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Showing posts from December 19, 2010

AMIE

This is the worst thing I'll have to write on this blog... I’ve been debating with myself this week about this post. In the end, I need to say something. Amie, who contributed to LI and whose friendship over the last four years has been one of the important things in my life – Amie died in September. I learned this at the beginning of the week, and I am still in shock. Supposedly you can tell the weather of centuries ago by sawing down a tree and examining the tree rings – they register all the disasters. I feel like some similar organic disturbance has happened in me since I received word of her death. If you saw me in half fifty years from now and examined the innards, surely some mark, some trace – Amie would love the word trace – will make it obvious that something happened Christmas week, 2010. I can’t accept her death. Not when, after all the storms she had passed through, she was finally entering into the sweetness of life. I can’t accept this flaw in the structure of

Too many notes - on the edge of crankitood

Rewriting and expanding the last post: How does a heuristic fiction to become, at last, a policy norm? What are the existential consequences of an economic system based on the eventually substitutability of all things, relations and people? These are the questions that guide me with the uncertain light of a flickering torch as I go down into the undergrounds of history. I am taking as a point d’appui the idea that something happened at the beginning of the modern era – something described, felicitously, by Adam Smith as a revolution of public happiness – and yet it is a revolution that happened, so to speak, behind the back of the revolutionaries, and indeed, of all actors: “A revolution of the greatest importance to the public happiness was in this manner brought about by two different orders of people who had not the least intention to serve the public. To gratify the most childish vanity was the sole motive of the great proprietors. The merchants and artificers, much less ridicul

NOTES ON HOMO OECONOMICUS

My next section, in my intro, should focus on the question of the relation of what was developed, at first, as a heuristic fiction to become, at last, a policy norm. That is, there is a historical moment, here, that is described, felicitously, by Adam Smith as a revolution of public happiness – and yet it is a revolution that happened, so to speak, behind the back of the revolutionaries, and indeed, of all actors: “A revolution of the greatest importance to the public happiness was in this manner brought about by two different orders of people who had not the least intention to serve the public. To gratify the most childish vanity was the sole motive of the great proprietors. The merchants and artificers, much less ridiculous, acted merely from a view to their own interest, and in pursuit of their own pedlar principle of turning a penny wherever a penny was to be got. Neither of them had either knowledge or foresight of that great revolution which the folly of the one, and the industr