[iDC] A primer on the Attention (Centered) Economy
dgolumbia at virginia.edu
Fri Oct 23 12:29:09 UTC 2009
This discussion seems, to me, to finally be getting somewhere.
Let me quote what I find the starkest and strangest sentence in MG's
attack on JB:
"MG: By professing everything to be within the framework of capitalism,
Beller and others seem to be saying the situation is hopeless."
This statement draws the following, absolutely incorrect conclusions:
MG1: the question of whether "everything" is "within the framework of
capitalism" is one to be determined by whether or not it makes the
"situation" look hopeless.
DG1: no, that question is determined by empirical observation. the
notion that our society is thoroughly interpenetrated by capital is one
that you appear uniquely to stand opposed to both Marxian and classical
economists in denying. But I have yet to see even a shred of that actual
argument. We do not determine correct theory by whether it makes us feel
good or not.
MG2: "everything is within the framework of capitalism" means that there
can be no culture or value that is not immediately expressed in monetary
DG: no, JB and everyone else means that everything *economic* is within
the framework of capitalism. So do Marx, Ricardo, Adam Smith, Keynes,
Schumpeter, Hayek, Krugman, et al. Which one of those would ever deny
that cultural functions and cultural "value" can be put into exchange
relationships with capital? That is part of *why* Marx wrote about
capital! And that's all your "attention economy" is--another twist on
exchanging cultural production for money.
MG3: if "everything is within the framework of capitalism," the
"situation is hopeless."
DG3: everything is within the framework of capitalism. and the situation
is not hopeless. however, and i am going to be carefully catty as i can
here, offering theories that have as much detail as the "underpants
gnomes" do on /South Park/ for getting from here to there is not
helpful, and suggesting that ephemeral, completely elastic and abstract
notions like "attention" could do the work required to replace capital
is just that--an underpants gnome theory.
DG4: I hope that like me, many people reading these exchanges also catch
the very strong whiff of "interestedness" in MG's writing, in a way he
seems not to see--and that gets worse the more he writes. He has
something to prove that he knew long before he had any evidence that he
was correct--in fact, I'd argue there is still no evidence he is
correct, which is why I find the persistence of this exchange so
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