Monday, March 10, 2003

Mark's Ism-Section 1.2- Quantum Economics and the Joytron. It might be helpful to go back to the Declaration of Independence, where Thomas Jefferson stated that the Creator gave us the right to life, liberty and disco the pursuit of happiness. If that’s what a good government is supposed to insure, we need to find out how to maximize these things. Economic theory doesn’t do a good job and looking at liberty, but they do take a stab at measuring happiness. How the heck do we measure happiness? A quick history of the young field of Quantum Economics might be helpful. It started out as an offshoot of computer engineering and programming in the 1980s, where geeks discovered what turned out to be the first quantum economic particle, the bogon. Early antidotal evidence suggested that these quantum particles of bogosity, or misery, had an exponential effect on software; when multiple people watch a presentation, bogon effects go up logarithmically proportional to the number of people. Detection equipment, called bogometers, were created, but were very fragile and tend to malfunction when faced with large quantities of bogons, such as emitted by politicians or used car salesmen. It took until the early 21st century to discover the elusive anti-bogon. In 2002, a team of crack quantum economists from Michigan was able to document the presence of the anti-bogon, the quantum particle of happiness. The lead scientist renamed the anti-bogon the joytron. The bogometers proved to be able to detect joytrons when there mechanics were altered to note a positive charge as well as a negative one. Thus, despite the name, quantum economists will use bogometers to detect joytrons. The effect of joytrons differs from product to product and from person to person. Basic necessities create more joytrons per dollar than luxury goods. A basic part of quantum economic theory is that for most people is that the joytrons created per each extra dollar of wealth goes down as a person gets wealthier; a dollar given to a struggling college student will generate more joytrons that if given to a college professor. We’ve yet to devise a good quantum explanation for that; some quantum economists have suggested that joytrons exhibit a slight repulsive tendency towards each other, making it harder for joytrons to mass in one place. Anecdotal evidence points towards people buying the biggest joytron-generators with their early dollars, thus giving later dollars a lower marginal joytron-to-dollar ratio. There are a number of applications of this joytron behavior to economic theory, which I will explore later in the chapter. Coming Soon-Section 1.3- Utility theory-Climbing Mount Joytron.

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