New Mars Forums

Official discussion forum of The Mars Society and MarsNews.com

You are not logged in.

Announcement

Announcement: As a reader of NewMars forum, we have opportunities for you to assist with technical discussions in several initiatives underway. NewMars needs volunteers with appropriate education, skills, talent, motivation and generosity of spirit as a highly valued member. Write to newmarsmember * gmail.com to tell us about your ability's to help contribute to NewMars and become a registered member.

#1 2012-03-04 14:08:46

John Creighton
Member
From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2001-09-04
Posts: 2,401
Website

Resource Allocation - What Can we learn from Carl Menger

Carl Menger in his book, "Principles of Economics" [1] talks about orders of goods. 1st order goods are those which directly satisfy our basic needs such as food and shelter. 2nd order goods are goods used to obtain 1st order goods. For instance we can't eat a, bow and arrow. However, we can use a, bow and arrow, to achieve first order goods though hunting. Third order goods are the goods required to produce second order goods. For instance we may use wood to make a, hunting bow.

Menger criticises Adam Smith for making specialization of labour the central factor of human progress. Menger lived during an Era of economics called, "The Marginal Revolution". One idea which came out of the marginal revolution was that of Marginal cost. Marginal, cost could be used to argue the diminishing marginal return of complexity/specialization [2] but more importantly Menger stressed the significance of higher order goods (A.K.A invention) for the progress of civilization.

Menger also talked about how higher order goods were complementary. For instance if one had insufficient cotton to utilize all their sewing machines, then each sewing machine would be less useful for the satisfaction of human needs and hence less valuable. In order to produce a lower order good from a higher order good you need the right complementary goods of that order.

Now what I think Menger gives us is a philosophy of planning. We must consider what are the most basic needs for a; Space mission, base, outputs or civilization, and then ask what goods of the next order can most efficiently satisfy these lower order needs.

Some first order needs we may identify for surviving in space are fuel, shelter, food, oxygen, water.
-- (side note: If wanted to inject Maslo into the discussion we might also consider higher level needs (as opposed to higher order) and consider psychological needs but lets start at least at first with the most basic needs.)

-- Second order goods might include:
1) transportation systems to cheaply import goods
2) life support systems (mechanical or biological) to recycle water and oxygen
3) materials to expand shelters (brick, inflatable's, burrowing equipment)
4) drilling equipment to extract water
5) air processing equipment to extract fuel and water from the air.
6) tools to make shelter.
7) hydrogen to make fuel (hydrogen can be both a first and a second order good as it can be used directly for fuel or turned into methane to produce more food)
8) refrigeration and other methods of preserving food.

--Third order goods might include
1) A 3D printer to make tools and parts necessary to repair equipment.
2) Digging equipment to extract stuff to make the raw materials to build food and shelter.
3) Seismic equipment to explore for resources.
4) Transportation equipment to transport resources
5) electrolysis equipment to extract hydrogen from water.
6) Tools and spare parts needed to maintain second order goods.
Now to a point everything discussed so far seems as it should be obvious but without explicitly looking at our needs through this thought process it is easy to miss-allocate our resources.

In advanced economies such as ours, planning does not need to be as central organized as it does in more primative societies. The better a free market economy functions the better price will be as a signal as to the relative value of goods for the purposes of satisfying the needs of a society. In a primitive space mission\outputs or civilization the information given by price does not give us more information about the best allocation of resources then we are able to obtain through planning because the complexity is small enough to fully model the problem and their does not exist enough aggregate information in price to surpass our imperfect ability to  anticipate our needs.

Consequently one might presume that in such situations we should plan for our needs. What Menger gives is a criteria to plan in that, we must prioritize our planning so that before worrying about higher order goods, we must have sufficient quantities of the lower order goods to satisfy our needs. Additionally Menger reminds us that the value of a higher order good also depends on having enough of the complementary goods to utilize the good. For instance we can dig up all the dirt we want but if we lack the resources to turn that good into Iron, then the marginal benefit of digging up more dirt quickly decreases to a point of becoming of negative value as we are both wearing out our digging equipment and expending valuable fuel.

Menger was the catalyst for what is now known as the Austrian School of economics [4] and this school often focussed on the non mathematical aspects of economics. It wasn't that they did not consider mathematical approaches valuable it was that by narrowly focussing on quantitative aspects we misallocate the resources we use to study an issue. Mathematics can obscure an issue, take an overlay narrow approach in considering the causes in order to get to a workable model, and give us too much confidence in causal relationships by the miss use of statistics.

