Notes 2020-11-21.

A backlog of notes, from a few weeks without a computer. #

I've been emailing myself "notes" from my phone. Actually a pretty nice way to not lose hold of thoughts.

This is from reading "contingency, irony, solidarity":

Final vocabularies (neopragmatist community based ways of speaking) depend on institutions. As institutions falter, truth falters.

This seems self-evidently true. To spool it out a bit, I guess that the vocabularies become less final--the institutions lose their ability to speak. Or, they speak less clearly and less definitively.

Obviously the people who benefit most from assigning markets the role of valuation of everything are rich people.


Markets maximize expediency and efficiency with the two trading off.

Either one of the pair is not interesting, but maybe the pairing is. I think that the market based price mechanism is real, and a very valuable tool. After some minimal efficiency is achieved there starts to be a trade off between what gets produced and how it gets produced (the externalities) and further increasing efficiency. Moreover, once a fairly high level of efficiency is achieved, other factors of production start to depend more on the prerogatives of the wealthy--especially when they control the levers of state. The market is supposed to deliver consumers low prices, and competition is supposed to eliminate profit. But increasing productive efficiency is far from the only way to increase profits. Tax avoidance, off-shoring for cheaper labor and lax environmental standards, subtle quality (and not so subtle) quality degradation, financial blood-suckery of all sorts allow productive firms to generate profits--markets are also capable of maximizing these kinds of "expediencies" and often there is a trade off between expediency and efficiency.

I guess this is a kind of libertarian ant-capitalism. Except that I don't think that the remedy is the perishing away of the state. At least not over the time-frame of my lifetime.