Thursday, October 20, 2011

The War of Quantity and Quality – the history of economics


There is a war in society and economics that has been going for centuries.

Diverse economics and social metric economics put an end to this debilitating conflict.

The difference in thinking between monetary capitalism and a new type of economy is related to the split between thinking in terms of quantities and qualities.

Qualitative behavior is oriented toward ideas, concepts, values and abstractions, toward qualities in the philosophic sense.

Quantitative behavior seeks quantification; it seeks measure, the mathematizing of qualitative themes, converting these targets, goals and performances into numbers.

Historically, qualitative thinking has been the spirit of social critics, activists and moralists, as they have tried to inject other qualities into the economic discussion besides money. Money they would argue is one quantity, at best a measure of one single quality.

Quantitative thinking, historically, has its roots not only in monetary behavior but in mathematics and science. This is the standard view of the current economic system.

You can say the history of old civilization was determined by this long standing argument between quantity and quality. We are now at the stage that we can merge the quantitative and the qualitative in the new economies. A new kind of methodology, a “general measure theory” allows us to do this.

Quality and quantity are no longer at war with each other, however quality is put in control. In a new kind of economy we can set out a value and then measure, in fact, we can set out multiple values and create a full set of measures. Now the single quantity of the present system has become diversified to measure the many new qualities of our ideals.

Money is no longer our sole metric, our sole value. Money now retreats to its proper place as a measure of supply and demand, as a measure of buying and selling and profit.

We are no longer restrained by economies of quantity and no longer tempted by the opposite extreme of economies of pure quality with no metrics.

When the war of quantity and quality are over, we can create a whole that unites quantity and quality, money and other measures, profit and other social benefits.

Cage Innoye

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