I read it religiously.
I do find the negative theology and bleeding-edge Theory disturbing.
1.1: How else?
I corrected one of his coblogger's on pig biology, but haven't been back in a while.
Am I missing a link, or are you being obtuse?
Have you failed to notice who posted this? That should answer your question.
This Post has been attracting attention, including I think two DeLong links to it. The post has my 2nd and 3rd comment on that blog since I have been reading it.
This is the Steve Randy Waldman post that inspired Kotsko. Waldman is terrific, as far as he goes.
But neoliberalism has just eaten everybody's brain. It's hopeless.
Kotsko has been killing it lately. And now an OT bleg for a friend: "Need a little help from my friends for a column I'm writing. I'm looking for examples of myths that have been widely discredited but are still repeated. Preferably succinct, clear, relatively non-controversial."
Seems like a job for unfogged, no?
7: Lower marginal tax rates will lead to growth, generating tax revenues that more than offset the cuts.
9: given that he's writing about tax policy, I think it's likely that your example may be more controversial than what he has in mind.
Going out in cold weather makes you catch a cold.
This is the greatest country in the world!
But since I doubt anybody can really be reached, I amuse myself by studying how we might have gotten here.
Ian Inkster, The Japanese Industrial Economy
It might be argued that our measures of HCF [human capital formation] must capture expenditure which induces factor mobility, information dispersal and acceptance of new industrial technologies. In such a view, the economic impacts of educational investments may be taken as including inculcation of attitudes, obedience and submission to hierarchies and to sustained income inequalities, all of which might be also seen as prime outcomes of the process of cultural engineering. Such investment is relatively cost-effective when compared to increased policing, riot control or militaristic subjugation of the labour force or the population at large. This is indeed a message of the 'social reproduction' school of analysts, those who today consider that the psychological and institutional preservation of capitalism and its power structures must be the focus of economic explanation
Mere Gramsci? The post-capitalist, post-Fordist hegemony is something just a little bit different, the new hierarchies are meritocratic and just or rational.
Do I want a H-S dropout doing surgery? And shouldn't the surgeon be compensated for her talent and educational achievement?
Sitting on a concrete or stone bench will chill a woman's ovaries and cause infertility.
A low fat, high-carb diet (pasta saad') is good for your overall health and will help you lose weight. Try to eat as advised by the USDA food pyramid.
The key to overall fitness is to go running for a long time at a slow speed every day. Try to hit the "fat burning zone."
14 There's a version of that in Morocco that a woman who has sits on a chair or bench soon after a man has sat there may become pregnant as a result.
Kotsko on Zizek and Altizer is great. I studied with Altizer as an undergrad and it was mind-blowingly great.
More Inkster, see 13
Table 1 attempts a rough approximation of Meiji public sector HCF with all of his in mind. The Hitotsubashi economist Koichi Emi has argued that early transfer payments were essential to the setting up of a modern economy, as they took the form primarily of compensation for losses of feudal incomes, dampened dissent and were fundamental in 'constructing the new and coming capitalist society to support he initial political revolution' (Emi 1963: 109).
Kotsko is a very smart, erudite, good guy, which is why it is so depressing that he just doesn't get it.
Now a transfer system welfare capitalist state is not sufficient for fascism, but it is probably necessary for fascism. Look around, at the decline of unions, and the ascent of the transfer state and individual rights.
The neoliberal question might be generalized as "What can we do to liberate and empower the individual?" And the rich privileged pig is always going to end up more liberated and empowered than the other equal pigs.
The socialist or proto-communist is how do we make the individual dependent on the worker's collective? As in you don't get a job if you don't join the union.
You don't like that? Enjoy your individuality, serf.
9 was exactly what I first thought of, too.
Women talk more than men.
The British word for "fart" is "parp".
I tried to start reading Kotsko years ago and his blog drove me nuts. Has something changed, such that I should be trying again?
Wow, links! Whoda thunkit?
Just for you, essear. Don't let the others know.
7: That World War I was in large part preventable because none of the participant nations wanted a big fight.
