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23 сентября, 07:35

Unstructured Procrastination: Hoisted from the Archives

**Hoisted from the Archives** (2005): _Unstructured Procrastination_ : I usually am quite good at structured procrastination—working not on the thing that is most immediate and imminent on my calendar, but on the priority #3 or #4 that is actually more important in the long run and that excites me at the moment. But today this system has broken down. I have done something nobody should ever do: I have spent an hour thinking about Louis Althusser. It's all Michael Berube's fault, but its worth it, for (highlighted below) he has the best paragraph on Louis Althusser ever written. The rest is (or ought to be) silence: **Michael Berube**: "The otherwise incomprehensible question of why anyone would think it necessary to devise a 'structuralist Marxism'. Structuralism is so antipathetic to all questions of hermeneutics and historicity that one might imagine the desire for a structuralist Marxism to be something like a hankering for really spicy ice cream. And yet, in the work of Louis Althusser, spicy ice cream is exactly what we have. I don’t like it myself. But because it’s an important byway in the history of ice cream... >...er, I mean the history of Marxist theory—-I still find it...

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23 сентября, 07:21

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On the 'use of 'scare quotes': **Edward P. Thompson** (1978): _The Poverty of Theory, or, an Orrery of Errors_ : "Althusser... patiently explains it thus: 'The critique of Stalinist "dogmatism" was generally "lived" by Communist intellectuals as a "liberation". This 'liberation' gave birth to a profound ideological reaction, "liberal" and "ethical" in tendency, which spontaneously rediscovered the old philosophical themes of "freedom", "man", the "human person" and "alienation"' (F.Af. 10). (It must be difficult to ‘speak’ a theory like this, when at every second word, one must ‘contort’ one’s features into a knowing ‘leer’, to ‘signify’ to the reader that one ‘knows’ the true meaning of these words behind their apparent ‘meaning’).... In 1972 he had become more blunt; he had only one recourse to inverted commas; ‘after the Twentieth Congress an openly rightist wave carried off... many Marxist and Communist “intellectuals’.... This, then, is the missing protagonist with whom Althusser wrestles in _For Marx_ and _Reading Capital_: the anti-Stalinist revolt... ‘socialist humanism.’... This, if anywhere, is where all these critiques and actions converged. This is the object of Althusser’s police action, the unnamed ghost at whom his arguments are directed... **Dylan Riley** (2011): _Tony Judt: A Cooler Look_ :...

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21 сентября, 21:18

Notes and References for: Lecture Notes: Introduction to Economic History: The Ancient Economy

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Lecture Notes: Introduction to Economic History: The Ancient Economy **1: The Biggest-Picture Perspective** 1.1: The Old and Middle Stone Ages References: * **Doug Jones** (2014-2019): _Logarithmic History_ * **Doug Jones** (2019): _Puttin' on the Ritz_ * **David Kaplan** (2000): _The Darker Side of the "Original Affluent Society"_ * **Marshall Sahlins** (1972): _The Original Affluent Society_ * **Marshall Sahlins** (1972): _Stone Age Economics_ * **Richard Wrangham** (2019): _The Goodness Paradox: The Strange Relationship Between Virtue and Violence in Human Evolution_ 1.1: The Old and Middle Stone Ages Notes: 1.2: An Index of Human Technological and Organizational Capabilities References * **John Maynard Keynes** (1936): _The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money_ * Solow-Malthus Growth Model Notebook: ---- ###### This File: ###### Edit This File:

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21 сентября, 02:52

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There are many things desperately wrong with people who write for the _New York Times_. Here we have Jack Nicas, boy mocking girl for crying, which is a not-good and very middle-school look: **Jack Nicas**: _"What's strange about Apple events_ : Many Apple bloggers act as fans, not journalists. One person in the media section literally gave Tim Cook a standing ovation; another cried during an Apple Watch ad... **Ellen Cushing**: i was the crying reporter sitting next to Jack. I was crying because it’s a video about people with disabilities overcoming challenges and also sometimes my face makes water whether I want it to or not?? ---- #noted #journamalism

