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[ontolog-forum] Ontology of Self Interest

To: <doug@xxxxxxxxxx>, "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Rich Cooper" <rich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2011 06:37:55 -0700
Message-id: <0410FEA8DE6F42ECB3C6ECEECC9E080B@Gateway>
Dear Doug, John, Azamat, et al,    (01)

What a marvelous diversity of opinion (self
interest) we have shown in the last few days.  Can
we construct a small example ontology of self
interest based on our divergent views of these
topics?  I have identified the following topics
among our recent discussions:    (02)

1-government as an effective or suppressive actor;
2-regulatory bodies and their effectiveness;
3-9/11 warning signs - what would have been
4-global warming, its reality or political basis;
5-ontology of self interest.                (03)

I am sure that the four of us - DF, JS, AA, and RC
- can find additional topics among the discussions
of the last few days, but this should be
sufficient to construct a small example of a self
interest ontology.  I would personally rather
pursue that among such august company than
continue to debate these issues ad nauseam.  More
importantly, what self interest led each of us to
hold these topics so dearly and insistently?  Can
we identify and model the bases for this
divergence in an ontology of our four self
interests?    (04)

Underneath the facts and rules of each of these
topics, we each have perceived (conscious or
unconscious) values which led us to our positions.
Can we uncover these, honestly face our internal
demons, and produce an organization of knowledge
about US - not our positions, but our reasons for
those positions?      (05)

Is that a useful and fruitful way to spend a few
more days that might possibly result in new
knowledge about our motivations, values and
methods of adaptation to life's recent issues?  I
hope so, but it will require all of us to work to
that end.      (06)

Can we do this?
-Rich    (07)

Rich Cooper
Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com
9 4 9 \ 5 2 5 - 5 7 1 2    (08)

-----Original Message-----
From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On
Behalf Of doug foxvog
Sent: Tuesday, August 09, 2011 7:09 PM
To: [ontolog-forum]
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] intangibles (was RE:
Why mostclassificationsare fuzzy)    (09)

On Tue, August 9, 2011 16:32, Azamat Abdoullaev
> Thanks, Doug,
> for very interesting comments. See my comments
as below.
> Azamat
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "doug foxvog" <doug@xxxxxxxxxx>
> Sent: Tuesday, August 09, 2011 5:30 PM
>> On Mon, August 8, 2011 16:40, AzamatAbdoullaev
>>> RC: "But it seems to me that self interest,
widely distributed among
>>> the
>>> population, and often at odds with the
commons, that should drive the
>>> system instead of regulatory bodies....I think
what is missing is a
>>> full
>>> and adequate accounting of self interest."    (010)

as the concern for
>>> your
>>> own welfare and desires, be it ethical,
psychological, rational or
>>> enlightened, appears the cause of the issue
you mentioned.  It's widely
>>> believed that social orders are emerging form
local multiple
>>> interactions
>>> of self-interested individuals without
resorting to any planning.    (011)

>> An ontology of self-interest could be
interesting.  The weighting of
>> immediate gratification, long-term interest,
and interest in a
>> beneficial
>> environment (social, financial, physical, ...)
could be used to describe
>> different mind-sets, politics, and religious
orientations.    (012)

> AA: It is. But first one in need to decide the
nature and status.    (013)

Do you mean decide what concepts are in the
ontology?  Of course.
One would want to separate the definitional
ontology of terms from
the various theories about the terms, and both of
them from knowledge
bases describing various actual (or possible)
situations.    (014)

Different microtheories would encompass the
various philosophies.  Each
would have a set of rules to govern interactions.
One could model
criminals, libertarians, neo-conservatives,
neo-liberals, progressives,
Social Democrats, various strands of Marxists,
Adam Smithians, etc.    (015)

> If its all
> socially constructed things or elements of
ontological reality of human
> beings. If such concepts as self-interests or
national interests are
> historically and socially contingent or
intangible social facts, external
> to the individual or nation..    (016)

The contingencies could be modeled in the
appropriate knowledge bases.    (017)

> Empathy and limits of the groups to which
varying degrees of empathy apply
> would need to be modeled as well.    (018)