The idea that you can 'hone in on' something.
The idea that asking Unfogged for help is ever worthwhile.
The posts linked in 24 are all quite good. I especially like the Resource Curse one (which I had seen praised all over the place but hadn't read until now).
Something about there having been any legitimate excuse for the Dreyfus affair?
The idea that interpersonal relationships of any kind are a good idea.
Eight glasses of water a day.
No liquor after beer.
That Iraq was involved in 9/11.
I'm looking for examples of myths that have been widely discredited but are still repeated.
Greek myths, Norse myths, Hindu myths, Christian myths, Jewish myths, ....
You can't butter toast underwater.
I'm constantly hearing that home countries of GTMO prisoners refuse to allow them to go back, so we have to keep them in our prison. I'm only aware of one country that was reluctant, and they finally took the one guy who was at the jail.
[You all know what country that was, right?]
That Hitler had only one testicle and that he escaped after the war eventually managing a Radio Shack in Milwaukee.
That Tom Wolfe puts words together that should be shown to other people.
The Kotsko posts linked in 24 definitely seem a lot more readable and less grating than what I remember, so either he changed or I did.
40: He does, though! He puts "loamy" and "loins" together again and again and you should show it to everyone so they can laugh.
43: But in so doing you cause others to adopt a scornful frame of mind. And thus you do yourself damage by causing others to damage themselves.
Jesus died for our shins.
No, for The Shins. Learn all about it by funding Zach Braff's new Kickstarter project.
Zach Braff's new Kickstarter project.
The Day The Music Died For The Shins
Ogged had cancer.
I figure comment 20 is not meant to be a debunked myth, but in this thread, who knows what?
16: Gah. I had never heard of Altizer. Obviously I have not been up to date. I squinted for a moment and wondered in passing if this was an alternate spelling for Althusser .. but that seemed odd since I think he died a while ago, and anyway why would you spell it weirdly that way.
Kotsko's writing good stuff - thanks for the note, Ben.
It wouldn't take a great deal of effort just to try again, you know ...
He appears to be some sort of communist nut. Speaking of discredited myths that still have adherents.
50 He's a real character. He trolled his own classes like nothing I've ever seen. And he would show up to dissertation defenses in philosophy even if he wasn't on the committee (where the topic was of some concern to him) and really get into it with other faculty. I found his writing intoxicating. Somewhere I still have his first book which he gave to me.
15: I've lost noticeable weight doing this fasting diet for three weeks, which has surprised me. Not enough for Lee to notice, but certainly a few inches off my waist and major changes in my thighs and elsewhere.
52: I've only looked at the Wikipedia page on him:
On a pure level, Altizer's religious proclamation viewed God's death (really a self-extinction) as a process that began at the world's creation and came to an end through Jesus Christ--whose crucifixion in reality poured out God's full spirit into this world. In developing his position Altizer drew upon the dialectical thought of Hegel, the visionary writings of William Blake, the anthroposophical thought of Owen Barfield, and adapted aspects of Mircea Eliade's view of the sacred and the profane.
This is ... beguiling. I'm terribly unschooled in this sort of thing, and confess that I keep coming up against a mind block whereby I don't get how a theologian can proclaim the death of god, or God. Or rather, someone who still calls himself a Christian (?) can endorse that view.
As an atheist, I understand the line of thought. I don't really get how a believer can think that God died. Clearly some theologians are philosophers of religions rather than believers, also.
Wow. After only three weeks? Wow.
"Need a little help from my friends for a column I'm writing. I'm looking for examples of myths that have been widely discredited but are still repeated. Preferably succinct, clear, relatively non-controversial."
The classic 100 words for snow.
Hooray, I actually managed to converse with a stranger! Of course, if she hadn't been Canadian and therefore polite to a fault, no doubt it would have gone nowhere. Too bad about the whole "dating a member of the band" thing.
Good work, neb. Now you need to seek out other Canadians.
But where are Canadians to be found?? Canada, maybe. (This one was from Halifax—at last, a practical use for the Nurse With Wound list!)
