck in your endeavors.
  11. Future of economics, Step 1

    Thank you for your responses.       I'm not asking for a chart, specifically. I'm also not looking to search out for myself 100% of the evidence that would back your claims. I can only take your response to mean that you have no such information, in chart form or otherwise. That is unfortunate, as this would be by far the strongest evidence for your position of any of the specific questions I posted.         No. Once the money is created it continues to exist. Once the loan that created the money has been satisfied, that money continues to exist and the money supply has expanded by the amount of money created while all related debts no longer exist. To now claim that the money doesn't count because it's tainted is a totally different argument, unless you have some more argumentation about why the moral properties of a given pile of money have relevance to the amount of money that exists. Our discussion (yours and mine, not necessarily that of the thread overall) is about economic mechanisms and effects, not morality.         The point I was making is that when the bank creates money then the money supply has expanded, to which you replied that they could ultimately hoard it so that the money supply contracts, to which I asked why they would hoard in this manner. Your response seems to be a concession that there's no particular reason to think that they would. Instead, you are saying that banks will spend the money in unethical ways. I haven't defended the moral character of banks or bankers, nor will I. That's not the position I have taken, and it's not what we have been discussing.       So, to be clear, do you find similar behavior (loaning money leveraged against assets at interest) unobjectionable for banks regulated by someone other than a central bank? If so, why is the one OK while the other is not?         Again, there exists money in circulation right now that is not part of a loan. There is also a portion of this supply that was never created via a bank loan. Debt (in the sense of interest and fees beyond the principal of a loan) will outstrip the principal of a particular loan for any nonzero level of fees and interest by definition. Unless the value of the fees and interest together are greater than the existing money supply, there is not more debt than money. And again, when a loan is fully repaid the debt portion no longer exists, while all of the money involved continues to exist.         My apologies-- the rest of that sentence was not typed out. Do you have argumentation supporting the fundamental immorality of interest, regardless of whether it is paid to banks by loan consumers, paid by banks to consumers, or paid by consumers to other consumers? I'm trying to find out if your position is that there is something inherently wrong with charging or paying a fee in exchange for access to money, or if it is a specific behavior of a specific subset of banks that makes those instance of that practice wrong.         These are independent of bank behavior, and even of bank existence. Maybe I was unclear-- the things you have described banks doing expand the money supply, which is an inflationary pressure. You described them as being ultimately deflationary, and eventually offered the example of possible hoarding as a source of potential deflation. What I was asking for was any additional aspect of the actions you have been talking about that might be deflationary. I asked for this because deflation seemed to be a major part of the mechanism by which the bad consequences you presented (full-on economic collapse) would happen.       Which is fine, so far as it goes, but that's not the way that the US economy developed and so the situation you are describing never happened. Nor is it the position that the US is in today. Again, bank loans are not the only vector by which new money enters the economy, and a money supply certainly existed prior to the establishment of any banks. If the point you are illustrating requires that this not be the case then it isn't supported by the illustration.         I don't see the relevance of a bank being an individual versus a building. An individual still needs to eat, pay taxes, protect the money he or she possesses to fund bank operations, etc. These require some expenditure.         I don't really see why the purchaser needs a loan, then, rather than supplying something that the bank and government need from the purchaser. Generally, that's labor of some sort. If the purchaser does not and has never received any money from any source other than the loan, then he or she is in a poor position indeed. But I don't see how that applies in the general case, or even how it would happen in many (if any) individual cases.         This is a really, really specific scenario being assumed into existence to support your point. Even if I hand-wave away the other key points I've made (external money supply, inability to hoard, etc.), it's not a very strong argument to say that "If we assume that the bank will not and cannot do anything but do A, then the bank will and must do A" without demonstrating that those assumptions are reflected in reality. If you have a reason that banks will and/or must find themselves in this situation, that's one thing. If what you are presenting is only that you can imagine such a situation, and that it would be bad, that's something entirely different. I'll pass over the government intervention part until for now.         Indeed there does need to be a loan recipient for the bank to make a loan. But what forces an individual to participate in this at all, or to accept a specific loan contract? Certainly there exist bad loan agreements for borrowers, and many people accept such agreements through bad judgement or desperation. The latter is a serious problem for the individuals themselves and for society as a whole.         What? First, no I'm not. As above, I have never taken the position that banks are great or deserving of pardon. Second, that money exists which is not part of an outstanding bank loan wouldn't pardon bad behavior by a bank in any case. We have been talking about the money supply, effects of loans, debt, and money creation by banks. Not moral excellence (or awfulness) on anyone's part. Third, even if it would pardon a bank somehow, that money would still exist and would still cut against your arguments.         