Skip to main content


Showing posts from March 8, 2015

a philosophical suicide pact: on relativism

One of the myths of our time is that the average college freshman takes into the classroom a belief in moral and cultural relativism. I have my doubts. I don’t doubt that a college freshman might be given to saying things like, that is only your opinion, or, well, that’s my opinion, given the unfamiliar stimulus of a first year philosophy class. But outside of that stimulus, I don’t see much evidence for either form of relativism. On the contrary, there is a lot of evidence for a naïve faith in the rightness of the established order on up through and including such absurdities as grading. As far as romantic reveries in which the subject is placed on a parity with the objective world, this seems contraindicated by  the strong increase in busness majors and the clamor from both parents and students for a secure job after graduation. The myth bugs me on several levels, one of which is the assumption that relativism is a sophomoric sophism that dissolves in the light of the overwhelming

The ownership society - they own,and you gotta ship out.

Here's what the ownership society - the neoliberal dream from Bush to Bush, from Clinton to Obama, looks like: the ripoff society! Eduard Porter's column  is as fine as it can be within the limits of the idiot episteme we suffer under, where all that exists exists to profit the oligarchs: "A research paper by Mr. Bogle published in Financial Analysts Journal makes the case. Actively managed mutual funds, in which many workers invest their retirement savings, are enormously costly. First, there is the expense ratio — about 1.12 percent of assets for the average large capitalization blend fund. Then there are transaction costs and distribution costs. Active funds also pay a penalty for keeping a share of their assets in low-yielding cash. Altogether, costs add up to 2.27 percent per year, Mr. Bogle estimates. By contrast, a passive index fund, like Vanguard’s Total Stock Market Index Fund, costs merely 0.06 percent a year in all. Of course, Mr. Bogle has a horse in