> AA: As you remember, A. Smith started from
considering Sympathy in the
> Theory of Moral Sentiments, introducing the
conroversary "invisible hand"
> as:
> ... In spite of their natural selfishness and
rapacity, though they mean
> only their own conveniency, though the sole end
which they propose ... be
> the gratification of their own vain and
insatiable desires, they divide
> with the poor the produce of all their
improvements. They are led by an
> invisible hand to make nearly the same
distribution of the necessaries
> of life, which would have been made,
> had the earth been divided into equal portions
> all its inhabitants, and thus without intending
it, without knowing it,
> advance the interest of the society."    (019)

The first part of that last sentence had little
relationship to the actual
situation in the mid-18th Century (since many
people died due to the lack
of the "necessaries" of life), and probably less
so today (regarding the
advancement of the interests of society).    (020)

I don't consider radiation spreading over
countries, dead zones in bodies
of water, millions of foreclosures, oil pouring
into oceans, food-borne
diseases due to stacks of chickens excreting on
those in cages below them,
antibiotics losing their effectiveness because of
massive distribution
of them to livestock held in unsanitary
conditions, foods loaded with
substances that don't naturally occur in foods,
massive global climate
disruption, acid rain, the fastest extinction rate
since the end of
the dinosaurs, sweatshops, and pollution in
general to advance the
interest of society.    (021)

All the above happen as a result of
under-regulated actions by
companies which consider their own short-term
interests above the
interests of society.    (022)

>>> A self-organization, or spontaneous order
appears without a central
>>> authority/coordinator imposing it's central
planning.    (023)

>> Certainly.  However, greater order appears when
groups of people set up
>> governments to secure rights and protect people
from anti-social
>> entities
>> (those who have no concern for rights and well
being of others).    (024)

>> Regulatory bodies form a major position in a
government which protects
>> the population from potential harm due to
ignoring safety, false
>> advertising, pollution, and other corrupt
practices.    (025)

> AA: We need to recognize that most corrupt
practices come from the
> regulatory bodies, destroying the spontaneous
orders in society.    (026)

I would strongly disagree.    (027)

It's true that many regulatory bodies have been
corrupted by bribes
and sometimes by the appointment of
representatives of the very corrupt
industries being regulated to be members of the
body.  But the corruption
in such cases initially comes from the regulatees
not the regulators.  It
is true that in some countries, regulators require
bribes before they
grant permits, but in the "First World", that is
not nearly as frequent
as it was a century ago.    (028)

>>> The real self-organizing emerges from
bottom-up interactions,
>>> as happens with the
>>> self-organizing networks, small-world
networks, or scale-free networks,
>>> limitless in size. What we see in the big
politics is not about
>>> self-organizing, but about the top-down
hierarchical interactions or
>>> interferences, reminding severely limited
top-down hierarchical
>>> networks, which are not self-organizing.    (029)

>> Is a group of people getting together to choose
policies an example of
>> self-organizing or not?  What about if there
are so many people that
>> they
>> select representatives to debate among
themselves and choose those
>> policies?    (030)

> AA: Its a self-organizaton as far as its the
multiple bottom-up
> interactions
> of any number of self-interested and
self-commanded individuals, where
> order/structure appears without any central
authority or coordination.
> In nature, the self-organizing, utilizing
non-linear causality and
> multiple
> individual interactions, can lead to extremely
complex spatio-temporal
> dynamic structures and patterns.    (031)

Sure.  This can lead to pecking orders, an alpha
male who drives out all
other adult males and/or becomes the primary or
sole mate of the females
in the group, the abandoning of weak or sick
members of the group, and
other "law of the jungle" structures.  These are
not necessarily the
best types of society.    (032)

-- doug f    (033)

>>> So why the free market economy is failing with
its "invisible hand" of
>>> spontaneous order. A rather simple answer, the
elite also has its
>>> self-interest, which is fully domineering over
common individuals.    (034)

>> Its perceived self-interest is a maximization
of wealth and power.  In
>> general, the concern is not about domineering
common individuals -- they
>> probably rarely consider the effects of their
policies on common
>> individuals.    (035)

>>> As a
>>> result, the "invisible hand" disregards the
general interests of the
>>> nation and society at large while at the same
time enriching the rich.
>>> As
>>> we know from the statistics, the crisis makes
the rich much more richer
>>> and the poor much more poor.    (036)

