Sunday, March 16, 2014

GINI and the rubble of Empire

GINI and the Rubble of Empire .

Andre Willers .
16 Mar 2014
“Grasping all , they lose all” AW
Synopsis :
What we see as the glory of Rome is really just the rubble of the rich, built on the backs of poor farmers and laborers .And things are worse today .

Discussion:
1.GINI measures unequal income . It measures desperation in hunger and medicine .
The Gini coefficient is a number between 0 and 1, where 0 corresponds with perfect equality (where everyone has the same income) and 1 corresponds with perfect inequality (where one person has all the income—and everyone else has zero income).
Easy to remember : No 1 has it all .
The rest have nothing except what is doled out in the Camps .
2.Not even the Roman Empire had as high Gini ratio’s as present so-called democracies .
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A short summary of the most important countries .
Where would you like to live if you were (a) rich . Or (b) at the bottom .
This differential drives Revolution and Migration .

RSA Gini= 0.63
China Gini = 47.4
USA   Gini = 0.45
Russia Gini = 0.417
UK Gini = 40
Japan Gini= 0.376
India Gini = 0.368
Germany Gini= 0.27

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Roman Empire (150 AD) :  Gini = 0.42

This basically means that a Roman slave in 150 AD had a fairer deal than a salary slave in most of the present Western world .
Note the exception of Germany .

See Appendix A for Roman Empire Gini .

3. Reserve considerations .
See Appendix C on how to calculate optimal reserves ab-initio .
Reserve arguments can be used .
The society should build up reserves . This is usually held in individual hands (your savings) , but it shows up in Gini statistics as lowering the ratio .
The Optimal GINI would then be in the band 0.28 – 0.33 – 0.38  , with the sweet spot at 0.33 .

4.Some corollaries :
If GINI smaller than 0.28 , instability ensues . Insufficient reserves. Usually collapse . Cities deserted as the good citizens just walk away .
Or the collapse of the USSR . See http://www.roiw.org/1993/23.pdf
The 1989 Gini of USSR = 0.275 .  It shouldn’t have led to collapse , but they were in an arms-race with USA . Insufficient reserves .
The system went into shock and collapsed .

If GINI  bigger than 0.38 , instability ensues . Too much reserves in too few hands . Usually revolution .
See Arab Spring , Syria , Occupy Wall st , etc etc .Or any peasant rebellion in history , a-la-France  or Russia .

5.Where are we now 2014 ?
Every country with a Gini bigger than 0.38 and social media access is a revolution waiting to happen .
Countries with Gini smaller than 0.28 have to be propped up .

According to this argument , Germany appears strong now , but might need aid in the near future . Can this be correct ? Remember verreine . Huge reserves are locked up in the verreine . But how is classified in the Gini calculation ?

6.What does this mean ?
Big , top-heavy states will continue to break apart .
Ukraine now , UK (Scotland) later this year .
A big Empire like the USA is showing distinct signs of strain . The tail is attempting to wag the dog . Be interesting to see who is the last man standing in the ruins .
“Better dead than red” used to be the motto . But can get enthusiastic about Donkeys and Elephants ?

7 RSA ?
The same story . Another artificial mini-empire tacked together by the British . The extremely high Gini will force a break-up of the provinces . The usual civil war will ensue as the vultures pick the carcass apart .
See Appendix D on Neo-Vikings .
I would have hoped that they go off-planet , but they are too stupid and poor to do that .

