The Attention Economy Myth

As paraphrased by Erik Barker, Dan Ariely’s work suggests that “If you followed every directive from your surroundings these days you’d quickly be broke, obese, and constantly distracted. It’s like we’re surrounded by scheming thieves: thieves of our time, thieves of our attention, thieves of our productivity.” This is obviously true, and it is what lies at the […]

Notes on Neoliberalism

George Monbiot’s recent article in The Guardian  is rhetorically tidy, but substantively distorted in important ways. Most irksome is the depiction of neoliberalism as an idea that was hatched, lay dormant, recovered, imposed, increasingly misapplied, and now failing. The effect is to try and have it both ways: the current situation is a direct effect of a […]

The Horror of Commerce

Why do our moral intuitions recoil at the prospect of commercial transactions? One answer: the norm of sincerity governing mundane social interactions (a norm that likely emerged as a paradoxical byproduct of commercial society itself). Take a typical example. Everyone hates shopping for cars. The most obvious reason is the massive information asymmetry characterizing such transactions; the salesperson […]

Contingent Labor and Silicon Valley

Can we dispel with the myth that Silicon Valley invented and/or institutionalized “flexible” temporary work? The first contingent workforce agencies came into existence in the late 19th Century. Modern “temp work” was integrated into the economy after WWII with the Kelly Agency. And today’s digital temps owe their existence to desktop publishing agencies (MacTemps, now […]

Ceteris Paribus

Been perusing the work of a Well-Regarded Expert in the history of political thought. Said WRE unfailingly follows a strict interpretive procedure that runs as follows. First, examine the work of political thinker to establish whether or not it furnishes any plausible justification for any form of hierarchy. Second, if the work yields any semblance […]