>> Agreed.
>> -- doug f
>>> I have to agree with N. Chomsky that this
"hand" is not as benevolent
>>> as
>>> advertised; for: " It destroys community, the
environment, and human
>>> values generally-and even the masters
themselves, which is why the
>>> business classes have regularly called for
state intervention to
>>> protect
>>> them from market forces":
>>> http://www.chomsky.info/articles/199303--.htm.
>>> Azamat Abdoullaev
>>>   ----- Original Message -----
>>>   From: Rich Cooper
>>>   To: '[ontolog-forum] '
>>>   Sent: Sunday, August 07, 2011 9:58 PM
>>>   Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] intangibles
(was RE: Why
>>> mostclassificationsare fuzzy)
>>>   Dear Richard,
>>>   Having read your paper, I like the way you
formulated the problem to
>>> be
>>> solved in terms of various groups.  In
particular your quote:
>>>   We use the term 'ontological' quite
deliberately in that expanded
>>> information and
>>>   meaning frameworks are generated by people.
Thus, people use their
>>> innate intelligence
>>>   and sense of being to create relationships,
to create meaning, and to
>>> solve problems. Such
>>>   meaning frameworks are not generated by
machines but through the use
>>> of
>>> human
>>>   interpretative intelligence (Vines and
Firestone, forthcoming).
>>>   This is an interesting formulation, though I
am not familiar with the
>>> examples from Australian politics you use to
illustrate the principles.
>>> But it seems to me that self interest, widely
distributed among the
>>> population, and often at odds with the
commons, that should drive the
>>> system instead of regulatory bodies.
>>>   Here in the US, if you have been watching
our silly struggle over the
>>> fiscal state of the country, you can see
demonstrated the two or three
>>> major viewpoints to which all parties
subscribe.  Republican, Democrat
>>> and Tea Party actors hew to only three major
value systems.  That is
>>> like mapping a fourteen dimensional physics
onto a two dimensional
>>> paper
>>> substrate.
>>>   I think what is missing is a full and
adequate accounting of self
>>> interest.  Specifically, every American
(Australian, Syrian, Brit,
>>> Frenchman, .) has a unique evaluation of the
process.  Jefferson
>>> anticipated compromise and balance, and did
not anticipate the
>>> conglomeration of self-interests into a few
major threads.
>>>   In an And/Or graph (e.g., IDEF0:
-B1.pdf figures 5 and
>>> 11A) if I use different heuristic valuation
methods, I get distinctly
>>> different preferred solution subtrees.  Each
person in any group has
>>> unique values, and therefore the emergent set
of heuristics is plural
>>> in
>>> value systems.  With present systems, the
projection of millions of
>>> value systems onto a two dimensional
regulatory body loses the
>>> knowledge
>>> needed to solve everybody's problem.  I think
a valuation of each
>>> individual's needs - the three hundred million
US citizens, for example
>>> - is the missing ingredient of subjectivity,
and without accounting for
>>> that massive divergence, we are doomed to
average out the noise of
>>> individuals in seeking a single, choiceless,
and history shows
>>> incompetent, solution to the single
individual's problems.
>>>   We need to look at multiple value
structures, not just logic, in how
>>> knowledge is represented, formulated,
selected, interpreted and
>>> conveyed
>>> into social structures.  Economists like
Milton Friedman, Somebody
>>> Hyek,
>>> Adam Smith and others taught that self
interest and individual choice
>>> is
>>> what makes the free market work.  Governments
are the least free of
>>> markets, presently structured, like
ontologies, to represent only a
>>> single value structured solution to problems
formulated by a few
>>> special
>>> interests, not by widespread representations
of all citizens'
>>> interests.
>>>   It may be stretching an analogy to say that
political graphs are like
>>> the current state of ontologies, but I do so
anyway.  If anyone still
>>> reading this has a solution to that multiply
valued, multiply choiced
>>> fantasy of mine, I would love to hear more.
But logic alone is simply
>>> misleading, and IMHO inappropriate, as a
solution to problems of groups
>>> of people.
>>>   Negotiation of individual transactions by
individual choices and
>>> values
>>> is what makes the free market work, as well as
it does or doesn't, and
>>> I
>>> have not seen another system level method that
even approaches the
>>> flexibility and evolving progress that so
