Statistics vs Machine-Learning
by Rob Tibshirani
Posts tagged with marketing
The less you eat, drink and buy books; the less you go to the theatre, the dance hall, the public house; the less you think, love, theorise, sing, paint, fence, etc., the more you save – the greater becomes your treasure which neither moths nor rust will devour – your capital. The less you are, the less you express your own life, the more you have, i.e., the greater is your alienated life, the greater is the store of your estranged being.
Karl Marx - Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts 1844
I have two problems with this argument. It’s at once consumerist/materialistic and self-centred.
The two groups who I think see through this are: a) anarchists and b) those who believe their standard-issue economics instruction. The anarchists I know are quite happy to make up games and play them, for free, in a public space which costs nothing. Participating less in the economic system—buying less, at least—tautologically reduces the demands on the people who are working. Economists preach that every transaction is two-sided, so you can’t think of only the buyer (as Marx is doing here, with himself as egoistic entertained) without considering the seller. Where I think the econ’s fall down on the job is if they take Walter Q Server’s low wages as an optimal outcome, rather than asking what might raise his earning/producing power, without incurring other negatives to himself or others.
Theoretically Marx’s observation is a “nifty” one—saving sucks, is f―ing annoying, and so on. But that’s only from an egotistical perspective. I never want to imply that others should be doing services for me unremunerated, so that I can “just be free to be myself” or some b―sh―.
Asking people to bargain or work for others’ IOU’s before having the right to request services of a third party, is much more communal and respectful than “I should just get to have stuff”—in what context-free vacuum is that happening? It’s also fully reasonable to say things like “A car can cost many multiples of a beer and therefore require not-buying many beers”. Or, you know, buy neither car nor beer.
If the Panglossian/Pareto/Lagrange paradigm falls short (as I think it does) it’s not in this way.