Jesus died for somebody's shins but not mine.
: "Need a little help from my friends for a column I'm writing. I'm looking for examples of myths that have been widely discredited but are still repeated. Preferably succinct, clear, relatively non-controversial."
Didn't John Quiggin just write a book precisely on this topic?
Sitting on a concrete or stone bench will chill a woman's ovaries and cause infertility.
Sitting on a concrete or stone bench will chill a woman's ovaries and cause infertility.
Hardt & Negri, Empire, 2000
This generality of biopolitical production makes clear a second programmatic political demand of the multitude: a social wage and a guaranteed income for all. The social wage stands opposed ﬁrst of all to the family wage, that fundamental weapon of the sexual division of labor by which the wage paid for the productive labor of the male worker is conceived also to pay for the unwaged reproductive labor of the worker's wife and dependents at home. The family wage keeps family control ﬁrmly in the hands of the male wage earner and perpetuates a false conception of what labor is productive and what is not. As the distinction between production and reproductive labor fades, so too fades the legitimation of the family wage. The social wage extends well beyond the family to the entire multitude, even those who are unemployed, because the entire multitude produces, and its production is necessary from the standpoint of total social capital. In the passage to postmodernity and biopolitical production, labor power has become increasingly collective and social. It is not even possible to support the old slogan ''equal pay for equal work'' when labor cannot be individualized and measured. The demand for a social wage extends to the entire population the demand that all activity necessary for the production of capital be recognized with an equal compensation such that a social wage is really a guaranteed income. Once citizenship is extended to all, we could call this guaranteed income a citizenship income, due each as a member of society.
Tiqqun, "This Is Not a Program," 2001
Thus the citizen movement, in spite of its conversion to Negriism, is most surely dedicated to deceive. It is thus foreseeable that citizens' revenue will be inaugurated, and in a certain manner it already is, under the form of a social remuneration of political passivity and ethical conformity. Citizens, in the measure that they are destined to supply more and more for the breakdowns of the welfare state, will be more and more overtly remunerated for their function of co-management of social pacification. It will be thus under the form of a chanting of self-discipline, of the diffusion of a strange police of extreme proximity that the citizens' revenue will be inaugurated. This case failing, THEY could equally call it the "salary of existence" because it will be a question of sponsoring the forms-of-life most compatible with Empire. There will also be, as the Negriists prophetize, there is already a "putting to work of affects"; a growing proportion of surplus value is taken from forms of work that call on linguistic, relational, physical competences that are not acquired in the sphere of production but in the sphere of reproduction; the time of work and the time of life tend to effectively become indistinguishable, but all that only announces an enlarged submission of human existence to the process of cybernetic valorization. The immaterial labor that the Negriists present as a victory of the proletariat, a "victory over factory discipline", contributes also without contradiction to the imperial perspective, as the most duplicitous technique of domestication and immobilization of bodies. Proletarian self-valorization, theorized by Negri as the maximum of subversion, realizes itself, but as universal prostitution. Each one creates value in their own way, creates value in the maximum of sections of their existence, even with recourse to violence and sabotage for this, but self-valorization of each only measures the estrangement from self that the value-system has extorted, and only sanctions the massive victory of this system. All told, the citizen-Negriist ideology only serves to cover the Edenic finery of Universal Participation, the military exigency to "associ ate the maximum of important members of the population, particularly those who are engaged in non-violent action, on the side of the government," (Kitson), the exigence to force participation.
Kotsko does not impress. I do not understand the admiration for a style of argument or discourse that prides itself on hiding its sources and referents, that is valorized for being "above" a context or discourse.
Whether the "social wage" can lead to communism or socialism is a very old argument.
And the penultimate sentence in the Tiqqun is the ground for my studies, and the source of my resistance to the left-wing of neoliberalism.
"Each one creates value in their own way, creates value in the maximum of sections of their existence, even with recourse to violence and sabotage for this, but self-valorization of each only measures the estrangement from self that the value-system has extorted, and only sanctions the massive victory of this system."
neb, I am disappointed in you.
