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Showing posts from June 30, 2002
Remora Burn the rich or steal from the poor? You decide. The bias towards one class or another in public discourse is usually simply a presumption, but an experiment by two British economists, which attempted to give a concrete measure of envy, has produced another result, one that allows us to quantify, to a certain extent, the bias of reporting. Here is how Mindpixel reported on the experiment : "The researchers, Professor Andrew Oswald of the University of Warwick and Dr. Daniel Zizzo of Oxford, designed a new kind of experiment, played with real cash, in which subjects could anonymously burn away other people's money -- but only at the cost of giving up some of their own. Despite this cost to themselves, and contrary to economists usual assumptions, 62% of those tested chose to destroy part of other test subjects' cash. In the experiment, half of all the laboratory earnings were deliberately destroyed by fellow subjects. " Mindpixel's fin
Dope "...the rise of capitalism involved the disembedding of production and distribution from all extra-economic institutions , led to the growth of an autonomous market economy that operated in terms of profit-maximisation, and even required the adaptation of essentially non-economic social relations and institutions to the demands of economic reproduction. Polanyi expressed this as follows: "Instead of economy being embedded in social relations, social relations are embedded in the economic system. The vital importance of the economic factor to the existence of society precludes any other result. For once the economic system is organized in separate institutions , based on specific motives and conferring a special status, society must be shaped in such a manner as to allow that system to function according to its own laws. This is the meaning of the familiar assertion that a market economy can function only in a market society." -- Bob Jessup, Regulati
Dope My friend X., who lives in Memphis, is a tireless proponent of gun control. Actually, that understates her passion -- she believes in the most draconian form of gun control in the case of hand guns, namely making handguns the new Desaparecidos of the body politic, although she concedes some gun ownership to hunters. Now, as readers of this page know, LI has a jaundiced view of gun control, especially as it edges into gun banning. X. has been stirred up by recent events in Memphis. This year has beeen, to quote the Memphis Commercial Appeal, a "murderous year for children ." Here's a list of "children shot:" "Damien Woodard, 10, was killed by a stray bullet in gang-related shooting at 1267 S. Willett on April 14. Five men have been charged: Herman A. Parham, 17, Rodricus A. Johnson, 18, and Patrick J. Brown, 20, with first-degree murder; Patrick Parham, 18, and Jeremy Parham, 19, with facilitation to commit first-degree murder. Marrqutte Mason
Remora Burning down the house. Everybody knows that modernism's over, everybody knows the good guys lost -- to cite, with a small change in wording, Leonard Cohen. The abstract expressionists, and their successors, were willing and eager to do what they did for the price of the paint. The adventure, the beauty of it, the reason you'd hock your body, the reason you'd let yourself become a laughingstock at the family reunions, was that painting was dearer to you, as a painter, than heroin is to a junky. It was the stuff. Then the money came down, and at first that was all right. But money comes attached by a million spiderweb-like strings to money-men, and that isn't all right. Not eventually. American art would have been better off, in the last twenty years, if it had been traded by crack-heads and curated by homeless alkies. Alas, it was traded by Saatchi's and housed by such confidence men as 'Tom' Krens, the Guggenheim's director. Deborah Solom