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Thursday, January 31, 2002
hi, as you may have noticed i implemented a comment system :) i got the idea from un-stereotype (thanks!) who happens to be a modest mouse listener. btw, dramamine is also MM. more miece.

great anecdote by BitterOldPunk

A million years ago when I was in college, I was taking a philosophy of religion class. It was spring, and the classroom was stuffy, so all the windows were open to the quad. On the quad, neighborhood moms and dads and nannies had brought their kids out to play (I attended an urban university, and the campus was the biggest expanse of green grass and sunshine these kids had nearby). Anyway, in class, the prof is doing his best impersonation of some athiest thinker, refuting point by point all of Aquinas' proofs of God's existence. He summed up by saying, "Thus it can be shown definitively that God cannot and does not exist."

There was a second of silence. Then a little voice from the playground below came wafting through the window, "He does too!"

The classroom dissolved in hysterics, and the prof immediately took us all out for a beer, saying, "You can't argue with coincidence."

oh and so as not to spread any more confusion! (brought to my attention by tony and mark :) to clarify the situation (and underscore my lack of originality or any pretense thereupon :) i'd just like to say the parable of the mexican fisherman and harvard MBA and the following comments on idle theory below came as a forward from lindaXT and an email from chris davis, respectively. i come purely as a selector. no me!

[:: comment! :]

Wednesday, January 30, 2002
Psychological Theories of Creativity (idea)

An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (thing)

[:: comment! :]

Tuesday, January 29, 2002
got a forward from my friend linda and an email from chris davis! (anonymity is a conceit of the modern world :)

***
A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.

"Not very long," answered the Mexican.

"But then, why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?" asked the American.

The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

The American asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

"I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs. I have a full life."

The American interrupted, "I have an M.B.A. from Harvard and I can help you. You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat. With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City! And, from there, you can direct your huge enterprise."

"How long would that take?" asked the Mexican.

"Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years," replied the American.

"And after that?"

"Afterwards? That's when it gets really interesting," answered the American, laughing. "When your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!"

"Millions? Really? And after that?"

"After that you'll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep and play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife, and spend your evenings drinking and playing the guitar with your friends."

***
Idle Theory doesn't fit in with the current economic paradigm. Idle Theory is a variant of Utilitarianism which replaces "utility" or "happiness" with leisure or idleness. In Idle Theory, economic growth is increasing social leisure, not GDP. Inherent in this is a limit to growth, when a society is completely at leisure. And implicit in complete social idleness is social equality.

Idle Theory also makes a distinction between "needs" and "wants". Useful tools, techniques, knowledge serve to increase leisure time, and are "needs". Amusements, toys, pastimes, luxuries and so on use up leisure time in their manufacture and use, and are "wants". The test of whether any good is a need or a want is whether it increases leisure or not. Idle Theory regards leisure as the prime good, without which there can be no time to do any of the things which make for a good life, whether these be conversation, romance, play, art, music, literature, philosophy, and the manufacture and exchange of amusements and toys.

In the current economic paradigm, human leisure is taken as a given, and no distinction is made between wants and needs. But in other respects, Idle Theory fits fairly well with the current paradigm. It accepts profit, money, trade, competition and other free market concepts. It simply changes the goal of economic growth.

The main problem with modern economic systems, as seen from the point of view of Idle Theory, is that while new technologies do apparently increase social leisure, that leisure is immediately forfeited in the production of amusements and toys. Everyone is kept working as hard as they ever did, if not harder. This creates alienation, stress and even illness, while at the same time generating an ever-increasing mountain of consumer goods which use up resources and generate pollution at an ever-increasing rate.

***
btw, thought i'd compile this list of books and articles that've informed my view on the subject of leisure economics :) hooray!

[:: comment! :]

Monday, January 28, 2002
hey i was in chicago and seattle last week :) here are some highlights! [not in any particular order :]

*my (pregnant!) cousin's superhuman "crouching-tiger" reflexes :) i think it was a char-shiu bau [oh wait, no it wasn't. it was some egg-yolk in a steam bun type deal] also chicken-feet are alright if you remember not to remember you're sucking on knuckles. [oh and from today, rice-coffee!]

*said cousin's little daughter reminding me i should wear pants to the airport. my brother informing me wire hangers stretch out shirts.

*some cool photography from a friend (jessica?) of my brother and sister-in-law. rabbit-bunny attacking children then running away/escaping. old woman gets glasses for first-time.

*tracks 6&7 :) duets! flight attendant handing out kleenex during in-flight movie hardball, w/keanu reeves :) emotional rollercoater!

*this passage from the memory bank:

If the world of society and nature is devoid of meaning, being governed by remote impersonal forces known only to specially trained experts, that leaves each of us feeling small, isolated and vulnerable. Yet modern cultures tell us that we are personalities with significance. How do we bridge the gap between a vast, unknowable world, which we experience as an external object, and a puny self endowed with the subjective capacity to act alone or with others? The answer is to scale down the world, to scale up the self, or a combination of both, so that a meaningful relationship might be established between the two.

*[also from today]: roman civilization

*oh yeah and venison w/dan at berghoff's :) yum! [and some unsavory bits :: ]

[:: comment! :]

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