8. What an exciting future .
Greed and stupidity finally does for the human race .

“Grasping all , they lose all”
Regards
Andre

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Appendix A
http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2d53lE/:Ix!ztvvU:fhbrmqFE/persquaremile.com/2011/12/16/income-inequality-in-the-roman-empire/
Over the last 30 years, wealth in the United States has been steadily concentrating in the upper economic echelons. Whereas the top 1 percent used to control a little over 30 percent of the wealth, they now control 40 percent. It’s a trend that was for decades brushed under the rug but is now on the tops of minds and at the tips of tongues.
Since too much inequality can foment revolt and instability, the CIA regularly updates statistics on income distribution for countries around the world, including the U.S. Between 1997 and 2007, inequality in the U.S. grew by almost 10 percent, making it more unequal than Russia, infamous for its powerful oligarchs. The U.S. is not faring well historically, either. Even the Roman Empire, a society built on conquest and slave labor, had a more equitable income distribution.
To determine the size of the Roman economy and the distribution of income, historians Walter Schiedel and Steven Friesen pored over papyri ledgers, previous scholarly estimates, imperial edicts, and Biblical passages. Their target was the state of the economy when the empire was at its population zenith, around 150 C.E. Schiedel and Friesen estimate that the top 1 percent of Roman society controlled 16 percent of the wealth, less than half of what America’s top 1 percent control.
To arrive at that number, they broke down Roman society into its established and implicit classes. Deriving income for the majority of plebeians required estimating the amount of wheat they might have consumed. From there, they could backtrack to daily wages based on wheat costs (most plebs did not have much, if any, discretionary income). Next they estimated the incomes of the “respectable” and “middling” sectors by multiplying the wages of the bottom class by a coefficient derived from a review of the literature. The few “respectable” and “middling” Romans enjoyed comfortable, but not lavish, lifestyles.
Above the plebs were perched the elite Roman orders. These well-defined classes played important roles in politics and commerce. The ruling patricians sat at the top, though their numbers were likely too few to consider. Below them were the senators. Their numbers are well known—there were 600 in 150 C.E.—but estimating their wealth was difficult. Like most politicians today, they were wealthy—to become a senator, a man had to be worth at least 1 million sesterces (a Roman coin, abbreviated HS). In reality, most possessed even greater fortunes. Schiedel and Friesen estimate the average senator was worth over HS5 million and drew annual incomes of more than HS300,000.
After the senators came the equestrians. Originally the Roman army’s cavalry, they evolved into a commercial class after senators were banned from business deals in 218 B.C. An equestrian’s holdings were worth on average about HS600,000, and he earned an average of HS40,000 per year. The decuriones, or city councilmen, occupied the step below the equestrians. They earning about HS9,000 per year and held assets of around HS150,000. Other miscellaneous wealthy people drew incomes and held fortunes of about the same amount as the decuriones.
In total, Schiedel and Friesen figure the elite orders and other wealthy made up about 1.5 percent of the 70 million inhabitants the empire claimed at its peak. Together, they controlled around 20 percent of the wealth.
These numbers paint a picture of two Romes, one of respectable, if not fabulous, wealth and the other of meager wages, enough to survive day-to-day but not enough to prosper. The wealthy were also largely concentrated in the cities. It’s not unlike the U.S. today. Indeed, based on a widely used measure of income inequality, the Gini coefficient, imperial Rome was slightly more equal than the U.S.
The CIA, World Bank, and other institutions track the Gini coefficients of modern nations. It’s a unitless number, which can make it somewhat tricky to understand. I find visualizing it helps. Take a look at the following graph.