If you have some evidence that such documents exist and directly support the assertions you have made, but are unavailable, then present that. But to state that all of the evidence supporting your position must exist because you say so, and therefore I should accept your assertions as unquestionably true in the face of specific questions I have raised is the opposite of rational argumentation.   If I charge that you, BrianRhineheart, are an agent of banks and that you are acting secretly to support those banks in the very behaviors you are claiming to hate, and that proof of this probably exists but is kept super-secret by your employers, would you expect anyone to find that accusation credible?         So here we are again. Outside of your own observation that you, yourself believe your conclusion to be true, why would someone who doesn't already agree with you come around to your perspective? Given the arguments I have offered, which you have yet to refute or in some cases even address, we have:   1. Money (specific dollars, not the concept) created by banks is tainted and inherently immoral 2. Banks could conceivably hoard money, removing it from circulation and causing the money supply to contract 3. Banks are immoral actors who engage in bad activities 4. People don't treat themselves or others well enough, leading to bad behaviors and outcomes   From my reading you have taken two positions: one about morality and one about the mechanisms of the economy. For the second one you have made some very specific claims about how the monetary system works and what the consequences of it working that way are. That's the part that I have engaged you on, and I still haven't seen a whole lot in the way of counterarguments. In fact, it seems that you are eliding my questions by returning to the morality side and trying to argue that instead, though I haven't made any claims regarding the ethics or morality of any of this.
  12. How do I measure risk?

    I had to take a project management course in graduate school and one of the things that was emphasized is that while most tools project managers use are not too complicated (including risk analysis), project management itself is currently heavily based around experience-- using knowledge gained in working one project to do a better job working the next. That may change as the field is still professionalizing and developing core standards and techniques but for now there is no real recipe approach.   I used this book, which was OK but not stellar (and the Kindle formatting was awful). It would be enough to get you started, and with a tool like Project Libre you should be able to be start working as your own project manager. There aren't any substitutes for experience though. At my last job my department was put under a new project manager fresh out of graduate school (for project management). Her lack of experience showed, both as the two projects she worked with us on unfolded and when they finished (unsuccessfully by any measure: budget, schedule, results). But the second project went better than the first, and I've no doubt that she's far better today.
  13. Future of economics, Step 1

    I have read all of your posts in this thread carefully. Even the snide ones.   Re-reading this post I see that I've used "borrower" and "purchaser" interchangeably-- they refer to the same agent in what follows.         I have not been limiting my definition of loans to this type, where the bank is involved in any way with the seller. But I'm not sure it matters; when I have been talking about loans it was under the assumption that the borrower had a specific intent for the money and did not plan to hold it in any particular way. Just for clarity's sake, are you drawing any distinction between a personal loan for cash and a loan directly involved in a purchase (like a car loan)? Are you including access to credit through credit cards? In any of these cases, yes, using a loan to finance a purchase will cost the borrower more than making the purchase directly without a loan. It's the cost of accessing money now, when they don't have it. Also, again for clarity, this is the point where money is created by the bank (assuming that they are taking advantage of the availability of leverage against money actually in the bank). The money goes to the seller, who then pays it out in wages, operating expenses, etc. It is now in the economy, and and the money supply has expanded.       The pressure is indeed on the borrower (or "purchaser", if you prefer) to earn/find enough money to pay back the loan on time, including interest. In the case of a collateralized loan, like for a car or house, then the bank can potentially seize the collateral if the borrower defaults on the loan. I would dispute that the borrower is "at the mercy" of the bank, because the loan contract is set at the time the loan is taken. The borrower does have to follow through with their part of the contract though, even if it was a bad deal. I am unclear how the borrower is at the mercy of the seller-- the seller has gotten the price of whatever it's selling (either from the bank directly or from the borrower) and then is out of the picture.         This seems irrelevant with respect to the loan because the borrower would have to pay the tax on the purchase anyhow, as well as any additional earnings the borrower might accrue. The government also has expenses which would require the money to continue moving, although the government can destroy money. I think we can avoid any talk about special cases like tax-deductible purchases made with the loan or anything similar, which seems irrelevant to the general concepts we're talking about.         I'm not sure I follow this. Each party (I assume this is still the bank and borrower, and possibly the government, as the seller's involvement seems finished) negotiates the price(s) of...? Is it labor, time, effort, anything that might be grouped under a term like "earning power", where money is distributed to individuals and groups through a non-loan channel?           