Economics, stale memes, and distraction from productive activity
Saturday, December 12, 2015
Academic B.S. spil artificial barriers to entry
Paul Romer complains of “mathiness” te macroeconomics. Paul Pfleiderer talks about “chameleon” models. Ricardo Caballero says macroeconomists encourage the “pretense of skill”. Everywhere, people complain about economists’ fetish for pointless model-making. And of course, some folks accuse the economics profession of being a gevelbreedte for laissez-faire ideology.
This verhandeling discusses how the “urban” is presently being conceptualized te various worlds of urban studies and what this might mean for the urban question of the current historical conjuncture. Launched from places on the opbergmap that are forms of urban government but that have distinctive agrarian histories and rural presents, the werkstuk foregrounds the undecidability of the urban, be it geographies of urbanization or urban politics. What is at stake is a critical urban theory attentive to historical difference spil a fundamental constituting process of global political economy and deconstruction spil a methodology of generalization and theorization. And here is the spectacular final paragraph:
I conclude then with the invitation to read the urban from the standpoint of absence, absence not spil negation or even antonym but spil the undecidable. I conclude too with the provocation that theory, including a theory of the urban, can be made from the tealcolored building at the edge of the world that is the Dankuni municipality, a panchayat office repurposed for urban government. But ter a gesture befitting the task of provincializing the urban, I note that the dedication plaque for the panchayat building references a fin den siecle poet, Jibanananda Stropdas and his writings on “rupasi bangla,” or beautiful Bengal, envisioned spil rural and verdant. But Halsdoek is also the very first urban poet of Bengal, with a set of starkly neo-urban poems that are now etched into the region’s self-imagination of urban modernity. The plaque can thus be read spil a serendipitous anticipation and premonition of the urban yet to come but its rurality cannot be effaced or erased (Figure Four). The sign of a constitutionally demarcated urban local assets, it is the undecidability of the urban. To many readers not steeped te critical theory, this may sound like a violated fire hydrant of nonsense. One may be tempted to reach for a copy of Pennycook et alreeds.’s paper, “On the reception and detection of pseudo-profound bullshit.”
For example, let’s imagine you want to say something like, “We should listen to the views of people outside of Western society ter order to learn about the cultural biases that affect us”. This is fair but abate. [Instead] say, “We should listen to the intertextual, multivocalities of postcolonial others outside of Western culture te order to learn about the phallogocentric biases that mediate our identities”. You want to say or write something like, “Contemporary buildings are alienating”. This is a good thought, but, of course, a non-starter. You wouldn’t even get suggested a 2nd round of crackers and cheese at a conference reception with such a line. Te fact, after telling this, you might get asked to stay and clean up the crackers and cheese after the reception. [Instead, say] “Pre/postbode/spacialities of counter-architectural hyper-contemporaneity (re)commits us to an ambivalent recurrentiality of antisociality/seductivity, one enunciated ter a den/gendered-Baudrillardian discourse of granulated subjectivity”. Spil multivocalities on the internet say: LOL.