[e2e] It's all my fault

Vadim Antonov avg at kotovnik.com
Fri May 18 05:09:39 PDT 2007

On Fri, 18 May 2007, Tom Vest wrote:

> Your willingness to dismiss the net effects of such considerations so  
> casually is itself a textbook example of the "What is seen and what is
> not seen" fallacy.

Tom - you may want to look up what this term means (hint: this is a title 
of an essay by Bastiat). You certainly make no sense applying it in this 

My statement was merely a very simple observation that averaging,
comparing, or otherwise aggregating non-additive quantities (such as
personal utilities) is mathematically invalid. Meaning that all economic
models based on this operation are pure unadulterated junk. From a purely 
logical point of view, without any political bias.

The non-additivity of utilities is easily demonstrated with a simple 
experiment: let's say I hit you on the head with a cluebat. Does our
aggregate utility (my increasing because of moral satisfaction, yours 
decreasing because I have a heavy hand and extensive experience with 
spanking and striking implements) increase or decrease?  What is the 
measure of "social good" of this act? How does one determine it?


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