28 de febrero de 2008

27 de febrero de 2008

Egoísta, s. Persona de mal gusto, que se interesa más en sí misma que en mí.

Bierce

Beware of Economists Bearing Advice

En el primer examen de economía en el que me preguntaron la diferencia entre 'economía normativa' y 'economía positiva' puse lo que salía en los libros de texto, que aparentaba ser simple y claro: la economía normativa tiene que ver con juicios de valor, es decir, que es sucia y caprichosa y populista; por otra parte, la economía positiva tiene que ver con los hechos duros, los hecho limpios y verdaderos, y no con jueguitos subjetivos de veborrea. Saqué un furioso 100.

La próxima vez que vi eso en un examen, cometí el tonto error reflexionar y escribí en torno a mis dudas -probablemente atizadas alguna lectura precoz de Amartya Sen- con respecto a la dificultad de desentrañar un hecho de un valor.

'la ciencia no puede ser objetiva porque no la hacen objetos. La economía es necesariamente subjetiva porque la hacen sujetos'.

El tono de guasa de mi respuesta no le gustó nada al profesor que me quitó los puntos. ¿Quién me tiene intentando pensar en un examen?

Cuatro dias después, descubrí al simpático Dan Hausman, que hace un par de dias revisó su excelente 'entry' sobre Filosofía de la Economía en el SEP, en el presenta los problemas que se encuentran en la vaporosa y oscilante frontera de la economía y la filosofía. Dice cosas como esta:

Policy makers look to economics to guide policy, and it seems inevitable that even the most esoteric issues in theoretical economics may bear on some people's material interests. The extent to which economics bears on and may be influenced by normative concerns raises methodological questions about the relationships between a positive science concerning “facts” and a normative inquiry into what ought to be. Most economists and methodologists believe that there is a reasonably clear distinction between facts and values, between what is and what ought to be, and they believe that most of economics should be regarded as a positive science that helps policy makers choose means to accomplish their ends, though it does not bear on the choice of ends itself.

This view is questionable for several reasons (Mongin 2006, Hausman and McPherson 2006). First economists have to interpret and articulate the incomplete specifications of goals and constraints provided by policy makers (Machlup 1969b). Second, economic “science” is a human activity, and like all human activities it is governed by values. Those values need not be the same as the values that influence economic policy, but it is questionable whether the values that govern the activity of economists can be sharply distinguished from the values that govern policy makers. Third, much of economics is built around a normative theory of rationality. One can question whether the values implicit in such theories are sharply distinguishable from the values that govern policies. For example, it may be difficult to hold a maximizing view of individual rationality, while at the same time insisting that social policy should resist maximizing growth, wealth, or welfare in the name of freedom, rights, or equality. Fourth, people's views of what is right and wrong are, as a matter of fact, influenced by their beliefs about how people in fact behave. There is evidence that studying theories that depict individuals as self-interested leads people to regard self-interested behavior more favorably and to become more self-interested (Marwell and Ames 1981, Frank et al. 1993). Finally, people's judgments are clouded by their interests. Since economic theories bear so centrally on people's interests, there are bound to be ideological biases at work in the discipline (Marx 1867, Preface).

Curiosamente, en esta revisión, Hausman no menciona el reciente libro, The Collapse of the Fact/Value Dichotomy, de Hilary Putnam.

Para los dos o tres lectores que les interesó este tema, dejo aquí unas notas y comentarios que recopilé sobre este colapso. Si se entretienen me avisan y comentamos.

21 de febrero de 2008

los cotilleos (los comentarios vuelven a permitirse)

ayer, camino al nublado crater del Irazú, pasé por el centro de cartago y vi el inequívoco gesto, una foto mental rápida, de dos señoras hablando, chismeando, cerca de las ruinas, muy cerca del terrible cucurucho. Comentaban, sin duda, alguna muerte o quiebra o infidelidad.
recordé una interpretación que hace amigo uruguayo, Pedro, el camaleón lingüistico, de este episodio. De verdad, creo que Pedro imita mejor a los españoles que cualquier español. puede imitar a la perfección todos los dialectos del español, distinguiendo el de Badajoz del de Mérida, y el de Ronda del Málaga. Logra imitar hasta el tico.