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21 сентября, 02:49

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As I say, there are many things deeply wrong with the culture of the _New York Times_: **John Gruber**: _Let’s Go Further and Hope for Every Last Drop of Joy to Be Drained From the World_ : "Charlie Warzel... column for _The New York Times_... is a bluff. If there’s even a whiff of seriousness to Warzel’s proposal, it’s that—what?—the tens of millions of people interested in learning about Apple’s new products would be better served reading about it in publications like, oh, say, _The New York Times_? Filtered by writers like Warzel, who is so jaded he’s already deemed the new phones 'a commodity', and his colleague Jack Nicas, who mocked a woman wearing a media badge at the event for crying 'during an Apple Watch ad'. That was good for a 'we’re above any sense of emotion' laugh until the woman in question, Ellen Cushing of The _Atlantic_, piped into the thread.... What Warzel has written—not on his personal blog, mind you, but in a column in the goddamn _New York Times_—has nothing to do with Apple, nothing to do with iPhone users, and nothing to do with society or culture at large. It is not an honest...

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21 сентября, 02:43

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Relationships between user and supplier firms were never arms-length. But while the assumption that they were may have been a minor error three generations ago, it is a major error today. We need more people like Susan Helper thinking about the consequences of the information and technology flows generated in today's value-chain economy. Such flows are a very important piece of our community of engineering practice: **Susan Helper**: _[Building High-Road Supply Networks in the United States](https://equitablegrowth.org/building-high-road-supply-networks-in-the-united-states/)_: "A different kind of outsourcing is possible—'high-road' supply networks that benefit firms, workers, and consumers... collaboration between management and workers and along the length of the supply chain, sharing of skills and ideas, new and innovative processes, and, ultimately, better products that can deliver higher profits to firms and higher wages to workers. Firms could take a key step by themselves, since it could improve profits. Collaboration among firms along a supply chain can lead to greater productivity and innovation. Lead firms can raise the capabilities of supplier firms and their workers such that even routine operations can benefit from collaboration for continuous improvement... ---- #noted

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21 сентября, 02:42

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I missed this when it came out three years ago: **Melany De La Cruz-Viesca, Zhenxiang Chen, Paul M. Ong, Darrick Hamilton, and William A. Darity Jr.**: _[The Color of Wealth in Los Angeles](http://www.aasc.ucla.edu/besol/Color_of_Wealth_Report.pdf)_: "White households in Los Angeles have a median net worth of 355,000.... Mexicans and U.S. blacks have a median wealth of 3,500 and 4,000, respectively.... Japanese (592,000), Asian Indian (460,000), and Chinese (408,200) households had higher median wealth than whites.... African blacks (72,000), other Latinos (42,500), Koreans (23,400), Vietnamese (61,500), and Filipinos (243,000).... The median value of liquid assets for Mexicans and other Latinos is striking, zero dollars and only 7, respectively, whereas, the median value of liquid assets for white households was 110,000... ---- #noted

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21 сентября, 02:38

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This is exactly the kind of work we at Equitable Growth want to see carried out by exactly the kind of young people we ought to be financing. Very well done: **Ellora Derenoncourt and Claire Montialoux**: _[Minimum Wages and Racial Inequality](http://clairemontialoux.com/files/montialoux_jmp_2018.pdf)_: "The earnings difference between black and white workers fell dramatically in the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This paper shows that the extension of the minimum wage played a critical role in this decline. The 1966 Fair Labor Standards Act extended federal minimum wage coverage to agriculture, restaurants, nursing homes, and other services which were previously uncovered and where nearly a third of black workers were employed... ---- #noted

