The deficiencies of the social marketplace

In the past, I’ve spoken about what I term the “social economy” — the concept that human social interactions can be thought of as an exchange of favors. It’s the idea that we keep tabs on who we’ve done favors for, and who has done us favors, and are less inclined to help people who we feel have shortchanged us. It’s what evolutionary biologists call “reciprocal altruism.”

There’s one pronounced downside to the system. As individuals, we love to be complimented, and hate to be criticized. As such, if someone gives us an empty compliment, we feel we owe them a favor. (You often see this in the interaction of women. “Oh, Judy, I love your blouse!” “Thank you, Margaret. You have the cutest shoes!” (Men are usually too busy dealing with important pursuits, such as thinking great thoughts or running the world to be bothered with such trivialities.)) Conversely, if someone gives us honest and useful criticism, we are prone to being angered.

This often leads to an “Emperor’s new clothes” scenario. A person who has great wealth and power will find it hard to get an honest opinion out of his sycophants because they are hoping their empty compliments will be returned in gifts of actual money or power. This is probably what happened to Egypt’s soon-to-be outgoing Pres. Mubarak. None of his counselors were willing to tell him that the people were growing restless, and thus, when riots broke out, he was caught by surprise. I’m also reminded of Keith Richards. A friend of mine recently saw him perform live and said he was just plain awful. Of course, the crowds loudly applauded each horrible guitar solo and Richards himself seemed unaware of his deficiencies. He too is probably surrounded by an entourage unwilling to inform him that his abilities have waned.

Thus the powerful suffer in the social economy. But so does one other group. Great thinkers — such as myself — who think outside the box, who challenge the conventional wisdom of the moment are seen as threats precisely because we do not offer up empty platitudes or meaningless compliments. The stinking, snoring mediocrities that make up most of the human population remain determinedly oblivious to our greatness; they ignore, even ostracize us. And we are deprived of the steady access to wealth, fame and large breasted Asian school girls in bondage we so richly deserve.

7 Responses to “The deficiencies of the social marketplace”


  1. John Saleeby

    Keith Richards has GOT to go!

    My order of a Bob Pollard solo CD, his first Boston Spaceships CD, and one of his Circus Devils CDs has been delivered and, fuck, it is too much Bob Pollard to take. Good stuff but it will take at least three months to process. I can’t fuckin’ put up with it right now,

    And to further ruin my brain,this morning TCM showed a Movie from 1969 called “Last Summer” starring a brain scaldingly beautiful young Barbara Hershey as an evil teenage babe who manipulates two teenage boys into raping a very nice but plain girl. Just to make things even too weird for me, the two guys are played by the dork who played John Boy in “The Waltons” and the geek who played Willard in “Willard”. Yeah, everybody knows about “Pink Flamingos” but how many of ya have seen “Last Summer”? Oh, the completely unknown actress who plays the rape victim was nominated for the fuckin’ OSCAR so it’s go Mainstream Credentials – The Sixties were NUTS!

    And now I have to go to work. This shit is killing me.

  2. Wil

    That “last Summer” sounds pretty awesome. Barbara Hershey was in “black swan” and she’s one of these actresses that has undergone absolutely brutal plastic surgery so that she looks like the Joker.

  3. John Saleeby

    Have you ever seen or heard of a Horror Movie called “The Entity” in which Barbara Hershey plays a beautiful babe who is repeatedly sexually assaulted by some mysterious invisible being and can’t get anybody to believe her? The film actually shows her being raped by the unseen fiend which calls for some very interesting physical contortions, vocal exclamations, and facial expressions on Miss Hershey’s part. One day I will use Home CGI Software to make a Movie of me having sex with her in that Movie. And when that gets old I will have her making it with Yosemite Sam, Barney Rubble, and Jerry Lewis in “Sailor Beware”.

    But, yeah, she messed up her face.

  4. John Saleeby

    I’m totally bummed – “Last Summer” is not available on DVD.

  5. Wil

    You know, I can totally remember kids discussing “the entity” on the playground when I was in elementary school. It seems like the kind of movie all children should view in order to be made aware of the dangers of ectoplasmic sexual violation.

  6. John Saleeby

    Really? That’s disturbing. I saw it on Cable one time while I was at Fort Polk in the Army. One night while I was there I saw “Taxi Driver” while I was drunk and got really fucking depressed. You don’t want to be at Fort Polk in the Army.

  7. John Saleeby

    Bob Pollard’s ” We All Got Out Of The Army” is FUCKING EXCELLENT!