- por cierto, los comentarios o insultos que tengan guardados en el buche, por favor, déjenlos donde puedan. perdonen las molestias.

20 de febrero de 2008

sin comentarios


algo le pasó que no me salen los comentarios a las entradas anteriores. dicen que me estoy dando aires de potentado, pero es que no sé cómo ponerlos. ayuda.

11 de febrero de 2008

Bob Dylan: Subterranean Homesick Blues:

(...)

Get sick, get well
Hang around a ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell
If anything is goin' to sell
Try hard, get barred
Get back, write braille
Get jailed, jump bail
Join the army, if you fail
Look out kid
You're gonna get hit
But users, cheaters
Six-time losers
Hang around the theaters
Girl by the whirlpool
Lookin' for a new fool
Don't follow leaders
Watch the parkin' meters

Ah get born, keep warm
Short pants, romance, learn to dance
Get dressed, get blessed
Try to be a success
Please her, please him, buy gifts
Don't steal, don't lift
Twenty years of schoolin'
And they put you on the day shift
Look out kid
They keep it all hid
Better jump down a manhole
Light yourself a candle
Don't wear sandals
Try to avoid the scandals
Don't wanna be a bum
You better chew gum
The pump don't work
'Cause the vandals took the handles

espada patea a capote

"Ya es una convención aceptada que Hiroshima es el mejor reportaje jamás escrito por un americano: hace un par de años, la Universidad de Nueva York eligió los Top 100 of Century del periodismo estadounidense y toda la incertidumbre era saber qué libro ocuparía el segundo lugar.
(...)
Hiroshima es la reconstrucción del momento en que la bomba explotó sobre seis habitantes de la ciudad japonesa y de su vagar alucinado, como supervivientes entre cien mil cadáveres, en los días inmediatamente posteriores a la explosión. (...)

http://www.arcadiespada.es/2008/01/27/mecanografia/

Los pequeños placeres de la vida (por Fernando Savater)


-Hay un aforismo extraordinario de Liztchztemberg(Lichtemberg)
que dice: “No sabemos nunca cuantos versos sublimes de Shakespeare se deben a un vaso de vino bebido a tiempo”. Y es verdad. Posiblemente alguno de los versos de la literatura que más admiramos se deben a que alguien se bebió un vaso de vino a tiempo y a partir de ese momento pudo escribir ese verso extraordinario.


Los pequeños placeres de la vida (por Fernando Savater)

10 de febrero de 2008

"Ninguna respuesta evitaba la muerte"

"Ninguna respuesta evitaba la muerte"

what the hell is water?

"(...) By way of example, let's say it's an average adult day, and you get up in the morning, go to your challenging, white-collar, college-graduate job, and you work hard for eight or ten hours, and at the end of the day you're tired and somewhat stressed and all you want is to go home and have a good supper and maybe unwind for an hour, and then hit the sack early because, of course, you have to get up the next day and do it all again. But then you remember there's no food at home. You haven't had time to shop this week because of your challenging job, and so now after work you have to get in your car and drive to the supermarket. It's the end of the work day and the traffic is apt to be: very bad. So getting to the store takes way longer than it should, and when you finally get there, the supermarket is very crowded, because of course it's the time of day when all the other people with jobs also try to squeeze in some grocery shopping. And the store is hideously lit and infused with soul-killing muzak or corporate pop and it's pretty much the last place you want to be but you can't just get in and quickly out; you have to wander all over the huge, over-lit store's confusing aisles to find the stuff you want and you have to maneuver your junky cart through all these other tired, hurried people with carts (et cetera, et cetera, cutting stuff out because this is a long ceremony) and eventually you get all your supper supplies, except now it turns out there aren't enough check-out lanes open even though it's the end-of-the-day rush. So the checkout line is incredibly long, which is stupid and infuriating. But you can't take your frustration out on the frantic lady working the register, who is overworked at a job whose daily tedium and meaninglessness surpasses the imagination of any of us here at a prestigious college. (...)"

(David Foster Wallace)

Completo