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21 сентября, 02:36

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The very sharp Barry Eichengreen has a theory of why Donald Trump wants to put ex-tight money advocate Judy Shelton on the Federal Reserve Board. It is certainly a more plausible and sensible theory of what they are aiming at than any other theory that I have seen put forward. But I fear that it is wrong: understanding a word or deed of the Trump administration from the standpoint that there is a coherent vision of the world from which it is plausible and sensible seems deeply flawed to me: **Barry Eichengreen**: _[Trump’s Cross of Gold](https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/trump-fixed-exchange-rate-judy-shelton-by-barry-eichengreen-2019-08)_: "Shelton is a proponent of fixed exchange rates. Her belief in fixed rates is catnip to an administration that sees currency manipulation as a threat to winning its trade war. Team Trump wants to compress the United States trade deficit and enhance the competitiveness of domestic manufactures by using tariffs to raise the price of imported goods. But a 10% tariff that is offset by a 10% depreciation of foreign currencies against the dollar leaves the relative prices of US imports unchanged.... Thus, the challenge for Team Trump is to get other countries to change their policies to prevent their currencies from moving. That’s...

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20 сентября, 20:22

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**Ken White** (2014): _[Science Fiction Community Generates This Weekend's Buffoonish Defamation Threat](https://www.popehat.com/2014/02/17/science-fiction-community-generates-this-weekends-bufoonish-defamation-threat/)_: "Sean P. Fodera is a science fiction writer who works in the publishing industry. He's angry. He started out angry over ongoing upheaval in the science fiction and fantasy literature community. That upheaval is mirrored in the gaming community and skeptic community and other communities with devoted and vocal fanbases. It's a conflict between two groups: a group that thinks the communities have a problem with racism, sexism, and harassment and should take steps to address it, and a group that thinks that the first group is engaged in free-speech-suppressing political correctness and should be resisted. A full description of the dispute would be too lengthy for this post... >...The Daily Dot published a post about this ongoing dispute, and in the course of doing so quoted and linked to some of the angrier things that Fodera said about Mary Robinette Kowal, a science fiction author and officer of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Kowal has spoken out against harassment in the science fiction and fantasy literature community, and SFWA is currently a locus of controversy about such allegations and the official reactions to them....

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20 сентября, 19:53

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From the past. Worth highlighting. Why? Because when the nest recession comes, the usual suspects will once gain start claiming the the should not do anything to shorten or cushion it. And the usual suspects will once again be wrong: **Paul Krugman** (2008): _[Hangover Theorists](https://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/12/27/hangover-theorists/)_: "Somehow I missed this: via Steve Levitt, John Cochrane explaining that recessions are _good_ for you.... The basic idea is that a recession, even a depression, is somehow a necessary thing, part of the process of 'adapting the structure of production'. We have to get those people who were pounding nails in Nevada into other places and occupation, which is why unemployment has to be high in the housing bubble states for a while. The trouble... is twofold: 1. It doesn’t explain why there isn’t mass unemployment when bubbles are growing as well as shrinking—why didn’t we need high unemployment elsewhere to get those people into the nail-pounding-in-Nevada business? 2. It doesn’t explain why recessions reduce unemployment across the board, not just in industries that were bloated by a bubble.... The current slump is affecting some non-housing-bubble states as or more severely as the epicenters of the bubble.... Unemployment is up everywhere. And while the...

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20 сентября, 17:19

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**Mary Robinette Kowal** (2014): _[Me, as a Useful Representative Example](http://maryrobinettekowal.com/journal/useful-representative-example/)_: "Some people said some not nice things about me in a public space, and the story has been picked up as an example of sexism in part because one of the people saying those things works for my publisher. Silvia Moreno-Garcia has done a good analysis of the sexism in what’s going on, so I’m not going to rehash that. Instead I’m going to talk about how this affects me.... My impulse is to tell you all that I’m fine and that this has no material affect on my life. And that is true. But I also know that I am a useful representative sample of the abuse that happens to other women. I know that there are a ton of women who have received similar messages.... Sexism happens all the time. It’s visible in SFWA because people are actively fighting against it. Too many places, too many women, get this sort of unwelcome attention and commentary about what they were wearing but no one does anything. It’s always, 'Laugh about it' or 'Just shrug it off', or 'Ignore it and he’ll go away'. You see how well that last...