Nothing is good or bad, said the Bard, save Thinking- that is Game Theory- makes it so.
Samuelson said Economics- i.e. the Statistical Decision Theory Yuddhishtra had to learn to overcome his vishada and rule as a Just King- is only a Science if its subject matter is ergodic. Another way of capturing the same basic intuition is to say that Economics is complete only if Money has no Memory- i.e. stuff in the pay-off matrix doesn't bear a tag or taint such that, for some reason, its trajectory will henceforth be different from other similar units thus generating hysteresis effects (path dependence).
In the Netflix series 'Breaking Bad', we find that Money isn't memoryless- once 'tagged' it has a mind of its own and flows in the direction of greater moral turpitude- masked, though that be, by hypertrophying hypocrisy.
In part, this happens because of what Hans Hoppe calls 'time preference'- such that College educated WASP heterosexuals win in the long run because they are able to delay gratification while lesser breeds simply slaughter each other to get hold of some cash to blow on drugs and doxies. The premise of Breaking Bad is, however, that WASP low time preference depends crucially upon Actuarially determined Physical longevity, Financial solvency, or generalised 'Life Chances'. Welfare Economists have long known that their subject is empty unless there is some 'canalisation' of phenotypic time preference diversity. Thus 'Breaking Bad'- which presents us with a sequence of gedanken in which various agents' time preference discontinuously deform- made compelling viewing because it chimes so well with the 'Great Moderation's' fin de siecle Weltanshaungen, or unthought known.
However, 'Breaking Bad' is optimistic- it does not conclude, with Max Weber, that modern life has left Man with no vantage point from which to make immortal mythos out of mere bios- on the contrary, it reinstates hubris and hamartia and the pharmakos/pharmakon syzygy as well as good old fashioned catharsis, metanoia and synteresis as central to both Art & Life.
An extraordinary achievement.
I guess the good folk at Netflix have managed to pull off what even Lawyer's threats and Lover's tears have hitherto failed to do- viz. make me give up my "Poetry as Socioproctology' blog.
Coz, albeit only when binge watched, 'Breaking Bad' is demonstrably both kavya and non crap- ergo Poetry Reception, at least for those infected by a WASP type College Education, is no longer entirely regulated by the prescriptive aesthetics of the Kantian- whether Pietistic or Professorial- sphincterless asshole.
That Meth is Meth but might be also Crystal
I sense in the Sails of the Slave Ships of Bristol
Wordsworth's ' Something far more deeply interfused'
'Viveka' says Sanath Kumar in the Mahabharata, 'is Immortality.'
Vikshepa is Death.
The scholiasts say- Viveka means mental concentration.
Vikshepa means distraction.
In certain constrained optimization contexts, Stein's paradox (explained here in the classic paper from the late Seventies) arises from a cognitive bias re. visualizing Squared Error Loss in dimensions higher than two and is addressed in Sankhya-Yoga by a type of meditation which is tested by avadhanam type practices.
As we know, Yuddhishtra can only overcome his Vishada by learning Statistics but, interestingly, for Lord Buddha, who has chosen not to be a Chakravartin, and thus who isn't concerned with pravritti, still, as befitting one born in Kapila's College town, his own Sankhya training is concerned precisely with false aggregations- i.e. Stein examples- and a type of avadhanam by which James-Stein 'shrinkage' is disclosed as underlying Shunyata.
Obviously, this is only one way- an atemporal, 'essentialist', or at best Shutzian ideal type way- of grokking Stein's paradox or gaining Satori orthodox- but, what is interesting to my mind- or mindless ignorance- is that it is the Jains who now step in to do the heavy lifting to leave us Brahmins (I mean the stupid, beggarly, udgatrs from whom I descend- not posh 'Aryan' fuckwits like you) with our Purva Mimamsa and Nyaya and Vaisesika and Rasa/Bhava theory and so forth.
Okay, the above is an obviously stupid thing to say. Jainism doesn't have a monopoly on anekantvad nor, though in the North, at Akbar's court, it is the great Jain avadhanis who changed History's course, nevertheless, my point aint essentially sectarian. The last great Tamil avadhani was Muslim and the tazmin of the poets and girah-bandi of the Qawwals can, of course, be easily turned into avadhanam exercises with similar constraints and challenges.
I suppose, this gives rise to the notion of a meta-James/Stein type 'shrinkage' whereby information from every and any independent Sect helps one 'zero the bubble' with respect to soteriological decision theory within one's own.
As a case in point, this is Shastavadhani Ganesh (who is my age) telling Prof. Balagangadhara about a time he got the Shankaracharya riled up on a theological point!
This happens at minute 6 in the video below. Interestingly, R.Ganesh does not mention that his own Kannadiga Alaama Prabhu is 'the son of the barren woman'. But, perhaps, Ganesh is of Tambram origin and doesn't get (who does?) Kannada's Kanada type detournement on Kapila whose Jain intermediation remains occluded coz our received Indology remains shite and resolutely un-Indian.
Connoisseurs of my oeuvre will know of the great Indian detective, DIG Anal Singh and, I imagine, will wish to name their babies in his honor. However, in New Zealand, they will no longer to be able to do so because, though 'Anal' is a venerable Indo-European name, meaning 'Fire', them stupid sheep shaggers in Wellington have gone and banned it.
Incidentally I just Googled Anal Dixit and found 3 on Facebook- one apparently a woman. I demand that Salman Khurshid immediately induct all three into the Foreign Service and post them to Wellington and Canberra, and- of course- New York. Devyani must be avenged!
Theodicy means- 'how come bad things happen to good people?' Wendy Doniger wrote a book on Hindu theodicy way back in the mid Seventies. It was remarkable in that it didn't once mention the correct solution which no one doesn't know- viz. life is a stochastic process, D'uh. Indeed, everything is. This is why Yuddhishtra, the Just King, has to learn Statistical game theory so as to overcome his 'Vishada' (Depression) and keep his place as the Head of the Pandavas.
Now, it's true that people whose shtick is being extra devout or to having an extra sensitive poetic disposition, try to grab attention by pretending that there's some great mystery involving God or their own putrid sexual dysphoria which lies at the heart of Theodicy. Furthermore, Statistics is a deeply boring subject. Yet, Theodicy is only important- at least this is the message of the Mahabharata- in so far as it motivates Mechanism Design- better mixed strategies so fewer good people have bad things happen to them. No genuine Theist, or genuine Poet, has any problem with this. But God botherers and Neurotic nutjobs we will always have with us which is why Literature is, by and large, shite.
For Wendy- a bright kid who got stuck in the Sanskrit ghetto without access to Statistics 101- Hindu theodicy had to be about the admittedly yucky fact that women bleed which is like toootally unfair and Evil coz one isn't allowed to slap Prof Zaehner with one's sanitary napkin though you gotta admit that sure would raise a laugh.
The other thing was Wendy came of age during the Sixties when Club of Rome silliness (endorsed by windbags like Raghavan Iyer) was sodomizing Marcusian silliness and getting it pregnant with a Harvard School of Divinity type phantom child.
This is not to say that Wendy's books are evil. They are menstrual, and menstruation is a good thing- provided you slap Rajiv Malhotra around the chops with your used tampon coz that's always funny. Not that I'm against Malhotra. It's just there's a certain protocol to be observed in dealing with Stephanians.