consistently follows free
>>> market expressions of self interest.
>>>   Thanks for an interesting paper,
>>>   -Rich
>>>   Sincerely,
>>>   Rich Cooper
>>>   EnglishLogicKernel.com
>>>   Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com
>>>   9 4 9 \ 5 2 5 - 5 7 1 2
>>>   From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On
Behalf Of Richard
>>> Vines
>>>   Sent: Saturday, August 06, 2011 4:25 PM
>>>   To: '[ontolog-forum] '
>>>   Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] intangibles
(was RE: Why most
>>> classificationsare fuzzy)
>>>   Hi
>>>   Because I have followed a small number of
the threads of this group
>>> over
>>> a period and learned a number of things from
doing this, I thought I
>>> might make a small contribution back even
though I am sure I am way out
>>> of my depth ..
>>>   RC: ...., I doubt if I can contribute much
more, since I have a very
>>> strong conviction that subjective construction
is the missing
>>> ingredient
>>> in ontology.
>>>   JS: There are three important issues that
are worth discussing, but
>>> they
>>> should be kept distinct when we're trying to
analyze them: (1.)  The
>>> technical question about how modal logic is
related to possible worlds
>>> and/or possible models of the world.  (2). The
philosophy of science
>>> about the nature of physical laws, and the
criteria for accepting a
>>> hypothesis as a law. (3) The psychological and
sociological issues
>>> about
>>> how scientists and engineers do their work and
reach their conclusions.
>>>   In this discussion crossing over ontology
and epistemic logic (and
>>> modalities), I am not sure why there is no
reference to the nature of
>>> "evolutionary possibility".
>>>   For me, there is a need to explicitly take
into account a temporal
>>> component to this analysis .. that different
types of knowledge emerge
>>> through time.
>>>   I have puzzled over these matters for some
time and made a first
>>> attempt
>>> to link them in section 1.3 of first part of
this paper (the
>>> overarching
>>> topic being about regulatory systems not
epistemology or ontology). In
>>> thinking about this notion of "evolutionary
possibility", I was
>>> interested in exploring whether there might be
merit in exploring a
>>> synthesis between Pierce, Popper (and his idea
of "evolutionary
>>> epistemology") Wittgenstein and Peter Munz.
Munz was the only student
>>> ever to study under both Popper and
Wittgenstein. It is clear from his
>>> book "Beyond Wittgenstein's Poker", Munz
carried this as an unresolved
>>> burden for a good part of his life and his
book has been an attempt to
>>> make sense of this early experience in the
1940's. I was very
>>> interested
>>> in some of his discussion about meaning making
within this context.
>>>   Subjective construction as "a missing
ingredient in ontology" (in the
>>> broad sense of the word ontology) is very much
alive and well in the
>>> discourse of knowledge management and to some
extent, the KM world has
>>> recently been keen to draw upon Pierce's
notion of abductive reasoning
>>> to support the trend towards the uptake of a
theory of social
>>> constructivism. Whilst I am sure this is a
good thing, I think there is
>>> a long way to go before prevailing views about
KM stabilise - it is
>>> still very much an emergent domain.
>>>   To this extent, I have been very much
influenced by John's advocacy
>>> for
>>> an "epistemic cycle". I think this has a lot
to offer for those with
>>> interests in KM theory and practice - and thus
I referenced this in the
>>> piece referred to above.
>>>   This earlier piece on knowledge support
systems in research intensive
>>> enterprises also made an attempt to integrate
the impact of
>>> hierarchically complex systems and public
knowledge spaces into this
>>> mix. These two aspects have some relevance to
this discussion. -
>>> particularly, this:
>>>   i.e. RC multiple viewers of the same sign,
each seeing it in distinct
>>> ways, and reaching distinct conclusions,    (037)

>>>   Cheers,    (038)

>>>   Richard    (039)

>> doug foxvog    doug@xxxxxxxxxx
http://ProgressiveAustin.org    (040)

doug foxvog    doug@xxxxxxxxxx
http://ProgressiveAustin.org    (041)

"I speak as an American to the leaders of my own
nation. The great
initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to
stop it must be ours."
    - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
===========    (042)

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