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Showing posts from June 24, 2012

metaphysics of paper 2

...The heavy mouth, the portable clay – it is here that I want to plant land, survey, plant some stakes. ... The first stake has to do with the various motions that are in play in inscribing the tablet. The first motion is that of the sign itself, which is entirely the act of a gesture. Of course, the very fact that the gesture is immobilized in the sign signals the potential divide between the sign and the gesture – once the trace is standardized, the gesture recedes before the tool itself: the printing press is prefigured in Enmerkar’s act. Perhaps it is a mark of that mechanical future that Enmerkar does not consult the gods before creating his magic object, if we think of the gods in opposition to tools. There are mythical hints of this in the Eastern Mediterranean myths concerning the human rebellions against the gods. Still, Enmerkar does not act in conscious rebellion against the goddess Inanna, his protector: he simply responds to a particular human incapacity, a heavy jaw.

metaphysics of paper 1

Every kind of paper is purchased by the "waste-men." One of these dealers said to me: "I've often in my time 'cleared out' a lawyer's office. I've bought old briefs, and other law papers, and 'forms' that weren't the regular forms then, and any d——d thing they had in my line. You'll excuse me, sir, but I couldn't help thinking what a lot of misery was caused, perhaps, by the cwts. of waste I've bought at such places. If my father hadn't got mixed up with law he wouldn't have been ruined, and his children wouldn't have had such a hard fight of it; so I hate law. All that happened when I was a child, and I never understood the rights or the wrongs of it, and don't like to think of people that's so foolish. I gave 1 1/2 d. a pound for all I bought at the lawyers, and done pretty well with it, but very likely that's the only good turn such paper ever did any one—unless it were the lawyers themselves.&quo

Disaster in the zona: hard times a-comin'

How dumb are the economic policies our master’s have loaded on our back? This dumb: “…the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has downwardly revised potential economic output for 2017 by 6.6 percent since the start of the recession. This may seem trivial, but for a $15 trillion economy, this dip reflects roughly $1.3 trillion in lost future income in a single year, on top of years of cumulative forgone income (already at roughly $3 trillion and counting ). The level of potential output projected for 2017 before the recession is now expected to be reached between 2019 and 2020—representing roughly two-and-a-half years of forgone potential income.” – Andrew Fieldhouse That forgone potential income will not be coming out of the pockets of the plutocrats. If   in the next four years we face another slump, the only group that will get bailed out will be the fat cats, just as the only group bailed out in 2008-2009 were the bankers, boiler room conmen, hedgefunders and offshore men

The corner stone of the wealth of nations

Marx congratulated Malthus (whose work he otherwise disparaged) for understanding that Smith’s more sophisticated division between productive and unproductive labour was the foundation stone of The Wealth of Nations. The metaphor of the foundation stone is important, here – Say, as Marx knew, had claimed that it was the stone that the builders could reject – although Say did not frame it in that biblical way. Marx, who had a great pool of references whirling in his unconscious, probably fixed on this – he did like troping the biblical Zitat. But why was it so essential, in Marx’s view? I think it is because the distinction allows one to see that capitalism generates, internally, a socially defined class structure that cannot be separated from its economically defined activity. It is a class structure that is different in kind from the status structures before it, even as the forms of distinction characterizing those status structures heralded the new system, one where the great b