May 16, 2008

The Wonder of Names

Im going off tangent for this short piece, unusally huh, but i wanted to soak in some of creative responses you guys have shown me for this assignment, and I will hopefully stay on line with the economic peculiarities discussed in these two books. I found a book at the thrift store i work at, which is basically a cross-section of the languages of the world and how ours evolved from other Indo-European branches. Mario Pei, in his book The Story of Language, sheds light onto some of the topics that you have brought to the surface, including economics. Part of his research focuses on many different aspects of the culture of business throughout time, however being written in 1949, it was almost a premonition of how much language would impact the consumers world in a world of advertising. Namely, that products and services which capture the consumers delight through something so simple as its name and the reputation it builds through marketing would be the decider of who rises to the top of fortune 500's.
In an excerpt from his book, he states that "several theories are current among linguists today, but with the distinct understanding that they are as yet unproved and, in the nature of things, probably unprovable. They have been given picturesque names, which proves that linguists, too, can be imaginative on occasion. The "bow-wow" theory holds that language arose in imitation of the sounds occurring in nature. A dog barks; his bark sounds like bow-wow to a human hearer. Therefore he designates the dog as bow-wow. The "ding-dong" theory is to the effect that language at first consisted of spurts of surprise, fear, pleasure, pain, etc. It is often paired with the "yo-he-ho" theory to the effect that language arose from grunts of physical exertion, and even with the "sing-song" theory, that language arose from primitive inarticulate chants. The "ta-ta theory that lanaguage comes from imitation of bodily movements is further exemplified in the Darwinian belief described above.
In Pei's approach to language, it becomes more clear to me anyway, that some of the most successful companies of the internet boom reached their apex because of their name, not so much as the goods they offered. Upon reaching their initial gold vein, they were then able to focus their capital on truly improving their products or services. would be an example of the sound of a baby makes, on the cusp of forming words, yet very new to the world and trying to make sense of a God-given ability, also the symbolic sound of 0's and 1's, which to the average mind- is, well, mindblowing. - this name just sounds looooonnnnngggg, full of just about every sound it seems, every creepy critter crawler, which gives the consumer an idea of what the company might offer before spending sleepless nights browsing the sight building a massive shopping cart knowing full well theres only pennies in the pockets. There are many more out there, but just as people carefully choose the names of their kids, sometimes even changing it after birth after deep pondering, companies that can find the name that appeals to their target audience are more able to ignite a trend and build a lasting reputation and profitable business.
To me a new product, even if innovative and unheard of, is only half the challenge. Finding a name for it, one that like Pei says, symbolically brings some sense of satisfaction and a feeling for the customer of being "involved" in the inventors revolution, "involution" i guess, is only half the adventure. Doctors and medical workers i've noticed are surfing the Croc craze, as their job requires extreme comfort for their feet and standing long hours in their work, and if we haven't learned yet, crocs are about the toughest, sometimes cranky, creatures on earth. Names, in all actuality, breathe life into creation. Could you imagine it any other way? I can't.

May 15, 2008

gas prices: upward sloping supply curve?

as fuel prices are endlessly racheted higher and higher, I sometimes have trouble seeing any drop in usage. I can only assume that gas in extremely inelastic.

I wonder if perhaps we have come to a developmental plateau as a society. I wonder if in the ensuing couple of months and years and decades, if we will see a back-slide in our economy's technological advancement.

A lot of economic models assume that cost will merely rise as the something (say gas) i more greatly used and with this increasing price, more people will enter the supply side of the market.

A lot of Economic models do not assume a vericle supply in both short and long term. I would hypothesys that that is what is happening. The demand curve is moving ever to the right and intersecting an ever high part on the verticle S curve. Eventually this will diminish an found supplies dwindle and are stockpiled by fearful hoarders wanting for themselves. They will be reluctant to sell because they know they can get an ever-higher price. They never see it falling in price so they won't sell.

As these supplies dwindle and are hoarded, wonder if we will backslide as a world, national and local economy to more local and isolated areas of activity, less specialization across countries and less sprawl as people will want to bike and walk (and maybe horseback ride) to work.

economics naturalist: Relationships

Why does the "Nice guys finish last Axiom hold?

In College dating and relationships hold a lot of importance among students. For many people it is really their first chance to be out and away from a lot of parental super vision. It is their first chance for many to date whomever they wish without parental judgment.

The problem plaguing many, myself included at times. is that I am aften among many female friends who complain to me about those they date but do not consider me a dateable option. Assuming a desire to be self-improving I do not know what to make of females actions which seem to be self-harming.

My hypothesis is that in a sense it is self improving. before people can acheive rationality and a better grasp of how to improve welfare in dating, women need to "improve" themself in the sense that they need to prove to themselves as a "babysitter." They see a benefit of appearing as a good guy in such a relationship. It is greater than putting up with the cost of being with someone they cannot stand.

Beyond this, there is the assymetric information failure. They see someone they like and either irrationality or decption causes them to ignore or be "oblivious" to the faults. This is assymetric information because the guy has no intention of changing but puts forth the fallacy that he will.