19 February 2012

For Whom the Bell Curve tolls

I've been procrastinating with debates of a rather dismal level. Some of my trolling efforts may be witnessed at the Occupy South Africa or Operation Ubuntu facebook page. It turns out there are a handful of dyed in the wool NOT reds who are spawning Occupy protest pages at a rate that would almost have gullible people believe that there's a massive uprising in the country.

What does equitable distribution mean?


From one of the commentators:

Direct Democracy is a socio-political element, Distribution is a socio-economic concept. Distribution is a seperate concept to that of Direct Democracy. Currently the distribution of resources cannot exceed the capacity. But current distribution is far from equitable, hence some have far more and others have none. The imbalance in distribution is caused by the system deployed to bridge individuals with resources. The current system is a one size fits all system with salaried employment, or profit motive at it's core. We are proposing a new resource distribution system in which the actual requirements of individuals is the determinant, from a base of acceptance that all humans have equal claim to all resources. Don't confuse the system of distribution with the system of decision making and planning.

The obvious apprehensions are:

  1. How does one exceed distribution beyond capacity in any system?

  2. What is an equitable distribution?

  3. In what way is the current system profit-driven, when it appears that a lack of access to credit is the main concern for much of this occupy movement? Most people do not want to earn profit, they just want to share in what they perceive to be spoils.



It appears that income inequality is one of those things that causes people to yearn for a bed of Procrustes scenario whereby any loose ends are chopped off and piled on the big general resource pile to ensure a more equitable distribution. Most of the movement appears to put great stock in the labour theory of value, so why would anyone want more currency that is already decoupled from an underlying commodity like gold, beer or labour? These grievances aside, I poked some fun with a reply:

For Whom the Bell Curve Tolls


All humans do not have equal claim to all resources. For example, I do not have equal claim to the grapes growing on Rondebosch wine farm than the next bergie has.
  • For one, while I am a dipsomaniac enthusiast of their products, I still have most of my own teeth.

  • Secondly, I have not nurtured their vineyard and I haven't worked on my tan under the whip of their gentle but firm foreman.

I also have no need for kiddie seats in restaurants, wheelchair access ramps, ATMs where I have to duck or the warnings on coffee containers that the contents may be hot.

At first, this was perplexing, but I soon realised being hot is just one of those things that one could expect when one orders a drink that ordinary is served with a temperature on the tall and thin side of the thermometer. Clearly, there is a great deal of inequity in this world that goes beyond mere income distribution or access to resources.

Pray tell, which god may we thank for the greater glory of the auto-mobile seat belt and would you duct tape one to every rattling public transportation device? What if I've voted in a directly democratic system that I think seat belts are a terrible idea and we should neglect them to cull the herd so the aggregate of height increases to the point where we may lift the ATMs off the ground just far enough so it can look me in the eye while it throws money at me, because when I look down on it throwing money at me I feel like one of the ecdysiastic profession? Now, by show of hands or via the short message telegram it was determined and decreed that we shalt install seat belts everywhere, but I am not happy with this arrangement?

Furthermore, the villagers decided that I am to manufacture these seat belts, because when I was working on the vineyards a lot of wine went missing - and let's face it, everyone wants to work on the vineyards while nobody really wants to perform the grunt work like making seat belts. Now this musical chair labour union has gathered enough dirty hands to sentence me to seat belt and other safety paraphernalia construction.

Would you wear a seat belt manufactured by a disgruntled worker with an axe to grind because you've been rolling in the hay on the wine farm while I was left entirely in command of your safety precautions?


A Rolls Royce Silver Shadow. Better whole than on the dole, I say.

I do realise that you've jumped the gun into the abstract while granting the specific details none more than a cursory glance. For this reason, I implore you to grant them some further attention. While your mechanisations and imaginations may seem grand (and they are grand), ultimately you want to deploy this castle in the sky in terms of bricks and mortar on the ground. This will start with the shiny things like gold, Rolls Royce cars and a few hidden teeth, but short before long you're going to reach the point where everyone has deconstructed the Rolls into nuts and bolts and are now wearing the bling, or one person has a Rolls while another has a Volkswagen Golf and since you've taken money out of the equation, Golf boy better have a few fetching family members or he would have naught to trade for the Rolls.

Oh, and this little minor detail of private property that you've abolished too, so nobody really has any claim to ownership of anything even after they voted who gets what. What do we do now? Do we play musical chairs with the Rolls too?

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