About The Blog
This blog examines formal methods such as economics, game theory, accounting, & computer programming as a kind of literature. The economy is not a text: only through formal methods can we even develop our notion of the ‘economy’ by which we can test economic models. Hence such models are not maps that represent an object. Rather, since any account of the world is itself a model, economic models operate as decodings or compressions of such pre-existing stories to show what lets them create meaning. In this sense, economic theory is like literary theory. Analyzing economic concepts in this way does not add or subtract from the formalism, it is just an interpretation. This ‘econo-fiction’ draws upon post-representational schools of thought such as continental philosophy, logical semantics, and Zen Buddhism. It aims to identify how economic tools operate within the criss-crossings of theory & narrative.
The site’s name comes from the work of Pierre Bourdieu, a sociologist who uses language acquisition as a model for understanding how people come to adopt the social codes and values of their socioeconomic class. According to the various ‘forms of capital’ (cultural, economic, social, linguistic) a given person has acquired, they will find it easier or more difficult to fit into certain strata of society. (Compare the social codes of working class machismo with those of the upper class, for example.) Just as in learning a second language, however, it is possible to develop linguistic capital by painstakingly studying the syntax, semantics, and pragmatics of a given social ‘language’. Furthermore, fluency in different social codes allows a degree of reflexivity that one could not otherwise acquire, allowing more nuanced analysis of the differences between cultures, classes, and modes of subjectivity—as well as identifying their causality, their conflict with institutional norms, and the means by which such conflicts can be remedied.
The objective of this blog, then, is to manufacture linguistic capital.
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