I'm assuming that the first line refers to work the purchaser does for the seller or government in order to receive income. Regardless, this gets at a point I tried to make earlier. The purchaser doesn't need to collect earnings from the money distributed by the bank as a loan because there already exists money in the economy. From past loans which have been satisfied, from Treasury vehicles, whatever.   So if we imagine that, instead of making a purchase, the purchaser took out a personal loan from the bank at interest that is assessed immediately (so the principal and interest are owed the moment the loan is disbursed), and used that loan to immediately pay against the loan, it would cover the principal and leave the interest as you've said. But the purchaser can then go to work, get paid money that was never involved in that loan (or possibly, any loan), and use that money to pay the interest. The bank does increase the amount of money that exists when it operates as above, but active bank loans are not the only source of money in the economy.   I would dispute that the government has gotten money for nothing but will grant that it receives tax revenue from transactions in which it doesn't have any direct involvement. It's not strictly correct to say that the bank has gotten money for nothing because it does run the risk of the borrower defaulting on the loan. The bank also gives up the opportunity to do something else with the money (this is the bank's opportunity cost of making a given loan) which may be more profitable. There are also costs associated with assessing, preparing, issuing, monitoring, and servicing loans. But banks employ swarms of actuaries and analysts whose sole function is to manage such risks, and they wouldn't be in the business of issuing loans if it weren't profitable.           The bank still has employees to pay, maintenance on its buildings and systems, dividends to pay to shareholders, and on and on. As a functioning business a bank doesn't have the option of hoarding 100% of its money 100% of the time. To the extent that a bank (or any person or group) does hoard money there is a problem. But that problem is unrelated to loans: imagine if the bank refused to issue any new loans but instead offered savings accounts with fees for holding an account (and the bank offers no other services). If the bank hoarded the fee money, it would effectively be removed from the economy for as long as the hoarding behavior went on. Or Doctor Scrooge McGalt, who single-handedly invents an amazing product, makes a ton of money (exclusively from the outstanding money supply, no bank or debt is ever involved), and then inters that money in his private vault and never spends any of it, ever. It's the exact same problem for the money supply.       Of course it has a choice, in that it can decline to issue loans which outstrip the money on hand. Banks don't even have to be in the consumer loan business, though obviously many are. It's profitable but fundamentally expansionary when leveraged.       You can definitely create credit, but good luck finding someone who will accept it in lieu of cash. You definitely cannot create money, which is not the same as credit. Not legally, at any rate. You also have the choice to avoid applying for a bank loan altogether-- consumers also have agency.       A savvy borrower might question the belief that all money in the economy comes from currently active loans. Or provide some evidence for why he or she believes that to be so.         So can your whole position be satisfied if the system remains exactly as it is, but people treat each other better? If so, why have you decided to propose a different system rather than try to improve people's treatment of each other? On a second reading I see that this might come off as sarcastic, but it isn't meant to be. I'm really asking: why would an alternative system ensure better behavior, and why would changing to that system be better than trying to improve behavior right now?         Sure. Let's try this a different way. Here are some things which would support what you are arguing and maybe change some minds:   1. Do you have any measurements or estimates regarding the current (or typical) balance of outstanding loans not secured by collateral which show that balance to be greater than the existing supply of money? You can drop the collateral condition, if you like. I included it because debt backed by collateral isn't exactly the same as other debt, but I'll take a general picture over nothing. 2. Could you supply a reason why you believe that the only money that exists in the economy is involved in active loans at any given time? 3. Do you have any evidence of banks in general hoarding money, as an ongoing policy? Either way, why might a bank do so? 4. Are you referring only to banks regulated by the Federal Reserve, and if so, do your views change at all for those banks which are regulated directly by a government agency like the FDIC? 5. Do you have any evidence that the interest on loans issued by banks outstrips expansion of the money supply from all other channels? 6. Do you have any argumentation supporting the idea that assessing interest  on making money available to another (like a bank loan, or on the other side on the balance in a savings account at a bank)? 7. You've talked about deflation before and it seems a key feature of why you say the system is unstable. Can you offer any deflationary mechanisms in the processes we've discussed other than sustained hoarding?   This isn't a list of things that I'm demanding you provide. But if you satisfied all seven it would go a long, long way towards convincing me. Maybe all the way. If you satisfy none, or very few, of them, then it will remain difficult for me to see how your conclusion can be both consistent with the world and completely accurate. If these questions, at least, cannot be resolved, why should someone accept your conclusion other than your assertion that it simply is perfectly correct?   On the other hand, what (if any) things would, if true, convince you that your position is incorrect or incomplete?
