Readers of this blog may have noticed a lack of updates recently. I can’t apologize: I’ve been eating, breathing and drinking philosophy for so long, that now that I have written everything I wanted to write, I feel free. I wish it on all of you. [Happy New Year Everyone!]
But this doesn’t stop me from thinking. I was at a Christmas party and got talking with an Indonesian economics grad student. He was researching economic methods Indonesia could use to become treated as a major world power, such as investing in ports with international business significance. Interesting stuff.
Unfortunately my knowledge of economics is woeful. However, when I pressed him to explain exactly how his economics works, he used ethical terms. This gave me the idea that economics is fundamentally based in ethics. When economists speak of value, this use of value is not different than the value we use in ethics, only a bit more abstracted.
Money used to represent a commitment of the issuing institution to having a certain amount of a precious metal on hand. The cash was a proxy for that metal. Metal, of course, has no inherent value: it is just a lump of metal. What gives a lump of metal value is its properties that people use for specific purposes, and these purposes are fulfilling the commitments we have in daily life. Hence money is an eventual proxy for commitments.
Now, commitments are a relativistic metaphysical substance, something I have much more experience with (man that’s a funny thing to say). Relativistic metaphysical substances can be analyzed along the general guidelines of physical relativity: there is a general theory, there is a special theory, and then there is quantum.
The forces of macroeconomics can be conceptually aligned with a general relativistic theory, and microeconomics with special relativity. Unfortunately everyone already understands these things so there is little hope of finding some inefficiency to exploit.
What people don’t get is quantum mechanics: it is just accepted that things are weird in the quantum world. My view is that quantum phenomena are a highly sophisticated relativistic measurement issue (yes, I have seen all the data against this view and I am still convinced). This allows me to look in the world of economics for similar relations and, lo and behold, impulse buying fits the schema.
Impulse buying appears to unbelievably unstudied: it has 4 whole paragraphs dedicated to it in Wikipedia. I know this isn’t the best judge of research, but other economic topics in Wikipedia seem to have textbooks written about them and impulse buying has 1 academic journal reference (about how distraction affects brand selection during an impulse buy, not exactly the underlying theory) and a reference to a ‘Natural Parenting’ magazine article. I feel like I can declare myself an expert right now: I am the foremost leader in the economic theory of impulse buying.
I guess now that I am done with philosophy I can start a business to see if my theories are correct…. never thought I’d end up in experimental philosophy, but it just goes to show that you can never say never.