This is the broken window fallacy, as the other commenter said. For the economy as a whole, giving an outside agent more goods and services in exchange for the service of cleaning cannot possibly be better than giving less for the same service.kenny on Mistake Versus Conflict Theory of Against Billionaire Philanthropy
I've come around to the "conflict-vs-mistake framing" in particular because "every significant disagreement has elements of both".
It must be the case, in some sense anyways, that every 'conflict theory' begins its (epistemic) existence as a 'mistake theory' and is thus, hopefully, at least somewhat amenable to being considered 'mistaken' later given sufficient contrary evidence.
In general too, conflict theories seem to have a 'memetic' advantage in being 'epistemically totalitarian', i.e. subsuming all subsequent evidence (until the existence of the conflict is itself later considered mistaken).
It's also true that something like philanthropy could be both net-positive for everyone and net-negative for a particular political coalition.dmitrii-zelenskii on The Argument from Common Usage
There is descriptive linguistics and prescriptive linguistics (and that applies, in particular, to lexicography); but to make sense, to create rules people will not immediately and fully ignore (merely somewhat in some relatively rare cases as the language changes), prescriptive linguistics feeds on descriptive linguistics to prescribe something not too different (which does not say "the same"). Thus to create a dictionary which will unify common usage you need to describe common usage first - not to be too astray.
Unfortunately, in English tradition this is also blurred by having no usual distinction between prescriptive grammars (and lexicons) and style guides.kenny on Mistake Versus Conflict Theory of Against Billionaire Philanthropy
I'm not sure it's really possible to reach any conflict theorists if you think their theorized conflict is a mistake.
It seems like part of the problem in doing so is that the theorized conflicts are (at least) implicitly zero-sum. I'd think it's pretty obvious, that at least 'in theory', billionaire philanthropy could be net-positive for 'The People', but it's hard to even imagine how one would go about convincing someone of that if they're already convinced that (almost) everyone's actions are attacks against the opposing side(s), e.g. philanthropy is 'really just' a way for billionaires to secure some other kind of (indirect) benefit to themselves and their class.dmitrii-zelenskii on Feel the Meaning
Well, you describe language somewhat as if it were designed for communication. If, as Chomsky et al. argue, it was not, if it is a thought machine with communication hastily and inconveniently added later, then:
1)it is a bad - no, really bad - idea to try and teach computers speak language the way humans do - they should do better and probably start with a different (functional) architecture;
2)sound 2b and sound 2c may have a different underlying structure which is simply compressed by the hasty externalization (aka communication) module.kenny on Mistake Versus Conflict Theory of Against Billionaire Philanthropy
It's pretty hard to tell what you find hard to reconcile in the two quotes.
'Politics as war' is the same as 'different sides fight for their own self-interest', e.g. "whether the State exists to enrich the Elites or to help the People".
The 'honest mistakes' perspective would be that any particular policy might be good or bad, or whatever mix thereof, and disagreements about that would be due to different beliefs and NOT due to simply supporting one's side.limerott on A misconception about immigration
What is your definition of productive enterprise, what is non-productive enterprise?
How about this? The person uses his social security to buy a new phone. This purchase increases the capital available to the manufacturer for R&D of new phones.
I googled the broken windows fallacy and this is the argument I got: "If he hadn't paid for the broken windows, he could have gotten himself a pair of new shoes." But the point is that he didn't buy the pair of new shoes (he instead hoards the money), but he is forced to buy the new window (since it's windy otherwise), creating demand.kenny on Mistake Versus Conflict Theory of Against Billionaire Philanthropy
I think there's a crucial test that could be performed, relative to your ideas (in this thread) anyways – how much of the 'against billionaire philanthropy' do you think is due to the tax rebate/refund? I think it's close to zero.
(And I don't have a problem with criticizing any philanthropy but I don't have a problem with billionaires giving large amounts generally.)limerott on A misconception about immigration
It depends on how you look at it. In terms of productivity (output per labour cost), more robots is better. But if all cleaning staff is replaced by robots, the robot manufacturer profits while the displaced workers have less disposable income, thus there is less demand for the local economy (local groceries store, gas station, hairdresser, realor etc.), which suffers as a consequence.limerott on A misconception about immigration
First of all, I am not directly advocating immigration nor am I against it -- I am analyzing one particular aspect of it. A common reaction towards immigration is "they are robbing our jobs" and I tried to outline the faulty logic underneath that. They are not stealing anything, but becoming part of the economy.
Immigration is a complex issue that has to be decided on a case-by-case basis. If there are food shortages in a country, adding more people makes no sense. If there is, as you say, an excess of capital, but not enough people to invest it into, it does make sense. Australia is only one particular case.
Since the argument I am making is a priori, I don't need data.
Can you elaborate on the connection between capital and immigration? In particular, who is paying the aforementioned $300,000 - $500,000? It's not like every immigrant is getting a paycheck. If these are public expenses paid over a long period of time, I don't see the problem. You are right in saying that excessive population growth or immigration is detrimental, though. (This is why I made the distinction between short-term and long-term)
If the population growth is organic and at a sustainable rate, doesn't this lead to a higher GDP, which is a desirable outcome?