That said in another thread I will formulate the above in a mathematical manner. In this thread I would like to deal solely with conceptual issues and discuss how a mission, outputs or civilization should prioritize their needs by breaking down goods into various orders and consider the cost of obtain each good of each order.

--------------------

Refferences

[1] Carl Menger - Principles of Economics (1871) [3], http://mises.org/books/mengerprinciples.pdf
[2] Clay Shirky - The Collapse of Complex Business Models - http://www.shirky.com/weblog/2010/04/th … ss-models/
[3] Wikipedia - Principles of Economics, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principles_of_Economics
[4] Wikipedia, Puecursors to the Austrian School of Economics, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austrian_School#Precursors

Offline

#2 2012-03-04 21:33:55

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,403

Re: Resource Allocation - What Can we learn from Carl Menger

Thanks for the subject as I understand thou when we go to Mars which is not directly livable for man that some of the second order list moves to the first as a result of destination. That said thou many on the second and even the third are related for the expansion or direct result of colonization/ settlement of man's extended stay.

Offline

#3 2012-03-05 13:54:56

John Creighton
Member
From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2001-09-04
Posts: 2,401
Website

Re: Resource Allocation - What Can we learn from Carl Menger

SpaceNut wrote:

Thanks for the subject as I understand thou when we go to Mars which is not directly livable for man that some of the second order list moves to the first as a result of destination. That said thou many on the second and even the third are related for the expansion or direct result of colonization/ settlement of man's extended stay.

I’ve considered that and while it makes sense to say something like a life support is a basic need and therefore a first order good; part of what a life support system does can be broken down into the production of goods which constitute our basic needs.

We need so much oxygen, we need so much water, we need so much food over a given period of time. Part of the function of the life support system is to produce these basic inputs to sustain our life from human waste. Heat is perhaps slightly trickier in that we don’t have a direct need for heat or cold since the amount of heat we either take from our environment or give to our environment is dependent on temperature.

However, we could consider heat as an input to maintain shelter which is a basic need. So we can take shelter as a first order good and consider both the structure and the heater second order goods which we need to combine to provide shelter. That is a shelter is produced as a result of combining a given amount of heat with a given amount of structure, and a given amount of breathable air.

Shelter is maintained by the life support system which produces the part of the air in the shelter we consume.

The goal here is to reduce that amount of things which are considered first  order goods or basic needs, so the value of all other goods can be measured in terms of how they can be used to obtain the first order goods that we need.

While it is true we all value things differently we all have similar basic needs. As a consequence if we build a metric based upon the satisfaction of these basic needs it is more likely to model something which correlates to some degree to our wants as we must all want these things to a certain degree in order to survive.  What this is, is essentially a reductionist  version of utility where instead of trying to capture everything that motivates us we try to express our motivation as best we can in terms of some of our most basic needs.

Offline

#4 2012-03-05 17:22:46

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,927

Re: Resource Allocation - What Can we learn from Carl Menger

Yes, this sort of analysis is helpful, although I'm not sure we needed Menger to help us do it (I've posted similar analyses here before now without reading Menger!).

However, you don't state explicitly whether you are looking to manufacture the goods on Mars.

We need to make a mass analysis of these goods. 

It doesn't always make sense to make goods on Mars in the first few decades of colonisation.

For instance, what would it take to be able to manufacture medicines on Mars? The medicines will be vital - you might even say they are first order goods - but it is better to import most of them because the tonnage of manufactring equipment and skilled personnel (plus all their life support) that would be necessary to make them on Mars would be huge. 

What we need to aim for on Mars is a basic scaled down industrial infrastructure (using scaled down machines - lathes, furnaces, presses etc).   We also need to aim for a stripped down economy. There's no need to use paper on Mars.  People can use their imported lightweight laptops for writing.  There's no need to have separate batteries and electric motors for different machines - you can swap the motors and batteries as the need arises. 

Rather than try and procude a range of materials - lots of different polymers and so on - it will be better to concentrate on a few basic materials e.g. glass, basalt/fibre glass, bamboo, iron and steel and adapt our products to those materials.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

Offline

#5 2012-03-05 23:23:40

John Creighton
Member
From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2001-09-04
Posts: 2,401
Website

Re: Resource Allocation - What Can we learn from Carl Menger

louis wrote:

Yes, this sort of analysis is helpful, although I'm not sure we needed Menger to help us do it (I've posted similar analyses here before now without reading Menger!).

