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Old 08-10-2019, 10:44 PM
SamuelA is offline
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 3,903
Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
The invisible hand is extremely imaginary.
Is it? Technically, gravitational fields are imaginary, there's no way to see one directly, yet they have a strong effect regardless. Evolution doesn't even have a tangible expression of it's existence like gravity does, it's just a series of mathematical rules that end up working out to net information and complexity gains.

What I am saying it, market dynamics are real. They happen every time there are more than a single competing provider of a good or service and some mechanism for exchanging units of value. (whether it be barter or currency)

Come to think of it, market dynamics apply even without anything resembling commerce at all. If tribe A has 10 attractive women and 20 reasonably attractive men, the way relationships go will be very different than tribe B with 20 women/10 men.

You can easily think of the "good" up for sale being affection and intimacy and even things like emotional support, and in each case, the side with more leverage needs to invest less in their relationships to find a mate while the side with less leverage needs to invest more.

No currency exchanged and technically any individual isn't subject to anyone centrally forcing them to take any given action. (but everyone is acting out of self interest. The "10" group wants the best mates, so they are going to be choosy who they pick from the "20" group. The "20" group just wants to mate at all, so they will work very hard to get the affection from anyone in the "10" group. Assume for the sake of this example that only 1:1 pairings are happening. You can see that the "market price" of the individuals in the "10" group is much higher than the market rate for the 20 - they can demand a lot more. Even though there's no organized currency being exchanged, what they can demand are far less tangible things like their mate being more attractive, having a better voice, singing sweet sonets to them in the morning...)

Last edited by SamuelA; 08-10-2019 at 10:47 PM.