Sunday, 13 July 2014

Shibi's dove, Samaritan's dilema & why Sen is shite.

King Shibi was sitting on his throne dispensing justice when suddenly a dove flew into his audience hall and pleaded for asylum. At that very same moment, a hawk swooped in and demanded the right to devour its lawful prey. Shibi satisfied both parties by cutting off a portion of his own flesh to ransom the dove.

Shibi's action set no precedent for Indian Law Courts because it clearly wasn't a sustainable solution to what, following Buchanan, we call the Samaritan's dilemma, whereby protecting the weak may end up creating a perverse incentive destructive of the very institutional foundations of Social Justice such that, in the end, everybody is worse off with the weakest suffering most.
So what?
Big yawn.
Why are you posting about this on a Sunday morning, yaar?
Kindly put up naked pix of P.Chidambaram to get us salivating again, coz we're clean out of Alka Seltzer and Granny drank all the good Vodka and just last week I tried to make a Bloody Mary with Old Monk but threw up all over my Hindi tuition-wallah who, fortunately has an M.Phil in Linguistics from J.N.U, and thus was inured to that sort of thing.
The answer, my dear Mani Shankar, is I'm going to prove Congress lost due to foreign hand only.
Using advanced mathematical techniques, we can establish sans doubt, cavil or infirmity of suspicion that Amartya Sen (who now traitorously says Modi has every right to rule despite being a low caste chai-wallah) was the true architect of the Congress debacle in the recent election, because, clearly, Sonia Madam & Rahul Baba did nothing wrong at all, nor did NaMo's Nazi goons do anything right at all, so all is the fault of the 'foreign hand' (not hands, due to messing up India is bayen haath ki khel- and done by left hand only) which clearly points the finger at Sen due to he is being helped by the indubitably foreign (because Belgian rather than Italian) hand of the all the more sinister, for Hindi speaking, Jean Dreze.

But first a hat tip to Anonymous who put me onto the trail of Sen's C.I.A funded perfidy by leaving this comment on my post on Sen's merisms & Senility's Mereology

'Was there a specific article or paper which prompted this burst of spleen? If so, you've failed to link to it. I haven't come across 'merism' in the literature before- who has time to read everything?- but, imagine it arises in 'Law & Econ' with which I'm not that familiar.
'I suppose a merism for the Market would be 'buyers & sellers'. So long as one always has to quote both one's buy and sell price, like an old fashioned stock jobber, then no 'uncorrelated asymmetry' (Maynard Smith) arises and so the Evolutonary Stable Strategy is mixed Nash rather than a pure conditional.
'To quote Wikipedia- 'The usual applied example of an uncorrelated asymmetry is territory ownership in the hawk-dove game. Even if the two players ("owner" and "intruder") have the same payoffs (i.e., the game is payoff symmetric), the territory owner will play Hawk, and the intruder Dove, in what is known as the 'Bourgeois strategy''.
'I think the charitable way to look at Sen's merism 'niti and nyaya'- for Justice Public Discourse- is to separate out the 'Bourgeois strategies' of 'Niti' (where the Institution or 'rule bound' individual has well defined 'territory ownership' and the other party feels they don't) from 'Revolutionary' Nyaya which takes nothing for granted regarding 'territory ownership'.
'I must admit, it's some years now since I read Sen's book which, in any case, was meant for a popular audience. Still, my question is, why not give the man the benefit of the doubt? Surely we can all accept that 'uncorrelated asymmetries' can be distortionary and that Sen is the leading Public Intellectual calling attention to this?' 

I'm afraid, I can't point to a specific article or paper which uses the word merism to denote the 'covering set' of a mereology. That bit is idionomic.
However, Anonymous's basic point re. uncorrelated asymmetry arises in the theory of discoordination games (i.e. where agents get a bigger pay-off from interacting with those dissimilar to themselves).
 A good example is Conley & Nielsen 2008 who write 'We also consider a discoordiation game in which agents benefit from interacting with others who have learned a different strategy than they have. For example, agents might learn how to be leaders or followers. Not surprisingly, we find that both these behavioral norms will coexist in equilibrium. What is surprising is that we also find that there must necessarily arise in equilibrium a class of “social market makers” who have learned to pay both social roles. This is true even if there is a cost to learning strategies. In contrast, there is no role for social market makers in coordination games and they disappear entirely in equilibrium if there is even a slight cost of learning new strategies.'