I've also thought of many things myself without first knowing the origin of the idea. That of course says nothing as to whether we would have thought of the same idea if we were living in the same environment as the originator of the idea. I was reading the Black Swan, and the general theme of the book is about events we never expect to happen. In part of the book he was talking to a professor who praised the book but then gave a causal explanation of what led the author to write the book. The author of the black swan, Nicholas Taleb, went on to say how the professor's statement showed he missed the point of the book. In one chapter of the book Taleb talked about our bias to find naritives to explain events and he concluded by the professor looking for a causal explination he missed this point of this chapter.

However, to me it is not an unreasonable conjecture that our environment influences our ideas. I have had many ideas which were not widely discussed when I originated the idea and then in about five years saw the idea reach a much wider level. Today when this happens at a very large level we might call it a meme or say the idea went viral.

Given that I am no one of significance; to me it would be egocentric to say I played a significant part in the spread of these ideas. We all play a part in the discourse of ideas. Our part is often neither essential to the propagation of the idea nor insignificant. A metaphor for this is a stone falling in water. The stone is the event which we are all reacting to and the wave is the propagation of this reaction. Each particle of water plays a part in spreading the propagation of a wave that was initiated by the drop of the stone. No one particle is essential to the propagation of the wave but without the particles the wave would not propagate.

Here is an interesting quote I read the other day:

"The Price of Generational conflict is Heavy: Intellectual Innovation Ceases among the Old, and Proceeds on Shaky Grounds Among the Young"
from Leonard Krieger: Historization and Political Engagement In Intellectual History by Malachi Haim Hacohen contained within, History And Theory Studies in the Philosophy of History pg 84. Volume 35 1996 Wesleyan University

We learn by questioning what we are taught but if we weren't taught what would there be for us to question and how then would we stimulate our minds? Returning to, The Black Swan. Nothing in the black swan from a mathematical perspective is foreign to the thinking of anyone who extensively studied statistics and mathematical modelling. From a philosophical perspective much of the ideas could be easily lifted from Bertrand Russell's, book, "The problems of Philosophy". What gave Taleb book such an in pact was both the narrative writing style which is a more effective way of communicating with non mathematical minded people and using enough examples to help make the ideas concrete. If we were to use latten terms, we would say he put the ideas, "in conreto".

Moving forward. It is great to have good ideas but I believe creativity is natural and unfortunately systematically suppressed. Great thoughts are usually not novel, but being able to put them in the context of history gives one a strong footing in any debate to follow. So much of what we think today is very old and many ideas can be traced back to Plato and Aristotle. Here is a quote for you from Bertrand's Russle's article, "How to be a man of Genius":

"If there are among my readers any young men or women who aspire to become leaders of thought in their generation, ........ A man of genius knows it all without the need of study; ............ Above all, whatever is most ancient should be dished up as the very latest thing."
http://www.personal.kent.edu/~rmuhamma/ … Genius.htm


Studying history helps to put our ideas in perspective. Knowledge of history also keeps us from becoming too naive about our ideas. History organizes our understanding of what led us to think what we do today in a chronological manner showing us the reasoning of the debate which led us to what we think today and reminds us of what has been forgotten along the way. You don't have to read Menger to have his ideas but he is a very relevant figure in history. The Austrian school of Economics tells us about our market instability. But this was known even before the Austrian Economists. Heck even Marx new it:

"In every stockjobbing swindle every one knows that some time or other the crash must come, but every one hopes that it may fall on the head of his neighbour, after he himself has caught the shower of gold and placed it in safety."
by Karl Marx.

Despite the constant mistakes of the past the snake oil salesman of the day continue to contend both that they have it all figured out and that the lessons learned from history no longer apply.

However, you don't state explicitly whether you are looking to manufacture the goods on Mars.

Yes we will manufacture on mars but it is helpful to have some analysis of how to choose what we will manufacture and how much of each good to manufacture.

We need to make a mass analysis of these goods.

I was actually thinking of using the dollar amount to import a given quantity of good to mars as the basis for price and with this metric we can measure the size of the Martian economy.
 

It doesn't always make sense to make goods on Mars in the first few decades of colonisation.

Does this mean you rejection Zubrin's concept of In-Situ propplent production?

For instance, what would it take to be able to manufacture medicines on Mars? The medicines will be vital - you might even say they are first order goods - but it is better to import most of them because the tonnage of manufactring equipment and skilled personnel (plus all their life support) that would be necessary to make them on Mars would be huge.

We could consider medicine a basic need which can't be reduced into more basic needs. I will leave it open the best way to think about medicine when planning for a mission, base, outputst or civilization. I do agree though that much of the medicine need will intially be importated.

