Now, if you've ever played with how a sys-dyn model is built... timing your delays is crucial. "Real-time control" is a super cool idea, but there are stochastic deferrals between actions by policy-makers or decentralized agents and their systemic consequences. Mis-time these and you'll just be inducing cycles.
That's a reason why modern economic planning is all based on watching response signals. We watch inflation and unemployment not because the relatively low thresholds that trigger action are catastrophic, but because inflation is a symptom of an overheated economy. We can't track demand and supply at the level of every commodity, and if we did, we wouldn't know how capacity expansion relates to effective availability to the consumer (this is a mistake countries that try to deal with hyperinflation with heavy intervention keep making, with the inevitable shortages in supply).
TL;DR: Zomg tech
The problem for me with the way we do things currently, is that the criteria the model is optimising (arguably economic growth) for don't seem to completely describe what most people would want the economy to do (improve living standards, individual freedom, 'happiness')...
A certain variety of early Marxism said more or less: yes, we agree with all that. Except for one thing: once industrial capitalism has centralized the economy, with a few huge trusts running things as a smoothly oiled production machine, the shareholders are now more or less superfluous. So, we'll just knock 'em off and distribute the proceeds of this machine among all the workers equally. The industrial capitalists only disagreed with the idea of socialist central planning in that they didn't want to distribute the proceeds of central planning, not in believing that decentralized planning was better. Many did agree that some kind of redistribution was necessary so that all society benefitted, but they preferred redistribution managed by the monopoly capitalists themselves in the form of philanthropy, which they felt they would be able to thoughtfully manage (Andrew Carnegie's The Gospel of Wealth is representative of this view).
IMO, as an idea, this isn't post-anything. It fits very nicely (almost to the point of cliche) into the "modernist" family of ideas. Socialism was the most prominent political and economic philosophy of modernism. Objectivism is another example. Anti-socialists of the modernist period (who often objected to modernism as a whole) kind of parodied modernism in a way that is similar to this. Super efficient computers that calculate truth and can run everything optimally.
Fredrick Hayek (an early postmodernist) parodied social "scientism" and socialism in just this way. He argued that this kind of planning is doomed no matter how big your computer is because the requisite information is unknowable, not just unknown.
I see this as something like a 1950s science fiction work. But I'm biased. I don't think this will ever work and I hope it won't either.
If the information is unknowable, then it cannot play any role economically. If it is unknowable, the market itself cannot act upon it either. The idea lurking here is of inarticulable knowledge or inexpressible information -- and it is a contradiction in terms.
Hayek's big point -- in 'The Use of Knowledge in Society' -- is really this: an economic system is a cooperative system, a cooperative system requires networking/sharing information, and money and markets are a way to convey and share information.
Hayek does not prove that centralisation is impossible, nor does he prove that money and markets are the only means to run an economy. An argument based on information is not going to get you there -- rather the opposite in fact.
Later in that article, Hayek says -- about gathering dispersed knowledge etc. -- (not) "likely" rather than "never", and also says "it is just conceptually possible". That is the sensible view: if the market is performing a computation, then any sufficiently powerful general computer could emulate it and any sufficiently good network could transmit the relevant information around. Indeed, with enough power you could process more information than the money-market system.
And that is actually where we are now. When there is a pocketable networked computer for every human on the planet, that rather blows away the idea that we need money to solve the 'economic calculation' problem. The money-market system is already obsolete, it will just take some time to evolve away from it.
Also, for anybody interested in the general ideas check out the novel 'Red Plenty' by Francis Spufford. Its about attempts at a similar scheme in the USSR and the problems it faced (more ideological and organisational than technological)
What makes Cybersyn interesting for me, particularly in relation to the Soviet schemes, was the decentralised nature of it, including the (unfulfilled) ideas of bringing workers into the fold.
Also, the Adam Curtis series 'Pandoras box' (youtubeable I think) discusses both cybersyn specifically and the ideas around it.
Allendes Chile was actually relatively moderate in its socialism, in the sense that he was a radical reformist rather than a revolutionary.
I agree, however, that there was a great potential for something much more dramatic (ie, a true decentralised communist planning) within the cybersyn project.
And the chairs, I love the chairs.
It reminds me very much of the Dharma Initiative from the TV series Lost.
As a rule of thumb, good intentions bring very bad results if you need government violence to implement them.
One is left to conclude Allende's reforms could have yielded equally good long term results without the illegal resort to violence.
There was some preparation for guerilla operations, from both sides, in case a coup happened (as it did) and some armed resistance to the expropriations (which were legal according to the then valid laws).
