Monday, July 09, 2012

John Protevi
"Ostrom begins by reviewing evidence for strong reciprocators, which contradicts [Rational Choice Theory's] assumption that rational egoists (utility maximizers driven only by external rewards / punishments) are the only type of agent that needs to be modeled to account for social behavior. Thus we need to model different ratios of strong reciprocators and rational egoists and how those ratios change over time given different conditions."

Strong reciprocators are conditional altruistic cooperators and conditional altruistic punishers. They are concerned with fairness of process rather than only outcomes. Thus they have internal motivations.
Grateful to know that my elementary school teachers were not figments of my imagination.

Popular long-time liberal blogger, "Digby".
"To me this is the most startling observation of the book. (Not the only one, mind you, just the most startling.) If he's right, that income inequality always ends up rigging the game on behalf of the elites, then the whole liberal project of "equality of opportunity" is called into question, right? Opportunity alone is never going to cut it."
Not sure what to say.

Protevi, again, in a different post
Deleuze and Guattari say of art that it is a mode of thought, like philosophy and science, but that it thinks in "percepts and affects" rather than in concepts or functions, the respective media of philosophy and science. Furthermore, art requires material that will preserve the work of art; by means of the material, art "extracts" a bloc of sensation (percepts and affects). Without getting into the details, it's the lack of a preserving material that makes sport a bad fit under the concept of art Deleuze and Guattari lay out.
So actors and musicians aren't artists while playwrights and composers are.

Protevi responds: "Yeah, it's pretty clear they mean the plastic arts when they say 'art.' Though there is a big Deleuze and the arts discourse I don't follow and I'm sure there's ways to talk about performance in Deleuzean terms."

Tennis is performance.
We've been here before [so many times]

Henry Farrell
Matthew Yglesias has a post responding to my post below. My original intention was to roll it into an update – I then decided it was worth responding to on its own because it exemplifies a number of common mistakes in thinking about markets. In order:
(1) Arguments about freedom do not equate to arguments about economic efficiency.
(2) Market outcomes are not ‘natural’
(3) Market outcomes have no inherent normative weight
(4) Actually existing markets do not clear by magic
(5) Neo-classical economics, as it is usually deployed by policy technocrats, tends systematically to obscure rather than to enlighten
Each of those numbers introduce from two to four paragraphs, including quotes from the idiot/asshole Shalizi. The length of the whole thing is a bit more than 1600 words.

Yglesias' post is titled "Life Is Good for Skilled Workers".
Maybe there are two companies in town running roughly similar businesses that require the use of some unskilled labor. Both firms are concerned about the problem of employee theft, and both firms are also interested in paying their workers as little as possible. At one firm, they're offering the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, and they're losing some product. At another firm, they're offering $8.25 an hour but searching employees and experiencing less loss to theft. Sometimes people get so fed up with that bullshit that they quit and go across town to the lower-paid, less pleasant job. Other times people get fed up with trying to make ends meet on a minimum wage job, so they quit and go across town and subject themselves to humiliating searches in exchange for more money. Sad stories all around, but telling the higher-paying firm that its business model is illegal and it has to switch to the lower-paying one isn't going to make the stories any less sad.
Yglesias' friends are skilled workers. If he started a company and hired a few of his friends he would not pay them as little as possible; he would feel obligated to pay them enough that they maintained a mutual respect.

repeats of fucking repeats.
A friend of Matthew Y.
And for the record (don't post this), Yglesias as an individual has a great, self-aware sense of humor and is much more starkly honest (if also unapologetic) about his own elitism than most liberals. Take him out for a beer and I think you'd find that.

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