To calculate the Gini coefficient, you divide the orange area (A) by the sum of the orange and blue areas (A + B). The more unequal the income distribution, the larger the orange area. The Gini coefficient scales from 0 to 1, where 0 means each portion of the population gathers an equal amount of income and 1 means a single person collects everything. Schiedel and Friesen calculated a Gini coefficient of 0.42–0.44 for Rome. By comparison, the Gini coefficient in the U.S. in 2007 was 0.45.
Schiedel and Friesen aren’t passing judgement on the ancient Romans, nor are they on modern day Americans. Theirs is an academic study, one used to further scholarship on one of the great ancient civilizations. But buried at the end, they make a point that’s difficult to parse, yet provocative. They point out that the majority of extant Roman ruins resulted from the economic activities of the top 10 percent. “Yet the disproportionate visibility of this ‘fortunate decile’ must not let us forget the vast but—to us—inconspicuous majority that failed even to begin to share in the moderate amount of economic growth associated with large-scale formation in the ancient Mediterranean and its hinterlands.”
In other words, what we see as the glory of Rome is really just the rubble of the rich, built on the backs of poor farmers and laborers, traces of whom have all but vanished. It’s as though Rome’s 99 percent never existed. Which makes me wonder, what will future civilizations think of us?
Source:
Scheidel, W., & Friesen, S. (2010). The Size of the Economy and the Distribution of Income in the Roman Empire Journal of Roman Studies, 99 DOI:10.3815/007543509789745223
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Appendix B
GINI in descending order per country where available .
 Rank Country Value Date of Info 1 63.2 1995 2 63.1 2005 3 63.0 1993 4 62.9 1989 5 61.3 1993 6 59.7 2010 7 59.2 2001 8 58.5 2011 9 57.7 2007 10 55.1 2007 11 53.7 2011 12 53.6 2009 13 53.2 2009 14 53.0 2010 15 52.1 2009 16 51.9 2010 est. 17 51.9 2012 18 50.9 1996 19 50.8 2004 20 50.4 2001 21 50.3 2009 22 50.2 1998 23 50.1 2006 24 49.0 2010 25 48.3 2008 26 47.8 2012 27 47.7 Dec 2012 28 47.5 2001 29 47.4 2012 30 47.2 2010 est. 31 46.9 2007 32 46.8 2000 33 46.2 2009 34 46.0 2010 35 46.0 2011 36 45.8 2009 37 45.6 2008 38 45.5 2004 39 45.3 2010 40 45.3 2007 41 45.0 2007 42 44.8 2009 43 44.6 2001 44 44.6 2007 45 44.5 2006 46 44.3 2009 47 43.7 2003 48 43.2 2009 49 42.5 2008 est. 50 42.4 1998 51 41.9 2011 52 41.7 2011 53 41.5 2008 54 41.3 2001 55 40.9 2007 est. 56 40.8 1998 57 40.5 2010 58 40.2 2010 59 40.1 2001 60 40.0 2005 est. 61 40.0 FY08/09 62 39.7 2007 63 39.5 2007 64 39.4 2005-06 65 39.4 2007 66 39.2 2008 67 39.0 2011 68 39.0 2004 69 39.0 2000 70 39.0 2006 est. 71 38.5 2007 72 38.0 2008 73 37.9 2008 est. 74 37.7 2005 75 37.6 2007 76 37.6 2008 77 37.6 2008 78 36.8 2003 79 36.8 2009 80 36.8 2004 81 36.7 2008 82 36.5 2008 83 36.5 2003 84 36.2 1997 85 36.2 2007 86 35.5 2009 87 35.3 1995 88 35.2 2010 89 34.5 2008 90 34.4 2001 91 34.2 2011 92 34.1 2009 93 34.0 2007 94 33.9 2010 95 33.7 2008 96 33.4 2007 97 33.2 2011 98 33.2 2005 99 33.0 2005 100 32.8 2010 101 32.7 2008 102 32.6 2006 103 32.1 2005 104 32.0 2005 105 32.0 2010 106 31.9 2007 est. 107 31.9 2011 108 31.3 2010 109 31.0 2009 110 30.9 2007 111 30.9 2008 112 30.7 2011 est. 113 30.6 FY07/08 114 30.3 2008 115 30.0 FY05/06 116 30.0 2000 117 29.6 2010 118 29.0 2005 119 28.9 2011 120 28.2 2008 121 28.2 2009 122 28.0 2006 123 28.0 2005 124 27.4 2011 125 27.2 2008 126 27.0 2006 127 26.8 2008 128 26.3 2007 129 26.0 2005 130 26.0 2005 131 25.0 2008 132 24.8 2011 est. 133 24.7 2009 134 24.3 2010 135 23.8 2011 136 23.0 2005 137 NA NA

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Appendix C
Calculation of optimal reserves

Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Infinite Probes2
Infinite Probes 2
Andre Willers
30 April 2008

http://andreswhy.blogspot.com/ “Infinite Probes’

From discussing this with various recipients , there seems to be a need for a simpler explanation . I thought I had explained it in the simplest fashion possible . The subject matter is inherently complex .

But , here goes .

How much must you save ?
If you save too little , a random fluctuation can wipe you out .
If you save too much , you lose opportunity costs . If you are in competition , this loss can be enough to lose the competition (ie you die)

Intuitively , you can realize there is an optimum level of saving .

Methods exist of calculating this optimum in very specific instances (ie portfolios of shares ,eg Kelly criteria , or tactics in war eg MiniMax ) .

The General Case
We need to hold a Reserve in case Something goes wrong . But we do not know what thing goes wrong .

Infinite Probes tries to answer the general case . What is really , really surprising is that a answer is possible .

The Infinite bit comes from using the mathematical expansion of the Definition of Eulers Constant e = ( 1 + 1/2! + 1/ 3! + … 1/n! + …)
Where n!= n*(n-1)*(n-2)*(n-3)*…*(1)

This approaches a constant , widely used in mathematics and physics .
(e = 2.718…) .