  14. Future of economics, Step 1

      This is the part that doesn't track, and makes it difficult for me to assess the rest of the argument. Here is why I don't find it convincing:   1. The money supply isn't limited to outstanding loans. There is a huge pool of money that is in the economy right now and not related to any current loans, and the interest on a new loan can come from that at least as easily as from anywhere else. 2. Banks don't destroy money when they recover a loan, so the interest (even if it were to come directly from a fresh loan issued by another bank, or even the same bank) doesn't pull money [i]out[/i] of the economy. There is no deflationary pressure in this process. 3. As we've established upthread, the money that banks create is identical to other money. Debt doesn't grow faster than the money (at minimum, not necessarily) because of 1 and 2, above. There already exists money to pay the interest (and any other fees there might be), and all of that money remains in the economy along with any new money generated by the loan.   None of that is to say that the system is perfect, or desirable, or that better alternatives don't exist. But the specific problem you've put forward here is that more money is owed than exists due to the practice of charging interest on loans, forcing deflation and then additional serious economic maladies. Debt definitely has a variety of effects on the economy and on people, but an ever-more-constrained supply of money doesn't seem to be one of them.   If you have some evidence that the value of outstanding, non-collateralized loans is greater than the outstanding supply of money, or has been steadily trending in that direction, or something like that, it would go a long way towards persuading me. If not, then the key point on which your argument rests is, to all appearances, nonexistent.
  15. Future of economics, Step 1

    With no guidance from you on when it switches from acceptable debt to overdebt, I focused on your complaint that banks shouldn't be able to generate "extra" money and your emphasis on the volume of loan repayments (principal + interest) exceeding the money supply. You've said ">100% debt" a lot here, and that it's bad but poorly understood. I interpreted your position as it being acceptable for a given bank to loan out more than it holds in capital provided that banks in aggregate do not (so the debt:capital ratio is less than 1). When does it become "overdebt"? Is there a bright line where it tips for you? Is it a collective action issue, where what a given bank may be OK but is no good when many banks do it?   Resolving your dislike of ">100% debt" to your love of fractional reserve banking would clear up some inconsistency in your position. If the word "overdebt" is what does the work here then, as above, please let us know just what that means.       What is the acceptable charge for making a loan to someone, and at what point is it overcharging? Would it matter to you if the amount of money created via fractional loan was greater than the interest charged for that loan? Do you feel that the practice of assessing interest is wrong altogether, including financing a purchase or paying it into a savings account?       Who started that rumor? I hear it repeated a lot.   Central Banks are independent (uncoerced and untaxed) and set the ratio themselves. In the U.S. (I don't know about other countries) the central bank doesn't regulate all banks but only those that participate in the Federal Reserve system. Other banks are regulated directly by the FDIC, Office of the Comptroller, and other entities (depending on where the bank is and how it was formed). I was glib in saying that the government sets all applicable limits-- thank you for the correction. But I assume that your critique is not limited to only those banks that fall under the Federal Reserve's authority. Is that right? If so, what differences do you draw between the different regulators with regard to your position in this thread?       Um, OK. Would you be willing to reiterate exactly what the bad deal is? The deflation issue, from one of your earliest posts in-thread, seems to have fallen by the wayside as we now appear to agree that "extra" money from the bank is real money and expands the money supply. Presumably expansion of the money supply is acceptable through Treasury vehicles (I've brought these up a couple of times)-- are banks as agents in the money-expansion process uniquely unacceptable?         I don't think anyone should ever close his or her mind to inquiry. A true position that a person understands thoroughly will withstand contrary arguments.   This has been a long thread. Would you be willing to lay out your arguments again in light of what we've gone over? I'm specifically referring to the deflation/money supply contraction arguments you've advanced which don't seem supported by later posts of yours.     Only loosely related: have you ever read [i]Neptune's Brood[/i] by Charles Stross? It's a science fiction novel centered around banking, debts, and arbitrage. It's not exactly on-point with this thread, but if you like these topics you might like the book as well. I really enjoyed it.