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Thanks Pete, those of us who are stuck at home in the Deep South of the Antipodes can get a lot of stimulation out of these reports from the front line! I suppose entrepreneurship is another word for creativity and it can be expressed in large ways and small, so everyone can do it. Chomsky was excited to report that even the most basic use of language involves understanding and creating strings of sounds that are unique (in the sense that the speaker or listener has never heard them before) and he regarded this as the germ of creativity that we all have. Charles Murray in one of his books on the good life told a story about a labourer on a production line, apparently executing a set of simple and mindless tasks, who generated a rhythm of work so all day he was improvising different "beats" to enliven the job. So an element of creative style can be brought to the most mundane and repetitive tasks that you can think of...riding a bicycle, chopping wood, making love.

The theory of entrepreneurship would have done better with the help of better theories about the way people learn, including research scientists. The positivism and logical empiricism that dominated western epistemology and methodology acted as filters of the very worst kind to blind people to the processes that really delive the goods in all areas of problem solving from the most mundane to the peaks of creative genius.

What were the knowledge filters in place that prevented the innovations of praxeology (Mises), the action frame of reference (Parsons) and situational analysis (Popper), all available in the late 1930s, from transforming the social sciences and political economy to generate "George Mason" research projects all over the world? For an explanation of the significance of GM research check out this piece on the tormented progress of sociology.

http://catallaxyfiles.com/?p=3070

On the topic of knowlege filters, one of them Pete noted in his NZ talk that was recently published - the professionalism (and cognate specialisation) of academic studies in the 20th century. By some strange paradox this proceeded in parallel with increased participation in higher education, so instead of widening the pool of educated people talking sensibly about philosophy, political economy, and everything else we have narrowing groups of specialists talking to each other in technical and esoteric terms.

R G Collingwood put his finger on some of this before it really took off after WW2. A chapter in his 1940 book on metaphysics depicts with chilling accuracy the process that occurs in many courses where the critical faculties of students are systematically destroyed. He first asks us to picture a civilisation where respect for truth is a powerful belief and systematic thinking is prized in intellectual and practical pursuits. Each feature of this civilisation would have characteristics derived from that prevailing habit of mind.

'Religion would be predominantly a worship of truth...Philosophy would be predominantly an exposition not merely of the nature of thought, action & etc. but of scientific thought and orderly (principled, thought-out) action, with special attention to method and to the problem of establishing standards by which on reflection truth can be distinguished from falsehood. Politics would be predominantly the attempt to build up a common life by the methods of reason (free discussion, public criticism). Education would be predominantly a method for inducing habits of orderly and systematic thinking'. And so on.

'And suppose that now within this same civilisation a movement grew up hostile to these fundamental principles...an epidemic disease: a kind of epidemic withering of belief in the importance of truth and in the obligation to think and act in a systematic and methodical way. Such an irrationalist epidemic infecting religion would turn it from a worship of truth to a worship of emotion and a cultivation of certain emotional states...Infecting politics it would substitute for the ideal of orderly thinking in that field the ideal of tangled, immediate, emotional thinking; for the idea of a political thinker as a political leader the idea of a leader focussing and personifying the mass emotions of his community'.

This movement of thought would need to proceed by stealth because the healthy tissues of thought would strongly resist any open attack on the springs of rationality and scientific thinking.

'Let a sufficient number of men whose intellectual respectability is vouched for by their academic position pay sufficient lip-service to the ideals of scientific method, and they will be allowed to teach by example whatever kind of anti-science they like, even if this involves a hardly disguised breach with all the accepted canons of scientific method.'

'The ease with which this can be done will be much greater if it is done in an academic society where scientific specialisation is so taken for granted that no one dare criticise the work of a man in another faculty. In that case all that is necessary to ensure immunity for the irrationalist agents is that they should put forward their propaganda under the pretence that it is itself a special science, which therefore other scientists will understand that they must not criticise'.

Collingwood was concerned about the impact of psychology at that time (pre-1940). Lately it sometimes seems that sociology has taken over the function he described.

For extended notes on the book http://oysterium.blogspot.com/2007/08/collingwood-on-metaphysics.html


The United States is the O.P.E.C. of knowledge!

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Danny, in all friendliness:
I don't know how you concieve OPEC but what, really, do you mean by U.S. as The OPEC of knowledge?
As a way to prop up prices and distort market mechanisms? Yeah, in many cases I guess.

As a way to force its own stuff unto other nations? Frequently.

As an unholy cartel of socialism, authoritarianism, and religious extremism? I hope not...

I came to the bar following him and found buy sof gold was so cheap. After that, I also go to play game with him.

ce I played GuildWars, I did not know how to get strong, someone told me that you must have gw gold.

Nice articles, but I am not clear about the point you mentioned about how to distinguish fake
thanks for great idea !!
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Guild wars gold and the swordsman in the game. Is it solo able in the Gw gold? It is not too bad, you should survive pretty well with Guild wars platinum if you equipment is up to date. Someone would like me who just reached IVI90 be able to survive more than one hit because Guild wars money. The work of the reward system works without buy GW Gold

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Interesting reading

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Ben blij met jullie toevoeging!
Ik kan helaas geen bookmark aanmaken naar austrianeconomists.typepad.com in Firefox. :( Weten jullie hoe dit komt?

Groetjes Barbara

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