"Efficiency" is Nonsense



Nermal

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He takes ten minutes to say that because a cost/benefit analysis cannot be totally complete, there's no point in doing one. It's nonsense, if you really believed that you could never make any decision in life at all.
 

Munion

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Efficiency is simply the reduction of undesirable outputs from a process.

It's really not nonsense. It would also apply in a socialist system.

Production would still be required in a socialist system. Poor efficiency would result in people working longer to produce the required outputs and would mean less free time for the workers involved. This would not be desirable.
 

Watch The Break

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Efficiency is simply the reduction of undesirable outputs from a process.

It's really not nonsense. It would also apply in a socialist system.

Production would still be required in a socialist system. Poor efficiency would result in people working longer to produce the required outputs and would mean less free time for the workers involved. This would not be desirable.
As a matter of principle, simplifications should not be considered rebuttals of simplifications.
 

Cael

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Efficiency is simply the reduction of undesirable outputs from a process.

It's really not nonsense. It would also apply in a socialist system.
Undesirable to whom? When bourgeois economists assess "efficiency" they are really just calculating what would give the biggest profits to shareholders. This is taken to be "benefit" without any other consideration. The point Wolff is making is that there is no such thing as an objective assessment of "efficiency." Its always efficiency for someone. Polluting the Niger Delta was considered by Shell Oil to be the most efficient way to do things. Needless to say, the locals who's lives were devastated had a different idea. Likewise, when Irish politicians and business lobby groups talk about "efficiency" they are talking about what is most efficient for them - not for most people. But, they promote the term "efficiency" as an objective measurement, which which nobody could argue.
 

Munion

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Undesirable to whom?
To the people running the system. In a capitalist system this would be shareholders etc. In a socialist system it would be the workers council.

Efficiency itself is not what you are complaining about.
 

Cael

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To the people running the system. In a capitalist system this would be shareholders etc. In a socialist system it would be the workers council.

Efficiency itself is not what you are complaining about.

Im saying that "efficiency" is a very subjective category, which depends totally on what information you have decided to include in your calculations. It should never be promoted as an objective assessment.
 

Munion

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Im saying that "efficiency" is a very subjective category, which depends totally on what information you have decided to include in your calculations. It should never be promoted as an objective assessment.
It need not be subjective. In an industrial process the reduction of harmful emissions can be quantified and any reduction in their production monitored and relayed as an improvement in efficiency.
 

Cael

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It need not be subjective. In an industrial process the reduction of harmful emissions can be quantified and any reduction in their production monitored and relayed as an improvement in efficiency.
But, of course, you have already accepted the process as being there and are only measuring reductions in polution levels - you say "harmful emissions." Again, a subjective category. What is "harmful" is never an objective assessment. I may find a smell to be harmful to my equilibrium, but your assessors may not find that smell to be "harmful" - particularly if they dont live near the plant themselves, and they understand that if they write an overly honest report, they wont be invited back.
 

captainwillard

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But, of course, you have already accepted the process as being there and are only measuring reductions in polution levels - you say "harmful emissions." Again, a subjective category. What is "harmful" is never an objective assessment. I may find a smell to be harmful to my equilibrium, but your assessors may not find that smell to be "harmful" - particularly if they dont live near the plant themselves, and they understand that if they write an overly honest report, they wont be invited back.
Lets go back to the stone age Cael. That seems to be what you want. Whatever it is, you are against it.
 

Soldier of Density

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But, of course, you have already accepted the process as being there and are only measuring reductions in polution levels - you say "harmful emissions." Again, a subjective category. What is "harmful" is never an objective assessment. I may find a smell to be harmful to my equilibrium, but your assessors may not find that smell to be "harmful" - particularly if they dont live near the plant themselves, and they understand that if they write an overly honest report, they wont be invited back.
At this stage, you're just being contrary, right?
 

Munion

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But, of course, you have already accepted the process as being there and are only measuring reductions in polution levels - you say "harmful emissions." Again, a subjective category. What is "harmful" is never an objective assessment. I may find a smell to be harmful to my equilibrium, but your assessors may not find that smell to be "harmful" - particularly if they dont live near the plant themselves, and they understand that if they write an overly honest report, they wont be invited back.
Certainly some outputs and their classification could be subject to subjectivity but to say that all outputs are subjective is incorrect.

You may of course argue over the method of classification and the people doing the classifying.

Efficiency still remains a measurable and valid concept however.
 

Cael

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Certainly some outputs and their classification could be subject to subjectivity but to say that all outputs are subjective is incorrect.

You may of course argue over the method of classification and the people doing the classifying.

Efficiency still remains a measurable and valid concept however.

If the methods of classification are open to debate, and the motivations of the people doing the classifying are questionable, how then could the results of these classifications, i.e. the abstract concept of "efficiency," by regarded as objective or objectively measurable. The speed of light, for example is considered objectively measurable, as it is the same for all observers in this universe. But, efficiency is entirely relative to the subjective position of the observer.
 

bokuden

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Efficiency in this case deals to the appropriate systems needed to run centrally organised military states. The mindset deems all that does not contribute to increasing the power the state as inefficient.
Not only is it inhuman, it's also terrible for the advancement of the human species. All great philosophers, writers, artists scientists, have emphasised the need for time and leisure for people to do good work.

One of the great things still about the Irish is that many of us have a deep hatred of this machine-like "efficiency". This is often derided as the stereotype of "lazy feckless Paddies" but leisure is as vital to us as water, shelter, love and art!
 


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