57: You should have let her in on another myth: Dating a member of the band is totally overrated. Sure, at first it seems all glam and glory. But then it's three in the morning, and you're tired, and you realize that, yes, this raggedy couch in a warehouse full of drunk, stoned, crazy people really is the only option for sleeping, but hey you probably won't die. It's right then and there she'll realize: she's not in Antigonish anymore.
That WWI was necessary because the evil Huns wanted to rampage over the world and rape your daughter.
Bob is absolutely right that the debate between a 'social wage', guaranteed employment, and other forms of social ownership/control is a very old one and Kotsko seems not to engage with it at all. Still, because he appears new to the debate doesn't mean he shouldn't write about it. And it remains a significant political question. It's easy to see how a GUI becomes regressive (see: welfare-talk, disability insurance, marginalization of the recipients, emphasis on consumption rather than participation or power -- there's a reason it was Milton Friedman's favorite social welfare idea). But it does lower the negotiating power of the bosses in a very concrete way (as Kotsko points out).
The neoliberal question might be generalized as "What can we do to liberate and empower the individual?"...The socialist or proto-communist is how do we make the individual dependent on the worker's collective?
I think this is right on too. It is maddening to see how much progressive thinking has been infected by highly individualist proto-libertarian ideals. So much of American left thinking is proto-Jeffersonian.
I'm fairly certain I'd find a worker's collective to be as big of a pain in the ass as global capitalist whatnot. The point isn't to replace one with the other, but to make the worker's movement stronger as a counterbalance and because it would likely alleviate significant amounts of poverty. I'd make a really shitty Communist.
The individualistic nature of the basic income plan is a strong critique.
I apologize for not citing sources adequately. I promise that I will start documenting things better -- at which point people will complain that my pieces are too long and not read them.
Being unwilling to read long works that don't involve a wizard is the other reason I'd make a shitty Communist.
How would you fare as a wizard, Mobers?
As a wizard, I'm make a terrific Communist.
Moby's making us a terrific Communist! Thanks, wizard! Do we get to name it?
70: paraphrase of Oscar Wilde on socialism -- 'too many meetings'. I guess the flaw in Bob's framing is it seems to counterpose all the individual freedom gained in our current system to being trapped in the petty politics of the works/block councils in the hypothetical after-the-revolution state. Whereas you want both, to preserve the individual freedom that is one of the big victories of the massive productive successes of capitalism with the genuinely shared power of socialism. No real reason why you can't...the 'guaranteed income' successes of the welfare state, like Social Security, have very clearly and demonstrably improved individual freedom and autonomy through collective effort.
74: Being in the depths of the grading inferno can lead one to unaccustomed old haunts...
76: I'm calling him "Hairy Porter".
Or Rosa Luxemdore.
7: There's an xkcd comic in which the whole substance is that the List of Common Misconceptions from Wikipedia is pretty great.
From the List of Common Misconceptions from Wikipedia:
Napoleon Bonaparte (pictured) was not short; rather he was slightly taller than the average Frenchman of his time. After his death in 1821, the French emperor's height was recorded as 5 feet 2 inches in French feet. This corresponds to 5 feet 7 inches (1.69 m). Some believe that he was nicknamed le Petit Caporal (The Little Corporal) as a term of affection
The Dictionary of Misinformation was one of my absolute favorite books as a youth. That may say a lot about me. Especially since most of the misconceptions debunked in the book were things I had never heard of anyway, including stuff about the Pompeii wall graffiti, various purported aphrodisiacs, D.B. Cooper, etc.
Huh. Some of those Common Misconceptions are great. I knew most of the historical ones, although the height of Napoleon is new to me, and I'm pretty sure I believed the 'Coke invented the modern Santa Claus image' one.
You can't date most of the members of The Band because, like, they're dead.
Or is "member of the band" one of those things that means "Jewish"?
She was dating one of the saxophonists performing with the group, Smearcase. That's really all there is to it.
