Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Decoding Economic Ideology

Molière’s 1670 play, The Bourgeois Gentleman, presented before the court of Louis XIV, mocked a foolish, social‑climbing merchant. In his effort to remake himself, the merchant takes lessons to help him pass as an aristocrat. In a basic lesson on language, he is both surprised and delighted to learn he had been speaking prose all his life without knowing it. Almost three and a half centuries later, much of the world finds itself speaking a different language ‑‑ economics ‑‑ also without full awareness.

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can said...

It is typical for abstracts to actually summarize the key argument of the essay, not the colorful introduction.

Jack said...

Heads up. The Read more... link doesn't go any where. Is something more missing?

michael perelman said...

Sorry about the broken link. It is not fixed.

Can, I hoped that the "colorful" introduction will would work better than a typical introduction. I may have been wrong.

media said...

i think these comments relate to what sandwichman is onto recently which is not new, and even has a whole academic industry (conferneces, tenure, journals, associations...) devoted to it, apparently : think progress!!! sustainable growth!!!

i.e. you can act quantitatively (do some accounting) in the weberian 'rationalization' tradition, and get right to the point, eg in an abstract---except the point (GDP up) may leave out some qualitative characters;

or, you can have the teary eyed ritual of Confucianism-Kumbaya 'lets have a dinner which i cooked myself today, and it took me all day (i hear billie joe mcallister jumped off the tallahoochie bridge today---so WHY aint you appreciating my homecooked meal, b-tch? ('ode to billie joe' song)) and then once the qualititative introduction has set the stage with all its subjective appreciation, b-tch, we can then discuss any failings of capitalism (via twitter or international conferences, since we retrieved billie joe's wallet and his gold teeth ) eg from keene's debtwatch....---mommy, the probelm ith the meal is you invested in the wrong thing---i only eat organic vegans (eg wild deers).

diffrent rationalities, strokes for diffrent folks.

each has their up and downsides---and these evolve. the older generation likes to 'i have a dream' speech replay; the younger ones have reacted i think and follow Ice-T who says next time i hear that sh-t you gonna get blown away.

(i guess my own tradition is moderate---you plan the meal and ritual starting from some reasonably rational complexity class of algorithms, write it up in a succint fashion (which is why math notation exists), submeit it as a theorem-proof style 150 page paper to econometrica, and then move on to actual implementation of the model. excercize left for the reader. (good for health...)