N. Y. T.

The piece for Wed., April 26th, is about an orangutang sanctuary (Indonesia).

The “quandary” involves how we come to economic decisions based on comparative results of profit-oriented activity compared to conservation activities, like saving the rain forest (from…). How to balance those two sides? The orangutang sanctuary is operated by someone connected to the capitalist company that is also part of the destruction of the orangutang’s native habitat. But why would a profit-seeking company practice conservation?

What profit is there in taking care of orangutangs? They sell palm oil, apparently. The only way to fix the problem would involve the entire problem, itself. So, can we alter overall demand for palm oil?

Dear Agent, Publisher, etc. Could you read me?

I have a lot of good writing which I do not know how to put out there. I have been working on this writing I do for about fifteen years now, since getting accidentally an original idea related to international trade. Since getting the idea, I have been writing, writing up versions of economics, as well as other kinds of writing. I went from music (which I practiced from about 1970 to about 1989) to economics and writing.

While I have received a few positive responses from economists and intellectuals (better not to drop names), I am autistic and have a general reticence about what is called sometimes “social communication.” It is a little hard to describe what autism is but I seem to be a real one. All the signs indicate it. I think that I am really autistic, on the lighter end. But, I repeat, really “autistic.” Whatever that is. I am very specific in my interests, for example (that’s a sign)—I appreciate music, still, as much as ever but I do not intentionally go out and buy records, etc. (CDs), nor do I play it. Now I am involved with books and ideas, writing always.

I am continuing to learn many things about rhetoric, commas, and so forth. I even have insights into semi-colons. I am a critical voice, generally. I have a scholar’s sensibility. At times I can also talk in an ethical, common way. I very much liked, for example, Holden Caulfield’s character in “Catcher…”

Could somebody help me in finding an audience? -I think there might be a good audience for it.

Policy, Ben?

If you have your eyes open, you will see what is going on. If you do not see what is going on around you, why should I bother to point this out? The first problem is you do not see it, or you see it but you do not notice it. Perhaps there are problems, and maybe you should be noticing these problems. But you don’t care. So, then, if I point out the problems, you are going to resent me for intruding upon your life. We cannot convince them through reasoning – if most persons are not paying attention in the first place.

Those persons who have an open mind would already be aware of the issues and problems.

Here is something very interesting that I copied from “RealClearPolitics”:

CARSON: No, what I am saying, and to me it doesn’t sound like a conflict statement at all. I said that people in Nazi Germany did not, most of them, believe in what Hitler was doing. But instead of protesting, instead of registering their displeasure, they simply decided to go along to get along. That is a very dangerous thing to do.

CUTTER: And is it happening —

CARSON: And I was using that as an example of how dangerous that can be. And I’m making a point to the American people that if, in fact, you feel differently about what’s going on, you should not be shut up. You need to talk about —

STRICKLAND: Doctor, no one is being shut up in America. You’re on FOX News. You write books. Newt talks, Stephanie talks, I talk.

CARSON: What is that?

STRICKLAND: I don’t engage in political correctness. Maybe you do. But, Doctor, these are your quotes. You said, “We live in a Gestapo age, and we’re” — this is a quote — “we’re very much like Nazi Germany.” And then you write a book about America the beautiful. That seems to be such a contradiction. CARSON: Did you read the book?

STRICKLAND: I have not read the book, no.

CARSON: I rest my case.

STRICKLAND: Why?

CARSON: You don’t even know what the book is about.

STRICKLAND: The fact that I haven’t read your book?

CARSON: Because you’re making these claims and then using the fact that I write a book to back up your claims and you haven’t even read the book.

Thank you for your apparent clarity on this, Ben, but, first of all I would like to point out that it wasn’t “dangerous” to go along with the German Nazi program, and Adolph Hitler. I think one might also say it was “dangerous” to go against him. Do you understand, Ben? The point was to keep Germans scared and submissive. Ben Carson is apparently posing as the “true rebel” here. This is a person who “went along.” He joined to establishment, and renounced his blackness, did he not? In Nazi Germany, however, it wasn’t so easy to renounce one’s Jewishness.

When Carson says “We live in a Gestapo age,” he is allowed to say it. No one is stopping him, but we have no idea what he means. No one is shutting up Ben Carson. The problem is that we have no idea what he is talking about. He knows very well he will be permitted to draw out the line of reasoning he chooses to draw out. Everybody has to say something, and Carson seems to be quite brilliant. He may be quite intelligent, but Hitler was intelligent too. So, to parrot a few lines I see above, “what is that?” It is a world of disinformation, propaganda. Carson has not been tested. Where is the test of his ideas? What is his message anyway? No one seems to know. Only if he were to become president would anyone even have a chance to find out what he would do. Otherwise, he is just an engaging chatterer, who makes a certain group of persons sound respectable. I do not think a very large group, but Donald Trump seems to like him; he was one of the chosen and now he can put his ideas into action as part of the housing department of the U. S. government. The head of it.

The policies of someone like Carson or Trump have not been tested yet. I have not heard from the Housing Dept. or  the EPA. Those departments apparently are less newsworthy. State we hear a little from. Russia and the U. S. seem at odds. This is what I get from the New York Times. I will go search the “Times” for articles on housing and environmental protection, now.

We will have to see what these men do. And what is Ben C. doing over at the Department of Housing? Has he come up with any policy? I really doubt it.

What is the Problem in Economics?

What is the problem? Why do we as a society lack knowledge in the area of economics? I do not mean statistics and technical details. Apparently, there is a lot of minor knowledge of those types of thing. No, I am talking of basic knowledge of our society.

We live in a primarily economic society. We do not even know what it means to say that. The totally inadequate knowledge currently being taught in Economics departments corresponds to the nonsensical idea that economics is individualism.

