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Showing posts from January 29, 2023

Look who is buried under Maslow's pyramid!

  There has been, as far as I can tell, no canonical study of how and why certain ideas – psychoanalysis, Abraham Maslow’s theory of needs, gestalt therapy – infiltrated into the precincts of that most American of sciences, organization science, and all its business school progeny, a long event that is co-eterminus with the eruption of the business school on the university campus.   The ultimate American utopia is the corporation – those of us on the reservation outside of it just think of ourselves as the dreamers of the better future. But inside those corporate walls, that future is manufactured wholesale. And what is a future without a psychology? And what good is psychology if you can’t manipulate it to market goods and services? In 20th century America, war, organization and information systems formed the sinister matrix to which our best guides are still the great dark codexes: J.R., Gravity’s Rainbow, Flow my tears the policeman said. Randall Jarrett’s tailgunner glosses not s

Greed's Bad Sister

When you read conservative and libertarian economists, you will inevitably, at one time or another, run into an interesting paradox: the envy paradox. While greed among this type is the good bad emotion, and has been since Mandeville pointed out the virtue of the vices in a system of markets, envy is the wicked sister, the bad bad emotion which we must shame. The reply, when one criticizes some billionaire, often rings this chime: you are envious! Myself, I'm envious as hell. And you can't take the truth (I'd shout back, Jack Nicholson style). Envy is just justice on a bad hair day. Prima facie, the diabolization of envy and soft focus on greed makes little sense. If you dub envy “aspiration”, hey presto, it becomes a virtue. Sell the sports car, sell the high end restaurant, use the envy - this is 101 Marketing. The Horatio Alger striver, realizing that capitalism is the best of all systems and the thing to do is to swim upstream and rescue the bankers daughter, is mucho

The Great wrong place

  In his famous – and to my mind famously wrongheaded – essay about “mysteries”, W.H. Auden wrote: “Actually, whatever he may say, I think Mr. Chandler is interested in writing, not detective stories, but serious studies of a criminal milieu, the Great Wrong Place, and his powerful but extremely depressing hooks should be read and judged, not as escape literature, but as works of art.” We have long accepted not only Chandler but every motherfucker who writes as writing works of art. Art is a category,   not a laudative. The reason that this passage sticks with me is the naming of the Great Wrong Place. I have often felt like I have spent a considerable portion of my life   in the Great Wrong Place, and that it didn’t have to be like that. This is why, I suppose, I am so fascinated by seedy stories of crimes and misappropriations during the Cold War, and the entire history of that encounter between two bad options, squeezing us, the inhabitants of our various Great Wrong Places, i

A valedition: the party dress

  She bleeds all in her dress on the back seat of the taxi Home from the bone Another good girl dawn   Even in my Emily Dickinson silence I can always hear the click click click Of the bitch about to pounce.   Although I dream of sitting among the big cats Don't you know I’m low in the zoo order from maneater to shrew.   Later, at the dry cleaners, the man says the dress would the multitudinous seas incarnadine. Too bad, I sez   It was one of my favorites .-Karen Chamisso