Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Don't Believe the Hype, and other etcerated echolalia

First things first, I've been delving into behavioral economics, and I'm sadly disappointed in the lack of philosophical discipline among the fields' leading thinkers. The work lacks rigor and is for the most part just a mishmash of cognitive, social, and folk psychology applied to economics through an individualist paradigm with no accounting for the field of sociology what-so-ever. This scattershot approach to interdisciplinary work has got to stop, and the honest truth is that if philosophers weren't so Ostrich-like in their pursuit of epistemological and ontological and existential truths, they might be able to help in the superstructural coordinating project that needs to happen to take the social sciences to the quantum and cosmological level.

So there's that. Also read an interesting piece in the Boston Globe today about the huge problem of debt in the newspaper world. We all know that newspapers are struggling, and that they haven't figured out an internet model that works. But the reason that some are so far underwater is that they're drowning in the debt incurred when some larger corporation bought them out after the telecommunications act of '96 basically deregulated formerly mandated diveristy of ownership in local newspapers. That's why the Globe is so close to the edge, because the Times Co. bought them out in a leveraged deal that put over a 100 million dollars worth of debt onto the Globe's books. And it would suck something fierce if the Globe went under.

For everyone who's counting '96 was also the year that Glass-Steagall was repealed and that energy bill with the so-called Enron loophole was passed, which deregulated newly created markets (such as mortgage back securities, energy, auction rate securities, etc.). And who signed all of those things into law. That's right ladies and gents, Bill Clinton. And it looks like, scratch that, it is clear that Obama intends to continue the trend of letting the money changers take over the temple. Who in their right goddam mind hires the guy who fired Cornel West? I ask you.

Anyway, so I saw Star Trek the other day and I gotta say, I wasn't really feelin' it. That's not say there weren't moments. Simon Pegg running around like a madman, givin' it all she's got. Eric Bana as the grieving, vengeful Romulan. There was something else I liked, but I've forgotten now. Oh, yeah. Bones' intro. Classic. Here's my problem. Cap't Kirk was an ass. No holds barred, completely unself-reflective dillhole. I'm generally all about the anti-hero, but I just don't think this is the right time to be celebrating a guy who has one millisecond of self reflection in his whole universe saving adventure. He reminded me a lot of the guy who just left the white house, and frankly I do not want to be reminded of that shit right now. Or a guy who would be right at home blowing huge rails of coke and developing exotic investment instruments a la le credit default swap. These are not the type of people we should be lionizing as the defenders of the universe.

But of course I'm an unrepentant moralist. I freely admit it. I think that anyone who creates a product that is going to be potentially imbibed by millions of people around the world has a responsibility to the creation of mythic structures that help to illuminate the messy, tricky realities we all live through. I feel like that responsibility is shirked time and again. But whatever.

I also did not feel like the chemistry between Quinto's Spock and Pine's Kirk was where it should have been, and I feel like part of that was the writing for Spock. Well, really the writing for everything. The movie was like some giant rolling deus ex machina. And just for the record a wormhole could potentially bring you forward in time, but a regular wormhole could not bring you back in time. You would need some kind of reverse wormhole, like maybe if two wormholes collided. Not that wormholes move, but I just don't understand how a movie that costs millions of dollars can't get a little physics right. Take the physics as it exists and then go beyond it. Don't just grab some concepts out of the zietgiest and throw 'em in. That's a big pet peeve of mine.

Also what is the deal with Spock getting picked on as a kid? If Vulcan's are ruled by logic, then doesn't this mean that it's logical to pick on someone who's different? I don't understand how this works other than that it's necessary for later plot developments.

So, it wasn't awesome. In my humble opinion. I admit. I'm a downer a lotta times when it comes to this stuff. I am incapable of watching a film in a non-hyperly critical way. But when a film is able to make it through that hyper-critical guantlet, the enjoyment is just that much greater. But, I digress.

I see now that my tone here was pretty harsh, but I just started reading Hunter Thompson's Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72. I have a bad habit of slight tonal imitation. These things they happen.

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