As a daily reader of AUFS and an erstwhile contributor, I've been really enjoying Kotsko's economic/philosophical blog pieces.
I think bob is wrong to fault him for not showing his sources -- his writing is strong, poised between essay and epigram, and its stronger for not giving off the sense that all of this has been thought out before by more learned people than he (or the reader).
There's a kind of opinion paralysis that sets in when you know how much has already been critiqued and counter-critiqued. There's something to be said for writing reader's guides to esoteric but important debates, but something more for just writing out as you comprehend it while you try to steer clear of plaigarism.
She was dating one of the saxophonists performing with the group, Smearcase. That's really all there is to it.
The strategy there, of course, is to sew doubt in her mind as to which saxophonist in particular she is dating, and then learn the saxophone yourself.
86: Those were my first thoughts on reading his comment also.
Just make sure you hone your needle beforehand.
55: It's certainly freaking me out and not what I expected. It even feels like being in a different body. I'll keep it up through DC and if it's still easy, keep gong from there.
93: what's the diet?
94: The one Stanley posted about where you fast two days a week and don't particularly change anything else. I thought that latter part would keep it from having much of an impact, so I've been baffled that there are actual results. But I've never really done a diet before and maybe this is normal or something. I don't know.
I just went down a rabbit hole of reading alcoholic beverage commission minutes as they decided to revoke the license of my local liquor store because the dude just absolutely refused to stop opening at 9AM so he could sell nips to homeless people. Dude's like a conscientious objector! Fight the power, dude! Also he's a genuinely stupid businessman, but anyhow.
So how are homeless people supposed to get their morning nips? Nips are only for rich people now?
Right? He's a hero! Also apparently one of the times that they sent somebody in to buy booze at 9:30 in the morning two days after telling him again that he wasn't allowed to open until 11AM there was a homeless guy getting loaded in the storeroom. Dude is like Johnny Schnappseed!
95: has it gotten easier? I'm so curious. I would be doing this in a heartbeat if it were okay. It hits my sweet spot of vanity, health, curiosity, and climb-it-cause-it's-there.
At a Mets game last weekend, I unwarily tried to buy a beer at 11:58. No dice!
(Not that I feel too defensive about buying a beer at lunchtime, but I feel I should say that I was hoping that by being tipsy I would feel less cold.)
95: I assume it works because one is cutting two full days of calories out of one's diet per week. And it's probably somewhat difficult to make up those calories on the remaining five days, unless one really works at it. Anyway, I think I'll try it, because why not? Do you have to plan out which are your fast days in some sort of rational fashion? Or can you wake up on a sunny morning and say, "No need to eat today!"
99: It's been extremely easy for me, though it might be better to ask someone who didn't spend the better part of a decade (duration, not qualit) in self-starvation. 500 calories is a lot if you space it out and the hardest thing is thinking ahead to make it work so I can eat a million snow peas if I'm dying to snack or whatever. I have not had any fast nights where I went to bed shoving my fist against my stomach to quell hunger pangs, which is my standard for under-nourishment, and I've never woken dying for food. I stop eating at dinner or definitely by bedtime the night before a fast day and in theory go back to normal for breakfast the day after, though that has sometimes meant skipping breakfast.
I've only had six fast days, but the first one was hard because depriving myself meant I suddenly craved foods I wouldn't have eaten normally. There was one last week where I got sort of hungry and cranky, though I think that was more about work than food, and the second one Lee talked me into having a glass of wine rather than dinner, which probably meant I was breaking the rules but worked fine emotionally. Having to look up the calorie content for everything is annoying but would be a factor in many kinds of diets.
101: I think the rules are that any non-consecutive days are fine. I do work days because I don't want the girls to know I'm dieting and do Tuesday and Thursday because that's been easy and convenient. That way I can still eat a bit of dinner with them and they don't get the message that I'm denyting myself. It hasn't really felt like denying myself most of the time, though of course I know that having that diet everyday would be deeply unwise.