All we need is a system that can be subdivided indefinitely (to infinity) .

First , we divide by 1
Then 2
Then 3
Then 4

And so forth till infinity .

What is important is not that we do know what these divisions are , only that they are possible . We also do not know which one element goes wrong .

The other critical insight is that it is the relation between elements that is important . (Permutations) (The failure of an element in total isolation cannot affect the whole system by definition .)

We can count the number of relationships where there is failure of one element .
It is n! , where n is number of divisions where only one failure .

Multiple failures are handled by summing :

Our Reserve(R ) is divided by n to infinity and summed .

TotReserve= R*( 1 + 1/2! + 1/ 3! + … 1/n! + …)
TotReserve= R * e

To find the boundaries of our Reserve , we set TotReserve = Cost

Then

R = 1/e * Cost
R ~ 0.37 * Cost

What does this mean?
This method measures the upper boundary of the reserve needed to survive failures in any element of the Cost-Universe . Ie , internal fluctuations .

This is the surprising bit . Any society that keeps at least 37% reserves , can only be destroyed by something outside it’s envelope . It is internally stable , no matter what .

Empires like the Ancient Egyptians , Romans , Chinese are possible , as long as there is no climactic fluctuation , new inventions , diseases ,etc . Rare events . Hence the technological stasis of old civilizations . The two are synonymous .

This is true at any scale (except quantal , by definition.) .

Individuals too . Humans can be seen as empires of noospheres .

The upper boundary does not take any double-counting into account . It is true for any system whatsoever .

A truly remarkable precise result from such general axioms .

The Lower Boundaries .
This is where it gets interesting .
Remember , we are just counting the number of ways in which permutations of one element can fail . We then sum them to get the effect of the failures of other elements

The easiest is the business that just starts and is not selling anything . It fails on n elements on every term . It’s floor capital must then be
R=Cost/(1+e)
R=0.27*Cost

This is the initial reserve to get off the ground .
This is true in any ecosystem . This is why it is so difficult to start a new business , or why a new species cannot succeed . Or why waves of pandemics are scarcer .

For the epidemically minded , this 10% difference is responsible for the demise of the Black Death ( smallpox outcompeted bubonic plaque variants for the CR5 access site.Ironically , the reason why we have only a limited HIV plague is the high competition for this site , probably some flu vectors . As one would expect , the incidence of HIV then becomes inversely proportional to connectivity (ie flights) .

A cessation of airplane flights will then lead to a flare-up of diseases like these .
Not exactly what anybody has in mind . )

When we find that we really need the spread of infectious vectors to stay healthy , then we know we have really screwed ourselves .

These are the two main boundaries .
The literature is full of other limits the series can approach . Keep a clear head on what the physical significance is .

Fat
I cannot leave the subject without the thing closest to human hearts : appearance .
Fat and fitness .
Sadly , the present fad for leanness is just that . The period of superfluous food is coming to an end .
Rich individuals can afford to be lean because the reserves are in the monetary wealth Women have to bear children individually , so they cannot store the needed reserves externally . Hence their fat storage is close to the theoretical optimum even in Western societies (33%) . In other societies the percentage is about 37-40% .

Human males have been bred (Mk III humans) for muscle and little fat (8% in a superbly fit male) . He does not have reserves to withstand even garrison duty (even little diseases will lay him low .) Note the frequent references to diseases laying whole armies low .

Note what is left out : the camp-followers . They survived The women and babyfat children . Every army seeded the invaded area with women and children .

The bred soldier has to eat a high-carb food frequently : not meat or fat , his body cannot store it . This is the definition of a wheat-eating legionary .

Ho ! Ho! Ho!
The Atkinson diet .
No wonder it does not make sense in evolutionary terms .
Mesomorphic humans have been bred not to transform expensive proteins and fats into bodymass .

The soldier-class were kept on a carbohydrate leash , which could only be supplied by farming .

The Smell of Horses .

Horses exude pheromones that promote body-leanness in humans . This has an obvious advantage to horses . Horses are breeding jockeys .

The time-span is enough : at least 8 000 years . (400 generations)

Because pregnant women cannot ride horses , there was a selection pressure to breed horses who have a pheromone that block female dominance pheromones , especially since females have to weigh more because of fat-reserve considerations .

