OPTIMAES stands for Open Project To Investigate Money And Economic Systems
The idea was to get rational argument between different political ideologies through building models to illustrate how each thought the economy worked.
Phil! Where's the code???
Er ... you might find it online, not linking to it here because it's all very out-of-date by today's standards.
I still think it's a good idea, but it's definitely in CthulhuMode at the moment. And I'm only likely to start talking about it again if the code gets a considerable refresh.
Is Optimaes the same as http://webseitz.fluxent.com/wiki/z2003-05-02-NationBuildingSim? – BillSeitz
Not really. It's more a tool to look at the types of behaviours of economic systems. I don't think it's there to make forecasts or tell us the one right thing to do. (I'm a big believer in ScenarioPlanning rather than forecasting.)
Quora Answer : Have game theory and computer simulations been used to offer insights as to why every country-sized iteration of the Socialism and Communism system has descended into a corrupt, bankrupt, and multiple-millions mass-murder massacre-machines?
But someone should definitely do the research.
I started a project ( Open Project to Investigate Money and Economic Systems) many years ago, that was intended to do "political debate via computer simulation". It never really took off, and its presence on the internet is embarrassingly sketchy these days. Recovering what was done and repackaging it in a way that people can understand it is one of those things that's been sitting in my todo list for about ... er ... five years.
Even at the time of launching, though, I explained it like this :
We realize that we can't really expect computer models to give a definitive answer to the questions. All models are simplifications and abstractions. But models are great ways of sharpening up intuitions and clarifying assumptions. A left-wing coder can undoubtedly make a simulated economy where communistic redistribution works better than the free market. And a right-wing libertarian will dismiss it as bogus. But the real value is if the right-winger takes the code, identifies and points out the assumptions that bias the model, and changes them, demonstrating his point, because the model now runs in the other direction. The option is then open to the left-winger to respond the same way. By refining the model further.
That's the real advantage of simulation. To make clear what assumptions you are making in order to produce a simulation that gets the result.
So, I'd love to see someone do this simulation. And then we'll see explicitly what assumptions it makes about human psychology and the kinds of economic transactions that take place.
Anyone interested in doing something along these lines (by all means have your own political position, as long as you have a willingness to collaborate on the actual method) then get in touch. I'm always busy, but I'd love to restart this research if I find the time and someone to push me.