Sunday 31 May 2015

Light's limerence, Love's immanence

Holding my Son, hugging my Pop; my smiles shinier than my one crappy blazer
To Pain's Prosopoi, these two happy snapshots have been as Occam's razor
Showing the Son's implacable Saul is, to the Father, an Oedipal Freud
So only its Photons, not Protons, thus created are thus destroyed.

Again Light's limerence your photo pummels
 & Love's immanence, quantum tunnels
Till, in Bedil's mirror, I teach to shave
Son, Barzakh's evanescent wave.

Prince! Tri-Vikrama or Akram Asura or howsoever now yclept
Fatherhood's facticity shames no founder of a sept!

Saturday 30 May 2015

Welfare Economics is the gift of the Grinch.

Welfare Economics is about pretending to know what is good for Society. It is taught at University to people too stupid to become Physicists or Doctors and too egotistical or greedy to be content with mindless clerical employment.

It has 2 fundamental theorems which, taken together, state that if a guy has perfect information, zero transaction costs and the power to take anything from any other guy and give it to whoever he pleases, then he can ensure that any physically feasible state of the economy can come to pass.

If  he so wishes, these states can be Pareto efficient- i.e. no one could be made better off by doing a trade with someone else.
Suppose he is so mean as not to wish that this should be the case. In other words, suppose this guy is a real Grinch and enjoys taking away your copy of Roberto Unger's latest monograph and replacing it with my copy of Mega-melons monthly. Then, supposing both you and me have perfect information and zero transaction costs and markets for everything exist, then there is some sequence of trades we can both do such that the Economy still reaches a Pareto efficient outcome.

Thus, the 2 fundamental theorems of Welfare Econ, taken together, state that if and only if
1) there is a God like omniscient guy who can just give or take anything from anyone
2) he's a Grinch who enjoys fucking with us
Markets can be a good thing provided everybody else has an equal God like omniscience and there are no transaction costs and markets for everything exist.

An Economist reading this might say 'Quite false! Perfect information only means knowledge of the price vector nothing more.'
The problem here is that there are markets for everything so everything is easily knowable.

The second fundamental theorem assumes the ability to levy non-distortionary lump-sum taxes. This can only be done if some agent has perfect knowledge of everybody's preferences & endowments. But this knowledge suffices to make the market redundant unless the agent possessing it is also a horrible meanie.

Thus Welfare Economics owes its existence to the Grinch.

However, even if all agents have equal God like omniscience to the Grinch, the Market would still fail to yield Pareto optimality unless all agents were also equally horrible meanies who didn't care that they might be entering 'repugnancy markets' simply to satisfy their own selfish desires.
(This follows iff it is morally repugnant to efface all traces of a spiteful injury such that no Consequentialist burden of guilt or Virtue Ethic marker of shame or Deontological evidence of infraction remains visible)
In other words, it is not enough that the Grinch create Welfare Econ, it is also necessary for that Subject's continued existence that all agents engage in a devout imitatio of the Grinch so as to secure the imprimatur of Pareto optimality for any Market activity which the mean-spiritedness of the Grinch has left scope for.

Welfare Econ could get rid of the Grinch by embracing imperfect information, missing markets and so on but- and this is the beauty of Greenwald-Stiglitz- by showing that, if such conditions obtain, the Govt. can always improve everyone's welfare with some mix of taxes and subsidies, what actually happens is that the Grinch is resurrected as that very Government!
Suppose a Stationary Bandit- i.e. a Govt.- isn't a Grinch at all. Suppose it devotes itself to improving everybody's welfare by plugging missing markets, reducing information asymmetry, promoting Golden path focal points etc. Muth Rational agents would recognize this to be the case and join the Govt. thus gaining a higher return on their productive power. Non Muth Rational agents would find themselves confined, this is the evolutionary stable strategy, to a turbulent margin of the economy- a series of repugnancy markets damming up 'capacitance diversity'. But this would mean Welfare Econ would itself be a repugnant market for ideas. To rescue itself from this fate, it has to take the Grinch like nature of the Govt. as its fundamental axiom. After all, it is only because the Govt. is such a Grinch that it isn't already doing whatever Stiglitz decides to tell it to do.

Managing Water Resources- beards vs beavers.

Activists have long known that the reason we are so profligate in our use of aquatic resources is because we tend to gender water as feminine.
Just as small children are less likely to eat hard boiled eggs which sport a luxuriant mustache so too will mandatory beards and sideburns for all water and water derived products go a long way towards putting us on the path to sustainability.
  • 01
    Small children are equally unlikely to prefer hard boiled eggs sporting feminine pubic hair. Aquatic products should not reinforce gender stereotypes by sporting beards and side-burns. Beavers alone can ensure proper management of water resources.
  • 01
    Alok Jha may be young but he is not a small child. Beavers are unlikely to put him off.
  • 01
    A naive assumption. Just because you prefer a beard to a beaver on your face, don't jump to conclusions.
    Kejriwal's mustache has made water scarce even for VIPs in Delhi. Haryana's water which used to flow towards Delhi, attracted by Dixit's beaver, no longer does so. Demand side of the equation is also unbalanced- the mustache makes people want to shower more frequently.
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  • 01
    The circularity of your argument is typical of the Climate Change deniers.
    You think Kejriwal's mustache is a symptom of the problem- fear of beaver is causing him to economize on water for shaving- HOWEVER BEAVER ONLY EXISTS DUE TO REVULSION CAUSED BY MUSTACHE!
    Kindly do a proper General Equilibrium Dynamic Simulation before posting ignorant comments here.
  • 01
    General Equilibrium models can't capture Red Queen co-evolved complexity.
    Beavers do pose a threat to maintaining elderly wood- but that wood will be lost any way.