What we need to aim for on Mars is a basic scaled down industrial infrastructure (using scaled down machines - lathes, furnaces, presses etc).   We also need to aim for a stripped down economy. There's no need to use paper on Mars.  People can use their imported lightweight laptops for writing.  There's no need to have separate batteries and electric motors for different machines - you can swap the motors and batteries as the need arises.

Sounds reasonable. Standardization helps make goods more substitutable and hence helps us better prepare for our future needs. Moving along. In order to know which pieces of equipment we should bring first to mars I would ask how does each of these suggestions you made provide for current or anticipated needs of future people in space. They all sound reasonable and I hope for a better analysis to follow.

Rather than try and procude a range of materials - lots of different polymers and so on - it will be better to concentrate on a few basic materials e.g. glass, basalt/fibre glass, bamboo, iron and steel and adapt our products to those materials.

I'm in total agreement her but only to a point that each good helps to fullfill our needs. It makes no sence to devote any more resources to the production of such goods then is utalizable, and what can be utilized depends on what complementry goods are availableble. The necessary complementry goods would include labor and machanery as well as raw inputs.

Offline

#6 2012-03-06 07:22:41

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,927

Re: Resource Allocation - What Can we learn from Carl Menger

John Creighton wrote:

I was actually thinking of using the dollar amount to import a given quantity of good to mars as the basis for price and with this metric we can measure the size of the Martian economy.

I really don't think for most goods that the dollar price on Earth (if that's what you mean) will have much relevance on Mars as part of a multi-billion dollar project. I think we need to write off the initial development costs of getting people established on Mars and then get accurate amortised costs for future transit of goods on a per kg basis.

John Creighton wrote:

Does this mean you rejection Zubrin's concept of In-Situ propplent production?

I think it needs to be subjected to rigorous analysis.  It's the opportunity cost we need to look at. Could we do other more interesting and prodcutive things with the mass and the people?  If Space X can get the costs down to $500 per kg to LEO then transporting propellant direct might make more sense.


John Creighton wrote:

Sounds reasonable. Standardization helps make goods more substitutable and hence helps us better prepare for our future needs. Moving along. In order to know which pieces of equipment we should bring first to mars I would ask how does each of these suggestions you made provide for current or anticipated needs of future people in space. They all sound reasonable and I hope for a better analysis to follow.

I'll see if I can post something soon on this. A lot will depend on launch costs of course.  Hitherto I have tended to assume a cost of something like $20,000 per kg to Mars once the initial development costs have been covered, but it could be a lot lower. 

I agree with much of what you say in your general comments about learning from history and a range of theories.  There is much we can learn from thinking creatively about the past and parallel experiences.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

Offline

#7 2012-03-06 13:39:18

John Creighton
Member
From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2001-09-04
Posts: 2,401
Website

Re: Resource Allocation - What Can we learn from Carl Menger

louis wrote:
John Creighton wrote:

I was actually thinking of using the dollar amount to import a given quantity of good to mars as the basis for price and with this metric we can measure the size of the Martian economy.

I really don't think for most goods that the dollar price on Earth (if that's what you mean) will have much relevance on Mars as part of a multi-billion dollar project. I think we need to write off the initial development costs of getting people established on Mars and then get accurate amortised costs for future transit of goods on a per kg basis.

Above I said the import cost (not the dollar value on earth) and this cost includes the transportation cost.  Whatever we are willing to import must to us be worth the cost for us to import it. When we are willing to utilize one of the goods (labor, materials, machinery) imported to mars to produce another good, the value of what is produced is at a minimum worth the cost of the imported resources required to make that good.

The Martians initially do science in return for the goods required to live. When such goods grow faster than they are consumed the economy grows and when the reverse happens the economy declines. If a Martian could produce some of the goods required to carry on their science by using either their free time or as surplus payments for their work then the economy grows and this growth is either though the surplus work of the initial Martians or the surplus payments of the people supporting the missing.

The value of the surpluses production would be measured in terms of how much dollar (includes shipping cost) values of earth imports a Martian is willing to exchange these goods for.  Inflation indexes could be devised to consider the growth in the well being of the Martians.

Offline

#8 2012-03-06 18:37:59

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,927

Re: Resource Allocation - What Can we learn from Carl Menger

John Creighton wrote:
louis wrote:
John Creighton wrote:

I was actually thinking of using the dollar amount to import a given quantity of good to mars as the basis for price and with this metric we can measure the size of the Martian economy.

