16

Feb

The Great Transformation by Karl Polanyi

Polanyi traced the origins of the competitive market and asserted that the market economy we see in modern society today is the result of a ‘mercantile’ system imposed by state. Their aim was to end the non-competitive trade, which Polanyi termed ‘external’ and ‘local’ trade.

Frankly, I found that Polanyi paid too much homage to primitive societies. He tend to describe it as a utopia where trading is underpinned by redistribution and reciprocity. I find him committing a fallacy of false analogy. One cannot compare the primitive society to that of a modern capitalist economy. In chapter 4, he exalts the virtues of centrality, which we now know as central economic governance. However, there is a fundamental difference between primitive and modern society - size. The sheer amount of transactions and trade in modern economy cannot be supported by the social binding mechanism of trust. Indeed, if his studies of pre-modern societies are correct, tribes can and should have a central system of storage and distribution since economic information can be easily collected and then coordinated according to needs. However, how do governments of today gather information of demand and supply in the market today? We should bear in mind that humans have limited cognition.

His theory of state intervention as the main reason for today’s market competition also lacked nuance. He argues that society is becoming embedded within economic institutions, instead of the other way around as with pre-modern societies. I argue that our society has merely evolved into a separation of 3 spheres - social, economic and political. The 3 spheres are mutually influencing and are by large, not independent of one another. His argument of the societal mechanism of social power/prestige (involving reciprocity and redistribution) can be seen in the social arenas of our everyday lives. And I would also argue that it has major repercussions and implications on one’s economic power.

08

Nov

To each his own

I find it immature when people shame each other just because their definition of ‘happiness’ and what they believe it constitutes is different. Oh the power of the masses against a deviant value-system. I don’t judge when you want to breed like a sow and contribute to population explosion, so don’t judge me when all I want is a library and a dog.

15

Oct

Government Shutdown 2013: How Foreign Media Sees The Debacle in Washington

The US government is an utter joke. They’d do better to reach an agreement before 17 Oct, before our vulnerable economic recovery collapses all over again, before my stock prices declines.

01

Oct

O may my heart’s truth
Still be sung
On this high hill in a year’s turning.
Dylan Thomas, from “Poem in October” (via the-final-sentence)

(Source: aubade)

06

Jul

A case of mushroom poisoning

I feel rather odd today. Not that I am normal on other days. I suspect I have gotten myself into a sad case of mushroom poisoning. I feel sick to the stomach, my lips feel parched and I seem to be floating. With my inbred tendency for procrastination and laziness, I chose to stay at home today while my group worked on that accounting project. That said, they appeared to have gone on well without me. This doesn’t bode well and I marvel at how peculiar it is that they have accepted C in an instant.
The day is cold and dark and I do wish Daddy is here for me. My weighing scale is tilting towards the lean side and my rib bones are blatantly staring at me when I change. They glare at me accusingly of not feeding my body enough and I could only look back in resignation and shrug. Well, nothing I can do. I have a distaste for washing dishes and cooking. Judging by my recent case of mushroom poisoning, I ought to stay away from the kitchen in case I overdose myself with my homemade poison.
On a side note, I have really been spending too much money. Time to tighten up and be frugal!

05

Jul

Write

Emotional turmoil, they drown me. But float I must, and the tides of fear will never get to me. I see her shadow, lurking, out of my grasp. She flits, I flinch. But oh the candle, reason and rationality, she blows them out. No, whimper I. And the cloak of inspiration, beautiful destruction lulls me. Oh doubt, my demon within. She makes me feel brave.

I have not written poems for far too long. Being a business student, I am not supposed to indulge in such artistic pursuits but they lure me in with their tantalising promises of a brilliant future within the art industry. Such falsehood! I wish I had a choice to read Literature as a major instead. I love the fluid words, the sneaky little punctuations and the smirk of the writer when witnessing readers furrowing their eyebrows, attempting to unravel their secret language. I love books, I love poems. I miss them all.

03

Jul

Change in content

I’ve decided to start doing business cases. This includes tips and different aspects of presenting, researching and conducting business case analysis. The reason behind this change in content is due to my academic redirection. I intend to take up a business case challenge next semester and I also realised that all that I’ve learnt is actually a precursor to managing and understanding the challenges businesses today face. Business case analysis exemplifies this challenge, albeit in a smaller, more academic-oriented scale.

04

Jun

The case for 'cheating'

02

Jun

What’s the point of sociological theory?

By maintaining its specialized logic and orientation it is capable of providing a set of conceptual tools that can operate as a theoretical lingua franca, as a flexible vocabulary with no foundationalist pretensions, which can help sociologists establish bridges between their own and other disciplines, as well as between competing social science paradigms. This is to say that sociological theory should not aim at the establishment of some sort of monolithic paradigmatic unity, but at strengthening the present pluralism by removing the obstacles that are a hindrance to open-ended communication between the differentiated subdisciplines or paradigms.

26

May

OUPblog: Do we need the apostrophe?

Stop defending your lack of grammatical sense. The difference between “it” and “it’s” is clear as daylight. And yes, apostrophe is important, there is a world of difference between “he’ll” and “hell”.