"g) It has made frequent politically motivated and illegal arrests, in addition to those already mentioned of journalists, and it has tolerated the whipping and torture of the victims;"
Excuse me if I find it difficult to believe in it. I don't think you should take it as a representation of the truth either.
Also your history is wrong; the document was used to justify 'impeachment' (because such a concept did not exist in the chilean constitution); the coup itself came afterwards, when Pinochet wrested his leadership of the military into overall civilian leadership, and I would not be so sure that the authors of the document intended the course of action that happened to be an indirect consequence of their petition.
The document, btw, passed the chilean legislature 81-47, which while not the two thirds required to remove the president, is still quite a supermajority.
Anyways, I think it should be the default assumption that governments torture people. There are scant few that haven't.
If you combine this level of technology at a micro level, combined with the incomparable efficiency of the market, THAT is when you start to see incredible things starting to happen.
From small businesses monitoring their sales and orders in real-time, sharing their data with their marketing agency via api's. To construction companies using internet of things to monitor structural wear to alert them of replacements needed. It's at this market oriented macro-level that you will see the greatest advantages.
Creating and making the technology to power that is most important. And that's where we come in!
...like it happens with all attempts of any kind of technocratic government: sooner or later some groups of power totally freak out contemplating god knows what imaginary consequences of its future development and pull the plug on it and paint it as another "failed experiment".
When will we actually become mature enough to be able to truly run social-engineering experiments in a scientific way and asses their results? (repeatedly and periodically, because with time people's mentalities change, so what didn't work in the past might work in the future and viceversa). When will we accept that "political 'science'" can only be an experimental 'science', so we have to at least try and run unbiased experiments from time to time and see what works better, instead of just letting the blind watchmaker of evolution run its inefficient search of the problem space?
As an analogy [EDIT+ to clarify] of how wrong I think we do politics and social engineering now [/EDIT]: Imagine that in medicine you'd run 10% of a drug trial, then stop/pause it and make an "educated guess" based on this 10%, and based on this published guess have people vote whether to put the drug on the market or not. Sounds reasonable to anyone? :)
The people vote to withdraw vioxx from the market. Because, heart attacks! Well, what of the plenty of people who decide that they'd rather have a slightly increased risk of heart attack instead of debilitating, quality-of-life-shattering daily pain?
To take it further, what about conditions that specifically only address a minority of people, let's say that we made a drug that cures sickle-cell anemia, but gives a 100% chance of getting cancer by age 70. Who should make these decisions?
Also: Who gets to be the person deciding on the 'educated guess'? And how can I be this person so that I can pick my pharmaceutical stocks ahead of time?
Whether something should be "on the market" and "how it should be used" are two different things. As political examples, natzism should definitely be "off the market"! But different forms of socialism can work well for some groups of people. Same as unregulated anarcho-capitalism might work well for other that share the values and accept the tradeoffs.
But about the whole family of technocratic governments or of forms of governance base on cybernetic models, or of social orders with a "minimum guaranteed income" or maybe others even more exotic we have no usable experimental data!
Addressing the specifics:
Withdrawing vioxx from the market was, rationally speaking, a bad idea for the patients at the time, the rational thing to do would have been to modify the prescription guidelines and availability. But considering the reality of lots of MDs being not always up to date or just stupid (especially when it comes to 'kind of subtle to some' pharmacology issues, speaking from a 'past life' experience in the healthcare area), lives might have been saved by removing it from the market, especially in the USA where it was overprescribed. Nowadays there are other selective COX-2 inhibitors available, so the fact that vioxx is no longer on the market doesn't matter - there are mostly equivalent or better alternatives.
About a hypothetical "drug that cures sickle-cell anemia, but gives a 100% chance of getting cancer by age 70": it should obviously be on the market. There are countless people dying from sickle-cell anemia, and, if regulated as a "last resort" treatment it would be a true life saver. I would be used just like aggressive chemotherapy or heavy dose radiation therapy is used (is can cure your current cancer or put it into remission, but it will almost surely give you cancer if you live long enough after it).
Also: maybe the drug approval example was a bad analogy and it just pushed things off topic...
Also: kudos for the link, it really is insightful!
EDIT+: I think you misunderstood me, the example with the drug trial was about what should not happen, but happens now in politics! I phrased it like this to make it obvious how wrong it would be if, for example, we did medical research the way we do politics.
but you can't really have personalized/individualized societies, unless we all isolate ourselves from each other and leave as ascets in caves :)