I really don't think for most goods that the dollar price on Earth (if that's what you mean) will have much relevance on Mars as part of a multi-billion dollar project. I think we need to write off the initial development costs of getting people established on Mars and then get accurate amortised costs for future transit of goods on a per kg basis.

Above I said the import cost (not the dollar value on earth) and this cost includes the transportation cost.  Whatever we are willing to import must to us be worth the cost for us to import it. When we are willing to utilize one of the goods (labor, materials, machinery) imported to mars to produce another good, the value of what is produced is at a minimum worth the cost of the imported resources required to make that good.

The Martians initially do science in return for the goods required to live. When such goods grow faster than they are consumed the economy grows and when the reverse happens the economy declines. If a Martian could produce some of the goods required to carry on their science by using either their free time or as surplus payments for their work then the economy grows and this growth is either though the surplus work of the initial Martians or the surplus payments of the people supporting the missing.

The value of the surpluses production would be measured in terms of how much dollar (includes shipping cost) values of earth imports a Martian is willing to exchange these goods for.  Inflation indexes could be devised to consider the growth in the well being of the Martians.

Sorry I misinterpreted you there - was in a bit of a rush earlier on.

Personally I think your analysis doesn't do justice to the complexities. I think the reality is going to be much more like the early colonisation of Australia where all sorts of motives: trade, imperialism, 
raw materials acquisition, criminal justice, religious proselytising, military, scientific  etc were mixed up.   

You seem to imply that there is an exact match between the interests of the Mars inhabitants and the interests of colonisation. Not necessarily so.  Mars inhabitants might want to enjoy the creature comforts of home rather than investing in more machinery and housing so that more colonists can join them, especially if say their bank accounts back on Earth were being lined with export earnings.

However, I think it is wrong to expect a money economy to develop on Mars for several decades. The Mars money economy will be located firmly back on Earth and it will be the consortium back on Earth making the key decisions, not the Martians (I prefer Aresians for humans!).


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

Offline

#9 2012-03-06 22:00:19

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,403

Re: Resource Allocation - What Can we learn from Carl Menger

Lots have been posted since I last was in the thread.

Early inhabitants would first need to focus on what it takes to repay the debt to get to Mars as I am sure that they will not be riding for free or will have had there bill paid in full. That would include the materials to make any mission possible as part of the debt. Then they will be free to go there own respective path to do more than inhabitat as they can then set forth to create what mars will need for services to earn a living with.

So a first order item with respect to the list is a complete lander/habitat capable to sustain life for a period of time.

So time is not a function of the listing process and that causes the confusion I have for what is a controlled gradual process is set to how we utilize the time we have once we are there.

Offline

#10 2012-03-07 13:44:51

John Creighton
Member
From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2001-09-04
Posts: 2,401
Website

Re: Resource Allocation - What Can we learn from Carl Menger

louis wrote:
John Creighton wrote:

I was actually thinking of using the dollar amount to import a given quantity of good to mars as the basis for price and with this metric we can measure the size of the Martian economy.

…..
Sorry I misinterpreted you there - was in a bit of a rush earlier on.

Personally I think your analysis doesn't do justice to the complexities.

It is often helpful when trying to understand something to see how we can reduce the complexities. That doesn’t mean that after  such an exercise we shouldn’t go back and look at the complexities.

I think the reality is going to be much more like the early colonisation of Australia where all sorts of motives: trade, imperialism, 
raw materials acquisition, criminal justice, religious proselytising, military, scientific  etc were mixed up.   

You seem to imply that there is an exact match between the interests of the Mars inhabitants and the interests of colonisation. Not necessarily so.

That may be the case but the colony will be much more prosperous if people go there with the intent to build a future.

Mars inhabitants might want to enjoy the creature comforts of home rather than investing in more machinery and housing so that more colonists can join them, especially if say their bank accounts back on Earth were being lined with export earnings.

By this I will presume you  disposable goods as opposed to durable goods since with durable goods there is a chance that part of the value will be retained after the inhabitant passes away. One would suspect that both types will be desired and the capital used to produce disposable goods will like to a degree be durable.

However, I think it is wrong to expect a money economy to develop on Mars for several decades. The Mars money economy will be located firmly back on Earth and it will be the consortium back on Earth making the key decisions, not the Martians (I prefer Aresians for humans!).

Whether they use physical money or not is a secondary point. In prison, people trade cigarettes.  It still acts as money whether or not we need to call it money. Even favors and good will serve to some degree as a medium of exchange in that people often expect some reciprocity.

