Hi Russell Standish  

Below you infer that economics is a rational activity.
It isn't. it's close to a branch of psychology. 

Buying stocks, as Gordon Gekko said in "Wall Street",  is usually
based not merely on desire, but desire in the face of risk. 
Then Greed seems to be the best word in that case.  
Wall Street is not a welfare program, IT IS DRIVEN BY GREED.

And conversely, selling stocks is based on fear that the stock is going to go 
down.

So no rational or logical program will ever be a good stock customer.



Roger Clough, rclo...@verizon.net 
11/12/2012  
"Forever is a long time, especially near the end." -Woody Allen 


----- Receiving the following content -----  
From: Russell Standish  
Receiver: everything-list  
Time: 2012-11-10, 18:56:41 
Subject: Re: Where's the fixed identity in turing machines and comp ? 


On Sat, Nov 10, 2012 at 03:27:47PM -0800, meekerdb wrote: 
>  
> But the definition  

[of rationality] 

> seems overly restrictive. It's well known that 
> in competitive games the best strategy may random in some way. So I 
> don't see how you can arbitrarily rule out random choices as 
> 'irrational' when they are shown to be optimal by rational analysis. 
>  
> Brent 

Its not me doing the ruling out. Its the way the term is used in 
philosophy and economics. 

There are plenty of examples (such as the ones your refer to) where 
making random choices is optimal (according to a given utility). But 
here you have to go to meta-level to say its the choice to play 
randomly that is rational, not the choices themselves being rational. 

One can see there are situations where it is rational to be irrational. I 
sent you a reference to a paper of mine describing just such a 
sitation in the classic theory of the firm (``Emergent Effective 
Collusion in an Economy of Perfectly Rational Competitors''). 

A classic example where it is rational to be irrational is in chess 
where sometimes one might sacifice a queen in order to gain a 
competitive advantage. 

But if it is rational to be irrational, is it possible to be rational any more? 

--  

---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
Prof Russell Standish Phone 0425 253119 (mobile) 
Principal, High Performance Coders 
Visiting Professor of Mathematics hpco...@hpcoders.com.au 
University of New South Wales http://www.hpcoders.com.au 
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