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    nmw 20:11:02 on 2016/12/03 Permalink
    Tags: economics, , , , , , , rational behavior, rational expectation, rational expectations, , ,   

    The Irrationality of Irrationality 

    When you let the word “irrational” roll off your tongue, you do a very irrational thing: You specify something that doesn’t exist. It is very much like trying do describe a vaccum (not the cleaner, but rather the contents of emptiness).

    These days, it is very popular and a big hit to argue that people are economically motivated by irrational behaviors. That is also sort of like saying “light is dark”.

    Arguing with such nonsense is an exercise in futility. Just because someone can’t explain something does not mean there is no explanation for it. Besides that, I challenge anyone to give an adequately precise definition of the term “irrational”. In my opinion, the fact that a brain is in a living state means that there is some kind of rationalization going on. It may seem odd, but mainly if you are unfamiliar with odd things, odd thought, odd behavior and such.

    Let me give you an example. There’s a guy named Dan Ariely who maintains to be an expert on irrationality. I’ve watched some of his presentations, and I’ve observed that he actually seems to be jiving people: He says he talks about irrational behavior, but actually what he is talking about behavior that simply doesn’t conform to the laws of economics commonly taught in academia. For example, in one talk a paid attention to, he mentioned some law which basically said that if someone prefers A to B and also prefers B to c, it would be irrational to prefer C to A. What nonsense! This would be like saying that if someone likes ketchup more than relish, they would do something like drink a whole bottle of ketchup right out of the bottle. My hunch is that before someone had drunk less than half the bottle, they would no longer go near the ketchup for at least a week. Would that be irrational?

     
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    nmw 16:47:41 on 2016/06/17 Permalink
    Tags: , economics, , human capital, , intent, intention, intentional, , , , , ,   

    Rational Media + Literacy 

    In a rather lengthy digression on the “rational media” topic, I wrote some more about my notion of literacy (which includes what other people often refer to as “media literacy”, “computer literacy” or other such special cases — I do not consider them to be special; in my opinion, they need to be included in the general concept of literacy). I also make a distinction between “external technology” and “internal technology” — this is roughly speaking equal to the economic concepts “capital” and “human capital”. You can check out the article here: “The Intention Economy“.

    Regarding rational media, another web site (I bet you haven’t seen those two words written separated by a space in a long time — but then again perhaps you should think more about why I might feel the distinction between “web site” and “website” is important 😉 ) I highly recommend in the context of the intention economy is intent.com (managed by a team of very intentional workers working together with Mallika Chopra).

     
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    nmw 18:02:23 on 2016/01/11 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Deutsch, , economics, , Englisch, , , habit, habits, , , , practice, , , , , translate, , ,   

    Rewarding Life May Be Counter-Productive When Rewards Undermine Habits 

    A new friend of mine recently asked “how do you translate ‘rewarding’ into German?” I found it was fascinating that this was difficult to answer. We had been talking (and continue to talk) about how language and culture are closely linked to one another (something very well explicated by Ludwig Wittgenstein).

    I have also recently discovered the “Happier with Gretchen Rubin” podcast — in Episode #9 Gretchen and Elizabeth answer the following question:

    What’s the best way to strengthen good habits through rewards? Great question. [for the answer, listen @ ca. 18:30 – 24:40 ]

    A small spoiler-alert: Gretchen says it doesn’t work very well.

    I agree, and this is one reason why I am working on a blog post about this topic, too. Yet in my post it is not so much about rewarding good habits, but rather more about the use of rewards in business, according to economics / economic theory, putting theory into practice, optimization of daily life, all of a community’s lives,  etc. It’s actually quite difficult to wrap your head around, because my thinking calls into question some very fundamental issues — stuff that is very ingrained in the type of thinking used in most western economies. I will probably publish this @ Socio.BIZ, but I will also (hopefully) remember to leave a “trackback” link here.

     
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    nmw 15:29:59 on 2015/12/19 Permalink
    Tags: , , demand, desirability, desirable, desire, desired, economics, , , , , , , , , , supply, , want   

    Something to Hide: Nothing to Show 

    Many people have something to hide, even though they maintain otherwise. In many if not most cases, people seem to try hiding that theyfeel as if they have nothing to show.

    Let me step back for a moment to explain how this happens. Almost everyone desires someone or something. We think a lot about such people or things – day in an day out. When we hunger or thirst for what we desire, it almost feels painful to not be able to fulfill our wishes. When instead our wishes are satisfied, then we are alleviated and float in a dreamy glut of satisfaction.

    It’s quite easy to see how someone might conclude that it is better to be desired than to desire… – but I think that would be a mistake. You are yourself able to desire, but you have no control whatsoever over your own desirability. You may try to be agreeable, but that only makes you a slave to the desires of others. (See also “Why I’m Not a Leader (and Why You Shouldn’t Be Either)” by Sean Werkema)

    People are afraid – that when they show their hungers and desires, other people might see them as feeble, needy, … and ultimately undesirable. So people try to avoid such perceptions by aiming to be normal instead… – normal and satisfied.

    Indeed, for a rather large number of people (AFAIK the entire population of Buddhists falls into this category), a fixation on being free from want (and/or desire) is central to their entire world outlook. The way I see it, such people refuse to be happy in order to avoid being unhappy. 😐

    I prefer to own my desires. I savor the saliva dripping from my teeth as I bite into a delicious meal. I let my eyes curl and roll over each and every curve in a beautiful woman’s body. I drink profusely the words of wisdom that fall from the lips of wise intellectuals.

    But I do not stop there – why should I stop? I desire, and I also express my desires.

    I do not doubt that others enjoy not only being desirable but also actually being desired. Why should I refuse to give others such satisfaction?

    Some may view this as a power struggle, but I see it as embracing my own passions. And here, finally – perhaps – you may begin to grasp why it is so important for me that people express their own ideas in an authentic manner. Painting a picture of yourself on someone else’s website is of no interest to me. You might be able to create a wonderful image, but that image has no true blood flowing throughout the real flesh of reality… – it is plain and simple fake, inauthentic. It may be big data, but it doesn’t interest me in the slightest.

    I want you to own your own ideas. If you don’t own them – if you just give them away to some big media company – then that means I feel unwilling and/or unable to desire you.

     
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