THE GEOLOGY OF MORALS

Jun 30th, 2015
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The distinction between institutions which emerge from centralized and decentralized decision-making by its human components has come to occupy center-stage in several different contemporary philosophies. Economist and Artificial Intelligence guru Herbert Simon, for example, views bureaucracies and markets as the human institutions

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THE GEOLOGY OF MORALSA Neo-Materialist Interpretation by Manuel De Landa. The distinction between institutions which emerge from centralized and decentralized decision-making by its human components has come to occupy center-stage in several different contemporary philosophies. Economist and Artificial Intelligence guru Herbert Simon, for example, views bureaucracies and markets as the human institutions which best embody these two conceptions of control. {1} Hierarchical institutions are the easiest ones to analyze, since much of what happens within a bureaucracy in planned by someone of higher rank, and the hierarchy as a whole has goals and behaves in ways that are more or less consistent with those goals. Markets, on the other hand, are tricky. Indeed, the term "market" needs to be used with care because it has been greatly abused over the last century by theorists on the left and the right. As Simon remarks, the term does not refer to the world of corporations, whether monopolies or oligopolies, since in these commercial institutions decision-making is highly centralized, and prices are set by command. I would indeed limit the sense of the term even more to refer exclusively to those weakly gatherings of people at a predefined place in town, and not to a dispersed set of consumers catered by a system of middleman (as when one speaks of the "market" for personal computers). The reason is that, as historian Fernand Braudel has made it clear, it is only in markets i

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