📑 Anomie – Wikipedia | Annotations about economics

Annotated Anomie (Wikipedia)
Anomie (/ˈænəˌmi/) is a "condition in which society provides little moral guidance to individuals".[1] It is the breakdown of social bonds between an individual and the community, e.g., under unruly scenarios resulting in fragmentation of social identity and rejection of self-regulatory values.

I can’t help but see this definition and think it needs to be applied to economics immediately. In particular I can think of a few quick examples of economic anomie which are artificially covering up a free market and causing issues within individual communities.

College Textbooks

Here publishers are marketing to professors who assign particular textbooks and subverting students which are the actual market and consumers of those textbooks. This causes an inflated market and has allowed textbook prices to spiral out of control.

The American Health Care Market

In this example, the health care providers (doctors, hospitals, etc.) have been segmented away from their consumers (patients) by intermediary insurance companies which are driving the market to their own good rather than a free-er set of smaller (and importantly local) markets that would be composed of just the sellers and the buyers. As a result, the consumer of health care has no ability to put a particular price on what they’re receiving (and typically they rarely ever ask, even more so when they have insurance). This type of economic anomie is causing terrific havoc within the area.

(Aside: while the majority of health care markets is very small in size (by distance), I will submit that the advent of medical tourism does a bit to widen potential markets, but this segment of the market is tiny and very privileged in comparison.)

Others

In a non-economic setting it also seems to be highly applicable to social media silos like Facebook, Twitter, et al as they break social norms. I’ll have to circle back to write a longer essay about this with regard to the IndieWeb movement.

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📑 Anomie and Trumpism

Annotated Anomie (Wikipedia)
He [Émile Durkheim] believed that anomie is common when the surrounding society has undergone significant changes in its economic fortunes, whether for better or for worse and, more generally, when there is a significant discrepancy between the ideological theories and values commonly professed and what was actually achievable in everyday life. This was contrary to previous theories on suicide which generally maintained that suicide was precipitated by negative events in a person's life and their subsequent depression.  

Is this what America is experiencing in the midst of Donald J. Trump’s new Republican party?

I’m left wondering if there is a potential link to Jonah Goldberg having used the word “Suicide” specifically in the title of his recent book? Neither Émile Durkheim nor anomie appear within the text however. The link seems more than fitting.

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📑 Cantinflas | Wikipedia

Annotated Cantiflas (Wikipedia)
Among the things that endeared him to his public was his comic use of language in his films; his characters (all of which were really variations of the main "Cantinflas" persona but cast in different social roles and circumstances) would strike up a normal conversation and then complicate it to the point where no one understood what they were talking about. The Cantinflas character was particularly adept at obfuscating the conversation when he owed somebody money, was courting an attractive young woman, or was trying to talk his way out of trouble with authorities, whom he managed to humiliate without their even being able to tell. This manner of talking became known as Cantinflear, and it became common parlance for Spanish speakers to say "¡estás cantinfleando!" (loosely translated as you're pulling a "Cantinflas!" or you're "Cantinflassing!") whenever someone became hard to understand in conversation.

Similar to doubletalk, technobabble, and other varieties of speech.

See also: https://boffosocko.com/2016/09/30/complexity-isnt-a-vice-10-word-answers-and-doubletalk-in-election-2016/

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📑 Code of Conduct

Annotated Code of Conduct for EDU522 by J. Gregory McVerryJ. Gregory McVerry (edu522.networkedlearningcollaborative.com)
Incessentaly correcting graamer  

This may be my favorite line of the entire code of conduct! I’m doing my best to resist….

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📑 Gutenberg support · Issue #190 · dshanske/indieweb-post-kinds

Annotated Gutenberg support · Issue #190 · dshanske/indieweb-post-kinds by David Shanske (GitHub)
Post Kinds consists of a few elements
  • A URL parser that takes an input URL and tries to extract it into structured data
  • Enhancements to the Post Editor to add additional structured data to the post object
  • A Taxonomy that takes that structured data and classifies it and dictates behavior
  • A rendering piece that takes the structured data stored in post meta and displays it using templates that can be overridden in the theme by including them in a subdirectory called kind_views

This is a great short description from a WordPress developer perspective of what the Post Kinds Plugin does

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📑 Unfollowing Everybody | Anil Dash

Annotated Unfollowing Everybody by Anil Dash (Anil Dash)
To that point, I've also basically not refollowed any news accounts or "official" corporate accounts. Anything I need to know about major headlines gets surfaced through other channels, or even just other parts of Twitter, so I don't need to see social media updates from media companies whose entire economic model is predicated on causing me enough stress to click through to their sites.

Some good general advice…

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📑 Community, Privatization, Efficiency | Kathleen Fitzpatrick

Annotated Community, Privatization, Efficiency by Kathleen FitzpatrickKathleen Fitzpatrick (Kathleen Fitzpatrick)
Reversing the trend toward privatization will thus require not just massive public mobilization and demand of elected officials, but also a hard turn away from efficiency as a primary value, a recognition that the building of relationships and the cultivation of care is slow and difficult and of necessity inefficient. In fact, that its value lies in its inefficiency — but making the case for such inefficiency as a necessary value requires a lot of effort, and a lot of caution.

There’s a kernel here of something about the value of links (social, business, etc.) as put forward by Cesar Hidalgo in Why Information Grows. Where is the real value? How can it best be extracted? Built up? Having a more direct means of valuing these otherwise seeming intangibles will be important in the future.

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📑 ‘A way of monetizing poor people’: How private equity firms make money offering loans to cash-strapped Americans | Washington Post

Annotated ‘A way of monetizing poor people’: How private equity firms make money offering loans to cash-strapped Americans (Washington Post)
Despite the risks, however, Mariner Finance is eager to gain new customers. The company declined to say how many unsolicited checks it mails out, but because only about 1 percent of recipients cash them, the number is probably in the millions. The “loans-by-mail” program accounted for 28 percent of Mariner’s loans issued in the third quarter of 2017, according to Kroll. Mariner’s two largest competitors, by contrast, rarely use the tactic.

Incidentally 1% is the response rate necessary to make spam email and fax financially viable. Coincidence?

Do businesses that rely on a low response rate of 1-2% and succeed have something in common? Could they all be considered predatory?

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