Thursday, January 28, 2010

so maybe this one's for salinger for illustrating these things better than i can.

after years and years of political arguments with conservative assholes, i'm finding myself picking fights with leftists these days. when people bicker over the ill-informed subtleties of the power of one's dollar or the motivations and complexities behind humans holding a political office, the holes and the flaws within these arguments start shouting out and the self-righteous attitudes begin looking so much uglier. and it's not necessarily the self-righteousness. sometimes it's just the fact that it makes people feel better about themselves for doing things like giving up meat or buying shit from a smaller independent store or trying to ride their bike more or reading a noam chomsky book or turning off the lights when they leave a room. maybe it's the post-capitalist nihilist in me, but i think these forms of self-absorbed philanthropy are on par with spending an hour in front of the mirror before going out for the night or having a kid to fill empty holes in hearts or drinking yourself stupid or showing off new things to people who don't give two shits.

i think i'm just having a hard time finding the beauty in humanity when all i can see is subconscious ulterior motivations and inherent selfishness in every move made.


  1. Dear Scott,

    I'm not usually very optimistic, but I was thinking about your post, and it reminded me of something. In economics, there's a notion of asymmetric information. Asymmetric information is when the tendency of actors or firms to be given skewed information or data. This occurs because unwanted information is often the most visible. An example of this is a bank. A bank wants to give out loans to people who are likely to pay them back. However, the parties most likely to seek loans are the same parties least likely to do so. On the flipside, parties that are least likely to seek loans are people who already have enough money and financial savvy, i.e. people who would likely pay all their loans on time. This leads to adverse selection, as banks are bombarded by financially foolish people, and ievitably pick the best of the worst.

    The key here is visibility. Once incentive is in play, data is skewed. I think the same goes for what you're saying here. The people with the most to gain from saying stupid shit are the most visible (and audible). Much like advertisements, they have something to gain by screaming at us about shit we don't care about. However, if we quickly recall asymmetric information, we can see that these parties do not represent the entire data set.

    I guess this is just a long-winded way of saying that there are similar minded people everywhere, but they just have no reason to irritate or bother you. Maybe that's why the beautiful humans you like are so hard to find.

  2. Oops! I meant "Asymmetric information is the tendency", not when.

  3. Well done Roh. I also like that you started your comment off with, "I'm not usually optimistic but..."

  4. ahh I made a really long response to this and then I didn't feel confident enough to post it yet so I kept it up and was going to revise it or something and then I came back and my explorer was closed and now i am too frustrated to respond haha... i wanna have righteous discussions like this like we used to at your apt at cherry, that was awesome.