Posts tagged with desire
Persuasion, Initiative, Freedom, Desire
- @isomorphisms: Econ 101 leaves out persuasion. What fraction of business (/politics) is persuasion?
- @isomorphisms: Of course that's only part of the problem with lacking a theory of where utility surfaces come from.
- @isomorphisms: People choose careers, (spouses?), and clothes based on narratives someone else wrote. Whether it's the YC type "entrepreneur" narrative or Puma's "sleek" narrative, or sci-fi narratives of technological progress.
- Where did economists themselves get the idea to become professors? Could it have been from 17 years of schooling???
- @isomorphisms: It's rare for people to initiate their own dreams or be 100% originators of their goals or preferences.
- @isomorphisms: Which presents a problem for the Edgeworth-box story of lonely individuals trading with each other.
- @isomorphisms: But the story Don Draper told about Lucky Strikes is, I think, the same one as the fMRI Pepsi/Coke experiment. #neuromarketing
- @isomorphisms: It's that ∄ difference between "lies" and "truth": perception is reality. It's that pleasure and preference themselves are malleable and being moulded by others all the time. (Or at least they're trying to mould it.) Even besides "marketing types" or essayists trying to influence your unconscious or conscious thoughts as their job, plenty of people reflexively enforce social norms and expectations without a strong desire or benefit
- @isomorphisms: The story of Don Draper and the Lucky Strikes makes us individuals out not as free-willed inventors of ourselves, util-seekers and comandantes of our own pocketbooks--but as dull voids with no idea what to do with the incomprehensible freedom we enjoy in a society where incomes so far exceed subsistence.
- @isomorphisms: It puts us as templates onto which meme-smiths paint their work, searching for 1 that will stick and replicate itself.
- @isomorphisnms: It's somewhere in that spirit, I think, that persuasion in the workplace, in the store, on the TV, can be modelled. And without an effective theory of persuasion I don't see how economic theory can take an honest accounting of choice, preference, or "optimum".
- Bike ride through streets named Brookside (nowhere near a brook), Ridgeview (not on a ridge), Westminster (none of their corpses will be entombed there). A tennis court on Buckminster Drive.
- Ironically, this sign: "NO SOLICATIONS ON THE PREMISES". The real estate developers and bankers involved have already done all the selling, thank you. Now we need these people to obediently and consistently rise for work every day and pay OUR due, without YOU fingering their pockets as well.
- Even "Alan Rickman Reads Proust", the suggestions of what to do with freedom--trips to India, faling madly in love, "On The Road" type life--aren't original ideas, those come from stories which we have no better idea than to live out.
- But why point out the unoriginality of others when I have so much to draw on myself?
- My first business was, literally, a copy of one I'd worked at in another locality. My dreams to become a quant? 100% seeded in the insinuations of my professors.
- Or even my unclever insults above aimed at the ownership society. Did I invent those myself? No. Umpteen movies and stories and poems railing against suburban culture. Any surprise that Millennials want to walk to small shops whereas their parents preferred driving to the mall? Was it that something about cars and roads and shops changed? Or that a generation worth of artists told a nasty story that changed the demand functions.
- This is depressing. I need a cigarette.
Paul Bloom disproves the idea that sexual pleasure se logra by merely the proper stimulation of various genitalia with the following Gedankenexperiment:
- Imagine you find out that the person you had sex with last night is not who you thought they were.
Maybe you learn that the charming gentleman is the author of white-supremacist hate literature.
Maybe you find out that the beautiful woman was your long-lost sister. The feeling of wanting to crawl out of your own skin and leave the ugly husk of your body behind wouldn’t be out of place.
That such tropes appear in literature we’ve found from millennia ago suggests people have long felt this way: sexual pleasure must be tied in with not only the body of your partner, but with their spirit and inherent nature as well.
Pleasure is complicated. Economists know this but usually choose to forget the fact. The study of where individual demand curves come from would be a new discipline, although ink has been spilled on the topic.
However, the questions of pleasure and satisfaction are relevant to the engineering of society. If the objective function is set to:
maximise output, but people derive pleasure from achieving increasingly difficult goals and receiving even artificial rewards, then the world of work is not optimised for happiness but the world of school is.
Getting more practical than grand critiques of “society”, anyone who manages more employees than herself would benefit from knowing which free-or-cheap buttons she can push to motivate and reward the people “under” her. Even more pedestrian: I know that sitting down feels better after a physical labour or constitutional, but I haven’t a quantitative knowledge of how to engineer my habits and routines to take fullest advantage of that fact.
Sound the trumpet again for a department of happiness studies.
Bob Kenny says [great wealth] isn’t always worthy of envy, and is certainly not worth sacrificing one’s life to attain. “If … people … know that getting the $20 million or $200 million won’t necessarily bring them all that they’d hoped for, then maybe they’d concentrate instead on things that would make the world a better place and could help to make them truly happy,” Kenny says. “Don’t work too hard for money, because it isn’t going to get you much if you ignore everything else.”…
[M]oney may ease some worries, but others always remain. “Nobody has the excuse of ‘lack of money’ for not being at peace and living in integrity,” writes one [super-wealthy] survey respondent of his family, with a touch of bitterness. “If they choose to live otherwise, that’s their business.”
If anything, the rich stare into the abyss a bit more starkly than the rest of us. We can always indulge in the thought that a little more money would make our lives happier—and in many cases it’s true. But…. When the rich man takes his last sip of Château d’Yquem 1959, he tips back the wineglass to find at its bottom an unforeseen melancholy. Like Leontes in The Winter’s Tale, he notes in horror, “I have drunk, and seen the spider.”
(Source: The Atlantic)