A survey of non-verbal codes is not manageable here, and the interested reader should consult some of the classic texts and specialist guides to the literature e. In the context of the present text a few examples must suffice to illustrate the importance of non-verbal codes. Social conventions for 'appropriate' dress are explictly referred to as 'dress codes'. In some institutions, such as in many business organizations and schools, a formal dress code is made explicit as a set of rules a practice which sometimes leads to subversive challenges.
Posted on February 17, by Scott Alexander I got many good responses to my Considerations On Cost Disease post, both in the comments and elsewhere. A lot of people thought the explanation was obvious; unfortunately, they all disagreed on what the obvious explanation was.
Below are some of the responses I found most interesting. So, what is really happening? I think Scott nearly gets there.
Things cost 10 times as much, 10 times more than they used to and 10 times more than in other countries. So where is it going? The number of people it takes to produce these goods is skyrocketing.
Labor productivity — number of people per quality adjusted output — declined by a factor of 10 in these areas.
It pretty much has to be that: How can that happen? Our machines are better than ever, as Scott points out.
Well, we and especially we economists pay too much attention to snazzy gadgets. Productivity depends on organizations not just on gadgets. Southwest figured out how to turn an airplane around in 20 minutes, and it still takes United an hour. Contrariwise, I think we know where the extra people are.
Most large public school systems spend more than half their budget on administrators. Construction sites have always had a lot of people standing around for every one actually working the machine. But now for every person operating the machine there is an army of planners, regulators, lawyers, administrative staff, consultants and so on.
I welcome pointers to good graphs and numbers on this sort of thing. So, my bottom line: Well, how does bloat come about? Regulations and law are, as Scott mentions, part of the problem. These are all areas either run by the government or with large government involvement.
But the real key is, I think lack of competition. These are above all areas with not much competition. The main effect of our regulatory and legal system is not so much to directly raise costs, as it is to lessen competition that is often its purpose. The lack of competition leads to the cost disease.
Everywhere we see businesses protected from competition, especially highly regulated businesses, we see the cost disease spreading.
And it spreads largely by forcing companies to hire loads of useless people. Yes, technical regress can happen.
Productivity depends as much on the functioning of large organizations, and the overall legal and regulatory system in which they operate, as it does on gadgets. Like our ancestors peer at the buildings, aqueducts, dams, roads, and bridges put up by our ancestors, whether Roman or American, and wonder just how they did it.
Before the hedonic treadmill kicks in, and he decides to waste all the money on higher rent and nicer cars, he changes his diet. And steak is a superior good. But how many times a week will people eat steak? Americans as a whole got really rich in the s and s, and needed someplace to start spending their newfound wealth.
What do people spend extra money on? The Atlantic had a piece on this several years ago, with the following chart: The other big change the article discusses is that after or so, everyone got cars, and commuted from their more expensive suburban houses — which is effectively an implicit increase in housing cost.
Limitless Demand, Invisible Supply There are only a few things that we have a limitless demand for, but very limited ability to judge the impact of our spending.Tsadeq Hagos, the Ethiopian State Minister for communication stated that security forces clashed with a the Benshangul rebel organization killing 13 rebels.
The clashes happened near Assosa in the Benshangul region, close to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). The region around the dam is a secure area where access by land or air is .
The inescapable conclusion is that subjectivity, relativity and irrationalism are advocated [by Richard Rorty] not in order to let in all opinions, but precisely so as to exclude the opinions of people who believe in old authorities and objective truths.
I do tend to think that if we regard people’s comments in the linked sources as votes, and adjust for known info (E.g. CEO pay *is mostly* justified [Google CEO pay Adam Smith Institute for references], and as Scott Sumner points out (pace Noah Smith), the US does not have effective ways of controlling healthcare costs as a result of its hybrid system.
The conventions of codes represent a social dimension in semiotics: a code is a set of practices familiar to users of the medium operating within a broad cultural framework.
Sharp fluctuations of moral absolutism and moral relativism are also among the attitudes of intellectuals revealed in this study. The moral absolutism is reserved for the stern judgments of their own society, while a pragmatic moral relativism appears when they give the benefit of the doubt to certain dictators and their political systems as long as they find them fundamentally praiseworthy.
This is part of a popular hypertext guide to semiotics by Daniel Chandler at Aberystwyth University.