Thursday, July 3, 2008

Miscellaneous

I had the pleasure of meeting fellow blogger Michael Perelman at the History of Economics Society meeting in Toronto this past week-end. Michael gave a fascinating paper, "The Economics of Guano," which made the case for a 19th Century proto-environmentalism in the work of the American economist Matthew Carey. Marx made an appearance (in the paper, not at the conference). At one point, Michael suggested that economists, having spent so much time on the analysis of marginal increments, may want to focus for a change on marginal excrement. I guess you had to be there.

Meanwhile: Breakfast in Wimbledon this Saturday with Venus and Serena in the Women's Finals! I'm there.

4 comments:

rosserjb@jmu.edu said...

Well, in agriculture, there is no doubt that marginal excrement produces a marginal increment.

Praxis said...

Also - in some letter to Engels Marx calls the original projected 6 volume masterpiece "the whole shit"... & given economics' emphasis on consumption, perhaps a bit more attention to... expulsion... would be no bad thing. ?

rosserjb@jmu.edu said...

Not to mention the not-very-long-lasting school of Freudian Marxists in the 1960s for whom capitalism was an anal complex. Something about savings and investment being a matter of anal retention to give "gifts" to one's parents, not to mention being all repressed and so forth.
But then Martin Luther decided to go Protestant while sitting on a toilet and thinking of excrement as satanic, and one does not touch someone in most of Asia or Africa with one's left hand for the same reason that the saved sit on the right-hand of God the Father, while the damned are on the other side, the "sinister" side...

Michael Perelman said...

Actually, I discussed the excremental theory of value. It was a pleasure to meet Kevin and learn how little I knew about Hegel.