Mudcat Café message #962921 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #59921   Message #962921
Posted By: Sam L
05-Jun-03 - 06:56 PM
Thread Name: BS: Conservative, Liberal, or Human Being?
Subject: RE: BS: Conservative, Liberal, or Human Being?
Strick I think the example you intrduced is interesting, and a sufficient subject in itself. But I think it's a complicated route from there to what are for me the more fundamental economic questions of food, shelter, medical care, education, decent work even for simple unambitious people. Even for complicated unambitious people.

   I'm not sure how to take your comments about science and art, but I doubt even point ten per cent of any art that ever existed would be even mediocre if it weren't for all the rest of the crap. Some of my favorites, Ibsen, Hopper, made nothing but crap for years until they figured out how to pervert it into real art. It's only in crap art like hollywood movies that any good art of any sort just comes pouring out of the genius faucet. It's a process, like science. And in science what endures is just what can't be disproven. Yet.

   I'm missing a very conservative friend who quit the job we had in common. He was perhaps stereotypically a deer-hunting engineering student conservative while I'm rather stereotypically a vegetarian humanities sort of guy. He told me he was doing very well in school although he hadn't got an answer right in 3 years--because of the credit for each step of calculation. I told him we do the same thing in humanities except we don't have any right answers anyway.

   To Everything That Rises Must Converge I can only add that it's the title of a great collection of Flannery O'Connor stories. I've never understood the title.

   I once read a cancer patient's list of ten good things about having cancer--things like People don't ask you to help them move. There are good things about being labeled liberal. Even when you're down, you're not down, you're just where you belong. You can give yourself permission not to want what you don't want. You can take more time to explain what you think than anyone cares to listen. That's lots of fun.

   I can't help it, I still think that Yes Virginia, people do "believe" in the market, despite knowing better. It's a compelling mythology, just like Santa Claus, and really the same thing. It can be wrong all over the place, but when it works for you, it sorta seems that finally something is right.

   My notion that economies are based on values is simple-minded. If you're going to start a business or do something, where do you start? With economies of scale, how many or how much you can do or make? How big can you buy supplies for the best wholesale price? Or do you start with something you think is good, worth doing, something people might like, or want, or need? In patent law productivity-related advantages certainly count, but they are not primary arguments of the utility or desirability of things. But then, most patented inventions are crap too.