“Description is not explanation” is an interesting way of making the criticism of scientistic disciplines like economics. Clearly, the precise descriptions that can be articulated mathematically can be used in an explanation, but it’s just as clear that precise descriptions don’t suffice for a representation of reality. After all, novelists describe fictional situations with great precision.

When you say “trying to store endless notational value,” did you mean “notional value,” as in the digital money that’s based only on promises and bullshit rather than anything tangible like gold? The article I link to at the beginning of my article on economics talks a little about the origin of the financial sector. According to that article (based on Lemann’s book), the sector began when Michael Jensen proposed ways of eliminating corporate corruption.

From the article:

“Corporate shareholders saw their earnings skyrocket, but the main effect of the changes was to empower the financial sector, which Greenspan, for his part, worked doggedly to unfetter. As Lemann writes, Jensen’s ideas also helped chip away at the power of the traditional Corporate Man — the sort of executive whose pursuit of profit was tempered somewhat by a commitment to noneconomic norms, among them a belief in the need to foster trust and build long-term relationships across company lines. Taking his place was Transaction Man, who focused on little more than driving up share prices by any means necessary.”

This looks to me like the gaming of any system by the predatory or parasitic class, the sociopaths that often become the alpha males whose exploits used to be celebrated in the myths of demigods and legendary heroes. Just as in soviet communism, any social system we propose has to contend with the default scenario, as I lay out in Some Basics of Cynical Sociology. Or like in Jurassic Park, nature finds a way to reassert its animality in our artificial refuges, and the latent dominance hierarchy (vast economic inequality) comes to the fore.

Knowledge condemns. Art redeems. I learned that as an artistic writer who did a doctorate in philosophy. We should try to see the dark comedy in all things.

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