what you get here

This is not a blog which expresses instant opinions on current events. It rather uses incidents, books (old and new), links and papers as jumping-off points for some reflections about our social endeavours.
So old posts are as good as new! And lots of useful links!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

intellectual repairs


The cloud has just now lifted from the tops of Piatra Crauilui mountain range at the back of the house - where it seems to have been ensconced for the past few weeks. Perhaps a sign of a break in the weather – although the thick grey cloud cover still hovers ominously over the peaks.
This morning was spent in Zarnesti – the best access to the peaks apparently – although I was there to have the car serviced after its 10,000 kms tour. The Bosch garage there is an excellent one – and, according to young Catalin, the owner’s son, attracts a wide custom. Mechanic Nicolae – who hails from Bran (where apparently people are called Scots!) and has a house in Rasnov - certainly identified some important issue s in my stalwart 14 year old Cielo – broken light bulbs, dangerous mix of brake fluid, poorly performing sparking plugs (which the Americans call glowplugs??) and a leak in the small radiator the car apparently has for the Freon I need for the air-conditioner. I’m a bit optimistic perhaps about the need for the latter – but do want to go next week to Bulgaria where the weather is currently more normal.
While I’m waiting, I read more of Basic Instincts – human nature and the new economics (2010) by Peter Lunn which is a great overview of what behavioural economics is bringing to the subject I suddenly decided in 1962 to make the focus (with political science) of my university studies. Up until then I was heading for an Honours Degree in French and German - but then deserted this to pursue the bright promise which the social sciences then offered. “Bliss was it in that dawn ....”!.
But I had so much difficulty with the theory of the firm and knew within my heart what a lot of nonsense the marginal approach to decision-making was. But it has taken another 35 years to expose the nakedness of the Emperor. It is this discredited model of economics which is the basis of the New Public Management which has done so much damage to the public sector in the past 20 years. It will be interesting to see who first unravels that intellectually and puts a new template in place! My website "key papers"have a couple of papers which do the first part.

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