This is the idea that economics has some connection to individual desires or what individuals do. In a word: individualism. That is a nice idea, though, is it not? It sounds kind of nice, doesn’t it?

Certainly, the ideology is one of individualism, and capitalistic societies strongly support myths of individualism. There are many schools who support this kind of interpretation, but it is all wrong.

“Capitalism is Social.” Make that your new mantra. See how it works for you, read some old posts I have put up here, and …’call me in the morning.’

Republic of Letters

The Republic of Letters (Respublica literaria) is the long-distance intellectual community in the late 17th and 18th centuries in Europe and America. It fostered communication among the intellectuals of the Age of Enlightenment, or “philosophes” as they were called in France. The Republic of Letters emerged in the 17th century as a self-proclaimed community of scholars and literary figures that stretched across national boundaries but respected differences in language and culture.[1]

a time when literacy was a rare form of cultural capital

Man of Letters

The English term “Man of Letters” derives from the French term belletrist, but is not synonymous with “An academic”.[14][15] The term Man of Letters distinguished the literate man (“able to read and write”) from the illiterate man (“unable to read and write”), in a time when literacy was a rare form of cultural capital. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the term Belletrist identified the literati, the French “citizens of the Republic of Letters“, which evolved into the salon, a social institution, usually run by a hostess, meant for the edification, education, and cultural refinement of the participants.

Economics in the Age of Trump

How does the lack of information and knowledge about economics affect us? Now Trump has a pro-America policy which refuses to acknowledge rights for other countries trading in the U. S. The president’s reasoning is that one country should not worry about the economics of other countries. A given country should thus care about its own business, not the business of others. The new slogan, as of this week, according to newspaper accounts, is “buy American, hire American” (speech given in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and reported Wed., April 19, 2017).

Should the nations of the world have rights ceded to them in “trade deals” with others? Or should a country be able to refuse imports? These issues have come up before. The rich people came up with the “Washington Consensus” in the 1980s, which declared that the U. S. must accept their products for sale. And they need to accept ours. Why not say they have to obey our laws, as well? Why does not Burkina-Faso tell the United States what laws to uphold? I cannot think of any reason at all. Can you? If a country decides it does not want a product should other countries be able to tell the first country what to do?

 

These we understand as trade issues.

 

Given the necessity of debating these sorts of issues, the sad state of information and knowledge in economics cripples us. While there are at least a few good discussions in various other areas of intellectual discourse in the United States, and elsewhere, discussions of economic fail, utterly.

Why is our society so afraid of open discourse in economics? I cannot change it. Obviously, if nobody seeks to have such a discussion it is not going to be very easy for an “outside” voice (my own) to open it up single-handedly, from outside of academe.

 

It has someone like the current president, who does not honor academic discourse in the first place, to break through. Trump does not read books. Thus, this “boor” is unafraid to have original thoughts! And this indicates, to me, that we had to descend to a barbarian level to open up discussion.

Congresswoman Lee

http://lee.house.gov/news/press-releases/congresswoman-barbara-lee-moab-strike-marks-new-front-in-afghanistan-war

I want to know if there were any civilians in the area affected by this bomb. You know, generally speaking, trying to solve the problem this way is just not correct. It was never a good idea. Very few spoke out against the general idea, which is a wrong one.

The idea of merely battling terrorism by physically attacking them was always a bit off.

Lee

 

 

 

Quote of the Year

The crew leader already has permanent residency status and his two children are US citizens, but because his wife is undocumented he was fearful of the new law and left abruptly along with the others the minute the provisions came in.

the article

But according to the Trump type of logic the crew leader should say to his wife, “You are not legal. So leave the country, dear.” But —- people just do not do that.

Re-write of previous post

Should the only people ploughing the field of art be those artists that deserve to be paid? Then, since most of it isn’t any good, most of them do not deserve to get paid anything. But who knows if I am even right about that? It is a well-known aphorism that everyone has their own opinion, when it comes to art. The artists cultivating the rutabagas of art, art as paying occupation, should be about 99.5.% unemployed, in my view, which contains lessons for the field of economics (but there is no field, as it is total gibberish. Or maybe I am just being bitter, eh? Because I wanted my own university seat?) The lesson is this: we need to subsidize the arts, not wait for people to pay for this trash.

Something that has gotten into print as the LITERATURE section of something larger, put out by the U. of Chicago “arts” collective or department and something is there. It is like a catalog for art, for all the public to see. It has the kind of events called “art” events. A guide to public exhibitions. All the “art” events and all the readings are here. There are all them “art” events and all them dates.

What is the big idea in that SUB-section? It seems to be that there is an art form. And why don’t you look inside of it, whereupon you would discover something in there; and, dare I ask, what is there? They say there is something. There is some art there, to be investigated or explored. It is as if you are going to poke around inside the structural elements of the arts. Oh, really. Is anyone interested in that?

Good luck with that; I think this is intellectual garbage. Only-that-and-nothing-more. These persons otherwise would not be able to get a job (economics again, you see). The government should pay them. They should not have to plough the rutabagas of art. I do not know that these are bad artists, I am not saying that. They may be a varied lot. There are probably quite a few different type artists there. We are in the catalogue. Whatever you call what I picked up. Why are they making such a big deal out of all this art?

The truth is that there is a person and there is an artwork. Any investigation is the investigation of just that person and artwork; it is not that complicated. The investigation occurs when the end user encounters and investigates an artwork. So it is very simple and we can only feel chagrin that the U of C wants to make it something more. You may say “investigation,” appreciation, inquiry– Whatever. But there isn’t anything there to analyze: the artist creates a work, the viewer views or in the case of music: listens. Or in the case of a reading: Well then, you listen. There are a lot of readings going on too, in this published document. So you should probably go.    (arts.uchicago.edu).