Notes: Market Versus Social

August 11, 2010

Market: I want something from you.

Social: I want to do something for you.

The impetus of the first is to get something.

The motivation of the second is to give something.

What, if instead of saying to someone, “I like your new haircut,” I gave them $5.00 because I like it but without telling them why I was giving that money to them?

What emotion does the first create in the person versus the second?

What would the world be like if compliments equaled money?

Money does change things.

Money also engenders improper thoughts: That’s all it was worth to you?

Just notes for now. Maybe something later.

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August 11, 2010

“I’m going to buy as many books as I can on the e-reader, because they’re less expensive,” Ms. Robinson said.

And if she stopped buying print books altogether? “I wouldn’t miss it,” she said.

As E-Books Gain, Barnes and Noble Tries to Stay Ahead – NYTimes.com


August 11, 2010

We are living through an apparent up-tick in workplace murders, along with an increase in suicides, family killings, domestic violence, child abuse and abandonments, random shootings, break-ins, robberies and petty crime, and (most ominous) racist/ethnic hate crimes. They are the unacknowledged consequences of the deepening economic crisis. Collectively, these desperate acts of violence bear witness to finance capital’s seizure of a large portion of national wealth and the likely far deeper and more long-term social consequences, especially for the poor, particularly the white poor.

David Rosen: Blood on the Floor


August 11, 2010

I received the fundamentals of my education in school, but that was not enough. My real education, the superstructure, the details, the true architecture, I got out of the public library. For an impoverished child whose family could not afford to buy books, the library was the open door to wonder and achievement, and I can never be sufficiently grateful that I had the wit to charge through that door and make the most of it.

Now, when I read constantly about the way in which library funds are being cut and cut, I can only think that the door is closing and that American society has found one more way to destroy itself.”

Isaac Asimov (via awritersruminations) (via teachingliteracy) (via librarianista)


There is some interesting stuff here. But he is overlooking one thing: the market versus the social. The book Predictably Irrational showed me the reason why I get offended when someone offers me money after I’ve done them what I thought was a favor. In the same way, even if there’s a writer whose work I like, I get offended if he flogs his book at me. On the other hand, if he tells me he’s just read another writer and recommends him, that’s a social transaction, not a market one. He is looking for me to gain something: the same joy he had in reading that other writer. Find a way to package that without spoiling it and you might have something.

August 11, 2010

The Trillion-Dollar Metaphor – Hidden Frequency


The movie Lawrence of Arabia has been described (rightly) as “history as it never happened.” Still, great movie, and it did lead me to read about Lawrence. Now I want to read this book too.

August 11, 2010

Manuscript reveals dark side of Lawrence of Arabia’s sex life – News, Books – The Independent


August 11, 2010

The hardback edition of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo failed to cause much of a stir when it was published in January 2008, selling around 8,000 copies.

The publishing house that Stieg Larsson built – News, Books – The Independent