Thursday, April 10, 2008

the economist

Ok, so I've got to borrow a story from Big Gav because it is so grand. I've got a few essays of my own chillin' on ice, and there they will stay for a few more days while I attempt to intersect time and effort.

"The strategy the economists used was as simple as it was absurd—they substituted economic variables for physical ones. Utility (a measure of economic well-being) took the place of energy; the sum of utility and expenditure replaced potential and kinetic energy. A number of well-known mathematicians and physicists told the economists that there was absolutely no basis for making these substitutions. But the economists ignored such criticisms and proceeded to claim that they had transformed their field of study into a rigorously mathematical scientific discipline.
The external resources of nature are largely inexhaustible, and those that are not can be replaced by other resources or by technologies that minimize the use of the exhaustible resources or that rely on other resources [...] If the environmental crisis did not exist, the fact that neoclassical economic theory provides a coherent basis for managing economic activities in market systems could be viewed as sufficient justification for its widespread applications.

This model of economists, that is, the one where their model sucks, resonates. The biggest, most painful lie that western civilization has been living with, the BIG LIE, is the lie wherein the world systems are boundless. Delivered to your door as a Pop Tart forever.

A cornucopia of uranium, diamonds, bananas for ethanol, forests for wood or rubber, and mucho third world types to exploit. An ocean-all to flush our plastic, carbonic acid and phosphorus. Forever and ever, a perpetual motion economy, with the cash flying out of your town into someone's grey pocketss, yessss...

But now the trash has piled up so high we can smell it everywhere. And money can't buy as many grits of rice or corn - - much less happiness.

It figures.

Stupidityness is the only human endeavor that can be effectively modeled as a closed system.

Stupidityness is the only human endeavor that can be effectively modeled as a closed system. -monkeygrinder


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