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EconTalk interview

Russell Roberts, professor of economics at George Mason, has posted a podcast interview with me about Everything is Miscellaneous. (Fortunately, he doesn’t ask me anything that requires my knowing anything about economics.)

3 Responses to “EconTalk interview”

  1. seee, the key there is that, if a “professor” (of “economics”) discusses surplus value theory, he (or she) will no longer be privy to absconding with much further surplus value from said “University”. nuf said.

  2. Here is a copy of my email to Dr. Weinberger. I kinda doubt he’ll have the time to respond. Anyway, I would like to talk with like minded people about what the book has brought out for me, thus far. I also find it interesting that many developments in cognitive science ape the same large scale ideas about networks and systems:

    The infinite is the possible and the actual is the finite. The digital age approaches the goal of all possibility here and now, in every possible combination and combination of combinations and…asymptotically. Is there compossibility or can anything go with anything? In other words, is there meaningful order or is all miscellaneous?

    Space is shared. “Elements” are composed according to some definite criteria. Space has allowed a multiplicity of criteria for composition, provided they’re limited in scope. What I do in my apartment doesn’t have to be co-ordinated with what you do in yours–up to a point. And yet systems have borders and presuppose a larger system (background compossibility). So (1) elements (2) forms of composition (3) Compossible forms of composition (4) Compositions consisting of formats of composition. Borders are the foci of clashing elements/formats of composition. The digital age holds out the dream of NON-intersecting elements and formats of composition, both between people and in any given person’s own life. Choice, therefore, finitude, is NOT necessary.

    What, if anything, is the unseen consequence of such life? “Etch-a-sketch Existence” comes to mind. Not quite, as the history of choices/combinations can be retained, combined with one’s own, and with everyone’s (but that requires storage) without loss and without limiting the future. The possible becomes merely POSSIBLE again, when you cannot know all that is in your collection/the world collection, and cannot survey it, introduce it into novel combinations. In other words, as far as you’re concerned much of the retained does not exist–a new form of Berkelian Idealism! We find the paradigm between the Hard drive and RAM memory as homologous to the possible and the actual of old. More problems with infinite possibility HERE and NOW wait to be discovered.

    So there are some of my thoughts that occurred as I was re-reading the first chapter. I am always interested in the idea of order. Can anything go with anything? Yes. Example: “I have a funny sandwich apple,” she weighed.” We would say that the sentence and/or what it refers to is non-sense. My point is, it’s really inconceivable to think of the absence of order. Throw a box of tacks on the floor and one would be inclined to say that what you see is a disordered array of tacks. But 2 things occur to me. First, that particular order of tacks, such as they fell, is perfectly definite, can be described, mapped onto a Cartesian graph, etc. and reproduced–in principle. Next, it is possible–and would astound us if, given the right system of interpretation, this random array of spilled tacks spells out a sonnet of Shakespeare or reproduces the first 10 prime numbers, or the names of the first 3 Prime Ministers of Spain….So what do we mean when we say something has no order, no meaningful order. I find this question very exciting and perplexing. I also find this question dizzying.

  3. (I have responded to Charles privately because I received his message first in my inbox.)


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