Thursday, 27 March 2014

Does Money have Memory only if we're 'Breaking Bad'?

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'
 Myself the sole Substance thus Abused


FredR said...

Breaking Bad is tasteless crap, therefore you shouldn't give up your blog.

windwheel said...

What a kind thing to say!
I've got to confess, I was binge watching Breaking Bad while steadily drinking my way through the worst case of whiskey- it was French!- I could find.
The truth is, a close friend of mine- a brilliant guy just a couple of years older than me- quite senselessly made away with himself and I'm feeling an utter shit for not seeing he needed psychiatric, not financial, help.
It's no consolation that the 'System' made the same mistake because-
Iyer, that Money and Madness have the same aetiology
Was thy Axiom of Choice of Soterio-Proctology