[arin-ppml] Spectrum and IP address reservations / More from NERA

Milton L Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Tue Jul 21 12:38:46 EDT 2009

> Looked to me like Tom's point was that the report said, "These findings are not
> relevant [in cases like this]."

I guess you haven't read the report then. And you won't, will you?

> I probably missed your point then.  Would you clarify how this report is
> interesting to this community, if not in the context of IP address transfer markets?

Don't have time to do your work for you, Lee. If you want to read it, read it. If you don't, don't. 
A sentence in the original thread indicated enough about what I thought its relevance was.  

> I don't see where he displayed ignorance

He did. He covered it up pretty nicely, mainly by trying to divert attention to ideological classification, as usual, but he did. No need to dwell on that. I'm not interested in discussing tom.

I _am_ interested in advancing list engagement with what is obviously an unfamiliar concept: perfect competition. 

The concept of perfect competition is deliberately used as an ideal-typical situation for modeling purposes. Neoclassical policy analysts are fully aware of its strict assumptions (and btw the non-neoclassical Austrians tom is fond of lumping them with don't even believe in that kind of modeling and reject equilibrium economics altogether). Anyway, to suggest that a model such as that has no use whatsoever because no situation in reality conforms to it perfectly is very much like saying we can throw out geometry because there is no such thing as a perfect sphere or a truly straight line. In fact, you learn interesting things about the real world by comparing it to ideal-typical models and trying to posit what accounts for the differences and similarities. 

The main difference between economists and noneconomists in this case is that the economists were rigorous and honest enough to specify their assumptions clearly. On the other hand, the advocates of nonmarket resource allocation policies are often making equally strict and bizarre assumptions about human behavior, but their theories are often too flaccid to specify what those assumptions are, and so they are unable to derive good models of their implications. For example, when people say you can fix market imperfections by "regulating" the market, are they not assuming that: 
 * the regulator has perfect knowledge about the actors in the market and everything they do
 * the people who do the regulation will not exploit their position for their own benefit
 * regulators are never politically or personally motivated to show favoritism in the application of the rules (e.g., not prosecuting Madoff after two notifications)  
 * etc., etc.?  

> Please help to maintain the tone of professional respect on this list.

Way off target, Lee. If you had any sense of professional discourse and objectivity, you'd recognize that it was Tom who dragged this thread into to the mud. I'll take your comments seriously when you apply the same standards to people who say things that stroke you preconceptions as you do to people who's ideas challenge your own. I simply posted a report for people to read. 


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