On The Limitations and Comparability of Languages
Here I am thinking about the comparability of different languages. It must have been said something like “a sufficiently expressible language can, in an infinite long run (or asymptotically) express what another sufficiently expressible language can.”
But given our ‘discovery’ of thermodynamic based limitations it can also be said (perhaps) there are some such expressions that cannot be translatable within the constraints of the timeline of the universe (and this would be just one example of a constraint of a provably unconstrained translation between languages).
The Role of the Intrinsic Interpreter
Here I think it is important to understand that in any communication there is an implied interpreter and the computer science definition I think has relevance to the standard definition in regard to translation
in·ter·pret·er | \ in-ˈtər-prə-tər , -pə-\
Definition of interpreter
1: one that interprets: such as
a: one who translates orally for parties conversing in different languages
b: one who explains or expounds
2a: a machine that prints on punch cards the symbols recorded in them by perforations
b: a computer program that executes each of a set of high-level instructions before going to the next instruction
In this sense sentences of languages function as an input, whereas the interpreter or the receiver does the process, and the result is the output:
In computer science, an interpreter is a computer program that directly executes, i.e. performs instructions written in a programming or scripting language, without requiring them previously to have been compiled into a machine language program. An interpreter generally uses one of the following strategies for program execution:
2. translate source code into some efficient intermediate representation and immediately execute this;
Here society and the individual (which are entangled) can each be viewed as if like a machine and then we are left with an observation of the complexity of the cultural importance in the defining or interpretation of an idea or sentence being communicated.
Language being used, must be interpreted, and this involves the complexity of culture.
I think then it might be helpful to see certain competing ideas or ideologies as different observational frameworks that are based on or expressed with their own languages (even though they might for example both be called “English” and even use the same keywords). And then it might be possible to have a translator that can show this to each group or ultimately show how the differing views are actually agreeable (ie to an impartial third party).
The metaphor of two groups arguing about whether a cup is half empty or half full comes to mind.
But there is also the possibility that although on an infinite time scale this can be done that “socially” it is a useless endeavor if the translation cannot happen in a lifetime.
On the Competing Definitions of Fiat
It was noted recently that there is comparability between a flat-earther that believes that NASA is an evil entity that upholds a conspiracy versus a bitcoin maximalist that believes fractional reserve banking to be an evil evolution of our current banking system.
This made me think about how I tried to read Mises a few times and could not get through the exhausting redefinition of words that traversing the works entails.
This is relevant to bitcoinland where competing groups (some outside of the bitcoin maximalist zone) which argue about whether or not bitcoin is fiat. The Misean definition seems to be sort of pejorative view of government issued currency which is then further supposed to be inline with Gresham’s observation of what would be “bad money”.
The contrasting definition is found on wiki which is basically a money that does not have a non monetary commodity use-case (and not necessarily decreed by government):
Fiat money is a currency without intrinsic value that has been established as money, often by government regulation. Fiat money does not have use value, and has value only because a government maintains its value, or because parties engaging in exchange agree on its value. It was introduced as an alternative to commodity money and representative money. Commodity money is created from a good, often a precious metal such as gold or silver, which has uses other than as a medium of exchange (such a good is called a commodity). Representative money is similar to fiat money, but it represents a claim on a commodity (which can be redeemed to a greater or lesser extent).[note 1]
On Honesty and Trustworthyness
Under the heading in the series “Ideal Money” called ‘Honesty is the Best Policy’ Nash opines:
But here is where I see the importance of honesty, as if like the honesty of a well-regarded classical European monarch or emperor. Sometimes the people in the USA have been told things like “inflation is not a problem” when statistics compiled by the Labor Department (following “classical” rules) indicate that there is, indeed, ongoing inflation. If an appropriately honest government-like agency is to issue the actual currency, and to provide for the central bank deposits denominated in terms of that currency, for a money system, then it can also, naturally, compute the indexes that would measure the presence or absence of inflation or deflation.
Here he re-iterates a statement with a very nuanced connotation but we can see clearly he is speaking about the measured rate of inflation rather than a money with OBJECTIVELY stable purchasing power:
My position is that the appropriate “target rate” for measured inflation is zero.
The above context is really important to note because key people that could otherwise well understand Nash’s argument have in the past misunderstood it.
Furthermore we can see that Nash’s definition of “honesty” in regard to the honesty of the government issuance of a national (or euro etc) currency:
In recent times, after the unsurprising breakdown of the IMF-sponsored system of fixed exchange rates, there have been globally varying patterns of inflation linked to the varying national or regional currencies. If the Canadian money unit is “targeted” for 2% inflation and if it gains in value compared with the unit of the USA then this suggests that the actual recent inflation rate for the currency of the USA is at least 2%. My natural presumption is that the authorities responsible for national currencies, during this time period (since 1971), have effectively calculated their strategies on a basis of how respectable (from a classical viewpoint parallel to “Gresham’s Law”) they seek to appear to be, in comparison to other national paper fiat monies and in comparison to the US dollar.
In contrast to the expression of “honest in regard to currency issuance” we have Szabo who has been spreading a meme of “trustworthyness (in computing)” in regard to currency issuance:
Bitcoin has pioneered the field of trustworthy computing with a partial block chain computer. Bitcoin has implemented a currency in which someone in Zimbabwe can pay somebody in Albania without any dependence on local institutions, and can do a number of other interesting trust-minimized operations, including multiple signature authority. But the limits of Bitcoin’s language and its tiny memory mean it can’t be used for most other fiduciary applications, the most obvious example being risk pools that share collateral across a pool of financial instruments.
And here Szabo talks about the importance of replacing trusted authorities with “trustworthy protocols”-an ideology that comes to him through his cultural background and conditioning as a result from his family’s suffering from “communism”:
Here we have Nash further explaining his definition and the relevance of honesty to currency issuance. There are definitely parallels each of the phrases but at the least some translation is needed:
I think the most important point here is observed with the conversations with crypto-anarchists I’ve had in which I finally gave up effort to understand their language-and very happily. Because I think that it is possible to perpetuate a certain viewpoint by putting in great efforts to re-define language from what could be seen as the social norm of defined words. Then it could be quite easy to continue to try to assert a certain language which cannot be parsable for even a sincere interpreter.
Then it becomes important for an individual searching for “truth” to look for others that are sincerely trying to reach for common definitions rather than simply trying to express their conclusion based on their own less common ones.
Here is one such nefarious example:
Here is another by @JWWeatherman_: