Wednesday, January 12, 2005

My deal with Ozzie

I am developing a strong aversion to voter behavior as a subject of inquiry. Quite frankly, I could not care less about the degree to which voting is habit forming or contagious. I suppose I am glad that such topics can be placed on a firm empirical foundation, but the questions seem very small. The life of inquiry should be concerned with the large questions of metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and social construction. Perhaps one could argue that incremental advances in practical knowledge are what led to the technological revolution that characterizes our current environment. But I am a teddy bear who enjoys reading -- what use do I have for the noisy electronics enjoyed by the contemporary consumer. The technological advancement only serves to degrade popular culture and competes with teddy bears for attention. In short, furthering advancements in practical knowledge is not something I care to pursue as a leisure time activity.

The reason I am opining voting behavior, small questions, and practical knowledge is that Ozzie is in the process of finishing his dissertation. For the next two months he will be devoting all of his energy to such matters as the degree to which freshman roommate cause one another to smoke pot. Unfortunately, this means that I will also be devoting mental energy to such trivialities. After spending twenty years assisting Steven on his work on international development and trade, I was hoping to concern myself with the great works within the Western Canon.

Ozzie has recognized my disappointment and we discussed my desires and ambitions. We ultimately agreed that once Ozzie received tenure, he will reciprocate my efforts and assist me in writing a treatise. I suppose I could write it on my own, except for the fact that I am a scholar of the generation that does not type well. Hunting and pecking with my furry paws is fine for short blog entries, but a book length project might prove impossible.

Newly invigorated, I now spend my idle moments pondering the topic for my first book. An Inquiry Concerning the MetaPhysical Properties of Bears? Or, perhaps, the Political Economic Principles of Teddy Bears.

I will certainly have a while to think it over.


Blogger Pudgie said...

Alexandra was worried that political economic principles of teddy bears might worry the other bears. I did not mean to suggest that I would describe the economy behind bear production and trade. Rather, I was intended to apply common game theoretic principles to the life of the bear. For instance, what is an optimal institution for allocating bed space? The bed is an excludable good and a volunteer's dilemma arises where no bear wants to cede the bed. As a result, every bear receives sup-optimal cuddling and David gets annoyed and banishes the bears. Such behavior is also an example of a veto pivot in the negotiating process. However, David has modified his views on bears: moving from a no bears, to a one bear, to a several bears policy. Thus, the veto pivot has endogenous (albeit idiosyncratic) preferences. Modeling such dynamics is extremely complicated would be a worthy challenge for my intellect.

12:07 PM  

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