Offline

#11 2012-03-07 13:53:21

John Creighton
Member
From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2001-09-04
Posts: 2,401
Website

Re: Resource Allocation - What Can we learn from Carl Menger

Lots have been posted since I last was in the thread.

Early inhabitants would first need to focus on what it takes to repay the debt to get to Mars as I am sure that they will not be riding for free or will have had there bill paid in full. That would include the materials to make any mission possible as part of the debt. Then they will be free to go there own respective path to do more than inhabitat as they can then set forth to create what mars will need for services to earn a living with.

The model I’m assuming is they send people to mars to do science and some of those people which are sent decide to stay. If people stay it is cheaper as resources don’t need to be spent to get them home. Under such a scenario,  there will be no debt to repay as they are there to do their job.

However, in the event of a larger scale colonization you scenario makes more sense but for such a scenario the cost of getting there would need to be much cheaper.

So a first order item with respect to the list is a complete lander/habitat capable to sustain life for a period of time.

So time is not a function of the listing process and that causes the confusion I have for what is a controlled gradual process is set to how we utilize the time we have once we are there.

As mentioned above I tried to break the habitat down into more bask measures of human needs. This will be useful to my analysis but may not aid yours at this time. Time plays into my analyses in that we have to optimize our needs over all time. If there is any day which our needs aren’t sufficiently met then that could be our last.

Offline

#12 2012-03-07 17:47:58

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,927

Re: Resource Allocation - What Can we learn from Carl Menger

You know, I think so much will now depend on whether Musk can make good his prediction of getting launch costs down to $500 per Kg.  Under that scenario, settlers might be able to get there for $500k-$1 million.

Some stray points. I certainly think brick manufacture should be a priority.  I believe Zubrin's idea for Roman brick arch style construction is a good one. We can dig trenches and build brick arches over. Cover in regolith.  The habitats can then be pressurised.   

That will allow us to focus on importation of useful machines rather than habitat material. We can bring in more robot diggers, scaled down industrial machines, more photovoltaic panels, more farm equipment and fertiliser. And more people of course!


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

Offline

#13 2012-03-07 22:12:45

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,403

Re: Resource Allocation - What Can we learn from Carl Menger

Thank you John for explaining the starting point for how we would end up on Mars and I do agree that if scientists do want to stay that they would be the ones to make there own way as the job was done that they were hired to do.
I the One way suicide thread we did talk about the physiological reasons for why a science based mission would try to screen out those that would want to go and stay once there.

louis Now that we know the direction of the thoughts for the thread we would not have been prepared unless that was a part of the mission designing plan to make bricks or any real manufacturing to lead to large scale buildings ect... even possible from the point to which the staff decides to stay.

Offline

#14 2012-03-18 11:20:50

John Creighton
Member
From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2001-09-04
Posts: 2,401
Website

Re: Resource Allocation - What Can we learn from Carl Menger

I'm just posting this here for future reference. The significance is yet to be determined.

"Among the most recent economists who have treated the theory
of the measure of value as parts of their systems, L. v. Stein must
be mentioned in particular because of his original treatment of the
subject. Stein defines value as "das Verhältniss des Masses eines be302
Principles of Economics
13"The relationship of the measure of a given good to the run of goods in general."
14"The true measure of the value of a good is found by dividing the magnitude
of the good in question into the magnitudes of other goods. In order to be able to do this
a common denominator for the magnitudes of all goods must be found. But this common
denominator, or homogeneous element in goods can be found only in their
homogeneous nature-that is, in the fact that all true goods originate from the six
elements, matter, labor, production, need, usefulness, and true consumability,
since if one of these elements disappears, an object ceases to be a good. These elements
are contained in a given good only to a particular degree, and their magnitude
determines the measure of each true good taken separately. From this it follows
that the quantitative relationship of all the separate goods to one another, or the
general measure of their value, is given by the ratio between these component elements
of goods and their magnitude in one good relative to another. To determine
and calculate this relationship is therefore to determine the true measure of value."

It is from Menger's Principles of economics but I am not sure how useful it is as I don't know how well the "six elements of a good" as Menger called them would relate to the value of the good.

Offline

#15 2012-03-18 21:01:34

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,403

Re: Resource Allocation - What Can we learn from Carl Menger

The use of Insitu materials to make other things with regards to "all true goods originate from the six
elements, matter, labor, production, need, usefulness, and true consumability," but what they did not consider is cost to get to any one particular item that is the originator of the goods.

Offline

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB