The piggyback ratio

Another easy idea that took forever! More Engzig tie-in stuff.

Okay, so people have different competencies in different things. Hence, Ricardo’s law of comparative advantage:

In a famous example, Ricardo considers a world economy consisting of two countries, Portugal and England, which produce two goods of identical quality. In Portugal, the a priori more efficient country, it is possible to produce wine and cloth with less labor than it would take to produce the same quantities in England. However, the relative costs of producing those two goods differ between the countries.

England: 100 hours of labor for 1 unit of cloth or 120 hours for 1 unit of wine
Portugal: 90 hours of labor for 1 unit of cloth or 80 hours for 1 unit of wine

In this illustration, England could commit 100 hours of labor to produce one unit of cloth, or produce 5/6 units of wine. Meanwhile, in comparison, Portugal could commit 90 hours of labor to produce one unit of cloth, or produce 9/8 units of wine. So, Portugal possesses an absolute advantage in producing cloth due to fewer labor hours, and England has a comparative advantage due to lower opportunity cost.

In the absence of trade, England requires 220 hours of work to both produce and consume one unit each of cloth and wine while Portugal requires 170 hours of work to produce and consume the same quantities. If each country specializes in the good for which it has a comparative advantage, then the global production of both goods increases, for England can spend 220 labor hours to produce 2.2 units of cloth while Portugal can spend 170 hours to produce 2.125 units of wine. Moreover, if both countries specialize in the above manner and England trades a unit of its cloth for 5/6 to 9/8 units of Portugal’s wine, then both countries can consume at least a unit each of cloth and wine, with 0 to 0.2 units of cloth and 0 to 0.125 units of wine remaining in each respective country to be consumed or exported. Consequently, both England and Portugal can consume more wine and cloth under free trade than in autarky.

Wiki, slight paraphrase of formatting BS

Well, let’s take the idea a little further and say England isn’t much good at anything except chucking spears and whining. Or maybe they just enjoy it, or somebody else will do it for them. Then they decide to take all their useless young men to Portugal and say “Hey! Now you have to make wine and cloth for us too!” So there’s much less cloth and wine in the world because only Portugal is producing anything, but everybody’s still consuming.

If Portugal is productive enough, this can still be more economical than making a fuss. A war would be mutually destructive, and it’s not like there’s anything in African America worth taking. Er, I meant England. And you can’t exactly extract tribute either.

Hence, the piggyback ratio. How many piggyback riders can each Portugese person support? At what number of piggyback riders does it become more economical to try to throw them off?

The interesting dynamic here is that more piggyback strategists means more military strength, even as the resources thin out. It’s not like they have anything better to do. The less productive each piggyback rider is, the more likely they are to choose alternative employment as a parasite who extracts resources with threats.

So you’re an Englishman. You don’t know how to do anything productive, so you live in a mud hut. So do your friends. The guy next door has a big house and talks funny, and all he does is type on a magic typewriter all day. You get your friends and bum rush the place. You tie the guy to his office chair and eat all his food. But now there’s no food! You yell at him to make more typing noises and make there be more food. He does it. Wow! You invite more friends, but this time there’s less food to go around, and now there’s mud everywhere, and the place smells because your aunt decided your baby sister was a spirit and burned her in the cradle. 99% of the house inhabitants agree the Portugal guy should make there be more food, and make there be less smell from burning stuff. You yell at the Portugese guy until he cleans up and does more typing noises. There’s less food this time. The Portugese guy collapses from exhaustion…

You and your friends head to the house next door. See? Easy idea.


About Aeoli Pera

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9 Responses to The piggyback ratio

  1. Heaviside says:

    Modern technology is just advanced stage magic. If our society feels contrived, it’s because we’re surrounded by mechanical contrivances, and we consider these the gold standard of truth(“science”).

    Did you see these?

    • Heaviside says:

      Basically, I can’t accept either creationism or natural selection because I’m a vitalist. If you look at Haeckel’s Artforms it should become clear that biological organisms are just really complicated vortex rings and plasmoids.

      • Heaviside says:

        Nobody took the bait and responded to my posts, which means I never had the chance to blow their fucking minds by saying that the primordial form of life is quasicrystals, which I heard from a Russian called Golubev.

        Haeckel wrote a book called Crystal-Souls. He was probably one of the greatest biologists of all time.

        Maxwell’s Demon is perfectly possible if reality is continuous and real computers exist. What did Schauberger mean by “explosive” and “implosive”? “Entropic” and “anti-entropic,” obviously.

        The guys at Vox Popoli preferred to have an inane argument over information theory, rather than realize that life necessarily implies spontaneous growth and evolution, and that life can reverse entropy. This is the kind of crap desert religions do to you. Christians should be forcibly bused to Heidiland and made to reconnect with the forest spirits. Wash all of those icky Jewish accretions off in a mountain stream. Water is the living element, even Jesus implied this. Insisting on a strict separation between living and non-living things is already getting off on the wrong foot. Life is an eddy current in a stream.

        Schauberger, Haeckel, Heidegger, all of them are unmistakably forest people.

        Heine was a Jewish spy, so he can’t be trusted most of the time, but he was right about one thing: the timeless Earth-spirits will rise once again, and send the alien pseudo-god back to whence he came.

        It’s a damn shame they took down the English version. This scene is pure genius, this one scene is better than 99.9999999% of the crap Hollywood puts out, combined.

        What animates the kosmos? The soul of the BLOOD.

        “from the chalice of this realm of spirits foams forth for Him his own infinitude.”

        Hegel said that when barbarians defeat civilized people militarily, they don’t deflect history from its proper course, but instead merely continue the project of the vanquished, whether they want to or not.

        Heine was right about another thing, that the paths men of action, men of destiny, embark on are first charted out for them by the men of thought.

        These identity politics SJWs have no idea where the term “deconstruction” really comes from. The Trojan horse is already well inside the gates.

        Thanks to Heidegger, the Reich was not stopped, only postponed. We will soon resume our regularly scheduled programming.

        “Never Again”? They wish. Nobody will mourn them when they are finally gone.

      • Aeoli Pera says:

        I think everything you’ve ever said started making sense just now. Am I correct in assuming that “vitalism” is only an approximate description of your philosophy? I mean that you seem to believe nonliving things with certain properties and in the right configuration can still act like pseudo-living things. For instance, it may be entirely possible that we could build a neural network that absorbs sunlight for energy, and self-perpetuates. But the mechanism would necessarily be formally analogous to the molecular action that constitutes biological “life”.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      Hadn’t seen them, but I’m seeing now why you saw fit to pass that systems theory book along after I started harping on “phase changes”. Looks like I’m rediscovering the wheel, as always.

  2. Jeb Bush says:

    It’s the grown up thing to do though. There is no grown up alternative but to gop with the flow.

  3. Pingback: How should a genius behave toward society? | Aeoli Pera

  4. Pingback: Disambiguating human r/k vs. dysgenics, temperate climate vs. agriculture | Aeoli Pera

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