Outside a farming environment , horses will sculpt their riders as much as the riders are sculpting them .

Small Mongolian ponies , small Mongolians .

This is why alpha-males like horses and horse-dominated societies were able to conquer and keep matriarchies .

Note the effect of the pheromones on women riders . Androgeny .
On males it becomes extreme blockage of oestrogen . It seems like a surge of male hormones , but it is just an imbalance . (If too much male hormones , the men just kill their horses )

This is why the auto-mobile had such a big sociological effect . No horses , so the men became more effeminate .

Want to be Lean and Mean ?
Sniff Horse sweat pheromone .
Perfumiers take note .

Dogs

The other leg of the human-horse-dog triumvirate .
Dogs accept female pack-leaders and have evolutionary reasons for blocking horse inhibitions of human female pheromones .

While the males are away , the females look after and rely on the dogs .
(The reason why Mongols ride from yurt to yurt: they are too scared of the dogs.)

With dogs around , the male testosterone activity is ameliorated . This is a well known effect , especially if horses are around .

Hence the female love of lap-dogs . They are actually quite ferocious , and exude large amounts of pheromones that soothes the savage male breast .

Your attention is drawn to the Pekinese lapdog , which has had a disproportionately large effect on human history .

If this sounds convoluted , it is because this is exactly how this type of bio-system operates : by inhibitions of inhibitions of inhibitions ,etc .

Andre

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Appendix D
Neo-Vikings

Andre Willers
8 Feb 2014
Synopsis:
Raid-or-Trade is coming back in fashion as social orders collapses .

Discussion :
1.Climate shifts cause social disruptions .

2.This causes degradation in defence capabibilties .

4.Past :
4.1Sea Peoples
or

4.2 Vikings
Essentially , climate change weakened civilized defensive systems and also forced barbarians to go a-Viking .
“Modern history has its origins in the tumultuous 6th and 7th centuries. During this period agricultural failures and the emergence of the
plague contributed to: (1) the demise of ancient super cities, old Persia, Indonesian civilizations, the Nasca culture of South America,
and southern Arabian civilizations; (2) the schism of the Roman Empire with the conception of many nation states and the re-birth of
a united China; and (3) the origin and spread of Islam while Arian Christianity disappeared. In his book, Catastrophe An Investigation
into the Origins of the Modern World, author David Keys explores history and archaeology to link all of these human upheavals to
climate destabilization brought on by a natural catastrophe, with strong evidence from tree-ring and ice-core data that it occurred in
535 AD. With no supporting evidence for an impact-related event, I worked with Keys to narrow down the possibilities for a volcanic
eruption that could affect both hemispheres and bring about several decades of disrupted climate patterns, most notably colder and
drier weather in Europe and Asia, where descriptions of months with diminished sun light, persistent cold, and anomalous summer
snow falls are recorded in 6th-century written accounts.”

4.3 Formosans

Something similar happened (from genetic evidence) in Formosa to trigger the population of the Pacific Islands .
Other cultural traits often point to Taiwan as the strong link in spreading Australasian-speaking people and their traditions through Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
Indeed Australasian people migrated via extraordinary maritime journeys as far as Madagascar in the west, Easter Island in the east, Hawaii in the north and New Zealand in the south. These migrants propagated their cultural traditions, often modified to suit local conditions and preferences.
- See more at: http://australianmuseum.net.au/BlogPost/Science/Our-Global-Neighbours-Pacific-culture-ancestry-in-Formosa#sthash.gm3tTliE.dpuf

5.Future :
5.1 States lose the control of armed force .
This has already happened . Private security (essentially private armies ) ( cf Condottierry) offers services to wealthy individuals whishing to escape .

5.2 The traditional route to escape these troubles is by sea . But with newish technology , you need a fleet . Single ships simply won’t hack it .

5.3 Postulated  Scenario :
Social order in RSA collapses .
The region is wealthy . It has a large shipbuilding industry . Also large private security companies.
Armed to the teeth , with very sophisticated logistics .
People flee via ships . They have to survive . They arm . They can only survive in large groups with heavy arms . Funding then has to be done via Viking-type raid-settlement-trade .

Do not worry about the primitive Somali pirates .
South African pirates fleets will be much worse , although a bit more professional .

I did not expect this .
But should have .
Oh Well .
Andre
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