Wednesday 27 May 2015

Romila Thapar acknowledging my superiority as a Historian

  Parvati Sen was a friend of my mother. She was doing a PhD under Romila Thapar at J.N.U.

 I would ask her if she had brought me any chocolates and if she had, I'd give her my Spiderman comics to read out aloud. If she hadn't brought me any chocolates or if she showed signs of preferring to converse with my Mum about Trade Union Politics in Madras Presidency in the 1930's- which was the topic of her dissertation- I would caterwaul convulsively.

'What a horrible noise!' Parvati said, 'Does he have tummy ache?'
'No, Parvati,' my Mum replied, 'Vivek went to a Progressive School in Nairobi. He specialized in making cat like noises. Self expression is very important, you know.'

Hearing my name, I purred a little and began to lick myself clean. Mum quickly stuffed some pakoras into my mouth before this performance became too obscene.

'Mummy,' I suddenly said, 'I too want to do PhD just like Parvatiji. We will study together. You can pack sandwiches for us. Then we will get married.'

  'But what will be the subject of your dissertation?' Parvati asked. 'Don't say Cat impersonation because
that is not a subject which is taught at J.N.U.'

'Nor was it at the L.S.E,' my father spoke for me, 'But they still gave him a degree just to get rid of him. The irony is that his repeated calls to the Fire Brigade impersonating a cat stuck up Social Choice's Smullyvan truth tree could easily have been countered by Lakatos who well knew the thing was an obsolescent rhizome not an arborescent Research Program. The L.S.E's failure to appoint anyone of equal caliber after the latter's death was the reason quoted by the R.S.P.C.A in their report confirming that the L.S.E was indeed guilty of cruelty to animals by refusing to give Vivek a degree even after three years of charging us Overseas Student fees.'

'So, the R.S.P.C.A classified Vivek as an animal? That explains a lot!' Parvati said.

'The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was set up in 1824.' my father replied, 'Fifty years later, it successfully prosecuted the first cruelty to children case after coming to the realization that a child is actually a small animal.'

'So that's settled,' I said, 'Me and Parvati will now go away to J.N.U and get our PhDs and be back in time for dinner. Kindly cook avviyal and lemon rice. Meow meow meow meow meow...'

'Enough already!' Parvati suddenly cried out, 'This isn't funny any more. Actually it's never been funny. You are the most boring and stupid person I've ever met!'

'How can that be?' I asked, feigning wounded innocence, ' Surely, Romila Thapar, who has dedicated her life to making Indian History the most boring and stupid subject in the Universe, is more boring and stupid than I? Or are you saying that I am the Guru of your Guru in boringness, stupidity and general JNU jhollawallah cattiness?'

'Of course I am!' Parvati shouted, 'Romilaji's entire oeuvre is nothing but miaow, miaow, Vivek is my Guru, miaow, miaow! Happy now?'

Since Guru is not less than Father and I am the Father of Romilaji, I couldn't marry Parvati as she was now revealed to be equivalent to my own grand-daughter.

It broke her heart.

Tuesday 26 May 2015

The Butter-thief's oubliettes

Now Eros' ladle must, not Hestial Ignis, just Celestial Nomos feed
Its butter-thief's oubliettes are an Ouroboros indeed!
With naught to cradle nor heart to tame
Our Juliets breed without a name.

Monday 25 May 2015

To Persephone a pratishloka

That April's Sun with heavy hand
Now  belabours Winter's tardy trainband
Shames thou, Kulashekharan, who like James the Second
Dispels not the Dryden darkness Poverty is reckoned

But, rather, like unto a butt-hole waxed and bleached
Straining at Sermons Porn will have preached
The Deaths of Timur's Captives crossing the Hindu Kush
I'd die, Mrs Bhatnagar, up thy Hindu tush.

Prince! As to Asclepius a cock & to Persephone a pratishloka
A poker up the arse is what you owe Emperor Ashoka

Tuesday 19 May 2015

Samadhi's Wine

Since Poetry can only distinguish from Homo Erectus
Those who Salt the Mine of their own Prospectus
Nor can Pneuma, Saqi, extinguish Nomos' Rebirth
For Samadhi's wine, delve Dark Earth.

Sunday 17 May 2015

Puliyar's mango

By what contango will Kala arrange for Kalidas to deflower his Muse?
Or, Puliyar's mango the Stars derange till Shyavashva amuse?
To Parnassus, who backward plod
Half Hades the foetus of our man-child God.

Tuesday 12 May 2015

An air is not an heir ye canny beget

Sayeth the Spendthrift, 'for thy Sovereign, thus, I attest my love'
'To- as if plucked from the forge lacking an asbestos glove-
 'I so speed it on its wanton way
'& 'gain to beg, a scarred palm display!'

A Miser, I make no reply
& should my purse strings loosen to release a sigh
My rosary I'll tighter tell
As Usury bellows Philadelphia's bell.

Midons! Reck this reckless of a Sovereign yet
An air is not an heir ye canny beget.

 The conceit in the first stanza  is based on Ghalib 67.02
ہے نازِ مفلساں زرِ از دست رفتہ پر
ہوں گل فروشِ شوخیِ داغِ کہن ہنوز