Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Otherwise Less Desirable Characteristics of a Hoax

Folks, it's a hoax! It's gotta be a hoax. Quantifying the otherwise more desirable characteristics of unhealthy foods (or the less desirable characteristics of healthy foods) takes Jeremy Bentham's expression "nonsense on stilts" to a new level. It's nonsense on stilts riding a unicycle blindfolded.

Please tell me it's a hoax! Desirability is not an attribute of the object of desire.

Don't take my word for it.

What does Lacan say about desire? "Our desires are not our own, they are the Other’s"

What does Žižek say about desire? "We don’t really want what we think we desire."

What does Rene Girard say about desire? "Desire usually is born out of the contemplation.of someone else who is desiring and who designates to you the object he's desiring as desirable." (1:57)


And what, pray tell, does Luis Buñuel have to show us about That Obscure Object of Desire? Well...
As Mathieu sees her, Conchita is so changeable that Buñuel has cast two lovely new actresses to play her—Carole Bouquet, who looks a little like a young Rita Hayworth, as the coolly enigmatic Conchita, and Angela Molina as the earthy, flamenco-dancing Conchita whom he follows to Seville. 
Poor old Mathieu. The night he succeeds in getting Conchita to his country house, where she has promised to be his mistress, the Conchita who goes into the bathroom to change, changes not only her clothes. Miss Bouquet goes in but Miss Molina comes out.


john c. halasz said...

But, interpersonal comparisons of utility must be prohibited, else the math of utility preference functions won't work, and you're stuck with utilitarianism, the greatest good for the greatest number. And we can't have that, because it lacks any criterion for individuation!

Sandwichman said...

If we assume that the gainers could compensate the losers, then we don't have to make those messy interpersonal comparisons of utility. Who needs to compare utility anyway when you have perfect foresight and live forever? I believe the English invented potential Pareto improvement in Ireland in the 19th century. Only they called it potential potato improvement.