Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Rational Choice hermeneutics and Reverse Mereology

Applying Rational Choice hermeneutics to this paper titled Rational Choice hermeneutics reverses, at least for its own project as intellectual provender, the traditional Economic theory linking the market for food to the market for faeces.
This is a timely move.
Already the Japanese pet food industry is concentrating attention not on the quality of the comestible supplied but the smelliness of the resulting turd. Similarly, to deal with India's farting cows  and the threat they pose vis a vis global warming, the fodder industry is considering a change in it's priorities from maximising milk output or weight gain to minimising methane content in bovine flatulence.
Turning to humans however- with the exception of the elderly or the constipated or those sad lost souls upon whom museli merchants prey vampire fashion- the food industry has not explicitly dedicated itself to maximising neither taste nor nutritional value but parameters relating to the faecal product. (Unless South Park got it right and there is indeed a sinister nexus between Mexican fast food providers and the manufacturers of anal tampons.)
Rational Choice hermeneutics can explain, but not ameliorate, this seeming atavism or retardation on the part of the fast food industry. Whereas food has been subsumed under the rubric of Nutrition- an objective, anonymous, Universal process- shitting remains under the sign of haecceity and Verstehen, the anal sphincter its Gadamerian 'merging of horizons'.

The next and necessary step- viz. to recognize itself as a reverse-mereology- the turd as larger than the world- for Rational Choice hermeneutics will, of course, permit it to lay the foundation of a new food industry dedicated to optimizing faecal parameters and, hopefully, ultimately disintermediating the diner altogether.

However, this is a challenge RCH has not yet set itself thus vitiating its own project.

Instead it has concerned itself with explaining things better dealt with by purely mathematical theories uncontaminated by psychologism or Shutzian 'ideal types'.
Let us consider a claimed success for Rational Choice hermeneutics- viz. the Big Player hypothesis re. herding in asset markers.

“Big Players” make it harder to form reliable expectations in the affected markets.  A Big 
Player is a privileged agent, such as a finance minister, who acts on the basis of 
discretion rather than rules.  The assumption of discretion means that the Big Player is 
learning as he goes.  The little players, however, cannot predict exactly what the Big 
Player will learn.  To predict how the Big Player will behave, the little players must have 
a relatively specific model of him – how he learns, evaluates situations, incorporates new 
information, and makes decisions.  In other words, the little players’ model of the Big 
Player must be an ideal type of low anonymity.  Thus, while they may have a reasonably 
precise picture of the Big Player, that picture may be precisely wrong.  The expectations 
of market participants are therefore less reliable in the presence of a Big Player.  On the 
other hand, if the finance minister were governed by rules rather than discretion, little 
players could employ a more anonymous ideal type to predict his behavior because fewer 
specifics about how he thinks would be required to make predictions.  A loose system 
constraint lets the minister use his discretion.  When he does (becoming a Big Player), 
the little players must formulate a concrete ideal type of him. They run the risk, therefore, 
of being precisely wrong about him.  This is the basic idea behind the theory of Big 
Players, developed by Koppl and his co-authors (Ahmed et al. 1997, Koppl 2002, Koppl 
and Yeager 1996, Koppl and Nardone 2001).  Their statistical results are consistent with 39
the prediction that Big Players induce herding in asset markets.  The theory of Big 
Players is but one example of the sort of empirically relevant theory that can be produced 
by a rational-choice hermeneutics. 

Change the term "Big Player' to 'almighty asshole' and, at once, Rational Choice hermeneutics has taken the first step to embracing reverse mereology- of the sort I prescribe- and, what is more, can abandon Schutzian 'ideal types' for a genuine 'merging of event horizons' by a purely mathematical, Hawkings-Penrose, comparative metrics of asshole super-density which would explain things like why George Soros was able to take down Norman Lamont's pants (though the latter appeared the bigger asshole) back in 1992.

Essentially, Rational Choice theories have a half-life (i.e. the period within which over 50% of its assumptions and findings and methods are shown to be utter shite) inversely proportional to their rapproachment with hermeneutics precisely because hermeneutics is a reverse-mereology project labouring to make the turd larger than the world. In other words, there are two opposite run-away processes simultaneously occurring- viz. Rationality's evaporation by reason of Intentionality's disappearing up it's own arsehole being offset by Hermeneutic's meditative expansion of the turd coming the other way.

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