Part of the theory is that it shocks your metabolism into responding in ways it wouldn't if you reduced your calorie intake across the board, and that does seem to be my experience.
Do you have trouble getting to sleep on fasting days. I have trouble sleeping when I'm hungry.
I think I'll give it a try. The only question is whether I should, simultaneously, stop washing myself with soap. Science is so demanding.
I never did stop washing myself with soap, but I did stop using shampoo (and repeating) every shower. Unfogged has probably cost Big Shampoo about $20 in lost revenue from me alone, maybe more if you they take a hit from all the conditioner I don't need now that my hair isn't being shampooed so often.
I have lost nearly 20 lbs in the past week, though. Not to brag.
I hope you didn't lose all of that weight.
We've kept about half of it, true. Relocated.
My chief worry about a fasting diet would be that in my present patterns being hungry is the deprivation I notice most It's not even unpleasantness, but rather second-order effects like Moby's sleeplessness - I have a much harder time making any sort of decision when hungry.
Actually, both my parents were like "who cares if you're nursing? Do the fast diet!" because their emotional support is double-edged like that. It is making me think that I could try it once everything stabilizes.
Since I know nothing meaningful about this crazy diet, I can't guess whether it's good for milk production or not. However to 104 and 110, apparently the goal is to just have 24 hours of "fasting" (500 calories for women, 600 for men) and so people prone to sleep problems can do it 1 pm to 1 pm so they're eating regularly for half a lived day. Other people do it 7 pm to 7 pm. I don't know if it's a bad idea that I'm doing more like 36 hours total including the two nights around the fast day, but it works for me and I haven't been unreasonably hungry yet.
Yes, some interesting writing at the OP. LA Review of books has some nice writing also, but it looks like there's no RSS feed. Kotsko's appreciation of Zizek reconciled my feeling that Zizek was an incoherent clown whenever I read him, with seeing that many thoughtful people pay attention to him.
I used to be much more affected by hunger before I started the fasting thing. On my first day fasting I was terribly hungry and had cold sweat for a spell. On subsequent days it's been much easier. I notice my hunger a lot less now, even on non-fasting days. So that's been useful.
On myths that won't die, there's always the frog won't jump from slowly boiling water myth.
Jim Fallows was obsessed with getting people to stop, but I guess he's given up.
Hmm, politics is full of myths that won't die.
Jimmy Carter attacked by a rabbit. George Bush surprised by scanners at the grocery store. Al Gore inventing the internet. Kenya, muslim...
Chip Heath did some research on why stories get passed on: http://synapse.princeton.edu/~sam/heath_sternberg2001_jpersonalityandsocialpsych.pdf
And of course then he wrote a how-to book called Made to Stick.
I don't think the rabbit attack is a myth.
Yeah, that really happened. I guess if someone were spreading the story that it successfully bit him or something, that would be a myth.
My parents would always take any new rabbit down to the police so they could use the x-ray to confirm there were no hidden razor blades.
103: I tried it after seeing that BBC America TV show about diets. IMX fasting doesn't work well with cranky oldsters; as my blood glucose drops the symptoms mimic focal strokes and the urge to stomp on the accelerator to move someone out of my lane gets stronger.
I think I might try packaging up the 500 calories ahead of time and metering them out more carefully to see if I and the random idiot on the road increase our chances of survival.
On any kind of dieting more complicated than drinking less beer and eating less ice cream, I go through this thought process where I think "Well, I have to do it so the kids don't notice, because I don't want them to develop food issues or think they're supposed to be dissatisfied with their bodies." And then I think "That's going to be prohibitively difficult." And then I think "Wait, I'm not supposed to have food issues or be dissatisfied with my body," and I abandon the idea and have a cookie.
I do this surprisingly often, though. You'd think if I found the reasoning convincing, it would stick.
Because there's no chance that your kids wouldn't notice if you started drinking less beer?
If you expect your kids to sit by your chair and bring you beer as needed, you have to tell them not to mention it at school.
122: The transition from beer to the sensible, low-calorie alternative -- straight whiskey -- is fairly inconspicuous.