Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What This Blog Is About

As you can see, it is about "the intersection of economics and mythology." Maybe that sounds crazy, but I have published articles that fit that description. I will probably post 1-2 entries per month. I will discuss my own research and that of others. There are a few books, too, written by others, that fit. I will post links to info on those books and probably reviews of those books as well. Any time I see something in the news or spot some new research that fits this unusual category, I will post something on it. If you want to just dive in, go to my page The Relationship Between Economics and Mythology. It has links to my articles and work by other people.

To get started, here is a link to my article The Intersection of Economic Signals and Mythic Symbols. I first presented it in 1997 in Montreal at the Society for the Advancement of Socio-economics conference. It has been published in Spanish in Revista de Economía Institucional, published by Universidad Externado de Colombia. An English version was published this year in Language and Politics: Major Themes in English Studies, 4-volume set, ed. and with a new intro. by John E. Joseph. London and New York: Routledge, 2010. The abstract to my article is below.

If you find my paper or these ideas interesting, you will like the ideas of Richard Sosis, an anthropologist at the University of Connecticut whose research is very inter-disciplinary. I first heard about him from an article a few year's ago in the New York Times magazine called Darwin’s God. I created an exerpt of the parts of his research that are similar to what I mention here. It is much shorter. Click here to read that.

Now the abstract of my article:

"Mythic symbols and economic signals represent more than what they are. Symbols represent universal ideas and themes and evoke feelings and emotions while economic signals are simple, efficient signs that stand for a more complex set of costly to learn characteristics and information. Symbols deal with the irrational and economic signals deal with the rational. Many of the signals cited in the economic literature work well because they have a symbolic element that speaks to people's emotions. By evoking emotions, a signal makes the receiver feel more confident about the truthfulness of the information it represents. The intersection of symbols and signals illustrates the relationship between the rational world of facts and irrational world of emotions and values, a relationship which needs to be explored as part of the development of the ideal type of homosocioeconomicus, the selfish yet value and community driven person."

"Contemporary therapy is almost entirely concerned, when all is surveyed, with the problems of the individual's search for myths."-Psychoanalyst Rollo May

"Signs and symbols rule the world, not rules or laws."-Confucius