Note, a 'market maker' is the same thing as Anonymous's 'old fashioned stock jobber' and functions in Conley & Nielsen in a manner that improves on the 'uncorrelated asymmetry' equilibrium such that pure, conditional, hawk dove strategies get increasingly delinked from 'territory ownership' i.e. are now defeasibly Bourgeois or stochastically Socialist (i.e. represent a mixed strategy) and converge to the Morishima Rational Distribution- i.e. ultimately ownership is something solved for endogenously by looking at the shadow price vector and meditating on golden path dynamics. In other words all agents' ex ante 'regret minimization' (or learning heuristics or mimetic monadology) converges to the canonical, information conserving.  Evolutionary Stable Strategy.
Sen's merisms- e.g. 'niti/nyaya' or 'transcendental approach vs human development based'- are discoordination games.  As Conley & Nielsen show, this could be a good thing supposing such games correspond to genuine uncorrelated asymmetries- e.g. members of a vulnerable Minority who need to reduce harmful interaction with the Majority, and those from the Majority who wish to altruistically interact with the Minority- then, Sen is a 'cultural market maker' and good luck to him, he's doing something valuable because it may really be the case that 'the Justice of the 'Dalit'' is different from 'Justice' as conceived by the Bourgeoisie who thereby assert 'territory ownership' over the Transcendental and thus assure themselves obligatory passage point status and the right to levy Tiebout Manorial rents in a manner adverse to the majority of their class fellows- heck, you know the guys I mean- it's them dirty one percenters wot got an Ivy League Edumication and bought the White House for their house nigger just to show off.... sorry, I've run out of my organic Waitrose Pina Colada mix and am now mixing my Bacardi with Mountain Dew, so things are gonna go downhill from here pretty damn fast..and anyway what was I saying?..right..urm... fuck it... the point about 'cultural market makers' is that they gotta say 'hey guys, there's gonna be a much bigger pie, bigger portions for everybody, if we figure out how to get handicapped people productive- which means don't lynch them while they are working, wait till they've retired- or, actually, just steal their pension fund and have a good laugh as they hobble around scratching their woolly heads and copiously menstruating and well, whatever else it is they do gets them banned from the Country Club.'
Sen isn't doing this. Or perhaps he is. Maybe I should read his book.
Still, the takeaway point from all this today, is, kids, Shibi's dove actually has a co-evolved, intra-species eusocial, hawk response in accordance with the 'handicap principle'  If a dove seeks refuge with you, clearly you are a dove and must raise up your flock to chase off the eagle. Amotz Zahavi has shown why this is good for Eagles without being harmful to doves.
King Shibi, unlike Yuddhishtra, hadn't learned Statistical Game Theory. That's the only reason a 'Samaritan dilemma' arose. More broadly, a nyaya/niti disjunction only arises from a cognitive bias re 'territory ownership'. As for Sen, true he contributed to Rahul's debacle, but the main reason to mention him is simply to point out he's shite. Will somebody please give him a Magsaysay award already just to make this clear?


  1. Sorry to intrude on your Sunday morning drinking, but could you please clarify- is this meant as a spoof of Professorial jargon or do you think you really have some great insight denied lesser mortals?
    You say 'Sen's merisms are discoordination games'. What exactly do you mean? Are you saying that Sen is trying to create a schism within Public Discourse? If so, don't you find it rather odd that he treats so extensively, and with indefatigable scholarship, of the point of view, you would have us suppose, it is his intention to descry and marginalise?
    I really have no idea how your mind works. Are you aware of the Kantian distinction between regulative and constitutive concepts? Transcendental theories are regulative of Reason but can't be constituted empirically by the Understanding. However the Understanding can make 'pair wise comparisons' without having to wait for Reason to arrive at a Transcendental 'reflective' equilibrium.
    You may not like the type of philosophy that Sen has been doing but it is very much central to Western Culture and Civilization. Sen's genius- for example his use of the ancient Indian distinction between nyaya and neeti- is to correct an unfortunate Eurocentric bias which, in the past, has lead to great crimes being glossed over as the inevitable result of Civilisation's mission to the Savage or 'Subaltern.'

    1. Always welcome a diversion when I've a spot of serious Sunday drinking to do.
      Professors who write mass market books and emerge as well paid talking heads don't go in for jargon. Instead, they try to dramatise themselves as follows 'Eating babies is just wrong! I'm sorry if this makes me a pariah within the Academic Community but I just feel I have to speak out. Look, Einstein proved- over a hundred years ago!- that if you take one baby out of a pair of twins and eat it while firing the other baby off in a rocket which travels at the speed of light then though thousands of years will have passed by the twin baby returns to Earth it still wouldn't be okay to eat it coz that's just not okay. It's time the Politicians and the fat cats in City Hall learned this simple lesson. My own research shows that whereas 99 percent of all babies are actually eaten up in the womb- very often by their twin- I mean you probably ate your twin in the womb- still, eating babies is wrong because 74 percent of Post Doc fellowships in Quantum cohomology are currently held by non-baby eating squirrels. What sort of squirrels? Well, I've set up a Research Foundation to investigate precisely questions of that sort.'
      I'm saying Sen is a swindle and Public Discourse a sham. I've explained in a previous post why I think a merism can be a covering set for a mereology. If the merism has reciprocal co-evolved Red Queen type complexity then certain doors are opened. If merism is 'availability cascade' based- like Sen-tentious shite- then it aint part of what it purports to Publicly Discourse about.

      Nobody has any non-strategic, i.e. non shite, idea how their mind works because having such an idea is a fatal waste of resources. Kant was fucked in the head. Regulative and Constitute concepts would be fine if Evolution- nay Existence- were an illusion simply. But in that case Occasionalism rules.
      Sen knows shite about India. He also knows shite about 'Western Civilization'. Why? It would be a handicap in his chosen field-which aint alethic or honest signalling but being a well-paid cheap talk fuckwit.